There is some common thing in every woman’s story. In every story I read and have read. This essence that exists in words weaved by women, in stories told by our mothers and our mothers’ mothers.
There is a knowing. A thread of commonality that is always present. Even when I read stories of women so different from me, even when I read books written by women different from me, there is something Same. There is something that is One.
And this quality, this undefinable oneness of womanhood, is what I have felt was missing from my spiritual life growing up. The stories of God were not women’s stories. There were names; Mary, Ruth, other Mary, but they were foggy faced creatures without any meat, without the blood that a person needs to come to life. I remember my mother talking to me about complaining to her mother that there were no women in the bible. My grandmother had reminded her of Ruth. When my mom told me this, I didn’t know who Ruth was. To be honest, I still don’t.
I was given a book in my confirmation class and even though I had not yet decided I was against these patriarchal organized religions, I knew I would never, ever, ever read such a book. When the “bishop” placed his hand on my head to “confirm” me (still no clue what that means) I felt nothing. Literally nothing. My grandparents were there and I was told to choose a place for lunch so we could all celebrate.
Celebrate what? I thought.
I choose a Jewish Deli where it would have been more appropriate for me to be in sweats instead of the dress I wore to church. I was uncomfortable with the celebration of this event. My family’s sense of pride was totally lost to me. I felt that the entire day was void of meaning. I hadn’t read the book I was supposed to read. I hadn’t paid any attention in Sunday school class. I HATED the “field trips” we went on to witness other christian church services. And the entire concept of this faith meant literally nothing to me.
But what did mean something to me?
The stories I read of women and girls.
I read books about teenage girls having sex and running away from war under my desk in 8th grade science class while the old man talked about the moon. The phases of the moon cannot be taught in a sterile building by an aged male. They can only be taught in darkness when blood lines your thighs. He confiscated my book of women’s stories because it had the word vagina on the front cover.
Though I was scared and ashamed of my period, I read “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” over and over again. This book is the discovery of the beginning of womanhood, it’s the story of a girl, coming of age, and trying to find her place in the spiritual world and the world of preteen girls. Is she Jewish, Christian, Catholic? Will she get her period before her friends? How can she ask her mom for a bra? She searches for the spiritual meaning of her world as she prays to God for her period, for breasts, for her womanhood.
What strikes me most about “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” is that the thing Margaret was searching for is also what I have been searching for my entire life, perhaps the thing every woman searches for her entire life: the intersection of God and Woman.
Let it be known that in our modern world women are missing a crucial part of initiation in our lives.
Long ago, our first bleeds were the sacred, spiritual ceremonies and initiations that brought us both into womanhood and into our spiritual power, into Goddess.
We are not taught of the connection between our bodies and the true spiritual power of the universe. We are not taught to let our emotions be the stars that guide us home. Instead we internalize beliefs that we are dirty, that our budding bodies are dangerous or shameful, that our sexuality is for men.
I was so sad each time I bled. And so angry each time I saw “him” capitalized but never “Her”. I had this strong sense of indignation (feminine rage) when I heard of women being mistreated around the world. I knew there was a power and a rebellion in tying my shirt up to show my hips at vacation bible school. But there was something missing that needed to connect these emotions and my experience as a young woman to a spiritual power.
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt it sometimes. When I read books about women, when I breathed into my body just a little more, when I visited the land of my maternal lineage. That oneness, that power, that thing that connects us as women FIRST before we connect as humans. That is what I craved so, so deeply. That is what has been erased by 6000 years of patriarchy and monotheistic religions.
The missing of this is perpetuated by fellow women as well. What we have in average life is pale imitations of the rituals of our great, great, great, great grandmothers. In college, when I attended my sorority’s rituals we had to wear all white. They used words like “chastity” and “purity” and read from the bible, the MAN’S book. Sure we were in a room with all women, but no one was dancing, no one was singing the praises to her blood, no one was moaning in ecstasy. It was a completely patriarchal version of what could have been something magick.
Instead of celebrating our female bodies we were shamed into covering them. Instead of cultivated our sexuality the girls who were virgins had a moral superiority. There was no power, no life force, no rawness in the so called “secrets” of our sorority. The stories of priestesses they told lacked blood, sex, and Goddess. Ie— the very essence of what makes women priestesses. After each ritual, each chapter meeting, each activity with my “sisters” I felt deeply unsettled and alone.
What was missing in those old hotel ballrooms my sorority performed rituals in was the same thing that is missing from the bible, the same thing that was missing from the bishop who put his hands on my head, the same thing that was missing from Margaret’s quest to faith and womanhood. The Goddess was missing. The Goddess of sex and blood and dirt and babies being born and stars exploding in the sky. The power of our bodies was missing. The true initiations were being ignored.
The TRUTH of our womanhood was ignored.
After I spent years in this realm of forgotten womanhood and years on hormonal birth control forgetting my own womanhood the sinking feeling in my heart grew and grew and grew. I was depressed, burnt out, anxious. My self pleasure consisted ONLY of vibrators. I had sex with men who didn’t value me from a heart centered place. And I stopped reading the stories of women. I had lost hold of the thread that ties us all together.
But the Goddess, the Universe had other plans. I was lassoed back with the red thread of womanhood. I dove into yoga, divine feminine archetypes, womb healing, Shakti tantra, and the path of the forbidden feminine. The thing in my life that had always been missing was returned to me: the Goddess, the spiritual power of women, the embodied mysteries of womanhood.
For the first time in my life I was no longer depressed.
The undefinable oneness of womanhood lead me deep into my own body, to the stories of birth, death, love, and heartbreak, to the TRUE spiritual teachings of the priestesses who integrated sex and soul. This is what I believe to be the essence of femininity, the thing that unites us all as female bodied beings on this earth. It is the Goddess, the womb, the way we bleed with moon, the way we rebirth ourselves each month, the way our bodies turn spirit to matter, and our pussies are portals into other worlds. What unites us as women is the deep desire for more that can only be felt by someone who is the birther of worlds.
We must remember Goddess as Creatress so we can remember ourselves as holy, worthy, wild, and whole.
There is not an intersection of woman and god because WOMAN IS GODDESS.
I invite you to let that truth sink into your body. Into your bones. Into your womb. Woman is Goddess. That means that YOU are Goddess. We bleed without death. We hold all of the creative powers of the universe in our body. We are magickal.
It is my deepest belief that if we, as a collective, are able to return to the embodied mysteries of womanhood, to re-member Goddess and the sacred spiritual power of women, it would change the course of life on this Earth.
We would no longer harm the earth without reverence, we would no longer fight wars over gods that were invented in the minds of men, women would no longer be suffering from autoimmune disorders and mental health conditions at the rates we are now, they would stop sexually exploiting our daughters and sisters.
I am called to the path of the Goddess for these reasons. For the healing I truly believe it will bring to the world and for the healing it has already brought to me in immeasurable ways.
So, dear woman, do you feel called to this remembrance of the sacredness of woman? If you’ve read this far I know you must. Let this coming year be the year you truly devote to your womanhood, to the Goddess. Let it be the year you remember the power of your blood and your turn-on. Let it be the year you create a ripple of forbidden feminine magick in your lineage, in the world.