2022 the year we learn to listen to love
Week 34--in which we ponder what will happen when we spin the Wheel of Fortune!
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
In last Sunday’s Notes from the Field, I mentioned five brilliant storytellers. One of them, Sharon Blackie, is the author of If Women Rose Rooted. I can’t count the number of women whose lives have been upended, in a really good way, by reading that book.
Sharon has also been a critical guide into the history of witches for me. Her weekend workshop “Your Witch Will Come” two years ago set me off on my own journey into, not just learning about witches, but stepping into the reality that I am one.
Sharon is also the author of a wild romp through several unique versions of fairytales called Foxfire, Wolfskin and other Stories of Shapeshifting Women. If that title doesn’t intrigue you, nothing will. I highly recommend you pour a cup of tea, or better still, a glass of wine, and sit in the twilight for an hour with Sharon’s wild imagination formed and fed by Celtic lands and waters.
Sharon Blackie has a new book coming out in October, Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life. I tell you all this to try to explain a strange coincidence between a post Sharon made two days ago on Facebook and The Goddess of the Edge prayer intensive coming your way in 22 days.
Even I—someone who lives in the delightful world of synchronicity and unexpected guidance—was surprised by what happened.
The story begins with the name of our intensive—The Goddess of the Edge.
I didn’t come up with that. It was Marcia Wade, our cos-mythologist and star guide, who called the dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt, “Goddesses of the EDGE.”
From our first conversation that led to another and another and eventually morphed into this ground-breaking intensive, Marcia called Chaos and Haumea and the other beings in the Kuiper Belt “edge-dwellers.”
If you’re not familiar with the Kuiper Belt, it’s a massive ring of icy bodies beyond the outermost planets in our Solar System. Since the discovery of Pluto in 1930, scientists have speculated that something like the Kuiper Belt might exist, but didn’t have any direct evidence until 1992. So the Kuiper Belt is both old beyond old and, for us humans, practically brand new. How old?
The bodies in the Kuiper Belt are remnants of the original formation of the Solar System. Just imagine the ancient memories these edge-dwellers hold!
Edge-dwellers. What an evocative label. What does “edge-dweller” conjure up for you?
I liked the name from the moment Marcia Wade said it, but I didn’t connect the dots to what it really means and what it evokes in me, and in all of us, until I read this post from Sharon Blackie to encourage preorders for Hagitude.
Notice the thoughts and images that surface as you read this:
“With a couple of notable exceptions (you'll have to read Hagitude to find out who they are!) most of the powerful elder women in our native European myths and folklore were edge-dwellers. They lived in liminal places, rather than in the heart of the community. There was a mystery about them, for sure. Although there are many different kinds of elder women in the old stories, with different qualities and different kinds of power, they mostly share this characteristic: they are absolutely, unmistakably and wholeheartedly themselves.”
As my eye landed on the word “edge-dwellers” in her post, my body was flooded with the bone-deep memory that this is exactly how patriarchy described witches.
In fairytales around the world, the stories tell us that ancient witches like Baba Yaga in Russia or Cailleach in Ireland live deep in the forest or among the rocks on the shoreline or high up a mountain. They do not live in the bustle of the city surrounded by loving family and playing children. In the fairytales we expect them to live in some strange and rather scary place.
Their location at the edge of civilization is part of the mystery and magic.
But in our all-too-real patriarchal world, women who were labeled witches were considered edge-dwellers, too.
But these women were not edge-dwellers by choice like the fairytale wise ones. These women, throughout Europe and the Americas, were often elderly, poor, handicapped, hard of hearing, or entering dementia. They might have been widowed and were almost always poor. They might have been annoying to the people around them because they were a bit too smart, a bit too bold, a bit too verbal, a bit too successful.
Whatever the cause, they were abandoned by family and friends, betrayed by husbands, and ostracized by their social and religious communities. Alone and without protection, it was easy for the religious and political powers to decide they were evil—in cahoots with the devil, no less—and needed to be eliminated.
So this word—edge-dwellers—has multiple meanings.
From the glorious cosmic beings circling our Solar System, to the mythic godmothers we love to meet in fairytales, to the women labeled and abused as witches by theocracy—all our edge-dwellers.
Reading Sharon’s post, I surprised myself by wondering: Am I an edge-dweller?
Am I? Are you?
So I took this question into deep soul writing—where great questions throw the doors open to the threshold between worlds, and watched as this list unfolded. Read it. Check off the ones you love. It’ll be quite clear if you are an edge-dweller too.
Do you love:
- Deep soul writing—the mystic edge of journaling
- Original prayer—prayer that explodes out of that tiny box patriarchy stuffs it in
- Goddess rosary—the ancient and original bead practice honoring the Maiden, the Mother, the Crone
- Sacred Feminine—the ancient eternal Mother, by any name or nature, story or statue, ancient or new, She who is alive in all
- Synchronicity—the strangeness of it, the surprise, the wonder
- Mystery—you like to sit with and puzzle over the deep questions, unsolvable koans, paradoxes, and mysteries of life
- Gaia—deep in your bones you know that you and the Earth are one; her dirt, her waters and rocks and trees and animals are Mother
- Fairytales and myths, great stories and storytellers—your heart knows we are creatures of story
- Dreams—you love this treasure trove of soul stories
- Creativity—yours, theirs, ours, anyone’s—artists expressing through music, poetry, art, dance—all of it, any of it—sets your heart singing
- Right-brain living—weary of left-brain linear, patriarchal, performative thinking, you are drawn to the magical, spiral, creative path of the right brain
- Threshold between worlds—Ah, yes, the mystical theta brainwave state! The playground for real magic
- Astrology—you find yourself looking up at the stars or at a natal chart and wondering what is this and what song is it singing about life
- Numerology—the strange mystical language of numbers hiding in plain sight in words
It’s quite a list and could be twice as long. The truth, I realized, as I made this list and checked off everything, is that I am such an edge-dweller.
And an edge-dweller I want to be.
The edge is where the mystery unfolds and magic ensues and the universe begins to reveal a few of her sweet secrets.
If you know me, you know that the very next thing I had to do was calculate the numerology—the ancient language of numbers held within words and names.
Edge-dweller comes to 55.
Fifty-five is the master number of 10—the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot. My Angeles Arrien book on the image of the wheel in the Thoth Tarot describes the card:
“The Wheel of Fortune is the universal principle of abundance, prosperity, and expansion. In astrological terms, this is Jupiter, the planet of luck, opportunity, and abundance. … The stars exploding into lightning bolts represent the experience of awakening to the possibilities that can turn our lives in more positive and expansive directions.”
And 10 reduces to a 1, new beginnings, The Magician in the Tarot!
And if all that wasn’t thrilling enough, the 55 Master Number also holds the vibration of “the Master (or I prefer Mistress) of Life Energies. This comes from an old out-of-print book on numerology that Emma Kupu recommended.
Given the glorious numerology of 55, and checking off everything on my list of edge-dwelling delights, and standing in the circle of women patriarchy labeled witches, I hear the sacred call to restore the word witch to its original holy meaning.
Am I an edge-dweller?
A lover of all the delicious wisdom of the edge?
A mistress of life energies?
A woman delighted to spin the Wheel of Fortune?
You bet I am!
If you said yes, join cos-mythologist Marcia Wade and me in The Goddesses of the Edge Part 1.
Because four of these cosmic edge-dwellers have something they want to tell you.
Goddesses of the Edge Part 1 opens Tuesday, September at 7pm Eastern and runs for 3 consecutive Tuesdays, skips Yom Kippur, and closes on October 11.
The UK/Europe watch party is on Thursday, September 15 – October 13 at 7pm UK/8pm Europe.
All the details, schedule, registration options, and more are on the landing page.
to living and loving and creating and dreaming in the edge!
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