2022 the year we learn to listen to love
Week 32--in which an anniversary creeps up on me and leaves me stunned
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
On Tuesday, August 2, I worked for several hours with cos-mythologist Marcia Wade on a fun, ground-breaking prayer intensive we are cooking up for mid-September to mid-October to meet four of the Goddesses in the Kuiper Belt. There are many, but we will begin with four who have four quite different and very important impacts on our lives.
Marcia is going to teach us who these four Goddesses are; where they are in the cosmos; unusual aspects of their structure and orbit; when they were first seen by human eyes and why that matters; their connection with four different human cultures, continents, and mythologies; and—the icing on this cosmic cake—how to integrate their intense gifts.
And, make no mistake, their gifts are intense! These are gifts that have the power to dramatically alter and joyify how we live.
I know joyify is not a word, but it should be.
I’ve redefined prayer and witch; might as well start filling the dictionary with whole new words altogether. I really like the sound and feel of joyify in my mouth, don’t you?
Tuesday was a busy day. So I missed it. My anniversary. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning, when I wrote August 3, 2022 in my soul writing journal, that I stopped for a moment and stared at the date.
Wait. Wait a minute. Doesn’t this date mean something…? Didn’t something happen…? My stomach knew something my brain had forgotten.
When this happens—and it happens a lot—I open The Moon is My Calendar from the last three years and find that date. Sure enough, there it was on my 2020 calendar, circled in pink highlighter, no less. August 2, 2022 was the date Rabbi Tirzah sent the endorsement for the new edition of Writing Down Your Soul in which she called me a “prayer artist, scholar, and 21st-century witch.”
On that day, in that moment, the word witch came calling. I wasn’t expecting her. I hadn’t gone looking for her. I didn’t know she even mattered. But I guess She did. Witch did. Sophia did. Our Lady did. The Sacred Feminine did. And Tirzah did.
Seems like everyone knew but me!
The word witch changed everything. Everything.
And in the 730 days since, this word that patriarchy has worked so hard to turn into a death-delivering poison, has restored me.
As I have restored it.
I have spent the last two years digging into the original meaning of the word. The dictionary says a witch is an old hag doing evil. Talk about an intentional lie. After 2 years of research, this is where I am:
A witch is a woman overflowing with sacramental gifts. Gifts such as:
- incantation and prayer
- ceremony and ritual
- celebration and burial
- alchemy and prophecy
- medicine and healing
- knowledge of conception, birth control, and midwifery
- agriculture, cooking, and food
- And art: story-telling, writing, weaving, cloth-making, sewing, stitching, decoration, doll-making, basket weaving, painting, jewelry, pottery
- knowledge of the heavens, cosmology, and mythology
- priestess of the portals of life, death, and rebirth—a sacred birth and death doula
A witch was a woman with a long deep memory of how the ancestors lived in harmony with the sacred Earth and the mystical Sky.
She knew how to communicate with animals and weather. She knew how to speak to souls that were coming and souls that were leaving. She knew when to tell the people to plant and when to reap. She knew how to gather the community in council and teach them how to live in reverence. She knew how to celebrate the living presence of the Goddess in all Her forms. And she passed her vast wisdom on to her daughters and granddaughters.
All the way down to us. Most of it lost on the way, but the whispers remain. If we know how to listen.
There was a time when being called a witch was the highest honor.
Slowly I am remembering that.
And slowly, witch is re-membering me.
So August 2 is a sacred anniversary for me. A birthday really. I was born that day. And only now, two years later, am I realizing that many of the prayers I received when prayer artist arrived in 2018 predicted or described the witch to come.
Like this one.
I received “This Moment” on the vernal equinox 2018, just 28 days after hearing someone whisper prayer artist in my left ear.
Funny how it’s taken me this long to pick up the deep meaning of this magical prayer.
I remember being surprised by the closing line: I am beginning to remember what I never forgot. I stared at it. How can someone remember something they never really forgot? If they never forgot it, then haven’t they always remembered it in some way?
I have no answer to this question.
The last line of this prayer is a koan.
My only explanation is to say that I am a song someone is singing. As are you. As is the Earth. As are the Stars. And this ancient sweet song of the morning of the world is singing as it has always sung. And I am a part, a chord, a note of that symphony.
But I am not singing: I am being sung.
I am not remembering; I am being re-membered.
This is a mystery.
A mystery that is enough.
©Janet Conner, March 21, 2018, soul writing on the vernal equinox, heard a tiny sound, looked up, and noticed the first drops of rain on the pavers
That first tinkle before I know it’s rain…
That first breath before I know I’m awake…
That first sip before I know what I’m tasting…
That first sniff before I know I’m on fire…
That first chord of silent music—
I’m not sure I hear it
Can’t quite catch the tune
But my heart knows it
My heart knows it by heart
That spinning moment—
When the clear road fades
and then disappears
But my feet keep walking
I know not where
That dropping moment—
When the floor between worlds cracks open
I stumble, I trip
I plummet, I land
And everything has changed
That moment when I know you are here
That moment when I realize you never left
I am beginning to remember what I never forgot
to remembering what we never really forgot!
PS Watch for news about Goddesses of the Edge next Sunday.
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