The Year of the Body: Week 18
in which we return to 1431 and hear women whispering about the return of a mystery
Friends, soul writers, mystics, and lovers of prayer,
You have heard me sing the praises of the magical mystical Perdita Finn. From the moment I opened The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary, I’ve been a massive fan and eager student.
I loved that book so much, I invited Perdita and her husband and co-author Clark Strand to lead us in a radical prayer intensive last March to awaken us to the original, mystery-filled Goddess rosary before the church locked out all the juice.
That intensive planted seeds for all that was to come. Although I didn’t know it. I couldn’t.
The way of patriarchy is to set a goal and aim toward it. The way of the mystic is to pray and watch as doors in the Mystic open and the Sacred Feminine beckons you inside.
Last June, the Sacred Feminine beckoned me to start working with the dead with Perdita.
I had no idea what that meant or what would happen. But from the very first gathering, the dead came alive and began opening doors.
- The first door invited me to meet and work with my personal ancestors.
- The next door had a startling sign—mystic witch. I had to take a breath, but when I walked through that door, whole new prayers arrived that activate the power of the ancestors.
- They taught me to call my “mystic family." Your mystic family extends far beyond your personal lineage. And they come. Oh, do they come!
- Surrounded by your mystic family—ancestors who have been waiting for you for lifetimes—your prayers explode with mystical power.
And then a most mysterious door creaks open. A door that's been nailed shut for 600 years.
And Joan of Arc steps in and invites you to meet her again, for the first time.
I asked Perdita, who loves Joan and has studied her mysteries for years, how we can begin to hear Joan's voice.
Perdita knew exactly what to do. She sat outside under the Scorpio Full Moon and received this untamed story.
I think we're blessed to be the first to read the opening paragraphs in a novel to come!
As you read, feel yourself back in the French countryside in 1431, hearing the ancestors whisper the truth about this sacred and mysterious woman.
My dear friends,
It is hard for me to manage my excitement as we prepare to explore the many mysteries of Joan of Arc. Together we will recover the lost legends, the whispered prophecies, and the truth about who she really was, who she still is, and all that she can do for us. And we can do for her.
We will have to journey back in time six hundred years to a medieval world where almost no one could read and write and the old ways and the old stories were still passed down mother to daughter, grandmother to grandchild. For a moment step back with me to 1431.
You are in a small stone house in a village in France…
You are sitting around the fire late at night with your sister. The church bells chime the hour. The men, drunk on ale, have fallen asleep. You can hear the heavy breath of the cow, smell the dogs underfoot. Your sister leans close, her voice barely a whisper, “She’s come back at last,” she says, “The Pucelle, the maid, she’s come back.”
Goosebumps prickle up and down your arms. You find it hard to swallow. A part of you is frightened and you don’t know why. Another part of you is exhilarated. “Jehanne?”
Your sister reaches out to hold your hand and nods, tears brimming in her eyes.
When you were little girls, your granny would take you deep into the forest to an old oak. There amid the green leaves and the green moss and the green vines she would tell you both about the old ways when the trees still spoke and the dead came close.
She told you about the dark mother who was the dirt and the night, the womb and the tomb, the body of the earth, the body of all that was. She showed you the black Madonna hidden in the tree and how to kiss her and share with her your heart. She told you that the Lady could raise the dead, had brought her lover back to life, could bring the whole world back into bloom.
“The good men and women say she will come back,” Granny told you. “She always does. She came back to France after the death of her lover and she’ll come back to us again. This time she will be a maid from the Lorraine. She will be called Jehanne. This is what Merlin, the old wizard from Bretagne has prophesied.
Tell no one, no one ever, what I have told you.
The good men and women are all dead because they said this. The priests did not want anyone to know. But she will come back and bring back the old ways. She will fell the mighty and bring back the forests. She always does. One day, one day, she will return.”
In the faint glow by the fire your eyes meet your sisters. “Can this be true?” you ask. “Jehanne? Like Granny said?”
“She’s raised an army, she liberated the black Madonna of Orleans, she is headed to Paris, they say. Now is the hour of her return!” Your sister casts a bold glance at her snoring husband.
“We must go to her.” You know this in your heart. Knew it even as a little girl that if you heard of her coming you would go to her, follow her, bring to her your heart.
If the Maid is bold enough to ride into battle, surely you are bold enough to go and find her.
You and your sister hatch a plan at night, a woman who is ill, a trip to a nearby town, back in a little while, your daughter will care for the young ones and the animals, and together you set off, nervous and giddy.
You meet a pilgrim on the road and he tells you that Jehanne has crowned the king. “She is the anointer!” you whisper to your sister after he has trudged off.
You meet a traveler and he tells you that Jehanne has brought stillborn babies back to life. You and your sister smile secretly.
Yes, this is what you know. She knows the old magic.
It is May and the roses are in bloom and you stop at a wayside shrine to the Lady and crown her with flowers. “Soon,” you tell her, “we will kiss you and be with you.”
You come to an inn and settle down at a table with a trencher of stew and a mug of the good wine. Emboldened you ask, “Does anyone have news of the Maid?”
A hushed silence fills the room. Somewhere far off a dog barks.
A soldier begins to weep uncontrollably. A pilgrim drops his head in prayer. The tavern keeper’s wife shakes her head, her hands balled into fists. “Yesterday, in Rouen, they burnt her alive.”
One day when you are very old you will take your granddaughter into the forest and tell her about Jehanne. You will tell her that she is the Lady come back and you will try to believe that she will come back again. Because she always does. You will show her the black Madonna in the oak and say, “She, too, was burnt black and here she is waiting for us.”
But your granddaughter will not tell her children what you have told her. She is too frightened of the priests. Only one town away four women were burnt alive just like Jehanne for going to the trees to pray.
Still Jehanne will not die. She will not go away. The women will remember her. The soldiers will remember her. The travelers and the pilgrims will remember her.
She always comes back.
Now is the Hour of Her Return.
See why I adore both Joan and Perdita!
Reading this gives you a wee taste of the magic that awaits in The 15 Mysteries of Joan of Arc as we listen to Perdita tell Joan's mysterious stories!
Perdita and I may be extending the invitation to join The 15 Mysteries of Joan of Arc, but it is Joan who is calling you to open to the long mystical story of her return.
We open Sunday, May 16 at 2-3:30 pm eastern and meet for 3 Sundays. We complete our mystery walk with Joan on May 30, the anniversary of her death.
Click on the link for schedule, details, and registration. Note that everything is recorded if you can't be with us live.
to stepping into the mysteries of the miraculous Joan of Arc