Well, this has been quite the wild week, hasn’t it! How much misery and mystery can one week hold?
In the Misery department:
- The US government admitted that the parents of 545 immigrant children can’t be found.
And anyone with a heart cried.
- A judge who is the diametric opposite of everything Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought for was rushed through and sworn in in the dead of night.
And women across America cried.
- Covid cases and deaths took a terrifying upward turn.
And everyone everywhere cried for mercy.
- And in the saddest news, elderly women who came to a Trump rally were left to freeze.
We cried for their frail bodies and unanswered trust.
In the Mystery department:
- There was a rare Blue Moon
- We celebrated Samhain when the veils between worlds are very very thin.
- We built ancestor altars and honored our beloved dead.
Oh, and I was bitten by a bat.
I wasn’t expecting that! But maybe I should have.
A bat bite is perhaps the perfect archetype for what has turned out to be not just an intense week, or month, but a whole year. When we stepped into 2020 none of us could have even imagined how much misery we would see. Or how mystery would show up as our teacher and guide.
Misery and Mystery. What a strange—and ancient—combination.
These sister twins have always walked together. Misery gets our attention. Misery calls us to turn to the Mother by any or all her names and pray for help. For comfort. For deliverance. For grace.
And Magic comes.
This is the deeply veiled truth about prayer. The truth patriarchy doesn’t want you to know.
Prayer is magic. Because prayer works.
But it rarely works the way you expect. Prayer is bigger than you are. Prayer is alive. Prayer is a vibrant field of communion between you and the Feminine Divine.
But—this is important—prayer is not your servant. As my theme song says, “you are not praying, you are being prayed.”
This truth came home in a big way this week.
On Wednesday, I completed a 9-day novena to St Jude.
Do you know anything about St Jude? You might have heard of the St Jude’s Children Hospital serving children with the hardest incurable cases. It has that name because St Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases.
I had heard of St Jude but never given him any attention. My Irish Catholic mother was a huge fan of long litanies naming her favorite saints but Jude somehow never made the list.
But when Perdita Finn announced on The Way of the Rose that there would be a novena to St Jude, I joined, just to have the experience of this novena.
I’d done the Stella Maris one and loved it. And that Stella Maris novena gave birth to my own prayer to carry us through the rest of the year, The 9 Mothers of Stella Maris.
So I showed up for day 1 of the St Jude novena simply thinking it would be another lovely prayer experience. And a prayer artist is always happy to experience a new form of prayer.
On opening day, Perdita invited us to state our petition.
What, she asked, is your hopeless case? Your personal hopeless cause.
I didn’t think I had one. I scanned my mind. I have no health issues. No friends dying. I have no big personal struggles. My son started his job at Legal Aid in NYC….
I couldn’t think of anything.
When it was my turn, I surprised myself. I opened my mouth and started to cry as I said,
“St Jude, I am being given the task of re-sacralizing the word witch. It feels hopeless, overwhelming. What can I possibly do that will undo the relentless harm done to witches and all women. Please show me a step I can take to re-sacralize witch.”
And Jude did. Nine prayers. Nine days. Nine steps. Nine magical steps:
- Start calling myself a Sacred Witch as well as Prayer Artist
- Create a new logo with both titles
- Share the prayer She Has a Body
- Create a Novena for Witches
- Name the 13 attributes of the sacred witch
- Teach people how to work with their personal witch saint
- Declare the 3-fold purpose for re-sacralizing the word witch
- Create a banner that redefines prayer and witch in a short easy-to-remember way
- Partner with artists to create all the materials and illustrations for the witch fairytale book
All of that happened in 9 days.
When we gathered on Wednesday for our closing prayers, I cried my gratitude to this most mysterious saint.
Who is St Jude? No one knows. Might be Jesus’ brother. Might be Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s son. Might be totally apocryphal like St Christopher who never was a real person.
Bottom line is I don’t know who Jude is or was, but I’m here to tell you he seems like the perfect synergy of Misery, Mystery, and Magic!
And the magic didn’t end when the novena ended.
Early on Friday morning, I fell into a dream.
I was with my older sister and she had a squirrel stuck in her hair. She asked me to take it off. I had to pull and twist the squirrel a bit, but I did get him off. As I walked toward the bathroom holding the squirrel, it bit the first finger on my left hand. My finger began to go numb. As I pulled the squirrel to get it off my hand, the teeth slowly came out of my skin, and I saw two sharp fangs. It wasn’t a squirrel; it was a bat! I put the bat on the counter and turned on the water to rinse the wound, but the water came out black and I didn’t want to put my hand under it. I carried the bat back to my sister and said, look it’s not a squirrel. It’s a bat.
And woke up. Shaken.
I know these piercing dreams. I have now had 4. And they always announce a time of major transformation.
1. In that dream, a bizarre-looking man morphed into an osprey and pierced the little finger of my left hand.
2. A few days later, an owl pierced the back of my right hand and I carried it around with me all night long. That dream was so vivid, that when I woke I was shocked to not see any piercings. I stared at my hand on the pillow and slapped the skin several times trying to see the holes.
Five months later, I woke hearing “Your soul wants five things” and for the next decade, I taught those courses and wrote those books.
3. I had my 3rd piercing dream in October of 2014. This time a very long, thin green and yellow snake wrapped itself slowly around my waist and then ever so slowly and gently bent its head and pierced my left labia.
Forty days later, my initiation into the living presence of the Feminine Divine in my body began.
And with Her arrival, absolutely everything changed.
Do you see the pattern? Piercing dreams announce change—big mystical change.
I don’t feel ready for more change! I feel like I’ve barely begun to live Prayer Artist, never mind, the brand-new Sacred Witch.
Just what is this bat announcing?
If you’ve read any animal messenger guide books, you know they are based on the natural movements and habits of the animal. So I googled bat.
The bat has some interesting characteristics:
- only flying mammal—our only flying relative
- hangs upside down—the position of a human baby at birth
- lives in caves and other dark spaces—I receive information throughout the night (and so does everybody)
- navigates by echolocation
- lives in a large social community
- is a beneficial animal, eats mosquitoes and other bugs, pollinates, spreads seeds
- does not bite humans unless provoked
- long finger bones make its wings look like dragon wings
And one other item relevant to 2020 from Medical Xpress news:
“Coronaviruses and bats are locked in an evolutionary race in which the viruses are constantly mutating to evade the bat immune system and bats are evolving to withstand infections from coronaviruses.”
So, I sense a lot of connection between my bat messenger and my call to restore the sacred honor of the witch.
- Both are vilified
- People are afraid of both
- Both fly in the dark—bats for real, witches not
- Both are seen as doing harm to people when in truth both help people
- Both are blamed for deaths
- And I can’t miss the connection to the dragon who represents feminine energy
Next, I went to Medicine Cards. Bat is Rebirth:
“In every case, Bat signals rebirth of some part of yourself or the death of old patterns…The universe is always asking you to grow and become your future.”
And Animal Speak:
- If a bat has flown into your life, it is time to face your fears and prepare for change
- Changes and transformations are blessings. They are not trigged from without but from within
- A symbol of promise amidst chaotic energies of change.
- Reflects the ability to move to new heights with the transitions
- Bat medicine awakens great auditory perception, the gift of clairaudience.
- With its sonar located in its nose, the bat reflects the ability to discriminate and discern the truth in other people’s words
Well, this is all very new and raw. I’ll be soul writing about this dream for months to come, but I think the sacred medicine in Bat’s bite is a direct answer from St Jude.
It's his 10th gift.
I think he’s saying:
This is how you do the impossible, Janet.
This is the medicine you need to re-sacralize witch. Yes, change is coming but it’s the change you need to do the holy work you are here to do.
So hang on, friends!
I’ve got a lot to say yes to right now. And one big yes is the prayer of The 9 Mothers of Stella Maris to help us move safely through the chaos of the big misery all around us.
I had hoped to announce an episode of Praying at the Speed of Love with this prayer and I am still working on that, but I got a little side-tracked by St Jude and the Bat.
So I'm going to announce the prayer on Tuesday, yes, election day in the US.
Let's all ask St Jude to help us. For many of us, it feels overwhelming, maybe even hopeless to undo the damage done to the country, the climate, the water, our health, and our relationships with one another.
But prayer is the antidote to Misery so, please pray with me!
Watch for a Notes from the Field on Tuesday morning with the Stella Maris prayer. Subscribe here, if you're not already.
And please consider joining me and a quickly growing international community embracing the power of the magical mystical mandala to open us to serve the Beloved to create a world that works for everyone and everything--Bats and Witches included!
Click for dates, details, and registration. I'm sending the first Welcome email tomorrow, Monday.
to taking the next steps to create a sacred 2021 filled with prayer and magic,