The space telescope and the Goddess
2022 the year we learn to listen to love
Week 29--in which we see what no one has seen. And come home to the holiness of the female body.
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
Such a strange magical week this has been. On Tuesday, July 12, NASA released the first five images from the James Webb Space Telescope. I decided to watch the first images with Dr Becky Smethurst, a deliriously delightful British astrophysicist at the University of Oxford.
She’s young—32. She’s beyond brilliant. And she’s wildly enthusiastic about the universe. When she talks about black holes her whole being lights up.
After watching just one of Dr Becky’s youtube videos, I subscribed to her channel and rang the notification bell so I wouldn’t miss a thing. Her videos are often my bedtime stories. I may not understand what she’s talking about, but somehow the mystical magical essence filters through.
So I knew who I wanted to “be with” for the James Webb Space Telescope first images.
And, oh, was it a great choice. She was sitting in a room of astrophysicists when the first image was shown. I didn’t look at the image, I looked at her. Her eyes. Her ecstasy. Her excitement. Then, I looked at the picture. And another. And another.
It doesn’t seem possible, but when we humans on this one teeny-tiny planet in one minuscule spec of the universe look at these pictures, we are seeing the birth of stars. We are seeing light that has been traveling for billions of years.
We are seeing a snapshot of the miracle of creation. The womb of life.
I’ve been a tad obsessed with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), but not for the reasons you might expect. Like everyone, I enjoyed the images sent by the Hubble Telescope over the last few years and the delicious awareness that the universe is beyond our comprehension, but my personal focus was on the mystical life.
Which might be the same thing! But I didn’t really make that connection until JWST.
For the last several years I’ve been immersed in waking up to the reality that we are living at the trailing end of a long horror story of the destruction of the Goddess and the feminine by the dominant religious and political powers.
This deep dive began in 2018 when I clearly heard Her call me to be a Prayer Artist. Turns out that meant not only writing a whole new genre of prayer, but also working up the courage to redefine prayer altogether.
Once I’d done that, I guess She thought I was ready for my next big assignment. She sent it on August 2, 2020 through Rabbi Tirzah Firestone. This assignment took my breath away then, and still does, every single day: Mystic Witch.
You know where that word led me. Straight into the unbearable horror of theocracy: the execution of countless women religion had the audacity to label witches.
The more I learned, the more I knew I had to redefine witch, too.
I’ve been playing with a new definition for almost a year. I think I’m just about there. Watch for a Notes from the Field newsletter in August announcing my definition and even a video to launch it.
All of which leads me to the James Webb Space Telescope.
In January, I was in the early stages of creating what has turned out to be a radical 13-lunar cycle witch mystery school called Re-membering the Songlines of the Witches. My partners in this holy work are medium Suzi von Mensenkampff in Ireland and shamanic astrologer Emma Kupu Mitchell in Hawaii. Together, we are supported by the wisdom of six other seers and mystics around the world.
Once Suzi and Emma and I recognized what to call this wild adventure, we began to wonder what image could possibly convey the alchemical transformation we will experience as we meet 11 witches stepping out of the past to give us 11 sacred seed medicines, the exact medicines we need to come home to our full sacred self.
I’ve created some pretty wild prayer intensives, but this was something else altogether. I usually come up with a sketch or at least an idea pretty quickly. But this time, I hadn’t a clue.
Then, one day in January, as I popped onto Facebook to post my newsletter, I caught an unusual yellow image out of the corner of my eye. It was an artist’s rendition of the James Webb Space Telescope.
I stared at it. A long time.
I didn’t know why but I couldn’t stop looking at this 18 hex gold mirror that was launched on December 25 of last year and was now sitting out in space far beyond the moon preparing to look back into time. The scientists hoped it would show us how stars are born and how they die.
This past Tuesday, we got to see five of those pictures for the first time. There are no words vast enough to convey what these images reveal.
The first one of the Carina Nebula shows stars being born. Billions of years ago. In mystical language, we are peering into the dark womb of the Goddess, the Divine Mother, the Creatrix of all universes.
I stared at the images in wonder and awe. But I also felt anger rising up from somewhere deep in my belly.
Because the truth is we are descendants of women and men who lived for tens of thousands of years in non-violent, Goddess-centric, matrilineal communities who looked up at the sky and somehow knew what JWST is now proving.
The universe is vast. The universe is sacred. Every star is alive with Her light, Her grace, Her majesty.
Our ancestors called Her the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Because She was. She was exactly that. And She still is and always will be.
Looking at the majesty of the JWST images, and realizing that this precious earth once bathed in this primal knowledge, I want to scream.
- How dare the puny little minds of the violent men who set our dominator religions in motion decide that the earth is the center of the universe.
- How dare they decide that we humans are the epicenter of life.
- How dare they declare that the sun revolves around the earth.
- How dare they threaten to torture the brilliant scientist who invited them to look through his telescope and see for themselves that the earth is round and revolves around the sun. That would weaken their absolute religious power, so they silenced Galileo and ordered him into house arrest for the rest of his life.
- Those same puny minds decided that women are the source of evil and sin.
- Those puny minds became so obsessed with rooting out all this feminine evil that they began to accuse women of being “witches” and tortured and murdered them.
And they made up a litany of sins starting with: A woman’s body is evil.
A woman’s body is temptation. A woman’s body must be controlled. Dominated. She must be under the control of a man—a father, brother, husband, priest, judge.
I grew up in a dominator religion. I read the story about a woman committing the first sin. I swallowed the explanation that god himself had to die a brutal death to atone for her sin. Her sin which I inherited. I was told my body was a source of temptation for men. I was told my sexual desires were sinful. I was told to ignore my body.
As an adult, it’s easy to say these ideas are nonsense. But they’re insidious. They’re in there. They fester in my blood. Because they festered in my mother’s and her mother’s and her mother’s back in time a hundred generations and more.
So it came as quite a surprise when the Divine Feminine with the beautiful name, Beloved Vibration of Sophia!, landed in this body in 2014. She did not come as an idea. Oh no, She came as body. My body. And I made a startling discovery: This Goddess fits in my body.
This female body of mine is not only not dirty, she is holy.
And practically overnight, I realized that all those stories the priests and nuns told me about my body were lies.
But it’s one thing to have this awareness, it’s a whole other thing to name it. Claim it. Declare it.
On Wednesday, June 27, 2018 as I was sitting in my reading chair in deep soul writing, a new prayer came through. An angry prayer. It took my breath away. As I spoke the final lines aloud simultaneously screamed and cried.
The prayer is called "Light Rising." I never thought I’d speak it in public. It’s too raw. It’s just the kind of prayer that could get a woman killed.
But as I looked at the JWST images of light that is billions of years old flying through space to land on my eyes, my skin, my body, I returned to this prayer. This affirmation of the truth of the female body.
I am not only NOT an impediment to your holiness; I AM your holiness.
- This is what my ancestral grandmothers knew. This is the song the stars are singing.
- This is what the dominators tried so hard to silence.
- And this is what I will name and claim and declare for the rest of my life.
- This is the holy truth we are bringing to life in Re-membering the Songlines of the Witches.
Please note: this is your last opportunity to register!
We meet our second witch, a radical British-Mexican artist and novelist on Saturday, July 23. After that, I will close registration for this once-in-a-lifetime mystery school.
Songlines will not be repeated or offered on demand.
It can’t be. Because this is a sacred alchemical transformation that brings us fully home to ourselves. And a big part of that is being seen and heard in community.
So please visit the page I’ve created for Songlines. And be certain to watch the 2nd video on how the JWST inspired the Mirror of Memory.
© Janet Conner 2018
Light has substance
but it’s a substance we cannot grasp or mold or measure
But you can
And you do
You create from light: planets and people,
stars and seeds, music and movement,
color and curve
If I understand light not as something ephemeral
but as something real, tangible, holy…
If I understand creation not as something from nothing but as the sacred art of light rising into being…
If I understand enlightenment not as transcending the physical but as seeing light in every cell of my body, every drop of water, every atom of soil
If I understand the spiritual life not as seeking something but as awakening to the miracle of what life already is…
Then, the struggle with the body—
the female body, my body—is over
I am not an impediment to your holiness
I am your holiness
I am the place where light rises into being
I am your home—
your human home
your holy home
your only home
And I, at last, am home
Come home to remembering who you came here to be:
Re-membering the Songlines of the Witches
to remembering what our bodies already know,
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