A seemingly little something happened just over a week ago, and I still feel so fired up about it that I’ve decided to put it out here in writing, before speaking to the person involved. I think that on the surface this post is about the dangers of ignorance and inexperience in a role of authority, but, I realize as I wrestle with this, it’s also about people with a legitimate claim to authority, lightworkers who have earned their spiritual stripes, needing to rise up and claim that authority, exercising their power and sharing their wisdom with confidence, so that rather than feeling flustered and outraged by the actions of neophytes, they can respond with courage and compassion.
Well, there. I’ve processed it now. I’ve got my personal take-away, my moral of the story. And I no longer feel fired up. But I’ve come this far, so to proceed with this cautionary tale: A lightworker and two shiny, bright souls walk into a metaphysical shop… (I guess that could read ‘three lightworkers’, then. Or ‘three shiny, bright souls’…)
But to put it plainly. The kids and I popped into a store one Friday. It was a lovely metaphysical shop, and I wondered to myself upon entering why I had never been there before. Lovingly decorated with crystals, incense, wands for smudging, goddess and witchy esoterica, it felt very right for me to be there. I recognized the woman behind the counter, and as I approached her to say hello I noticed that the two women she was assisting were interested in Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards. As the cards were shuffled, pulled, and reviewed, the women remarking over their beauty, the woman behind the counter, whom I learned was the manager, new to this position in a spiritual establishment, declared, “I love this deck. And I never let men use it. I only let women use it.”
I’m a vocal gal. So even though I wasn’t in the conversation I piped up, “Really? Don’t the boys need the Divine Feminine too?” I meant men (so I probably should have said ‘men’), but I thought that ‘boys’ might soften both her perspective and the fact that I was challenging her. She considered it ever so briefly, then said something like, “Maybe, but I’m just so tired of so much misogyny… I only want women to use it…” and something-something-something. I said that I supposed that was her prerogative as the one doing the card readings, and that I understood that while equality was the ultimate goal, there was so much work to be done to even begin to bring the scales of male and female, masculine and feminine back into balance that I guessed I could relate to her wanting to tip the scales in women’s favour for a time. Okay. Smile, smile. I felt for the lone man in the store, and wondered at the effectiveness of the manager’s mini manifesto as a business strategy, then returned my attention to my children and wandered around the small shop.
My littles love pulling oracle cards, and having spotted the goddess cards when we arrived at the store, they were waiting for their turn to use them. Henry was busy with a holistic newspaper and Reine was poking a rose of jericho when the women put down the cards and I made my way over to pick them up. Clear and attune the energy, shuffle shuffle, out flew Sedna, Inuit goddess of the sea. Live near water… Yes. Breathing life into my wild fantasy of buying a VW van and moving out to California. Here was Reine, beside me now. Isolte. The love that you send into the world is an important part of your Divine purpose. That’s Birdie, for shizzles. I looked up at GG, but he was all cute and focused on his newspaper, seemingly indifferent to his sister and me at the counter. I admit I was grateful for this, so I could pack up the cards and shuffle the ding-dongs out of the store. A lovely visit. Time to go.
Sigh. It wasn’t until we got into the car that my sweet, little, innocent son, raised by his mama to know that we all come from God, that every living being (every living thing, nay) is worthy of love and respect, that angels are everywhere, Jesus is amazing and Kuan Yin loves us all, confessed to me in a small whisper, “I really wanted to do the goddess cards.” “Oh!” I exclaimed, “Why didn’t you?”
Again in a small voice, conveying hurt, confusion, the beginnings of shame, “Boys aren’t allowed to use them.”
Sweet Mother of God. I rallied to the task of warrior goddess with another “Oh! Well let’s go back into the store! She didn’t mean you, she just… well she shouldn’t have said that. She just… [not the time for further schooling on the history and absolute fucking bullshit of gender inequality]…Let’s go back in the store. She made a mistake. You can use the cards.”
But the damage was done. He was too shy to go back in, which I understand. On the five-minute drive to their dad’s I sought to process and explain, “Remember how I told you that men used to say girls weren’t as good at things as boys were?”
Reine’s keen. “Yeah– like ‘run like a girl’,” she blurted, “when girls can run!”
“That’s right. The men who said that were dumb. They didn’t know. Or they were scared–” Five-minute drive, Mom. Keep it brief. “Well, maybe the lady in the store was mad about that. Maybe that’s why she wants the cards to be just for women. But that doesn’t solve anything. I’m sorry you felt left out, Hen. You had every right to use those cards.”
So my son was fine.
I, on the other hand, was not. The implications of what I now perceive to be a well-intentioned but relatively inexperienced woman’s power blunder were beginning to land all around me, parachutes of troubling awareness dropping into my field. As a lightworker in the service of L-O-V-E, and a passionate proponent of the energies of the Divine Feminine at work on the planet today, I felt outraged to have witnessed this abuse of power. I just kept thinking “WRONG. MISTAKE.”
Would Mother Mary deny a soul connection to her loving, restorative energies because he was a man? Saraswati the access to higher wisdom? Would Kali reject any soul with the courage to do their deepest and darkest work? NO! The very attributes of femininity are flow, acceptance, and nurturance. This is its power. There is no members-only access in the service of the Divine Feminine! The energy here is open, allowing, and receiving; because it is utterly unafraid to be so. The Divine Feminine is the Mother: tender, supportive, soft. And yes She is fierce and ferocious, but She is not petty. She is far too great and powerful to be so small.
So there’s that. That if you are the manager of a store ostensibly devoted to women’s empowerment and connection with the Divine Feminine in all Her forms, you have a responsibility to brush up on what that means, and act accordingly. To be a worthy ambassador. This work is too important to be approached with ignorance.
Here I would say, person towards whom I am remembering to channel compassion, for I have certainly misspoken, or made the mistake of thinking I knew more than I did myself, your words have had the ironic effect of perpetuating misogyny. If I were the man in the store that day, I’d think “Fuck you,” or “Grow up,” and not return. If my little dude didn’t have me there to do my bit as Warrior Mother, Ambassador of Healing and Justice and Love, he could easily have taken away the message that women don’t like men. As a man-to-be, what would he make of that? That men are bad, somehow? That he is bad? Possibly. And there ain’t no need for misplaced shame to enter the picture here. He might also have begun to formulate the opinion that it’s women who are mean, and bad. An ‘if you don’t like me then I don’t like you’ reasoning, very fitting for a six year-old. So then you’d have planted the first seeds of misogyny in the next generation. Yikes.
You want to right the wrongs, though, yes? Oppose injustice? Fight the good fight? Well here’s a thought. What if, when feelings of retribution and righteous indignation rise up, you go higher? Higher still. Okay. Now throw open the doors of your heart. Rip those fucking doors right off. Allow your heart to stretch, widen, open, to encompass the entirety of the world. Encompass the Universe. Ground deep into the earth, your being absolute, heart enormous, arms outstretched to embrace and contain, and love it all.
That is how I conceive of the Mother Divine. How I imagine Lakshmi, Ishtar, Isis. There is no need for you to fight Her battles for her. There are no battles for Her. There is no fight at all. She’s got this. She has so, so, GOT THIS.
I found this picture only after completing my post. It wasn’t until my proofread that I noticed it depicts exactly what I had described! I had been picturing one entity, not many; but this image matches my words exactly. Looooove that…
I found the image here: http://cestakduze.webnode.cz/news/aa-sandalfon-nase-schopnost-rezonovat-se-zemi/