Dear ones -
In the last few weeks, my social feed has been filled with two very different feminine symbols: Barbie and Sinead O’Conner (not to mention the third symbol - a masculine face of war and destruction).
(And while I'm sure I will watch both movies at some point, no, I haven't yet so this is not an analysis or comment on the movies).
In celebration, opposition, and grief; my feed is also filled with varying accounts and interpretations of what the symbol meant to the person sharing, much of it based on the forces that shaped them, the identities their soul wears in its human form - and how those identities have and haven’t found attunement, nourishment, and belonging in the systems and communities of our world.
I am reminded that part of being human is growing our ability to hold the tension of diversity, variety, of both-and, rather than either-or. Another part of being human is learning to listen when people speak, not only to what their words might illuminate about our own experience, but also to what it tells us about theirs.
If you’ve been listening to my podcast, you know I love starting each episode by asking the guest about the forces that shaped them because it drops us right into their unique tapestry of places, ancestors, languages, religions, beliefs, wounds, and victories - in short, the truest stuff of our individual and shared humanity.
In a world where ‘trauma’ has become a buzzword and the pendulum seems to have swung from sweeping things under the rug to memeing armchair psychology and our tenderest hurts in online public forms, we can find ourselves surrounded by stories of not receiving love in the ways we needed, of feeling trapped or controlled, of being taught to be someone else instead of ourselves (all important conversations)... often without the nuance and depth guidance to help us move towards what’s next.
Telling the stories of our trauma (over and over) without a container to hold them and the skills and context to transmute and rewrite them may feel cathartic, like venting steam from a boiling-over pot. It does not always equate to healing and repair, to growth and evolution.
In this world of snippets, sound bites, and images uprooted from their source and shared widely like a game of telephone, we’re seeing more transparency, but without containment. We're hearing absolutes, without context. We’re bearing witness to wounds, without the skills needed to find the gifts. We’re retelling only one type of story.
Today’s podcast conversation with Claudia Olivos - an artist, mystic and curandera who weaves art with myth, nature, the cosmos, intuition and the magic of Spirit as she channels energies of the Divine Feminine through Sacred Mothers and Goddesses from around the world - bravely wades into her wounds around her relationship with her mother and fundamentalist belief systems… and then opens up about the gifts she found within the wounds and how they led her to create her Sacred Mothers and Goddesses Oracle deck and shaped her into the self-proclaimed “Shamanic-Witchy-Priestess’ she is today.
Plurality and complexity are present. And we don’t turn away.
You’ll hear us explore:
and so much more.
In my own life, I feel myself at yet another threshold into deeper authorship of the life I want to lead and how I want to feel within it. Old stories, mistaken for fact, are suddenly appearing to me as re-writable. In these moments, without the anchor of what I thought I knew, I find myself reaching for some kind of compass - my steady heartbeat and an imagination fueled by a variety of stories and guides.
Looking at my feed and sitting with my conversation with Claudia, I find myself curious: within Barbie's story, the ways she limits and liberates, what can she help me see about myself and the world around me - in its light and its shadow, its hopes and its failures? What about Sinead - in her life and her death? How does Mother Mary inspire me, challenge me? Where can I find a version of her story that makes sense for me in these times and place? What about Tlazolteotl, Artemis, Aphrodite, Baba Yaga, Yemaya, Brigid, Kali Ma, Quan Yin… or any of the infinite faces the Feminine, in human and mythic forms?
Which stories and symbols guide me deeper into the truest stuff of our individual and shared humanity? And which build an altar to one version, one narrative?
If you’re someone who moved away from the religion of your youth and has grappled with finding your way with belief and faith; if you’re someone who has yearned for a connection with the Feminine you’re not finding in our culture; if you want to find the wounds in your gifts and let them open you to magic and possibility, or even just hear more about the process of channeling different aspects of the Mystery… join us around this podcast fire. I think you’ll find something nurturing, uplifting, and empowering in this conversation.
May the stories that guide us once again reflect a diverse and thriving ecology. May they help us hold our wounds and inspire an alchemical transmutation - engaging with our emerging stories in regenerative and evolving ways.
P.S. This is the 25th episode of the podcast and we're coming up on the one year anniversary!!! I can't believe it! Join us live on Zoom for our podcast community gathering on Tues August 15th at 5:30pm ET to keep the conversation going, ask questions, and chat more about deep, spiritual things with the other faces of the Divine Mystery who want to gather around the fire. You are so welcome.
P.P.S. Massive thanks to everyone who has rated and left a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts (you can do that here), shared the podcast on social media or privately with friends and family, and 'subscribed' or 'followed' on Spotify, YouTube, and other places they listen. I am so touched to see these conversations slowly reaching their way to more and more people.
And some of my most heartfelt thanks to our first three patrons: Jane S, Derek L, and Micah P. Your support is nourishing me in ways that allow me to keep saying 'yes' to the larger vision of what this podcast can become. <3 Thank you and Happy Podcast Birthday to us!