Thinking about Thanksgiving, gratitude, and Story caused me to create a new page on my MythWoman site. The page, Bring Back the Women, speaks about my journey into Myth. Granted, neither the title of the page or the content sound like a Thanksgiving story at all. Yet, it is a heartfelt offering of gratitude, a giving of thanks for the bounty that I have been given through myth, story, image, and metaphor. This bounty feeds my mind, heart, and soul just as concretely as the Thanksgiving dinners that I have and will share with friends and family feed my body. I have put the content into this post specifically to share my gratitude with all of my readers. My gratitude for all of you increases every day and so, I humbly say “Thank-you for sharing my journey. Thank-you for receiving the gift I am offering to you. It is my honor to do this work, to take this journey.”
Lifelong learning is, and always will be, a great part of what MythWoman offers. Expanding into more grounded knowledge—myths based on the physical world, the cosmos we inhabit, our female bodies, and the myths/stories that connect us to our world, ourselves, and how we belong.
How we belong is part of my personal quest. Because relearning and re-integrating how I, as a female human, belong to Life—while surrounded by a culture that screams to me constantly that I do not belong–is the only way I know how to move toward truth anymore. Because the deep truth is, I do belong. The deep truth is that all women belong.
And so, I do move. I walk, stumble, creep, and run toward getting back to the knowledge, to the web of connection and interdependence. Consciously, I hone in on the place that is and always has been saved for female humans in the greater weave of Life.
The difficulties (the chasms and monsters in my way, in our way) are that our wisdom, our knowings, our intrinsic connections have been thwarted, attacked, or stolen and twisted for so long that it all looks like thickets and thickets of nearly impenetrable brambles. And make no mistake, there is a Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awakened behind those brambles!
She is me. She is each and every woman alive. And I am the one to wake myself up! Waking to reclaim my kingdom; to reclaim my profound responsibility to fully know the lands where I live; to reclaim the bravery and necessity of living with a wide-open heart, a keen mind, a sturdy soul, and a wise, unique body. Most of all, I am waking up to reclaim my inherent female birthright to be miraculous, sovereign, and a conduit of the undeniable power of Life.
Mythology is my particular path, my Way, my Tao on this quest. To begin on this complex, yet gratifying path of mythology required me to suit up! So, with trembling self-esteem and shaking knees, I signed up for graduate school to earn a wildly impractical (as far, as parents and society is concerned) Ph.D. in mythology. But, for me, stories have always beckoned to me. And, in mid-life, Story herself called me out!
Please understand that suiting up doesn’t require armor. That’s the wizened, dried rind of the hero’s myth. No, suiting up for a heroine’s journey, involves, as always, shedding. Celebrating, instead of shaming, the shedding of my miraculous blood each month. Shedding the brittle patina of being a patriarchal “good girl.” Shedding any and all vestiges of the patriarchal practices of shaming, belittling, or ignoring myself or other women. Shedding the bands of iron placed by societal strictures engineered to bind my talents, my passions, my brilliance, my drive, my femaleness! Letting go of the stories that limited my full-tilt run into being a compassionate, brave, wicked smart, direct, tender lioness who roars with this dawn of new beginnings.
So right now, here I am, a fledgling lioness and a full-fledged feminist comparative mythologist. I am incredibly grateful to be on this curvy path as I quest further and further through Story to Truth. My quest is both individual and collective becauseI want, as millions of women want, the true wisdom that illuminates me, celebrates me, and embraces me as a female and as a deeply needed, crucial part of the Whole. I want to know and feel this hard-won wisdom so well that I sing it out to the physical world, the starry skies. I want to empty out the trash in my mind, body, and soul from the suffering we humans have endured and still endure due to insane social structure we live with and the toxic propaganda that it spews out incessantly.
I want to release all this trash so thoroughly that I feel a hollowing out even in my bones. A hollowing that is preparation to be one of Life’s lilting flutes ready to sing old, old restorative songs, or to fly back into the bosom of the great love that the known and unknown worlds hold for us. Because I want, as I believe each woman wants, to hear the resounding cry from the greater world and its beings, “Welcome Home! At, long last, WELCOME HOME!”
Please share your thoughts with me about the quest I am on, the shape and look of your quest, and how it feels to know we are journeying together. Blessed be.