Make enemy of no woman. This is what I hear. I doubt that it’s a new message, rather one that has been whispering in my ear for …years. I can honestly say that I’ve just turned the corner. In this time where the collective feminine is growing louder I accept that Trump Supporters, Plaid wearers, Coffee drinkers, Child Bearers, Single Screamers, Sign Holders, Hate Mongers, Abortion Lovers cannot be -The Other.
There can be NO Other. The new Club has to include Every Woman. It is a beautiful Club, an easy one to belong to when I’m across the table from a dear friend espousing our wonder at how well tea tree works as an antiseptic.
My left eye starts to twitch when I hear a Her say, “that’s just the way he is.”
Or “it’s just a kiss, Tiffany”… the perfunctory “kiss” on the neck….my private space, as opposed to a handshake when arriving at work. I wonder if tea tree works for this too.
And still I hear, make enemy of no woman.
It’s a zesty club, not unlike a family, where there are a bunch of misfits trying really hard to love each other. That’s what’s most important, that we try really hard to love each other.
We each have our spikes and thorns, sharp tongues, or no tongues. In our own way we are each venturing into the caverns of unexplored places within. Yes, yes, yes, sometimes those places are isle three of the grocery store where nestled there is a new and improved brand of earl grey lavender tea promising to soothe the soul ….only like lavender can. Then there are pockets of women following an impulse to awaken sexually. Explore the greater erotic Intelligence and creative life force energy, our inheritance to birth life into the world, human and so many other forms. This, an arena full of light and so much shadow billowing with shame. Both are zesty and pleasure-full. The soul soothing, nourishing, earl grey tea with lavender and my vulva’s connection to aliveness. Can I grow my capacity to be with all that this means? It’s so messy this “make enemy of no woman”.
Belonging…. to a greater whole both internally and externally.… This is where the dance of Belonging to this Club begins.
Some suggest that we must belong to ourselves first. The path to sovereignty lies in this relationship as primal, vital and critical. I don’t disagree. It is all of these elements and more.
I also believe that each woman has her own access point to excavating, re-mantling her own wholeness, untamed, influenced but not bound by this human experience. It doesn’t always come through our own hearts first or lips, neither the ones below nor above. Sometimes we need a gentle hand, holding our bums in support, as often a toddler needs a little boost.
What we need is acceptance, a real and strong-enough container to work our inner material out loud. All of the material, not just the material that fits into a new construct, even a deeply held, Best version, sacred construct. Ultimately any construct will create The Other. That Woman, She who is too _________________ Conservative, Fat, Flat, Fucked up, Unconscious to be worthy of The Club. Therein lies the sneaky and often seductive stronghold to a paradigm that we all know, hierarchy, power, a binary version that requires ‘less than’, ‘not enough’, ‘whore’, ‘bitch’, "goodie too shoes”.
It’s like any fire…it feels magical while sitting where the heat from the flames can bathe our skin, warm our bones, and the soft breeze at our backs encourages the smoke in the other direction. However, toss some gasoline in it and it is That Woman who wears the white t-shirt that shows the outline of her nipples or That Woman who defers to the man of the house. It’s so messy.
Make enemy of no woman. Can I grow my capacity to be with all that this means?
Otherwise, I’m complicit in sustaining a ‘Less than’ albeit shinier version of wholeness that makes a worthy member of The Club. Tricky.
It is a subtle form of rehabbing the current patriarchal culture by the very means that has nourished it. Power over…One up…Better than. I understand our deep desire to have an impact, change the course of and empower the feminine. Belong. To ourselves. To The Club of the Feminine -the collective conscious. I just don't think it will ever (nor can anything) be sustainable while there is The Other. When it is leveraged against, with or by another people or even concept. You see, for me love doesn't need a stepping stone or any form of power paradigm...no matter how seductive. And righting oppression IS VERY seductive.
It’s so messy.
Make enemy of no woman.
Can I grow my capacity to be with all that this means?
Tiffany Higgins, M.S., has 20 years experience in working with people as a facilitator, life coach, teacher, and experiential educator. She has designed and led experiential team building, leadership and trauma recovery programs for thousands of people.
As we transition from summer to fall, it’s not lost on me that the eddy line between seasons may be enshrouded with hints of human struggle. It’s the wobbly crossover between letting go of summer, slowing down for winter, and honoring how Fall is greeting us. Oftentimes, we subconsciously resist. It’s the resistance that creates suffering. Instead, if we lean in, get close to the earth, we may notice that during this season of transition to Fall we uproot our root vegetables. It’s Harvest season! Our root vegetables beckon us to uproot anything that no longer serves us; any residue that needs to be jettisoned before we hunker in for winter. The vegetable roots are full of the splendor of long hot days to nourish us during this special time of year -preparing us for Fall, then Winter, defoliating, freezing. The roots are grounding, from the ground, they help ground us. If we pay attention to this natural cycle of time, in synchronicity with the earth – our home, our nest – and her rhythm, it becomes easier to relax and harmonize from outer to inner and smooth our transition from Summer to Fall to Winter. Invite Earth’s roots to support you during this seasonal flux – beets, carrots, onions, garlic, etc.
It’s from this space, of root-ed-ness, inner harmony, cleansed and quiet, that I contribute my first written piece to Tawa Ranes’s new publishing cooperative. Solar Moon Press is a truly “evolutionary” invitation to share in “a voice that aligns with our hopes and dreams for the world.” Designed as a cooperative to include your voice, Solar Moon Press “encourages you all to find your personal truth, regardless of mainstream patriarchal constructs and conventions.” My maiden contribution is an honoring of this space, and I encourage you to join the conversation. The spirit of Solar Moon Press is an invitation for you to share your ideas in this beautiful and welcoming space – a space that our mother earth is calling forth with a deep beckoning. She welcomes us to be released from the shackles of patriarchy, reclaim the feminine, and rebalance in harmony with the masculine.
Generally, my use of the word “patriarchy” is met with blank faces and puzzled looks. I’m certain I still don’t have a full grasp of all it contains and spills upon us, and even more certain that I don’t articulate what I do grasp very well. What I do know, however, is that it’s time to investigate and question. A lot. My invitation for interested and curious beings, who happen upon this shared space, is to activate a keen sense of questioning.
As we’re passing information through social media and other venues, this questioning will offer us pause along the way to ask; Where did this information come from? What am I advancing with this information? What am I reproducing? All of these questions may lead to a deeper understanding of checking inside for our own wisdom guidance. What do I think? What do I know? What has been hidden from my own voice, oppressed by the patriarchy?
It was Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple) who introduced me to the Gnostic Gospels and their powerful portrayal of the Divine Feminine. From these ancient, uncovered texts, there is a conveyed balance within the feminine and the masculine. The words in the original Lord’s Prayer honored the father AND the mother equally, by example. Gnosis signifies inner knowing, our inherent knowledge of the spiritual and mystical. This inner knowing (gut-check, colloquially) is the authentic Truth and was once revered. It’s only the patriarchal constructs (destructs) that keep us from trusting our inner knowing.
One of the saddest moments for me in our time is when someone ridicules or disparages the term woo which was once shared with me as a term to honor our Divine feminine, goddess culture and wisdom. Check on how it feels to discount our wisdom by letting someone dismiss it as woo woo. What if woo was met with reverence instead of eye rolls? How does it feel to be disconnected and distrustful of your inner knowing? How does it feel to be respectful and trust your inner knowing, your gnosis, your self? Your woo? Who coopted woo to create skepticism in the first place?
I’ll close with a reminder from Marion Woodman to connect with your own inner consciousness, rooted in reality;
“As consciousness develops, the body will act as donkey for only so long. Men as much as women need to know that their soul is grounded in their own loving matter. ‘This is who I am. Every cell in my body tells me this is of value to me—not to my persona, to me.’ That is the container whose feeling can be trusted because it is grounded in reality.”
Many Bliss-ings to all of you – women, men, and beyond – on your Feminine Journey,
Cite: Woodman, Marion. (1990). The Ravaged Bridegroom: Masculinity in Women, Inner City Books, Toronto, p. 181.
Margit Hentschel is the Co-Founding Director for the Center for Mindfulness @ Colorado State University and has a PhD in Peace Education; Leadership, Renewal and Change. She is a community sustainability advocate and stewards Divine Feminine spaces through breath meditation, yoga therapy, and plant ally share-ings.