Monday, March 31, 2014

Sacred Moon Cycle- Week Three

Week Three (day 15-21): Coming Down and Harvest Phase. 
Autumn energy.

Post ovulatory descent - can be positive or negative, a sense of pride or failure. 
May experience feelings of failure or elation depending on what you achieved from your creative peak in the few days after your egg has died unfertilised. 
"I lost my chance", "I feel useless". 
"I am so awesome, look what I did!" 

May feel relief or regret (at not being pregnant, literally and metaphorically). 
Feelings of wanting to get rid of unnecessary things around you or in your life. 
Wanting change. 

Things or ways of being that are no longer working for you show up. 
This may be confronting or a relief or both. 
Depending on how long you've been ignoring these promptings will depend on how you react to them showing up again. 

This happens to get your attention so you can let go of them in this and the next phase. 
"Everything seems to be hard", "Nothing feels like its working". 
"I've been so busy, I'm so glad I can rest now".

Week Three 
Celebrate what you have achieved, created, succeeded in this cycle and let go of what you haven't. Don't be hard on yourself. 
Start to notice the things that aren't working in your life in readiness to let them go with your blood. 
Don't start any new projects, rather finish things off.

-Jane Wardwicke Collins at

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Moon March in Aries

March 30th marks the new moon in Aries. This has been a major time of transformation, we have come face to face with our fears and discovered a greater depth than we thought possible. As we begin this season of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere), we are grateful for the shoots of personal power that are rising forth from the darkness. What has been dormant within, is now pushing toward the light to come into physical expression! We must continue cultivate and water our gardens with our attention and loving care taking concern with not overindulging and self regulating.
Its also time to set new intentions moving forward in our sacred moon cycle. Set your Intentions for what you wish to manifest in this new cycle, this new beginning marked by the New Moon. I urge you to gather as woman and honor the age of tradition of setting intention in a circle. Giving thanks to the lessons received and the outlook to come.

The mantra for this weeks astrology report from Kaypacha is

If I am to be a co-creator,
It’s my job to know,
What to water, when and how,
to regulate the flow.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sacred Moon Cycle-Week Two

Week Two (day 8-14): High Energy Creative Phase. 

Summer energy 
Increasing physical, sexual and creative energy building to a peak at ovulation. 
Urgent creative feelings. 
Heightened awareness of self and others. 
More interested in physical appearance. 
"I feel happy, excited, full of energy", "I can do anything!"

Week Two Honoring

Use your creative energy, make something (make your own pads). 

Express your sexuality, beautify yourself, be indulgent. 
Celebrate the energy of your ovulation (just like you would the full moon). 
Dedicate your egg to something you wish to give the creative life force to.

The Feminine Process

Image: Suffering- Soul Painting
“Depression comes as a gift that stops one from hurrying briskly, confidently into the market. Stops one from rushing to the shopping center to buy one more bargain blouse for an already overcrowded closet. Stops one from emptily mouthing what one no longer believes in anyway.
“Depression stops time… and one settles into one’s own waters as a sailing vessel without wind… without wind… without momentum…and one sinks into one’s depths.
“And somewhere, deep inside, in the beehive tomb, one sits alone… and weeps.
“Depression comes as a gift asking that a woman recognize her own substance and trust it as the quiet, steady voice of her own truth. As she trusts it, hearkens to it, attends as it unfolds, she learns that of herself never allowed to develop when her allegiance  was with the collective…”
“Depression serves a woman is it presses down on her, forcing her to leave behind that which was not herself, which had influenced her to live a life alien to her own nature. Her suffering, now substantial, insists that she no longer deny its truth.
“She can no longer ‘keep stiff of her upper lip,’ or ‘pack up her troubles in her old kit bag and smile, smile, smile’ or, as one woman struggling with her weight said, ‘rise above it all.’
“…Depression asks that the attitude towards one’s life be changed, that the source of authority be recognized as no longer outside, but now deeply within, that one relate to each event, task, and moment of one’s life personally, subjectively…”
“Present-day society is afraid of depression. Whatever it resembles – reflection, introversion, a drawing within for quietness – may also be feared.”
“Suffering is feared and the sufferer outcast. Collective attitudes have evolved fostering archetypal masculine doing and achievement values. As woman entered the work realm outside her home, there was little alternative but to adopt those values. There was little recognition that her processes as woman was of a different nature or that doing/achievement values were not complete or valid for her.
“The issue is not whether woman can achieve, but that preoccupation with achievement may deny a descent into her deeper nature which a woman must make to touch her true strength. The masculine must perhaps fly to fulfill a part of its heroic nature. But woman, pressed to fly, may lose herself and be prevented from descending into her depths, prevented from fulfilling her own feminine nature.
“For through her descent, she touches the power of the feminine, the power that comes of being, not doing… the power of wisdom in the face of a very old woman, a face on which one reads, ‘I know what I know.’
“A woman through her descent, touches a deeply feminine authority, as different from the authority of the masculine as is the moon from the sun.
“It is an authority not of abstracted, rational, objective knowledge, but an authority which allows her to speak from her own unique experiencing of life, from her own deepest personal conviction.
“A woman prevented by her own fears or cultural attitudes from making this descent, is left to speak only from her achievement-oriented side rather than from a deeper experiencing of herself as a woman.
“Because present-day society has not understood, has feared the process which woman must undergo to claim her power and wisdom, has recognized only the masculine process, women have been left little alternative but to speak ‘as men…’
“Woman herself has become alienated from her need to sink into herself. She has begun to expect herself to have the energies, emotions, and attitudes of the masculine. It is a tragic token of the lack of recognition of a separate and unique feminine process…”
“A woman could be helped to understand her depression as a passage of initiation to claim her own soul and wisdom to be shared, later, with other women as they prepare for their own passage. She’s is taught, instead, to fear her experience and to loathe herself.”
“…It is this meaning, emerged from her own suffering, that allows a woman to descent, each time anew, into her own depths, to be present to the truth and wisdom lying there. For only by her willing descent can she uncover, again and again, the meaning of her life.
“Can we come to a new understanding of the feminine process toward wholeness? Can we, as women, take it upon ourselves to deepen within ourselves and each other and appreciation of the descent in the feminine process?”
~Judith Duerk from Circle of Stones: Woman’s Journey to Herself

Friday, March 21, 2014


You can create a deep connection with a long hug. Of course. You know that. What you might not know? The amount of time matters. We're not talking about the half-second hug-cum-chest-bump.  Or the 5 second clench-to-coax. No, indeed! Apparently, a loving embrace held for 20 seconds taps our sweet spot. The folks at The Shift Network say that 20 seconds is the "magic" length needed to release oxytocin in the body. 
News organizations from the BBC to USA Today have reported on the University of North Carolina's discovery that a longer hug reduced cortisol (stress hormone) and increased oxytocin in the couples studied. Oxytocin is the "bonding hormone" the inspires the feeling of meaningful connection with others. This happy hormone is also linked to reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. With whoever you are close to, try staying close longer with a 20 second hug. You may feel the difference. 

- See more at:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sacred Drum

I recently read about a few Indigenous tribes and their culture of the sacred drum. The belief is so beautiful I wanted to share. This is a very simplified version that is present is many cultures and not just Indigenous but my context comes from the Anishinaabe culture. 

The woman gave man the drum to feel the heartbeat of goddess mother earth that resides in all women, for men to honor HER and feel her sacred energy.

In present day it is controversial (Post-European America) for woman to participate in the sacred drum but many woman are finding a place at the drum to heal the masculine and feminine energy issue of modern day. Its seems to awaken the sacred feminine inside and let the energy flow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sacred Moon Cycle-Week One

Image: source

In traditional cultures that honor woman and her moon cycle the time of menstruation is one that is inwardly focused, quiet. For the first time I honored the three days rest! NO laundry, NO cooking, NO yoga, NO cleaning. It was a drastic change for me but was much more attuned to what my mind and body needed. I am a child of the eighties and the tampon commercials with woman in bikinis playing volleyball and playing tennis in white tennis skirts are burned into my Psyche of what woman are suppose to do during their cycle. Play hard and ignore the fact that you feel like shit. Well, that's exactly what I did. Hiding my pain and suffering through my feminine obligation was my attitude. Honoring wasn't even near my radar. I have been disconnected to this honoring for two decades and found myself in pain and dis-ease. There is a bit more to the story but for information sake, finding these traditions and honoring my body and its feminine cycle was a huge change. It also had a positive impact on my partner because  when I retreated he could honor his feminine energy to keep an even balance with his masculine energy while he tended to the things that keep our home in functioning order.
With the full moon now in midweek, those who cycle with the full moon would be in week one. Here is the information for the honoring of this week. (letting go was big for me this phase)

   Week One (day 1 - first day of bleeding - day 7): Death Rebirth Phase 

On retreat or wishing you were or creating situations in your life so people will leave you alone (for example fights). 
Life review. 

Visions of how it might be this new cycle.
Letting go of ways or beliefs and attitudes that no longer serve - both metaphorically with your prayers and intentions and literally with your blood.

Spring energy, building as your blood stops flowing.
A time for metaphorically planting seeds for the new cycle.

During bleeding: "I feel quiet, inward", "I don't want to be disturbed".
After bleeding: "I feel soft, a bit vulnerable", "I feel as if I'm peeking back out at the world ", "Here I come again".

Ways to honour the menstrual cycle 
The flow of the energy through the cycle gives us the clues for how to honour it. It's a good idea to let the people you live with know if you are going to change the way you do things at your bleeding time. Their support will be important to the success of you implementing these life changes. 

Week one 
Retreat from the busyness of the world, even just for an evening.
Have a relaxing bath by candle light with essential oils. Try geranium and rose.
Create your moonlodge or red tent, this is as much a state of mind as a physical space.
Wear particular clothes or jewellery when bleeding, red stones or appropriate crystals. This can also serve the purpose of notifying the people you live with that you're bleeding.

Suggestions from Cassarne, my crystal advisor:
Two crystals resonate with the bleeding time and the choice can be made depending on which the wearer is more drawn to.
Carnelian: this relates specific to the sacral chakra and our creative centre, it brings balance to the female sacred organs and empowers the feminine in its process.
Moonstone: provides a balancing healing energy, especially of the emotions which may be in a vulnerable and fragile space. It assists in the balance and awareness of our hormones in their "dance" through our cycle. It is also a lovely stone to wear when its one's bloodtime as it reminds us of our connection with the moon and all her & our rhythms. Moonstone reassures us when we are in retreat at this time.
Garnet could also be worn purely because of its deep blood red hue and its resonance to our physical experience at this time. Plus it keeps one grounded and strengthens the healing energy of the Earth with our heart.

Experiment with dreaming by asking particular questions of your dreams.
Invoke a particular Goddess archetype to be with you during your bloodtime, perhaps Maeve or Kali.
Draw or paint.
Meditate - with or without questions and perhaps focussed on what it is you will let go of with your blood this cycle.
Do gentle exercise such as walking in nature and consciously connecting with it.
Feed yourself well.
Use special linen at bloodtime, like red coloured!
Use red towels.
Be kind to yourself - go with your flow!

The bleeding phase of the cycle is as if a monthly enactment of a vision quest. On day 3 of your cycle, just like in a vision quest, do a meditation and ask for a vision. You will be gifted with a vision to inspire and fuel you for your next cycle, write about it, draw it and refer back to it. 
Once you've stopped bleeding, when you are ready, gently reintroduce yourself back into the world.
Information from Spiritual Menstration.



"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
-Nikola Tesla

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Soul Expression

I wanted to share an example of creative soul expression. I sat in stillness and then used wet watercolor as exploration of being. No labels, no form, no critique. The process unfold naturally without direction. 

A painting is the expression of the heart and soul; it transmits cultural messages and the mysteries of the universe. It is born out of the desire of the artist to represent the forms of nature and man through the spirit of the artist as he perceives his world.

An artist not only captures the forms of nature, the artist’s spirit interacts with the spirit of the animals or men he is painting. His painting captures both the spirit and the message of its subject. One can see it in the expression, the eyes, and the gestalt of the painting. All good paintings communicate an emotion or message to the observer. It might be a message of love, harmony or tranquility; or it might be a message of danger, fury, or sadness. It could be a lesson, or something that all of us as humans can identify with, such as a desire to be loved.

The painting as art served ancient peoples as a medium to purify and refine the human spirit. The well studied and observant artist through his own meditation gives life to the animated states, feelings, and spiritual essence of the animals and humans he paints. The purification or refinement of the observer’s spirit occurs through the inspired artist’s ability to communicate the subject’s (man or animal): spirit, animation, feelings, thoughts, and the scene or stage of the subject, with all of its colors and form.

Copyright: © 2004 by Ernesto Apomayta

Virgo Full Moon

Image: Source
VIRGO FULL MOON is here bringing lots of illumination of what has been in the shadows. As we move toward the Equinox, we are reminded to find our balance and hold steady. Remember who you are, stay in your heart and find that place of stillness within so that you can move forward and greet what comes your way with calm and compassion~
As we are all reclaiming our Sacred Cycle, at this Full Moon we will be honoring and celebrating our Moontime. Women have been honoring their menstrual cycle for centuries and now we take this precious time of self-reflection, cleansing and transformation back into our lives. By Celebrating our menstrual cycle and collecting all that we can find about the true meaning of a woman’s bleeding and the sacredness of this returning cycle, we bring back awareness on earth for all other women. We need to have the right approach for our beloved bodies and care for her bleeding with gentleness and compassion; by doing this we nourish ourselves on deep levels and live as a teacher for our children and for future generations. Once we commit to honoring our Moontime, we commit to honor ourselves. From this commitment, clean pure energy flows effortlessly. At this full Moon we will be celebrating all aspects around our Moontime, we celebrate all Moonlodges, The Red Tent Movement and all that is out there that reminds us of the miraculous beauty and Divine perfection of our Moontime. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

In the name of the Mother

Join us  from where ever you stand in a moment of thought and prayers for our sacred waters. On March 22, 2014, the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers women will be leading a women's WATER BLESSING CEREMONY from the sacred Montezuma Well.
The International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers has put together a special WATER CEREMONY that you can do to join us in Spirit from wherever you are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wild Goddess

The Wild Goddess must be free. A healthy woman is much like a wolf, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal.Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful. The wild nature carries the medicine for all things. She carries stories, dreams, words and songs. She carries everything a woman needs to be and know. She is the essence of the female soul…

Shakti Mantra

There are many ancient Shakti devotional songs and vibrational chants in the Hindu and Sikh traditions (found in Sarbloh Granth). The recitation of the Sanskrit bij mantra MA is commonly used to call upon the Divine Mother, the Shakti, as well as the Moon.

Kundalini-Shakti-Bhakti Mantra
Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo!
Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo!
Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namo!
Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo!

Primal Shakti, I bow to Thee!
All-Encompassing Shakti, I bow to Thee!
That through which Divine Creates, I bow to Thee!
Creative Power of the Kundalini, Mother of all Mother Power, To Thee I Bow![6]
~ Yogi Bhajan (Harbhajan Singh)[7]

"Merge in the Maha Shakti. This is enough to take away your misfortune. This will carve out of you a woman. Woman needs her own Shakti, not anybody else will do it... When a woman chants the Kundalini Bhakti mantra, God clears the way. This is not a religion, it is a reality. Woman is not born to suffer, and woman needs her own power.”
“When India and Indian women knew this mantra, it dwelt in the land of milk and honey.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why did I just find out about the Yoni? Why it matters.

Image: source

On my journey of attaining higher conscious self I find myself learning things that leave me asking "why did I not know this?" and thinking if I had this knowledge earlier my 20's would have looked a whole lot different. At age 36 I have just learned about the Yoni and the sacred feminine. You may be asking "what is the Yoni?" if you are anything like me. I must have missed that Oprah episode or my Mom did not get the memo that there are other concepts to femininity than the word vagina. I now find myself connecting this piece of the puzzle in to place to heal my body from its energy suffering. Here is the official definition from Wikipedia:

Yoni (Sanskritयोनि yoni) is a Sanskrit word with different meanings, most basically "vagina" or "womb". Its counterpart is the lingam. It is also the divine passage, or sacred temple (cf. lila). The word can cover a range of extended meanings, including: place of birth, source, origin, spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, neststable.
In Hinduism, the ancient Indian texts contain the word yoni in various contexts. In Hindu philosophy, according to Tantra, yoni is the origin of life. The yoni is also considered to be an abstract representation of Shakti and Devi, the creative force that moves through the entire universe.Sacred Sanskrit words, p. 111
In Indian religions according to Vedas and Bhagavad Gita, Yoni is a form of life or a species. There are 8.4 million yonis total with ManushyaYoni (Human form/human species) as one of them. A human (manushya yoni) is obtained on the basis of good karma (deeds) before which a human goes through various forms of yonis (for example, insect, fish, deer, monkey, etc.). Bad karmas will lead one to be born inrakshasa yoni (evil form). The births and rebirths (the cycle of life) of a human happens in various yonis. A human who achieves theenlightenment (Mokshya) breaks the cycle of reincarnation and adjoins Brahma.

Why does it matter?
Why does it matter if we call it a sacred vessel or just a vagina? Well the feminine can give us an understanding of how all the diverse parts of life relate together, their patterns of relationship, the interconnections that nourish life.  She can help us to see consciously what she knows instinctively, that all is part of a living, organic whole, in which all the parts of creation communicate together, and how each cell of creation expresses the whole in a unique way.  An understanding of the organic wholeness of life belongs to the instinctual knowing of the feminine, but combined with masculine consciousness this can be communicated in words, not just feelings.  We can combine the science of the mind and the senses with inner knowing.  We can be given a blueprint of the planet that will enable us to live in creative harmony with all of life.
What does it mean to reclaim the feminine?  It means to honor our sacred connection to life that is present in every moment.  It means to realize that life is one whole and begin to recognize the interconnections that form the web of life.  It means to realize that everything, every act, even every thought, affects the whole.  And it also means to allow life to speak to us.  We are constantly bombarded by so many impressions, by so much media and advertising, that it is not easy to hear the simple voice of life itself.  But it is present, even within the mirage of our fears and desires, our anxieties and expectations.  And life is waiting for us to listen: it just needs us to be present and attentive.  It is trying to communicate to us the secrets of creation so that we can participate in the wonder that is being born.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teaching Meditation to Children

Introducing children to yoga, meditation, and spirituality is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. It can set their future on a nourishing and creative course. As teachers, we need to know how to present this knowledge so that children of different ages will receive the most benefit from it.
By Swami Shankardev Saraswati, Ph.D.

When we teach meditation to children, we need to choose age-appropriate techniques that foster their total growth and development. The word "meditation" is an English term for a wide range of practices and techniques. Meditations for children cannot be the same as those taught to middle-aged business people or spiritual aspirants seeking higher knowledge. Rather, in this context, meditation is a process that supports the growth of the body-mind of the child, fosters the development of each child's own unique personality, and supports creativity and expression.
Meditation techniques for children can help them relax and focus better during school, so that they can concentrate and memorize more effectively. From the spiritual perspective, good meditation techniques teach children self-awareness, encourage them to be themselves, and help them face life with greater belief in their potential.
There are three broad age groups that we need to consider when teaching yoga to children: those below the age of eight years, children between the age of eight and puberty, and post-pubertal teens.
Meditation for Children Below Eight Years
From the point of view of yogic physiology, children below age eight do not need much formal meditation training. It is more important for these children that their parents learn yoga and meditation and carry yogic principles into their homes. Children absorb the energy of the environment. If their parents practice some form of self-development, their children will grow up in a healthier, more relaxed and aware environment.
Parents need to practice meditation techniques that increase their own capacity for awareness in the midst of their busy lives, so that they can be more present and available to their children. The child needs to know that a parent is really interested in them, is really listening to and attending to them. At the same time, parents need to learn how to allow children to be themselves and to foster each child's own unique being and abilities.
One meditation technique can be used with children in this age group, however. A modified practice of yoga nidra is a deep relaxation practice in the Corpse Pose (Savasana). In this practice we cannot ask the children to feel individual parts of the body, but rather we work with awareness of larger parts. For example, we may playfully instruct the child in body awareness by saying, "Feel that you are a statute until I count to 10. Now bend your elbows and now straighten your arms." We give similar instructions with the legs and may ask them to wiggle their toes, and so on. This takes their awareness through the body.
Once children have developed a little body awareness, we can teach them to listen to and follow outside sounds, or to visualize imaginary realms, or we can read stories that stimulate their imaginations.
Meditation for Children From Eight to Puberty
By the age of eight, a child's fundamental personality has formed and his or her body begins a process of preparing for puberty. Changes begin to occur in children's brains around the age of eight, and these changes reach a peak during puberty. When we teach meditation to this age group, our main aim is to support balanced physical and mental development. This helps the child be better mentally prepared for the onslaught of feelings, desires, and urges that arise during puberty. It also supports the child's ability to take in knowledge at school, and to develop a relaxed focus and good memory.
Eight-year-olds in India learn three practices to foster total physical, mental, and spiritual development. These are Sun Salutation for the body, alternate nostril breathing for the brain and mind, and mantras for the deeper mind and spirit. These practices can slow the onset of puberty and balance its effects by acting on the subtle channels that flow in the spine. Mental development then has time to catch up to physical changes.
Yogic physiology explains how this occurs. A child's physical changes during puberty are under the control of pingala nadi, the spinal channel that carries prana, the life force. Mental development occurs under the control of ida nadi, the spinal channel that carries psychological force. Excessive stimulation of the physical channel alone, as tends to occur in the normal social environment, causes imbalanced development and can make puberty a rough process. The yogic practices taught children at this time stimulate both channels equally, to stimulate physical and mental growth at the same time.
The practice of Sun Salutation balances the life force, prana, preventing it from becoming jammed up in the sexual centers (swadhisthana chakra). One note of caution is to teach children only asanas that are playful and that do not put too much pressure on the endocrine system. Never hold the major poses for extended periods, as they will overstimulate the physical systems and can cause imbalanced development.
Alternate nostril breathing is a pre-meditative practice that balances the flow of energy in both ida and pingala. This pranayama directly affects the physical and mental systems by balancing both sides of the brain. Do not teach breath retention to children. Simply get them to observe the flow of the breath in on one side and out on the other, alternating sides. This will calm and balance them.
Mantras are the main meditative practices taught to this age group, as they powerfully affect the brain and its development. The main mantra taught is the Gayatri mantra. This mantra has 24 syllables, each of which stimulates a different part of the brain. Gayatri is the mantra to stimulate our intelligence.
All of the practices listed above, including yoga nidra as detailed for younger children, will support a child's ability to learn, to take in and digest information at school, and to develop individual interests.
Our students in the post-pubertal stage of adolescence can engage in more classical forms of meditation. We can teach them techniques that further support their mental development, for example, so that they can stay relaxed and able to concentrate during these most important learning years.
Again, one of the best practices to teach is yoga nidra. This time we can use the adult form, rotating the awareness through the body parts and then taking awareness deeper into the breath and mind.
Visualization techniques are wonderful for this age group, and techniques that develop memory and mental power are particularly useful. For example, we can ask a child to visualize an imaginary blackboard and ask them to see themselves writing the letters of the alphabet on this board in colored chalk. Or in this day and age, to visualize a computer screen and see themselves creating their own computer game, following their hero through any story they want to create.
Breath meditations are useful for helping students who are at home studying. It is important for students to remain relaxed and receptive, and to take regular productive and relaxing breaks from study. They can, if they wish, use that time to mentally review their work.
Dr. Swami Shankardev is a yogacharya, medical doctor, psychotherapist, author, and lecturer. He lived and studied with his guru, Swami Satyananda, for ten years in India (1974-1985). He lectures all over the world.
Article from



Wild Soul

Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate
Love for the Wild Soul

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Posted by: DailyOM

Call her Our Lady, La Nuestra Señora, Holy Mother--or one of her thousands of other names," says Dr. Estés. "She wears hundreds of costumes, dozens of skin tones, is patroness of deserts, mountains, stars and oceans. Thus she comes to us in billions of images, but at her center, she is the Great Immaculate Heart." With Untie the Strong Woman, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés invites us to reconnect with "the fierce and loving Blessed Mother who is friendly, but never tame--she who flies to our aid when the road is long and our hearts are broken, ever ready to rekindle the inner fire of our creative souls." In her first book in more than a decade, Dr. Estés illuminates Our Lady through blessings, images, and narrative, including:

-- Stories of connecting with the Blessed Mother, including "Meeting the Lady in Red," and "Untie the Strong Woman"

-- Blessed Mother's many images from around the world, including "Litany of The Mother Road: A Chant of Her Incandescent Names;" "A Man Named Mary;" and "The Marys of Mother Africa"

-- The wild side of her love, including "Massacre of the Dreamers: The Maiz Mother;" "Holy Card of Swords Through the Heart;" and "Guadalupe is a Girl Gang Leader in Heaven"



I have met her many grateful witnesses: the lonely and all who have been abandoned. She reminds all that she leaves no one stranded — not the despairing, not the devastated. I find she reminds again and again that Creator and despair cannot exist in the same place at the same time.

She has reunited people and creatures w ho have lost one another. She visits those imprisoned, whether in a rhetoric or whether in paper, golden, or iron cages. She carries souls a cross the cold deserts of cultural pollutions and harming constraints.

She infuses strength into the many who are threatened with physical and spiritual deaths; she is intercessor in their hardships — in the deceptions, thefts, and the death cults of our times. She is a bringer of the “aerial viewpoint,” seeing the greater soul-picture in ever y thing around us — in our parents, our families, our children, our cultures, our own spirits, as well as in “what lies beneath in treasure, as well as in as-yet-undeveloped and misunderstood terrain.”

She is drawn to those who have experienced travail, challenge, especially including those trials that she herself faced: she, when carrying her Child, was not believed, was not accepted, was not found worthy by her culture, yet she sheltered the Truth and he Light. She fled as an immigrant to a foreign country, and without proper papers, in order to keep her Child safe.

She knows the rows. She has hoed them.

This is why she is cal le d La Nuestra Señora, Our Lady, because she is a mother instinctively and soulfully—and no one, no nation, no politic, no religious skepticism of her time or any era could turn her away from her profundity as protectress.

There by, she is ours, and we are hers. We belong to her. She belongs to us. No qualifiers, no proof is required.

She has been called Advisor, Helper, Intervener, Mediatrix. Yet, to reduce Our Lady to a mere coping mechanism and by saying she has no rational function, grit, or imagination, as some have ventured, is to say that Yahweh Jehovah must have just been a weekend hobbyist who took seven days off to make some “stuff.”

That’s not it at all. La Madre Grande is a force of Nature intrinsically inlaid with the profound creativity—of bringing, teaching, showing, sheltering, all the attributes of mothering in this world and beyond.

La Madre, Nuestra Señora, Our Mother, continues regardless of those who say she did or did not appear to whomsoever; did or did not enter a household; did or did not lay hands on; did or did not heal; did or did not speak love to everything and everyone.

As vast intercessor, she is essential to Tikkun Olam, the Hebraic words meaning “repair of the soul of the world.” She is essential to the concept Of Ometeotl, the Nahuatl/Aztec word meaning “the one who enters the world from highest heaven to sweep clear the two-way path between the great earthly and heavenly hearts once again.”

In these ways she has granted many of us, myself included, relationship so many times. I fully admit: Her fingerprints are all over me. Perhaps they are all over you, too. I hope so. Her palm prints are on my shoulders from trying to steer me in various proper and difficult directions—such as the path of a long and hard-won education for which I, as a welfare mother, had little means.

Mi Guadalupe was the real ways during those “decades of nights” it took to earn degrees, and even more, to earn a place to live in a world that so shuns those not like the over-class. She whispered, “I crossed a long desert with little means, and so can you.”

She is no little thing. I have the literal experience of the strength of her great arms holding me up when I thought I would die: her arms held me tight as I struggled to hold up my fainting adult daughter in the shower, me fully clothed standing in the rain of the shower, my poor daughter naked and soaking wet as she miscarried her beloved and long-awaited child. I do not know how I, or we, could have stood alone without Our Mother.

There have been better times and far, far worse times—and in those, many a time not knowing where to go for solace, finding no place to rest in the storm of loss and grief, I have lain against Mi Madre’s breasts sucking for strength to go on. And, in some way, often in some strange, at first unrecognizable way, strength has been granted.

During a recent struggle with a misdiagnosis of terminal illness for which I was given but four months left to live, she took off her vesica piscus of rayos and bade me pass through her fiery corona, burning away my terror and grief time and again.

She has warmed me with love, and warned me in prescient ways. She has allowed me to put my hands inside her hands to help others, responded forcefully and positively to healing petitions for family members, friends, and strangers.

She has answered petitions for recoveries and abatement of threats, harms, wounds, fears, exiles, luchas, struggles of many kinds. She has answered in her way, not my way.

And still I am terribly deficient—and in all my failures, I ever find her dusty hem beside me, her voice saying, “Rise.”

There are times I wonder if maybe my discontent with the soullessness of some parts of the world is because I was just born in a semi-permanent bad mood...but being near her, even though it’s not easy most times, all I ever want to do is struggle to love, and then try to love some more.

I try to remember, as my drollest grandmother used to say, “Just think of how much worse we all would have turned out without her.”

Perhaps most powerful of all, I pray to Our Lady daily with thousands of other old women throughout the world. I do not have all the answers, but I carry the essential conviction that Our Lady cannot resist listening to a gaggle of such comic, imperfect, devout, and lively old souls like us—like you and me, regardless of our number of years on earth.

Too, Our Mother, La Señora, Our Lady is carried forth in prayer, petition, and praise by men and women and children of every age, and daily for she is on the side of life and she is for the world—all of it, not just some of it, not just those who have been “certified.”

We call such members, Las Marías. If you have a feel for her; if you desire a deeper guidance of more than the mundane kind; if you fear something precious will be lost or something dear will not come to fruition; if you have a hope of healing for others who suffer; if you wish to know her radiant Child of Love; if you need a sign, guidance, a word of kindness, a drink of water on the long dry road, please come join us in this invisible but palpable worldwide sodality.

She is not called “Ivory Tower” and “Tower of Light” for nothing. Rise up, come forward, there is a Lady waiting, a Lady who knows you by name, and who knows the way through and the ways forward by heart.

People often ask me how I pray to her. I’ve a thousand prayers I’ve been given by the desert and the dirt, by blood wrongly spilled, by counting the cavities in Death’s back teeth, but there is one prayer I return to with Our Lady time and again, for it is the only prayer thus far given to me personally by her.

It is oddly sweet, isn’t it, that one who writes so much and walks long with Our Lady asking her over these seven decades of my life to please grant me words enough to help and heal others—yet when I asked for myself, thinking maybe there might come a paragraph at least, perhaps even a page—instead came this.

And it is this prayer then, the one that follows, and I so deeply invite you to join me in our praying it together, even though the personal prayer Our Lady granted me is only one word long:


This means, Please show me. Please teach me.

I know Our Lady hears this prayer no matter from where in the universe is it released, for there is one thing Creator cannot do—one thing that Our Mother, the Great Woman, cannot do—that is, they cannot not love us.

Whatever we need to see, be shown, be inspirited by—the summons is the same:


Please show me. Please teach me.




In ancient times, this word, Aymen, meant, “Let it be so. May it come to pass.”And thus may it be for us all.

From the book: -em-Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul-/em- by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD. Copyright © 2011 Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD. To be published in November 2011 by Sounds True.
Published by Sounds True

Monday, March 3, 2014