Undertaking a Rite of Passage in Paint over 13 moons…
There was that time, I looked up from my thoughts and there she was, all lit up like she was wearing a robe of stars. She simply walked out of the universe, fully formed from the void of all potential as though she had been waiting for that very moment to catch my attention.
Once, she told me, there was nothing, just the darkness of a long, long, dark night. A space that went on forever. It was like a great belly, full of potential. Shadows could be seen flitting across the deep-scape of the void. Some gathered together, liking the patterns they created. Others stood aloof, floating in their own part of the void, enjoying being at one with the potential they sensed they were part of. Every shadow knew where it should be, and each was attached to its beginnings back in the darkness of the deepest night, the darkest night, the longest night of forever.
Slowly, over eons, some shadows embraced others, others embraced them, and more embraces led to the formation of mass. Over time the masses became seeds. The seeds of potential and the children of the void. The seeds were attracted to each other, as they floated through the universe, their attachments to the deep night entwined, became thicker, pulsing with energy from the darkness as matter roiled around them. Time passed, as though waiting for a particular moment, a time where something exciting would happen. The seeds floated in and around matter that is the potential of all things. They began to gather matter to themselves, growing in volume, the added weight now moving them faster across, around and through the great void.
She told me that the collision of the seeds was something to behold, igniting sparks to light up the void, forcing the darkness to recede. The sound of the ignition reverberated across the galaxy, moving the seeds. Clinging to each other, the seeds hurtled through the void, friction creating a ball of heat around them which ignited into a fire that burned gases.
Once the fires were ignited, all manner of things were revealed and as the darkness receded, planets, suns and moons were strung across the dark-scape. Some were shining, some were reflecting and some were developing from seeds with the help of the elements. Earth created beings, fire ignited spirits, air helped breath life into them and water enabled them to flow together in synchronicity.
Eons later, after the fires had cooled, water had washed everything clean; the earth was verdant, growing and sustaining life. There came a moment in time when the stars aligned, gathering above the good creation like a jewel shining brightly in the Milky Way. Under a Libran moon that was full and fat and glowing I arrived, folding my wings very carefully and tucking them away. They flutter a little under the night sky, especially when the constellations align in the same patten they were in on the day of my birth.
The universe spat me out here! After 13 billion years in the making, there I was, just hanging about on the edge, surfing the waves or being tumbled about by the Holy Ones, shaken up, turned around, taken apart, and reconfigured to fit this world.
When colour explodes across the stars, ancient ones reach out to touch the connection that winds back to the void, pulsing with magic and secrets. As they watch She that is me, wings furled behind the shoulder blades of our earth form, walks slowly with fear and uncertainty and the elders’ smile for they know the truth of her courage.
We step quietly into being, chin tilted, savouring the warmth of the sun and the gaze of the grandmothers. Accepting that the peat bogs, fairy mounds and cold Celtic seas of her racial ancestors are not hers, they are an echo of what was once in her lineage. Displacement and lack of Belonging is an emptiness I know well. It was there in mothers’ heart as we listened closely to the pulsing universe before arrival. It entered my heart as a question with no answer and kept me busy, puzzling it for a lifetime. No claim to culture, only guilt and shame at forebears for their part in the colonisation of this sacred land that sings this soul even though it will never be our land. Six generations deep here, we belong only to the universe.
At the very edge of vision lurks the answer if I could just face the mystery of what is there. We let go, and let go and let go again and again into the mystery, Becoming a willing part of creation. Now She that is me walks as a pilgrim, the half shell a symbol of a vigil, a search into the self.
The map of life can be smooth or rough. Once our wings are folded, they do not open to save us from falling. The wastelands laid us bare to the raw bones. The grandmothers allowed it to bring me to my knees, tossed me/us into the river, carried us to the great ocean with no life raft. The only anchor point, the umbilical cord that provides an anchor back into the darkness of the great void. Somewhere there is a garden flowering with need, love, trust. Can I swim strongly enough through the depths of sorrow to find it?
You laid me bare
No muscle or sinew
To cover these naked bones.
You held me by the throat
Choking the life from me
Your name was grief.
You took me prisoner.
My truth is written in large letters, scrawled along the pulsing red walls of a heart well used. I am unique, people may judge me, but they cannot BE me. Only I am created in this particular Being by the Divine Breath. I am the right shape to hold all this stardust. This star-scape is co-created with my blood.
It has taken so long to find my marks, shapes and voice on this journey of Becoming. Slowly a thread emerges, a part of the intricate weave of life, connecting back to source. I have a place in this universe.
In this moment I both remember and forget the connection to self, to life, to the etheric world. For anything to rise up, something else moves downward, becoming compost on which the risen rests. A conundrum; for how do we rise, without sinking below the surface of shame and appropriation or forcing others to sink?
She that is me, tugs the cord that stretches back into the void and holds my hand to remind me that forgetting is a default position. Tugging on the weave that has secured my heart back in the deep void to remember. By the radiant arms of the Universal Truth, I am undone, naked before the suns and moons in the belly of the great mother. By the heart of the nova that explodes my myths, I am cooked to perfection in the great ovens of the mother-father Being. As I am here sliding through the portal into the next adventure, she holds my hand.
There comes a time when understanding that the universe resides inside each of our souls is a disturbing thought; that it is here that all the prayers of longing live. Hope and love live here also; anger and hate have no chance in a universe filled with beauty such as this.
To love this earth and see the devastation wrought. To love this earth and notice the deafness of corporations is to be awake. To love this earth and know her heart beats ever stronger for our love is to understand She is our mother, birthed of the great void.
There she is, she that is me. Her skin covered in the markings of the universe, flinging her hair to the sun. She strides along, through the stars, having a great time, not held down by human failings. She that is me, my large divine self has courage and my small human self, envies her that.
She that is me walks through the stars, using them as stepping stones to move from galaxy to galaxy. She is larger than breath and lighter than air, She moves with grace sprinkling courage in her wake. From the Celtic lineage, the Awen arises, like the three ketes of knowledge from this land of Aotearoa, as a symbol of mind, body, spirit or love, wisdom, truth. It appears – to remind me that the number three is sacred and the three drops of inspiration from the cauldron of Ceridwen has followed me from the lands of my ancestors.
I know with the deepest knowing connected back to the great void of the beginning of all things, that the ancestors watch me, knowing that I only need listen to myself and my own wisdom to find the courage I seek. When the pain of not knowing is too much to bear, the wisdom will come unprompted to save me from myself. I am made for these times; my fears have made me dry and shrivel, requiring tending the Soul to fill me with her essence. Finding myself is a lifelong quest, the work is in the reclaiming and reshaping of the space I occupy amongst the stars.
By the grace of knowing my pilgrim path and the inspiration of the Goddess I will continue to find the seeds of courage.
When I forget and fall unwittingly into my default position, the time will come when deep within She gives me a nudge and retracing my steps, by remembering the journey, is always an option.
13 moons, 13 billion years, 13 seeds.
Note: As this work was birthed, a line of the Aramaic Lords Prayer kept repeating over and over in my head. As it sang me and my brushes of colour, I knew this was my starting place, place of holding, and ending place. “Tey Tey Malkuthakh!”
Malkuthakh definition from the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos. 1990.
Mulkatuh, based on the same root, was the name of the Great Mother in the Middle East thousand of years before Jesus. The ancients saw in the earth and all around them a divine quality that everywhere takes responsibility and says “I can.” In a collective sense, Malkatuh can also refer to the collective ideals of a nation or the planet.