June 20, 2018

Dancing at the Soul-Wound

May All The Gods and Goddesses Love Each Other Through You 
by Lucy Pierce

For a person, any person, to commit violent atrocities against another person, against other peoples, against the Earth, I believe they must be living inside an embodied experience of deep pain, maladaption, misattunement, disconnection from authentic relationship with self and other and Earth and Spirit. The psyche a tangle of trauma and pain and projection, housing unconscious beliefs about self/other and the world which are destructive and violent. 
All these things eventuate from a misattunement in our lived experience from birth, through childhood and adolescence, into adulthood, a generational passing on of maladapted survival strategy and
epigenetic trauma. We live in a culture that has desecrated the feminine experience of life and the principles of care and connection for millenia. In our culture we obtain our identities not through our capacity to attend and care and include, to heal and nurture, but through our capacity to exclude and exploit, compartmentalise and to hoard, to dominate and suppress. 
We have lost connection to the birthright of control over our own food production, healing practices, hand crafts, instincts. We spew forth into our environment a constant toxic deluge. Everyone who is successfully acculturated to our western world is deeply traumatised, and often implicitly we don’t even realise that we are. From birth through to death we are drugged, institutionalised, disempowered, disconnected, severed from truth, force fed fear and escapism, entertained with violence and pornogrified power-plays. We are living inside the belly of a monster. It is not outside of us, lurking in the shadows. We are inside of it.
We have lost our rituals and mother-tongues, our myths and our poetic understanding, we have lost our integrity and lore as a people, the roots of our culture are rotten to the core, we poison the water that gives us life, we desecrate the maternal imperative of a life-sustaining reverence, the paternal integrity of a life-protecting imperative. We barely even recognise that we are a part of an eco-system anymore. We are traumatised and wounded, surrogating materialism for real connection and belonging to self and other, to earth and nature, world and cosmos. 
The vast majority of us just struggling to survive, while the few feast on the cream of the world. So many families broken, so much violence and pain and misunderstanding between the inseparable dualities of existence. Mothers and Fathers are not supported to deeply attune and care for their offspring, many don’t know what this looks like because they didn’t receive it themselves, or haven’t truly known the truth of that care for generations, and the economic imperative is all-abiding. Birth and post-partum is medicalised and disembodied and fraught with trauma, and the mother-wound cuts deeper still. Rights of passage are sublimated or medicated or institutionalised. We surrender the education of our children to the state that enslaves us. We all dissociate with technology that robs us of our sovereignty and our true creative capacity, and of true relationship with existence. We are destroying the very environment and it’s glorious diversity, that makes our very existence possible. We are a people of tantruming, insatiable children. We are taught to suppress our pain, suppress our grief, our rage, our feeling, our true power. We are killing one another, we are killing ourselves, we are killing the Earth and our children are given guns to play with. We hand our sons and daughters over to a rape culture. We offer a constant stream of violent pornography and are shocked by rape. We are a people so very thoroughly colonised by dominance and brutality.
There is so little true leadership, that is willing to take us all into the violent soul-wound of our people, to dance at the sacred interface of our own annihilation and to see if there is any last gesture of beauty and belonging, of care and of love, that we can offer back to this precious life. There is so little sacred understanding of the magnitude of our severance from the sacred lore of life. For us to truly know the extent of who we are is to face the most astonishing abyss of grief and despair and I don’t know if we are capable at this stage, collectively, of mustering up that much courage, to truly see, the bitter root of our desecration. 
But when I wrap my arms around the tender body of my beautiful son, I pray that we are capable of it. When I hold my beautiful daughters in my arms I pray that enough of us can find our way beyond the collective trauma of our own wounding and violence and trauma and unrecognised pain, to find the bedrock of something vastly more true and life-giving in which to plant the seed of a future worth giving to them. One where we know our place in the great macrocosm of the universe, where we can know ourselves as agents of love and where we deeply recognise the innately peaceful and restorative and generative and respectful imperatives or possibilities of existence, one where the first footfalls of healing may reverberate through the psyches of our deeply broken kind.

If I am to broach the realms of gender I would say, from a place of great compassion for my brothers, that I am so deeply blessed to know myself as woman. For me this is to say that I exist in a place of great privilege. This privilege exists beyond that which I already carry, of class and race and education, and it exists from inside the disadvantage my culture would suggest my gender is. I feel my privilege because I was born with a living womb inside my very own body and so I innately understand, even though I have been deliberately and systematically separated from that understanding, the co-creative power of the cosmos. I know it because it lives here inside of my body and the biological processes that I embody through my life as a woman, are in and of themselves initiatory processes. And I could almost say, (could I?) that I feel this to be a true advantage, that I hold over my brothers. That something has been happening to me from within my own body since my menarche, that has dragged me, sometimes kicking and screaming into initiation. Even though I may be weaker physically, or more vulnerable in terms of my capacity to be physically dominated, I actually hold this immense power that has been gifted to me from being born into the body of woman, and with this power, this advantage, I feel the quickening of its responsibility to enable those who do not share this privilege. 
My biology is innately embedded in the primal matrix of unity and co-creation and it has awakened me deeper than my indoctrinated culture, initiated me more profoundly than the edicts of misogyny that dwell at the heart of my social conditioning. My blood-time, my capacity to gestate and grow life inside of me, my birth-rites, my star-milk, my moon-pause to come, have and will continue to awaken me to just how deeply loved and held I truly am within the matrix of a greater cosmic mother, an archetype of nurturance that transcends my personal wounding and restores my capacity to rise to meet life from a place of power and tenderness. Over time this has meant that my own primal wounds and brutal enculturation have slowly healed as the sacred forces of Mother have forced their way through the biological processes of my body, to awaken love within me. 
And I name this here because I wonder if there is this same biological initiation in the psyche of man, or does his initiation come through his tribe, a social awakening to his sacred imperative to become custodian and protector of the sacred womb of life, as it exists energetically inside his own body, though he stands outside and alongside the physical womb of woman, as it exists in the Mother Earth beneath his feet, who feeds him and nourishes his life, as it exists in the woman who gave him life, and as it exists in the women/men/others with whom he unites and collaborates with, in the co-creative, psycho-sexual interplay of Union, within the gendered duality of the inseparable space of divinity that swells within each of us, and also as it exists in the fruits of his offerings to life, perhaps in his sons and his daughters, and also in all the brave offerings he sends forth into the world to tend and repair the cohesive field of our co-created reality. 
What are his mechanisms for awakening and initiation in a culture that would have him stay a child/slave to its own economic imperatives? What do we do when the culture fails us, in this most primary of needs? 
If a man is severed from his connection to earth and his indigenous culture, to his myths, stories, songs and his mother tongue, if he lives in a culture that banishes his soul and suppresses his emotions; if his own soul is repetitively violated by brutality and violence and ugliness; if he has experienced betrayal or abandonment or violence or neglect at the hands of his mother, whose hands were tied by the invisible brutality of the culture behind her, she the scape-goat of patriarchy; if he is hurt then again and again in love, or isolated again and again by the absence of love from woman or from man; if those wounds are never tended to, if the balm and salve of healing is never brought, never tenderly administered, what does he do with that pain, but turn upon himself, turn upon the Earth, turn upon woman, turn upon the child, turn upon his fellow man, clinging desperately to the small trophies of belonging he is afforded.
I am not making excuses for this, nor do I have any illusion of having the answers. I understand that there is a long road ahead for us, to lead ourselves back into cohesion and respectful unity, and there is a dire need for accountability to be taken, and a collective naming and addressing of what it is that must stop, and stop now. But I wonder how it might be different if those of us who are women, fully came to own, as many of us are, the profound privilege of our biology and the innate connection to the macrocosmic womb of creation that this offers us. What if collectively, energetically we continued to shake off the oppression, rise through the fear, back into the true birth-right of our place in existence. 
It will be a complex dance we will need to weave, but I think at the heart of life, there is a way-showing that women can offer to the woundedness in man,  because often it is the first wounding that comes from the compromised hand of mother. Can we reflect the face of the healed/healing feminine back to that which is wounded in the soul of man, so that he may know it again within his own being? Just as all those beautiful and profound and life-giving expressions of the healed masculine remind us what that looks like, to know the power of that safety within. Giving so much gratitude for these expressions right now. 
We need to feel safe in order to do this, so the good men in our lives have brave work to do in helping us to feel so, and also the brave work of knowing his strength of love within ourselves as woman. But the safer we are, the more attuned to the sacred interface we can be, and the more attuned we can be, the more powerful we become in the truth of our beingness of love, and the more loving we can be, not in a sacrificial way, not mothering the child in man because that time has passed for him now and he must learn to be his own mother now, but just in our own profound embodiment of our own sacred relationship to life and to the creative field that lives inside our own beings, the more magic will come to dance in the spaces that are beseeching of healing in our very broken world. 
It is a reclaiming of that which has been robbed from us, the imperative to care and to tend where that is needed, to hand back responsibility and accountability where that is required, to be inclusive and to unify apposing forces, to hold a space open between the world, between the veils, a space for healing, to make peace and to nourish and to nurture, to repair and to restore.
I want to be steering the conversation towards the deep wound that sits at the heart of man and woman. No, the one that dwells deeper still. The great wound that exists in our own psyches, as we come to re-member, to know again the two faces of God that dwell inside of us. The Mother/Father that have been ripped asunder, the divine romance of existence severed. How do we love and heal the feminine within us, how do we withhold from Her, dissociate from Her, betray Her, brutalise Her, within our own beings? How do we love and heal the masculine within us, how do we withhold from Him, dissociate from Him, wound and betray Him, within our own beings?  I want to inquire as to how deeply we can attune to our own mother-wounds,  and the wounds imposed by our fathers, in their overbearance or their absence? Not to lay blame at their feet, but to come to know them as the one in a long line of disempowerment and trauma and maladaption. I want to conjure a great capacity to look to the dark places, the shadow realms within ourselves where the wounds fester and compound in their brutality, in the illusions of shame and separation that feed the hungry ghosts of our own domination and violence, to self, to other, to Earth.

Image and words by Lucy Pierce © 2018