Drunk with the Virgin Mary

This is the PREFACE to my book, “The Spiritual Feminist”.   Do you have your copy?  What!? No?…Click on the link in this paragraph and order your copy today.  (You’re welcome.)

Preface

The only appealing part of Catholicism for me was the Virgin Mary. I know now that this was a natural attraction to the Goddess, the Divine Feminine. It was also a protective mechanism, a flinching away from the hard and fast patriarchal control and power of the male priests around me and their insistence on keeping all things feminine in what they thought of as a proper perspective, i.e. in it’s place according to their doctrine. Looking back, I can see that the nuns were also inexplicably and totally transfixed by this iconic female figure, though I don’t think they totally understood their own fixation. They spent a great deal of time emphasizing and re-emphasizing the fact that the father, son, and holy ghost were “divine”, but Mary was not.

Poor Mary, a humble human, impregnated out of wedlock, married off to Joseph, a gallant man praised for his merciful attitude to take on this mess in order to help out a woman who would be stoned to death for her condition, were it to become public knowledge. Poor Mary… “Big wheels keep on turnin’; Proud Mary keep on burnin’…”1

The father of her unborn illegitimate child was revered to the world as the God of all creation, inspired and egged-on by his androgynous sidekick, the holy ghost; and together they conspire to keep Mary right where they want her, at the bottom of the spiritual totem pole, a useful vessel, a walking womb, an attractive and appealing incubator, and a publicist’s dream.

In the end, they underestimated the power and strength of feminine spirituality; they underestimated the ingrained ancestral instinct to embrace matriarchal divinity. At the end of the day, the spiritual icon left to walk the red carpet is a little Jewish woman with her own set of prayer beads and a kick ass attitude.

Baby, the Goddess is back.

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1This quote is words from the song “Proud Mary”, by Tina Turner.

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“The Spiritual Feminist”– Cover & Release Date!!!

Big BOOK NEWS!!!….Here’s the cover for my next book, “The Spiritual Feminist”!!! I love it!! Thank you to all the talented editors & artists at Moon Books! (You guys are awesome!)

The artist who did the Apple Heart sculpture for the cover is my daughter Anne! This piece is inspired by the Adam & Eve myth and is part of her Broken Hearts  collection.  I’m just thrilled to death that her art made the cover!  It feels like an amazing and unique mother/daughter collaboration.

Ladies!!!…This Book Is For You!

   RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2015

 A Review:

“Part devotional, part grimoire and part empowerment manual, The Spiritual Feminist offers readers her-stories, anecdotes and correspondences for dozens of goddesses. A wise, accessible and often irreverent guide, author Amythyst Raine-Hatayama reveals the Goddess in us all, showing women of all ages how to honor, embody and invoke Her many facets. Once I began reading The Spiritual Feminist, I couldn’t stop. The feeling of understanding, and being understood, forged an intimate connection to the Goddess—riveting me to the page—stirring spiritual yearnings and opening new ways of seeing Her…almost as if for the first time.”

~Janet Boyer, Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer, PaganSquare Sacred Symbols blogger and author of Back in Time Tarot, Naked Tarot, 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations and other titles

My Next Book: The Spiritual Feminist

“The Spiritual Feminist”

“Part devotional, part grimoire and part empowerment manual, The Spiritual Feminist offers readers her-stories, anecdotes and correspondences for dozens of goddesses. A wise, accessible and often irreverent guide, author Amythyst Raine-Hatayama reveals the Goddess in us all, showing women of all ages how to honor, embody and invoke Her many facets. Once I began reading The Spiritual Feminist, I couldn’t stop. The feeling of understanding, and being understood, forged an intimate connection to the Goddess—riveting me to the page—stirring spiritual yearnings and opening new ways of seeing Her…almost as if for the first time.”

~Janet Boyer, Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer, PaganSquare Sacred Symbols blogger and author of Back in Time Tarot, Naked Tarot, 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations and other titles

Coming soon!

Published by Moon Books, John Hunt Publishing

The Witch’s Desk: Women Learning to Trust Women

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I watched a wonderful DVD series this week highlighting the birth of feminine spirituality.  It was full of all the inspiring women of the time– Starhawk, Jean Bolyn, Merlin Stone, Shekinah Mountainwater, as well as a score of other eloquent and beautiful Ladies (authors, activists, film producers, artists, etc.).  The main concept that struck me was the idea that the emergence of the patriarchal system, along with the fall of the goddess, all contributed to the erosion of feminine spirituality, the end of matriarchy, and its biggest impact was on women’s relationships with other women.  We lost the “Sisterhood”.  We became suspicious of each other.  Something was stolen from us, something almost intangible, something undefinable. The unity was gone, the respect was gone, the connection was warped and broken.

With the advent of the snake and the apple story, the whole women-are-responsible-for-the-downfall-of-civilization phenomena, respect and power, camaraderie and trust, were all lost for the women of the world.  The new patriarchal culture threw a dark shadow on womanhood, and it was contagious, contagious even to us, to women.  My mother and I talked about this once, how women behave towards other women, the back-stabbing, the bitchiness, the suspicion.  It was an accurate observation, and it left us to ponder.

Can it be repaired?  And if so, what can be done to fix it?

1.  We come towards each other already suspicious, suspicious of motives, intentions, sincerity…

and this crap involves all aspects of life– beginning with men (husbands, boyfriends, significant others).  Why?  Why don’t we trust other women in our lives with our partners, even when we have no legitimate reason not to?  Is it just a hormonal mating Neanderthal thing?  I hope not.  I’d like to think that we’ve evolved past this.  Maybe it’s our own insecurity– Are we attractive enough, are we too fat, are we too thin, are we satisfying sexual partners, are we successful enough, are we accomplished enough?  Is this other woman prettier, is she younger, is she more accomplished, more successful, more desirable?

We have to work at building and maintaining a healthy ego.  We have to learn to appreciate ourselves, to meet our full potential, to find the joy in life.  We have to learn to be all that we were meant to be; and we have to learn to be proud of this.  We have to learn to relish pride in ourselves.  This isn’t being egotistical; it’s being healthy, it’s being honest, it’s being strong.

2.  We’ve got backstabbing down to a fine art…

There is nothing worse than a hen-party that takes on a very dark energy when the hens start pecking at a missing sister.  Why do we do this?  And it gains momentum, it really does, as each woman in turn comes up with a negative observation, a piece of gossip, something that they would never dream of saying to the victim’s face.  Why?…enjoyment, in some weird and twisted way?…a primeval instinct to travel in packs, and to gang up on a member who doesn’t fit into all the correct forms, all the politically/socially correct boxes and niches?  Or is it a power play, since we still obviously possess pack mentality, and there has to be an Alpha female, so we’ll spar and battle until only one is left standing?

3.  There is no sense of “Sisterhood”, no sense of loyalty, real loyalty, the old-fashioned kind..

“I’ll be your friend till the end.”…what a beautiful sentiment, but I don’t believe a word of it.  It’s more like…”I’ll be your friend until you don’t conform to my idea of what you should be; I’ll be your friend until someone else comes along that I’m more infatuated with, I’m more in-tune with; until someone else comes along that satisfies me emotionally in the friend department, someone who agrees with me, someone who will follow me.  I’ll be your friend, until I don’t feel like it anymore.

I wrote a blog post a few years ago, in which I describe my idea of a friend and ‘sister’…

“A Sister, should be a Sister, should be a Sister…*Forever*.  It’s not a ‘when-I-feel-like-it’ thing; it should not rely on the conditions of outside influences, human frailties, insecurities, or pettiness.  A Sister is someone you grow old with; and on your way to this destination, you pass all the other stages of life– bumpy, smooth, unpleasant, and joyous– and you know, without a crumb of a doubt, that your Sister will travel this road with you, shoulder to shoulder, to the end and beyond.”

4.  There is no common spiritual ground (the goddess) in today’s culture, patriarchy dominates the scene…

I know that I’ve personally lost friends because of my spiritual path– from Jehovah’s Witnesses, to Christian Fundamentalist, to just plain Christians in the mainstream.  If we don’t travel the same spiritual path, apparently, we cannot travel together at all.  Why?  It’s joyous to share a friendship with someone who views life and spirituality in the same way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace friends who forge different trails.  There can always be a general meeting place in the center of the forest, a sunny clearing where we can all lay aside our differences to gather together and share life’s experiences, and plans, and disappointments, and victories.

This is the hard part of this essay.  I feel that the reader will expect me to end with some magickal solution to this problem, some instant fix, and I don’t think this is possible.  In that case, it makes this blog post more of an observation, which leaves more questions here, at the end, than it did to start with. But I believe we have to look back, far into the past, when the Goddess ruled the earth and woman’s power was respected. We have to look back, far into the past, when society viewed woman, in all stages of her life, with reverence and awe.  We have to look back, far into the past, to an ancient time, when women had respect for themselves…and respect for their sisters.

 

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Positive Affirmations for Women

(This is an excerpt from my next book, based on women’s spirituality and the feminine divine, a brief  “sneak peek”, if you will.)

The Physical Aspect

1.  This is my body…No one shall touch this body without my express permission; no one shall impose upon my body a physical action, intention, criteria, procedure, or judgment, that I have not expressly approved.  This is my body, created by the Mother Goddess in all the glory of her likeness.  Whether this body be large or small, fit or weak, whether this  body align with the cultural views and norms of my society or not; my body is beautiful and will be respected as such.

The Spiritual Aspect

1.  I will connect with the universe through the Divine Feminine, and through that connection with my ancestors and the root of all that is me…For centuries the Divine Feminine has been ripped from the heart and soul of womanhood, shrouded in stories of evil encompassing snakes and apples, betrayal and guilt. Womanhood needs to wrestle its freedom from this lie, to regain its strength and equilibrium through the power of the Mother Goddess.

Through the youthful exuberance of the Maiden, the fertility of the Mother, and the wisdom of the Crone, we have to pass on to our daughters the beauty of the feminine mystique, impressing upon them the reverence and respect that is its due. While the world still revolves around the decisions of men, it is women who harvest its bounty through their children, their art, their writing, their dreams, and their strong sense of nurturing. It is woman who builds up; and through her spirituality and connection with the Goddess, woman can repair the damage of previous generations, building new futures and opportunities for her children.

With our strong and renewed sense of connection to the Feminine Divine, the most important thing we can do is to impart upon our fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons the strength, beauty, wisdom, and power of womanhood at its most pure. We can lead them back to the Goddess, who is, after all, their Mother too.

The Mental Aspect

1.  I will not allow other people’s opinions to form the image I carry of myself…Whether these opinions are formed and passed on to me by friends, family, or foe; if these opinions are filled with negativity, if these opinions are laced with jealousy, spite, judgmental prejudice, ambiguity, cruelty, or ignorance, I will disregard these opinions.  These opinions will be shed as a snake sheds its skin, leaving renewed vitality and beauty beneath, exposing my true nature, in tune with the Goddess and a healthy ego.

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Which Goddess Guides You?

Do you have a particular Goddess who is your patroness?  How did you choose Her, or did She choose you?  Have you had a spiritual experience through this Goddess?  What do you do to honor this Feminine Divinity?

…I’m working on my 5th book, which deals with spiritual feminism and matriarchal spirituality.  I’d like to include in this book women’s personal experiences with the goddess.  The material received may be included (anonymously, of course) in this book.  If you’d like to relate your experiences, you can leave a message here, or if it’s too personal, you can send me a private email at:

witch_of_endore@yahoo.com

Blessed Be

Magick

Secrets of a Spiritual Feminist (part 1): Women, Sex, God, Relationships, & Life

(Note that sexual observations are made from a heterosexual point of view, because that is the only experience I have on which to base these observations.)

1. Sex is incidental to attraction. Sometimes women make love to men they find incredibly breathtakingly handsome, but other times they choose a man who is not. As a matter of fact, quite often they will choose someone who is not, which for some reason surprises people. Sometimes ‘safe’ is better than the other option; and sometimes it might have to do with a challenge or personal insecurities, though women often won’t recognize or admit that this element exists. It doesn’t help that our society and the media have given the undeserved label of ‘bad boy’ to the handsome men of the world. (Oh, those scoundrels, easy on the eyes, hard on the heart.)

2. Attraction encompasses something otherworldly, something intangible, something unspoken. I have no idea why I found R.K. attractive in ninth grade. I have no idea why I worshipped someone who treated me badly, was rude and obnoxious, someone who delighted in proving on a daily basis his superiority and his dominance of this…this what?…in ninth grade, idolizing someone from a far, or at least across the room, couldn’t possibly be considered a relationship. At any rate, this exemplifies woman’s downfall, our Achilles heel. It’s one big fat reason that we let men– and relationships– get the best of us. Damn, we have to learn to suck it up and be in control of our hormones instead of our hormones being in control of us.

3. Women like to be on top, and not just where sex is concerned. Just as the demon goddess, Lilith, Adam’s first wife, is reputed to have fled the coop because of this innuendo, so women ‘fly the coop’– abandoning relationships, homes, families, and careers, because of an innate desire to rise to the top, figuratively speaking. When not given this opportunity, we will seek it elsewhere. It is a constant life-long quest. (Strangely enough, when men are driven this way it’s considered *Ambition*; when women are driven this way it’s considered *Obsession*)

4. Women don’t always like other women: fat women dislike skinny women; homely women dislike beautiful women; puritanical women dislike the hot and sexy sexually liberated woman (their name for her is whore). Women band in groups to dislike another woman or group of women– it’s true, you know, that there is strength in numbers. And when women get together to do their evil best to down a fellow member of the female sex, it can be every bit as brutal, deceitful, and bloody as the most vicious fist fight among men. (Although the ‘bloodiness’ is more figurative than literal, and the wounds go much deeper.) I can’t help but feel that jealousy plays into our lives far more than we are aware, or far more than we are willing to admit, even to ourselves.

5. God sucks. The patriarchal stereotypical testicular god of the so called ‘mainstream’ world societies, that is. He is also a trouble-monger, a spoiled brat, and totally impotent when it comes to just about everything. In the face of what people consider ‘His creation’, he’s like an inept husband who doesn’t know which end of the screwdriver is which, a guy who has to call someone to take care of every piddly little thing that goes wrong around the house; except that he, or “He”, doesn’t seem to have anyone to call, so the world goes to hell in a hand basket while he calmly states that it is ‘his will’– (yes, dear, I meant for the north wall of the house to collapse, I meant to remove that support beam…it was my will) Ya, right.

6. I hate it when I want to send an email to a female friend and she shares an email address with her husband. Typically it’s older women who do this. I’ll send them girly things anyway; I figure if their husbands don’t want to get my emails they’ll either give their little woman permission to set up her own email account, or they’ll block me (and one did). I always suggest that these women get their own account, though I haven’t seen this happening, and I don’t understand it at all. One woman I know of is basically computer illiterate and her husband gave her the idea that it was “Her Fault” the computer froze up, rant and rave, rant and rave…so of course, now she’s scared to death to touch the damn thing at all– and I have to wonder, cynical ole’ me, if maybe this isn’t what he was hoping for.