Spending Easter/Eostre deep down in myths, folklore and poetry, looking out over the Himalayan mountain range. Today - If Women Rose Rooted, by Sharon Blackie, about how to transform 'the wastelands of modern society to a place of nourishment and connection', by resurrecting and reinventing the narratives that make up our cultural and bioregional foundations.
Stories matter. From an early age, we make sense of the world and make up our identities through the sharing and passing of stories. The stories of our ancestors were inherited, and many were about heroes who went off on adventure to save a woman from dark forces, and rescue the kingdom. In our surviving mythology, literature and culture, women are often seen as innocent, helpless maidens or alluring, mischievous temptresses needing to be saved or confined, when they used to take the centre stage as guardians and protectors of nature.
Joseph Campell says “Women don’t need to make the hero’s journey. In the whole mythological journey, the woman is there. All she has to realise that she’s the place that people are trying to get to.” With all due respect, he’s missing the point. In the heroine’s journey, it’s not about slaying the dragon, and returning home. It is about uncovering and passing on our authentic values, and waking up to the creative feminine power which will in turn balance the scale of planetary equilibrium.
I would like to see a movement where women and communities revive the stories that have shaped their cultures, tales of how to live in harmony with the land. Freya, Durga, Kali, Huldra, Reina de Floresta, Rán. Stories of wise and powerful females in native mythology, combined with modern environmental literature. Time to unearth the goddesses of the Northern/Scandinavian/Celtic mythological lineage and unleash the heroines of our folklore.
“If women remember that once upon a time we sang with the tongues of seals and flew with the wings of swan, that we forged our paths through the dark forest while creating a community of its many inhabitants, then we will rise up rooted, like trees.” - SB
“Refusing to confine itself in the whalebone corset of national borders, the ‘Celtic fringe’ - made up of specific regions of the countries which stretch along the western oceanic coastline of Europe - binds together richly diverse populations with a strong thread of collective cultural identity. That thread isn’t founded on tribalism or nationalism, not is it about genetics. These entanglements emerge from shared history, mythology and common belief systems; they arise out of a common landscape and environment which brought about a highly distinctive pan-Celtic culture that is rooted in intense feelings of belonging to place”. (Ibid.)
Who are the divine, powerful women of your culture? Which nature-dancers will be of inspiration to the next generations?What will be the storyline of the eco-heroine's journey?
Illustration by Elisabeth Alba picturing the Scandinavian water-goddess Rán, guardian of the Northern seas.