June 4, 2019

{Dressed to Protest}


Join me Western North Carolina (lovely Sylva) to kick off the U.S. Suffrage Centennial celebration!




May 19, 2019

{A Gracious Year of Kindness}


In honor of the first wedding anniversary of Prince Harry and  Meghan Markle (and their spiritual partnership shared with the world), I'm reconnecting you to the article I wrote following their inspired ceremony last spring..."A Day of Gracious Gestures and Love Power"...enjoy.

Also, a link to the "Sussex Royal" Instagram account where the couple shared never-released photos from the May 19th wedding! xoxo



April 29, 2019

{Happy Anniversary...with Love}


In honor of Prince William and Duchess Catherine's wedding anniversary—they married eight years ago today—Vogue is highlighting “A Look Back at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Romance”….enjoy their story and slideshow!



April 14, 2019

{Goddess Journey} Part Two


Sharing another section from the Goddess Journey chapter of my book-in-progress, A Memory of Love: The Spiritual Mission of a Princess.

 The Reappearing Goddess

“In the middle of the 1970s,” a decade before most of the world became aware of Lady Diana Spencer—and before she added her own ‘goddess’ essence to modern culture“a paradigm shift took place, partly inspired by the rapid development of the women’s movement,” wrote Lanier Graham. The author of Goddesses told of various books of the time that “revolutionized how people looked at the roots of their spiritual heritage.”

Before books like The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe by archaeologist Marija Gimbutas and When God Was a Woman by art historian Merlin Stone, then later in 1987, a heralded game-changer, The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler, “history textbooks had been stating or implying that the male had always been dominant in Western theology.” The consciousness-shifting winds of the more open-minded Aquarian Age were blowing through—energies we saw in the social upheavals of the 1960s and ‘70s—and a truer history of women was being revealed. “Western culture had been dominated by the male-oriented values of Indo-European culture for so long that it took a social revolution—the women’s movement—to start to bring it into balance,” explained Graham.

Discoveries in archaeology, studies in mythology, scholars of social history and linguistics were finding that “goddess cultures tended to be egalitarian, earth-centered, and nonviolent,” and these findings were then being taught in colleges and universities. “The image of the earth as sacred and society as balanced between male and female,” Graham wrote in 1997, “has become a powerful inspiration to people in the women’s movement, the ecology movement, and many other new ways of thinking.”

Joseph Campbell reminded us: “The goddess represents nature. The god represents society. And when you have a mythology that accents a god over a goddess you have a religion that accents society over nature. Then with the Fall, nature itself is cursed.” As we felt these goddess nudges in the first years of the twenty-first century, it was only natural that women and family issues of health and well-being and concerns about the environment were in the headlines. (Our Mother Earth, after all, is metaphorically represented by women’s bodies.) “There is something coming up in our own consciousness now, with the ecology movement,” Campbell wrote over fifty years ago, “recognizing that by violating the environment in which we are living, we are really cutting off the energy and the source of our own living.” It is this “sense of accord” that is so disrupted today. No wonder humans are so out-of-sorts; they have not been in accord with themselves, their very nature, since this break in consciousness. No wonder with the power of this reappearing goddess energy that so much fear-based, women-bashing backlash has been stirred up!

I had a real-life experience of this years ago, and a reflection of the hateful conflicts now on the rise today. In the late 1990s, a friend and I went on a day-long road trip from Atlanta to Huntsville, Alabama, to see an exhibit at the Space Center, where neither of us had ever visited. We turned off the expressway and while driving through the rural countryside, I saw a sign with huge, hand-painted letters; it was like a punch in the gut similar to what I felt on November 9, 2016. The message read: “FATHER CHURCH, YES. MOTHER NATURE, NO.”

That seems to sum up this violent backlash coming at us today, as I sit here writing in 2018—with the toxic masculine and the dark feminine trying to destroy the “mother” in all of us, the nurturing spirit of humanity, the health and well-being of our life-sustaining home, our sacred mother, our “Mother Earth.”

Lanier Graham gives us this history, writing at the end of the twentieth century:

...a few thousand years ago many goddess-oriented civilizations were destroyed by extremely aggressive Indo-European tribes. They demolished the old cities and then reconfigured civilization throughout most of the settled world from Greece to India. These barbarians worshipped aggressive sky gods and had scant room in their theology for goddesses; to them, women were little more than property and sexual objects. Not only did male gods become supreme, but females lost their sacredness, in a dramatic turning-around in human history that my friend Joseph Campbell called the ‘patriarchal inversion.’ It was even argued by some fathers of the early Christian Church in Rome that women had no souls. Twentieth-century men have at last started to realize that when males lost their reverence for that which is female, they also lost something within themselves.

The grasping, last-gasp obscenities of this “patriarchal inversion” were on display in the dignified halls of the United States Senate Building in Washington D.C. in the autumn of 2018 when leering, screeching white men defended their outdated network of cruelty and cronyism—no matter the cost or number of souls squandered—against one lone, brave woman speaking her truth. (And whether anyone was aware or not, she was representing the goddess spirit in us all.) This cowardly mischief was cheered on by a president whose motto seems to come directly from Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s patched-together monster, as written by Mary Shelley two-hundred years ago: “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.”

This is what happens when humanity is disconnected from the “spiritual feminine,” Jim Fitzgerald wrote in “The Death of the Heart,” his essay for When a Princess Dies. “Since Reformation times, there has been a dearth of religious imagery, particularly of women, through which both men and women might maintain a connection to the spiritual feminine.” What imagery that remained left “a divine King but no Queen” in both the consciousness and unconsciousness of men and women. This created a split, according to Fitzgerald, as the feminine spirit became an object of “the rational mind”—and its profane opinions and deprived thoughts. “This split—of mind from matter, of spirit from nature—has continued to the present.” However, when he wrote this at the time of Diana’s death, near the end of a millennium, Fitzgerald was among many who sensed things were changing. “The values of the heart, not those of the mind, have begun to be sought after and appreciated. A new relationship to the Earth and Nature is growing. We are witnessing a change of heart.” 

The rise of Trumpery—and the hate it stands for and the “loss of soul” it reveals—is a desperate strike against this new heart energy. “I think it was this that Diana, as a woman of the times, equally a sufferer from the ills and neuroses of modern life, it was this new heart that she represented,” Fitzgerald added. And it is this “new heart”—a sacred calling of the “spiritual feminine”—that Diana and Charles’ sons inherited and now speak its message, as well as live its values, from their spot-lit world stage. These are aware, awakening men—who attracted and married aware, awake women—and they are rallying the “new heart” troops, encouraged along by the reemerging goddess consciousness their mother helped crack open!

I think of Diana and her sons when I read lines from a Sharon Olds’ poem about feeling less raw after experiencing such heartache, “as if some goddess of humanness within us caressed us with a gush of tenderness.”


[Glorious Inanna,” third and final section of this goddess-focused chapter, posted soon.]

March 24, 2019

{Goddess Journey} - Part One


This is the first of three excerpts from the Goddess Journey chapter of my book-in-progress (tentatively titled) A Memory of Love: The Spiritual Journey of a Princess. Enjoy....xo 

GODDESS JOURNEY 
{Part One}
“Diana was an ascendant female,” explained Jungian scholar Josephine Evetts-Secker, “who could flout both the patriarchy and matriarchal order, fulfilling and negating feminist ideals; lauded as independent woman by some and by others castigated as a Barbie-doll princess.” Naturally charismatic with star quality, Diana attracted a variety of stars from the entertainment worldElton John, Pavarotti and Freddie Mercury (there’s a story of Diana going clubbing, in disguise, with Queen's lead singer and his pals)—just as she befriended well-known people who were “aspirants to justice” like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. Writing in her essay “The People’s Princess,” Evett-Secker continued: “She bridged the glittery world of fashion and the seat of Establishment power. She was as much the female trickster as goddess; so seen, so mysterious, hiding quixotically behind apparent transparency; unconsciously manipulating concealment and revelations, echoing archaic mystery conventions.” 

Like many scholars from the Jungian school of thought, Evetts-Secker compared Diana to various goddess archetypes. To Aphrodite, who “dissolved resistance” and inspired a dynamic of “an ancient strategy, through love to power.” To “girlish Persephone” because of Diana’s playfulness while tiptoeing around danger, and to Demeter as “the raging mother protecting her sons from public assault by those who wanted to peddle their images.”

As a daughter, sister, friend, bride, princess, wife, mother, divorcĂ©e, lover, fashion-plate, healer and ambassador, Diana’s life stages, her womanly rites of passages, were lived out in a world arena for all to see. And since her life was and still is examined like few others, its complexity offers an intriguing milieu, connecting the spirit of all women. “Diana was a divided, unhappy and bewildered Princess,” Evett-Secker added, “as well as an ebullient beauty, graceful, opulent and full of vivid, if vulnerable and threatened, life.”

Or as counselor Steffan Vanel stated in his book, Charles and Diana, An Inside Story: An Astrological-Karmic View: “Diana embodied a complexity of contradictions which would enable virtually everyone to see and hear their own story or agenda in her life.” Diana’s contradictions were indeed our own. 

Ann Shearer, writing through a Jungian lens about her observances of Diana’s memorial service, noted the paradoxical images used about the late princess, from powerful goddess to helpless victim. “And here is a central paradox: the forces of unity that ‘Diana’ became grew the stronger for the very complexity of contradictions she contained. As we learned more of her real and fictitious selves,” Shearer continued in her “Tales of the Unfolding Feminine” essay, “and the legends around her grew, she carried for us an incontestable truth: that we humans must struggle with a mass of inconsistencies within ourselves and somehow learn to honour them.”

Another Jungian analyst, Ian Alister, shared this take in his essay “Your Cheating Heart” from When A Princess Dies: 

An extraordinary feature of Diana’s life, from her engagement to her death, was the extent of public exposure, providing many personal details and characteristics which could act as pegs for our own individual projections. It had all the qualities of a soap opera except that this was real. We could watch this drama which involved the suffering and sacrifice of a person who carries a symbolic charge for most of us, whether consciously or not. We can feel it, think about it, and try to relate it to continuous psychological processes within us. To make sense of it in this way, to give it meaning, is part of our struggle to make body and mind whole. 

Perhaps that was a gift of Diana’s life, in support of both women and men, then and now, to make sense of and to honor our whole”—body, mind and spirit. And, in turn, a deepening of soul. It’s an inner journey calling forth our wise intuitive intelligence and a depth of feminine-grounded compassion, tapping into mythological longings and long-ago legends that can reveal a magnificent peeling-away-of-layers kind of journey. A journey where we all can hear the call of the goddess.

In the words of Rumi, the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic: “There’s a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen to it, as the personal self breaks open.” Such a break open of self holds the possibility of an extraordinary rite of passage into an intimate journey, measured only by the level of our courage, where we just might discover the authentic spirit of, for men, the empathetic side of masculinity, and for women, the authentic spirit of our womanliness, indeed, our own goddess nature. Not unlike one princess-swirled exploration in all its archetypal glory once upon a time.

[Part Two next time, “The Reappearing Goddess”...then Part Three, Glorious Inanna]