The Outraged Ancestral Mother by Molly


 

crop027During the fifth week of the Rise Up and Call Her Name curriculum by Elizabeth Fisher, “We honor the Outraged Ancestral Mother and the belief that the sacred and secular are one.” When I priestessed this session for my women’s circle, I was caught by the idea of the Outraged Ancestral Mother and we spent some time discussing her and the degree to which humanity has hurt our planet. The next morning while I was practicing yoga, snippets of a poem came floating to my mind. I had the distinct feeling that the Outraged Ancestral Mother was ready to speak to me. I went down to the woods to listen to what she had to say.

 

The Outraged Ancestral Mother March 2013 103
has awoken
she howls through canyons
claws away insecurities and doubts
and stomps illusions into dust.

She rattles hailstones
on rooftops
and whips the seas into
a froth of fury.

She dances the wind
into hurricanes
and she kindles
a wildfire
saying
watch out
it burns
pay attention.

She uproots trees
with her storming
thunders leaves, branches, and houses
down around your ears
crying wake up.

She screeches
on the winds
her voice becoming
a tornado
Swirling madcap
down the corridor
of time.

Goddessgarb 100

Robe by Goddess Garb

She lifts a chalice
of armadillo skin and whale bone
and she cries out
for change.

In the howl of outrage
and sweep of fury
in the crackle
of iced lightning
in the waves
which crest
against the shore
and drag
you out to sea.

In the ferocious beauty
of her howling dance
we glimpse the sun-heart
of love
sharp-edged
ragged
hot
slicing through
the veils
that shroud our thinking

We step through
and join her dance
raising our voices
in the chorus
of her song.

Draping a necklace of skulls
around our throats
and drumming
a wake up call
to our sisters and brothers.

Arise!
The Outraged Ancestral Mother
calls your name
Your blood is on her teeth
she tastes your fears
and your courage…

Woodspriestess: The Outraged Ancestral Mother

The Outraged Ancestral Mother remains one of my favorite theapoetical experiences. She was surprising, rough, wild, and a little scary. Some readers have objected to my use of the words “outrage” and “fury” in a Goddess-oriented context, but quite simply this is not a poem I feel as if I wrote—I feel as if it was spoken through me. The Earth, the Goddess, is not always soft and nurturing. She is sharp. She is spiky. And, she bites. We would all do well to remember this.

After this experience, over the course of the next month, several other “Woman” poems arose spontaneously and formed a series of Womanprayer poems which I eventually collected into a 56 page book of earth-based poetry, currently offered as a free gift for newsletter subscribers on my Brigid’s Grove website (fill in your email on the right hand side of the screen at the site and you will receive the free book within 24 hours). 

Molly is a priestess, writer, teacher, artist, and activist who lives with her husband and children in central Missouri. She is a breastfeeding counselor, a professor, and doctoral student in women’s spirituality at Ocean Seminary College. Molly and her husband co-create at Brigid’s Grove: http://brigidsgrove.com and she blogs about theapoetics, ecopsychology, and the Goddess at http://goddesspriestess.com.

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Categories: Activism, Ancestors, Earth-based spirituality, Ecofeminism, Goddess, Goddess Spirituality, Interdependence of Life, Mother Earth, Poetry, Spirituality, Thealogy

14 replies

  1. Exceedingly timely vision, Molly, thank you!! The first real signs of public outrage in the United States regards global warming, and crossing party lines, is also beginning to manifest. I believe we will soon need a woman president to lead that movement, possibly Hillary Clinton, although Senator Elizabeth Warren would be excellent. Why a woman president now? I think because it would be understood, intuitively, that a woman elected at this time in history, could best lead us in galvanizing that all-important leap, worldwide, in healing and caring for our beloved planet Earth.

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  2. I, too, am grateful for your words and your vision. The other powerful writing that has touched me deeply is Caroline Fairless’ book, The Space Between Church and Not-Church: A Sacramental Vision for the Healing of Our Planet.

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  3. Thank you Molly. Makes me want to start a new mask-designing project. It’s to my chagrin that it’s so hard for me to tap into my grief and anger. You have helped, and I am grateful. (And thank you, Sally, above)

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  4. Hi Molly —

    All of your poetry that I’ve read here or on your Woodspriestess site has the feeling of tapping into the energies of the Earth and the nature-based goddesses in your pantheon. The poems are wonderful. And, of course, right now the Earth IS pissed. We’re changing Her in ways that were not meant to happen, or at least. that She probably didn’t foresee. And we’re calling our existence into question and bringing many other species to the brink of extinction.

    Like you, I have found that some American women attracted to the Goddess want a Hallmark version of Her, one who is sweet and gentle and nurturing. Of course, one of Her faces looks like that. But then there is Sekmet, the voracious lion-headed goddess from Egypt; Pele, the fiery volcano goddess from Hawaii; Kali, the maiden, mother, and crone, who demonstrates the fact that the Goddess eats Her children, because She creates the whole world and that’s all there is to eat…just to name a few.

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    • Thanks for the affirmation, Nancy. I find that modern iterations of the Goddess (perhaps in more casual usage/experience), anything that is not “pretty” doesn’t seem to “count.” The Outraged Ancestral Mother surprised me with her rough edge and wild tone. Not sweet or gentle at all.

      Likewise, I find as a priestess, I expect myself to somehow always be “kind” and nurturing and helpful and responsive. Sometimes I remember there is a place for the warrior-priestess too. The one who bites.

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  5. I don’t think that the Earth has emotions (anger, sadness, etc.) but that humans assign their emotions to their vision of someone/something that must be “in charge.” Truthfully, I believe that we simply reap what we sow, and humans are sowing pollution, violence, and despair. We shouldn’t be surprised when we see the results of our productions. Our children and grandchildren and the other oxygen-breathing creatures will be the sad recipients of our perverse ways. The Earth will prevail, but life may not. Too bad we couldn’t have learned something from the indigenous cultures – those we call “uncivilized” – who lived more in balance with the Earth.

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    • I actually don’t know that the Outraged Ancestral Mother is the Earth herself. This is the language that came through me, but the concept of the Outraged Ancestral Mother is one that comes from African American spirituality (see the Rise Up curriculum for more) and is not specifically supposed to be a personification of the planet.

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  6. Your beautiful poem and post remind me so much of a formidable woman I once knew. I am sending her blessings today thanks to you.

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  7. I love the poem! All words can be used when it comes to a Goddess. If our Ancestral Mother is not fierce and ravishing and ravaging, how will necessary change come about? In our attempts to have a less patriarchal and violent feminine spirituality, we often forget that the Earth Mother covers all aspects of life, not just the pretty, nice, or calm.

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  8. The poem is so on point : ) Mother speaks very cleary through these words. Thank you for sharing. Part of the need and healing of human evolution is to understand that Gaia IS a living conscious organism hence the aliveness of plants water etc. There have been plenty of studies on the consciousness of a plants. Indigenous people, shamanic peoples understand and respect the the intelligence of the planet which is why they now come to teach us what our culture has not be able to perceive since the times of Columbus and the Pilgrims about the intelligence of the land and how this culture’s ignorance has lead us to become a death culture that is going to self implode if we don’t stop to see and respect the divine before our very eyes. I see Earth as a physical expression and manifestation of Mother.In fact we are all divine sparks of Her, and it is difficult for us to raise our consciousness to that simple understanding and truth. Because westerners split themselves off and compartmentalize – what original people see as the illness of the culture – it is very difficult for westerners to conceive the connection of life and all things because of their predominant left brain ways of splitting off from everything – it is what the left brain does and the over reliance and denial of right brained ways of functioning which are very much the realms of what is considered the feminine; the visonary, problem sovling, part of the brain that experinces Oneness with all creation had been dangerously sidelined. The poem is very Dark Mother and she is the one who brings up the deepest levels of unconscious awareness personally and collectively so we can see what needs to change in ourselves and our communities. Skulls represents negative ego or shadow or ways of seeing ourselves that are so out of balance, and of course the images of upheaval on the planet are the planet’s gestation of evolutionary change and rebirth. Birth is a messy proccess. I have found personally as I have aligned with Gaia’s intelligence, and the devic intelligence of life I have been able to avoid worst outcomes of severe storms. This is based on the works of Findhorn and people like Machelle Small Wright “Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered”. I have studied with a woman, Christan Hummel, who teaches these techniques and it is called “Weather Balancing”, but it very much promotes the notion of living in conscious co-creation with a very alive and aware intelligence all around us and beneath our feet she refers to as “The Gaia Matrix”. I am sure people who practice Feng Shui and Dowsing or who work in crystal healing, the cells of the body of the Earth would all confer on the intelligence/aliveness of our planet. You have to have conscious life to sustain it. As we begin to move to right brained Goddess consciousness of being present we will have access to this intelligence that alludes those who have not yet made the journey from left brain ways which I see as old Earth consciousness, to integration of the New Earth right brained ways that embrace the sacredness, interconnectedness and aliveness of the moment and all of creation including what we can and can not perceive which is quite abit according to quantum science. Blessings…

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