Rest awhile, Dear Reader, and dream along with me. We’re standing on a corner, call it Main Street, Any City, USA. We’re chatting, passing the time of day, being happy we can stand among other people without the fear of a giant virus jumping out of someone’s breath and attacking us. It’s a nice day here on the street. Not much traffic.
Oh, look—there’s a huge box in the middle of the intersection. It’s shabby, looks to be made of old, thin wood loosely clamped together. The box starts shaking, rocking back and forth. What’s in there? Something is obviously trying to get out. As we watch, an orange mist starts seeping out through the cracks in the box. More shaking. Now the box seems to be jumping. More orange mist. And the box shatters. An orange form—is it human? It’s fat. It’s shaking an iPhone. Or is that a golf club? The orange one speaks. “Do you miss me yet?” “Stand back and stand by.” “I’ll be baa-ack.”
The wood lying on the pavement around the box rises and falls, and now we see what we thought was thin slats of wood is really scorched and trampled sheets of paper. Very old paper. If we look closely, we can see words written on some of them. Here’s one: In Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility…. On another crumpled sheet of paper: Representatives … shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union…. And we can read through the dirty footprints on another: Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President…. Another sheet of paper, lying facedown, looks almost alive, almost as if some shredded document is trying to stand up:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Yes, these torn and scattered pieces of paper are all related. They’re trying to rebuild themselves back into a document.
Suddenly we feel a strong pressure all around us. It’s a crowd of men, a mob pressing forward toward the orange figure standing on the shattered box. They’re all stomping over the shredded document. They’re angry white men. Carrying weapons. Wearing fur hats with huge buffalo horns sticking out. Many of these madmen are (OMGdss!) naked and painted. And oh! Look down! The horns in their hats are bigger, longer, stronger than their quivery nether parts. The madmen are pushing forward, shoving us aside, trampling again on the destroyed document whose pages still lie discarded in the street. The orange figure is becoming marginally more human. Listen! What are they shouting? “Stop the steal!” “Bring him back!” “We always knew he was right!” Yeah, we think, far right.
How can we watch this? How can we stand to witness what is happening here? But wait…something else is happening. We’re feeling another kind of strength coming toward us. A perfumed mist is seeping into the intersection, beginning to fill the street. Do we hear voices in the mist? Female voices? “We are the weavers! We are the web!” From another direction: “There was a time when we were not slaves!” From the rooftops: “Many strong and beautiful women—we arise again!” And all around us: “The circle is cast. We are coming to you. We bring earth, air, water, fire, and spirit. We are between the worlds, now the circle is cast!”
They’re coming forward from all directions. The goddesses. Our ancient mothers, our protectresses, our guardians…escaped from their prisons and restored to their original powers. They’re coming back to help us. Goddesses of wisdom: Danu, Chokhma, Shakti, Minerva. Goddesses of law and justice: Maat, the Erinyes, Nemesis, Durga, Themis. The warrior goddesses: Al-Uzza, Oya, Brynhild, Judith, Scathach, Tiamat. Others we cannot quite see yet. But we can feel their awakening power. Oh, Dreamers—look around! See the goddesses coming from the four sacred elemental directions. From the north—the Valkyries on their huge stallions. From the east—Green Tara leading a battalion of Buddhist and Hindu goddesses. From the south—an army of indigenous goddesses led by Cihuacoatl, Tonantzin, and Mama Pacha. And from the west—the Amazons aiming their inerrant spears and arrows.
And in the sky above us clouds begin gathering, reaching down into the earth, pulling up energies, flowing, forming, reforming. A golden figure appears. Isis. She is striding across the sky. We can see her determination to achieve justice. We can feel her sacred, life-restoring touch.
The madmen in the street finally see the goddesses, too. Oh boy, do they! They’ve just become aware of a power stronger, fiercer, more enduring than any of their false gods. More enduring than all of them—all the madmen and all their jealous gods put together. Stronger and infinitely more intelligent than their orange idol, who is still shaking his iPhone. The madmen can’t hide.
Well, Dear Co-Dreamers, let it go almost without saying that the goddesses get to work right away and make short work of banishing the misogynists, the racists, the fascists. The goddesses cut off their, er, horns and wash their mouths out with soap. As we watch, the goddesses drive the madmen and the orange one into a cave under a mountain, throw in some fast food, and then padlock the door. As the goddesses return to their proper realms, the good men now come forward and join our celebration of a dream coming true. Let it go almost without saying that now that the orange one is gone, peace, justice, and kindness can be restored upon the earth. If we keep working at it.
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com), is a published author and freelance editor. Her newest book is Secret Lives, a novel about grandmothers who do magic. Her earlier nonfiction books include the daybook Pagan Every Day, Finding New Goddesses (a pun-filled parody of goddess encyclopedias), and Goddess Meditations. When she can get away from the computer, she goes to the theater as often as possible—she loves musical theater and movies in which people sing and dance. She is also an active CERT (Community Emergency Rescue Team) volunteer and a member (and occasional secretary pro-tem) of a neighborhood organization that focuses on code enforcement and safety for citizens. She has been an AIDS emotional support volunteer and a literacy volunteer. She is an active member of the neopagan community and is well known for the rituals she creates and leads.