a collection of individuals with similar interests or activities <a coven of intellectuals>
an assembly or band of usually 13 witches
Does anybody watch Outlander? If you don’t, I would encourage you to start. It’s got great music courtesy of the staggering talent of Bear McCreary with vocals from the extraordinary Raya Yarbrough, excellent acting, Scotland (if you’ve ever been there, I need not say more), beautiful costumes and power.
It has power.
In the very first episode there is a scene which introduces one of the most important facets of the show. A culture richly steeped in mysticism. You can tell by the clothing worn throughout the episode that it is late fall or winter. Two of the main characters witness an ancient tradition in which women dance among standing stones to welcome in the sun as it rises during the Winter Solstice. They are draped in cloth and the music swells as you watch the sun dapple the horizon with light in the background and they whirl around each other, holding their lanterns high and moving in complex, rhythmic steps. The beauty of their dance makes you hold your breath as you watch this obvious display of female power that is done under the cloak of darkness. It’s secret. It’s primal and it’s very clear….this should not be common knowledge.
I think in all women there is still a touch of this mystic power.
Before doctors, there were midwives and medicine women.
Before Beyoncé there was Boudicca.
There was Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, Demeter, Selene
We ruled the harvest, the moon, love, hearth and home, child birth, war.
Women aren’t taking over the world. This is nothing new. We’ve always had it in the palm of our hand. It’s there at our disposal. We let you think you run it. Ever seen a mad wife or mother? Trust me, there’s a reason Billy Shakes spoketh the truth….hell hath no fury……like a pissed off chick who been doned wrong.
Before there were witches, there were wise women. If you do research on ancient Celtic history you will find a legacy chock full of powerful, wise, strong female rulers. They were queens and seers and warriors.
Native Americans had the Corn Mother, who brought healing to the Earth. Japanese culture had Huichi to whom offerings of fire were made as barter for the energy required to complete the harvest. Inna is a Nigerian Goddess who rules over the yam harvest and brings abundance to all farmers to give offerings in her name. Braciaca is the Celtic Goddess who is responsible for the fermentation of grain to alcohol. Hathor was the Egyptian Goddess who reined over music and dancing.
These Goddesses brought plenty to those who whispered their names.
There were also these…
Badb, the Irish shape shifting Goddess who represents the cycles of life and death. Annis is the keeper of wisdom. Baba Yaga is considered the mistress of magic. Elli is the Norse Goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match. Athena was the Goddess of wisdom, law, strength, and war strategy…to start.
Every ancient culture has references to these powerful, formidable goddess.
My wish is for something closer to dancing on a hilltop during sunrise at solstice. A group of women who would dare dance with me if for nothing more than the joy of it. The freedom of dancing as the mists swirl with dawn, the feel of the grass beneath our feet and the smells of water, earth, air and fire.
Before they were considered witches…before we were considered bitches…..we were sisters of the goddess.
We sang to them and praised them and revered their wisdom and drew our considerable strength from them.
This is not a matter of hating men. The power of a woman is that she doesn’t need to scream from the rooftops. She doesn’t need to flex her muscles to prove her power.
I don’t wish to compete with a man. I wish to tell some of them, we know you’re intimidated and you should be. This also isn’t a chest thumping, you can’t do what I can do thing. I’m not envious of any body part a man has. NOT ONE. Sorry. Can’t chalk it up to that either. Boobs make the world go round, honey. Boobs are round, pregnant bellies are round, the world is round…you keep on thinking that.
As women, we are aware of the other women we know who are powerful without fear or need to prove we’re the Alpha. Women are strong and wise and we form friendships regardless of status, age, race, religion…we are drawn to the humanity in each other. There is something powerful in the friendships of women. We are the truest reflection our friends see of themselves. We are the gauge which determines if all is well with the world. Women are raw and sometimes raunchy. Ever been to a bar with your best girl friends? Or on their couch? Or on the phone when they see their 10 year old did not flush the toilet? I know some of the conversations I’ve had with my own friends. Once a table of guys got up and left looking backwards in fear and awe and I’m just gonna leave that there….
Most women, myself included have nothing they need to prove. Not to ourselves. We know what we’re capable of. When we see men lamenting about their to do lists….
Go ahead Toots, try to do what we do in an hour let alone a day and let’s chat about that shall we?
Our capacity for forgiveness is as vast and open as the sky itself. If it were not….the world would be sad place indeed. You can take that subtext any way you need to.
We use the word coven as if it’s a bad thing. Or that somehow it implies some attraction to darkness. I’m Presbyterian dude…we don’t do guilt and sin and all that crap. We’re pretty straight forward. Do right. Be kind. Tell the truth and God will think you’re groovy. I believe hell is right here on earth. Don’t believe me? Watch the news.
We need more covens. These are women who believe in each other. I know my immediate coven. I’d die for any one of them. No questions asked.
The beautiful thing is…..I’m always open to additions.