When the Goddess fell, Woman learned to expertly conceal, to deflect and to hide in plain sight. Concealing the natural grace of her body within the rigid hourglass of the corset and the destabilizing tilt of the high heel. Hiding her spells and incantations within the lullaby and the bedtime story. Deflecting attention from her cat’s eyes with the distraction of mascara and a down-turned gaze.
When the Goddess fell she did not die; no, she shape-shifted, sank into the softness of the soil, into the tangle of the roots, into the consciousness of the mycelium, into the darkness of mystery and life and growth and death. Territory that was always Hers to begin with.
They thought it was a tomb….But no. It was a cauldron.
Cast from the iron boiling within the earth, the bones of our Mothers and Grandmothers, the Lionesses of our lineage who walk and hunt and die in the mountains, their bodies feeding the soil from which Lynx lifts Her ears and tends her secrets expectantly; awake at all times, at odd times; waking at awed times.
An expert at hiding in plain sight, the Lioness is; the Lynx is; the Bobcat is. Transmitting invisibility to their descendent, the Housecat, who sits on the windowsill in the sun, feigning domestication, but at any moment able to harness the energy of these sun rays and fade into the trees and disappear forever.
When the Goddess fell, into the cauldron was placed a seed, safe within the container of iron and soil. Coiled, cocooned, sheathed, protected, warm…Sensing only faintly the danger all around, ignoring for now the ominous pursuers, for in this place and for a time the seed was safe in its hibernation.
The landscape shifted, and there came a time when the ears of the Lynx were visible through the window, bounding past the edge of the cauldron. The safe comfort of the seed gave way to the daring curiosity of the seedling, exploding with capacity in its vulnerable stretch above the surface of the soil. The pursuers halted their pursuit at the sight of this tiny unfolding. “Is THIS who we’ve been looking for? Is this She whom we are meant to strike down?”
“But no, it cannot be Her. For this is only a tiny seedling, only a kitten with outstretched paw. Surely, this insignificant being is not the powerful threat we sense to our delicious imbalance, She whom we seek to squash and bury yet again. Leave it be and search on.”
Hiding in plain sight. They thought that in the seedling they had found weakness and insignificance. The fools. For what could be more powerful than the tenderest life form pushing its way into the harsh world? Vulnerable in the literal sense: To expose one’s self to danger. What could be more significant than moving with determination, and against all odds, in the direction of life?
The seedling reaches for life amidst danger, and soon she stands as a sapling, tall and slender, maturing in the wild tangle of young branches and leaves. Below the soil, Her roots reach for those of Her sisters, timidly asking for support from the buffeting wind, joyfully receiving what she needs from sisterhood. Above the soil, their branches intertwine together, providing welcoming shade for the Bobcat, a place of rest for the Eagle before she lifts off into the sky, dancing in spirals with her Grandmother as they survey the land. Arid, flat, seeming to go on forever, another layer in the strata; another layer bringing us closer to the moment of danger.
Grandmother Eagle sees the danger coming, for her eyes are still sharp. And yet, she pulls away from her Granddaughter, who feels a moment of panic, until she understands the deep truth: This is not an abandonment. This is a passing of the torch. A passing of the spell book. An entrusting of the dreams, the wisdom, the knowledge of shape-shifting.
Now is the Moment of the Granddaughter, nourished by her Grandmother’s stories. Now is the Moment of the Sapling, grown strong in the rich soil of her lineage. Now is the Moment when the Lynx hands her secrets over to the Mountain Lion, who steps out from behind the trees to lead.
Now is the moment when the frantic hands of the pursuers snatch through the window in desperation at the spell-books the Granddaughters carry, for now—NOW—they can see that it is they who are in danger.
It has been they all along.
For when the Goddess fell, her bones became the bones of the Mountain, rising now high and steep above the arid plain. Her voice calls down from the snowy peak, drifting to the ears of the Lynx on the swirling wind, whipping the branches of the sapling, penetrating the deep soil to awaken the seed. A call to Her Daughters and Granddaughters and Great-Granddaughters:
“Come, come, come as you are," she sings. "My peaks beckon. Though the wind up here is strong and the snow deep, you shall not want for warmth here; you shall not struggle for balance.
“Come and stand and witness from great height the fullness of this Moment, the depth of the Magic of Sisters Rising, rising as far as the eye can see.
“Gather now, my Pride of Lioness Granddaughters. Gather and let yourselves be fully visible in a world that hasn’t seen the likes of you for a very long time.”