“We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, ‘Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea. You have a part to play. Have faith.’ We can decide to risk that He (She) is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.”
~ Joan Wester Anderson
You grew up in a house that wasn’t a safe home. You grew up seeing what it looked like when low choices are made.
And in that small girl body of yours, you knew you deserved more than that, that you would be more than that, that you would make new choices for you.
And I meet you as a grown woman now and I see you making your choices. A crystal path is paved before you as each moment you choose to turn to the light.
I see you fiercely loving, reclaiming, a warrior of peace and self respect, choosing again and again a new life.
Today we shared noodles and life stories by the lake. Every interaction is sacred, every story sings of insights.
This afternoon I ride the bus, read “The Prophet” and think of you.
How sacred you are.
To choose love. Of all you could have chosen, you selected the highest choice, again and again. To make your own family. To want to help others heal. To bring forth another soul into this world and teach Her to love her self. To break the chain that confined, and rebuild a new energy.
Out of all the decisions you could make, out of all the patterns you could break, I honour you for your life.
Breaking the pain and shame, cultivating a gardenbed of greatness.
I honour you.
Womens stories have not been told. And without stories there is no articulation of experience. Without stories a woman is lost when she comes to make the important decisions of her life. She does not learn to value her struggles, to celebrate her strengths, to comprehend her pain. Without stories she cannot understand herself. Without stories she is alienated from those deeper experiences of self and world that have been called spiritual or religious. She is closed in silence.
~ Carol P. Christ and Charlene Spretnak.
(found in an amazing article “The Holy Whore: A Woman’s Gateway to Power” ~ a long read, but well worth every word).
I read this quote today, and my heart leapt into my throat.
Yes, this is why I do what I do. This is why I am so deeply passionate about photographing the goddess in women around me. This is why I wish to document our goddess stories. This is why I want to honour our lives.
This is why my spirit soared and my voice cracked in the car last night, as I talked to myself and Great Spirit about why I wish to do what I do.
I want to retell my story, and I want to retell Her story.
With honour, compassion, admiration and joy.
I want to redefine how we define ourselves.
We aren’t meager beings. We aren’t unimportant. We aren’t insignificant.
We are not boring, uninteresting or without a story.
We are radiant. We are incredible. We are important. We are significant.
We are juicy. We learn & teach great lessons. We are fabulous. We are alive.
even in our smallest fractured hour,
We are Alive.
May you know the love and life of the Goddess is always in your heart.
I photographed a beautiful soul named Angel yesterday,
her full belly ripe and glowing with peace.
She wore fairy slippers
and had amber eyes.
We had only just met, her and I,
but we are old friends connecting once more.
We giggled at each other
“You SO get it!”
“I know! You SO get it TOO!”
We clambered waterfalls,
and one of her kinspeople, a magpie, came to visit.
Magic always happens in this sacred space,
when I photograph another soul.
Across the park, people started drumming tribal music,
just for us. Just for us.
And we sat in the grass beneath sky grazing gum trees,
sharing our lives once more.
(We all have such remarkable stories!)
A magical afternoon
with an angel.
Louie, moi and Raquel… circle sistas!
Chris and I had the pleasure of going to the Shrine exhibition opening last night ~ starring my divine artist friend and womens circle sister Raquel.
I had Raquel as a Featured Artist on my blog eighteen months ago, and I made this prediction:
“One day soon there will be a gallery with her work in it!”
It was inevitable of course ~ but that doesn’t stop just how delighted, proud and honoured I felt to be there to witness it.
I loved how people would stand in front of her perfectly four formed, collaged shrine boxes, entranced by the imagery in them. They were brimming with beautiful imagery put together in such a meaningful way. Raquel’s art is filled with spirit, and each evokes some archaic archetypal knowing inside.
Last night I stood before her Mother/Midwife inspired artwork (see below), and felt a swirl of emotions. It sang a song into me, and I didn’t know the words but a part of me knew it instinctually. The full moon, the venus of willendorf, the careful nest of straw and feathers, the picture of a uterine lining, and in the middle a seed with the face of a foetus. It was powerful and moving.
The Shrine exhibition features eight women artists, honouring the divine in so many ways. I was so touched by the diversity of honourings: from Raquel’s triple goddesses, to Fatima’s amazing wood and sand shrines for islam, to a series of colour drenched images of roadside memorials. Art, women and spirituality: I was in heaven last night.
The Shrine exhibition is at the ANCA Gallery in Dickson, and will be running until 28 August.
Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday 12 – 5pm
I met some dear friends for lunch some time ago. They’d just returned from a long holiday overseas, and we were catching up on all our life news and stories from adventures.
“So what’s new with you Leonie?”
Well, I’ve been painting, laughing lots, went home for holidays, went to Goddess Camp, married myself, preparing for my exhibition…
I’ve been painting, laughing, went home for holidays, went to Goddess Camp, married myself, been preparing for my art exhibition…
“You MARRIED YOURSELF???”
Why yes… and this is my moonstone ring I wed myself with… pretty, hey?
“Ummm… can you please explain why? I mean, I’d normally think it would be a fairly crazy thing to do, but if it’s Leonie doing it, you must have a good reason for it..”
It’s fairly simple really…
We are so willing to search for Mr or Mrs Perfect, fall deeply in love with them, want to find out all their stories, their idiosyncrocies, their dreams, how they wish to live… We want to find out their favourite breakfast, the song they secretly dance to, how they look when they are sleeping… We want to discover their soul landscape, and revel in it… We want to lose ourselves in the Great Beauty of them, and watch them grow even more into their magnificent souls… We want to feel their hand on the small of our back when we are unsure, we want to feel their comforting words when our soul is searching for home, we want to feel understood, cherished and deeply loved.
We are so willing to stand in front of those we love, and proclaim our love to this Magnificent Other. We are so willing to commit to them, to tell them we love them, to promise to cherish, honour and adore them all the days of our life. We proclaim that we will listen to all their dreams and help them achieve them. I do, I do, I do.
What if we searched for the Magnificent Person inside ourselves?
What if we fell deeply in love with our soul landscape, our choices, our idiosyncracies and life story?
What if we committed to discovering what we liked to sing loudly in the shower, how we like to eat eggs, how we hold ourselves when we hurt?
And why don’t we vow to love, honour and cherish ourselves first?
Why don’t we have a celebration of our self love, dress in our most glorious clothes, have dear soul friends surround us as we remember how to see the Divine in ourselves?
What if we feasted upon this self love, and what if we knew that there was all the love all in the world: enough love for ourselves, enough love to love another soul deeply, enough love to adore each soul in our lives?
So I did, and I do.
“And what did Chris say to all of this?”
He asked me how he fit into all of this.
“And, how does he?”
I told him my marriage wasn’t a monogamous relationship, and that I would still be taking a lover. His turn will come, but first I must love myself.
So that is the story of my marriage. That is my love story with myself. If this was a romantic comedy, the sun would be setting and I would be skipping down the beach with myself in hand, occassionally tripping, and always in fits of giggles…