POEM: The Dark Sister
I do not stand in Her shadow: I am Her Shadow.
She is the throne and I am the house.
She is the giver of life and I am the welcomer of the dead
She is the grieving madonna and I am the hysterical whore
She is piteous and I am maudlin
She is white and gold and rose and blue
I am red and black and red and red and red
Behind Isis, Nephthys. Behind Tara, Vajrayogini.
Behind Mary of Nazareth, Mary of Magdala.
I am red and red and red and red and red.
I am black. I am empty. I am ashes.
I am the cast-off mother of the unacknowledged child
Who will never inherit the throne or call the house his own.
He can only come and go, obedient as a hound,
At his brother’s will. She can only throw off her veil
And dance in the broad daylight, beneath a searing sun,
Because no one dares look at her. I am the dark mother
Of the unremembered daughter, Nebt-Het, Melinoe,
Sara la Kali, red and black and bloody and beautiful.
Honor me, or you have not honored all the goddesses.
Honor me, or the Beautiful Boy is without his bride.
POEM: Looking for the boy
All my life I’ve been looking for the boy
You know the one
The boy everybody’s looking for
He used to stand around on the streetcorner
when I walked to school
Not being a delinquent
He was just waiting for somebody
All my life I’ve been looking for this boy
It’s the story of my life
It’s the story of every woman’s life
Well, there are women who found each other
Isis had Nephthys, Ruth found Naomi
Sometimes in the movies you see women like that
But I always felt it was a boy I was looking for, you know?
The special boy, the one who was different
The one who might be waiting for me
He might be cut into so many pieces
that I could never find them all
He might be cursed to the shape of a beast
and have claws that could never caress
He might be hung on a cross like a wet rag
left to drip out his life breath by breath
He might be transformed into a falcon
or locked in a maze or dressed like a girl
I had to keep looking
He might even be drowned in the Nile one day
one fine day when he thought everything was perfect
and then find himself a god
And then I found him
I found the boy I was looking for
With his head in the stars, his feet in the water,
his hands full of flowers, and he said
You are the woman I’ve been waiting for
You are the goddess I was looking for
You are the one that I hoped would find me
Today I sing and celebrate
the vision which the Taliban fear;
today I invoke and praise
the assembly that makes Daesh
boil with rage;
today I proclaim the truth
that makes woman-hating politicians
tremble and clutch at their genitals
and take money away from Planned Parenthood.
Today is Panthea, and today I hymn
the goddesses: All the goddesses, united
in fierce feminine friendship,
in divine power and might,
in divine knowledge and wisdom,
in divine anger, laughter, and love.
Isis, Hathor, Nephthys, Mut,
Qadesh, Erekshkigal, Inanna, Ishtar,
Juno, Minerva, Venus, Flora,
Pomona, Diana, Ceres, Libera,
Demeter and Persephone,
Hera and Hebe,
Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Ananke,
Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Shakti,
Rosmerta, Rhiannon, Epona, Brigantia,
Morrigan, Aine, Dana, Coventina,
Freya and Frigga and Iduna and Hel,
Sif, Sigyn, Skadi, and Scathach,
the Norns, the Fates, the Parcae, the Furies,
all the goddesses, everywhere, known
and unknown, remembered and forgotten,
kind or unkind, lovely or vile: I sing your praise,
and my god Antinous sings with me:
Dua! Khairete! Avete! Laudo!
The goddesses are alive,
and they are everywhere.
At this time of year, I often find myself thinking that I’m a bad Pagan because I’m not a huge fan of Halloween. I love cooler weather, brisk winds, falling leaves, gourds and tiny pumpkins decorating my table. However, I have no desire to dress up or go to parties, and I don’t like scary movies very much because they actually scare me.
On this feast day, the people of Antinous celebrate the Panthea in honor of all the goddesses, divae, sanctae, and heroines associated with the youthful god. It’s one of those days that makes me feel like a bad feminist because I don’t have a relationship with a lot of goddesses. I hung around or at least read about Goddess spirituality and Wicca long enough to absorb the idea that women need goddesses, yet the deities I approach daily are Antinous himself; Serapis, to whom I pray as a father; and Vesta. Vesta is not, to me, mother or sister, lover or beloved, but rather a protectress, a role model, a powerful force, a presence. She is less personal in her manifestation to me than the two gods, but no less important.
In my previous post, I listed the goddesses who have close connections with the Bithynian Boy. As a girl, I was very attracted to Athena, as the deity with whom I had most in common. In my twenties, I discovered that the asteroid named Pallas, after Athena, sits exactly on my ascendant, in the sign of Aquarius. I seem much more like a typical Aquarius than a typical Capricorn, which is where my natal sun is situated. I suppose it’s typical of an Athena type of woman that she’s more interested in men, ofttimes, than in other women, more drawn to gods than to goddesses.
I was feeling depressed earlier today, after a trying week. Like many women, I turned to an unfailing source of comfort: a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Remembering that I ought to do something for the holy day, that I *wanted* to do something, I lit Vesta’s candle on my shrine and put some of my ice cream in a small dish. I offered it to the goddesses and named their names before taking my first mouthful of frozen dairy therapy. Once I finished it, I felt better, able to make the post I had been planning for the day.
I wonder if even a goddess might want a pint of ice cream now and then? In any case, the holy powers do seem to appreciate it when I share favorite foods with them.