Many of you read my book GROWING UP WITHOUT THE GODDESS and know that I spent the last thirty years trying to figure out what went wrong in my early childhood. I started out searching because the pain, first emotional and later physical, was too great to ignore.
Whatever happened in my early life had warped me, and as an adult, I fell into a pattern of setting up one life and support system after another, and destroying each one as soon as it was stable.
All through my search to understand why I acted out of such self-hatred, and how to heal my body, mind, emotions, and spirit, I sensed there was help available from what I learned to call the invisible world, the inner world, the Otherworld, and eventually the Sacred Feminine.
This help came to me through dreams, through chance meetings with others who had books to offer, through crossed paths at a daycare center that led to finding just the right therapist and dream analyst, through insights that came when I wrote or drew, and later through visions.
So I sensed that I might be a part of bigger story, but I didn’t always believe it. (And I didn’t have much time for other women’s stories since some early women’s consciousness raising groups, still acting out of degraded male consciousness, had skewered me in the late 60’s.)
Most of the time I felt like I was on a singular, solitary, isolated journey, stripped of human companioning. A modern mariner. Or the albatross itself, dead, but driven to repeat my story, to enact my brokenness again and again. Perhaps I didn’t deserve authentic companionship. I certainly turned it aside whenever it appeared.
Yet there were Voices that would speak from my notebook, my typewriter, and later my computer screen with far more wisdom that I had. I was somehow tapping into wisdom of the collective that I know now many other women were also finding and into which they were creating openings.
From some universal reservoir of wisdom, images of mythological characters, which I had no knowledge of but which I would come to see as archetypal/spirit guides, would arise in my dreams.
Once, Eurydice, the neglected wife of Orpheus, came to me in a dream. I awoke saying her name, a name I had never read nor heard. Because I could sound it out, I found her in the dictionary, and understood that I was like her – lost in the Underworld to find my own way because my “Orpheus” energy, the ego out-in-the-world energy could not keep its promise, do its duty, keep me safe, and bring me up to the surface without looking back, without making me into an object for the eyes to see, rather than allowing me to emerge as a human being ready to participate fully in Earth life.
The dream promised I was not entirely on my own to find my way out of the darkness, though. First of all, the wisdom from the inner world, had given me a picture of what was going on within me. That information showed me where to put my loving attention so I could heal.
Also, that same dream gave me another guide in addition to Eurydice, a guide who had an outer world existence, too – my therapist had visited me in a dream that night, had stood by my bed and told me that I would be okay – that I was strong enough to go within and find the light and bring it back to the surface. What the outer masculine had spoiled, through neglect and abuse, could be healed within.
But in the day-to-day world, in what I call the outer world, I was alone.
Solo. Single mom. Single woman. The one you see eating my herself and reading a book, trying to shrink herself into invisibility. The one who no longer goes to social gatherings because husbands make her feel uncomfortable. Separate, even through many short marriages. Separate, inauthentic, even – especially – in lovemaking.
Consciously, I held myself apart, and often I still do. But I see now that I was being swept along unremittingly by a wave of increasing consciousness about who I was as an individual and how I became that specific Sandra because of the collective cultural unconsciousness that held the hatred of women.
What was activating that ancient collective wisdom? Who was re-discovering the underground pools of divine healing and leading me to them?
Books I read held whispers that others were engaged in similar journeys inward. Whispers of the deeper lives of others reached me through poems and an occasional film. Decades passed.
Unfortunately, it took sickness to bring me understanding of my body as spirit, not just a vehicle for spirit, but divinity itself. That understanding allowed me to get out of the way and allow my body to heal. And as my body healed,* it guided my search and released to my consciousness the knowledge of my original wounding and separation from others.
As I grew to understand that I had been abused in early life, I understood even more why Eurydice came to me. Like her, I was neglected and unprotected and not just during those specific moments that I was physically and sexually abused. My whole being, my light body, my vibrational being, my chakra field – whatever I call my expanded being – held the pattern of abuse and the culture reinforced it daily. As Clarissa Pinkola-Estes says in one of her wonderful healing stories, [my] spirit went a way off and sat.
No wonder I began to participate in my own abuse, as we all do for as long as we must, by enacting the hateful pattern of self abuse and deprivation.
But, as I slowly came to know, there was a bigger story, a wondrous story, in which I was participating. As I allowed healing to flow through me, as I wrote my book to follow my healing guides and integrate their healing energies, there were other women who were also working in their own ways through their specific life problems and blocks and drives and dreams, so they could enter the sacred mystery of consciousness.
And somehow my individual healing was fed by pools of ancient collective healing wisdom and ways. It was from those pools that Eurydice, unknown to me until she appeared in my dream, arose.
Somehow what those other women, separate but contemporaneous with me, and I experienced, created, and unraveled through our individual Selves had fed the Source and helped the ancient wisdom find ways into all our daily lives. We had primed the pump, and now all our stories flowed together, little streams of consciousness seeking their Source while Source was seeking each of us and sending us invisible companions and guides.
Here now in a book I love, Women of Wisdom: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women, are wisdom stories and healing stories of other women. Some of these women fed my healing through other books they have written. Some of them are women whose stories were unknown to my conscious self before I read this book. But all these, and many more, too, companioned me on my journey to healing through the invisible circle of Sacred Consciousness. For that I am deeply grateful.
Women of Wisdom: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women
by Kris Steinnes
is available now through a special promotion.
I invite you to go to this page – www.wisewomanpublishing.com/womenofwisdom.html
to access the order page and then go back to this page and enter your order confirmation code and your email address. That will take you to the sign up page for the Women of Wisdom enewsletter, once you join the WOW book group you will be sent an email with a link to the bonus gifts that are available to people who buy the book today. You can later opt out of being on the Women of Wisdom newsletter list if you choose.
* I continue to engage in daily healing practices (Qigong, meditation, Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, and prayer with my Magdalene Rosary). Healing is lifelong, and as I engage in healing ways daily, I deepen into the ancient ways and wisdom and add what I have transformed to the Source.