|Amazons and Naiads sing at the beginning of the Earth.|
For a long period of my life, I felt like I was alone in being the kind of woman that I am. It wasn't that I didn't know other women or that I wasn't friends with them. It wasn't that I didn't know that women like the Amazons existed. I just didn't know women like them, personally and I didn't know how to find them or even if I should. Thankfully, The Goddess does know such things and she sent me to the right place at the right time.
"The Amazon Priestesses are a rowdy, intellectual, wily, beautiful, dangerous, sacred sisterhood of High Priestesses in the Amazon Tradition. We celebrate our wild natures as well as our poised propriety, we dance naked beneath the moon, sing in harmony and screech like banshees, and generally revel in the Blood and Womb Mysteries of the Goddess in each one of us...and in you." - The Amazon Priestess Tribe
|Blood Sisters: Zafira (Bast) and I (Sekhmet). |
Kismet-Bast spreads mischief in between.
Pantheacon 2011 was a lynchpin event for the Amazon Priestess Tribe. Individually and collectively, we were at the center of a controversy that we didn't even know we could start - how's that for a powerful bunch of women! The gender controversy that was sparked by our miscommunication in the program about the Rite of Lilith went up like a mushroom cloud over our Tribe.
|Devi Zafira Stardust and Salamangkero Yansumi |
await The Mother's Blessing.
Personally, as one of the Priestesses who brought Lilith into the ritual, I was surprised to return home and have one of my Sisters point out the controversy that was brewing online about us. Here I'd spent three days at Pantheacon receiving hugs and tears of gratitude from a multitude of women who were deeply moved by the messages that Lilith brought to them through my Tribe's work and the voice I provided for Lilith to speak to them with. I had no idea that people were so angry with us (or were about to be). I was doing the work that my mamma Goddess asked for and wanted of me. Honestly, the work in that ritual was one of my proudest accomplishments during my initiatory year.
|Khotuns on the road!|
|Little Sisters of Manea enjoying the beach!|
(R to L) Madame Hummingbird,
Maia Mermaid, and me.
The fallout from that ritual impacted me in many ways. When I watched all this bad behavior going on, I had to fight the first inclination to simply join in on the bad behavior just like them. I wanted to smash things and scream at people and bear my teeth at those who threatened us. I wanted to turn right around, like a child on the playground, and scream right back, "You're a stupid poo-poo booger head!" just like I perceived our detractors were doing. But wait a minute - that was just it. I didn't want to be like those other people.
It was through my priestess work with the Amazons and the women we reach that I saw what kind of woman I wanted to be. When I needed help, I had but to turn to my sisters. When I was sad, they cheered me up. When I was happy, they shared in my joy. When I was angry, they let me vent. When I was out of line, they put me in check. When I needed it most, they gave me laughter and love. I wanted to be the kind of person who is able to give that back just because they can.
|The Wisdom of Freyja: (R to L) Yeshe Rabbit, |
Strega Manea, me, Mistress Ladybug.
When it was time to attend Pantheacon again, I was wary. What would the Amazon Priestesses face? Would we have people protesting our ritual? Would we the recipients of nasty looks and vicious whispers? Would we be attacked outright? Would we be attacked after Pantheacon from under the cover of other people's computer screens? So many questions and so much to prepare for. What actually happened was different than what I expected and yet had a much greater impact. The words and actions of others that we'd been affiliated with put us in the path of character assassinations once again. This time, however, we were far more prepared to deal with the turmoil.
As a result of what came about at Pantheacon last year and this year, serious navel gazing has been going on in this Tribe. The Tribe has recently met and around the table, it was agreed that the time had come for change. This decision does not come lightly. Surely we have all felt the benefit of working with the Amazon archetype over the last several years. The energy of the Amazon has powered us forward, forging the initial way down the path that our Tribe walks together. Based on recent events, we have felt that it is time for our Sisterhood to walk a new path. We have all decided that it is time for our Sisterhood to evolve.
|Kismet-Bast (aka Duat Ka Neit Kismet) and I |
at The Goddess Temple of Orange Count
I am warrior, I am Amazon
Diana before me, Aradia beside me
With my magic and my mystery
I transform my body and birth myself again
Some part of me is still reeling over the realization that it is time to change the way I work and resonate with this archetype. What else do you feel over knowing that the hand pulling you out of the muck and grime is one you now have to let go of so you can forge your path forward? There is anger, there is grief, there is sadness - all of these things factor into how I feel. But nothing can overwhelm you if you don't let it. I take comfort in knowing that I will always have that energy at my fingertips... no - within my very blood, ready to call up to service whenever it is needed.
My blood is sacred. My blood is power. My blood is life!
|Kismet-Bast and Yeshe Rabbit|
|Celebrating Madame Hummingbird's |
Birthday at Furthur's NYE Concert
To me, the last year has felt as though it were a Rite of Passage - one that would test whether we would be crushed under the pressure of being unyielding to change or if we would flourish by incorporating the energies of change into our Priestesshood. This decision, to me, sends us on the path towards the latter - our Sisterhood continuing to live a healthy life by infusing itself with the energy of necessary change. I think it bodes well for this Sisterhood that if we can come to the consensus once that we need to change that when the need comes again we can do so as swiftly and easily as we have done now. (Though I'm sure that many of my Sisters would say there was nothing "easy" about making this change.)
I'm actually excited about the potential that this change brings even as I process my own feelings of some sadness around this. What excites me is that in working with The Living Temple of Diana (another Pan-Dianic Tradition based group) on the Rite of the Bear Mother at this year's Pantheacon, I've had my eyes opened. Two groups, both holding the Goddess as whole and complete unto herself, who do things differently but have many similar goals, who recognize and respect the other's sovereignty, came together and created some amazingly powerful, transformative, and healing magics for those hundreds who came to seek it. If we can do that, what else can we do? I am excited that these changes will keep our Sisterhood and Mysteries intact while still allowing for us to work magic in new ways that are beneficial in new ways and places. We take off the heavy mantle of battle armor to don the crown - perhaps no less heavy in the responsibility that it carries but something that tempers us, differently, in good ways.Mother Help me / I'm gonna breakMother Heal me / these chains that bindPlease release me / I'm gonna breakFrom all things worldly / these chains that bindThat do not serve me / I'm gonna break, break!Mother Love me / these chains that bindYes I will break these chains that bind!
- Q'desha Yansumi Diwata, High Priestess of Music in the Bloodroot Honey Priestess Tribe
*Noted from above: This is an excerpt from a statement that our Tribe, now known as the Bloodroot Honey Priestess Tribe, released this week detailing the direction we are headed in.