“To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions, that communes with her environment, that isn't afraid of facing challenges.”
― Paulo Coelho
Sigmund Freud set the theory that women who dream of flying express a subliminal desire for sexual power and that the feelings accompanying such an experience are repressed aspects of sexual arousal. I find that patriarchal hogwash. Women who dream of flying are connecting back to their innate desire to be free and connected to their birthright of the numinous. Supernatural flying women date back from prehistoric times when people postulated the radical divide between earth and sky. We created myths and rituals to bridge this separation, incense and fire to create smoke to connect the earth to the heavens and evoke spirit. Women have always flown to take refuge from the concretised captivity of earth's gravity and the mental plane that, when overly lived in, constrains and constricts. Why women desire to fly is the very back-bone of myth making: from the Egyptian winged goddess Isis to swan maidens and the flying Valkyries of Norse religion, to the rainbow coloured dresses of the sky-going Dakinis and our broomstick loving witches. Even our word nightmare derives from 'mare' referring to a female spirit or demon who comes to a sleeper and creates a sensation of panic and fear. Interestingly tales about swan maidens have them running from men for fear of incarceration, while tales about male swans have them running to women to be set free and reconnected back to a higher vibrational energy beyond the thinking rational mind. This month, as the astrological clock moves us into the earthy sometimes concretised fixed mindsets of Taurus and the Bull-in-the-china-shop attitude that just wants to devour more stuff and can be all about gluttony and excess, let's take a fight of fantasy and reconnect to a more ethereal plane for balance and creative inspiration. May 1st we are in the season of celebrating the return of the light - 'Beltane' - what better way to celebrate this than by studying ourselves for a month on where we lose our light and freedom and how so often we drop to the ground like a ton of bricks by just one word of judgement from the masculine mind (ours or another's).
The stereotypical 'good or bad witch' needs to reclaim her power and not conform to the male idea of 'proper or improper female behaviour' because to be a whole, functioning, self-directed, adult is to embrace it all. Indeed as a polarity energetic she is assertive, she does not require or give love (unless she chooses or enchants). She does not nurture men, or children or care for the weak. She has the power of words - to defend herself or to curse. She may have other more mysterious powers which do not derive from the established order. All women threaten a male dominant society with their exclusive power to give life, and social order dependant on women conforming to male ideals of female behaviour. The identification of any woman as a witch will set her against not only males but also conforming females. The witch has been the inversion of the 'good woman' who embodies the categories of wife, mother, and upholder of morality but that's just one half of her and she is in that insubstantial in herself, left to become a martyr, in sacrifice at her cost, a wil-o-the-wisp half truth in her authenticity and sovereignty. So, this month grab your wand and take flight to the skies and step into the shadowlands, away from the 'good mother', the 'good wife', the 'good sister' into less flexed muscles of your power and bring them into the dynamic May sunlight. Who are you when you are focused only on yourself, your needs, your beliefs, your desires when you aren't focused on shape-shifting to satisfy another - try it on for size for an hour, a day, a week - carve out some space to explore this aspect of yourself.
The theme this month came to me as I'm working with three women all with the same cleavage (a fault line in a diamond) - they don't know what they want, they don't know who they are unless reflected back by others around them, they hate spending time alone because it amplifies their inability to find a centre ground in them that feels safe. There's something around permission and disenfranchisement in all of their childhood narratives where they weren't allowed a voice or were just ignored. They feel like they are waiting for something or someone to come along to encourage them to change up a gear but in that waiting they hoard things, contract in fear rather than abundantly let life move through them. Their medicine is to excavate their original autonomous flight path - their natural birthright. It's interesting in our parenting styles how important it is to encourage our girls to take flight, previous generations have just reenforced the need for young girls to be the caretakers, the support team, the service crew, not the pilot.
Stories and myths teach us so much through creative play and active imagination. Let's start with the story of Lilith to see how it all went so badly awry, an embodied witch who has roots in the Near East where she was a goddess of the underworld known as Lilithu (meaning demon) and connected with the goddess Esther. She was believed to be a creature of the night, often appearing in the guise of an owl as she roused the dead. She holds a rod and ring of justice in her hands. According to Jewish legend Lilith was the first wife of Adam, who was created simultaneously with Adam (not from his ribs) and therefore equal to him. Lilith is not only the first woman, she is the first monster, the origin of the monstrous-feminine as she soon deserts Adam because he does not treat her as an equal and refuses to lie beneath her during sexual intercourse. She flies off, and even though god sends angels after her, she refuses to return to Adam, choosing instead to take demons as her lovers. God then creates a second more obedient wife, named Eve (from Adam's ribs) and the angels punish Lilith by killing her numerous children. This story unconscious and culturally runs deep in a woman's DNA.
How to help heal this? In astrology, Lilith is known as the “dark moon” or the “unseen planet.” She is associated with intuition, psychic abilities, and hidden knowledge. Lilith is also believed to be a powerful feminine force—one that can also be seen as dangerous. In many ways, she represents the shadow side of our nature. Often where she sits in our chart shows how we express (or don't but it seeps out in an unclean way regardless) raw emotion - so healing is about finding that shadow, making it conscious and noticing our patterns - just in that we are bringing Lilith into the light and back as a helpful team member than a rogue assassin.
Find your natal birth chart and tap for the Lilith aspect then click here to find out the meaning of where Black moon Lilith lives in your natal chart and what she has been made to feel ashamed of.
For example, Lilith in Libra has felt in earlier life ashamed or wrong for needing companionship or seeking approval from others. Or, they may otherwise feel that dependency and compromise are weak and not “right”, and can feel uncomfortable with people who seem to need these things or to accept that they themselves may need help. A mother who hasn't allowed the child to feel vulnerability, who has avoided sitting with her child and accepting feelings as a natural flow of energy will teach a child it's not safe to be so exposed. This in turn has the child cutting off a part if themselves in an effort to hide vulnerability and in doing that the root of an absence of self-acceptance regarding these very real needs is planted. Learning deepening self-acceptance is the key to empowerment and flying high - a daily compassionate journalling exercise flagging when we overly criticise ourselves, where we suppress our voice/our emotion in an effort to keep the peace (yet at our ultimate cost) or catching those moments where we strive for over perfectionism all help heal the original wounding. This can also get amplified with Lilith in the seventh house - the house of relationship.
Working with repressed witch energy.
“So light a fire!" Harry choked. "Yes...of course...but there's no wood!" ...
"HAVE YOU GONE MAD!" Ron bellowed. "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT!” - Harry Potter - JK Rowling
First of all - remember who you are....reclaim this part of you back into yourself. Read fairy tales of witches, surround yourself with images of witches, rewrite the Disney witch myth coaxing 'Snow White' to embrace her darker side...imagine how 'Coal Black' as a shadow title would have played out?
Connect back to the natural world and all flying creatures of the night especially the owl and invite a new relationship with bats. They are liminal creatures, which means they exist somewhere between here and there. Straddling the line between the spiritual and physical. They’re earthly creatures (being mammals) yet are the only mammals with the ability to fly - not unlike the way women alchemists or medicine women were seen. They carry a deep medicine for women, similar to the hanged man in the tarot deck - a divine moment to turn your life upside down for a different perspective.. Get over your fear or disgust of them and see if you can draw, paint, embrace these little wondrously clever and intelligent creatures and see what they want to message you - watch out too for dreams of flying, flights of fancy and anything else that takes you skywards.
Transition is a big part of the bat spirit guide’s message. Bats are a symbol of death to the old, a bringer of the new. From the dark to the light. When we let go of the old self, when we explore and shine a light on our shadows, we are harnessing the essence of this nocturnal animal.
May 5th is the night of the full Moon and is known as the Flower Moon. A potent and symbolic way to reclaim back your power is activating your sexual potency (when a woman loses her virginity the term 'deflowered' was commonly used). The word 'Virgin' so incorrectly used like this will be another post, but for now using the power of an orgasm to ignite your full autonomy and connect you to Source energy is a beautiful way to celebrate and fully ignites the pathway to self-acceptance. Open a window so the light of the full moon shines through, and masturbate. When you come, imagine you have released out all the old bullshit scars of your life and channel fresh new energy in. Feel all your chakras alight with this new energy and imagine you are taking flight across the moon in a flowing rainbow-coloured dress as a Tibetan Dakini sky dancer - you might just see a group of us flying there with you.