In the past they burned us,
because they thought we were witches.
Just because we knew what to do with herbs outside the kitchen
because we knew how to dance, how to seduce, how to pray.
Because we moved with the cycles of the moon.
In the past they burned us alive
because they knew that we are witches.
So now we cast spells with our mouths
pieces of our hearts spill out.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say ‘no’.
No we won’t sit any longer while you ponder on our rights.
On our rights to give or not give life.
On our rights to make another woman our wife.
On our rights to be safe, to get paid an equal wage.
To have a voice, in a place where we might make a change.
It is incredible, the amount of ways they have slayed just to keep us small.
If they could’ve they probably would’ve burned us all.
But they couldn’t with fire so they did it with words.
Laid down laws to determine the amount of our worth.
They kept us in contracts.
They separated our circles.
Erased us from pages
and made labour saving devices our saviors.
It is incredible how quickly knowledge can fade.
How much effort was invested to lead us astray.
But we will not come quietly.
Well, there’s another thing they tried to take away.
Our rights to exclaim our orgasms ecstatically.
We will not come quietly.
We will open our mouths and let our spells spill out.
Cast poetic prayers into the night so that every woman
can hear the howl of her sister’s delight,
reminding her that her voice deserves to be heard.
Let her jaw drop. Let her shame stop.
Let her body scream under the self pleasure of
what it means to be a woman who can speak freely.
You see words, they carry meaning.
They have fooled us for so long that ‘no’ means ‘yes’.
So much so that I’m almost impressed.
Except I finally discovered they’re right.
So I’ve claimed back that ‘no’ as mine.
Because every ‘no’ I throw against their forces
is another ‘yes’ I retain for my own self-worth.
It is a spell cast for my own protection.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say NO.
And this old witch?
I’m done with broomsticks.
I’m done with ‘know your place’.
This witch knows that some knowledge
just won’t fade.
That every woman is my sister.
Through the hubble and the bubble
and the toil and the trouble
we grow stronger
when we cast our spells together.
We entered the fire.
Now we rise from the ashes
and we are holding our candles
and lighting our matches
until the night becomes lighter
and our voices can grow
because we have remembered
we are witches
and we have learned to say ‘NO’.
The Beloved has no body now on Earth but mine.
The Beloved has no hands on Earth but mine,
The Beloved has no feet on Earth but mine,
Mine are the eyes through which the Beloved
streams compassion to the world.
Mine are the feet with which the Beloved is to go about
healing, loving, and serving all beings now.
Mine are the hands with which the Beloved is to bless all beings.
~ Saint Teresa of Avila
(adapted for every tradition by Andrew Harvey)
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
~Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
The Recovering Hero Proclamation
I have no need to save others.
I have no need to rescue others.
I have no need to outshine anyone.
I have no need to out-think, out-perform,
out-produce anyone – including myself.
I do not need to know anything.
I do not need to be an expert.
I do not need to fix anyone, or change anything.
I do not need to dazzle, impress or inspire anyone.
I do not need to be the hero of my own story.
In truth, I am organic, evolving, and fallible.
I allow things to unfold naturally, and I trust the flow.
I joyfully accept and experience my humanity.
I need nothing.
All already is.