Updated: Jul 15, 2019
Who am I really?
Have you ever asked yourself this question?
I have and at times in my life I have thought that I had it covered. Some of my answers over my 37 years would have been a variation of the following:
A good person
As I continue my pre-reading for the priestess training in Glastonbury, I finally understand why everything I have ever thought about myself needs to be cast far, far away from me so that I can discover who I really am because the aforementioned declarations of what I represent actually read something like:
Witch. Fighting for my place in the world as a woman against patriarchy.
Spiritual. Bogged down by masculine imagery in spiritual texts and accepting it/rejecting it
Girlfriend to a man who has accepted me.
Teacher in a patriarchal society where job title impresses people
A good person. A daughter to patriarchy. Compliant and passive.
Single. Without a man.
Every single identity I have ever held has been in reference to how I fit into a patriarchal society. And therein lies the greatest injustice I have ever done myself, my sisters, and the Goddess.
Perera, a Jungian psychologist, writes in Descent to the Goddess, that a vital part of our identity (beliefs about our talents, personality and abilities, the way we respond to our basic urges and uphold morals and idealistic standards) – our ego – is not our own because it has been formed by the patriarchy. She refers to this ego as our animus-ego: our unconscious masculine. Therefore, if we take into consideration, the assumption that the ego adapts and conforms to the world, it thus soaks in the skills, talents, moral standards, personality and behaviours that the masculine has defined as being valuable in women as patriarchy has ruled for so long now. Furthermore, our grandmothers and mothers pass these beliefs down and we share them in what Jung called the collective unconscious (a deep part of the unconscious mind that is genetically inherited and shared by members of the same species). It begs the question – have we as women, in the twenty-first century, ever had our own ego?
The opposite of the animus-ego would be the unconscious feminine or the anima-ego. But how much of a chance have we had to develop her? To what extent has she evolved or regressed since ancient times under matriarchy?
The implications of a dominant animus-ego, is that we try to compress our souls into the patriarchal approach to life. As Perera states, ‘There are no images alive to reflect our wholeness and variety, and the women that we are given such as Mary, Virgin Mother, make us feel unseen’. Perera consequently calls for a return to our own feminine instincts and energy patterns, pointing out that the culture has maimed them and separated us from them and in turn cut us off from our mother Goddess, herself.
Rise! dragons, enchantresses, wolf women and let’s reclaim and take back what is ours. I am ready to sacrifice my identity as good daughter of the patriarchy and initiate myself as daughter of the Goddess. I have done it before and I will do it again; this time in the knowing and appreciation that I am a wholly, holy expression of the feminine and with an awareness of the thought patterns and beliefs about myself that do not belong to me but to this culture that hasn’t cared to represent me and my grandmothers for lifetimes.
Join me in my journey underground to where the Great Mother has been buried; Her voice muffled.
This is the beginning of my descent to the Goddess…