Our Ancient Mothers’ Voices

Trying to Open © 2022 Lee Anne Morgan

Our Ancient Mothers’ Voices were silenced because they were wise, intuitive, intelligent, and powerful.

Today is my 79th birthday. I write about our Ancient Mothers’ Voices for my awareness of them started with a life-changing experience I want to share with you from 27 years ago.

The Burning Times

The Mothers I speak of were healers, midwives, counselors, oracles, and influential—leaders revered in their communities. They practiced a craft, part science, and alchemy,  part art, honoring a Mother-Father God representing everything nature offered: the feminine in Mother Earth and the masculine in Father Sun—creating and sustaining life.

These Mothers lived in a time when men respected a woman’s voice. As patriarchal Christianity grew, our Ancient Mothers’ voices were silenced, stifling their leadership, intuitive gifts, and healing skills. Over three hundred years, from the early 1400s to the late 1700s, statistics range from three and a half million to nine million women and some men who were tortured and burned to death. These 300 years, called The Burning Times, overlapped with the Christian Inquisitions and Reformation. Some historians deemed the utter bloodthirstiness of this tragic period as the Women’s Holocaust. Burnings were in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Britain, Europe, and Salem.

Two images I present in this essay relate to its theme. The first, at the top of the page, represents too many women today who cannot, or do not, speak their truth to be heard,  listened to, respected, and understood. This small peony aspired to bloom. It is her nature, her reason for being. I passed her daily, yet she never fully blossomed. She was beautiful but did not unfurl into the fullness of her being. The second image at the bottom of this page is a peony, too. Yet she exploded with color, a profusion of petals, with a resounding voice—I Am Wondrous.

Suppression Exists Today

It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman who leads a corporation, manages a busy household, or a school teacher, a professor, a politician, a doctor, or a lawyer. Suppression of women’s voices and their innate powers exists in our world today. Those who speak fearlessly, shatter glass ceilings, and crash through barriers are microscopic in percentage to those who remain timid, fearful of expressing themselves and revealing the inherent powers that their inner voices prompt. Instead, they stagnate.

I do not speak only of marginalized women who are disadvantaged in our over-culture. I include women of privilege who still yield to male powers, overbearing husbands, fathers, et al., abdicating their personal beliefs and passions. They fear it is not worth the effort to capsize the boat or, sadly, disturb their comfort zone. They remain unrealized. Denial and inhibition to live in the fullness of one’s being leads to anger, bitterness, depression, obesity, lack of self-worth, and many other problems. Perhaps I project my journey here, too, challenges I overcame and still must at times. The following are personal questions to contemplate.

Do we acknowledge the veracity of our inner voice that whispers dreams and vibrates with visions? Who is our inner woman? Are we wholly her? Do we speak with full-throated resolve in any situation? Do we allow our inborn power to emerge? And importantly, can we declare our personal sovereignty? Sadly, after our Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, too many women and girls lost the freedom of sovereignty over their own bodies.

The Journey & The Poem

Twenty-seven years ago, I met a woman on a flight from San Francisco to New York. The following prose poem is about that chance meeting, a journey I’ll never forget. But, I wrote it to pay homage to our Ancient Mothers: their extinguished, forgotten voices—and powers. I dedicate it to all my sisters, brothers—anyone whose inner voice and dreams remain unrealized.

Singing Over The Bones 

I approach. She is seated. We share a space. We glance and assess.

She in a long dress (something I would wear at another time, another place).

I, in overalls (something She would wear in Canyon de Chelly).

We are without makeup, our eyes swollen. We have cried (privately in our hearts).

We dance a dance of formality. She hands me Her card and I hand Her mine.

She notes my name and calls me by it.

I sit and wait. She has a story I need to hear.

She is battered, so am I. She is wealthy, I am not.

Our souls begin their dialogue: We share, encourage, teach, nurture.

Energy from our creative wombs flows down, down into the Earth.

We hear the voices of our Ancient Mothers. They say we are the Crones, the Wise Women.

Our souls, now recognized, now understood see through softened, aging eyes.

We speak of love, not bitterness.

We embrace our emerging creativity and begin singing over the bones of our Ancient Mothers.

Though our battles map our faces, we are strong. We still have work to do.

Listen, listen! Hear our singing over the bones, not of lament but of freedom.

To be. To bask in Cronehood. To begin again at 50, 70, 90 years of age!

We sing loud, clear, resuming the songs of our Ancient Mothers.

Hear us: We are the Wisdom Keepers and now the voices of our Ancient Mothers.

­­Singing Over the Bones. Copyright 2022. Lee Anne Morgan. All Rights Reserved.

I Am Wondrous © 2022 Lee Anne Morgan

Thank you for listening. Have a beautiful day. I intend to enjoy my sovereignty, my full-throated voice, and celebrate my 79th birthday!

Blessed Be.

RESOURCES:

The Burning TimesDocumentary Film by Donna Read

The Power of the CroneAudiobook by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Owen Davies (Historian), Professor, Author

Dr. Clarrissa Pinkola EstésSenior Jungian Analyst, Author

Women Who Run With the Wolvesby Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés