WomanCrafter- Crafting ourselves through this Crisis

image: by Jennifer Henrikson 
Full Moon – Truth and Dare

Under this Aquarian full moon Astrologer Grace Funk suggests we are asked to “Be Courageous in Living Your Truth”. And this is a very timely moment, for today I am reflecting upon who and what is a Shamanic Craftswomen? And for me she is Woman Standing Rooted in her Truth, determined to share her truth to heal the vast ecological crisis of our times.   She is Healing Woman, Healing  Earth.  So dive in dear sisters, and awaken to your own magnificence and power- you really have the whole earth and cosmos within you. Unleash your power as a force of good into the world.  Before reflecting further, here’s a look at what’s coming up..

What’s Coming Up

Shamanic Womancraft- An Introduction, August 18, Melbourne
Sacred Women’s Circle
 – September 19, Carnegie
Spring Equinox Dance  Sunday 22nd September, Carnegie
MoonSong – Menstrual & Cyclical Wisdom Workshop, 19 October
Sacred Women’s Circle – 24 October, Carnegie 
One Day Drum Making Workshop – Saturday 26th October, Carnegie
Two Day Drum Making Workshop – 9 & 10 November, Peace Farm, YJ
Sacred Women’s Circle – 21 November, Carnegie
Connecting with your Medicine Drum, Friday 22 November, Carnegie
Opening Gathering- 4 Seasons Journey Vic Otways, 6-8 December  
Shamanic Womancrafter

Given that Nymh Fox and I are holding a circle on Shamanic Womancraft, tomorrow, I wanted to explore my personal reflection on what shamanic craftswoman is,  and particularly to investigate “womancraft”- which is term that came from Jeannine Pavarti Baker. Baker is  one of my teacher, Jane Hardwicke Collings, most important teachers..so its part of the lineage of the School of Shamanic Womancraft.  I hope you can relate to some of my musings….they certainly feel relevant to this moon cycle.  

Woman – What is She?
She is beyond simple definition, or simple categorization- for She is vast, intelligent and diverse– the earth, of which we are one species among billions is nothing if not diverse.  And so She, Woman is of the earth and her bodied intelligence. We are all of the earth- made from her minerals, her particles, her rain, her living waters, her energy. We can tap into this energy, this earthiness of us, and when we do we can understand woman,

as, 
 “a staggering force of nature.” 


as Claire Dubois, of TreeSisters says.
image sourced from Desenio
When we think of woman, we often think of the bodied identification of woman which involves breasts, womb, cunt…(and if you cringe at that word, remember these taboo words/ways are often an indication of great power- a power that has been repressed by patriarchy….And our cunts are powerful, as I shared in my last newsletter, the root word of cunt, ken means knowing/wise and also relates to kindness.) And we think of the cycles, the cycles of renewal within our body, and the menstrual cycle. 

But even biology is not always a marker of what Woman is- we are being shown this by the many women whose biology does not fit into “normal”- She is beyond these categorizations. For some, She is beyond particular biology…but She is deep embodied knowing… that inner call of the feminine, this inner authority of being Woman whatever your biology is acknowledgement of Her Gentle Wild Knowing.

Woman is creative. She births life and death.  She cycles. And she is attuned to all life. She is life:

Woman is “tornado’s, hurricanes, we’re sumptuous meadows, were forests and oceans and rivers of awareness”. 1

 
Loutit Bay Lorne

The feminine power, that creative life force that birthed the earth, the stars, the galaxies flows in her and through her…and yet this flow has been blocked and dammed. Our awareness of our power, of the women’s mysteries, of feminine wisdom needs to be rekindled. For too many of us believe the lies that we are inferior, lesser. Too many are living out the wounded feminine. So part of our work as women is to enable that river of life to flow within and through us again.

Woman is needed now, more than ever in these times of great ecological crisis, of this tipping point. It is said that women will save the world, and Jane Hardwicke Collings said in her latest post, “Social change will be facilitated by women who are resilient, adaptable and accessing their inner strength.”  

Woman needs to remember Her innate power. She needs healing. And the way of the Shamanic Womancrafter is a way of healing thy self, with the support of safe and sacred spaces, and of gentle wild places. 
 image below from my MoonSong One Day Workshop for Women held at RAW Gardens
  Craft

And so to the crafting of Woman. Each woman is her own craftswoman, each is crafting her own story, reweaving herself back into the web of all life, or not.  Womancrafters hold space for other women. Womancrafters hold space for woman to recognise the dams, the stagnant pools within and for the tears to flow, tears that will help un-dam her waters, so that the river of life can flow majestically through her, so that she can become the woman she is, majestic and powerful.    

Crafting as the name implies takes skill, practice and patience. We show up again and again, in service to Life. We show up with all our messy parts, knowing that everything is perfect in imperfection. Nothing in nature stands still, all arises and erodes, arises and erodes. We are part of that too. We acknowledge the times when we are emerging, and when we are submerging. And thus we get to have another go, and another and another at showing up as we are….in the darkness and in the light.  

We use our hands, our hearts (yes we women have a womb heart, a physical heart, and an energetic heart ) and our heads. We are not stuck in the mind- though there is still much chatter there. We breathe and are breathed by life.  And the more that we can trust life, and ourselves, the more we can get out of our own way, the more Life will move us in the direction of our soul and purpose. 


 
my crochet
 As craftswomen we are crafting our bodies, our souls, our being into that which we came for. We are crafting ourselves back into the web of life, strand by strand.  Each of us is a beautiful strand in the web of life, and each of us is necessary, important, valued. And when we show up, as ourselves – our unique selves in service of the earth, we model this for others.

It doesn’t mean that we are perfect, that we get it all right.. No, healing like everything is a cycle, a continuous cycle of renewal, and there are times when our wounds show up, loom up to the forefront,  but as womancrafters we bring consciousness to this, and all things.  We hold ourselves with compassion and tenderness, our wounds, our shadows, our orphans…And then we can do this for the women who come journey with us. We are offering ourselves back to Life, to this blessed earth, to the creative cosmos, asking to be in service again.

We can ask of our inner wise woman, and of the earth,  “Show me what I came here for, show me what is required of me, to live my full potential in service of you  Earth/Cosmos/Gaia”. And she will respond.  Life is supporting every inch of her to do this.  We need to remember how to listen….
 image below of Nymh Fox my co- presenter Introduction to Shamanic Womancraft and co teacher of the Otways Four Season Journey 2020
Plotkin says, “nature depends on us to embody our souls”  

And embodiment is necessary, coming back to the body, living our truth as part of the more than human world is vital now. And nature guides us, shows us. So as craftswomen we remember to listen, to watch, to pay attention to nature, to everything that is going on, to the messages the world is singing up.
 The image below is an original tablet showing Ninshubar (left)  and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth
Ninshubar and Inanna, Image from Sumer c 2000 bce sourced Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth
Woman crafters are embodied,  emplaced and empowered.

We are our own shining knight, we cannot look to others to blame or too rescue. Time is too short for that. But our sisters, our Ninshubar- are standing at the thresholds with us, drumming with us, staying present with us….waiting for us to return each time we descend, and each time we arise. Shamanic Womancrafters are Ninshubars drumming our sisters through her inner journeys.2

And I am reminded of the beautiful words by Bill Plotkin- author of SoulCraft
 The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it.3
And so this is our work as womancrafters, to remember we belong to this world.

The way of the Shamanic Womancrafter is a way of belonging, to ourselves, to our communities, and to the more than human world which is inseparable from our human becomingness…We are immersing ourselves back into the rhythm and cycles of nature. We are coming home.


 
women gathering around fire, Vic Otways 4SJ 2019
So come and join Nymh Fox and I for our introductory circle on Shamanic Womancraft- this Sunday at Laneway Learning in the heart of the city. We would love to see you there.  Deepest gratitude to all our teachers- the human and more than human .
 
A poem for you- actually a quote!

I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. 
And at the end of my prayers they teach me how to listen.
Terry Tempest Williams


References
1. Another beautiful quote by TreeSister Founder Clare Dubois, this from an interview as part of the Fearless, Female Entrepreneurs series hosted by Jocely Mercado.
2. Ninshubar is the “faithful servant”, ‘warrior, and sukkal to the Goddess Inanna. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth., Wolkstein & Kramer
3. Bill Plotkin, author of Soulcraft Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche


That is all for now folks,
Blessings and Love, 

Sarah 
xxxxxx

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