Seasons of a Woman – November Body Map
NOVEMBER – Cailleach (Crone Goddess)
My Body Map Story
Cailleach (Crone Goddess)
When four women gathered around me and drew my body outline I noticed I fell into a deep attentional space. With this I became aware as I sat back that the outline of my body perplexed me. I sat and sat and stared and felt the panic arise. These outer edges were shapeless and heavy. I couldn’t begin. Slowly I became aware of the pulsating sensations of the aliveness of my skin calling me to find a way to express them. It wasn’t until the end of the first day that the urge to use glitter appeared.
The prickly, protective nature of the glitter material bulked me out like a protective layer. I wondered at this…what needed protecting? At the same time I observed I felt no resonance with the inside of my body. It seemed empty. As I acknowledged this, a strong feeling of panic arose in me. In a flurry I drew internal organs in an attempt to make the internal body look ‘normal’ and found to my surprise that I produced a ‘most beautiful yoni’ (as it had been described by a workshop participant).
 Sanskrit literal meaning ‘womb’ or vagina.
However, on returning home I found myself physically removing this ‘most beautiful yoni’ from my map. I noticed that I could not relate to this place without a strong sense of ambiguity arising in my body in a push/pull quality. This place felt dangerous. I felt perplexed and knew viscerally that this danger was not connected to my personal history.
It was three months later that I came to know it as seated instead in my ancestral history. When the BBC news reported a most heinous crime against women and children (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27681076) I knew immediately this was part of my own history. I now began, for the first time in my life to get in touch with the origin of the danger I can feel around being a woman.
The news reported that 800 bodies of babies and children were found unburied in a home run by nuns in Tuam, Ireland. They had died between 1925 and 1961 in this place where unmarried mothers were incarcerated during pregnancy. My mother lived close by. She herself had become pregnant outside wedlock in 1957 and had to move to London.
My grandmother in Ireland on the other hand had married young and had nine children. Each week for 18 years she turned up for Mass at different stages of pregnancy and was told by the priest that she was a ‘blessed woman’.
I could feel my anger pulsate somatically in and through my skin caused by the hypocrisy of incarcerating unmarried mothers whilst calling my grandmother ‘blessed’.
Also a mysterious truth awoke in me; I knew somatically the trauma of incarceration or impregnation as if I had undergone the injustices myself. It seems that I have always been able to be with both my grandmother and mother’s experience.
This process has awoken Cailleach in me, the Irish Crone Goddess of pagan times who existed long before the madness of the theocratic Catholic Irish State. Her deep energy is part of my heritage too; just from further back. She is known to bring light and life just as darkness seems to be winning; she births feminine knowing stirring the earth’s womb and inspiring hope. I hold her close to me and listen as she speaks. I have now been able to place my ‘most beautiful yoni’ back in place and, in doing so, I notice the glitter veneer begins to fall away as the sense of danger subsides in me as a deeper connection with the feminine arrives.
In near history
I was incarcerated when pregnant
Impregnated every ovulation
Women cannot glow here
This ancestral trauma passes down
My rage lights up deeper truths
I am also the ancient Cailleach
Mother of all tribes
I roam with dagger in hand
Keeping all humanity safe
Peace and spiritual wisdom reappears
I stay vigilant
My body pulsates as
To the Om of the universe.