My Witch Is Wise to the Myth of Forever Joy.
When the prince pressed his lips against Snow White’s crimson mouth, I wondered what was happening in the body that the fairy tale called broken.
What cathartic dance, masked as stillness, shook Snow White on the other side of the veil? And might she have preferred to stay inside her dreaming? I’m not talking about an avoidant kind of dreaming. I’m speaking to the soul kind of dreaming. I’m speaking to deep truth — being dreamed awake by all of us — manifest in the world as emerging paradigms.
I’ll admit that as a little girl, I often sought my reflection in fairy tales. I hoped for a happily ever after. I craved a princess persona that would satisfy the comfort of others and provide a safe place to live within the kingdom of consensus reality. Safety is appealing to a child in a kingdom that divides. When woman is either princess or whore, clean or dirty, tame or wild, safety is paramount.
So, to create safety, I subscribed to an equation that many women know.
Wildness equals destruction, destruction equals pain, pain equals mistake, mistake equals judgment, and judgment equals punishment.
And I didn’t just want to be safe, I wanted to do good at being human. Luckily, I’d learned an equation for that too.
Nice before true, comfortable before courageous, and sacrifice before self.
These equations may have served to keep the peace, but they never fed my truest nature. You see, I grew into a witch. A tender type of witch bitch who conjures feral feminine divinity while she hunts the misconception of the wild woman and forages forgiveness. Who uses the words bitch and tender in the same breath, and knows that paradox is medicine.
Who grapples with this sharp-edged truth: the work of being human is ongoing. There is no happily ever after.
Let me be clear, my witch is not a pessimist. She’s just wise to the myth of forever joy. She knows that forever joy is static and the human condition is not. She realizes forever joy is a shallow state where the evolution of the soul is neglected. She accepts that evolution requires many experiences, including — but not limited to — joy.
We so often get attached to one extreme or the other. Forever struggle is just as counterproductive to evolution. Forever struggle satiates the shame self’s desire for punishment. Forever struggle recycles original sin, and original sin is the oppressive belief that has suffocated our perfect, prayerful wildness.
Perfect prayerful wildness can be intimidating. It’s not always comfortable. It won’t hold still. It is an undulating entity. It bows down in reverence and stands up to fear. It is ever changing and shapeshifting. It cannot play by the rules because the rules reform constantly to support the dream of wholeness.
This lack of fixed rules is anxiety-inducing. I often crave an antidote for the anxiety of a change-based existence. We all want to find the equations that will make the unpredictable plight of being mortal and free-willed, less terrifying.
The witch bitch, who has been marginalized and martyred — the secret crone who tried to return Snow White back to her dreaming body — she smiles an ancient grin, and looks at me with bold galaxy eyes.
The only thing that eases the anxiety of the human condition is to enter your own deep dream, she chants.
She dismisses words like equation, rule and formula. Instead, she offers a wider wisdom.
Being self-centered means being centered in myself. Being centered in myself allows me to tend to the needs of others from a place of wholeness. Being whole is work that requires my wildness as much as it requires my calm repose. There is such a thing as ferocious kindness, and if you pay ruthless attention to intention, ferocious kindness can heal. There are partners who will not pull women out of their dreams.
There are partners who will wrap themselves inside the dream beside them.
As I trust in paradox — as I cherish the task of allowing my fullness to conquer my smallness — I ask my witch bitch to stay close. I make a vow that rattles like a whisper in the night.
I will follow the dream of my whole self. I will harvest wisdom from the darkness. I will cast spells of liberation that use raw truth as their base ingredient.
Because I know why I am here, and so do you.
We are dreaming the new fairy tale awake.
Jocelyn Edelstein is a writer, filmmaker and choreographer who believes that stories activate the human code of empathy and voice our animal truths. She has been previously published in three Best Women’s Travel Writing anthologies, Conscious Dancer Magazine, 3Elements Review, Commonline Journal, The Doctor’s Review and The Huffington Post, and she has written adventure copy for Hip Camp and thegorge.com. When Jocelyn isn’t writing, she’s making documentaries in Brazil and teaching dance in the Pacific Northwest. Her film work can be found at urbanbodyproject.com and her writing can be read at her blog.