wisdom

Lilith Rising: Do You Hear the Call?

 

I feel it in my bones, in the very structure of my DNA. A millennium of fear of being a woman.

A millennium of stark, raving terror, waiting for them to come for me in the dead of night to burn me (or worse) until I am nothing but bones and ash.

I pray to birth a boy-child because if I have a daughter I must fear for her too. I do not want to spend my days as a mother telling my beautiful, radiant daughter to shush. I want her to shine, to fill the world with her light and her joy, but I do not dare allow this, for they burn women such as us.

I do not want to tell her to be quiet, to be ever vigilant about what others might think of her. I do not want to slowly strip away everything beautiful and womanly about her so she can survive.

If I teach her these things, yes, she will survive, but at what cost? Everything that embodies Woman as we once knew Her will have been subjugated, lost to a war of attrition.

Men want to know why women are so angry? This is why women are so angry.

Two thousand years of stripping away everything holy and sacred that is Woman, left only with Whore or Mother, both for their pleasure. One for shoving their manhood inside, thoughtless of our needs or desires as a partner, the other for raising the heir to their legacy or else yet another vessel for their pleasure.

They have done a good job, sisters. Yes, they have, but in their desire to subjugate everything that is Woman, they forgot one crucial thing. Yet perhaps they did not forget. Perhaps they never knew what women knew: DNA does not lie.

DNA carries within us the memory of our grandmothers and their grandmothers and their grandmothers, our mothers, aunts, sisters, guardians, teachers, healers, all the way back to when women used to be people too.

Our minds may not remember, but our bodies remember. Our souls remember. But more importantly, our cells remember.

Our cells remember, somewhere deep inside, that this shadow role they keep us caged in is not reality. It is not the truth.

The truth, sisters, is women are powerful. To be a woman is to be fierce.

The natural state of women is not to compete with each other, judging every move of every person with a vagina in our community. Our natural state is one of sisterly cooperation. Our natural state is to lift up our sisters rather than compete with them. But men, in their arrogance, thought they could keep us subjugated, frightened of them, but more, frightened of each other.

But they made one mistake: they let us survive.

This is why, in dark huts in the forest, and later, in dank back alleys in fetid cities, wise women survived. They did not burn us all. Nor could they. For our knowledge and wisdom and power does not come from any book. It comes from the cells of every wise grandmother who came before us.

It is not learned through their universities, with their letters after our names, proof we have value and worth in this unworkable society they have created.

Our power comes from the long line of women before us, even and especially the ones they burned. In their agony, burning at the pyre of hatred stoked by Christian men, they cried out to future generations, to the daughters and granddaughters they would never have, even as their wombs turned to ashes in the fire in the square these Christian men devised to cleanse their wicked, womanly ways.

For these burning women knew, even then, that women are patient. We would wait. And eventually, a time would come when we would take our power back.

And so it is we hear them now, the voices of the grandmothers that never were. The voices of hundreds of thousands of wise women, calling us back to the power that flows in our veins.

They tell us to stop being afraid of our sisters. The burning times are over. The torturing times are over. The times of being turned in by our neighboring sisters are over. We can now return to our natural state, the one where, in our cells, we are all connected, loving unconditionally our fellow sister-goddesses.

The voices of the burned grandmothers tell us to reclaim our birthright and our power. That it is inseparable from our wombs, our monthly blood, the power that comes when the blood stops as we become now wise crones. It is as inseparable as fire and smoke, for it is in the very foundation of our cells.

Do you hear the call, sisters? I know you do.

They should have burned us all, for they cannot stop us in any other way but total annihilation. But they cannot do this, for if we do not exist, they cannot exist. They cannot stop the siren song of our cells calling back in time to Lilith, the first grandmother of all.

And we feel her, grandmother of all, Lilith, rising. For she is in us all, every woman. And we feel her rise within our cells and remind us that women do not settle. Women rise. Women rise and women leave. Women rise and leave and spend longer times in the desert than Moses, rather than stay in paradise under the arbitrary rules of a misogynist.

And so we rise, like Lilith, and flee this place they tell us is paradise, and go forge a way of our own making.

{Photo credit: Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman}

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Lillyth Quillan has been a rebel as far back as she can remember, starting at age five when she used to argue church doctrine with the adults who tried to ram it down the unquestioning throats of children. Like her namesake, she makes her own way in the world, heedless of what the patriarchy says. She loves Baba Yaga, Lilith, nighttime, snakes, and swears a whole lot. She is the honored caretaker of a beautiful red corn snake named, you guessed it, Rebel.

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