warrior woman rising

These Are the Blades We Were Born With: From One Death Priestess to Another.

{Photo credit: Shine Blackhawk}


Welcome to my psychic graveyard, Pilgrim.

These are the days when the wispy, silken veil covering the dark wings of the Unburnt Feminine is at its thinnest, and I plant myself here amidst the morning chill to sing sacred dirges in honor of the Death Priestesses who have come and gone. Are you one of them? There’s something serenely macabre behind your eyes that seems whimsical and familiar, and I wonder if you walk between the worlds as I do.

Tell me, is there a part of you that longs to live in the space between the last breath and the first? Do you commune with the death-bringers of both human life and crumbling institutions that no longer belong here in this world of hard-muscled Paradise Lost and Wild Feminine regained?

My love, are you, like me, but a thin-fleshed and blood-crowned Witch who spends lonely evenings by candlelight, sifting through the ashes of past lives once happily lived, incinerated gardens once in full, rainbow bloom, and shadows torched and swallowed whole while still ablaze?

You are much like me, I think, and I recognize the otherworldly fearlessness that guides your steps among these stones.

I ask you if this sounds familiar: You are woken in the misty, pre-dawn hours not only by the ethereal voices of your grandmothers but by a pressing ache that haunts and hunts your otherwise contented dreams, a persistent and bone-deep knowing that humanity is in the final throes of yet another painful labor, and an in-the-blood suspicion that every life you have lived until the moment your wounded soul chose to incarnate in this majestic body was designed to hold you now, to give firm ground to even your most uncertain footfalls as you midwife a certain death for all you know to be true about this ailing collective of ours.

Come sit with me on the moss-laden steps of this unmarked mausoleum, for I have some humble wisdom to gift you, and this holy boneyard is our lecture hall this new moon morning. The Death Priestesses are the chosen ones who swim in this chaotic soup of righteous rage and power-hunger willingly, who do not fear the breakdown, the loss, and the dark void of absolute nothingness as others do.

We are not the ones who turn our backs to the grotesque and the grim, for we speak the language of the most ravenous ghosts. We are the demonesses, and we care little for how low our vibrations may sink while we Witch this world from the inside out.

We are the Death Priestesses, and these are the two blades we were born with: A double-edged, brave-hearted grace that has granted us a particularly light step so no one sees us coming, and a sharp, unbreakable nail pointed at the end of our middle finger that will scratch through any mask designed to render greed, racism, colonization, environmental unconsciousness, and all manner of oppression invisible.

We did not come here to live only in the warmth of the light, and that midnight ache in our bellies is an ancestral call to midwife the death of the old.

To be sure, there are those with breasts far softer than ours that will nurse the newborn, toddling humanity as it learns how to worship this as yet denigrated planet with every shaky step, and there are those with heart-lights that shine so brilliant they will flood whole communities with compassion and empathy, living antidotes to dominance and hierarchy that they are.

We are not these bright-eyed creatures, my love. When the time of the open-hearted ones comes, we will rest curled in the ether and whisper accolades to each other for a job well-done, an outmoded world well-ruined, and the dark-winged and fire-proof Feminine well-preserved amidst the flames of what humanity used to be.

There is much to be revered about the death-bringers, wild one, and while no one will write our names in any book of her-story, I promise our memory will be preserved in every echo of loud-mouthed little girls’ refusals to sit down and every soul-deep and genuine apology for privilege wielded and power-hunger hidden.

We have no pristine mothering philosophy that will shelter the fragile newness of equality coexisting with selfhood, and we have no product to sell that will promise sustained peace and perfection in a society reconstructing its own reality after long-held positions of power have been obliterated.

What we have are the blades we were born with, and a Dark Goddess-sourced shamelessness that allows us to teeter just on the edge of the void.

What we have are grief-filled lifetimes lived long ago, that have granted us a certain immunity to the death-anxiety so many others hold so rigidly within their ephemeral flesh, and what we have are long lines of warrior ancestors and well-armored specters who are sitting with us now and willing us to press on through the dark despite the louder siren call toward the light.


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Danielle Dulsky

Danielle Dulsky

Danielle Dulsky is a longtime activist for Wild Woman spirituality and the Divine Feminine’s return. She is the author of Woman Most Wild: Liberating the Witch Within (New World Library) and is on a mission to inspire women to be fearless creators of their sacred work. She holds the highest designation from Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500, is the founder of the fully accredited Living Mandala Yoga teacher training programs, and believes in holistic healing for the sensual, creative, and spiritual self. Her work is grounded in holding space for women to harvest their inner Priestess through personally relevant movement alchemy, intuitive artistic practice, and divine feminine spirituality. Danielle leads women circles, Witchcraft workshops, energy healing trainings, and basic (200-hour) and advanced (300-hour) Yoga teacher trainings in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She believes that all women alive today are meant to be instrumental in supporting positive social transformation through wild woman spirituality, reclamation of the name Witch, and the magick of sisterhood. You could contact her via email.
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