archives, feminism

Wound of the Witches.


As women rise into their power, we face all that once held us down.

We meet everything that has shamed us, blamed us, judged us.
We face the long shadow of The Inquisitor in all the forms he or she takes. It looms large in the dark of our nightmares, our anxiety, our self-doubt. We recognize its brutal energy, even if its interrogation shines bright as an artificial light.

And sometimes… we buckle under its burden.

We fold our power up like an old rag and stuff it back under the bed. We live as if our incandescence deserves the death penalty.

We forget we were born to fly.

Only a few hundred years ago, women were burnt on the stake, or religious sects were persecuted in Europe. From this ancestral and past-life PTSD, opening to our feminine power again can feel as if we are recapitulating the past times of losing our families, beloveds, and babies to this persecution.

We feel a deep cry in our womb-heart where she had closed tight in shock, frozen in the depths of time.

This voice is calling to be heard, witnessed, and loved back into safety.

Remembering the insanity

I remember as a child my mother telling me about the Inquisition, and how I would be horrified to imagine what it would be like to be the witches on the hour of their death, approaching the flames. Mom would say that some chose it rather than recant. “How could they be so brave?” she would ask, “How could they endure it?”

As a teenager, I had a brief flirt with Christian religion.
I told my mom that I wanted her to go to Heaven, not Hell.
She told me to tidy my room, and that Nature was Heaven.

The Vicar came to visit one night, and mom wouldn’t let him in. She kept him on the step, in the cold dark of the night, and made him account for the Inquisition and the lives of millions of women. He took it quite well, and after mom had worked her way through a lecture on the worst atrocities the church had inflicted on the world, he apologized, and then she let him in for a cup of tea.

In Europe alone, there is a still a deep psychic scar of thousands of years of religious wars. And the effects of these wars have been spat out across the world.

Calvin launched his reformation — called The Truth — by burning people alive.
Cathars across Europe were persecuted, tortured, murdered.
Catholics across Europe were persecuted, banished, murdered.
Protestants, Huguenots, Jews, Moslems, Gnostics were killed.
Wise women, midwives, herbalists were burnt or hung.
Anyone considered different or other were targeted.

What is the madness of this collective Inquisition?

It does not belong exclusively to the Catholic Church.
It lives inside us, like a deadly, contagious virus.

Even now, this Inquisition vibration is going strong. It thrives on internet forums, in schools, in relationships. It thrives in politics, in workplaces, even in spiritual circles.

Be small, shut up, do as you’re told, or else…,” it says. It wants to own, to bully, to dominate, to possess. It threatens others with its sword of righteousness. It claims our soul as its own. But only if we let it.

Our fear gives it power.
We can choose love.
We can choose love, time and time again, no matter what.

Even if we are figuratively burnt at the stake, in whatever form that takes for us in this modern world.

This is the Wound of the Witches within us.

Much as we would like to hide our light to avoid its terrifying shadows, our feminine power will ask that we meet it and reclaim what was lost.

As we root into the knowing that our voice needs to rise and be heard, we become a Grail-bearer for that which serves and protects all forms of life.

Womb reminds me her power flows deep and can never be destroyed.
I remember:
I cannot live with my heart closed.
I cannot live without following my feminine soul.
I cannot live without claiming my feminine power.
I cannot live without giving everything to this great love I have experienced.

Returning to the Power of Life

So I sit back with the unimaginable horror of that question my mom had asked: How do you face that fire?

I understand that in some mysterious way, she already knew in her bones. Her body still remembered, infused with the cellular soul-memories of those past events.
Maybe she was asking my body too, which also remembered, deep, deep down.

So I prayed to Life to help me.
I felt all my fear ignite in those flames.
She spoke, and said, “Let’s walk into the fire together.”

I give myself to the Great Remembering. I leave no wound without balm.


Seren Bertrand is a womb mystic and midwife of feminine consciousness, who has been a visionary leader in women’s empowerment for over two decades. She is the co-founder of The Fountain of Life feminine mystery school, and co-author of ‘Womb Awakening: Initiatory Wisdom From the Creatrix of All Life’, described as a “revelation and a masterpiece.” She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Modern Philosophy, before embarking on the twin paths of a career in writing as well as journeying deeply into the spiritual feminine traditions. Her writing on female Tibetan refugees was nominated for an Amnesty International Award for Human Rights Reporting. She is passionate about the practical, embodied awakening of women and men, in a mystical yet no-nonsense way, which calls us into our true feelings, brings us back into the body, and roots us into the wisdom of Earth. The Fountain of Life offers in-depth online Womb Awakening apprenticeships.


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