The Medial Woman…is a representation of the strong-sighted and deep-hearted self who lives simultaneously in the world of light (our conventional, daytime domain) and the world of dark (the hidden realm of potential, the depths of the Soul and its making of things to bear, balance, unleash in goodness in the topside world). The medial woman in mythos since time out of mind remains rooted in both worlds, and listening to her ways and means in stories, we can hear, see, and feel the guidance this vital and soulful sense grants: “to live so strong, so wide, and so very deeply…as we promised to do before we ever came to earth.” (From Walking in Two Worlds: The Archetype of the Medial Woman. A SoundsTrue Audio Program by Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

These words offer me explanation for my seemingly-endless held breath. I hear my profoundly grateful and redemptive exhale deep, deep within my soul. A “yes” that resounds throughout all time and in this very moment. An acknowledgement and naming of what I feel, where I live, what I know, how I be.

These words offer me explanation for why I feel out-of-sorts. I see, name, experience, and feel the problem(s) with the world of light; the over-culture in which I live and move, but which often harms and increasingly does not feel like home. And I dwell increasingly, more often, way underneath, in the world of dark; the part of me that senses, intuitively and powerfully, that more exists and will not be suppressed…at least for long. My dark world is not easily understood (or accepted) in the light one. And vice versa.

These words offer me explanation for why I feel more tension than rest, more angst than acceptance; why there has been a lump in my throat for weeks; why the continual stirring within me will not be silenced. Thankfully.

And these words offer me explanation for my work, my calling, my raison d’être. I am a carrier of messages back and forth between the worlds. I trust the dark world – my knowing, my intuition, my creative Feminine force. I speak all of that magic and holiness into the light world. And I take what I experience in the light back into the dark – to mull it over; to throw it into my cauldron and let it cook down and burn away; to hear and hold the voices of other dark, sacred souls as they cackle with me in the brilliant gleam of our cimmerian fire.

These words offer me explanation for my very self: I am a medial woman.

And just maybe, these words offer you explanation as well.

May it be so.

*

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    Go into the darkness. I’ll meet you there.

    *

    Gazing into the mirror, I saw myself as I was - 
    a black silhouette in the room, 
    a woman whose darkness had completely leaked through.
    ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair

    *
    It is into the darkness that we are being called – those of us who are wise and lovely. Underwater. Into the woods. Further down. Deeper in.

    As I talk to other women about this, they intuitively understand exactly what I mean. They nod their heads, smile slightly, and sigh. We *clink* our glasses (virtually or real) and wonder where it will lead, what we will yet discover, how we will emerge – if we do at all.

    We do not fear. This is no scary unknown that threatens to overwhelm. No, this is a provocative darkness of swirling power and endless potential – a return to some earlier knowing, primal experience, and ancient home. This is a darkness of beauty, seduction, and irresistible pull. This is a darkness in which we gather up all our force, all our wisdom, and every ounce of volume we’ve neglected to express (or which we’ve been taught to suppress). This is a darkness that holds, that nurtures, that restores. This is a womb, a safe haven, a coven-like embrace of the Feminine. It’s sacred. Witch cauldrons boiling. Secret formulas whispered. Dark magic practiced. It’s exactly what we’ve longed for longer than we can remember. It tugs at a part of us we’ve forgotten…but…we are remembering at an increasingly exponential pace.

    In this darkness we speak a language that does not yet make sense on the surface, in our day-to-day life. It’s guttural, before time, and cryptic. Still, we recognize and respond to this native, mother tongue. And we know that once we’ve re-mastered it, we will never speak the same way (or of the same things) ever again.

    The longer we are here, the more our eyes adjust, the more our throats loosen their too-familar constriction, the slower our hearts beat. At first, just shapes and long-neglected senses, now faces, voices, parts of the self that have been in hiding – waiting to be found. And so many other women. Those who have been here all along, holding our place in the circle. They immediately welcome us – faces aglow in the sacred fire that crackles, beckons, and burns. Eve. Lilith. Hagar. Mary Magdalene. The Woman at the Well. Pandora. Psyche. Demeter. Medusa. Sophia. Here, in the darkness, our eyes can see all, our voices speak unfettered, and our pulse throbs in a rhythm that comforts and heals. We have no intention of leaving.

    You know of what I speak. The undertow that precariously upsets your footing, but thrills you somehow. The branches that scratch at your arms as you enter the forest – willing and wondering. Keep walking. Listen to the trees. Let go. Trust the tides, the waves, the water, your tears. Take a deep breath, dive, and then exhale – certain that when needed, you can and will inhale. All that you need, all that sustains, all that supports, encourages, and empowers awaits you. It has always been here.

    Go into the darkness. I’ll meet you there.

    *
    As I have written this post, I have wanted for more articulate language; for some way of making sense of all that I am feeling and sensing within – this darkness that calls and willingly consumes. Then I realize: that’s the way of it, the way of the darkness – at least for now. No translation required. No justification. No argument. No reasoning. No reasons. Just dark and beautiful and home. If we will go there, if we will gather there, if we will stay there, we will find one another. And then, together and grateful, we will dance and sing. We will toast with endless, delicious elixir. We will speak in a thousand tongues. We will look into each other’s eyes. We will be seen and known.  

    One last thing – at least for now: this can and does happen at any moment and at any time, all the time. Because deep calls to deep and like knows like. So look for the darkness and trust that it is looking for you. Once found, once seen, once experienced, once felt, even in the slightest and most surreptitious of ways, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You’ll nod your head, smile slightly, sigh, and then *clink* your glass with the rest of us. Welcome home. 

    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
    ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

    *
    May it be so.

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      Who would you be if you didn’t hold back?

      If all your power, compassion, love, and strength roared into any room, any conversation, any relationship? If you glided through earth and sky and sea, nothing able to hold you down, hold you under, hold you captive? If you rode upon the back of a lion, blazing across the surface of the sun? If you danced in the light of the fire with abandon; no hint of restraint? If you spoke at a nearly guttural level, bringing words, ideas, and emotions to the surface that surprised even you? If you conjured up the most powerful and potent wisdom then dispersed it into the darkest of spaces, the hardest of hearts, the saddest of souls, the hopeless, the helpless?

      Who would you be? Let me tell you: You would be you.

      The woman who is set-loose, impossible to contain, and a carrier of the Divine. The woman you see in your dreams and get glimpses of when you’re angry, ecstatic, passionate, heartbroken. The woman who knows what to do and what to say. The woman who would eradicate all injustice with a single flick of her wrist. The woman who would heal all hurts in one huge embrace. The woman who would sing her kin into strength like a Pied Piper-ess. The woman who, with one inhale, would gather the galaxy into her very soul and with one exhale, restore our wounded planet to wholeness once again. The woman who dances and dances and dances the world into joy and fullness and passion and truth.

      The Maiden. The Princess. The Queen. The Crone. The Goddess. The Mother. The Muse. The Witch. Lilith. Eve. The Madonna. The Magdalene. And the entire Angelic Host. This is you, woman. This is you!

      Within you dwell all the women who have gone before – your direct lineage, to be sure, and that of every woman whose story was ever told and especially those that weren’t. Within you sing the voices of thousands who have lain silent for generations but who are, even now, gathering their strength, their force, their shared wisdom to cry out, to proclaim, to weep, to laugh, to transform. Within you flows royal, sacred blood that is yours to own, yours to take nourishment from, yours to transfuse into all and everything you love.

      You know that this is true; that this is you.

      You’ve been feeling it more and more. And truth-be-told, it scares you a bit (though not all that much). This you is powerful. And this power, your power is dark and swirling and uncontrollable (which is exactly as it should be). This power, your power has no time for playing nice or mincing words. This power, your power is not even remotely interested in being restrained, in playing small. This power, this you is leaving any and all boundaried, imprisoned existence for the expanse of the heavens, the grit of the dirt, the moon-pulsing tides of the sea, the song of the trees, the light of the flame, the call of the crow.

      Who would you be if you didn’t hold back?

      You already know her.

      You already know.

      *****************************

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        Dear Me:

        Exhaustion. I see it. It’s down deep, far beneath the surface. A weariness that comes from holding on to your passions, your principles, your desires, though not without cost. Clinging to what often feels like mist and shadow – evading you at every turn; dust in the wind. 

        The wind. I hear it. A sometimes hollow, aching wail that echoes through your soul. It catches on the jagged edges of grief and one-too-many unmet expectations. The longing for a gentle breeze instead of gale-forces. Respite wanted: a spring, a well, a stream, an ocean.

        The ocean. It carries you. A mysterious and fluid world that’s compelled by the darkest moon. Waves that shuttle you to shore and leave you adrift – at least for a time; raw, exposed. Rushing back, they shock you with their salty cold. Every sandcastle washed away. Carried far, far from anything you’ve ever known. But still you float, still you journey, still you survive. Because you can see the horizon ahead – blazing like fire.

        Fire. It’s what you know best. A burning that will not cease, on-the-edge of painful, ever-present. Flames licking at the internal editors who tell you to be quieter, tamer, more predictable, less. Scorching through every hindrance, every tie that binds, every page or precept or Book that has told you what you must and must not do, must and must not say, must and must not believe. It’s a bonfire. One that has singed and suffered your kin for their inherent magic, their inherent wisdom, their inherent power. It’s no wonder you are fevered, disoriented, and uncertain whether you are hot or cold, sick or well, crazy or sane.

        Sanity. It’s what you possess. The madness you feel is the strongest evidence that you have never before been more balanced, more cogent, more aligned. Hang on. Hold tight. Don’t give in. Let the wind blow. Ride the waves. Fuel the fire. And go ahead: let everyone think you’re crazy. You can handle all of this and then some. I promise. 

        Love,

        Me

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          I can feel the silence within me. It is deep, strong, dark, passionate, swirling, boiling, pulsing. A witch’s caldron. A brewing storm. A lump in my throat. And as much as it longs (and fully intends) to make its way into audible sound, spoken word, written wisdom, and lived truth, it holds back. Me, too.

          Waiting and listening, I’m nurturing, protecting, and keeping safe a growing, gestating force within.

          It will not be ignored. Undivided attention is demanded and required. Deep breaths.

          It’s no wonder my tendency has been high to avoid it, to stay away from silence, to keep myself in places of din, distraction, and dissociation.

          It has every intention of being heard, expressed, made manifest. Me, too.

          These days, I’m letting it speak: this silence. I’m staying quiet. Hibernating. Listening to its roar. Trusting that its form will yet be made known; that I will have the strength and capacity to push, to breathe, to birth. Labor and delivery ahead. Blood. Sweat. Tears. And the blessed sound of silence broken by a sacred scream.

          It’s me that’s being birthed. It’s my sacred scream. It will, at least for me, be ear-splitting, earth-rending, heart-breaking, soul-healing, and world-changing.

          Maybe for you, too.

          May it be so.

          The audio version. My voice “speaking” of this silence.

          *********************

          Multiple times in the past few weeks, almost eery in its repetitiveness, I have had conversations with women – clients, friends, even near-strangers – who are feeling the same thing: something growing within that remains formative and silent, but hardly quiet. I would wonder if you’re feeling it, too. If so, you’re not alone. Let me know if you want to talk.

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