Mary… the name holds so much in Christianity. The divine feminine has been challenged over and over since Mary birthed the man whose life would change the world. Surfacing, as in the troubadour times… then diving deep for generations, Andersen’s little mermaid giving up the effort required to walk the painful path of feminine powerlessness.

Today, I believe it’s a great work when we realize the ways in which we embody the feminine. We can expect this exploration to be an ongoing process, as life is always changing and the feminine is keyed in to our human developmental trajectory.

Illustration for The Little Mermaid by Jennie Harbour

But once we are solidly in touch with and in love with our feminine selves, why waste any unproductive time on grief for those days of hurt? Once we’re stable in our feminine experience it’s time to catch the wave and join mermaid sisters and merman brothers in praising the feminine, sanctifying the feminine, loving the feminine, as an intrinsic and amazing part of all beings. And let us not praise in opposition, of course, for the saving gift of the feminine is inclusivity, the wisdom of the circle. All are included.

Bee Mandala by Francene Hart at Francenehart.com

Though part of our wisdom journey is learning to keep out of harm’s way, in the temple of our heart nothing is too high or too low to receive the feminine grace we were all born to share. Jesus’s mother Mary has served as carrier of the divine feminine for so many, for so long, I now wish to honor her in song. I am not a churchgoer, but as Richard Shindell will tell us, the church walls may be difficult for the feminine, anyway, whether man or woman. I am not the only one I know who holds Mary in esteem and loving connection though professing no religion.

Mary/You’re covered in roses/You’re covered in ashes/You’re covered in rain

You’re covered in babies/Covered in slashes/Covered in wilderness
You’re covered in stains

You cast aside the sheets/You cast aside the shroud/Of another man
Who served the world proud

And you greet another son/And you lose another one/On some sunny day
And always you stay/Mary

Jesus said, “Mother, I couldn’t stay another day longer.”
Flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face
While the angels were singin’ his praises in a blaze of glory
Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

Oh, Mary. She moves behind me
She leaves her fingerprints everywhere

Every time the snow drifts/Every way the sand shifts
Even when the night lifts/She’s always there

Jesus said, “Mother, I couldn’t stay another day longer.”…

Oh, Mary you’re covered in roses/You’re covered in ruins/You’re covered in secrets

You are covered in treetops/Covered in birds/Who can sing a million songs
Without any words

You cast aside the sheets….

Of course the losing of sons is a reference to war.

Olivier Valsecchi , from his Time of War series. www.oliviervalsecchi.com

Griffin synthesizes Christian mythology and the personal life of everyday human motherhood, grounding the life of Jesus, the bird-son who flies regretful, aware of the grief that will follow his leaving. The divine feminine office of transformation= the ashes, the drifting snow, the shifting sands. “Always you stay”- earth element. The tears, the cleaning- water element. Both ash and water whisper the grief that is part of archetypal feminine transformational experience. This song is the perfect poetry upon which to meditate on the feminine archetype.

Notice she mentions song, as will Amos next:

Amos talks about bringing the despairing little-mermaid back to life by looking deeper into the embodied essence of the feminine, seemingly buried, hidden, but close as our breath… What’s behind Mary’s eyes? The soul of the divine feminine. Time to bring her back to life with long forgotten, bone-deep song, vibration, expression…and the inclusive “joy to the world”. The lines about patterns and stringing sequences made me think of a workshop I did last weekend, in case any of the participants shall read this.

What’s behind Mary’s Eyes/Mary’s Eyes/Mary’s Eyes

The Death Midwife/Can you bring her back to life
The Death Midwife/Can you bring her back to life

Sister Despair/Sister Despair/Can you bring the Dream King to me
Sister Despair/Hide your tears around Mary
We’ve got to get her to/Joy to The World/Joy to The World

Hymns for us to sing/She’s a believer/Hymns locked in her memory/I’m a believer they’re the key

What’s behind Mary’s Eyes/Patterns matter
Stringing sequences together matters/To bring, bring her back to us

What’s behind Mary’s Eyes/Mary’s Eyes/Mary’s Eyes

The Death Midwife/Can you bring her back to life

Sister Despair/Sister Despair/She must not see you cry
Hide your tears/Can’t we just bring her Delight

Hymns for us to sing/She’s a believer
Hymns locked in her memory/I’m a believer they’re the key

Here’s one of my favorites from Richard Shindell, about a pregnant girl who pleads with Mother Mary to turn her back into a witch:

I adore thee Mother Mary 
But would you change me back to a witch 
And let me live in the arms of a sorry old elm 
Give the gypsy moths a realm of their own 
For a postman’s fee would I work for Thee 
From that tree would I swoop down and leave 
A billion blue eggs of eternity 
And in no time you’d have your own See 

Don’t just stare /I mean it, really /Hear my prayer 
I give it freely /Are you there Fleur-de-Lis? 

I adore thee Mother Mary 
But would you change me back to a witch 
And let me live in the arms of willow 
And fly around not wearing a stitch 
For so long has this room been so hollow 
We wait at the gate for an echo 
In the flesh of your newly cleaned frescoes 
Where Jesus holds John to his breast 

Wrapped around /And rocking slowly /No one bound 
To be so holy /In your gown of fleur-de-lis 

I adore thee Mother Mary 
But would you change me back to a witch 
As a witch would I love you more than any man 
So give a wink, give a nod, but give a damn 
Be a sport, Mary, and don’t tell Dad 
He need never know how He’s been had 
And never you mind about those seven seals 
Daddy was a one shot deal 

One, two, three /It could be that easy /There we’d be 
I with my baby /On a sea of fleur-de-lis 

Do-re-mi /It could be that easy /There we’d be 
I with my baby/On a sea of fleur-de-lis

I see on Youtube that some folks don’t get the poetry, so- the fleur-de-lis is associated with Mary; the white lily that was associated with Aphrodite before her. A sea of fleur-de-lis then is a metaphor for being surrounded by, held up by, the divine feminine. The girl’s desire to be “turned back into a witch” implies that she was BORN a witch; born connected to the divinity immanent in the natural world. The girl imagines she would love to support, and be supported by, a sacred feminine-based way of life.

“For so long this room has been hollow”; meaning, the space of the divine feminine within us has been empty, quiet, not fed. For it’s been removed from nature, to the church, and trapped in two-dimensional, disembodied, historic depictions (frescoes). Women spend lives waiting to hear even an “echo” of the divine feminine.

The Christian church space is dominated by the divine masculine, “Jesus holding John to his breast”, spiritually baptized not by the feminine, but by the masculine. I assume “Daddy was a one shot deal” refers to the father of the child growing in her womb, and seals are for contracts and commitments. Shindell has religious training, I guess, and maybe some Christian nuns have seven seals included in their wedding contract. To the Church or Jesus, I mean. Thus we can imagine a triple entendre, between the girl’s disconnection from the baby-Daddy, her knowing that her own father would not support her in this experience, and her disconnect from the Christian God. Whoever rendered the lyrics, copied from a website, capitalized “He’s”.

Shindell also does a bang-up job of telling a story of the Magdalene, in his Ballad of Mary Magdalene.

Anyway, some very deeply considered song this day, in devotion to the feminine within and without me. And many thanks to these artists who channeled and expressed our collective love so amazingly.

Beauty from back in the day: