A prior vision of two lions, a male and a female, reminded me of another months ago involving a lion.
In that vision I saw a beautiful lion made of light with a huge mane. It dissolved and in its place was my mother’s face, her smiling, joyous face also made of light. I thought, ‘My mother has the love and courage of the lion.’
Months later the remembrance of this vision still makes me smile.
I smile yet wonder how many women are like my seventy-something Mother? She represents so many throughout time assuming the role society suggested, devoting her life to family and trying to get everything just right. I think of the female souls born in her time as courageous. Do they realize their courage coming to Earth as carriers of the heart? Do they see their beauty? Do we see their beauty?
The root of the word courage is Latin and French for heart. Yet courage is more associated with going into battle against an external enemy rather than standing and speaking for the heart.
In the book “Animal Speaks” by Ted Andrews I read: “Lion represents the power of the female sun and the assertion of the feminine.” There was a time when the lion and sun were considered symbols of the feminine. Yet both, like courage, were co-opted and assumed by the powers of prior times.
How is it the symbolism of the lion, the sun and ultimately the feminine were taken over by the patriarchy and courage redefined?
During the times of the Roman coliseums thousands of lions were killed at the hands of the gladiators. I’ve often wondered how a group of people could consider slaughter entertaining. Were there women then who wanted to step forward and demand an end to such stunning loss? Did any of them suggest to their husbands that killing animals for sport was not an act of courage? I’ve similarly wondered how early American women in particular kept quiet as Native Americans were removed from their homes or as slaves brought here were then beaten into subservience. And how did the women in Hitler’s Germany maintain quiet as millions upon millions were sent to concentration camps?
When I think of history, I want to know the history of the human heart and how it is we can be so dark? How is it the carriers of Love over time were as a whole so silent? What happened to the masculine that allowed such heartless seeming acts to unfold?
Even today I wonder how people consider dog fighting and sex trafficking entertaining. (Bear with me here.) The past winter, I’ve learned how ignorant and in the dark I’ve been of events in my own Tennessee backyard.
In late November, Animal Rescue Corp rescued sixty dogs in “Operation Broken Chain” on Nashville’s outskirts in a large dog fighting operation. Dog fighting in itself is cruel and abusive, yet I did not know until this rescue that owners kill the dog that looses unless it is killed in the fight.
The same week while on-line seeking another website, I came across a sex trafficking website for End Slavery TN helping young women on the road to healing who have escaped traffickers. I clicked on an interview in which a young woman named Hope told her story. She bravely explained how she and others were made to crawl unclothed across a stage with dog collars around their necks before an audience. Then they were graded on their performances sexually. What?!!!
How, how, how can a person find entertainment in watching fights between dogs, man’s best friend, or seeing man’s helpmate, woman, treated with such horror and disdain?
What has happened to the human heart, soul and brain? Has the collective heart over time experienced so much pain that we’ve become anesthetized on some level? Have those of us who are sensitive found it easier to turn away? I thought of the phrase: “Out of sight. Out of mind.” Given this, it’s not a stretch to ‘out of heart’ is it?
More specifically what has happened to my heart? How have I neglected this story for two months? Is it as simple as fearing people will cringe or be uncomfortable upon reading this? Where is my courage?
Months ago after noting the vision of the lion and my mother, I also wrote of a scene from childhood that at the time entered my mind, a scene to which I was witness as a preteen. My mother wanted to sing in the church choir and somehow my father, who only went to church episodically, learned of this. He condescendingly told her, “You just want to be seen.”
I now think, ‘Excuse me. My mother just wanted to sing, yet is there something so wrong with wanting to be seen?’
In our house there was. My father was one of the most kind, caring and generous men in our community. The receiving line to express condolences when he died was outside the door of the funeral home until past closing time. As is not uncommon, my father was not fully the person in public that he was at home. He cared for us materially yet he could be condescending and controlling especially of my mother. Sharing through song would have been a means of expressing her joy, finding her voice and being in her heart. Yet that moment of giving in to my father was one of many I suspect in which she disconnected from her beauty and her voice.
My father wasn’t born a controller. He was first controlled by his parents as they feared their only child might die. Penned in the lines of his baby book I have read of my grandparents’ fear that he would die of whooping cough.
Vulnerable and afraid, they never loosened their grip on my father nor did he stand up to them. Even late in life my grandfather followed my father an adult about town keeping tabs on his whereabouts. Today this is called stalking. I suspect feeling out of control and ashamed in relation to his father prompted my father to be more controlling at home rather than encounter my grandfather’s rage.
My father was controlled and became a controller. It wasn’t until he could no longer control a cancer diagnosis that he became vulnerable.
Four decades later, the past mingles with the present as I experience the effects of the father of my childhood residing in me. On the next page in my journal, the day after I noted the vision, I wrote of coming across a You Tube video of a singer who had won “The Voice.” Not watching much tv, I didn’t know what “The Voice” actually was. The telling thought I confided in these private paper pages was, ‘If my father hadn’t been so controlling or my mother hadn’t listened to him, I might have been a singer or certainly have had an easier time having my voice.’
Expressing myself through stories may appear easy, yet with stories such as this I spend weeks, months, discerning what to write, trying to get my message perfectly clear so as to ensure I won’t be judged. In trying to protect myself from judgment, I distance from my heart and voice.
Just as my father didn’t want my mother stepping outside his comfort zone the controller now in me likewise doesn’t want me stepping beyond my box. My enemy is internal. My battle isn’t with swords or guns but with subtle embedded beliefs. The frightened masculine in me tries to exert control as it fears my being seen, being vulnerable.
Yet aren’t we at our most vulnerable when revealing our insides? Doesn’t fully inhabiting our hearts mean being vulnerable and open to everything including pain? Aren’t we at our most powerful when we live and speak from our insides?
Individuals like Hope and groups like End Slavery TN and Animal Rescue Corp embody the original intent of courage. They stand and speak for the heart. They embody the early symbolism of the Lion. These groups and individuals aren’t just rescuing young women and animals; they are excavating and reviving the heart on a quantum level. They are integral to the rising Divine Feminine as is my Mother who continues to express joy and love in spite of numerous losses and changes over the last seven years.
What if the Divine has been awaiting this time, a time when all of us, women and men alike, have the opportunity to remember and own the feminine energies we hold, not to control, compete with or suppress the masculine, but to engage with compassion and find our Voice as we stand and speak for the heart. It is time to be seen, to demand an end to dog fighting, animal abuse and sex trafficking. It is time to reclaim the original meaning of courage and not speak in hate but with firm compassion from our hearts.
Can you imagine it? What if we are in this time writing a new chapter in the history of the Heart?
I believe it is written in the stars and this is the time to fulfill our part.
Can you sense courage stirring, stirring in your heart?
(I just learned earlier tonight that Hope in the video I saw earlier is on Channel 2 WKRN in Nashville in the morning, Sat. Feb. 16 at either 6 or 8:00.)
Dawn, The Good News Muse, 15 Feb. 2013