blessed mother

i've had several dreams of isis-mary in the last few weeks. both times she appeared in her currently accepted, whitewashed aspect. the first was of mary wondering why we do not acknowledge her true nature. the second was of mary magdalene, who has fascinated me for years.

i've always been curious about mary. when i was a child, determined to read the bible on my own, i asked my mother why jesus called her "woman". about a year or two ago, i was hopelessly drawn to guadalupe. eventually i came to own one of her candles and a dollar store jewelry box bearing her image.

yesterday, i felt like i had to sit with her.

there's a cathedral near work that i hijack every now and then. aside from a beautiful pieta and a few virgins, they also have a statue of st. patrick, who is syncretized to another beloved spirit, papa damballah.

i've always loved catholic churches. i've come to see my infrequent visits to them as an homage to my ancestors, at least a handful of whom were members of the church. i've probably also mentioned my gratitude for the multitude of saints and intricate ritualizing that allowed my ancestors to hold on to their traditional deities, spells and cosmologies despite the repression and cruelty of disaporic scattering and slavery.

i never get to spend as much time as i think i should with her, but there's something going on with that statue--or at least with its energy. kneeling near her feels all at once peaceful and immeasurably powerful. there is a feeling of vast, attentive compassion; she truly listens to you. the candles lit at her feet echo the hopes and prayers of countless people.

i see her as i see yemonja and osun. in truth, they are all different facets of the same jewel. it just so happens that this one has a european face.

in the dreaming--also in a church--isis-mary spoke to me almost as if i were a sister or a kindred spirit. she was on her usual pedestal, trying to break free of her marble casing. she seemed to say, "i want to get down and be with you all!" i seemed to be the only one who could hear her. everyone else kept their heads down, devoutly reciting their pre-approved prayers.

it felt like a comment on the disconnect patriarchal/westernized religion has created between us and our own divinity: as soon as i looked at her instead of deferring to her, she spoke quite clearly.

it's nice to have her pray for you. it's even nicer to invite her in.

the dream of the magdalene was hazy, but i do remember walking and talking with her. she was open and cordial, with the bearing of a countess or old money socialite.

so, given all that, i acknowledged her invitation. i asked what she needed from me--or what i needed from her. asked for more dreams and clarity. thanked her for her obvious mercy and prayed for healing for a few people in need.

the first time i started to get up to leave, i felt stuck in place, as if someone had thrown a heavy coat over my shoulders. so i took a deep breath and stayed a few more moments, then explained that i had to go. the second rising was easier, but still reluctant.

we definitely know each other, she and i.

i wonder why she's come knocking this lifetime...

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