Many of you know that I've gone by Coyotemist for a long while. When I was a girl I thought it was great fun to howl, at the moon, at the sun, at my brother. I just howled for the fun of it. Somehow, along the way, I lost the love of howling, or forgot that I enjoy it so much. Sometimes I howl with the children, Ladybug and Taterbug think its great fun, too. But you know how adults can be self-conscious...
My plan is this: to become more in touch with the side of myself that sings out loud, and dances even if people are watching, and, of course, howls at the moon. I'd like to continue reflecting on Ms. Este's book. If its not interesting to you, you are welcome to skip over this section...
Part of relearning to love howling is relearning to love myself, regardless of being chubby, having a messy house, messy car, or whatever my self-flagellation of the day is. In fact, I'd really like to get rid of the self-flagellation completely. Want to join me?
I've been thinking how drawn my children are to stories with magic. They definitely prefer Shrek to Disney at this point in their lives. It is quite interesting how the stories that children are told are becoming more and more "politically correct". However, the old stories without the correctness helped to educate children about the real world. I'm not sure that the "new versions" of stories are actually teaching children anything about life the way the old versions did.
In Norse mythology Hel is the goddess of the underworld. The "sin-eaters" (carrion eaters) bring the souls of the dead back to the underworld in their bellies. There, the goddess puts the dead back together again, and shows them how to live backward. Then they become younger and younger until they are reborn and ready to be released back into life. Many of the internet sites about Hel do not reflect this portion of her nature. They do say she is half white and half black, and her bones exist on the outside of her body. But what are bones but the very essence of something. We say "this room has great bones" or "you have good bone structure", what we mean is that there is beauty at the core of something. So wouldn't it make sense, then, that something of the underworld-a genuine being-show us her soul right away, rather than lock it away in some dark place. After all, she already lives in a dark place.
All of this is making me consider my own dark places, and demons that I have locked up in my soul. In my minds eye, the demons become larger and larger, and heavier and heavier, for each day that I do not deal with them. It is often easier to attack something head on, rather than delay and stall while our perception of the difficulty gets larger. While in truth it remains the same size and only takes on more energy drawn from our fear.
Another issue which is interesting to me, that Ms. Este's addresses is predators. We have predators in life, and predators of the psyche. Young children aren't enabled with the tools to recognize these, and young girls can get caught up with someone they believe to be good, but is not. Most everyone knows a story of the young girl who took up with the older man believing "he loves me!!!" (you can hear the vehemence in their voice!). Some part of them must know the truth (why their words are said so strongly).
I do not want my children to be one of those. They already have good instincts (we were at a place that might not be safe at dark, and was uncomfortable during the day) and they said "this place is weird". I told them to remember that feeling and pay attention at other times in their lives. If that old feeling comes back, get out of there.
Bluebeard story Now, I don't agree with the morals that they have come up with, but the story is the same. If you consider that the different characters of the story might be different parts of oneself then you might see how there are parts of ourselves that we send away-the very parts that might save us! Then the vulnerable is left without the strong parts-intuition, the woman with a voice she uses to proclaim her needs not burying them under layers of facade.