Working in women’s groups gave me deep insight into myself and my sisters. Other women became clear, reflecting mirrors of my own inner female. This happened most vividly once in a gathering of ninety woman. A large circle for sharing was formed, and everyone was given a chance to speak a small part of her story. A vision began to form in the middle of the circle as I listened to each woman
I saw Mother Mary holding a rosary made of silver stars. As I looked deeper into the shining star prayer beads, I saw that they were mirrors. As the different women told their stories, I began to hear only one story; details would change but the same women’s issues were being addressed. I heard only one voice, of woman struggling to become free and empowered.
Working with women helped me recognize abuse-induced emotions which prevented people from having healthy relationships. I saw many “womb issues” that manifested as weight gain-that extra padding that kept men at bay. These issues could manifest in physical symptoms such as chronic lower backaches and uterine or ovarian cysts or tumors, as I had experienced. The worst-case scenairo could manifest as cancer of the uterus. However, one should understand this is not a hard and fast rule, for every individual has her own complexities that need to be examined. Environmental causes from exposure to toxic pollution also need to be taken into consideration when diagnosing physical symptoms.
Unresolved guilt and shame can also register in the womb. The answers usually are not cut and dry, but as the healing process begins, layers of understanding begin to surface. Genetic history can play an important part in what has been inherited not only physically but also in mental attitudes passed down from mother to daughter. Realizing all of this, the only way one can get to the root of any problem is to deeply search into the history of one’s family and one’s sexual, emotional, and psychological background. And, last but not least, one must analyze past and present relationships.
Throughout the 1980s, women’s issues and female problems were reflected to me through the various groups of women I was associated with (as well as through my own life’s story). At age 29, while living in a community at a healing center, issues related to abortion and fertility made themselves felt, and my visions during this time played a part in resolving these issues.
Within the community were two women who had not had their menstrual period for nine months; both also had gone through the abortion experience nine months prior to the stopping of their periods. I have no moral judgement against abortion, but I do recognize that abortion can leave psychological and emotional damage that needs to be reckoned with. If a woman does not deeply look at herself during the process of abortion and clear the emotional issues-such as guilt or feelings of deep loss-problems can arise later down the road.
At this time, I was learning the healing ways of Native Americans. I wanted to learn from the Corn Spirit; even though no one had taught me about corn rituals, somewhere inside of myself this was in me to realize. I had a couple of stalks of Indian corn and decided to pray with them. I had no real insights into what I was doing; I was just following my inner images-not consciously trying to make anything happen.
I was alone at the sweat lodge altar. I took one cob of rainbow-colored corn and broke it into three pieces. One I saved and later planted in a garden. The second I placed on the altar, and from the third I fashioned a corn doll. For the doll, I removed some kernels from the cob and from the bare, exposed part I created the doll’s face. I used turquoise stones for the eyes and a small piece of orange coral for the mouth. I placed a baby starfish between the eyebrows for the “third eye,” which represented the all-seeing spiritual eye of knowing. The corn husk I tied up as a ponytail. The corn goddess was then given a mother-of-pearl crown and green, felt leaves as arms. I placed a glass-crystal heart in her center and an aquamarine crystal for a womb. Then, I put my little creation on the altar in a hand-made basket, along with the corn kernels, and I left the sweat lodge.
I returned a few hours later and, to my surprise, the basket had been thrown off the altar, with the basket broken up and corn kernels everywhere; the little doll was a bit disheveled but not broken. All I could think to myself was, “Is nothing left sacred?” because this was the community’s ceremonial grounds. I picked up the mess and straightened the doll, and as I did this, I heard the inner voice; it was the Corn Mother. She began to speak to me and I listened: “I’ve been ripped off,” she yelled. The Corn Mother’s voice was united with Mother Earth, and they spoke in unison: “I’ve been ripped off!”
I began to journey with the Corn Mother into the inner consciousness, the wisdom of the womb. As I traveled with her, my ovulation cycle began. Being pretty inexperienced in these matters at the time, I was unaware that traditionally the Corn Mother was the fertility goddess. But, I realized and was shown that women are the reflection of the Mother Earth, and what happens to the Earth is also reflected in the humanity of women. I saw the raping of the Earth-of her natural resources-and I realized that this is reflected in the lives of women, in the violent crime of rape. Women’s bodies are one with the Earth; and, whether or not we are aware of this, it remains a symbolic fact. When the Earth is not cared for properly, we can see this mirrored in women’s lives, in a lack of support. I saw this reflection in the massive number of cases of women raising children with no child-support money. The feminine side of God has not been honored and her sacredness has been forgotten.
This has gone on for hundreds of years to the point that the very Earth herself and all that she lovingly gives is not respected. We can see this in the barren land that has lost its fertility through unnatural agriculture methods, strip mining, toxic waste-the list goes on. This lack of care and respect is reflected and lived out in the (relatively) small dramas and lives of women on the planet. Fertility clinics have now become a billion-dollar business. When the Earth loses her fertility through environmental waste, we see it reflected in scores of women who cannot have children. In my journey with the Corn Mother, I truly saw creation turning itself inside out and outside in.
In the next phase of this visionary journey, I traveled into the wombs of my mother, of my grandmothers, and the women in my community I knew. This was not an easy part of the journey; it was psychically hard work and went on for hours.
When the vision ended, I kept it to myself, not sharing what had happened to me. The next day, while going about my daily routine in the community, one of the two women with menstrual problems came up to me and told me she had just started her period after nine months of its being suppressed. She was so happy to be back on track. The second woman’s period also started, a week later. And, a few months after that, I became pregnant.
My praying with the Corn Goddess, I feel, contributed to the women’s healing and own my fertility. I am not making any claims here as a healer; I would like it to be understood that this happened through me. I recognized at the time that I was simply being utilized by a powerful deity. The Corn Mother brought me wisdom and knowing-and a beautiful daughter. To other women in the community, her utter presence brought healing.
These experiences happen to be between the years 1981-1989