In this episode, Risa gets to speak again with the gentle, magical force that is Liz Childs Kelly.
Liz Childs Kelly is a writer, host of the Home to Her podcast, Sacred Feminine researcher and educator, community builder, and initiated priestess in the 13 Moons Lineage. She is the author of "Home to Her: Walking the Transformative Path of the Sacred Feminine," from Womancraft Publishing, Recipient of 2023 Nautilus Gold Award.
Liz Childs Kelly Home To Her
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Welcome listeners, welcome friends. Welcome witches, welcome wins of summer. I don't know who's on the line today, but I'm glad you're here. Welcome home to The Missing Witches podcast and welcome especially to, I Feel like we're friends. We've hung out once. Friend of the podcast, Liz Kelly, author of home to her and, and like kind of conjure of the home to her community.
And maker of a safe space for asking questions about divine, feminine and writer. Mm-hmm. And Seeker, welcome. I'm so happy that you are now here on our home base to get to talk about your work. Thanks for coming.
Oh, thanks for having me. And yes, I'm gonna call you a friend. I feel like you and Amy are the cool girls.
Like I know you're not really a cliquey kind of crew, but I'm like, oh, yay. The cool girls wanna be my friend, so yeah. Yay.
Oh wow. I don't think we're cool.
You are absolutely my version of cool, like whatever that means to anybody else. You are very cool in my book.
Yeah, likewise, likewise. It's really nice just to get to hang out.
Last time we spoke, the one thing I remember in particular is you were in the process of writing this book. Yeah. And you were like kind of deep in the work. Like it felt like you had your elbows deep in the work of like unpacking Because writing a book like really challenges you to unpack a lot of your own assumptions, bump, bump against your own ignorance, like do all this research to try to not sound. Crazy. I don't know. I, that's me speaking from my experience. How was the rest of that process for you? It's in the world. It's beautiful. It's alive. It's on Womancraft.
Yeah, it was intense. And I, that was the second version of the book. I had written the whole thing and shopped it around and had not gotten much interest and then had put it aside you know, right before the pandemic started.
And then after the pandemic began, I, I came back to it eventually and, and saw right away that it was not, I, you know, good enough sounds very harsh, so I don't wanna say that, but it wasn't what I wanted to put in the world, and I was suddenly so grateful that it had not gotten any traction. And I think, you know, from writing a.
I don't know if you feel the same way, but there's, there's a permanence to it, right? Like it's done, it is in print. So whatever I put in print, for me, it had to be an integrity. Like it's got to, even if I change and I will change, right? Like hopefully I'll be totally different person in a few years, but that I could look at that and say, okay, well that was an integrity with where I was at that moment in my life.
I was as honest and as inclusive and as vulnerable and all the things as I could be. And so, yes, when I talked to you, I was in the midst of like, oh gosh, how honest and accurate can I get? And it, it was excruciating a little bit, you know, like trying to really, really nail that. But in the, and I don't remember exactly what we talked, but you're right, I was, I was very in it at that point.
But in the end, I f. I felt really good about where it ended up, and I feel really good about where it'd ended up. And I think even if five years from now or 10 years from now or whatever, I look back and I'm like, that doesn't really represent where I stand anymore. I think that I could stand really confidently and say, this is why I put those words down.
This is why at that moment in time, this felt like the right way to, to describe what I'm feeling and what I'm seeing.
Yeah. I, I so relate to so much of that emotional journey we always end up quoting. Amy wrote an episode about Mama Lola and Mama Lola says of her biography that she hates the book.
Mm-hmm. Cause it, she always changes and the book always stays the same. Yes. And I don't hate our book at all. I, in fact, I still really, really love it. But I love your book, but I I mean, I'm learning stuff all the time, and there are things, I look back at that and I'm like, shit, I wish I knew that then.
Like, I, great. I really would've done something there, you know? And, and even this, this next one is like, it's on its way out the door. And then there's things that you're, I feel like I wish I could just continuously rewrite the words forever.
I know. Well, you know, one thing that came to me right before I, I started working on the version that actually went into print.
We, my family and I, we moved from California to Virginia and we spent eight months living in an RV and traveling across the country. While we did that, we, we homeschooled our kids for a year. And and what I realized, oh, it was just the most amazing experience. In, in so many different ways. I learned a ton from that.
But one of the things that really was impressed upon me is that, well, you know, I was living in California, I was living in the Bay Area of California, which I don't know if that means anything, cheer listeners, but it's a pretty progressive bubble. Like it's a, it's a little bubble. And I get out of that and I start to see the rest of the country.
And what I realize is that there are a myriad versions of the United States, and people are at all different places on their journeys. We're not all having the same conversation at the same time. And so when I think about writing and my words maybe that's giving me a pass, but I'm like, okay, well maybe there's someone else who, even if I have evolved five years down the road, 10 years down the road, whatever, there's somebody who will be at that place where I was.
And these words will find them. At that time, and it will be what? It'll be what they need. I don't know. That's, that's what I tell myself. Yes. That's so true. And it's so interesting to think like, there isn't just one time unfolding. No. So many. Yes. Multiplicities. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. And so you're in Virginia.
Are you writing another book? Are you, is that part of the thing for you? Are you, like, did you say what you wanted to say? How's it affecting your interviews? How's it affecting your relationship with the Divine? Does it change?
Yeah, it, it does. I don't, I'm not writing another book yet. I have ideas that come and some of them. Feel like they might be mine. You know, like they start to coalesce enough where I'm like, okay, this has got the energetic push behind it. This might be mine to bring into the world, but it doesn't, not right now.
I think for, for me, coming to Virginia one of the, one of the messages that I got when I got here was so something to the effect of, and I, I can't, I don't know how I got it from the land. I got it from somewhere. They, it, it was, when you can stand on the land of your ancestors and know you belong, then you will be fully free.
So my people settled in Virginia in some cases almost 400 years ago. I have, I have ancestors that were at Jamestown, which is one of the first settlements in the United States. And I have really, and I wrestled with this in the book and it's been a, a wrestling for me, you know, as a A white woman of British and Scottish descent mostly, you know, who's been here for many years.
There's, I, I have more than seven generations on this soil. There is no homeland for me to go to. This is home. And so I have to take that with all of it, right? The, my ancestors who enslaved people, my ancestors who received land grants that pushed indigenous people off of their land, my ancestors who fought in the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, it's all part of me.
And I think part of my living in California, I needed to go there so I could feel a little bit freer so I could get out from under the super conservative baggage with which I was raised. And then I think I needed to come back to claim my right to be here. So there feels like there's some sort of ancestral healing, like it was necessary for me to be here, even though I think The West Coast is like in my blood .
And then the other thing I would say about being in Virginia, I, I really wanted more of a relationship with the land on a daily basis. And California is beautiful. So beautiful. And there's just a lot of people there. It's very, it's very densely populated and I found it hard to deeply to get to a quiet place with the land.
And I have that now where I live in Virginia. And so what I've noticed in myself is just a settling in my nervous system. Like, just like, it just a quiet piece that descends. And so I'm super, super grateful for that.
That work of doing that generational healing, what does that look like for you? Do you think, in the coming years, in terms of getting into right relation with indigenous people whose land we're on in terms of reparations, slavery, reparations? Like is there, is there a piece of your work that looks forward to, because I do think each of us, where we land in our moment, we can do healing work.
It's part of our responsibility in whatever way that that starts to look like. Is that something that's on your mind?
It's definitely on my mind. I don't know that I have felt into clearly what that means in terms of like a, like a local presence like me in this locality. I think of it in terms of energetics of my presence being here, like what that, what that means.
And, and then I think from a work perspective, I have a great passion about this subject of the divine feminine and this sacred feminine. And I, I think there's lots of opportunities there. For what I consider remedial education. There's so much information that none of us learned. And part of that remedial education, I think, is being responsible in the ways in which I communicate about it.
I, I host the home to her podcast in the guests that I choose to bring on. And even if guests may not wanna be in a conversation because the, the sacred feminine has not always been a safe space for, for people who don't identify as white women, like if they don't feel safe in that space, that doesn't give me a past to not make my conversation and my perspective intersectional.
And so I think right now what has come clear being here in this land, and, you know, it's, it's debatable, right? If it's a period of time or location or. Maturity, like all those things, who knows? But is this desire to do more, to create more opportunities for people to learn about the sacred feminine and not just from me but to create, you know, my work has always felt like being a catalyst and amplifying the voices that are already there.
And so what I'm really interested in is helping to bring forward more voices who are gonna give different perspectives on the sacred feminine. Not just through the podcast, but through teaching, actual teaching people who can bring the history and they've got that rooted piece of history. They can also bring an embodied perspective and an intuitive perspective.
Cuz for me, the sacred feminine is really tied up with that. She doesn't live in the head. And they can bring an intersectional perspective. Like we're not gonna have any conversations if you're not gonna weave in white supremacy, colonialism, all the ways in which These stories weave together.
So that is, that is what I see. And will that translate into work like in this physical space? I don't know yet. I'm not sure. It would be really cool if it did. But one of the beautiful things about having I have a, a group on Facebook with lots of people from all over the world and I have the podcast, it's beautiful to have a, a broader reach and to also know that there are people all over the place who wanna learn about that.
So that's kind of where my focus is right now.
And how are you thinking about the divine these days? I know I mentioned that earlier. It's something I think about when I think about your work, I guess, cuz for me it shifts all the time. Yeah. You know, I was definitely very atheist, but talked to trees, you know, like once I left my, my childhood religion or even before, but, and sometimes I feel really strongly connected to.
Feminine energy sometimes to a masculine energy. Mostly it's just like a collectiveness or a multiplicity or sort of a non-binary ness. How does your, your work, I don't know, how are you feeling about that these days?
Yeah, I think when I started working just learning about this acre feminine, it felt kind of like re replacement of this masculine, you know, it was just like a healing thing I needed to, it had been like I had been cut off from that.
I needed it. I don't think it ever skewed into dogma. That's not really my thing. But I do think that for a little while perhaps, cuz I had, you know, I was raised in a conservative Christian tradition, you know, maybe in my head I was like, I've stumbled onto something that is better, more important, you know, or whatever.
Like the stories we tell about how we. Superior. And then the longer that I learned, the more I realized like how shape-shifting that energy is. Like we have called the, the Sacred or whatever I put this name, the Sacred Feminine. It's not, it's not one thing, you know, like you, this can be embodied in, in, in so many different ways.
It was also an entry point into understanding the relationship that I, this deep profound relationships that I've had with nature since I was a kid. It gave me a name for it. I think if I had to label myself something now or what my practice would be, it would be closer to animism and Sacred Feminine is my work.
And she, you know, one of the things that, and I know she's been on your podcast too, Sophie Strand amazing, right? Yeah. She, she was on mine too, and she said that she thought of the divine feminine as a portal. She doesn't throw anything out. You know, she doesn't get rid of anything. We just like melt it all together.
Right? Like it all goes into this fabulous compost. He, and so the divine feminine can be a portal into a different way of understanding. And I think at this point I would say that's what she has been for me and a really powerful portal. And maybe I still pray to a mother But I think it's animism. I think that that is my relationship is with the trees in my backyard. And the, I don't know, the dead hawk we just found back there a couple days ago and all, all the magic of nature.
What was it like finding the dead hawk? I found two dead falcons when I've been like, alone in the woods.
Before and had been the one to ... they, they had like both slammed into a window in an unoccupied cottage and been like the one to take them and try to deal with. And it's something I think about a lot. I don't think everything that happens around me as a direct symbolic communication for me, but sometimes I do wonder, you know, geez, these wild birds of prey are, are losing their lives right in front of me.
I don't know. Did you think about it? Was it impactful for you?
I did, I will say my child found it first. And so I, I do, I do exactly what you're talking about where I, and my answer is always yes. And this has nothing to do with me. This has something to do with me. Like, I'm just gonna hold both of those things at the same time.
Right? This hawk had a journey. It became food for something else. Like this has absolutely nothing to do with me. And it happened on land that we tend in steward, and so therefore there is some meaning there. You know, what really came to me was what a privilege that a wild thing felt that it could die in my proximity and presence.
I don't know what a privilege to be able to see that. And I also felt like, you know, because I used to read Bad Omens into everything, you know, like I was just very fearful, like, oh no, this means something terrible. This is, you know, because Hawk is a, is an important, messenger to me.
And I feel like they often show up at times, important times. But No, I, if anything it's just transition and transformation,
yeah. I wrestle with it. I, I sort of feel like, geez, if there weren't these buildings here with these great big windows, these folks wouldn't, wouldn't be flying head long into them breaking their neck.
So I sort of feel like a representative of humanity at that time. Like, oh brother.
Yes. Well, in this case it was way down in the woods. I mean, I don't know if it was nothing to do with that. Ill, it was attacked. It clearly became food for something else. Yeah. Okay. So I, yeah, but it's hard, it's hard to know.
Yeah, I know what you mean about reading Bad Omens into everything. I think there's part of a, if you have a brain that's interested in the unseen world, and maybe that's like on a neurodiverse spectrum where you're sort of always drawn to a magical interpretation of things or to feeling a relationship with spirit in the world, or if you're questioning about divine, you're questioning the meaning probably sometimes that that slides into seeing bad Omid.
Yes. Like that might, that was two things might kind of come together. Well, I will say that when we made the decision to leave California and move into the rv and we didn't know we were moving to Virginia, we were just gonna spend time on the road and figure out where our next home was gonna be. Oh, wow.
Yeah. Like almost right after that. We found a, a very small, oh gosh, I forget the name. It's a Screech Cwl, a very small dead screech cwl right on our front path. And that I did was like, whoa, this is, you know, cuz at the time we lived in a pretty suburban area and it's we see some wild things for sure, but it was unusual to find this little dead gray owl, like right in the path of my house.
Yeah. So I wondered a lot about that. And you know, I think something happened, the owl had a trajectory that has absolutely nothing to do with me. It clearly didn't run into a window, it just landed on the path and died and You know, I think, and again, if you, if we, you don't have to just look at the divine feminine, you can find these stories everywhere.
But like this whole, if we think about life in a terms of cycles and death and rebirth, there was an absolute death that was happening, like a forum of, of being in a way of looking at the world. And I was leaving this place that felt safe for me to evolve into this version of who I am now. I'd never felt safe to do that where I, where I grew up.
So I was walking away from that. I was leaving the house that I brought both of my babies home to. Like, there was a lot that was dying and, and that needed to die like lots that ne I needed to let go up to become whatever was gonna, you know, I, I would be next. So in that way, it felt totally appropriate and we buried it in the backyard and said some words, and, and off we went.
Can you talk more about, I mean, so there's so much accumulated strength in just that piece, right? Of like having the strength enough to have gotten yourself safe, to have raised those kids, to have like, been able to have the conversations you're having to question what you grew up in, like that's so much already.
And then to make those choices to say, okay, next step, the total unknown. Like, not even you were moving to Virginia, but like, let's go on the road. So for people who are listening who are maybe at a stage of what do I shed or how do I shed it? How do I interpret the world around me if I'm trying to make a decision into the unknown, what's your advice or what was that like for you?
Or how do we do it? How do we do it, Liz?
I mean, oh. I think we just jump. I mean, I wish that I could, you know, the truth is like, I, I, I, I felt overwhelmed. I was terrified. It was a very, very scary thing to do. Not least of which, because where we were living in California was so very expensive, which was one of many reasons why we wanted to leave.
I, you know, hand in hand with vi's awakening to this understanding of the divine in a different way. Was my awareness of all the ways that I was participating in this capitalist system to, to demonstrate that I was, I had value as a woman that if I, you know, could make money in this way and perform well, like, look how tough I am, which I never was by the way then I will have proved something.
And so when I let that go, then there's the reality of, well, now we're living in a place that is, we can't afford. Like, if I wanna live the way I wanna live with my, with my values, I cannot afford to be here. So we needed to go. And on top of that though, is the realization that we cannot come back. Like, and you never can go back, right?
Like, I mean, we never really can go back. We, we move on. But in this case, we literally can't go back unless, you know, I, something drastically changes financially. We cannot go back. So that was on top of it too, is that it felt very permanent. Like, if I do this, it feels very permanent. And the two images that kept coming to my mind, I would think about staying and I would think about going.
And when I thought about staying, I had this bedroom that was you know, we were very close to other houses, but I had this little tiny patio on the side of our bedroom. And it had a fence that was just high enough so the neighbors couldn't see. And then there's the perla over it and all this wister would grow down.
And you know, so every spring it's covered in the soft, purples really beautiful. And I would go out there and meditate. That was kinda my quiet place. And so when I thought about staying, I saw myself laying in bed, turning towards the patio, looking at it cuz we could leave the blinds up so nobody could see.
And it was so still, so still and so peaceful. And when I thought about going, I saw myself standing at the edge of a cliff about to jump, and I had no idea what was gonna happen. Could I fly, would I fall? Like, I have no idea. Which one do you choose? I mean, I, I think at, at some point, you know, there, there becomes a time when maybe there's not one right choice.
You know, like I, we could have stayed and that would've been, it was, it represented peace. It represented stasis a little bit, I think like keeping, keeping going, what's going? Or if we just jump and I don't know that there's a wrong answer there. You know, I think there were moments that, and I write about this in my book, where there were things that I could not explain, like things that happened in my body, things that happened in my home that made an absolutely no sense, that felt like I was being shaken really hard.
Like you must get on a different path. And so I did that. And then after that point though, it kind of felt like I'm, I'm writing the book myself and I could stay and this might work fine, and I could jump and. Might be fine too. We just don't know. So I don't know. That's not a good answer. But I think it's, you know, feeling into what's right for you too.
Like, does this, does the peace and the stasis feel like where you need to be then stay because there'll probably be another opportunity, you know? Or can you handle it physically, emotionally, spiritually? Can you handle the jump at this moment in time? And again, tomorrow might be different, six months might be different.
Can you do it, if you can then jump.
And can you talk about how your relationship with the divine, divine feminism divine in all divine animism,, has supported you through that transition or, or lit you on fire or turned you upside down?
I mean, all the things, you know, I, I. I really I, so I pray that a divine feminine version of the rosary, I don't, you know, I didn't grow up Catholic, so I have no personal hangups on that prayer.
It's actually quite revolutionary to me to imagine a prayer that's like, you know, mysteries that are centered around the mother primarily. So for me, that's a very soothing thing, and I take out all the references to Jesus and and so it, my prayer practice really got cemented on the road because right away we were, well, first of all, you're just, you're dragging an RV behind your car.
Like it's, it's, it's a little dangerous. When we left, there was like ash falling on our cars from wildfires. It was a wild time to get on the road. We had to get out of Oregon very quickly because of wildfires that were there. That was like our first two weeks on the road. Our our truck almost overheated going through this mountain pass without, without cell service like it was.
It's terrifying. And I, I've got my kids, you know, at the time who were six and nine, you know, I don't know. So there's that whole, like, I've gotta protect everybody. So I did a lot of, I did a lot of praying and I think just even the act of like the repetitive act of prayers and holding onto beads was really helpful.
And then again, the, the land everywhere we went was so spectacular and supportive. And so I felt deeply held in that way too. And then I, once we got on the road, I, I was like, you know what? I don't know if I'm gonna do this whole divine feminine thing anymore. Nobody, nobody wanted to, you know, nobody wanted to pick up my book.
Like in terms of publishing it. And I don't wanna self-publish. And I, I don't even know if I need to do this podcast anymore. You know, like, this is kind of crazy trying to do it from the road. It really was. And then I started, so, you know, this is, I'm getting to your point about with a divine supporting or at least guiding.
And then I started having dreams. And in one dream, I was meeting up with a friend of mine who'd written this really quirky business book. He's written a really quirky business book in life. And I ran into him at a hotel and we were talking work and books and it was just so exciting.
There was so much energy around it. And he was encouraging my writing and I was like, well, that's interesting, you know. And then and then two nights later, I had a dream that I was visited by a woman named Bernadette, who was like a nun. She was like a mother superior kind of figure. And she told me I was just supposed to build a church to the goddess.
And that it wasn't, it was, it was supposed to look like a church, like it's supposed to kind of blend into, you know, like normal society. But it was absolutely a church to the goddess. And So I woke up and I was like, okay, well I guess I'm not done with this work yet. Like, I don't know, I never took that literally like I'm going to start a church, but it seemed very clear that there was more for me to do with this work.
So yeah, I followed, I followed that guidance and then I guess I didn't do anything with it at the time, but I took it, I accepted it, and I kept doing the podcast and, and going with that. Yeah. And then I think the, the land again, you know, if I go back to animism, I felt so supported and guided by the land and I think I knew Virginia was gonna be the right place for us because of the mountains here.
I'm very close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian mountain chain, which is where my father's people are from farther down in Tennessee. It felt like I felt, I mean, it sounds so cheesy, it felt like a hug. It really did. It felt like the land was just like really warm and giving me a hug and super stable.
I mean, this ground is so. Old, so old. This mountain chain was actually connected to mountains in the British Isles when Pangea was around. So it's solid, stable ground and I think that's what I needed.
And can you talk about, so talking about the divine feminine can kind of like, I think, trigger people who are trying to find a place beyond sort of boring gender binaries. Yeah. I mean, boring to me, probably traumatic to a lot of people and like really normal to most people. And I, I can feel for myself out where there's space, you know, in that idea.
That's, that's really welcoming. But you've had, I mean, hundreds of hours of interviews, thousands of hours of research in writing. What's your thinking about that these days?
I think one of the most troubling things to me about the space of the sacred feminine, and I, you know what I'm just gonna go ahead and say heartbreaking, is to see how it can be used.
I mean, not even interpreted, used to hold up some, some rigidity around gender. Like, that's very, it's, it's upsetting to me. I think it's, it's not even accurate to the historical record. Like what drew me to the divine feminine was You know, I was coming from a very logical, like, show me the proof kind of place.
I'm not gonna, I'm not interested in anything unless you can prove it to me. And so I got really into reading and researching the history of it. And even when you start to dig into the history of the sacred feminine, you see gender fluidity like right away. And I think again, like studying the divine feminine can be a portal to understanding that, right?
Like first of all, if you, if you are someone like me who was raised in a really traditional Christian household where God was just a man and it was not questioned, then when you start to walk down this path of like, Hey, maybe God is something else, it can really open a door to, oh my God, maybe God can be all these things.
And there is actual historical evidence of that. There's lots of. Sculptures that I think women, particularly who were doing this research back in the eighties and so would interpret it as divine feminine figures. But they have both sex parts. They are clearly I mean I think we call them transgender or we call them non-binary or whatever.
I don't know what label they would put on. You even see this in stories about the Goddess Innana, the Sumerian Goddess Anonymous. In her translated poem, she has the ability to transform male to female and female to male. Like it's there. So it's, it's glaringly inaccurate to use the divine feminine, first of all, as like some way of like, this is how it all was.
And then I guess the other thing that I would say is that I'm, I'm really hung up on this idea of multiplicity and more than one conversation. I think we can be having more than one conversation at the same time, my passion is this. Sacred feminine for a variety of reasons. She resonates with me and how that works for me.
And I'm not that unusual. So I'm guessing like maybe that resonates for other people, but it's not, it's not, it's not the end all be all. Let's have more conversations. Like I would love and maybe, you know, like I, I wanna see people who are studying the transgender in the divine and pulling that historical information forward.
I think that would be handled more responsibly by someone other than me. So I'm not doing it, but I wanna see it and I'd like to promote it and support it. But I think that if I am talking about the sacred feminine, the last thing that I want to do is uphold some idea that it means that there's a particular way in which you show up in the world or that you were born with a vagina or a breast or, or whatever.
I, that is not, that's not my experience. And like I said, I find it deeply troubling when this tradition is, is translated in that way.
Yeah, me too. Does this, having these conversations and then doing all this research, has it impacted how you relate to your own femininity?
That's just a challenging word, right? Femininity.
Or like I, cuz it's something I really, it's I'm, it's like a rollercoaster for me. Like how femme I, I identify or, you know, and I have moments, you know, being in labor was definitely like, I am in touch with something that is pretty, like I, I put it in a category of the divine feminine.
People with uteruses can do this thing and they don't all identify as women. But those were times where I felt like, okay, this is, I guess what people mean by being like a woman and being woman identified. But aside from that, I was like, I don't really, it's never really been super clear for me what that really is and what part of it I care about.
Do you know what I mean?
I do. And when I sit down and really, like, if you really think about it, like what does make you a woman? Like on the one hand it is. Like cisgender right here. Like I, it's never been anything that I've even thought to question. Do you know what I mean? Like, I never, it never got to a point of like, wait, this doesn't, like the way in which I was expected to express this.
Femaleness really got to me, especially growing up in the South, I felt like a lot of pressure to, you know, show up in a particular way, to be pretty, to take care of other people's needs, like blah, blah, blah, blah. But in terms of like biology matching, like how I felt like that, there never, ever has been any kind of disconnect.
So I, I instead, I, I, I, listen, I want to listen to people who are having a different experience so I can learn from them. I think. Well, and this is the funny thing, this is the paradox, right? Like, if I really start to dig into like, what does it mean to be a woman? Fuck, I don't know. And yet, I'm still wildly passionate about teaching people about the sacred feminine, you know, because I feel like there's medicine there and there's a way in which those stories have been pressed down and denied.
And I want to, I want people to have access to them if nothing else for variety, you know, or like whatever else it brings to your life. Like variety is good. But no, I, I did a year long priestess initiation program, which was amazing. One of the best things I've ever done. And one of the first things that we had to agree to, to be part of that circle.
And by the way, there was a, a, a man who identified as a man in that group. So it is entirely possible to be in circle with people with penises and feel safe. I am here to attest to that. And in fact brought so much to the circle that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise in a million different ways.
But one of the first things that we had to agree to. As part of that circle is that each of us is in our own authority. You are in your own authority. I am in my own authority, so I define who I am. You don't define it for me, and I don't define it for you. And that is so powerful to me. And so that alone means I get to explore who I am for the rest of my life and decide what that means and decide whether there's like, I don't know, alignment with what people think about my body parts or not, but it's mine to do.
It's my journey to do. And that's other people's journey to do as well. And I wanna know what you learn. It's fascinating, right? To, to see like how other people are experiencing that. So it's funny, if anything I d I feel like. It's not, I just, I have, maybe I've become less curious about, I don't know.
I, I don't know how to answer that exactly, except just to say that there's that disconnect between, like, I don't think it batters that much, you know, like I don't, I don't like my identity in that way, and yet I'm still passionate about teaching people about the sacred feminine. Both those things are true for me.
Yeah. Yeah. It's the, yes. And again, I know what you mean. Yeah. Would you tell us a couple. Like, maybe give us a couple like little hints from the book for people who are like, Hmm, am I gonna go buy this book? Who are like, excited about the book? What are some pieces you discovered about the divine feminine that you share in the book?
I also love, like, there is a really vulnerable memoir piece and I, I love books that balance, that history with the, with the really personal, like, I need to be taken. All the way in to trust the perspective on the history or like to understand that the person acknowledges their biases. And I think you do that beautifully, but can you talk a little bit about what we've, what we find in this book when we sit down with it?
Yeah. Well, I mean one of the biggest impetus for writing it is I felt so, and I don't wanna bore people. Like if you say history, I think people are like, oh my God, that sounds boring. I definitely tried really hard not to be boring in the history, but the, one of the most revelatory things to me in researching the sacred feminine is how prominent this idea is everywhere.
And I don't mean dominant, I didn't say dominant, but just prevalent. Maybe I'll say prevalent. I certainly am not an expert on every culture that's ever existed in the world since the beginning of time, nor do I aspire to be. But I will say that pretty much everywhere I looked, you find evidence of cultures, especially indigenous cultures that have not been destroyed by colonialism.
You find a presence of what I call the sacred feminine. And that doesn't necessarily mean a goddess, but there is an understanding. Maybe we just put it like this. There's an understanding that because all of life is sacred, obviously, that which we know and experience here as feminine is sacred as well.
And there are stories that relate to that. And I found those stories incredibly healing, and I wanted to give people as much as I could in a really non boring way, you know, just so you have that information. So you, I, it really bugs me that I had a, I had a graduate degree. And I knew nothing about any of this.
And I am a hungry learner, like I am interested in stuff and I had never found any of this information. So one of my greatest desires was to put this in your hands in a way that's interesting and palatable. And then if you read nothing else, at least you know, like, look, this is based in history.
This isn't just, you know, crazy women trying to rewrite stuff. Because as one dude told me on medium I felt suppressed by men or something stupid like that. Somebody actually gave me a comment like that of my writing. Like, I sense that you have a bone to pick because you don't like being suppressed by men.
No, there's like real. There's real evidence there, so that I feel like that's another yes and right. Like, yeah, I fucking do feel suppressed. You're correct. And this is, this is real also. This is a real history. Yeah. So I want people to have that. And then like you said, I did wanna weave in some of my stories and there's always a danger in doing that.
Right? Because a lot, a lot of what, well, look, I don't think that, I don't think the sacred feminine just lives in books. I think it is our lived experience that is some of the most important, and that is also a way of taking the divine out of religion and bringing it back to ourselves, which is where it belongs, that relationship with the divine.
So I wanted to share some of that, I guess to maybe also invite people to reflect on how might these experiences be playing out in your life, or how might they play out in your life?
Before we wrap, sometimes I like to ask people is there something that our readers could do that will give them a piece of your practice mm-hmm. To help kind of maybe root their work further into an understanding of some of the things that you're growing with these days?
Hmm, so many. Let me think about that for a second. Cuz I have a whole I have a whole morning ritual that I do that has evolved over many years.
It's just kind of come in piece by piece, but that might be a little too... You know, I think it was one of the most valuable things any of us can do right now is and again, so this is an, I don't, is this a word anally Inspired as well as Yes.
And to divine feminine. Sacred feminine is go and just sit outside without a timer, without a watch. Just go find a place and keep going back there. And just, just be there. That's actually, and that again, if we've drawn the historical evidence, This was called sitting out. If you're of European descent, witches.
Witches did this our, our ancestral mothers, maybe fathers, whoever, did this as well. But there was just a practice of going and sitting on the lands and listening and seeing what appears and getting those answers from the divine and connecting with divine. There's a prophecy component to it for some people, you know, like maybe you're seeing into the future.
There's certainly a nervous system soothing component there, and then there's just like ordinary magic, like I've had the most amazing things happen just by doing this practice. I have a little bench that's out in the woods behind my house and it is my favorite place to go and I really like to go. At dusk.
It's a little scary cause we have bears, but they're not big bears. I think it'll be okay. But you know, I, I like to go sit there right when the, right when it's getting dark. Just barely can see to get back to the house and just watch what happens. I don't know. I would say that's the been one of the most valuable practices that I've really dialed in since I moved here.
I love the phrasing too, sitting out.
Yeah. It's so simple and so simple and Yeah, totally. For those who wanna geek out of this too was, you know, condemned by the Catholic church. And there's evidence of that, like you couldn't even go sit and look in a pond because you might be having a relationship with God that was outside of the walls of the church.
So doing this is also a radical act of reclamation. It's kind of like a middle finger to all that, right? Like, yes you can, you can go be with God anywhere you want and I think your ancestors will thank you for it. Cuz they couldn't do that.
I'd love to open it to the folks listening if you wanna jump in.
Comments, questions, current events as my world history teacher used to say...
hi, my name's Lisa, and I'm standing under a big, huge tree. I live on a piece of property that my husband's family has lived on for five generations now, and they, they were the first settler family to claim the land in that way. And write down the road from me is the Yaki reservation. The people who were here, who are here.
Just live down the road. And so I'm also an artist and as an artist wanting to make art about the land, I'm constantly in this negotiation with like, how to do that. And it is to me, developing so much to be just about the relationship that it's like an honest, real relationship with the place. the thing about going to sit out is a lot of how I'm developing that relationship, I feel myself like sinking into the earth here. I offer it my hair and my Yes. Nail clippings and things like that. And yeah, it's I wanna be honest about how I got here and what I'm doing here. And I want to help this place be as magical and healthy and thriving as I hope I can be.
And my family can be. Yeah. So that's like a tender, delicate process that I'm engaging in with. I hope enough humility that it becomes genuine, you know, as it goes. Anyways, I really enjoyed listening to your conversation. Thanks so much, both of you.
Yeah, thank you. I, you're, I, I so appreciate those reflections and what you're reminding me of that I didn't say about moving to this land is that when I first got here, I would say for the first year, what I felt from the land more than anything was deep hesitation.
Like, who are you and what do you want? It felt to me, and so this land was The Monica Nation, which is still, you know, it's a federally recognized tribe that's based, you know, maybe an hour or two up the road. But if you read the history of the indigenous people here, they disappeared pretty fast.
Certainly, there was some decimation from the, the colonizers, but, but they also just wanted to get away from the white people as quickly as possible. So they started moving outta here fairly fast. So it felt like just a deep sense of distrust and, and also that there hadn't been any white people who'd actually walked around and had paid attention to the land in a long time, like with respect And so, It felt like the first thing I was supposed to do was to offer my respect and to listen and to just not ask anything of the land.
I need no answers from you. I'm not gonna ask you for anything. I'm just gonna be present to you. So I went and put a couple of little altars or different spots on the property. I read about the indigenous people of this area and learned that they prized copper. And so I had some little copper pieces that I went and offered to the land as a gift.
And I would say it took about a year, and then there was a little beach tree that just kind of hangs over the tr the bench where I sit. And that was the first tree that I really started moving into relationship with. And now it's just kind of blooming and expanding from there. Yeah, and I'm actually grateful.
I'm grateful for the, the slow process and for the land being like, slow down there.
Hi, Liz. I wanted to give a shout out to your recent episode on becoming a land steward. It seems very resonant with this , the conversation that you had with Belinda Lou that, that particular podcast reached me in a moment that caused quite a few epiphanies. And, and talking about, you know, sitting with the land and listening to how it, how it wants you to work with it and, and what it desires was very, very impactful for me.
So thank you for that. I'm also grateful that you I didn't, I, I started listening to the podcast at a moment where you had already moved to Virginia and I'm from Virginia originally, so I was like, oh, I wonder how she ended up there. And to hear your process of about having been on the road has, is nice.
And now I'm very much, I've got the book on hold, so I've got, I'm looking forward to, to following that more because right now I am, I've been living on the road for 18 months. Oh, wow. Yeah. And will be for another six months until, until I am able to come into community with a piece of land myself.
The third thing I wanted to say is thank y'all for the conversation about about. Identifications, I guess a lot of people ask me especially in this, this time of Zoom when everybody can put their pronouns, you know, after their name. A lot of people end up asking me, tell me about pronoun flexible, cuz that's what I've put up on my Zoom name.
I had it there since before I started listening to your podcast and the reason why I started it was because as a white woman with short hair who was not even out at the time, hadn't realized I was a lesbian I got Sir'd a lot, especially from behind, right? Cause I have very sh hair on the back.
And I never had a problem with that. It always made me giggle and kind of made me stand a little bit taller.
And I appreciated that people, you know, saw me as a differently depending on, on how they approached me. And as somebody who works with words though a friend of mine accused me once. She's like, how can you not care which pronouns people use for you? He, she, they, and I was like, any of them. And it took me a while to realize through listening in part to your podcast and then doing some of my own work with the, with the Sacred Feminine a resonance there, which I had pushed away for years.
Mm-hmm. For years. Even though my name Cheryl means womanly in some form or fashion, I was like, no, no, no. I don't wanna have anything to do with the woman. I was celibate for 20 years because I'm like, I'm asexual. This is not a thing for me screw being womanly.
I was always a tomboy. And then over the last couple of years I was like, oh yes, my. Masculine has become so distorted in the way that I engage with the world in terms of my divine masculine, my logic and reasoning and my academic nature had so taken over that I realized that I needed to be in balance.
And so I've been working on that process the last couple of years. And so finally came to terms with why I myself put this pronoun flexible up there. And it's because like, what, how am I, who's coming forward that day? How are people witnessing, how are my divine masculine and feminine and balance? And some days the feminine might need to come out and kick some ass in the way that she does, and some days the masculine might need to come out and kick some ass in the way that he does.
And so it's like, is the, is it the emperor Like who are they? empress, like who's, who's coming? Or is it the hi priestess? Who's the they? Right. Yes. Together. So thank you for letting me, for letting me share that and for inspiring me to come to terms with my own language.
Hmm. Wow. I love that. Thank you for sharing that. And that's just, I just wanna, like, I witness you cuz that's some advanced shit you're doing seriously with like no, with the flexibility of your I mean, and that, that was the entirety of my training in Priestess Initiation. The whole point of it is to.
To not be fixed in our identities to flex and change to the moment. And I would imagine, you know, like witchcraft is the same thing. Like you're working with the energy that is present and you are flowing and dancing with it. And so, I don't know, just I honor you. I really appreciate you sharing that.
That's that's amazing. And I, do you have the hierophant back there? Is that the hierophant on your wall? It, it is. It's covered up with a bell, but yes. Oh my god, that's pretty great. It's just funny because, you know, in, in I don't know a lot about tarot. I really wanna know more about tarot, but I know like you've you have a number like that represents the year or your birthdate, right?
I am the hierophant, which is so fascinating to me cuz that's like the ultimate, like masculine, right? Like for a little bit of what I know. And here I am doing all this work about the, this, the sacred feminine. So again, yes, aunt Multiplicities like shifting and changing and, and embracing all our identities.
I, I love it. I so appreciate you sharing that. Thank you. For what it's worth in some decks, the hierophant is, is not representative of a masculine energy.
Oh, tell me, tell me.
Yeah, you can look forward to that. In two decks that I use, the Light Sears Tarot, and also in well, there's a, it's a, they, I believe it's more of a non-binary character there and in the Next World Tarot by Christie c Rhodes.
I don't wanna get it wrong, but I think it's represented as Possibly non-binary, possibly a trans person a trans woman, I believe. It's been a while since I've looked at that card, so I don't wanna get funny. But what I love about the Hira fan is it doesn't have to be this dogmatic pope, even though that's the picture.
Yeah. On the wall. Instead, it's, it's, it's the translator of arcane knowledge. Mm. Right. That's one of the dictionary definitions. And I'm like, yeah. oh, that's such a gift you've given me. Thank you. I'm so glad to know that. Wow. That is super cool. Hmm.
As Liz says, like that's some advanced shit, something I relate to so much as well. Oh, oh, Liz, do you wanna tell the people, your favorite places for them to find you? Mm, mm-hmm.
Well, I do have a podcast called Home to Her. It's available wherever you listen to your podcast. I also, started doing YouTube episodes last year for well, people like to view, instead of listening, also for hearing impaired audiences to, you know, be able to watch it with captions.
So there's a YouTube channel home to her, and then Instagram is at home to her. If you are still dealing with Facebook, and if you are, bless you, I, I feel you. But I do have a Facebook group that's, it's wonderful. Lots and lots of people in it. It's also home to her. Yeah, so those are good places to find me and then home to her.com.
You can head on home. You can head on home. Thanks everyone. Thanks listeners. Thanks Witches. Thanks small. Grey Cats. Thanks. Heart bless. Beautiful. Thank you.
The Missing Witches Podcast is created by Rea Dickens and Amy to rock with insight and support from the Coven. Amy and Rea are the co-authors of missing witches, reclaiming true histories of feminist magic, which is available now wherever you get your books or audio books and of New Moon Magic 13 anti-capitalist tools for resistance and reamp.
Coming fall 2023.