FAIRY GODMOTHER I
For the last week, I’ve been leaning into what my stewardship might be in the next part of my life – stewardship meaning the original work I am uniquely qualified to undertake or embody. During a nap this afternoon, I let go of my need to think about this, and (naturally) a new idea sprang into my field, fully grown: I get to be a Fairy Godmother.
Now, this is not a brand new thought – the latest version of my cards has ‘humanitarian angel / fairy godmother’ in the space under my name. When I talk to the local library, or other projects I intend to support, I always say, “Imagine I’m your fairy godmother, and ask for what your REALLY want!” So that’s a picture I’ve had for a while. What’s new today is that I really, truly GOT it at a profound level.
One of the (many) challenges of this shift from the divine masculine outbreath of God to the divine feminine inbreath of God is that every single aspect of society, culture, science, language, and inner programming is so based on the divine masculine that we simply don’t see how deep the conditioning goes. Think about it: fish don’t ‘see’ water because it is their natural element. They only perceive the absence of water two seconds before they drown in air. We humans don’t perceive air until we start to asphyxiate. Even the most enlightened expanded human – male, female, neuter, or hermaphrodite – doesn’t recognize 5,000 years of ‘male as normal’. Think about the way we still speak, nearly sixty years after the Women’s Movement pointed out the gender bias in almost every language! That is a clear reflection of the cultural maps that form the foundation of what we think and say.
As a result, there are few feminine archetypes (compared to masculine ones), and about half of them are negative rather than energies to hold up as models for women today. The central five are child, maiden, lover, mother, and post-menopausal crone; notice how they exemplify how women relate to men and having children. By comparison, masculine archetypes don’t relate to the women in their lives, unless it is to save, redeem, or in some other way rescue them – which in itself implies that said women are weak or helpless, in need of rescue. The Jungian archetypes are somewhat more empowered: the maiden, lover, mother, queen, huntress, wise woman, and mystic. Only the last three are powerful or influential in their own right, rather than because of their relationships… and they tend not to be fully embedded in society. It’s often seen as somehow wrong for the huntress, wise woman, or mystic to be off by herself because that’s right for her. Both the wise woman and mystic are frequently subsumed into the Witch archetype, while the huntress is often considered just as likely to relate to other humans as prey, like the seducer or coquette. No one (so far as I know) has looked at what truly divine feminine archetypes might look like if women and men experienced actual equality.
Like other archetypes the Fairy Godmother has traditionally shown both light and shadow sides. Think about the story of Sleeping Beauty. At her christening, both types of Fairy Godmother show up: one gives her beauty, virtue, and excellence, and the other decrees that if she pricks her finger, the princess will sleep for a hundred years until she is rescued by the prince (of course). And yet… the Fairy Godmother is effectively the feminine version of the Magician. She draws together the energies required to create good things for those who attract her interest. She then sets them free to enjoy her gifts, with autonomy. I can definitely get behind that picture!