4 ways to honor RBG that actually make a difference

Well, shit. So that happened and its awful. A fearless warrior goddess nobody saw coming, Ruth Bader Ginsburg blazed trails for women. She set new bars and she busted through glass ceilings nobody before her had. May she rest in peace.

She embodied the fight for equality and inclusion. She fought to provide a voice for those who didn’t have one.

And she spent her last days doing the work that needed to be done. She loved our democracy. She fought for it. She saw the threat of the current administration for what it is: fascism thinly disguised as patriotism. And that is what is on the ballot in November. Fascism or freedom.

While the political scene quickly devolved into pointing fingers, name-calling across the aisle, and maneuvering to attempt to stack the court with another conservative-leaning judge, I spent some time thinking about how we, warrior goddesses in our own right, can honor her by carrying on her work and making a difference.

So I’ve put together this list of ways you can get involved or honor RBG and make a difference in our country at the same time. Sharing a post or meme is great, but it does literally nothing to change the outcome of the pending election or influence politicians. So please please please, in addition to posting online, take ACTUAL ACTION.

Send a Letter or Email to Your Representatives to Delay a Vote for Supreme Court Justice

Precedent was set in 2016 by Republican Mitch ‘I look like an evil fucking turtle’ McConnell to delay the appointment of a Supreme Court vacancy during an election year. And that is what we’re asking for right now.

You can use this super simple Resist Bot to automatically send emails on your behalf to your reps by texting ‘RBG’ to 50409. You will just be asked to provide your name, address and email so that the emails are sent to the correct representative. It takes literally 2 minutes of your time and is the least you can do, but still has an enormous impact. And then share that info with everyone you know.

Go Fucking Vote

Seriously. If you hate the way our country is heading straight into fascism, go vote. In 2016, so many people didn’t vote because they thought there was no way Trump could get elected. They thought he was a joke. They assumed everyone else would vote, so their one vote wouldn’t make a difference.

In the 2016 election, the highest demographic of voter turnout was people 65 years and older (71% of votes cast), compared to only 46% of votes cast by 18-29 year olds. Only 12% of votes cast were from non-Hispanic black voters compared to 73% of votes cast coming from non-Hispanic white voters.

Motherfucking old white boomers got their way in that election, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves if we don’t show up and vote. If you want your demographic to be represented, start with yourself.

Help Others Vote

So let’s say you did vote. And let’s say you’re planning to vote this year, too. What about your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else in an under-represented demographic? Have you checked on them to make sure they’ve either requested their mail-in ballot or have reliable transportation to the polls on Tuesday, November 3rd 2020?

Can you help younger people in your area or in under-represented demographic groups register to vote? Join or support an organization like League of Women Voters or Let America Vote to level the playing field and help to fight voter suppression.

If you or someone you know is not yet registered to vote, or you think you or someone you know may have been removed from voting rolls in your or their precinct, you can go to https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-deadlines/ to see what the deadline is in your state to register to vote and what is required to register. Most states offer online registration.

Can you provide rides to disadvantaged people in your area?

Can you work with local officials to guarantee safe and no- or low-cost public transportation to the polls for people who wish to vote in person?

Can you help collect ballots from people who are homebound?

Can you think of other ways you can increase voter turnout in minority, women, and younger age groups to really turn the tides this election season? Get involved any way you can.

Inform Yourself About Gender Equality Cases

In case you’re like most people and just don’t have time to keep up with the latest in the fight for gender equality, you can take a look at past cases that went to the Supreme Court about gender equality issues by going here: https://civilrights.findlaw.com/discrimination/gender-discrimination-u-s-supreme-court-cases.html

You can also head over to the ACLU’s Women’s Rights page and take a look at past and present efforts, facts about gender equality and discrimination, and the pending cases and legislation on these topics.

I also highly encourage you to donate, even if its just a few dollars a month. If we all did that, it would have a huge impact on their efforts, and not only do they fight for gender equality, but they are huge proponents of racial equality, LGBTQ rights, human rights, and so many other critical issues that we need to preserve in our democratic system.

And then please share this post with anyone who needs this information. This year, more than ever, democracy and American freedoms are at stake and we have to get involved. Nobody has the luxury of just not getting involved anymore.

goddess spotlight: carmenta

Originally a Greek goddess named Nicostrata, Carmenta was renamed as such as a Roman goddess, where she ruled over childbirth and midwives. She is also invoked for contraceptive purposes for women who wish to avoid pregnancy. She is also a protector of mothers and children.

She is also the goddess of divination and prophecy, and her name comes from the Latin word carmen, which means spell or oracle.

She is also associated with poetry, and writing in general, as she is said to have been who altered 15 of the letters in the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet. She also introduced poetry and music to the early peoples inhabiting what would later become modern-day Italy, and is even said to have laid some of the physical foundations of the city of Rome.

She is the mother of Evander by Hermes.

Also associated with bodies of water, as she was the primary or leader of the Camenae, who were water goddesses or nymphs who ruled over springs and wells, as well as larger bodies of water in and around Rome. Because of this association, she and the other three Camenae (Egeria, Porrima, Postverta), could also be invoked for healing.

Correspondences and Associations of Carmenta

  • Color: Yellow, Blue, White
  • Element: Water, Air
  • Days: January 11th and 15th, or a festival celebrated for 5 days from Jan 11-15
  • Winter, Yule, Imbolc
  • Education, learning
  • Writing
  • Fertility/pregnancy
  • Foresight/prophecy
  • Raspberries
  • Water
  • Contraception
  • Music
  • Destiny
  • Magick
  • Spells, particularly charms

Magickal Symbolism of the Iris

This flower is found in depictions and art dating back to as far back as people drew flowers. Renowned the world over for its beauty and sensuality, the iris features in many magickal or spiritual contexts, as well.

Irises are some of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, symbolizing transformation, renewal, and hope. They are brightly colored and showy, reminding us to show up for ourselves, and to let our own true colors shine.

And, irises are here to remind us of our own sensuality. Their leaves are harsh, sharp, and phallic, juxtaposed next to the soft, delicate, and sensual petals opening in layers, just like a vulva. In fact, it is common in many cultures, such as Japan, to drink tea of iris petals and bathe in a bath of iris blossoms to ensure virility and good health.

Irises were planted on the graves of women in Greece, so that their souls could be guided by the goddess Iris, who shuttled them between the physical world and the Elysian fields of the afterlife. The goddess Iris was the female equivalent of Hermes, with her own wings and caduceus. Her symbol was the rainbow, which was how she traveled between the Earth and Olympus.

Irises are also considered protective, especially against disease and evil spirits. The flower can be planted on the sides of your porch or front door to ward off spirits and misfortune, and to welcome prosperity and protection. The blossoms are also placed upon the roofs of homes in Japan to protect against evil spirits.

The iris is also the flower depicted in the French fleur de lis, and the three petals of the flower shown symbolize faith, wisdom, and valor.

Irises can be found in virtually every hue of the spectrum, and, depending on what color they are, can symbolize more specific things for you beyond just beauty, transformation, femininity, balance, hope, and power.

What can’t the iris be for you? …that’s probably a better question, because these powerful and unique flowers are excellent for all kinds of spiritual or magickal uses.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • use a red iris in love spells, especially those involving passion or lust
  • use an orang iris for friendships, knowledge, and educational pursuits
  • use an yellow iris for creativity and inspiration
  • use a green iris for money, finance, and career spells
  • use a blue iris for communication or psychic dreams
  • use a purple iris for power, intuition, or connection to your higher self
  • use a black or white iris for protection
  • use a white iris for purification or protection
  • use any color iris for good health, beauty, lust/sexuality, and confidence

goddess spotlight: kuan yin

Kuan Yin is the Chinese goddess of compassion and mercy. She is the protector of the sick, poor, and disabled.

She is also a patron goddess of healing and healers. In an original life, Kuan Yin was a man named Avalokitesvara, who lived a life of suffering. After dying, falling into over a thousand pieces, was reformed into the goddess Kuan Yin.

Kuan Yin is often petitioned with prayers for the dead and with prayers for healing and health.

She is also the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion as Guan yin.

She is called ‘She who hears the cries of the world,‘ because of her responsiveness to all prayers and deeply compassionate nature.

Due to how appealing she was to those following her, word spread and she became popular and frequently petitioned by other cultures and traditions, accumulating other names in the process, such as Tara and was also synchratized to the Virgin Mary in some Asian cultures.

Correspondences of Kuan Yin

  • Color: White
  • Zodiac: Cancer
  • Planet: Moon
  • Element: Water
  • protector, protection
  • divine feminine
  • enlightenment
  • women and children
  • healers and healing
  • mercy and compassion
  • hands with eyes in the palm
  • a jug of healing water
  • protector of fishermen and sailors
  • peacocks and fish
  • white flowers, especially lotus
  • jade (mineral)

goddess spotlight: Hel

Hel (sometimes also spelled Hela, or proto-Germanic Halja) is the Norse goddess of the underworld and death that comes to those who do not die in battle.

Her dominion is called Helheim, but the underworld she rules over was once called Hel, but that name was later bestowed upon the goddess who would become its queen.

Hel is the daughter of Loki, the trickster god of the Norse pantheon. She was also said to be the sister of Fenrir, the huge wolf who was prophesied to kill Odin, and Jormungandr, the great serpent which fought Thor and will eventually kill him during Ragnarok. She was given the realm of Hel(heim) to rule over when Fenrir and Jormungandr were cast below by Odin.

Hel is associated with another large, dark hound-like beast, Garmr, the hellhound.

Hel is depicted as a duality of either a half live/half dead woman, half blue/half flesh-colored woman, or a half white/half black being. There is an extreme lack of mythology that clarifies the role she played in veneration or worship of the Norse deities, and how she may have been honored or worked with by Norse pagans.

There is some information that points to her being a patroness of Norse shamans, as she was responsible for thinning the veil between the world of the living and the dead, and would act as that guide into the other realms.

Those that work with Hel in modern times may choose to work with her in the aspect of their shadow work or to explore and accept their own inner darkness, or may also approach her similar to working with the Hindu goddess Kali, to whom she later had some synchratization after the Viking era had ended and more significant trade was occurring between European cultures and those of the Asia.

Correspondences of Hel

Colors: black, gray, red, blue,

Animals: wolf, hound, crows

Rune: Hagalaz

Other associations: an all-seeing eye of truth, ice, death, judgment, aging, darkness, illness, crones, shamans, spirits/the spirit world, Earth element

goddess spotlight: hina

Hina is the moon goddess of Hawai’i, however this goddess name appears in many other Polynesian beliefs, and she is represented in a number of different manifestations or aspects of the goddess. She has two faces, symbolizing the duality of our existence. Night and day, light and dark, above and below, and so forth.

She is seen as the divine feminine generative force, in nature and the cosmos. She, therefore, takes on the role of the mother goddess to all other goddesses in Hawai’ian spiritual beliefs.

Hina travels via the pathway of rainbows, but is a strong moon goddess, with associations to monthly cycles, femininity, death and rebirth.

At one point, her myths also incorporate her role as an ocean goddess. She is also depicted as either the wife, the mother, or the sister of the god Maui.

Overall, Hina represents the strong feminine personification, as a headstrong goddess who lives by her own will.

Correspondences of Hina

Colors: the rainbow

Planet: Moon

Other: butterflies, communication between men and women, creativity, art, artists, beauty, coconut shells, fertility, portals/liminal spaces, happiness, magick, nature, night, moonlight, protection, rebirth, transformation, divine feminine, the ocean, seashells, eels

goddess spotlight: calliope

Calliope (Kalliope) is one of the nine Greek muses (the others were Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, and Ourania), and is associated with the mastering of beautiful, epic, and eloquent poetry and writing. She can also be helpful to those who are songwriters or musicians.

The muses, who resided on Mt. Olympus, were raised and taught the arts by the god Apollo. Calliope is the oldest of the nine daughters/muses and considered to be the supreme muse. She helped and guided kings, emperors, and leaders in justice and rhetoric.

She is the daughter of Zeus and the mother of Orpheus and Linus. It is rumored that she was the actual muse to Homer, who wrote the Illiad and the Oddysey.

Correspondences of Calliope

Arts and crafts, dance, eloquence/power of words, inspiration, judgment, music, poetry, public speaking, courage/confidence, writing, Ostara, Beltane, tablet, stylus, scroll, lyre,

Color: Orange, Yellow, Blue,

Element: Air, Water

we still give the label ‘bitch’ too much power

Despite our best efforts as women to take back the term ‘bitch’ and take away its power from the men who have thrown it at us for millennia, it is still a powerful word.

We saw proof of this last week when AOC clapped back at Rep. Yoho R-FL for his labeling of her as ‘dangerous,’ ‘out of her mind,’ ‘crazy,’ and then, finally, a ‘fucking bitch.’

And then, in his apology, he claimed that he couldn’t be a misogynist because, you see, he has a wife and a daughter. Those things apparently automatically make a man 0% misogynist.

I wasn’t aware that was a thing, but okay. Perhaps all those men who beat their wives are really just feminists and we’re misinterpreting the whole thing, Rep Yoho?

Lots of shitty men exist. And lots of those shitty men have wives and/or daughters. Neither of those achievements exempts those shitty men from having to be respectful to other human beings.

This is like saying ‘I have that one black friend, so I can’t be a racist.’ Of course you can, Bill. The fact that you just have one black friend is probably the first red flag.

So, to men who think that the simple act of being married is somehow meaningful to women, and somehow should reassure us that you are not a threat, an asshole, a misogynist, or somehow automatically on our side, just know that its actually quite meaningless.

Literally any heterosexual couple can get married with almost nothing to prevent said union and it says absolutely nothing about the character and values of either of those people. Our president is married, yet he advocated for grabbing women ‘by the pussy.’ Bill Cosby was married, yet he is accused of raping potentially dozens of women over his career. And the list goes on.

Men throughout human existence have victimized, oppressed, and systematically targeted women and many, if not most, of those men were also married. Statistically, many also probably had daughters.

Anyway, this post is not about Rep Yoho’s misogyny as much as it is about women and labels. Specifically, how we allow ourselves to react, how we use labels against each other, and how that works against us when men think its still okay in 2020 to call us a ‘fucking bitch.’

What if, in addition to informing Rep Yoho that his wife and daughter were not qualifiers of his character, AOC had also said, ‘And henceforth, women will be updating the definition of the word bitch to describe the sheer power, tenacity, and accomplishment inherent to all women, so that, should you ever feel the need to call someone a bitch again, you’ll understand when we say ‘Thank you!’

How many of us call our friends ‘bitch’ as a term of endearment? Right? Like its a label we are proud to own and bestow on those we respect. But then, we also turn around and use it to refer to ‘that bitch at work.’ Or ‘some bitch’ on the subway. Or whatever.

As women, I can tell we very much want to take away the power that the term holds over us, but we continue to give it that power ourselves when we use it in the same way men do when referring to us pejoratively.

Let’s decide what we want here, okay? I’m fully behind making ‘bitch’ synonymous with a woman who goes after what she wants, loves fiercely, is intensely loyal to those she values, and draws firm fucking boundaries that she does not compromise on.

I’m fully behind ‘bitch’ being synonymous with a woman who doesn’t quit when she gets told ‘no,’ but uses it as a catalyst to grow. ‘Bitch’ might also mean a woman who knows her worth and isn’t going to do your emotional labor for you.

And so on.

Think about your friends that you greet this way. Why do you feel compelled to share this label with them in a positive light? It might be that the values or characteristics in them you respect are what you want to see all women foster and achieve. And by recognizing that ‘bitch’ inside her, you’re showing her respect, in this way.

What if, collectively, all women came to consensus that this is a term of respect? Can you imagine the kind of unity and power created by simply all of us deciding that ‘bitch’ is syn0nymous with someone who is respected, accomplished, amazing, intelligent, assertive, tenacious, and worthy?

Utopian dreams aside, maybe its time to start policing our words more closely, in terms of the context in which we use them and the intent behind them, in order to create a world where our daughters need not worry about a boy calling them a bitch, because its actually quite a compliment.

I’ve known enough shitty people in my life to know that people that think I’m a bitch have 100% overlap with people who are uncomfortable with my strong boundaries and expectations that they be responsible for themselves. So, anyone who has ever called me a bitch, I’m fully okay with that.

And anyone who will one day call me a bitch, I’m also fully in favor of that label. I try hard to earn it. It means I must be doing something right. đŸ˜‰ And for some triggered white man in FL to call AOC a bitch, she must really fucking intimidate him.

goddess spotlight: Maya

Maya is the Hindu goddess of dreams, wisdom, illusion, intuition, and creation. Maya can help one see how all is within them. The solutions and answers are within, and ‘as within, so without.’

Maya can help us understand how we are not just connected to the divine, but it is part of us. She is also a goddess associated with magick and witches. This may be because, in later schools of Hindu spirituality, the word maya had morphed from simply meaning illusion or dreaming, to meaning trickery, sorcery, deceit, or witchcraft.

In some Hindu stories, Maya is seen as one of Lakshmi’s manifestations.

She is also considered to be the divine feminine form of Shakti, the creator.

She is said to be the power of the mind to distinguish between what we think we perceive and what is present or true, but is unperceived. This is part of the enlightenment journey.

Correspondences:

Animals: spider; she is The Weaver, weaving the web of destiny

Associations: aging, the cosmos or heavens, creation, destiny/fate, dreams, illusions, intuition, magick, manifestation, removing obstacles, witchcraft, spiritual enlightenment, transformation, truth, weaving, wisdom, summer/summer solstice/Litha, Samhain

Colors: red, black, white

Elements: Air, water

Plants: given her association with dreams, illusions, and illumination, mugwort would be an excellent choice of herb, as well as lavender; rue would also be an excellent choice.

goddess spotlight: Ningal

Ningal, also Nikkal, (translated as ‘great lady’ or queen), is the Sumerian goddess of dream interpretation and divination. She was later associated with language and linguistics.

Her story says that she was a maiden and the moon god, Nanna, was besotted with her. After spending several passionate nights together in the marshes, he departed, promising to return. When he finally did, he found Ningal matured and assertive, making requests of him before she would agree to marry him.

He completed the tasks she asked and they were married, after which she gave birth to a son, Utu, the sun god, and two daughters: Inanna/Ishtar and Ereshkigal, both famed and devoutly worshipped goddesses of their own rights.

Ningal also was worshipped as a goddess of love and fertility, as well as divine feminine mysteries.

Associations:

  • Colors: Yellow, Purple, White
  • Planets: the Moon
  • Elements: Earth, Water
  • Maternal love, destruction, divination, dreams, fidelity, happiness, love, loyalty, intuition, femininity, vision, psychic dreams, prophetic dreams, agriculture- especially water plants such as reeds, cattails, lily pads
  • Seasons: spring and summer, especially between Beltane and Litha; Samhain;
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