Notes on a Women’s Shamanic Intensive in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains: Part Four

PART FOUR: Sea Turtle Goddess Teachings

K299 Turtle & Stone Woman Dream No. 5

Illustration for “BOOK ONE: The Place of the Springs,” from my “Stone Heart Turtle People” book series. Watercolor and pastel on 300# hp w/c paper. 20 x 29″

In Feminist Shamanic teachings, Sea Turtle’s home is at the Center of the Medicine Wheel Mandala, where she holds the entire archetypal content of the mandala in perfect stability and balance, a metaphor for the psychological stability we may eventually earn by means of ongoing feminist shamanic practice. She floats dependably and serenely upon a vast and mysterious sea, above the hidden home of the most ancient of shamanic goddesses – the Sea Turtle Goddess.   Each year during Intensives, she guides us in a Sea Turtle Incubation Ceremony, during which we symbolically “bury” a shamanically inspired project we want to complete. During that process, this Ancient One offers us guidance about the process of incubating our projects from their egg – or dream – stage, until they are ready to be “born” into physical reality.

K296 Stone Woman and Turtle Dream No. 1 crop

Crop from cover image for “BOOK ONE: The Place of the Springs,” from “The Stone Heart Turtle People” series.

Some of the teachings received from the Sea Turtle Goddess during this year’s Sea Turtle Incubation Ceremony include the following:

1. As we grow stronger shamanically, the “weight of the patriarchal world” bears down on us more heavily in response to our increased feminine strength.  One of the symptoms of this pressure is a tendency to periodically or continually choose some “spiritually asleep” activity, which dulls our shamanic consciousness and power, over shamanic practice. Each time we do so, we are unconsciously succumbing to the enormous pressures of our patriarchal culture to remain or return to being spiritually and psychologically “asleep” women, incapable of bringing about the change in world consciousness that Earth now requires.  Remember this each time you must choose one or the other. Be conscious of the choice you’re making.

2. The Great Mother/Mythic Feminine is slowly awakening. Women and the Great Mother/Mythic Feminine are interactive. Each time you choose awakening over returning to or remaining psychologically and spiritually asleep, you help the Great Mother/Mythic Feminine to awake. Each time she awakens more, she helps us to resist succumbing to the pressures of patriarchy to return to a state of spiritual and psychological unconsciousness.

3. Each woman must measure herself up against the enormous weight and pressures of patriarchal culture, and be realistic about how much “patriarchal weight” she can carry before she can’t bear any more. Don’t try to carry more of this weight than you can bear. Instead, remember that there are women all over the world who, like you, are engaged in the sacred dance between the awakening Mother and awakening women, and that you are part of that sacred dance. You do not have to bear the weight of the entire burden of dealing with patriarchal pressures on your own. Place something on your altar to remind you of how large or small a burden of patriarchal pressure you can actually handle, and be true to this fact about yourself.

4. Create a “room of your own” in which to meditate on these teachings – a space that is yours alone, in a place and of a size that you can protect from the intrusive energies of others…and use it.

You can learn more about feminist shamanic teachings about the Center position within the Medicine Wheel Mandala in my new booklet, “Shamanic First Aid for Today’s Woman.” 

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