By Kathleen Prophet - kprophet@bigfoot.com

Violent \Vi"o*lent\, a. [F., from L. violentus, from vis strength, force; probably akin to Gr. ? a muscle, strength.] 1. Moving or acting with physical strength; urged or impelled with force; excited by strong feeling or passion; forcible; vehement; impetuous; fierce; furious; severe; as, a violent blow; the violent attack of a tornado.

So once again I am wrestling with the inner energies, with what I am being required to swallow. Why was the image of the Dominant and submissive so distasteful to me? Shadow. I have not truly accepted my violent nature and therefore it tunnels its way underground erupting through cracks in the ego involuntarily. There is violence in that picture, violence given and violence taken upon oneself, willingly, consciously. Violence honored as power and worshipped as a primal energy in life... bowed to as POWER. The power that IS.

It is shadowy in this society. We want to pretend that we are not a violent people and yet we as a nation lord over the countries of the world, going in and pummeling life into submission. We are told to hide our violent nature as though it is some hideous creature... no place to act out, no altars to honor the Dark Goddess, and thus she bursts through the unconscious acts of us all in ways more heinous than we can bear to contemplate, demanding to be heard and seen in all of Her dark glory.

This is what I have wrestled with in my life, violent energies, destructive and decimating, that have been perpetrated on the submissive. I am both perpetrator and receiver of the violent act. It is nature. There in the beauty of the rainforest is nature in all of its brutality. Nature eating itself, destroying itself, creating itself through violent acts AND nature in love with herself, accepting herself, one with herself in that great circle.

The shock in this moment is that I STILL did not truly accept it. There was a part of me still holding onto the idea that somehow I was "better" than that, believing there is no honor in lording over another and none in bending the knee to anyone. I had not yet moved into the power of the image. I completely missed what my soul was seeking: respect for the Goddess of Power and the glory of submission to Her.

Attempting to move closer to integrating its debilitating affects, in the past I have held onto images of the destroyer goddess Kali, Ares, god of war, and Xena, the warrior princess. But now the energy is demanding to be woven into the very fabric of my life in a conscious way. It is demanding that I dare to look it fully in the eyes, say its name, and accept what IS. After all of my going on about the "dark side" I have not truly been able to face it. And face it I must.

Violence lives in the soul and in my soul very powerfully. My life emerged in violence; birth itself as one of the more violent acts of creation. And then my abode was with a violent god, a violent father, violent energies, chaotic energies erupting out and through my brothers and sisters. Violence given and violence taken. And still we wrestle with our conditioning that only peace and softness exist in the soul, flattening it into a two dimensional reality. We see and rail against the destructive act of a volcano or forest fire, yet we are blind to the loving interchange between this aggressive energy and its loving mate, intertwined as initiator and receiver in this powerful act of rebirth.

It brings to mind the words of Irene De Castillejo in her book, Knowing Woman:

That the soul can be dark, negative and destructive may seem a strange idea but it is impossible to imagine that the immortal soul has human attributes such as kindness, courage or forgiveness. Those are qualities acquired through being mortal and human. The soul is not human but our immortal essence and I can imagine that anyone who was completely identified with their immortal essence might be an insufferable person to live with and destructive in the extreme to the more vulnerable people around them.

And thus once more I am brought to my knees to ponder this volatile energy that exists so powerfully from one more vantage point, one more path, a path of ritualizing these energies in divine drama. A drama so shadowy that the moralistic ones feel repulsed when gazing upon it, or seeing it as I did as a disempowering act. My resistance to the ritual and my allowing myself to be so off center was the still not "getting it" and therefore the inability to move in a deeper way in sync with the mystery.

My teacher has brought me to this moment. With stealth deftness he is guiding me to the place of the encounter with the Dark Goddess where I may truly step into Her in all of her glory and dark beauty, to be lovingly adored by her mate, allowing her to live again, breathe again, and dance again in the world. This was one of the Greater Mysteries enacted by civilizations before there was a destruction of that wisdom. This honoring allowed a sanctification of her dark energies, a conscious attending engendering awareness. Yet ever since the eradication of these conscious rituals, horrific crimes have been perpetrated, raping and pillaging the world soul's relationship to herself in the name of some disconnected image of a cold and distant god separated from the primal impulses of Her nature.

Here I now stand humbled by the presence of this opportunity, this great work of soul. May I be made worthy. May I stay conscious through the process. And may I never again forget the hallowedness of the ritual.