Dance with Me, la Dueña!
Loralee has such a gift for introducing the perfect word at the perfect time! Last night she closed by offering the phrase ‘El Duende’... This mischievous little creature of Latin American folklore is described as the embodiment of Spirit, and its image is a perfect fit for the spiritual temenos created by Silvia Ruth Behrend in her impassioned presentation on Evita/Eva Peron.
Silvia, you were our Dueña de Casa, possessor of the house, and the home you welcomed us to was as rich with spirit as the contralto profundo of your inviting voice.
You had me with your first story of the lone goose who inspired your intuition and research. Like Loralee, I was reminded of Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” and in particular, the line “Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” I hear the soft animal of love in your voice, Silvia. That you have found what you love and connected with it is evident in the deep-rooted timbre of your song.
I too have felt spiritual connection with a bird. Several times. Two days ago a nesting songbird captured my attention. She held a long twig in her beak and was deliberately flying up to my bedroom window, beating her wings against the glass. She repeated this at my living room window and then again at the window in front of my bathing tub. Wings flapping against the glass, twig held firmly in beak - persistent, determined. She did not injure herself but she remained at each window long enough to catch and hold my gaze. Like your goose, her spirit was a messenger for me, and like you, I believe I will come to understand her message over time. The windows she touched opened to restorative spaces - for living, dreaming, cleansing... all this in preparation for nesting and birth...
I loved your observation, “When you have an experience of Self, you need to be able to dance with it, for it’s always in motion, transforming…” So true, and especially in the work of Seeing Red, I feel the need to remain fluid. While still catching my breath from our deep dive into the dark feminine, now I’m rushing up for air to find the daylight is full of passion too. And when the promise of dark unites with the promise of light - poof! We have power. Feminine power, as embodied in the leadership of Eva Peron. Archetypal fields were constellated indeed, and her life, as you shared it, was filled with an energy a priori.
But my favorite moment was when your eyes sparkled with mischief as you let us in on your discovered secret, “The archetype of the Leader is actually the archetype of the Savior.” Shhh! I’m still sitting with this and feeling the soul-hurt need for spirituality in my life. In my experience spirituality has been rooted in patriarchy and too many men of the cloth have proved undeserving of the trust that faith requires. So savior as leader? Yes, perhaps in the form of a great winged mama-bird!
Thanks to your imagery of Evita, I’m now envisioning a resplendent spirituality, full of feminine regalia and power. As you said, “Evita was unashamed to use power to serve the mandates of the soul.” And “with the rise of feminine power we can begin to see power as empathic and connecting, instead of overruling.”
No, Evita was not a saint nor saintly. But in her aspect as spiritual leader, she grew her container large enough to hold the fearful projections of an entire nation. She embraced the paradox of feminine leadership and used her strong ego in pursuit of generative social change. And she used her power, (once again borrowing the words of Mary Oliver) 'harsh and exciting - over and over announcing (our) place in the family of things.'
Thank you for your generosity in sharing the life-dance of Evita with us last night. Next up? You need to teach me to tango!