Review: Jailbreaking the Goddess

I had been laid off. My apartment was full of something I was wildly allergic to, and a vicious injury basically kept me from doing anything more strenuous than sitting up for longer than fifteen minutes at a time, three times a day.

 

And I was just about to learn that the vision of the goddess that I had had for over a decade was steeped in patriarchal baggage.

 

“No way, nope, there is no possible…wait.”

 

The longer I thought about it, the more I realized this was right—the vision that we have of her has been locked into what man has had for her for years: a virginal maiden, a doting mother, and the wise old crone—and fairly often, a frightening one, to hear men tell of it.

 

Where was the woman in her goddess?

 

There is something lacking in this vision of the goddess, but until I this book fell into my hands, I had no idea how to get past that limited view. Lasara Firefox Allen takes that limited view and breaks it into pieces in Jailbreaking The Goddess as she throws you first headlong into the worlds of both feminism and a new world in which the goddess is not threefold, but fivefold, and no longer bound to biology and linearity.

 

Throughout the book’s chapters and exercises, we are introduced to both the faces of the goddess in this new revisioning—Femella, Potens, Creatrix, Sapientia, and Antiqua—as well as famous and notable women and even goddesses who have embodied each of these faces in history both recent and past. But it’s not just about the information. While each face of the goddess is explored, a bit of the mental programming around the old vision is broken away, and the energy begins to feel different—not all at once, but gradually. Soon enough I began noticing the difference in the energy, noticing the influences and identifying them in different areas of my life; a project would have the childlike but unfettered feel of Femella in and through it; a sudden discovery would have the lightning strike of Potens all through it; disentangling myself from a difficult situation would have both threads of Antiqua and Sapientia in it.

 

And for the first time in a long time, She began to feel real to me again.

 

As a non-binary person of color, this was a very important realization. Far too many interpretations of the Goddess and goddess spirituality take a strange, alienating stance on the transgender and gender-nonconforming, but not this goddess. In fact, a strong point is made on this, as after the examinations of the faces, the work on decolonizing and rewilding begins, with a focus on taking things back from the toxic influences that have had a hold on them for so many years—and yes, this includes the patriarchy (#smashpatriarchy). Exclusion has no place with the Goddess, and here we see that she can welcome and hold all, no matter where they stand in life and what they have to do. To feel welcomed again was phenomenal, a welcome change from what had happened.

 

In Jailbreaking The Goddess we learn lessons at once profound and occasionally cheeky, while at the same time learning about ourselves and how to potentially change the world around us, and the way that it comes to us is presented in such an organic manner that reading it, you might not realize you’ve learned something.

 

If you’ve been a bit put off with the way the Goddess has been set up to you…it’s time to come home.

 

Jailbreaking the Goddess drops July 8th at your local bookstore.

insomniac? Insomniac.

Insomnia.

It’s a little past 8 in the morning and I am not rested. I occasionally get bouts of insomnia, which if you know insomnia is kind of a dick. It was four something this morning when I was still up, bitching at the ceiling and my stuffed animals that the pill I’d taken for nausea was doing the opposite of its job.

So to keep missing busy I decided to install an assistant on my phone. An English patch isn’t available for my favorite anymore, so I decided to try something different.

Kicked myself in the teeth when I asked Andromeda (yes, my phone has a name) how to set up Siri. I am an Android user. I do not have Siri. I’m two seconds from correcting myself when Cortana opens and—

Well, I liked that tutorial. It boils down to “Boss me around, we’ll work on nuances later.”

I then set about half a dozen reminders—a function I’ve missed since my Windows Phone days—and took a hit of grape Tylenol.

I woke to a jangly cacophony of alarm tones at about five minutes before it was time to leave. For some fucking reason I glanced at my phone and muttered: “More cowbell.” THEN I spotted the pair of redflats that had made snack of my hand. It will swell up ugly but it’s all they got. The morgue grows.

Shotgun meds, out the door. Not nearly awake.

I’m still amused that CHILDREN’S TYLENOL stacked on this tramodol—which my doctor’s claiming to be a narcotic but all the research says no—is in fact helping. I’m also amused that he almost wilfully overmedicated the otc component but undermedicates everything else. A round of applause for the ever underappreciated pharmacy technicians who keep us from doing the dumb when the doctors aren’t paying attention

I’ll let you know what I think of Cortana in a week.

Of pain and a troubled relationship with its imperfect, impermanent cure.

It’s 0330 or so. An errant pain spike has woken me up.

The realization that it now takes a double of my pain meds has me feeling some type of way. Those would be scared and disappointed.

___

For a long time I have felt that these things are just a crutch for weakness. Specifically my weakness. And I can’t stand thinking of myself in that zone.

But lying here, I… Almost know better.

With my pain almost wrangled, I can feel the three worst parts inside of me so clearly—the tear just near the diaphragm; the one in my middle, the one that fails me so often sitting up; the one that starts low and radiates into my groin.

I’m able to swallow water that I carried in a bottle next to me. It’s my first intake since Sunday. The sensation of “thing in stomach” has revived pain center number three.

Drinking water is pain. But I hadn’t had it in a day. I am not brave enough yet to try food.

___

0340. Nauseated. Praying that sleep takes me back. It was only an hour of respite.

I am not OK.

Mundane Pain.

The fact that I have received a full refill for my pain killers shouldn’t be something that makes me this happy. Seeing the little “2” next to the thing on the bottle was a mundane little thing. Shouldn’t have meant much of anything.

I did what passed for a little jump dance.

It meant a couple weeks of being able to function again.

The last few days have been hell. Now they might be less hell.

Insult AND Injuries

So, the OB went looking for the mass and almost knocked me out, right? And he says that if the thing gets removed we might lose that ovary but do you realize there’s also a fucking hernia here

And I’m like “ask again later when I’m not seeing lightning bolts?”

Five minutes later in the room with the books he literally goes down the textbook and

Yeah

It’s also probably already INCARCERATED even and he’s gonna kill my GP for missing it last month before it got here.

___

He doesn’t think it’s the mass causing the pain—in fact after the pelvic almost knocked me out, he was positive. It was why he went through the book and looked at the signs of a hernia (after I’d recovered enough to answer his questions) actually. We’re going to need more exams to see if the thing is benign or something else, but the fact is this thing is kicking from one side to the other in my guts along a hernia scar that is literally the same age as me—the hernia that was repaired in it is older (I WASN’T BORN YET).

___

It gets better/worse: we are having a fuck of a time finding a surgeon who takes my HMO.

Literally my best chance is to blow this thing at work and wind up in the hospital from there.

So yeah, this kinda sucks.

New Year, Same Old…

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January 6, 2016 Wednesday 1:54 PM

44°F

 

A New Year.

I’m getting ready to start things over this year. In a way, though, nothing has changed from last year. I’m still sick, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Several challenges that I took on went uncompleted (I’m looking at you, 100 Things list).

Things did come up, though.

Somewhere around the end of December of ’14, my guts started acting up. It’s been months of tests, scans, more tests, more scans, cameras on tubes shoved in places where tney should never be allowed to go, and now I’m going to have to deal with an ultrasound probe being shoved down my throat in a month, because we’ve gone from thinking it was my stomach (which did have a problem, the lining in my stomach was apparently so far gone they were surprised that it was functional at all), to thinking that it as a kidney, to now thinking that it is my liver.

It’s resulted in spending a year of learning how to eat again. Things that used to not be an issue are now things that I either canno eat at all, or have to limit greatly. And that was if I could eat at all. In the span of about two months, without trying to, I lost about forty pounds.

And the only thing that I could do until they treated the “stomach with no lining” was drink mildly flavored seltzer and drink high protein, lactose free milk.

It has made things incredibly difficult to manage.

A midyear breakup didn’t make things any easier, even if it was me who cut things off. I knew things had to be cut off, what had to be done. The stress was making me as sick as my actual illness. The thing is, knowing things like this don’t make it any easier.

 ___

It’s a new year now, with vastly lowered expectations, no resolutions, and only one real imperative: finish things that I start and survive. A rather lofty task when I’m looking at even more scans, three particularly scary potential diagnoses are on the table and we’re trying to rule them out with the scans, and the spectre of a betrayal so deep rooted that I never thought it could happen.

Looking back at all those things isn’t going to serve me, though.

I’m taking a broom to that old path, and dusting my old footprints away so I can never retrace those steps.

It’s forward from now on.

Among other things, I’ve been ill.

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Pardon the watermark, I'm ganking my own tumblr

1:45 PM.


There is the souvenir of my trip to the MRI:

A CD with pictures of my brain.

Of course, I don’t know how to read these things. But I find it fascinating. I mean it’s pictures of my brain.


It’s too early to get the results. As usual, the nurses present asked me more questions than my doctor does. These included

Have you had seizures?

That’s one I honestly don’t know about. I mentioned that thing where I’m fine one minute and then after what I think is a migraine ice pick starter I’ll feel the irresistible urge to sleep wherever I am. (That got an alarmed look.) Apparently this might be a kind of seizure.

And then there was

Has your doctor talked to you about MS?

No he has not, but he is HELL BENT on making this neuropathy diabetic. Cue the WTF face at the chart when she saw how many times I’ve been tested this year.

The MRI itself wasn’t so bad. But grocery shopping?

I shouldn’t have done that.

I should not have done that.

I’m dizzy, faint, weak. I’m going to collapse as soon as I get home. That thing where out of nowhere I desperately need to sleep wherever I am.

I’ll take questions and things… I’m just not awake for a bit. Holy crap.