This St. Paddy’s Day, what if raise our glasses to a different Irish story? Meet the Irish Sovereignty Goddess and let’s drink to transformation, ditching toxic masculinity, and seeing past a woman’s looks.
Just as every full moon is followed by the darkness of the new, and the crest of every wave is followed by the trough, so we humans must find peace in the fallow time, the quiet time during which we recover.
We might wish to defy the cycles of nature, but we always get pulled back and reminded of who we really are - creatures who ebb and flow just like the skies, the seas, and the seasons.
Since the #7MagicWords Challenge wrapped up at the end of September, I've drawn inward.
In part, I needed the rest after the great outpouring of energy required by all that collective magic making. But really, that creative magic I celebrate every day has been having its effect on me. I needed to still my public voice as I began to figure out how to integrate it all.
Quite unexpectedly, the daily Magic Words themselves have begun to take a new shape. Even as I worked my own creative magic on them, they started really working their magic on me.
(That’s how this tends to work, you know. When you put enough passion and energy into a project, it gives back to you. As you shape your creation, it shapes you too. The dance continues in an infinity loop of grace as long as you can combine commitment and surrender in their own good measure.)
As you likely know, I've traced my 2017 through the #365MagicWords project. I show up to Instagram and Facebook with a new word, image, and story just about every day. Family trips to the beach, moments of backyard beauty, and inspiration from my bedtime reading all inspired the word of the day.
The words, stories, and pictures were a reflection of daily life. They were exactly the size of my world: sweet, but kind of on the small side.
“This is me,” I seemed to say with each post. Everything safe and contained. I smile for the camera. I keep my secrets. I transmute my fears and flaws and shame into something quite compact, light, and harmless.
Not a whole lot to see here, just a nice, tiny little word for a narrow little world.
But the MagicWords needed to teach me something. Turns out, they were preparing me for something all along. Something beyond the limits of a smartphone screen. Something as big as my truth.
There’s one question we’ve all been asked. (No, not a question about cauldrons and spells, but I do tend to use those metaphors to talk about creative energy quite a bit, so I am sure some of my story healing clients are nodding!).
Sometimes the question is posed with soul-deep sincerity and other times it comes from someone’s bone-deep aggravation: “What do you want?”
The version that really got me to stop and pay attention: “In your vastest, most inspired dreams, where are you in five years?”
Finally, this question cut through my armor and my excuses. (You know the excuses: “I’ll journal about my heart's deepest desires tomorrow, when I can find the time...”)
My most powerful WarriorGoddess-WiseWoman answer was something like “Um, I don’t really know... but I hope to the gods I’ve written a book by then and I don’t have to worry about money or health or love.”
The painful truth was out. It feels totally devoid of magic, but quite rich in pain and regret:
Though I have been reading all the right books and listening to all the right podcasts, I have been dreaming medium, playing small, and mourning lost opportunities in a big, huge way.
“Sovereignty” is my favorite word, but I wasn’t really showing up to be the ruler of my own life. There was a huge disconnect between the way I tried to look when I walked down the street and the thoughts that were swirling in a constant loop in my head.
Wake up time.
For years now I have been walking around with these short, mighty sentences inside of me:
Free the Princess.
Crown the Queen.
Embrace the WiseWoman.
They are lessons I credit to the Sovereignty Goddess, a Celtic deity who embodies the spirit of the land and conferred the the right of kingship to the man who could please her. (Yes, I a do mean “please” in that sense. Read more about what the Sovereignty Goddess wants to teach you here.)
Her mythical and historical background are fascinating and inspiring, but what really matters is the way Sovereignty Goddess dwells within each of us (women and men alike because we all carry elements of the divine feminine).
To connect with your own Sovereignty, to stand Sovereign in your own life is to lay claim to the soil beneath your feet. If that soil isn’t fertile and stable enough to hold you yet, that is where you begin, tending to your wounds and loving yourself into this piece of the earth that so wants to hold you, flaws and all.
Once you trust you have a right to your patch of the planet, you begin rooting there, deep into your true identity.
These Sovereignty Lessons - these messages from Creative Source, from your own Higher Self - they aren’t just meant to protect you in a rosy little reality of your own making. You anchor into yourself so that you can remember who you are and what’s important and take action from there.
When you’re grounded into truth and into your own Sovereign Story, you can enter into the great ecstatic dance of loving and serving and healing and transforming this gorgeous, bruised up world.
Even as you continue to question your own assumptions, blind spots, and the false beliefs that you’re separate from the shadows and light in our society and the suffering and the glory of our planet, you’re holding that sacred piece of turf inside you.
Sovereignty is the identity, the story, and the collection of soul-deep things you know for sure. It’s the place you build from. It’s the place you come home to when you need time to learn, to heal, to grow.
As I said, the #365MagicWords posts are evolving and shifting. Find them on Instagram or follow my Facebook page, Sovereignty and Magic Making with Marisa Goudy to see them each day. To join the conversation, remember that the door is open to you at the MagicWords FB group too.
And I invite you to think about your own relationship to Sovereignty and your Sovereign Story… Have you uncovered it yet? Is it buried under shoulds and doubts or lost inside your not-quite-the-right-size dreams?
Consider a Story Healing Session. Together, we’ll weave the practical and the magical to anchor your into yourself and give you the freedom to bravely express your truth.
If I had one wish for you, it would be that you would stand sovereign in your story and in the marketplace. Sovereignty is at the heart personal fulfillment and professional success. When you are sovereign, you are the confident, compassionate ruler of your own life. You don't assume that you can control everything, but you are sure of your worth and guided by your dedication to the greater good. For the healer, therapist, or coach who wants to change lives with her vision and her work, sovereignty is a beautiful thing to aspire to.
But, before it was applied to the modern individual, “sovereignty” has belonged in discussions of royalty and statecraft.
At the heart of Celtic myth - and particularly Irish myth - sits the Sovereignty Goddess. She is divinity made flesh and an embodiment of the land itself. In order for the king to take the throne and guarantee the fertility of his realm, he had to win favor with this otherworldly woman. And then she took him to bed to seal the deal.
Across mountains meant to be her breasts and across rivers meant to be her blood or tears, battles were waged in her name. The Sovereignty Goddess did not rule, you see. She was the power behind the throne. Or, perhaps, it's better to say the power before the throne.
She supported his royal cause and she crowned the king, but then, she had to stand aside and let him define his own destiny.
Centuries later, when the Irish peasantry struggled under English rule, the Sovereignty Goddess represented dreams of independence. This time a fairy woman, the goddess would appear to young men in a dream and incite them to take a stand for themselves, their people, and their country.
(Does this sound a but like what you do for clients? You help them along their journey of becoming and giving them the tools to succeed on their own, right?)
History is starved of powerful women, so this influential creature is a welcome shot of the feminine. Certainly she got my attention when I was a student, just as she got the attention of the people who used these myths to understand their world.
But a couple of generations of feminist literary and cultural criticism has taught us that “and then a woman appears” is not always a sign of gender equality and empowerment.
Though seducing mortals and actually being a country is all very fabulous, it’s quite disempowering. The goddess is momentarily star of the origin story, but then she is pushed offstage until the hero decides to invade a neighboring kingdom in her honor.
With this in mind, what can a kingmaking, rabble rousing Sovereignty Goddess do for the transformation professional on their own quest to change the world?
Well, being an essential part of the prologue or “just” having a recurring role in the supporting cast is actually what being a healer is all about.
When you’re a therapist or healing professional writing in support of your own work, the Sovereignty Goddess can be the perfect model.
As the writer or the healer, you’re not the star. The reader is the hero. The client is the hero.
Your role is to awaken, inspire, support, facilitate. Though you hope to sustain a long term relationship with your readers and your clients, the focus is on their process and growth, not your role as guide.
Here are five ways to embody the Sovereignty Goddess and make a difference in your business and in people’s lives:
This St. Patrick’s Day, as we celebrate all things Irish (both pagan and Christian), I’d be grateful if you shared the Sovereignty story with your community - who knows what getting in touch with their inner Celtic Goddess might do for them!
Do you need help discovering and telling your own Sovereign Story? Check out my writing coaching services.
If you're longing to meet the Sovereignty Goddess within, I can help you connect to her during a Creativity Healing & Coaching Session.