Rise Sister Rise Awakening the Wild Ancient Feminine of our Heritage. It’s High Time.

Zephyr in the sky, at night I wonder
Do my tears of morning sink beneath the sun
She’s got herself a universe gone quickly
For the call of thunder threatens everyone


Dromantine Monastery

As I was driving down the M1 I felt a surge of confidence as to where I was heading, a tad apprehensive but excited. So as opposed to wasting my energy on the apprehension bit I focused on my confidence on this mini trip and set my intention for the day as to what I was hoping to gain from it.

I’ve been aware of the importance of following niggles, nudges and hunches for some time. I spotted the event first on Rebecca Campbell’s website while browsing (possibly from a link from ‘Light is the New Black’ , her first book which I had returned to for a second read). ‘Rise Sister Rise’ at Dromantine Monastery in Newry April 8th. Firstly I couldn’t believe she was coming to Ireland let alone Newry, 40 mins from my house! Secondly, I had to get her latest book of same title. Still, I rationalized, is it a bit hippie chick? WuWu? Too expensive? I knew I’d be going alone. Would that be wise or a tad mad? I find it hard to explain my interest in this stuff and don’t appreciate being laughed at about it. And so the doubts crept in and kept me from booking for a few weeks. But the nudge became a shove, or let’s call it a call. So I booked before it was SOLD OUT!


So I put out my intentions for the day 1) to be more courageous and trust my intuition and feelings 2) to feel excited and inspired as I had been feeling quite apathetic of late and struggled to get going about anything. I wanted more fire in my belly. 3) to meet and connect with the right women. As I finished my intention ‘Ray of Light’ by Madonna came on the radio. Up goes the volume and I miss the first turn for Dromantine, but eventually get myself back on track!

It’s now a few days after the event and as I reflect on those intentions I  realize I got them, all of them, 10 fold! How exciting is that?

Rewinding back again to getting ready for the event, prior to intention setting, the night before. I wanted to wear something bright and either red or pink or even better, both (great combo). This may seem trivial but it’s important to me for reasons I can’t explain other than I want to represent myself accurately and feel like myself. I also wanted to wear heels, not 6 inchers but a small heel (not court shoes either), to feel feminine and because it’s what I would do for any event (unless a country house visit or farmers’ market of course). I didn’t want to appear too ‘hippy’. I mean you don’t have to be a ‘type’ to go to these kind of events right? This I know is born out of a fear of ridicule and being stereotyped. I believe the corporate lady running a massive company to the archaeologist to the girl who works at spar or indeed any industry or job or lifestyle can equally be ‘called’ to an event like this. Just as a back up though I brought my same coloured flats, though they flip off me annoyingly.

As I pulled up to the beautiful monastery surrounded by trees and serene lake I saw the droves of flat shoed women and not wanting to stand out I transferred from the highs to the lows and flip-flopped my way into the day. Later, at first toilet break, a lady comments on the fact they are flipping and tells me about her friend whose skirt got saturated in blood from her heels that morning.. Co-incidentally I ended up flipping uncomfortably up the corridor with said girl, her in her bare feet as she showed me her blue plastered heels explaining her disbelief at the fact that her one-time-made-to-fit wedding shoes had her heels destroyed by the time she started her journey that morning! Uncomfortable ill-fitting shoes? Hmm. Was there a theme rising? Cinderella complex? Trying to fit into roles/situations/relationships that just don’t fit anymore? But then I have this ‘crazy’ tendency to look deeply into everything.

I sat beside the girl who pulled up beside me in the car, she appeared comfortingly ‘normal’ to me. We both travelled alone, as did many. On the other side sat an older quite formidable looking woman who I wasn’t to speak to until later and how interesting that was to turn out.


Ray of Light

Rebecca appeared taller than I had imagined. She walked tall with such conviction and with an undoubtable bright, eye-catching aura and a twinkle in her eye. Her whole style of delivery was perfect; simple, graceful, loaded but light-hearted, authentic and fun. She doesn’t preach she just tells it as it is. She wore a gorgeous colorful cloak (apt) and wove her magic, just like in her writing, the effects of which I am still feeling and hope to for a long time to come.

Enquiry work

We paired up four times with ladies we were ‘drawn to’ to do ‘enquiry’ work. Taking it in turns we asked each other these following questions; What is your soul calling you for? If you weren’t afraid what would you do? How are you dimming your light? What are you carrying that is not yours? What do you do to fill up your well/ how do you mother/nurture yourself? Then we finished by sharing compliments and thanking each other in the ancient style still used by the Hawaiians, bowing to each other hands and third eyes meeting! I cannot underestimate the power of that compliment giving exercise as we have difficultly in our culture in giving and in receiving them. The whole purpose of this enquiry work was to bring to our attention what we need to do for ourselves and what we need to let go of.

And I feel like I just got home
And I feel
And I feel like I just got home
And I feel

As I reflected on the day on the way home I realized to my amazement that I spoke with four ladies, each representing a different voice. In fact age and situation wise each could have represented the maiden, the mother, the crone and all four were the wise woman. The maiden told me to ‘go for it’ in  a voice that sounded like my younger more adventurous devil-may-care self. The mother focused on my smile and thought my heart was so open. Another mother told me I was very in touch with myself, both of them tired and busy for everyone but themselves but they still managed to shine, and see the good in others. Their breaths were deep. The crone was the older ‘formidable’ lady and her message to me was the most astounding. She said when she first saw me she felt that I was a lady full of strength and courage. Courage? Really? That’s what I am looking for! What? I have it all the time? And suddenly I was the king of the foresssttt and had a Wizard of Oz moment!

Faster than the speeding light she’s flying
Trying to remember where it all began
She’s got herself a little piece of heaven
Waiting for the time when earth shall be as one

On reflection I felt a tad uneasy about the making eye contact with the ladies in the room, all strangers to me and I stayed close to my chair at all times. Even though I am a fan of interpretative dance and all kinds of dance I was quite the ‘stiffy’, not really wanting to let go. Fear I guess, on both counts.

The music and dance were fun and brought out our wild feminine energy. Perfect soundtrack for it too, shaking it off to; Sia, ‘Chandelier’ and  Florence and the Machine’, ‘Dog days’ to Diana Ross’s ‘I’m Coming Out’. That dance was the best and so much fun. Like here we are a bunch of modern day women ‘coming out’ as ourselves. Ludicrous but true!

Dancing, Chanting, Initiation, Meditation.

It was all hugely energising. Lots of deep breaths throughout kept us focused and in touch with ourselves. The womb initiation rite was intriguing and powerful but I worried a tad that the priest would arrive back and have a heart attack! I had flashbacks of Mass but instead of reciting the usual stuff I was saying ‘The womb is not a place to store fear or pain. This is a place to create and give birth’, repeating after Rebecca, our priestess. How radical, energising and real that felt. After years of resenting my womb I am loving all this womb love and womb worshipping, I had a lot of making up to do. I only started appreciating it in my 40’s! I am not sure if it was this initiation or the whole day but my womb felt like it was on fire for a few days after (or perhaps that fire in the belly I was looking for).

The heaven-heart-earth ‘pillar of light’ exercise was equally powerful and created a massive energy in me and from the tribe. Hands to heaven, to our hearts and to the earth (quite a workout when you do it at speed over and over).I felt we were drumming up an ancient and powerful energy. It felt like a spell, a good one, and that spell is still over me two weeks on.

The following day I jumped out of bed and decided to go swimming. I hadn’t swam in over a year but knew this was my exercise NOT running which I always feel I SHOULD be doing (wrong shoes?). I tore up and down that swim lane 22 times with a fierce energy I scarcely recognised but in my element. I was over- flowing with it.

A powerful, graceful, spiritual day filled with the wild ancient feminine energy is what I experienced that day in a monastery in Newry. A celebration of all things feminine and all things rising that are due, after 5000 years of patriarchy and dominance of the masculine energy. It’s high time. It’s not about men versus women either for each of us embody both energies. I myself know I am driven  mainly by my masculine side and it takes effort and mindfulness to get in touch with my suppressed feminine. It’s the ‘let’s do this’ energy versus the ‘let’s allow this to unfold’ energy. The push versus the pull, The yang and yin, the trust in the cycle of life.

So in a nutshell say YES to the nudges and niggles and don’t doubt them for that is your intuition whispering to you. Intentions WORK! Use them daily! Other women are not scarey, they are other parts of YOU, even the ones that get on your nerves (especially them!). I met with my maiden, my mother and my crone and never felt so at home. I found my tribe. Deep down I knew I would. Society makes you fearful. Embrace your crazy, as Rebecca urges, as you will find your tribe easier that way!

And I feel quicker than a ray of light
Then gone for
Someone else shall be there
Through the endless years

Rebecca Campbell is my Alanis Morrisette of this decade. Her voice, although she may chant, talk and write more than she sings, resonates with me so wholly, as did Alanis’. These girls are my tribe, they are my spiritual sisters, they rock. For me, right now, my spiritual intelligence is  more important than my iq or eq! Anyway there is a new q on the block, ‘HQ’, Holistic Intelligence. That’s what I am working on. We are made up of many parts and each needs nurturing to grow. To become ‘whole’ or ‘wholly’ (holy) is the aim. My own personal spiritual journey has been so important to me throughout my life and I was aware of it from an early pre-teen age. It is a huge part of who I am, so why would I want to hide it or deny it? Sometimes it can be a lonely journey though so discovering Rebecca Campbell and events like this only nurture that part of me and bring it more to the fore where I am reminded to make it part of my every day. By doing this the quality of my life improves no end.

Rebecca talks and writes about so many interesting concepts that resonate with me. One, is her insistence in following what lights you up, for in being lit up we inspire others to do same. Not to actually do the same as you but to follow what lights them up too. And so like a chain reaction we light each other up and hence raise the vibration of the world. ‘Hippy’ talk? So be it! But if doing what we love makes the world a better place, what’s not to love about that?

‘I’m coming out!! I want the world to know…let my feelings show!!        Diana Ross

So why should we ladies of every vintage and background feel huge relief dancing to a collective ‘I’m coming out’? Perhaps it’s different for each but for me it’s a vindication and acknowledgement for what I may think sometimes are my ‘crazy’ feelings, intuitions and beliefs and of course in following what lights me up. It’s about feeling and trusting our own power and integrating it successfully into our lives. I sat at the end, after our meditation, feeling relieved, comforted, empowered and inspired, more than I had come seeking for that day. ‘What you are looking for is looking for you,’ my young wise maiden beside me told me. And as my crone informed me, I have the courage. All along on my own Yellow Brick Road I have the courage to speak, to write, to be heard, to shine, to trust my own intuition (even when it appears to go against the grain), to go boldly where I have prevented myself from going before, where women were prevented from going before, whatever that might be.

Deep breath.







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