France and Spain, 2019

My understanding and experience is that when we live in communion with rather than in denial of our bodies, we can access not only the vast realms of information and reality within our physical forms, but we are also in direct contact with unfathomable knowledge and wisdom accumulated in the body of the Earth and of All Our Relations.

Far from being meaty prisons that separate us from the rest of Existence, our bodies are delicate antennae, anchored in the Earth and tuned to the dimensional reality of our choosing.

This truth is shared with all the “primitive” peoples around the planet who never renounced their oneness with Gaia throughout the millennia. It is the foundation of a clairvoyant capacity called psychometry, popularised by police who employ “psychics” to “read” items of clothing belonging to missing persons or the strong energies imprinted in crime scenes.

These abilities used to be common – the many Medicine Societies of the First Nations of Turtle Island went underground only after their members were thrown into insane asylums by Judeo-Christian colonisers hell-bent on curing them of their visions.

We all have “paranormal” abilities, but most of us have been trapped in the institutionalised Normalcy of Church, School and State – our antennae vandalised (systematic and ritual abuse, the shearing of aboriginal people’s hair, the deifying of The Screen in all its forms) … our wings clipped.

We have been shackled by Cartesian Logic, by the tyranny of Normal, and mostly, by the belief that we can not survive separate from our Herd… our Tribe. Even among the swelling ranks of the Outcast – the homeless, impoverished and disempowered – there is a culture of homogeneity, of rules to follow. If we don’t obey the rules of our Tribe, we’re out. Feel this reality inside yourself for a minute. Think of all the hundreds of little things you do every day to hide who you really are – to blend in at work, in the family, on the streets.

But there are legions of us now – an Army of Light that I have watched steadily grow throughout this lifetime – praying, singing, meditating, working with crystals and doing ceremony and ritual to fortify the natural energy grid of Gaia. We are called to places where bloodshed, fear and violence have been imprinted in the Earth and are still affecting the beings living there, to help with clearing and release. Many of us are doing the same kind of work with individuals. We are using our expanding capacities to access our Real Stories – the stories of our ancestors, our former lifetimes and of the Earth that have been hidden from us.

I call the experience of receiving information about the history encoded energetically in the Earth “intuitive archaeology” and make no attempt to explain or justify the visions that arise, much less to convince anyone to believe them. Sometimes I share my experiences, sometimes not.

Over the past several years, I’ve been receiving what first seemed like random bits of information, through ‘normal’ channels. At some point, though, the bits started connecting like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – to almost form a picture. The individual pieces involve such potentially disparate themes as the Templars, the Orkney Islands, medieval Spanish poetry, Columbus, the colonisers of Costa Rica, Mary Magdalene, Oak Island and the Trail of Tears.

The first half of April next year, I will travel to the areas of France and Spain that border the Pyrenees to connect with the energies in very specific sites and see whether I can complete this tantalising puzzle. Recently, I decided to ask a few like-minded others to accompany me.

What do you think? Might you be interested? I should have all the details together by the end of this month (June, 2018), but if you’re meant to come, you’ll likely feel it without them.

Blessings,                                                                                                                                            Dawn

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Pourquoi la Viande? Pourquoi Maintenant?!

(Version française de “Why Meat? Why Now?!”)

Un autre végétarien invétéré m’a confié l’autre jour qu’elle a eu de si fortes envies de viande ces derniers temps qu’elle a fini par «céder». Pas chez McDo, par contre, elle s’est assurée que c’était biologique et locale. Et elle était déchirée entre d’être fière d’avoir écouté les besoins de son corps plutôt que de les nier, et de se sentir coupable d’avoir trahi les principes qui l’avaient amenée à prendre la décision de devenir végétarienne.
Mon corps a aussi demandé de la viande récemment et autres personnes m’ont exprimé le même sentiment. Ceci, et le fait que chaque deuxième personne à qui je parle semble essayer le régime Paléo, et sinon, elle mange sans gluten, m’a fait me demander ….
J’ai souvent cité le travail de PMH Atwater dont les recherches sur le gène Chasseur ont attiré mon attention il y a de nombreuses années. (En aparté, je l’ai rencontrée à l’une des conférences annuelles de l’IIIHS à Montréal – maintenant dans sa 43e année de réunir des professeurs et des chercheurs extraordinaires dans des domaines qui unissent la science et la spiritualité et l’un des événements les moins connus de la ville! http://www.iiihs.org/Conference2018_1.html)
Déjà en 1995, Thom Hartmann, psychothérapeute devenu animateur de radio, a suggéré que le TDA était un retour génétique à notre passé de chasseur-cueilleur. Le gène Chasseur invoque une extrême vigilance vis-à-vis son environnement – un avantage évolutif dans des circonstances dangereuses et imprévisibles, mais un handicap pour l’adaptation aux méthodes actuelles de scolarisation. Plus tard, il l’a rebaptisé le gene Edison (pour Thomas Edison) et a formulé des façons de mieux parenter et éduquer les enfants manifestant ses caractéristiques, croyant que leurs processus de pensée créatifs non-linéaires sont une clé majeure pour résoudre nos graves problèmes mondiaux.
Quand PMH Atwater a découvert que le gène Chasseur est apparu juste avant la dernière période glaciaire, elle a postulé que l’augmentation abrupte de ADD chez les enfants pourrait être un signe que l’homo sapiens est en train de devenir génétiquement préparé pour un autre cataclysme mondial.

L’idée qu’il y ait des ajustements dans nos corps nous aidant à nous adapter aux circonstances environnementales ne signifie pas nécessairement que nous sommes «pris en charge» par une force extérieure bienveillante. Les herboristes traditionnels examinent les plantes qui poussent en été pour prédire quelles maladies seront les plus fréquentes chez les humains et les autres créatures qui font partie du même environnement. Les conditions physiques sont présentes dans notre corps bien avant que la plupart d’entre nous soient conscients des symptômes qui nous alertent qu’un changement s’est produit. Nos corps humains ne sont pas séparés, mais plutôt des particules ou des cellules du corps planétaire, et sur la même trajectoire évolutive. Que le corps humain change avec les changements si évidents sur la planète ne devrait pas être si effrayant.

Ce qui m’est venu en méditant, c’est que les céréales ont été consommées une fois que nous sommes devenus agraires – lorsque nous nous sommes installés, nous avons commencé à créer des identités culturelles que nous voulions préserver, et avons commencé à avoir beaucoup d’enfants pour concrétiser cet élan. Nous sommes devenus sédentaires et ordonnés et stables. Des règles et des lois ont été adoptées pour contrôler ceux qui ont agi – ou même pensé – autrement … Nous voyons un énorme recul contre la contrainte des mœurs conservatrices et une fermeture des rangs sur le droit de protéger “la façon dont les choses ont toujours été “. Il me semble logique qu’il y ait aussi des changements physiques reflétant nos réalités changeantes.

Je pense que nous devons avoir une mémoire génétique de la façon dont nos ancêtres ont survécu la dernière fois que Gaia a fait le ménage. Est-ce que beaucoup d’entre nous réagissent négativement à la consommation de céréales non seulement à cause de l’ingérence de Monsanto, mais aussi pour nous forcer à nous mettre debout et à faire face à ce qui arrive globalement? Alors que certains développent des perceptions plus aiguës de leur environnement, d’autres d’entre nous connaissent-ils des souvenirs ancestraux de viande cuite sur des feux communautaires?
Si les produits céréaliers transforment notre corps en chaudrons mijotant toute sorte de maladies, les personnes qui renoncent aux céréales pour des protéines, principalement d’origine animale, décrivent des niveaux d’énergie plus élevés et des physiques plus «maigres et méchants» (“lean and mean”).
Il y a beaucoup de culpabilité associée à la consommation de viande ces jours-ci. Les animaux élevés en usine sont l’un des signes les plus flagrants de notre descente dans la capacité de cruauté qui découle de la croyance que nous sommes séparés et supérieur des autres formes de vie. Les camps de concentration pour les poulets, les porcs, les bébés vaches, les bébés moutons et tous ceux que nous trouvons délicieux sont non seulement des fléaux pour notre conscience collective, mais aussi des sources majeures d’épuisement des ressources et de production de CO2.
Les mèmes Facebook émerveillés par l’intelligence des chiens, des chats, des éléphants ou de tout autre, me semblent imiter l’incrédulité des Blancs «civilisés» rencontrant des «signes d’intelligence» chez les peuples aborigènes du monde entier.
Donc, je ne préconise pas du tout que nous devenions tous carnivores. J’ai essayé une variété de solutions à ce désir / mémoire. Les noix salées ont tendance à être mon palliatif par défaut, mais je trouve que l’ajout d’une saveur fumée à n’importe quoi aide aussi! Quand je mange de la viande, je me connecte avec la vie de la créature dont je consomme le corps et je promets d’utiliser cette énergie au service du Cercle de l’Etre.
Nous nous débrouillons tous à travers ces temps de transition chaotiques et confus du mieux que nous pouvons – essayons d’être aussi conscients comme nous le pouvons à travers tout cela ….
Béni soit-on!

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Why Meat? Why Now?!

Yet another inveterate vegetarian confided to me the other day that she has been having such strong cravings for meat lately that she ended up ‘giving in’. Not at McDo’s, mind you –  she made sure it was organic and local. And she was torn between being proud that she had listened to the needs of her body rather than denying them and feeling guilty for betraying the principles which had brought her to the original decision to become vegetarian.

My body as well has been asking for meat lately and I’ve heard this from others as well.  This, and the fact that every second person to whom I speak seems to be trying the Paleo diet, and if not, they’re going gluten-free, made me wonder….

I’ve often quoted the work of PMH Atwater whose research on the Hunter Gene caught my attention many years ago. (As an aside, I met her at one of the annual IIIHS conferences in Montreal – now in its 43rd year of bringing together amazing teachers and researchers in fields that unite science and spirituality, and one of the least-known events in the city! http://www.iiihs.org/Conference2018_1.html )

As early as 1995, psychotherapist-turned-radio-host Thom Hartmann suggested that the gene that is activated in people with ADD is genetic throwback to our Hunter-gatherer past. The Hunter Gene invokes extreme alertness to one’s environment – an evolutionary advantage in dangerous and unpredictable circumstances, but a handicap in adapting to present-day schooling methods. Later, Hartmann rebranded it the Edison Gene (for Thomas Edison) and formulated ways to best parent and school the children manifesting its characteristics, believing their creative non-linear thought processes to be a major key to resolving serious global issues (https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2007/11/edison-gene).

When PMH Atwater discovered that the Hunter Gene appeared in humans just before the last Ice Age, she postulated that the precipitous increase in ADD in children might be a sign that homo sapiens is being genetically prepared for another global cataclysm.

The idea of there being adjustments in our bodies helping us to adapt to environmental circumstances does not necessarily mean that we are being “taken care of” by a benevolent external force. Traditional herbalists look at what plants are growing in the summer to predict what ailments will be most prevalent in the humans and other creatures who are a part of the same environment. Physical conditions are present in our bodies long before most of us are aware of the symptoms that alert us to a change having occurred. Our human bodies are not separate from, but rather particles or cells of the planetary body, and on the same evolutionary trajectory.  That the human body is changing along with the changes so evident on the planet should not be startling.

What came to me in meditation is that grains were consumed once we became agrarian – when we settled down, started creating cultural identities that we wanted to preserve, and began having lots of children to make it so. We became sedentary and ordered and stable. Rules and laws were made to rein in anyone who acted – or even thought – otherwise… We’re seeing a huge push-back against the constraint of conservative mores and a closing of the ranks on the Right to protect “the way things have always been”. It makes sense to me that there would be physical changes as well reflecting our transforming realities.

I think we must have a genetic memory of how our ancestors survived the last time Gaia went through a house-cleaning. Are so many of us reacting negatively to grain consumption not only because of Monsanto’s meddling, but also because we are being prepared to get up off our fannies and Deal with whatever is coming our way?  While some are developing more acute perceptions of their environments, are others of us experiencing ancestral memories of meat cooking over communal fires?

If grain products are turning our bodies into exhausted, inflamed hothouses of all manner of disease, people who are foregoing cereals for proteins, mostly animal-sourced, describe higher energy levels and leaner, ‘meaner’ physiques.

There is a lot of guilt associated with meat-eating these days. Factory-bred animals are one of the most flagrant signs of our descent into the capacity for cruelty that stems from believing we are separate and above all other life-forms. Concentration camps for chickens, pigs, baby cows, baby sheep and everyone else that we find tasty are not only blights on our collective conscience, but also major sources of resource depletion and CO2 production.

Facebook memes marvelling at the intelligence of dogs, cats, elephants or whoever else, seem to me to emulate the incredulity of  ‘civilised’ whites encountering  ‘signs of intelligence’  in aboriginal peoples around the world.

So I’m not advocating that we all turn carnivorous, by any means. I’ve tried a variety of solutions to this desire/memory. Salty nuts tend to be my go-to palliative, but I find that adding a smoky flavour to just about anything also helps! When I do eat meat, I connect with the life of the creature whose body I’m consuming and promise to use that energy in service of the Circle of Being.

We’re all muddling through these confusing, chaotic Times of Transition as best we can – let’s try to be as conscious – as Woke – as we are able, through it all….

Blessèd Be!

 

 

 

 

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Witch-hunts, revisited…

 (This text was first written and published about a month ago. It has been slightly changed)

Today yet another of my Heart Sisters was declared mad (“psychotic”), apprehended against her will, drugged into a zombie state of compliance (“She’s much calmer now”) and incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for an undetermined period. She is the fifth of my close acquaintances to be subjected to this kind of experience.

 More and more of us are waking up to expanded awareness and what were once considered extra-sensory capabilities. As we peel off the shrink-wrap that has kept us small – tightly-swaddled infants, secure in our imprisonment – we open to other-dimensionality and all that this implies.

Courses in Shamanism, Trance-Mediumship, Working with your Totem Spirits, Talking to your Guardian Angel, Connecting to the Angelic Realms, etc, etc. have proliferated exponentially over the past decade, seeds sown in the fertile ground of a collective consciousness finally ready to breach the illusion of separation between Spirit and Matter. All the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, et al who attend their houses of worship and enter into prayerful connection with the Other Realms are lauded for so doing. They are considered good, moral people.

So how can it still be justified to violate a person’s free will and impose on her a materialistic, what-I-can-touch-is-what-is-Real definition of “Normalcy”? 

It is when our deviation from the norm disturbs the Clan – when it attracts too much attention and becomes a source of embarrassment to the social standing of The Family – that we find ourselves in peril. We are led by a kind of social mafioso, with a duty to bow to the Rules or suffer the consequences of exile or death.
But who among us does not hear that Little Voice – or maybe even many of them! We are having to learn to discern between all the voices that have been recorded inside us (that of Mom, Dad, Church, School Teacher, etc.) and the voice of our own sovereign Truth.

There, but for the grace of the Multiverse, go I – when I went through my most intense spiritual openings, it was in the 70s and I was living on the edge of Chinatown in San Francisco, separated from anyone who might have been frightened for me and easily melding in with the thousands of others experiencing alternate realities for a variety of reasons.

Today, I am infinitely grateful for having had the freedom to walk my own circuitous path to my Self. I am incensed and deeply wounded for my Relations who do not.

The members of our Heartroot community have often heard me say that we’re a flock of black sheep, each of us accustomed to an identity of The One Who’s Different, who sticks out … who disturbs. We have often comforted ourselves with the certainty of being Special.
If Heartroot is a place of refuge, it is not necessarily just to escape the deep solitude of The City and find commune in Nature. Here, people tell me that the greatest relief is to feel safe and free enough to really share what they’re thinking. We may talk a lot about the weather 😉 but there is also, in the silence of the forest and the starry darkness of the night, the space to express all that we have in our hearts without feeling weird and different.
  Perhaps this feeling of acceptance could help you better navigate the life you have been bequeathed – the fortress you have continued to build. Maybe it could even inspire you to find the keys to open the door and leave in peace, free and sovereign ….

AHO….

 

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La Chasse aux Sorcières…reprise

(Ce texte a été écrit en anglais il y a un mois. Il a été traduit et un peu changé.)

 Aujourd’hui encore une autre de mes Sœurs du Cœur a été déclarée folle (“psychotique”), appréhendée contre sa volonté, droguée dans un état zombie (“Elle est beaucoup plus calme maintenant”) et incarcérée dans un hôpital psychiatrique pour une période indéterminée. Elle est la cinquième de mes connaissances proches qui vit une telle expérience.
Nous sommes de plus en plus nombreux à nous éveiller à une conscience épanouie et à des capacités qui était autrefois considéré comme extra-sensorielles. Alors que nous nous débarrassons du Shrink-Wrap qui nous a gardé petits – emmaillotés étroitement, en sécurité dans notre emprisonnement – nous ouvrons à l’autre-dimensionnalité et tout ce que cela implique.

  Les chrétiens, les musulmans, les juifs, les bouddhistes, les hindous et autres qui fréquentent leurs lieux de culte et entrent en relation de prière avec les autres domaines de l’Existence sont loués pour ce faire. Ils sont considérés comme des bonnes personnes morales. 

  Les cours de chamanisme, de transe-médiumnité, de travail avec vos esprits totémiques, de discussion avec votre ange gardien, de connexion aux royaumes angéliques, etc., ont proliféré de manière exponentielle au cours de la dernière décennie, semés dans le sol fertile d’une conscience collective enfin prête pour briser l’illusion de la séparation entre l’Esprit et la Matière. 
  Alors, comment peut-il encore être justifié de violer le libre arbitre d’une personne et de lui imposer une définition matérialiste, ‘ce-que-je-peux-toucher-est-ce-qui-est-réel’, de la “normalité”?

  C’est quand notre déviation du norme dérange le Clan, – quand elle attire trop d’attention et devient une source de gêne au standing social de La Famille – que nous nous trouvons en péril.  Nous somme menés par une sorte de mafioso social, avec un devoir de nous incliner devant Les Règles ou de souffrir les conséquences d’exile ou de mort.

Mais qui parmi nous n’entends pas La Petite Voix – ou peut-être même plusieurs! Nous sommes en train d’apprendre à discerner entre toutes les voix qui ont été enregistrées en nous (celle de Maman, de Papa, de l’Église, de la Maitresse d’école, etc.) et la voix de notre propre Vérité souveraine. 
  Là, sauf pour la grâce du Multivers, j’y vais. (Traduction libre 😉 de l’aphorisme anglais: ‘There, but for the Grace of God, go I”) Quand j’ai traversé mes ouvertures spirituelles les plus intenses, c’était dans les années ’70s et je demeurais sur le bord du quartier chinois à San Francisco, séparée de tous ceux qui auraient pu avoir peur pour moi et facilement fusionnée avec les milliers d’autres personnes qui vivaient des réalités altérées pour une raison ou une autre.
  Aujourd’hui, je suis infiniment reconnaissant d’avoir eu la liberté de marcher mon propre chemin vers ma vérité. Je me sens exaspérée et profondément blessée pour Tous mes Relations qui ne l’ont pas.

Les membres de notre communauté Heartroot m’on souvent entendu dire que nous sommes un troupeau de moutons noirs, chacun d’entre nous accoutumé à une identité de Celle Qui Est Différente, qui détonne…qui dérange. Nous nous avons souvent réconforté avec la certitude d’être Spéciale.

Si Heartroot est un lieu de refuge, ce n’est pas nécessairement juste pour échapper la grande solitude de La Ville et communier avec la Nature. Ici, les gens me disent que le plus gros soulagement est de sentir la sécurité et la liberté de “dire des vraies affaires”. On parle quand-même beaucoup de la météo 😉 mais il y a aussi, dans le silence de la forêt et la noirceur étoilée de la nuit, de l’espace pour exprimer tout ce qu’on a sur le cœur, sans détonner ni déranger.

Peut-être que ce sentiment d’acceptation pourrait vous aider à mieux naviguer la vie que vous avez été léguée – la forteresse que vous avez continué à construire. Peut-être qu’il pourrait même vous inspirer à trouver les clefs pour en sortir en paix, libre et souverain….

Aho…

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For Mariela, in preparation for Women’s Day…

Namasté…

There are photographs you may have seen with a water droplet that has splashed and rippled a watery blue surface, while above all the movement another drop hovers in time, isolated and intact. The sweet, brilliant architect and inventor, Buckminster Fuller, described the Feminine as wave, begetting wave, begetting wave, and the Masculine as represented by that singular drop of water.

This explains so very much.

The feminine principle in each one of us is about Connection to All Our Relations: to our Human Family, our Earth Family, including the animals, plants and minerals, and to all other Beings in the multiverse. Waves upon waves radiate in concentric circles of reality, ripples in the Ocean of Existence.

The masculine principle is concerned about our individual identities – who am I and how am I different and special? Humanity has come through a long and painful period of defining the value of an individual in terms of power and dominion. Physical strength, intellectual prowess, moral superiority – whatever sets us above others and separate from them – has been identified by our cultures and societies as a positive, and masculine, trait. Being a Real Man has been defined as having some kind of power over someone. The antipode of this has been the powerlessness that our cultures and traditions have taught us is the state of a Natural Woman.

Those of us who choose to identify primarily with the feminine aspects of ourselves have a calling to honour and nourish the Earth and all Beings with whom we feel connection. Particularly when we become parents, it takes deeply encrusted judgements and prejudices to suppress the hard, physical fact that everyone is somebody’s child.

Those still struggling with the desire for power and dominance are having to work harder to justify and maintain their positions of superiority, for their time has passed. What I am seeing is that our value is more likely now to be judged in terms of the degree of our alignment with an individual Mission or Truth that is not imposed by any external authority but is rather the unfolding of our own, sovereign selves. As the dignity and integrity of the masculine principle is resuscitated in this way, the feminine is freed to blossom as well.

Peace, harmony, love, self-realisation – these all arise from an awareness of connection – of Oneness with All that Is. Anchored in this awareness and aligned with our individual Light, our individual Truth, we walk in balance and in beauty – in service to the World.

Blessèd Be!

water drop ripples

 

 

 

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Collateral Damage: the Culture of Christianity

Written in October, 2010, first titled: “Duality and Sexuality: The Law of the Jungle”

(This text may have been written based on my experiences in Costa Rica and Quebec, but it pertains equally well to any cultural and religious context that has its foundation in the suppression of the Feminine)

Over the past 2 weeks, I have had the honour of touching so many people here in Costa Rica, their lives and stories filling my heart and belly with the history of this land that I love so much.

I am told that someone has decided on the basis of statistics that Latin Americans are the most sexually well-adjusted people on the planet. Oh dear…Perhaps this mess is a harbinger of “the only way out is up”, and Costa Rica – along with all the other places on earth where the Catholic Church has cut its wide swath – are at the forefront of a shift in the way we live and love. Let’s hope….

Catholic men and women have historically been taught that sexuality was a bestial necessity of the need to go forth and multiply, and The Church had the foresight to co-opt Motherhood as the guardian of Family morality, convincing women that God would still love them long after their husbands had left them to go out and do more multiplying. Trading therefore the pure love of God and the assurance of a cozy afterlife in His care for the temporal carnality of – ugh! – sex with their husbands, the righteous Founding Mothers of this country left a legacy of shame and repression that still resonates its complicated patterns in every cell of each indoctrinated body.

But this is not the whole story, it seems. While the Founding Fathers here in Costa Rica – the white men who “broke” the land- were out conquering the jungle with roads and railways and the indigenous people with guns, money and semen, it seems that a goodly number of the Founding Mothers, perhaps tired of being civilised and doing needlepoint and such – maybe it had something to do with the wildness of the Life busily replicating itself around them – decided to divert their creative energy elsewhere. I am told, in tones strangely hushed for these modern times, that familial traits often pop up in the darn’dest places – the nose and eyes of an old and respected family appearing, for example, under another name….Children here, in the social strata where properties and genetic material are carefully hybridised, grafted and cultivated, carry the family names of both parents.

Class differences are as marked in Costa Rica as elsewhere in Latin America, but at least here the poor feel they are equal citizens of the land. Here, Ticos unencumbered by material possessions will look you in the eye when they speak to you, call you “Mi Amor” or “Mi Reina” and dispatch God to accompany you with the confidence of those who are still on intimate terms with the Divine.

The first time I came to Costa Rica, not quite 20 years ago, I stayed with my young family in a beach house near Esterillos on the Pacific coast. On our first trip into town for food and sundries, I was surprised at the tight clothes, over-the-top makeup, stiletto heels and general come-hither looks of dozens of beautiful young women strolling the main street. When I commented on the high number of prostitutes for such a small place, our host, a transplanted Quebecois, informed me that these were actually the upstanding young ladies of the town, from good Catholic families, advertising their availability to potential marriage partners – strutting their stuff. For poor families the world over, a beautiful daughter can be a precious commodity, possibly attracting a man of better standing, or even a foreigner. Although marriage is the preferred outcome, the men with power and money here in Latin America are notoriously generous with their…attentions.

Once you have had children, in or out of wedlock, you do everything in your power to keep the father around. You ignore his peccadillos and the abuse of whatever sort might come your way and you make sure you “get your body back” as soon as possible. You get a nanny if you can afford it, and get back as soon as possible to the business of keeping your man. The thing is that within the mythical constellation of Catholicism, once you become a mother you are set up for the role of Madonna – you become unsulliable – the Mother to the man who is supposed to be your mate. The obvious solution for the male is to find another sexual partner: The Mistress – The Whore. We see this everywhere in the world, different cultures with differing degrees of acceptance of the arrangement. A logical way off this Mary-go-round would be to be gay – if the Holy Mother Church only had less hold on the privates of the people. The other option that leaves one perhaps in the best of all possible circumstances is to be a moneyed widow: power, freedom and the moral high road in one neat package.

“This is the way it works – this is just the way it is”….and yet….Men I have spoken to here seem to be divided into two camps as well. Some of them seem bound to the responsibilities and privileges of a monogamous family relationship, expressing mostly an incredulous “Who has the time and energy for anything else?”  These are fathers who are involved with their children, often not wanting them to have to experience the pain that they did at having absent fathers. The other men have simply replicated the time-worn stereotype of the Latin macho man, sometimes with a sense of a kind of addictive inevitability – of not being able to stop themselves though they might want to on some level. Others are just proudly/defensively certain that “men are made this way”.

Both wives and mistresses are often left to care alone for their children, but there is always the chance that he might pick YOU and not HER….Competition amongst women is furious and largely unacknowledged. I see women exhausting their energy, finances and morale attempting varying proportions of Madonna and Whore – the Virgin and the Magdalene. Plumpness in the wealthy class is a point of shame and ridicule; “fat” is an epithet, spat out with disgust and pity. About 50% of the women I have seen have breast implants….

An elderly women stopped on the beach once to admire my children, especially the blond curls and green eyes of the youngest. She took my hand and with a toothless smile of complicity, stared into me and said,” But you are a brown woman (una morena), like me”. She was acknowledging what seems a global fact of life: lighter skin is perceived as a sign of elegance, civilisation and respectability. Dark-skinned women are for pleasure, and hard work; women throughout the world have told me of being labelled as ugly (and therefore worthless) because of where they landed in this hierarchy of hue. The old woman on the beach was in her thirties – the same age as I – and had already had ten children. She put my hand to her belly to show me the beginning swell of the 11th with a familiar mixture of sadness and joy – I have seen this and felt this myself, so many times….

Beautiful, juicy women attract the most wealthy, powerful men. If you do not believe that you are beautiful, you need to be smart; here in Costa Rica, there are plenty of smart women. Lawyers, architects, doctors, business women, artists, psychologists, biologists…. The country is being run more and more by women fueled by their insecurity as women, who have either decided to make the changes they can in the traditional patriarchal hierarchies or have become one of the guys themselves.

Women still throw themselves into motherhood as an escape from the dangers of being sexual women. Sacrifice and devotion are the by-words here: “My mother was a Saint” usually means that she put up with all manner of activity on the part of her spouse. Women who pull their energies out of their sexuality – out of their bellies and into their morals  – make themselves less or not at all available to their men, and put their daughters at risk. Incest is as rampant here as in Quebec, but is socially still much more of a source of shame – a dirty family secret. Children who have experienced incest pull their own energies out of their sexuality, but learn that they have a secret and dangerous power that they can be easily tempted to employ. Young women who learn they can be sexy to survive and have potential access to money and power are subject to ever more exploitation and abuse.

Arriving in San Jose’s Juan Santamaría Airport, standing in line amongst the eco-tourists with their backpacks, the Business Class with smart-phones and briefcases and the pleasure-seekers of all manner and mien, an official notice – posted as the last thing you read before passing through Customs and entering the country – warns:  In Costa Rica, it is illegal to have sexual relations with a minor. Offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I think I remember a prison term and a fine being mentioned. One is left to ponder the realities that precipitated this bluntness.

Women who choose to escape into maleness or motherhood teach their daughters either to never be dependent on anyone, especially not a man, or that they need to be smarter and sexier than their moms; they become men in women’s bodies in the first case or the classic seductive woman in the latter. Sons of deserted or dominated mothers learn not to be like their dads in order to be loved by their mothers; they learn how to keep mommy happy and acquire power by being “mama’s boys”, later morphing into seductive – or gay – men. Those who rebel become “just like your Father”.

Younger men who have witnessed and experienced consequences of their fathers’ transgressions often cut themselves off from their own fertility. Young women who have watched their mothers become slaves to their families do the same, and infertility plagues the land. Fertility clinics have had a rocky path to legitimacy in Costa Rica; couples who could afford to have until recently gone abroad to attempt to become parents, undergoing difficult clinical procedures that they don’t want to even think about afterward. All the humiliation and exertion can be mostly erased if the procedures are successful and they return with a pregnancy that holds to term. After all – someone has to inherit the wealth.

I have been bleeding for several days now – hot dark clumps of suffering flowing from my body, as I cry and cry and cry….

 

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