When She Rules

“If god made us then who made god?”

That’s what I used to ask myself when I was little and just learning about Genesis while still figuring out if faeries were real and could I find one? The older I aged I just saw how blindly people followed their faith. I actually had a neighbor refuse to water her flowers because god would do it for her with some rain…those beautiful flowers died because that is what happens to beautiful things when they are left uncared for, and New Jersey suffers drought. The same sort of person who strictly believed to be gay was a sin; to commit suicide denied you entry to heaven, to die unbaptized bore the same fate. God forbid you experienced pleasure before marriage and the horror if you could please yourself. I couldn’t find solace in any almighty god who shunned so many seeking Hope in his religion. So I stopped.

Churches in the trees

But my mother’s grandfather was Blackfoot; so when I stopped wanting to get up early on a Sunday and go to church, my parents started teaching me about other religions. The religions they believed most. There was something to the idea of an all-encompassing great spirit that appealed to me. I learned that Native American’s would hunt and use every single piece of the deer, nothing was wasted, and they gave thanks to the animal after slaughter. They honored nature and what came before them. God was in the rivers and the sky and the trees. That idea materialized in the form of my beloved fiction when I read A Great and Terrible Beauty. In it Gemma’s mother tells her while watching the shapes change in the clouds that this here is our church, nature. When I buried my grandfather I sat at a catholic mass while outside the sun was shining and all I wanted was to feel the earth and the breeze. We are of this earth and when we die we should be planted like seeds to flourish like gardens of Eden.

Eden. Lilith came before Eve but she was less compliant. They cast her out. Eve tasted Curiosity’s apple and she too was thrown out. Why did it seem these stories were of shaming women who thought for themselves? History rewrote Lilith as a demon, a vampire, a witch. Women were hanged and drowned for birthing babies and growing herbs to cure ailments. It was almost like Eden was just for men. Women were torn from his rib just to keep him company. I never found a story in the bible of a powerful woman, Mary doesn’t count because no one asked her if she wanted to birth the son of god to man. And look what they say about Mary Magdalene.

Pillars of Strength

But D’Aulaire’s book of Greek myths introduced me to a whole slew of powerful women; goddesses and mothers of demi gods who were celebrated for being the vessel from which such strength came from- because you know Hercules would have been nothing without his mother. I devoured all Mount Olympus had to offer. And then I moved on to Egypt and India and China. I found scours of powerful women: Gaia, Artemis and Athena; Isis, Bastet, Sekhmet; Kali and Lakshmi; Quan Yin.

And then I found Wicca and puberty was easier. Next poetry, and then the powerful woman was me.

All the beauty I could create from pain. How I could even create new life.

That was magic to me. I was magic. I did find a faerie in the mirror I saw her wings.

What does it matter where god came from, what if god didn’t create this, what if we are the creators of ourselves? A big bang of stars and we converged into human life forms. These bodies are just home for all our star-stuff?

Goddesses and magic. Men think it’s silly. Look at the gypsy girl with her tarot and her crystals dreaming of ghosts. But it isn’t silly; this is how we return to ourselves. How we reflect on our broken hearts and our broken mother earth.

I always liked how Mexicans celebrated Dia De los Muertos. They celebrated their dead. They paid tribute to their ancestors-the ones who came before.

Witches honor the women who came before. We are experiencing a rise of the coven, this sisterhood that will help mend the world.

I hear drumming at night and it’s my heart beating louder, unafraid. I used to be so afraid of what everyone else would think.

I think I was afraid to wear a crown the same way I found a ring to be like a prison

But I don’t need to rule over a kingdom, I just need to rule over myself.

This is me planting my feet into the dirt of an overgrown garden I water furiously and I do find god in the maple leaves, my god lets me run wild and free. I am the goddess and he the horned king.


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Alise Versella

Alise Versella is the author of Five Foot Voice, Onion Heart, and A Few Wild Stanzas. She is a contributing…

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