I’ve written about the “Red Woman” many times, she’s described in the page about my paintings, but I’ve never actually told the full story.
Kripalu for Women & Yoga
Written October 31, 1989
During body work with Debra, I was telling her about Samhain, and she said people here would be interested in the sacred calendar. She suggested that I come and do a workshop for the sisters, and I was so grateful at the thought that they might want me, that something/someone woke up in me. Feeling the new energy in the room, Debra said “Who’s that?” but I didn’t know, I only had a sense of huge red wings.
Thinking about having this person wake up in me. She is both me and not me, she is huge, she is a flame, a fountain, she has wings, and my life is dedicated to her service. Is she my soul? God? She seems much bigger than I ever imagined my soul to be, and at the same time she is much more personal and unique to me than I could ever imagine God.
I had thought that the only way I could have “chosen” to be abused would be if I did it to end the long chain of abuse handed down from parent to child. That seemed too noble a motive for the person I believed myself to be. Then I began to suspect that I had done it to help heal the earth. It occurred to me that if this incarnation was for the purpose of taking the pain of the abused earth into my body and healing it there, that is a choice that I myself am too limited and selfish to make. But the Goddess who is me and not me is big enough and compassionate enough to make that choice, and I am humbly grateful to be her instrument.
The work that we do together is the geomantic healing of the planet earth. I know the timing of the festivals and the steps of the dances, and the placement of the stones. And I am part of that company of human beings who have chosen to take the abuse of the planet into our own bodies and heal it there. Such a feeling of stepping into my heritage, little things making sudden sense, all the pieces of my life falling into place.
At that time I still had no idea that I was dealing with PTSD. Once I was able to accept that I had been traumatized in infancy, I realized that trauma is a shamanic initiation.