I’ve always been intense. I wouldn’t know how to be any other way, even if I wanted to, which I don’t. There are professions that people who are by nature fierce are drawn to. Attorneys are warriors of spirit. Healers of all kinds are, as well. Activists, people who stand for the voiceless, who advocate for animals, the environment, children.. People who want to change the world are always fierce. They have to be.
Western culture is so interesting. It values fierceness at certain times, in certain people, but not others. It values fierceness in athletes when they are on the field, or in a ring or competition, but not in life. It values fierceness in soldiers on the field of battle but not when they get home, as if there should be an off switch for the personality trait that caused them to choose to become warriors to begin with. It values fierceness in women rarely. Women who are born fierce are told from a very early age by the culture that they should be softer, that being “feminine” means being somewhat passive. Which is really bad news for an alpha female.
In Native cultures, women are expected to be strong. I’ve always been drawn to spiritual paths where the Divine feminine is depicted as powerful, as well as loving. In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan is revered as the Goddess that protects warriors in battle. In ancient Egyptian mythology Sekhmet, called the Destroyer, is the patroness of physicians and healers, as well as the remover of obstacles and the bringer of justice, also one of my guides and teachers. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy role model.
In Shamanism, we integrate all of the parts of ourselves, using the shamanic journey, Power Animals, our Higher selves. Some of my Power Animals are gentle, Deer is one I work with daily. Deer represents gentleness and compassion. Accepting people exactly as they are in the moment. Mountain Lion is another Power Animal I call upon frequently. My Mountain Lion is female, and protects me on journeys out into the void. Fierce and fearless.
Being fierce means we live our lives in a completely authentic way. It takes courage to do that. No masks, no holding back. It means being fully present, both to the self and to the world. It means living from an open Heart. For me, it means bearing witness to the journey of others, including their fear and pain. To stand with them, no matter what.
In a culture where narcissism is a pandemic, and religious extremists are everywhere, trying to eradicate the separation of church and state, and force their beliefs on all of us, doing to us what they did to Native people as soon as they landed here, being fierce means saying no. Loudly. No, you can’t deny women reproductive rights. No, you can’t deny any human being the right to marry. No. No. No.
I always want to have the fierceness of the Eagle in my Heart. Of the Hawk soaring, wild and free. Of the Wolves, roaming, or singing to the Moon. The fierceness of my Mountain Lion, Magda, who teaches me how to stalk my Power, my Magic, and live from it. I embrace and celebrate my fierce and wild spirit, as well as that spirit in my husband, children, friends, clients. These are challenging times in the world. They call for fierce and compassionate people to stand together. Only we can save the Planet. We can. Embrace your fierceness. Joined to a compassionate, loving Heart, anything is possible. Let go of the judgements the culture has about things it doesn’t understand, and FLY.