Clarissa Pinkola Estés has spent many years gathering and sharing stories of the Divine Feminine across cultures and religions. In her book Untie the Strong Woman she helps us connect with the Holy Mother’s comfort, guidance, and vision. Read Estés’ words through your heart center more than your rational mind:
In a world that is often heart-stopping in horror and breath-taking in beauty, but too often scraped down to the bone by those who leak scorn with such soul-sick pride, it is the Blessed Mother, who is so unspeakably gracious with brilliant inspirations that pour into us—if we listen, if we watch for them.
Thus, there is such blessed reason to seek out and remain near this great teaching force known worldwide as Our Lady, La Nuestra Señora, and most especially called with loyalty and love, Our Mother, Our Holy Mother. Our very own.
She is known by many names and many images, and has appeared in different epochs of time, to people across the world, in exactly the shapes and images the soul would most readily understand her, apprehend her, be able to embrace her and be embraced by her.
She wears a thousand names, thousands of skin tones, thousands of costumes to represent her being patroness of deserts, mountains, stars, streams, and oceans. If there are more than six billion people on earth, then thereby she comes to us in literally billions of images. Yet at her center is only one great Immaculate Heart. . . .
In blessed Mother’s view, all are lovable; all souls are accepted, all carry a sweetness of heart, are beautiful to the eyes; worthy of consciousness, of being inspired, being helped, being comforted and protected—even if other mere humans believe foolishly or blindly to the contrary.
If, following the pathways laid down in the stories of the “old believers,” if after the old God . . . who seemed to spend inordinate time creating and destroying, thence came to us in huge contrast, the God of Love—then Our Blessed Mother is the ultimate Mother Who Gave Birth to Love.
She is the Mother who ascended whole, the Mother who has lived through wars, conquests, conscriptions. The Mother who has been outlawed, done outrage to, squelched, carpet bombed, hidden, stabbed, stripped, burnt, plasticized, and dismissed.
Yet she survived—in us and for us—no matter who raised a hand against her or attempted to undermine her endless reach. She is writ into every sacred book, every document of the mysteries, every parchment that details her as Wind, Fire, Warrior, Heart of Gold, La que sabe, the One Who Knows, and more.
And most of all, she is writ into our very souls. Our longings for her, our desires to know her, to be changed by her, to follow her ways of acute insight, her sheltering ways, her trust in goodness—these are the evidences that she exists, that she continues to live as a huge, not always invisible but palpably felt, force in our world right now.
Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul (Sounds True: 2011), 1-3.
Image credit: Our Lady of Guadalupe (detail of the original image as it appeared on the tilma or cloak of Juan Diego when he experienced a vision of Our Lady on top of Tepeyac Hill, outside of Mexico City). The tilma is enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.