How to stop men killing their wives

Posted in relationships, women on February 21st, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Jesus the headline!!!! 🤬 This was the headline of a recent SMH article about the recent murder of a woman and her three children in Queensland by her estranged partner who then killed himself.

In the wake of this latest shocking incidence of family violence in Australia, the chief executive of the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, proposed:

“that during the period of separation, every man must be put on a program with mental health checks and scrutinised for signs of violence to ensure he is making the transition safely and not a risk to women, children or themselves. ‘We must target individual men.'”

(Sydney Morning Herald)

This is a dangerous precedent – it’s dangerous to even be talking about it! As much as an horrific event such as this wants us to rush to “fix” things, screening ALL men is abuse in itself!

As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I don’t advocate for screening all men – it’s not all men. It’s some men. It’s insulting to say just because they’re men they’re potential killers – and it’s also a dangerous attitude to have. It also ignores the many women capable of violence (yes overwhelmingly men are the perpetrators but we can’t ignore the flip side because it’s inconvenient). It also ignores the fact that not all relationships end in violence once the relationship ends because they end for a multitude of reasons.

Yes it is the most dangerous time when you leave IF you are with a violent person or one with the propensity to violence – the leaving is what led to my broken nose and eventual AVO – after I dripped blood all over my boss’s office floor.

I think governments have done a huge amount in terms of resources and education (certainly in the period from when I was a victim back in the ’80s when no one wanted to know about it); but it’s now up to us to change SOCIETY’S attitude towards it – and drop the “don’t ask don’t know” mentality.

SOMEONE had to have known what was happening in this case but said nothing, to him or anyone else. I remember the father of my abuser saying to me in the early days of the relationship “If he ever hits you tell me” …. I was flabbergasted but clearly he knew something of the character of his son I was yet to find out.

We have to encourage men and women to speak out when they see friends or work colleagues behaving aggressively, speaking disparagingly etc and to take a zero tolerance approach to aggression. Men AND women. Adults AND children. Between siblings. On the sports field. In sport on TV.

It’s a multipronged approach and we need a zero tolerance position in society to violence everywhere or we are enabling the attitude that it’s okay in any situation and therefore by extension, every situation.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Parenting … wtf?

Posted in parenting on February 7th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Anyone who is a parent knows, it’s a thankless task.

Do it well and one day you’re out of a job.

We were only blessed with one child … a daughter who is now 20. Whilst a son came when she was 6 that was not meant to be and ended in devastating loss.

I never had a great relationship with my mum. It was okay when we were little and she was always there for us, but as I got older she was having a few issues that strained the relationship. Once we’d all moved out she and my father separated and she very much lived her own life. I stayed in regular touch with her however – in the days when ‘staying in touch’ didn’t rely on apps like Messenger; when there were no mobile phones and you actually had to call or meet up.

When I had my daughter I was (I’ll admit it) actually hoping for a son – for no other reason than my own relationship with my mother and the fact I felt I could, as a result, give very little to a daughter. The universe begged to differ. And so a daughter was born.

I vowed at that moment NOT to be my mother; not to repeat the errors she made.

My mother wasn’t there for me when I became a mum – when I was sick and asked her for help with the baby, she was “too busy”. And “I did it all on my own – three kids under 5.”

I wanted to foster a better relationship with my daughter right from day one. For the most part I was successful. At least, I thought I was successful.

I left my job when I had her and actually started a business when she was 6 months old in order to be available for her. I wasn’t one of those mothers who was 100% about the child, did nothing but talk about kids, acted like I was the only woman on the planet to ever have a baby. But I wanted her to know I was there for her, and would always be there for her. I wanted to be involved in her life and to be a guide for her.

I was not a helicopter parent though – she was taught resilience, responsibility and that she would need to learn to fend for herself – after all one day in the future, she would have to depend only on herself. She needed to be independent and strong. But this was always tempered by so much love and I think she never felt unloved or that she was ever “too much trouble”.

So far so good.

The “Terrible 2s” came and went without so much as a blip on the radar.

The “tweens” were pretty much a non-event.

The “moody, sulky teenager” never really eventuated. It was kind of there but not like others told us their teens were like. Except I guess when we were advised that we should “go inside” after cooking the food at the 18th birthday party we put on for her and her friends.

Every school holidays I would make a point of taking a day off each week to do a special trip into the city with her – window shopping (which always ended up actual shopping) and lunch – catching the train in and out. And always made sure we went to movies, or to the local shops, or just hung out. To stay connected. To stay present. For her to know that no matter what was happening in my life or how busy I was, she was important. Something I never had with my mother. I look back on those times now with so much joy. They were awesome times spent together – we just had fun hanging out.

Friends were envious of my relationship with her – that she would talk to me about anything. Of our closeness. I loved that too. Don’t get me wrong. I never intended to be nor did I ever want to be her friend. It was always clear I was the mum.

“Lead by example” I was always told and so despite the less than ideal relationship I had with my mum I always made sure we visited her regularly, outside of birthday and Mother’s Day; she was always at our place for Christmas. I wanted my daughter to see that even though my relationship was not brilliant with my mum, staying connected was important.

Things began to change as she started university. Not totally unexpected as she began to mix with completely different types of people. In the first year she was home part time and at university living away from home part time. The fights began. Her level of respect for us and our wishes seemed to drop off. “I can’t wait to get out of here” was a pretty regular refrain. We expected this to some degree as she began to spread her wings and whilst painful we knew it was necessary.

Year 2 and she moved out permanently and we stayed in touch with regular Facetimes or phone calls; with messages on Messenger. This was all okay. Actually it was wonderful and we loved how regularly she stayed in touch. I felt our relationship with her was back on an even keel. Whilst the relationship was changing I didn’t feel that it had deteriorated. We were giving her more freedom to do as she pleased; not pressuring her (as our parents had done) to spend time with us; actually sitting back and watching as she chose to spend holidays with her boyfriend’s family. We’d still have the occasional shopping day in the city.

I heard murmurs that we were “pressuring her” to spend time with us or that she was “sick of this only child thing”.

This came as a HUGE shock to us since we were actively trying not to pressure her and become our own parents. Not to mention extremely hurtful since the ‘only child thing’ was not exactly planned…. and how did that then become our ‘fault’? Negatively impacting on her and adding more ‘pressure’?

It seemed like she just wanted to get the hell away from us! We were totally flabbergasted and had no idea what we had done….

Year 3 and things went south with the BF and so contact increased as she needed help finding a new place to stay, help with set up costs, furniture, moving etc. We were reconnecting a bit better over this time and then a new BF came along. Not long after we left our nearby location and moved further away to a beach location. We felt it was time, that she had matured enough and was capable enough to look after herself.

Instead of this becoming what we thought might be an opportunity for her to spend long weekends, or holidays with us, this never eventuated. It seemed that now we were “too far away” (even though when we lived closer we still didn’t see her because “I don’t want to come back there and run into people”).

Any time we called to ask if she wanted to pop up or attend something fun with us, the immediate response was “No”. Too busy, got stuff on, too tired, working, got uni assignments, too far, no money. Eventually we felt like even these suggestions were “pressuring” her so we stopped. Though we would see her shopping, hanging out with friends, arranging trips interstate – spending significant days that used to be ‘family traditions’ for us (eg Anzac Day, Father’s Day) with her ‘new family’ or friends. And effectively we began to wonder whether she considered herself an orphan… We certainly felt less and less involved in her life. Any messages asking what she was up to were met with “stuff” or “doing something on the weekend”. No specifics. It was like blood from a stone – maybe this was the teen angst thing we’d missed?

When I had her at home while I was running my business she knew I was busy but I made sure she also knew I was never TOO busy for her. Even now, I work hard to let her know I’m never too busy for her. So where did this “lead by example” fall so flat?

The calls became fewer and farther between, Facetiming basically became a thing of the past, and calls we did get were fitted in while she was driving from A to B, walking around the shops, or needed something or wanted to vent. There were no real catch ups. Just cursory connections…. that felt like … duty. Communication became almost 100% Messenger messages. Uni holidays came and went and there were no more shopping trips. I’d given up asking because being told no all the time eventually … well… hurts. Plus I never knew what she was doing and previous attempts were always met with “too busy”.

We kept thinking back to our own 20s – my husband’s parents were a 12 hour round trip away but we would still ensure we spent long weekends or special occasions split between them and my mum. Until we were married I don’t think we ever spent a long weekend ‘just us’.

When we raised this we were told quite categorically: “You need to understand I have a life here.” Ouch.

Clearly one we’re not part of though it’s one we facilitate.

We have a life too … but we have never viewed our lives as mutually exclusive….

We don’t need to be involved in every aspect of her life of course, but sharing what she’s up to and how she’s going surely is just a natural product of the relationship we tried to foster… so where did we go wrong?

Is this the result of raising a strong, independent person? A result of doing “a good job”? If it is I’m not sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be!

I’m sure she has a completely different take on what’s happening as all kids do, and doesn’t feel like there’s any problem at all but that shouldn’t invalidate how we’re feeling about it all, should it? Conversely there’s probably a laundry list of things we did totally wrong that she vows she will never to do her kids!

Can you ever get it right? Parenting … sux.

I remember my father saying to me once: “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” Ironic given he was completely absent during my childhood and wasn’t what you’d call a shining example of top notch parenting.

And then it hit me. Despite all the ground work, despite having tried so desperately hard not to have the same relationship with my daughter as my mother had with me… here we are. I’m not sure why. Does this just happen? Is it inevitable?

Of course it’s inevitable your kids grow up, they move away, have their own lives and friends. We did it! But is it inevitable that they share none of it with you? That all of a sudden your trains head off down different tracks? When did we become the family that thinks Messenger messages are adequate for ‘keeping in touch’? I feel like I have no idea who my own child is anymore and worse, that she doesn’t really want anything to do with us. Are we that bad? Did we do such a terrible job of it? Or did we do too good a job? Am I over-reacting? Is it just part of the process?

Is it like this for other parents? Do you ever get it back?

Let me know your experiences in the comments.

We only got one shot at this and to be perfectly honest some days I feel like we just completely forked it up.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

The Religion of Climate Change

Posted in environment on January 13th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

I’ve been watching the deterioration of civilisation with the recent bushfires in Australia. How a seasonal, for the most part naturally occurring phenomenon can be used by the religion of climate change has been astounding. Watching grown adults attack not only each other but kids just forming opinions and views of the world has been horrifying.

Why do I call it the “religion of climate change”? Think of this: Anyone sharing a dissenting opinion is harassed, vilified, abused as being “wrong”. When the scientists can’t even agree. World wide fundraisers are being held to help victims of “the unprecedented catastrophic fires” (note the sources vary in the reporting of numbers and stats but roughly: 2200-odd homes destroyed and 27 people killed – further note that this is by far NOT the worst season in terms of loss of life – in fact since 1918 it is one of the lowest). I’m not quoting size of the land loss because the majority of it is in national park and bush – so the figures are used to fuel the narrative.

Now replace climate change with god and social commentators with clerics; keyboard warriors with followers; and dissenters with heretics. The media with disciples and prophets, and social media as the altar. Can no one else see what’s happening here? The passion with which climate activists and their followers attack, abuse and harangue anyone who disagrees – including other scientists with a different view! – is just like the witch trials of old and just like the religious zealotry we see around the world that results in terrorism today. Articles from this side of the debate are flung in the faces of those sharing articles from the other side of the debate like pages from each other’s bibles – after all, you only read your own bible right? And your bible is … well… right! No alternate view allowed!! And the catastrophising by the media and others is like the prophets warning of armageddon. 

The fires are bad for those directly affected by them, for the animals, loss of life and loss of property. But that it is being used by some people to stomp all over other people is a sad state of the world and humanity. That it is being used by certain sections to promote a world view based on fear and catastrophe should be of concern to us all 🙁

Naturally occurring events should never be politicised. And that’s exactly what’s happening in Australia right now 🙁

Image source: Risk Frontiers via BBC

Do not forget The Rede

Posted in responsibility on October 26th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — 3 Comments

I saw this article today – a group of “witches” in Brooklyn hexing the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. See it here.

Now first off: I am NOT Wiccan. I’m pagan and as I’ve said before in this blog, all Wiccans are pagan but not all pagans are Wiccan (just like not all Christians are Catholic). However I AM a witch – “a wise woman” – practicing the art of healing herbs, positive energy, and environmental connectedness. I don’t hex – though I’ve been accused of doing so. I do ritual. I have been known to cast binding spells – which worked incidentally – but they have never been delivered in malice. Why? Because any pagan with the first clue about connectedness knows what you put out you get back.  By the goddess, even Christians know this one! “As ye sow so shall ye reap.” Sound familiar?

Clearly these Brooklyn “witches” have totally forgotten the most important words of the Wiccan Rede:

“An’ it harm none, do what ye will”.

Or the opening lines:

“Bide the Witches’ Law ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust.

Live thee freely and let live, fairly take and fairly give.”

 

So I’m reproducing The Rede here in full. I cannot remember where I found this version – it was many years ago – there are a few doing the rounds that say pretty much the same thing at their core though the words used to express the sentiment may vary slightly between versions.  It offers guidance on honouring your path, others, the elders, the phases of the moon, and the sabbats.

Please remember if you are hexing people, there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten what Wicca is about. Please don’t be sucked in by what you see portrayed in the media and in movies.

Blessed be.

 


THE REDE

Cast the Circle thrice about
To keep unwelcome spirits out
To bind the spell every time
Let the spell be spake in rhyme

Soft of eye and light of touch
Speak Thee little, listen much

Honour the Old Ones in deed and name
Let love and light be our guides again

Deosil go by the waxing moon
Chanting out the joyful tune
Widdershins go by the waning moon
Chanting out the baneful rune

When the Lady’s moon is new
Kiss the hand of Her, times two
When the moon rides at Her peak
Then your heart’s desire seek

 

Heed the North wind’s mighty gale
Lock the door and drop the sail
When the wind blows from the East
Expect the new and set the feast

When the wind comes from the South
Love will kiss Thee on the mouth
When the wind blows from the West
Departed souls will have no rest

 

Nine woods in the cauldron go
Burn them fast and burn them slow

Birch into the fire goes
In sign of what the Lady knows
Oak in the forest towers with might
In the fire brings the gods in sight

Rowan is a tree of power
Causing life and magic to flower
Willows, which by water stand
Ease us to the Summerland

Hawthorn is burned to purify
And to draw Faeries to your eye
Hazel, the tree of wisdom and learning
Adds its strength to the bright fire burning

White are the flowers of apple tree
That brings us fruits of fertility
Grapes, which grow upon the vine
Give to us both joy and wine

Fir tree boughs are evergreen
Immortal life in them is seen
Elderwood, the Lady’s tree –
Burn it not or cursed be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four times the major Sabbats mark
Twice in light, and twice in dark

In death the spark of life is born
At Samhain when the veil is torn
When the time for Imbolc shows
Watch for flowers through the snows

When the Wheel begins to turn
Soon the Beltane fires will burn
As the wheel turns to Lugh’s night
Power is brought to magic rite

Four times the minor Sabbats fall
Use the Sun to mark them all

When the Wheel has turned to Yule
Light the log – the Horned One rules
In the Spring, night equals day
Time for Ostara to come our way

When the Sun has reached its height
Time for Oak and Holly to fight
Harvesting comes home for all
When the Autumn Equinox does fall

 

Heed Ye Flower, Bush and Tree
By the Lady, blessed be
Where the rippling waters go
Cast a stone and truth you’ll know

When ye have and hold a need
Harken not to others’ greed
With a fool no seasons spend
Lest ye be counted as his friend

Merry meet and merry part
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart

Mind the Threefold Law ye should
Three times bad and three times good

When misfortune is enow
Wear the blue star on thy brow
True in love thou must ever be
Lest thy love prove false to thee

Eight words the Witches’ Rede fulfill
An’ it harm none … do what ye will.

 

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Men and Women – Never Equal

Posted in women on June 16th, 2018 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!
This image was shared wth with me recently and when I saw it, well frankly I didn’t know where to begin.
There is nothing a man can do a woman can’t… but there are a few things a woman can do a man will never be able to do. Like bleed without dying; produce milk to nourish a child, and birth a new life. Hence the rise of patriarchy based in fear of women’s “power”. Paraphrasing Margaret Attwood: “”Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
Over the generations women have proved there is nothing – other than write their name in the snow – that a woman can’t do that was previously the ‘domain’ of men. Men and women will never be equal… but this doesn’t mean one is better than the other. What we are is equally VALUABLE. This is true feminism.
There are things I bring to the table my partner can’t and vice versa so by definition we can never be “equal”. But we are equally valuable. We focus on the wrong things IMHO. Until men and women realise their equal worth, and their worth to each other, we will always be in a mindless, unwinnable competition.
© Earth Goddess Wisdom – www.earthgoddesswisdom.com