I was watching a series on Gaia TV about the Sound of Creation, and they flashed this image related to the narration:
I felt instantly sick to my stomach. My breath hitched, my head felt a bit foggy/dizzy and I was happy it only flashed for a couple of seconds and then the documentary moved on.
But hang on, if something can cause me such an extreme visceral and emotional reaction, it is definitely worth exploring for my own awareness and evolution. What healing awaits me if I lean in to my revulsion, distress, and avoidance?
So I went back and paused at the image and studied it, while observing myself and my thoughts, feelings, reactions.
The first thing I noticed was that an image of my mother came to mind, during my childhood. As my father was being violent or abusive, she was dissociated; lights are on, no one’s home. That was a primary coping method for her. And my response a a child, desperately wanting her to wake up. For god’s sake, SEE what is happening here and take action! My words had no effect. And the frustration and desperation that I felt.
But why is that coming up for me now? I have already done my healing around this issue. Is this perhaps another layer? As I feel into that possibility, I realize that this dissociation – I’ll just pretend this bad shit isn’t happening so that I’m not affected by it – is happening on a global scale. Perhaps it’s always been a default setting for humanity. It’s happening with family members close to me. And yet again, there’s not a damn thing I can do to wake them up. To support them to become aware, or take action.
I breathe through these realizations and affirm, yet again, that every soul has their path to walk. The journey is what is important. I just need to hold my own space, live my life, and let the rest go.
The second thing that I notice is my desire to put myself in her place and discern what I would feel and what I would do, if I were her, in this exact situation. I realize that I don’t know why the nobleman is having her tortured. Perhaps she knows information she won’t give up, perhaps she’s a lover that he believes betrayed him, perhaps she’s the wife/lover of his enemy… it could be any number of things.
I feel the slimy avarice of the man on the right nipple, his dark grasping energy. The guy on the left, reaching over the wall (why is he behind the wall?) to her other nipple, looks like he just needs to get the job done. The soldiers in behind look accusing and rigorous to uphold the law. So then I got curious, what is this painting and perhaps there’s a known story behind it. Then I found this:
The virgin martyr Saint Agatha of Sicily. By Sebastiano del Piombo
The medieval lives of the female virgin martyrs – which were told in some of the most popular texts in circulation in the Middle Ages – portray in graphic detail the age-old practice of silencing women who object vociferously to harassment. In these narratives, most of these young virgins become the object of unwanted sexual predation; as they openly resist and speak up against harassment, they are subjected to even more physical violence… St Agatha, who resisted the debauched advances of a Roman prefect, had her breasts brutally cut off. Sexual violence is the re-affirmation of the patriarchy’s right to control and use women’s bodies with impunity.
So now we know who this is, and why there is a knife in the foreground. In this color version of the painting it’s easier to see more of what Agatha might be feeling… Is she caught up in her human experience of pain, rage, injustice (judgment), or is she moving into her spiritual self, calling upon God to cloak her in his lovingkindness. Is she able to use that divine love to transform the human experience of pain and rage?
I imagine myself in this situation. Of course, the first response would be rage, fire and brimstone. But that would just feed the energy already present in these men and increase it. I wonder if I would be able to align with god creator source SO strongly that I could bring in a flood of divine light/love to permeate not just myself and my experience, but to have the resulting frequency automatically raise the vibration of all around me?
I wonder if I could gaze upon the Roman prefect who ordered this action, and SEE all the way through to his traumatized child or soul? Would I be able to witness the place such anger and darkness arises from? And if he were truly seen, for probably the first time in his life, how would that affect this situation?
In my workshop on Activating The Fierce Feminine, I tell the story of what happened when I was faced with a man in a rage, and my horse Montaro coached me through the experience. As a result of following Montaro’s instructions, I was able to see the root of the man’s dangerous anger. I saw him as a 4 or 5 year old boy, in the living room of his home, where his mother was on drugs/booze and there was a continual stream of men in and out. And he was at the complete mercy of anyone who walked through that door, because his mother never stood for him. He was standing in that living room, sobbing and screaming his rage and utter helplessness at the situation his mother put him in.
As I witnessed his core trauma, the anger drained out of him, like air from a hole in a balloon. He stopped yelling and began speaking in a softer voice, with halting tones, like he couldn’t figure out what was happening and how/why everything he felt was shifting so fast. I understood, that as a strong female, I had triggered this core trauma.
I wonder what might have happened if St Agatha could have brought through this same love-based ability to witness/behold the pain and trauma at the root of another’s lashing out. Who knows… perhaps she did?
JINI PATEL THOMPSON
I am. an international bestselling author, health product formulator, horse listener, earth singer, mother, entrepreneur, medicine woman, fungi friend, elephant acolyte and regenerative farmer.
I value friendships, loyalty, community, compassion, authenticity, health, vibrancy, strength, courage and truth-telling. More…