There was a time when I believed I was so unattractive, that I avoided looking in a mirror and being photographed at all costs. The reminder of how I felt I looked was untouchably painful. This was my reality for all my adolescence and twenties. It had nothing to do with my waist size as I have always been slim, and I say this because while some may think that thin women have less to work through with their self image and self confidence, it was certainly not the case for me.
I was being consumed and controlled by the Death Mother (as Canadian Jungian psychoanalyst and writer Marion Woodman would put it) and this Destroyer, and Shadow aspect of the Goddess was merciless.
For a female who has been raised in a world where physical beauty is a DEFINING quality of her identity and worth, that far overshadowed any other quality, this hopeless reach of beauty (and eternal youth) subconsciously and consciously directed my choices. I believed I was succeeding in my patriarchal obedience in every other way.
I was stuck in the Maiden archetype that was looking to others, particularly Man’s gaze to feel validated, worthy, and loved. And because I had not developed the inner strength and energetics of the Mother archetype, I had no idea how to offer myself the love, approval, and permission to just be me.
For me, my wardrobe was an expression of my inner struggle. It was a patchy collection of styles, trends, colours (though a lot of black, mind you), that was designed to either market myself as a female commodity enslaved in patriarchy or to suppress/self sabotage any iota of self value. In other words, my clothing simultaneously reflected my immense pull towards the Goddess and her many archetypal energies of strength, ageless radiance, joy and fun, fierceness, rawness and sensuality (and so much more), but also the shadows of patriarchy— that a woman must be appear put together (aka in control), but not too manly; beautiful, but her beauty never threatening; feminine, but not too frilly; sexy, but never ‘whorish’; and so many other complex, unspoken, and nuanced rules. Even among other females, there is punishing judgment around how women express themselves through dress and adornment. (And this is a classic product of patriarchy – females that divide, exclude, and compete for Man’s approval instead of connecting, including, and valuing all). I was intuitive enough to sense many types of dangers around me, and not yet strong enough to stand in my own personal power and self approval.
It’s taken many, many IG posts, blog posts, and podcast stories to share various aspects my ‘coming out of the witch’s broom closet’ origin story, but my wardrobe hasn’t yet been discussed. Yet, this was (and is) a tangible dimension that speaks of my healing. Again, my healing cannot be credited to a man in a white lab coat. It’s entirely a re-membrance of who I am, of my connection to Goddess, and our sacred dance together. So of course my way of dress and how I self adorn reflects this. A return to my body asks me to also return to my wardrobe.
Leaning into my own internal Mother archetype,
founder and Spirit Communicator
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