Today's self-care is an act of incredible generosity from my friend Fernanda Parra Chico. Fernanda and I share a similar call to myth, the Earth and to working with mothers and daughters. She weaves her magic at herflowering.com and will be leading two workshops soon with Matriarch Collective.
Now please enjoy Fernanda's beautiful practice for healing the harsh words of our Death Mothers (we all have one!).
REMOTHERING OF SELF: song medicine to heal the feminine
There is a divine voice inside all of us. And, I'm not only talking about a singing voice, even though this is also about singing.
I'm talking about that voice within us, that some call the soul. Does she speak to you? Better question, "Can you hear her?"
That constant stream of internal verbalization, often full of self-negation and criticism, isn’t her. Yet, that voice, the “mind-chatter,” is SO LOUD.
Especially when we are at our weakest, that voice comes in to tell us what to do, how to do it, and where and why we are failing. That voice is limiting, filling us to the brim with misconceptions about our true self.
That is the voice of the Death Mother.
Who is the Death Mother?
She is an archetypal entity, akin to an evil step-mother, that lives in each of us...or at least that is how I explain her to my children.
She is really mean, critical and patronizing...she is the epitome of a narcissistic mother, and she so often tricks us into believing her words. Her meanness is a mask, veiling deep sadness and deep wounding in us. Her voice is the voice of the Patriarchy, honed over time in this culture that nags us to always be something more, something we are not. Her standard is the standard of perfection, and it is unattainable.
The Death Mother was born in us and in our culture because our TRUE MOTHER died.
Just like she did in the fairytales...
Our True Mother is the voice of the Matriarchy. She is the voice of a true mother, tender and loving, real yet encouraging and optimistic.
She inspires us to be our true selves, to listen to our inner-knowing and not the voice of those outside of us, the know-it-alls.
Our True Mother died, was lost, thousands of years ago to blade and cross, alongside goddess cultures. She died, and her patriarchal replacement, the Death Mother, filled the void, leaving us orphaned and wandering for the feminine.
In your remembering, you might come to see her as a goddess like our ancient ancestors did. Or, maybe—as is my hope with this post—she will simply take form as a voice inside of you...the LOUDEST VOICE.
I like to think as we re-mother ourselves, we are all like SNOW-WHITE, awakening not only to a prince (our divine inner masculine) but to our INNER MOTHER (divine inner feminine), who was never really dead, just sleeping inside of us…waiting.
I also like to think that as we harmonize these divine energies within us, we open ourselves up to REAL CREATIVE potential…our true self comes alive.
SO, the big question: HOW DO WE DO QUIET THE VOICE OF THE DEATH MOTHER?
Below I walk you through my process for quelling the voice of the DEATH MOTHER. Using her medicine (yes, she has medicine to give us), we will let her words point us toward our wounds, identifying the wound and then activating our True Mother to heal the wounds.
We will turn instead to the voice our ancestors heard loud and clear, the voice of the TRUE MOTHER.
Let us VIBRATE to her frequency instead.
First, we learn to spot the the death mother’s voice in our thoughts.
Second, we use the voice of the death mother as a doorway. A secret doorway that takes us, through our wounding, to the arms of our true mother.
Third, we learn the language of the True Mother and learn how to communicate with the divine.
Fourth, we sing with her. (seriously!)
SPOTTING THE DEATH MOTHER’S VOICE
She is goal-oriented, critical of weakness or pain, fearful of death, hyper-sensitive to any intuitive sparks...doesn't actually want us to thrive...because if we did, we would be better and more powerful than her...you see, we are vessels for the divine, and the death mother knows this. She is the patriarchy.
She sounds like this:
"I'm an awful and angry mother." “Im so fat.” “I am always going to be alone.”
“This stress is going to kill me.” “I can’t do anything right.” “Why am I always so exhausted”
Im sure you’ve heard a similar voice. If not within yourself, surely you can pinpoint her voice in the cultural narrative, telling us all how to look and think.
The Death Mother goes after our children too. My son recently said to me, “Im the only left-handed boy I know. Why am I so different?” followed by, “Im not good at reading. I just can’t do it.”
I think about all the children, young girls scrolling through IG feeds and TikTok videos hearing the Death Mother’s voice resound with a “You are not as pretty as her” or “You just don’t have what it takes to be like her.” I breathe deep and trust that the medicine of the True Mother will get to them some day, and that the shadows and triggers of the Death Mother will be the door.
Fact is, the Death Mother is a Liar. We've been programmed to hear ONLY her voice...and we have been told that any other whisper of a voice is the LIE. To defy the Death Mother's words is wishful thinking…to be a DREAMER...unrealistic, overly optimistic, a fake.
Cinderella’s stepmother snarled at her, “You? Go to the ball? HA! In your dreams!” Yet, once Cinderella caught a glimpse of her potential…she went from dreamer to creatrix, her own Inner Mother came to life, vanquishing the threat the Death Mother posed.
If we have allowed the Death Mother full reign over our internal monologue, she has surely “brainwashed” us into accepting a below-par version of ourselves…a cinder girl instead of a queen.
Let us be Queens, with our spines aligned with the throne. At first this practice, shared below, might feel new-agey, hippie, overly optimistic, or fake, but trust me, it is not. IT’S A RE-PROGAMMING…back to matriarchy.
STEP 2. & STEP 3.
We us the voice of the Death Mother as a doorway and learn to RE-MOTHER ourselves.
One day I read that words are spells, hence the word SPELL-ING. I had never made the connection before.
Thoughts (words + mental image) we repeat over and over again in our mind create thinking patterns that are very difficult to change.
It is important to deescalate these negative thoughts rather than grow and intensify them. We can take the Death Mother’s words and spin them around to create positive declarations instead of negative ones. After all, the doubts and criticism the Death Mother spews are a mask, veiling her sadness, fear, and deep wounding…all of which needs to be tended. You see, she also needs to be re-mothered.
Her words, twisted around, are the doorway to new ideas and beliefs about ourselves and our potential.
CREATING positive affirmations is a life-changing practice…AND, teaching our children to do this is a great gift.
Affirmations, positive words impregnated with love and intention, are powerful seeds able to shift our whole perception of self. They are spells of the best kind…a True Mother’s medicine.
And the recipe:
Sound (words) + Vizualization (mental image) + Heart-Felt Intention (feeling) + repeated often.
And, when I say that words paired with intention create vibrations, I'm not talking crazy…Im talking quantum physics.
Research has shown that affirmations affect the brain’s neuroplasticity and activate the reward centers of the brain. It has been proven that over time and with repetition, our thoughts have the power to affect our mood by rewiring our brain, our cells, and even our genes. If you want to know more, read Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself. He explains how, from a neuroscientific point of view, “imagining an act and doing it are not as different as they sound.” With practice and consistency, we can learn to “talk” to ourselves in ways that are not harmful or counter-productive to our growth and healing.
We can re-mother ourselves.
HOW DO WE CRAFT POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS?
These are well-founded suggestions for creating positive mantras & affirmations. The goal, to hear the voice of the Divine Mother instead of the Death Mother. We must learn to speak through the voice of the True Mother, she who loves us and encourages us unconditionally no matter our faults or struggles.
With her voice as our guiding principle, we will REMOTHER ourselves WHOLE.
+make the affirmation personal. (use the word “I” or “my.”) Powerful affirmations begin with I am, such as “I am loved,” “I am safe,” “I am powerful.”
+use present tense. (word your affirmation as if you are what you say and have already achieved the result). A simple shift from “I am always exhausted” to “My energy is overflowing and abundant.”
+avoid future tense. (if your affirmation speaks to the future, it will always be in the future. For example, instead of “I will be successful” a better affirmation would be, “I create beauty and abundance around me.”
+use positive language instead of negative language. Instead of, “I don’t get angry. ” a better affirmation would be “I am peaceful and calm.”
+contradict the Death Mother’s words by evoking the opposite feeling. (if there is sadness in your Death Mother’s voice, fill your affirmation with happiness. If there is anger, fill your words with kindness. If there is despair, fill your words with hope). If the Death Mother says, “You can’t do it all. Why try!?!?” respond with “I can do SO MUCH when I try! Take baby steps!”
+create a visual picture of the result in your mind. Your mind thinks in pictures to accompany words, so try to have an active hand in creating the mental images that go in hand with your words.
+add a feeling. These words are a heartfelt intention, so add feeling as you speak them.
+repeat the affirmation often. Only by repeating it often can we rewire our brain.
+sing it. I go into the power of singing affirmations below!
Of course, these affirmations are much more than a way to change thought patterns and behavior. They are also a reclamation of the Feminine principle that was buried thousands of years ago when Goddess cultures where exterminated…it is the voice of the GREAT MOTHER making her way back into our thought patterns & narrative…a most welcome RE-MOTHERING of self.
STEP 4. We sing these affirmations to reclaim Her voice.
It is our birthright to express ourselves, and the Death Mother’s presence has really limited that. In ancient times, women were killed for using their voice. They were banned from singing in church, lighting candles, and using herbs. Women have been told for centuries to be quiet, to just listen, their voices muted.
The act of reclaiming our sound, our singing voice, goes hand in hand with reclaiming the voice of the Great Mother, she who was buried by patriarchal hands long ago.
As we reclaim our Mother’s voice, we sing to honor her and the voices of our ancestors, the women, priestesses and diviners who knew her language well.
We infuse our affirmations with song, singing to heighten the affirmations vibrational power, causing it to resonate within us and around us at a higher frequency.
Einstein himself said, “Everything in life is a vibration.” And, Tesla more or less said the same thing, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” These men knew what those of ancient civilizations knew as well- that sound is a way to attune our souls with the greater cosmos.
By creating an affirmation and then singing it, allowing it to vibrate within us, we create sound magic- a spell carried to the ears of the divine by our voices.
Singing affirmations & mantras elevates consciousness…it will inspire your soul…it will connect you to the divine, once again.
Let us sing our way back to Matriarchy. . .