Womanhood = Triage

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Women have always rocked the cradle, supported their partners, striven to make the planet a habitable place. These days, they also head families, earn their own keep, watchdog the environment, fight the lies society abounds with, “earn the bacon and fry it up in a pan,” raise their children, often alone, and struggle to prevail over fate, not just endure it.  At the same time, they strive to be healthy, beautiful and sexy.

It’s a very tall order.

According to the American Bar Association, the average American Marriage is 9.3 years and one out of every two marriages ends in divorce.  That’s a great opportunity for marketers and a pretty hard hit to the heart, because no matter what the statistics say, from what I can see, we women still dream of love and children and happily ever afters.

As it happens, Fate or our own needs, seem to be forcing us to trade in the Glass Slipper fantasy for the Glass Ceiling fantasy.  As the likelihood of Prince Charming dwindles, we’re having to make it all up as we go along, struggling to do it all alone, or with the help of our women friends, in a landscape that’s confusing for the heart.

We’ve been told by women’s magazines for two decades that we can do it all… we’ve been told by the TV media that we can have it all… but for most of us slugging it out alone in the face of the odds, that really means exhaustion at the end of the day and a pervasive sense of failure.  Where did I go wrong? we ask ourselves.  Why doesn’t my life look like the ones on television?  What did I not do that I should have done? We’ve become skilled at the triage modern life demands – which fire do I put out first? – but the soft, woundable heart still longs for love, protection, strong arms to hold us and a loving heart with which to share the journey.  Hmmm.

Statistically, most of us have three full-time jobs… wife or single head of household… mother or granny… business-person, whether to afford the groceries, or to fulfill a dream.  Working mother is a redundancy, as they say; with jobs or not, women have always worked hard.

So, uncertain of self, probably not skinny or wealthy or beautiful enough to match the fantasies we’ve been fed for a media-lifetime, we stand and try to prevail in this Brave New World of size 0’s and instant billionaires, most of whom seem to be somewhere north of 60, with wives younger than sperm.  Longing for love and sexual fulfillment in a time when a tumble in the hay can have grave consequences…. striving to climb the ladder of success with family, home and hearth strapped firmly to our hearts… having been told by Oprah and Dr. Phil we can have it all if we just try a little harder, go to the gym three days a week, follow the right how-to’s, and learn The Secret.

Brava Us!

To tell the truth, it amazes me that we’re pulling it off as well as we are.  Our day-to-day lives may be a study in triage, but our spirits seem game to go the distance.  Maybe it’s because the flip side of the tough stuff is that we’re freer than we’ve ever been.  And stronger.  Growing in power and stature.  Choosing for ourselves a destiny not predetermined by fate or father or husband.  Not since the Goddess ruled the affairs of men 4,000 years ago, have women had the opportunities that open to us now.  The Astrological Community and the Native Americans believe female energies are rising like a tsunami, propelling us forward on their inexorable tide.  It’s just harder than we thought to ride the wave.

Women, I’ve come to believe, are not just multi-taskers, whirling like dervishes through a juggler’s life, but multidimensional beings, doing our best to bring all our parts to the party of life, as conscientiously as we can, every single day… work, marriage, motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood… sorrow, joy, spirituality, laughter, learning, love.  Good men do the same, I believe, but I can only speak from my side of the gender abyss with any clarity.  I come from a family of decent, stalwart men, so I don’t leave them out of these musings from angst or forgetfulness, I just can’t speak for what goes on in men’s souls.

I wrote some verses about the shift my esoteric friends and I believe is in progress… a shift from male power dominance to female.  It’s supposed to last 2000 years, which is plenty of time to either get it right, or be corrupted by the power trip.

I called it a prayer but it’s really just a ramble, like a conversation with a Goddess if She happened to stop by for a cup of tea.  And it’s also a plea for the courage and clarity for men and women to build a better world together.

See what you think:

Prayer for a Goddess Time


Cathy Cash Spellman

We learned a lot

In the men’s time,

Didn’t we, Mother?

All those strong male energies

Wild, free, sexual, passionate.

Warlike, on the downside

But powerful and protective, on the up.

Linear of brain

The shortest distance between points

The way to go

The gifts were varied

An Industrial Revolution

Wall Street

Monday night football

Man in space

Men in black

Nuclear fission


A couple of World Wars


God the Father

Courage and self-sacrifice

Not all good, or all bad

Just human

And different

From the female principle

The Goddess consciousness

That’s about to transform the world

One more time

So what will we women do

Now that we have to put our money

Where our mouths are?

We, too, are imperfect

Just in a different way

Spiraling in and out

Like DNA in search of the center

Mother, guide us in our new exercise of power

Give us



Loving kindness

And the courage of our convictions

Let us not strive to be clones of men

And therefore second best again

Let us not manifest the bitch who castrates

Or the harridan who carps

Not the clinging vine

Or the plastic Barbie

But the best of what we are

Let us rise to the occasion of ourselves

To create a new world

Built on the strengths of the old

Balancing the follies

Not replacing testosterone excesses

With those of estrogen

But rather making



Generosity and


The way to go.

We get 2000 years

To see if we can do it any better

Than the boys did.

Let’s not be so foolish as to think

It’s easy to rule the world

Or that power doesn’t corrupt

Let us paddle carefully

Between the Scylla and Charybdis

Of power and reward

Toward spiritual awakening

Toward children who are safe and loved

Toward all we dreamed in the dark times

Give us the courage to tell the truth

No one wants to hear

The strength to fight for everybody’s rights

Not just our own

The courage to be afraid

And not let fear determine what we do

The compassion to feel others’

Hurt and Hunger

As keenly as we feel our own

Let us honor

The teachers and the seekers

And the givers

Let us no longer measure

Success in money

But in character and heart.

Let us feed the hungry

Clothe the naked

Visit the sick

Honor the elders

Treasure the earth

Praise Creator

Let us raise the mark

And mean to hit it

Because the reward is not

That we’ve won or proven a point

But that we’ve built

A better world

On the foundation already struggled for

Then let us join our strengths

With theirs,


So that this time

We all win.

© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2010

Posted on December 4th 2010 in Women

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