Last night I got the chance to do a few of my favorite things: be on stage, tell a cool story and praise the Goddess! I was asked to do a witchy Halloween piece for Planet Queer. I had done a really cool May Day piece a few years ago with them and said yes. Hmm but what to do? Many ideas ran through my mind’s eye. I remembered a book I worked on a while ago that told the, for lack of argument, Wiccan Sabbats as a long story between She and He. I always liked the Samhain one. I loosely based it on Inanna and others’ descent into the Underworld. In mine, She goes to retrieve Her lover and faces Death to get him back.
I ended up with 2 really cool twists. 1) Having been spending time with Santa Muerte I had to change the nature of Death I had used years ago. So instead of 1 Goddess She meets 3. Coz ya know 3 is cool 🙂 She meets Dead as Atropos. Then She meets Santa Muerte as Holy Death. I really struggled with the third. I finally realized what was needed was fear. So invented a goddess-like construct, a beast, called The Dying. 2) I had to change the ending. Originally Death and She fight and in the end Death stabs Her and it’s all very violent. Yuk. (Which is one reason I never wanted to finish the piece.) I got inspired to tell the story the way I feel it could happen. Instead, I had the Goddesses fight and then forgive. They end up kissing and lie down together and create life out of beauty.
This revelation was due to a short little workshop I took with Karen Tate. A lovely person and powerful author. In her class we re-wrote myths and made them Goddess based. She told the story of Persephone before the patriarchy. She told/reminded us as storytellers we are just as valid as any ancient writer or poet. Our inspiration is just as divine. Which got me thinking; what if Hesiod was a jerK? What if Ovid was an asshole? So I took it upon myself to rewrite, reimagine and recreate these ancient ideas.
I am so glad I did. People really liked the piece and I was moved to tell it. I don’t know if I’ll do the other 7 days but perhaps….??? I started rethinking all my re-mything (is that a word) and have no idea where the journey will go. A play? A novel? A prayer? A story? Well it’s always a story isn’t it. Even this one: The story of a storyteller who keeps retelling. Thanks Karen for your simple and beautiful vision.