Listen Carefully, Then You Will Know: A warrior women is ready to celebrate with other women and honors sacred traditions of healing and connection.
This is a new piece that uses an image of a women I have used before. The image is from a French cabinet card (postcard) which were so popular in the late 1800’s. She is identified as “Jeune Femme Juive”, a young Jewish woman, and the location is northern Morocco. At the time of this photograph, the Moroccan Jewish community was the largest Jewish community in North Africa, and their history was intertwined with Berber tribes of Muslim faith; all generally considered to be indigenous to this area.
I find her expression to be filled with so many things; wisdom and fortitude with a bit of whimsey. I imagine that when she speaks, I will want to listen. Perhaps she is leading a women’s circle, a practice that has taken place in many cultures and traditions throughout history. I recently learned of a special Chanukah tradition, the Festival of Daughters, that Jewish women and girls in North Africa have celebrated for generations. It happens on the new moon when the first sliver of moon appears after it has been dark. Women and girls gather together for rituals, special food, traditional song to honor their lineage of grandmothers, mothers, aunties, daughters and sisters. A special prayer speaks to this powerful connection, “May the One who blesses our Mothers bless us.” What would it be like to sit in this circle where each woman takes a turn lighting a candle and naming her mother and grandmothers?
In these challenging times of uncertainty, I hope that women around the globe are gathering in women’s circles to sit in a shared sacredness and gather strength and healing. In my own life, I feel so very fortunate to be a part of a Women’s Circle made up of women I have known for as long as 50 years. Even though we may not be able to gather in ceremony each month, I feel that connection all the time.
To learn more about Women’s Circles, ancient and modern, and the history of Jewish Women in Morocco: