None of this is a thought for her; it is not intellectualized; rather gnosis glows like sparks within her very cells, her smile, the gleam in her eye, her turn of phrase, and her strength as she stands powerfully in the eye of her own storm. Her life is holy ceremony, and her body a fearsome and eloquent alchemy. Wherever she goes, she carries this benevolent hurricane of power with her, an entire system of meaning and ancient beauty, multifarious in its manifestations and ever presiding in mystery.
She is not only herself; she is always, by definition, more than herself. She is spirit essence, archetypal memory, the undulation of nature, solid and sure as bedrock, yet changing like quicksilver before one’s eyes. She suddenly becomes waves of heat visible in the desert air, as one hallucinates and thirsts for the oasis that her eyes promise. We tell ourselves to snap out of it, we declare it all “just a dream”…but in the colors swirling and coalescing behind our slumbering eyes, she is still there, shimmering and beckoning. She is difficult to shake and impossible to forget. She is real, and isn’t.
Many times she experiences the deep pain of these sharp shape-shiftings, a sort turmoil of form and formlessness that bashes her soul up against the limitations of her human flesh and bone, like an ocean wave relentlessly shattering so many shells and memories along a rocky shore. As she shatters, she merges; as she particlizes, she becomes quantum and ineffable. Yet she chooses expansion and diversity of experience always, for it is her soul’s contract; she is as numerous as the stars in the sky. Above all she is still human. She is a mother who brushes the hair gently from her child’s brow; other times she is a small child that becomes starlight and cries herself to sleep. Her tears navigate familiar rivulets across her pillow as she whispers over and over, to no one in particular, “I am made of love.” She is the pain of remembering, a delicious sort of pain that heals.
She is simultaneously dead and alive, and dancing; paradox her native state. She fears no creature of the Underworld for they know her; to Darkness she nods her head in nonchalant recognition. The crows and snakes greet her readily and call her friend. Lizards scale the wall to get to her bedroom, and the wolves and bears recognize her easily. Trees and rivers speak to her all the day. The moon and wind assist her in ceremony. Her sisters are many and materialize at will. None of this is “supernatural” to her; it is Nature itself, as is she.
The look in her eyes is both absolutely soft and unyieldingly fierce, holding at once a dare and the kindest invitation. She is sovereign and free; she can never be made captive. And yes, she is dangerous: the kind of danger that blows man off the course of his own seas, pulls his ship into the choppy waters where his own claims to ego and outcome can moor him no longer, and he at last must surrender in love to the elemental truth of his own being. Deep in the uncharted territory of the vulnerable inchoate, he finds nothing other than pleasure and pain, light and darkness, Heaven and Earth, all in his own body and soul; the beauty haunts and calls him with the glorious and exquisite song of the siren. This call he cannot refuse any longer. She holds him as, at last, the sacred tears form in his eyes. And falling to her arms without control, naked as a man can be, he shudders.
This is the power the priestess carries squarely upon her shoulders and deep within her center, a power of tender magic and light that beats in her heart and courses in her blood, beautifully and relentlessly; now returned in full, to this age.
-Sara Sophia Eisenman