Ode to Womankind on International Women’s Day #IWD2019

Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender. ~ Alice Walker

This year, as the world celebrates women’s lives and focuses on our unique contributions, the theme is one of balance. #BalanceforBetter is a meaningful hashtag, at least to me.

Balance is something I find challenging to achieve, and I think many mums at some point in their lives will have experienced overwhelm, feeling out of control, and a lack of time and energy for themselves. That modern day bitter pill of work-life balance.

It’s not just about the balance of opportunity and pay with our male colleagues in the workplace, but also about how to feel unconditional self-love (warts and all), and achieve a state of inner peace, lead fulfilling lives, able to express ourselves fully and be immune to the opinions and judgments of others.  The pressure comes when we struggle to transcended either our own or society’s unrealistic expectations. We need to be kind to ourselves.

My greatest wish for my daughters is that they are happy, confident, creative and courageous, able to seize every opportunity to reach their full potential.

It’s never going to be easy breaking out of deeply entrenched social conditioning; the unrealistic images and portrayals of women in the media, that imply we should look and act a certain way, should always wear makeup, have a perfect home (children always scupper that one), while managing a career and family like the most glamorous of Stepford Wives!!

I was pleased to see that Virgin Atlantic recently announced that they no longer require their female cabin crew to wear makeup or skirts. I applaud that move!

Or are many of these expectations and idealised personas something we as women often place on ourselves?

Like flowers, womankind populates the earth with a myriad of interesting and beautiful creations, each with her own unique characteristics; beautiful shapes, shades and hues, and certain conditions provide the best environment in order to blossom!

Having a strong Artemis Goddess archetype (as well as Demeter, Aphrodite and Athena), I am always keen to support and help my sisters on their path to empowerment. I plan to write about the God and Goddess archetypes from ancient Greek mythology at some point, they are absolutely fascinating.

The Return of Persephone (to Demeter) by Frederic Leighton c.1891 (oil on canvas) 203 x 152 cm

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter

In so many parts of the world women do not enjoy the freedoms and rights that their sisters in the West do. I admire their courage to risk life and limb and imprisonment in such brutal, corrupt and repressive regimes, so they can inspire a brighter future for themselves and all women in their war-torn, troubled regions. My heart goes out to them.


Even with softer flesh, womankind is not the weaker sex,

So long abused, raped and repressed by hatred and arrogance,

But the tide of feminism is turning – no longer are we objects

Or possessions to be owned; our gender an excuse for violence,

Mistreated for millennia, our meagre rights, hard fought and won,

We are capable, kind, resilient, intelligent, loving and brave,

Not deserving of being trampled on – we are done

Holding back, not exploring limits; it’s freedom we crave,

Our collective pain and desperation is fuelling change,

Equality and respect is a human right, not a privilege!

Now is the time for patriarchy to respond, rearrange

Their views – see us not as an idealised ‘image’,

Invite mankind to be part of the solution, not the problem,

Love us for who we are; sentient beings that can carry life,

Abolish any sense of entitlement to a perceived collective harem!

Every woman: be she a mother, daughter, sister, friend or wife,

Unshackled, to claim her power and divine feminine birth right,

She deserves to be valued for all her roles and attributes,

Free from fear and brutality, not having to constantly fight

To live on her own terms; parity – not discrimination – in her pursuits,

Men and women in mutual collaboration as normality?

Yin and Yang united: the basis of enlightened humanity.

By Virginia Burges

Yin and Yang

I’m aware that I have shared James Brown’s immortal song, It’s a Man’s World before, but this impromptu rendition by Jennifer Hudson and Sir Tom Jones on The Voice really moved me.

Happy International Women’s Day!

I’ll leave you with some great #IWD2019 tweets:


#SundayBlogShare – Your Inner Goddess 💗🙋

My musings today are for the sisterhood, for the sacred feminine that isn’t celebrated enough in our modern, patriarchal society.

Diana and her Nymphs - Johannes Vermeer c. 1653 - 1656

Diana and her Nymphs – Johannes Vermeer c. 1653 – 1656

I’m showing some love this Valentine’s Day for women around the world; so often mistreated, forgotten, ignored, repressed, used, abused, attacked, criticised, taken for granted, unappreciated, struggling to live in your beauty and power…this is for you, and for all men who agree with these sentiments and love, cherish and admire you for how special you are!

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus - JW Waterhouse c. 1891

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus – JW Waterhouse c. 1891

Your Inner Goddess

The ancient goddess, that mythical, sensual deity,

Archetypal, dwelling in you is she;

Endowing her wisdom, virtue and fecundity.

Use her radiance and effulgence in days,

She presents herself in a myriad of ways.

Venus et l'amour - Lambert Sustris c. 1550

Venus et l’amour – Lambert Sustris c. 1550

Your inner Goddess takes any form you desire,

There is Gaia, Rhea, Madonna, Ninhursag,

Creative energy populates, always on fire.

Heavenly mother, epitome of unconditional love,

Life is in you, ever fertile, below and above.

Madonna in the meadow - Raphael c. 1506

Madonna in the meadow – Raphael c. 1506

From the youthful, sweet singing siren,

Luring lusty sailors to misfortune, to the

Nubile nymph, perched seductively on grassy lichen.

You and nature are one; nurturing and plentiful,

Elemental, ephemeral, eternal, intoxicating, bountiful…

Hylas and the Nymphs - John William Waterhouse c. 1896

Hylas and the Nymphs – John William Waterhouse c. 1896

So it has been; throughout the age of humanity,

In every philosophy, religion, or zeitgeist,

Goddesses of every age, passion and variety;

Were revered and respected to give,

Their gifts: both benign and destructive.

Marie de Medici as Bellona by Peter Paul Rubens c. 1625

Marie de Medici as Bellona by Peter Paul Rubens c. 1625

In business you can call on Athena,

From Rome she rules supreme in crafts and strategy,

For immortal, divine wisdom: Sophia.

Aphrodite and Venus bestow love, pleasure, beauty,

Celtic Brigantia exalts to mountain peaks lofty.

The Birth of Venus - Sandro Botticelli c. 1484-86

The Birth of Venus – Sandro Botticelli c. 1484-86

Huntress Artemis, protector of babies born,

Archer, animal loving daughter of Zeus,

Feel her fury if a warrior goddess you scorn.

Kali, Pele and Enyo destroy evil, unleash war,

Align with your Goddess companion and soar.

The Death of Acteon (Diana) - Titian c. 1559 - 1575

The Death of Acteon (Diana) – Titian c. 1559 – 1575

Seek Minerva for intellect, music and magic,

Connect with your sacred feminine,

To ignore your inner Goddess is tragic.

You are flesh and blood; bone and sinew,

Beauty and brains; but mythology is in you!

Astarte Syriaca - Dante Gabriel Rossetti c. 1878

Astarte Syriaca – Dante Gabriel Rossetti c. 1878

Adapt and use her primordial intensity,

To bless and infuse your uniqueness,

Be it as lover, healer, or essence of vitality.

You are a powerful cosmic sorceress,

Worship your inner goddess…

Athena - Gustav Klimt c. 1898

Athena – Gustav Klimt c. 1898