Seasonal Salon

What You Are Has Always Been in You

This year at the Gathering we had two awesome Guardian focused workshops. One insight common to both is the experience of knowing our Guardian nature long before we found RCGI or any Goddess community. We experience our Guardians throughout our lives. Admittedly a typically homogeneous group, we found this to be true across our cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Each woman expresses the “isness” Guardian uniquely but we are unified in our experience that who we are is in us, even if it is not mirrored around us.

Later at home I found this poem in a pile of papers in my room…this happens to me frequently, a habit I really appreciate when I have publication deadline…whoops, squirrel! Anyway, I found this poem “The Amazon Promise Keeper” dated 2001, the year I was ordained, but I know I wrote the original version in my 20’s, closer to 1982. I know it was 1982 because I wrote it the day after I participated in the Embrace the Base” demonstration at Greenham Woman’s Peace Camp.  

Up until that point in my life I hadn’t known any feminists outside of my women’s studies seminar. The protest was my first encounter with so many strong women and the first date with the woman who was to become my first girlfriend. The things I remember most about that day, apart from it being bloody freezing, is being very clear that getting arrested was not a good idea for girls who looked like me and being frustrated by my inability to protect my date from her passionate desire to end up in a cell that night.

Guardian much?!

This is not my best poem, but can’t you imagine the little baby butch pouring the energy from her first experience of woman magic onto the page? Today it reads as spiritually and politically naïve. I was a “rebel without a clue” because through my eyes there was always a cause to defend, hence a position to declare.

I grew up in a culture where smart people did not do God and the hippie-rainbow-flowing-skirt Glastonbury-Goddess was beyond the realm of my working-class experience. My feminism was based upon pragmatic logic and reason, seasoned with a liberal sprinkle of Marxist theory. The references to the Divine where added in the second version, Taoist and Buddhist theory replacing the Marxist and attending two seminaries became aversion therapy for my agnostic atheist intellectual dismissiveness and emotional protectionism.

So, the Amazon Promise Keeper came from that part of myself that no one else had mirrored or named, bared witness for or recognised. I am so blessed now to hold hearts with a community of women who do all that for me and still like me. I am so blessed that we teach each other to do this for ourselves too and as I do, I find I’m liking me too.

The Amazon Promise Keeper

I promise to honour and defend all aspects and faces of the Divine, known and unknown, seen and unseen, as equal within the One Divinity. 

I promise to shatter all illusion of duality or separation as they arise in my mind or my path.

I promise to protect all sparks of light, to honour the darkness in which they are born.

I promise to listen to the seasons and breathe with the moon.

I promise to learn and protect the leaves, the trees, the plants, the lakes, the mountains and the sky.

I promise to ride with the wind, dance with the rivers, sleep with the earth and persist with the oceans.

I promise to uphold and celebrate the movement of life in the universal spiral dance.

I promise to protect women and girls, respect all living things.

I promise to educate our girls, teach the children new ways of seeing each other and the world.

I promise to see, listen, attend and respect our Crones.

I promise to honour our Ancestors, seek out our herstory and speak it alive at every opportunity. 

I promise to bring forth the Amazon heart and spirit.

I promise to practice boldness, gentleness, vulnerability contained within strong, clear flexible boundaries.

I promise to train my body and my mind, be aware and responsive, wise and strong.

I promise to grow deep and adaptable with mindful awareness to the risks of habitual accommodation and the quicksand of comfort.

I promise to develop the courage necessary to challenge all oppression, overt and micro, with active non-violence.

I promise to honour the artists, the magicians, the tricksters, the musicians, the prostitutes and the fools. For they can teach me imagination, the only weapon powerful enough to break the cycle of violence against women and our planet.

I promise to build a world nation of Amazon lovers, an army of Sacred Promise Keepers,

I am an Amazon Promise Keeper. Beloved Mothers and Sisters, I ask for help to do this work with grace and without suffering.

Blessed Be!

Rev. Nano Boye Nagle
MLA is a poet, an actor, a Guardian and a Minister. She offers individual spiritual coaching and teaches classes to women all over the country. She lives in Austin with her love Sally Jeaux.

Category: Summer Solstice 2017