The Fierce Feminine
Today’s guest post in the Nest-Making series for Women’s History Month is written by Josie Beug, the woman who walked beside Gracie and me as our veterinarian and trusted friend. I’m very happy to share the gift of her writing in honor of the fierce feminine in all of us.
I resisted being “female” for half of my lifetime. It began when I was three years old, in the driveway with my father and older brother, working on cars and the small forklift my father used in his business. I remember him lifting me up and setting me down in the seat of the forklift so I could pretend I was operating it. So much fun, I was one of the boys, turning the steering wheel and pulling and pushing the control levers. It was a warm summers day, and both of them were sweaty and shirtless. Following suit, my little three year old arms yanked and pulled until I, too, was topless. My mother walked out with some cold drinks. Her mouth dropped open as she let out a loud gasp, “What are you doing out here with your shirt off, young lady?” It was my first experience with gender roles. “I’m hot and sweaty, too,” I thought to myself.
I hated the stiff patent leather Mary-Jane shoes my mother made me wear. I hated the dresses that provided no protection for my knees as they skidded across the pavement of the playground. I resisted wearing a bra until forced to, by my mother. I resisted wearing make-up until peer-pressure finally won out. I shaved half my head in college. I began wearing boots, my very first pair bought for me by my father – a pair of purple Tony Lamas. These were eventually replaced by black combat boots.
Throughout the years, I have often asked myself, “Am I a lesbian in denial?” The answer was no, and remains no. I enjoy hanging out with the boys. I have even been privileged to partake in “boy conversation,” you know, the type where the subject is quickly changed when a girl enters the room. I enjoy the male anatomy and enjoy, really enjoy, sex with men. Girl-on-girl is okay, but doesn’t really do it for me.
It has taken a personal healing journey of many years, including healing the sexual abuse I suffered as a young child, and the token abusive relationship, to fully accept and love myself, and my own brand of femininity. Three years ago I began hearing about a different feminine archetype being (re-)born, that of the Solar Feminine: the feminine that is strong and fierce, the Lioness that fiercely protects her young and takes down a gazelle with one savage bite to the neck. She is represented by the ancient Fire Goddesses: Pele of Hawaii, spewing volcanic lava, birthing the earth itself; Sekhmet, the Egyptian Lion-headed Goddess, primordial creator and destroyer; and Kali, wearing a belt of severed men’s heads. Strong, passionate, creative and energetic. Embracing the first archetype of femininity that I could relate to, I finally felt comfortable within my own skin. I honor Her by donning my war paint – not make-up found in glamour magazines, make-up to make me look fierce, leather gauntlets, spiked collar, and knee-high black leather boots. And the Goddess comes out to play.
My father recently transitioned from this Earthly realm. In the days immediately prior to his death, he opened his Heart and allowed me to see into his Soul. He was a tough task-master of a father, and it was not always easy to be his daughter. Yet, upon feeling his unbounded love, I came to the full realization of how he had nurtured my strength, my independence, my courage, and my fierceness. He taught me to honor and value and protect the Earth and all of her creatures. He bought me my first pair of boots, and reminded me of it on his deathbed. And, as a parting gift, he taught me how to die a beautiful death. Looking at my two sisters, I realized he raised three strong, powerful Solar Feminine daughters, ready and willing to re-birth into the world a new, and very ancient, form of what it means to be a Woman.
Josie Beug is a holistic healer of animals, a writer, and an adventurer exploring the Earthly realm. She is a non-affiliated spiritual seeker and has spent most of her life walking the threshold between the realms. Her perfectly maladjusted musings can be found at firehorse111.com.