August 5, 2019

{Forces for Change}

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is the guest editor of the September issue of British Vogue titled Forces for Change — learn about her empowering vision for women and girls and the world:

From Chevaz Clarke at CBS News:
“To have the country’s most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise,” the magazines editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, said of the historic collaboration. “As you will see from her selections throughout this magazine, she is also willing to wade into more complex and nuanced areas, whether they concern female empowerment, mental health, race or privilege.”

From Page Six by Elana Fishman:
“The Forces for Change issue highlights a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness,” according to a post from the Duchess and Duke of Sussex’s official Instagram account shared.

Jacinda Ardern
The lineup, photographed for the cover by Peter Lindbergh, includes models/activists Adwoa Aboah, Adut Akech and Christy Turlington, Somali boxer Ramla Ali, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, diversity advocate SinĂ©ad Burke, “Crazy Rich Asians” star Gemma Chan and actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox, notably the first trans person to ever appear on the title’s cover.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It also features actresses/activists Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek and Yara Shahidi, Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward, body positivity warrior Jameela Jamil, feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Additionally, there’s a 16th spot on the cover featuring a silver reflective mirror, so readers can see themselves amongst these change-makers.

Also inside the issue? An exclusive interview between Markle, 37, and former first lady Michelle Obama as well one between Prince Harry and legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, along with a guest editor’s letter penned by Markle.

Adut Akech
“These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, to take the year’s most-read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today,” the Duchess of Sussex told the magazine.

“Through this lens I hope you’ll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light. I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages.”

Greta Thunberg
Enninful told British Vogue that Markle declined to appear on the cover herself. “From the very beginning, we talked about the cover — whether she would be on it or not,” he explained. “In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a ‘boastful’ thing to do for this particular project. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires.”

Still, according to Lindbergh, that didn’t stop Markle from being hands-on when it came to photographing the issue’s cover. “My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!'” the famed photog told the glossy. [end of Page Six article]
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July 1, 2019

{Goddess Journey} Part Three


The third and final part of the "Goddess Journey" chapter of my book-in-slow-progress, A Memory of Love: The Spiritual Mission of a Princess.
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Glorious Inanna
The Sumerians were one of the world’s first known civilizations, taking form in the fourth millennium BCE, and, according to Joseph Campbell, its mythology was the source of Babylonian, Assyrian, Phoenician, and Biblical traditions. The glorious Inanna, Sumer’s primary deity, was the goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, war, and rebirth. Throughout the centuries, as the world’s centers of power changed, she was worshiped in ancient Babylon as Ishtar, then identified with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and, because she was seen as the morning and evening’s bright star Venus, Inanna also later became associated with the celebrated Roman Goddess.

Inanna has a rich, multi-dimensional legacy, celebrated as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. “She embodies the Divine Feminine in all its splendor: a sensuous courtesan and a timid virgin, a life-giving mother and an eternal child, merciful and wicked, wild, passionate, untamed,” wrote Lana Adler in “7 Goddess Archetypes of Empowerment.” “In other words, everything (with the exception of the mother, perhaps) patriarchy aimed to demonize and destroy.” (You only have to look as far as the Bible to see evidence of this.)

Inanna is synonymous with transformation. In The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell wrote that “the oldest recorded account of the passage through the gates of metamorphosis is the Sumerian myth of the goddess Inanna’s descent to the nether world.” Abandoning heaven and earth, she “abandoned lordship, abandoned ladyship,” this goddess “from the ‘great above’ she set her mind toward the ‘great below’”—the hero’s journey. Her courageous descent and transformative return, the ultimate rite of passage, is legendary, her story told for thousands of years—with many faces and in many incarnations. “As we are told by the Vedas: ‘Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names.’”

The legend of Inanna, encompassing a mythological journey, intersected with Diana’s life, even beyond its end. Well-known British astrologer and author Nicholas Campion made some profound royal observations following Diana’s death. But first, a little background: “After the second world war,” Campion explained, “Carl Jung [founder of analytical psychology] wrote that the phenomenon of Nazism could be partly explained by the eruption of the archetype Wotan, the Teutonic god, into the German collective unconscious.” After watching the funeral service for Princess Diana, Campion made this declaration: “I would say that what we have just witnessed was the eruption of the archetype of Inanna, the archaic Venus, into the contemporary collective unconscious.”

Campion, also a historian of cultural astronomy, believed there were people who would doubt him and found it “astonishing” that it had not been realized before, but it was his “contention that monarchy has never lost its magical, mystical functions, merely that the steady creation of a constitutional monarchy with a determinedly ordinary royal family, has concealed it.” During the last two decades of the twentieth century, Campion saw that “from the moment Diana appeared she constellated the archetype of Inanna. She was connected far less to the contemporary royal family of good works and middle class values than to the ancient magical monarchy of ancient cosmology of life and fertility; sacrifice and resurrection. Her life and death were unique in our lifetime, though perhaps not in British history.”

“As an archetype,” Lana Adler added, “Inanna symbolizes the powerful seductress who uses her considerable female persuasion to her advantage.” However, we’re reminded that “sensuality is a gift; but it can also be a powerful weapon. When we trade on it or use it to control others, we give away a part of ourselves.” Women don’t have to look to history to know how easy it is to give away our power, whether we’re being manipulated or we are the manipulator. And when it’s through our sensuality, through sex, Adler believes that it can be seen as a “symptom of deep self esteem issues and subconscious fears.” I sensed that Diana was waking up to this awareness at the very end of her life, perhaps in the last hours. Frustrated with being in the throes of a superficial affair, she was unhappy and ready to be home with her children, to get back to her newfound passion for her work in service to others; to restore her inner power and, with divine guidance, find love within. But her bigger mission took over, and her life moved into legend. ~ 

June 28, 2019

{Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration}


In celebration of the Suffrage Centennial in the United States, from June 2019 (one hundred years after Congress passed the 19th Amendment) to August 2020 (one hundred years after it was ratified), I am giving various “Dressed to Protest: What Women Wore to the Revolution” presentations. In addition to showing how women used costume as “political armor” to finally get the vote, I share stories about a number of the courageous women involved in the seven-decades-long campaign. 

I ended my first presentation recently with this short story below about Carrie Chapman Catt, with a powerful quote from her still relevant today. She was a protege of Susan B. Anthony and president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1900 to 1904 and then again in the dramatic final years of the campaign from 1915 to 1920.
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Once Carrie Catt returned home to Juniper Ledge in New York after the hot, exhausting Tennessee fight—and after the glorious NYC parade honoring women’s newly-won suffrage where she stood in the back of a car in her royal blue “ratification dress” to salute the cheering crowd, tall and proud, her hat tilted to one side, the other arm holding the gigantic bouquet of blue delphiniums (her favorite flower) and suffrage-yellow chrysanthemums, where “she seemed at once the victorious general and the beloved queen,” as Elaine Weiss described in The Woman’s Hour—Carrie sat at her desk and, looking out at her garden, wrote “a poignant charge to the women voters of the nation”: 

The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America, the guaranty of your liberty. That vote of yours has cost millions of dollars and the lives of thousands of women. Women have suffered agony of soul which you never can comprehend, that you and your daughters might inherit political freedom. That vote has been costly. Prize it!

The vote is a power, a weapon of offense and defense, a prayer. Use it intelligently, conscientiously, prayerfully. Progress is calling to you to make no pause. Act! ~


[First of several random posts about the Suffrage Centennial over the next year plus.]

June 4, 2019

{Dressed to Protest}


Join me Western North Carolina (lovely Sylva) to kick off the U.S. Suffrage Centennial celebration!




May 19, 2019

{A Gracious Year of Kindness}


In honor of the first wedding anniversary of Prince Harry and  Meghan Markle (and their spiritual partnership shared with the world), I'm reconnecting you to the article I wrote following their inspired ceremony last spring..."A Day of Gracious Gestures and Love Power"...enjoy.

Also, a link to the "Sussex Royal" Instagram account where the couple shared never-released photos from the May 19th wedding! xoxo