February 14 is Valentine's Day. It is a day of remembering those you love. In particular, it is a day for the women in the relationship to be honored. Did you know a man will spend four times MORE on this holiday than his partner? (I am not sure in same-sex relationships, what will apply, but I am certain there is a trend like this too, between the couple--one is more masculine and the other more feminine.)
Erzulie is the Voodoo 'Saint' that reminds me most of Valentine's Day Celebration. Bright and pink, beautiful in fine clothes, feather boas, and adornments, Erzulie likes to be reminded that she is the best! Her beauty is undeniable. And she will take the time to pamper herself and make certain that her nails are done, her hair is perfect, and her makeup is impeccable with only the best brands.
Erzulie is more easy to honor before motherhood. In my case, that's what GOT me to be a mother! After that, survival kicks in, and your 'Erzulie-ness' takes a back seat to the task at hand of raising your family. Perhaps some marriages survive because the woman takes a stand and continues to emphasize her Erzulie quality. She 'doesn't let herself go'.
I have a small altar to Erzulie in my room. She keeps me honest about my work and home. I remember to honor myself because I have her on my mind. But to me, for all of her 'pink girly-ness' and 'Victoria's Secret sexuality', the kind of femininity we focus on with Valentine's Day is selling the Feminine a little bit short.
There is another on my altar, or 'Veve' if you will: La Siren. The mermaid. Mermaids have a mystical, magical aura about them. They live in the water, which is very yin. They are the healers and the sirens. They are 'Femininity with a Kick', a raw, earthly power to nurture, to comfort, and to protect. La Siren is the power behind the mother bear who will protect her cub. It is inborn. It is hormonally-driven. It is hard-wired into the species to protect their young, even at personal sacrifice. There is only one Right Action. And I chose it, to sacrifice my own peace-of-mind and well-being for the future happiness of my own young. I wanted to never see their father again, forever, and I could have gotten away with it. But I thought what it would be like to not know your biological father, and I signed up for the every-other-weekend 'life'.
La Siren is a protector, especially for the single mother. I honor her with shells and gifts from the ocean, shiny blues and greens, and I talk to her from my heart with my worries. She understands how difficult it is to raise a head-strong kid all by yourself.
Femininity is a natural vibration to my soul. It is my way of looking at life. It is the acceptance of Life and Death, as they are. It is being a part of helping new mothers give birth without pain, and with safety to both the mother and the infant in everything I do. It is the visiting of the sick and the aged in the family, and making the best of their situation, helping whatever way I can. Today, my grandmother said, in Italian, 'Besonnio de cacarate'. It means 'I have to poop'. I alerted the nurses, who would not have heard or understood, and with their help, got her to the toilet. She didn't have to soil herself. The power to love unconditionally in spite of the s-h-i-t, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, is what the Divine Feminine is all about.
Look at Gaia. Look at her. Where is the Erzulie? Perhaps in the glorious flowers, vistas, and animals? But where is La Siren? Just about everywhere you look. There is Life, everything growing in abundance, in perfect balance with death and decay.
If you are masculine, find someone who is feminine, and gently guide them find their La Siren. It may have to take a lot of Erzulie to coax it out of her. But when La Siren feels safe, and warm, she will surprise you with her raw passion and power. And never again will you feel more masculine than in her warmth. Her fire will ignite your 'fire in your belly' like no other. Then the purpose and passion you discover with La Siren will never extinguish its flame. You will own your 'masculine with a kick'.