September 29, 2016 Dear Ones, The secret to the heroine’s journey is not to approach it as an unbroken, linear narrative. When you create your myth


September 29, 2016

Dear Ones,

The secret to the heroine’s journey is not to approach it as an unbroken, linear narrative. When you create your myth to live by—the deep currents of meaning that compel your life forward—you are not done once and for all. The narrative itself emerges based on the road and hearth allies, elders and crones, witches, warriors, poets, griots, dragons, and stones you encounter. So does your purpose. But I am speaking about the other way in which the myth gets chipped or falls away. Amidst dailiness or transitions that fail or forget to renew the imagination.

And you have to bring yourself back to the myth, and the myth back to you.

You have to reckon with its ambiguities. Water its shadows so that their gifts blossom.

As a power practice, this is something you have to bring your own rhythm to.

Aligning constantly with that central, self-willed place of being connected, grateful, joyful.

This up and down, fall and up is what I, as a heroine, have experienced.

As I get ready for a new season, for a new journey, I find myself thinking about the potency of being okay with the glitches and blackouts in our myths as we phase ourselves on our journeys. What tools—in addition to compassion and a sense of the absurd—would create a more alive genre of ourselves? How may we mythicize and prophecy ourselves into existence again and again?

woman tiger

Tiger Woman, by Kalam Patua

My journey to visit home—India—will be about spending time with family, and locating ancestral sites where women held primacy as spiritual, economic, political, social participants. Primacy is not at the cost of another, but unto ourselves. While this question has now become a part of my doctoral research at the California Institute of Integral Studies, it has been an unnamed longing within me for a while.

It catalyzed my proposing a borderlands research methodology that calls for connecting with the ancestral strata of experience and memory through poetry. (The second method I proposed towards my methodological praxis is autoethnography, where the autobiographical comes together with the ethnographic. I see both as part of a decolonial feminist research paradigm.)

And now I must go and bring forth that poetry of knowing!

I will not deny the fervid terror this visits me on occasion. Can this happen?

But there is also a serenity, which comes from the sense of guidance I feel flowing clearly from the ancestral realms when I am willing to hear. The motherlines will speak.

A diviner’s task is to be willing to hear the voices of the ancestors and carry them back to the community. This was also the ancient role of poets. Through my Ph.D. dissertation, I am hoping to remember that indigenous role for myself—amidst the breaks, pauses, stutters, interference in frequency in the timespace of eurowestern modernity/aesthetics. This task that is almost unbearable in what it is demanding is, in a very strange way, something I have been preparing for a long while.

Writing is self-authorizing, even as it must emerge out of a density and generosity of self-permission. All of this—claiming authority, claiming voice, the precarity of self-disclosure, being seen—is at the core of wounds that make my myth mine. This research project will enter them again in the stream of time—which is nothing but a way to resacralize.

The path of learning and growing is luminous.

Starry Night Bike Path

Studio Roosegaarde - Van Gogh Path

While I will be out of the Bay Area through much of October and November, I may continue to offer Dagara-style cowrie shell and kontomble divinations on occasion via Skype. Get in touch with me if you are interested in scheduling one. I will also be at The Sacred Well, Oakland, on October 7!

With that, this is


मोनिका \Monica


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Monica Mody is a poet, writer, cultural theorist, diviner ~ border-dweller. Visit |

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