Warrior Goddess Meditations: Ten Guided Practices for Claiming Your Authentic Wisdom and Power, by Heatherash Amara
Sounds True, 2 hours 18 mins, 2016
When I put a hand up to review Warrior Goddess Meditations, I assumed it was going to be about warrior goddesses — Athena, the Morrigan, maybe some of the warrior woman archetypes like the Amazons and Boudicca. Scanning the list of meditations on the back of the CD case, I knew I’d misjudged the content. However, I wasn’t disappointed by the unexpected journey that followed.
When Heatherash Amara talks about warrior goddess, she means inner states of being and aspects of womanhood. It’s about who we can be, and both concepts are spacious and allow women to find their own expressions on their own terms. The content on the CDs was, I found, refreshingly open about what it might mean to be female. I struggle with gender — I may be a non-gendered person inside this overtly female-looking body. I often find anything woman-centric weird and alienating, but not this. Little things like inviting listeners to consider their womb, or womb-space includes women who no longer have one and women who never did, and I feel much more able to participate in things that define womanhood this broadly.
Often, what she offers here are small suggestions about giving yourself permission, being kind to yourself, allowing your own personal experience to lead you rather than fitting in to what you’ve maybe been taught by patriarchal influences. It’s done with a light touch. She talks, for example, about your right to enjoy your body on your own terms, for yourself, not for someone else.
There are two CDs, with an introduction on the first one. It’s really important to listen to them in order the first time, just to come to grips with how they work, and because the exercises build on each other. The first CD offers fairly familiar stuff, grounding a person in their body and in the wheel of the year. If you’ve not tried guided meditation before, this is an excellent introduction and has everything you need to get started.
The second CD goes deeper, and I felt it had far more in it of Amara’s original insights and experiences about how to find and manifest your authentic self. I found it gently inspiring and permissive. These aren’t just meditations, they are lessons and exercises designed to help a woman make real changes in her life, to free her from limiting patriarchal beliefs and to heal old wounds. This work is all about stepping into an identity that is yours and not what’s been put on you, doing the work that is yours to do, and finding and using your own power.
There are a great many things I liked about these meditations. Firstly, it’s a de-programming project for women who have been cultured into all the things generally inflicted on us. Body shaming, sexual shaming, the idea that the role of women is to serve others, lack of support to chase our own dreams or live on our own terms — there are many things many women have been brought up to accept as just the way it is. Heatherash Amara’s meditations give you space and permission to start figuring out who you are and becoming yourself on your own terms — this is what she means by warrior goddess women. It’s very much about empowerment and authenticity.
Inevitably, dealing with the kinds of issues I’ve mentioned above can take a person into difficult territory. Given that many women experience abuse, rape, and bullying, this non-fluffy approach that explicitly invites people to sit with their pain and to deal with and let go of the past, has the potential to trigger someone. Working through some of the meditations took me to difficult places. However, if you are concerned about what might be triggered for you, listen to the meditation without doing it and then decide if the specific lesson is one you can face right now. Amara actively encourages this approach in her introduction.
Listening to the meditations is powerful in its own right. You don’t have to “do” anything. Simply experiencing them, and letting them in is enough to gently start a process of change, and there’s plenty of scope to revisit the meditations and work at them over time. I found ideas from the meditations resurfacing in my mind during less structured reflective sessions, and there’s much good in them.
Permission to be ourselves, to grow, learn, open our hearts — these things can be in short supply in life, but the meditations found within Warrior Goddess Meditations contain much wisdom and are very healing. I very much recommend them.