How's everyone doing with their shields? Maybe sometime in July we'll be ready to have a ceremony to consecrate them. Take a look in Edain McCoy's book for some ideas on this; "Celtic Women's Spirituality."
Remember, the shields need to be designed and then created out of your chosen materials. I hope everyone has had a chance to go over the discourses on this subject, and to study McCoy's guidelines in her book.
As you develop your shield concepts and intentions, you'll need to find six magical Names. Two for your shield, two for your "weapon", and two for yourself as Woman Warrior For the Goddess. One of each pair of names can be shared with your sisters.... one of each must always be kept absolutely secret. Don't you love it? It's an ancient women's Celtic tradition and it's ours!
Or if you don't like the term "warrior" - I'm not into words with war in them, myself- you might like to say Wildcat... or Wildwoman... or Grizzly Bear... or any title that suits you. The idea is to bring out our fierceness, our ability to stand up for what we believe in, and to defend what is precious and vulnerable. Making these qualities magickal and sacred is so healing and empowering. Actually, Oya is a wonderful archetype that illustrates these qualities. Another great one is Durga of the Hindu faith... "she who laughs as she slays her enemies." <weg>
Starhawk talks about these issues in her latest interview in the new Sagewoman, which arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. The whole issue is devoted to "The Warrior Maiden." What a surprize! The Goddess movement has been criticised for being too wishy washy (I've been called a wimp myself a number of times!) because we are so much into loving kindness. Starhawk points out that we need both qualities to be whole and I agree wholeheartedly. I think she must be getting more radical after all the incredible activism she has been engaged in...
I still have a lot of work to do on my Wildwoman self because I'm essentially a soft and gentle soul. But you don't have to force yourself to be anything you are not... the idea is to find your own unique way of shielding and defending that works for you. There is actually a lot of strength in gentleness. When I did my flyer for the ritual we held in my house for our Shields, I titled it "Who is She, the Gentle, Magickal Warrior?" Oh I can't wait til my scanner is finally working and I know how to use it so I can send you all a copy! :0)