i don't know if you remember but i found a peice of treasured pounamu or New Zealand jade on the beach a couple of years ago.
Pounamu is the magic heart stone of New Zealand. It kind of holds the essence of this country. It is sacred to Maori and owned by Ngai Tahu people. You may not take it from the rivers but if you find it on the beach it is yours. Pounamu must be either stolen in battle or given to you. It is traditionally blessed by a Kaumatua (male elder) or Tohunga (spiritual leader).
The piece i found was my touchstone, my companion and my solace up until the time she disappeared on my visit with Pixie, Nika and Claire... I had such sorrow at losing her. It was all mixed up with being with these powerful women in such a powerful place...
And i have been lonely for her.
I had been wearing a piece i had bought as a present and not yet found the owner for. I asked permission for that to be ok. I love that peice, as wild and face filled as it is.
But the day i walked into Tuatara, a local gallery which champions Maori arts and i began to speak with Kiri i felt something shift.
Kiri is Matakite (a seer). Her story is not mine to tell but she is triumphant and beautiful. Getting to know her has been a great pleasure and strengthener to me.
And she said "You have to see this" and took a piece of Pounamu from a case. It is in a Tohu shape (kind of like and adze head). It was a milky green, kind of like the sea on a shifting weather summer's day - jade and teal and deep green.
And she said "This is special, have a look." and held it up to the light.
There in the cut stone was a wahine. A woman. In profile. Proud. Round hips. Full shoulders. Long hair. Looking out into what she sees.
I was over come. There was such a mix of awe and desire and acknowledgment of magic at work.
Kiri said she had undertaken with the stonesmith to make sure it went to the right person.
My first thought was 'i want to be that person", followed quickly by "Who are you to think you are enough to have that"
And then all the excuses about the protocol of not buying your own and not affording it right now and.... well they rushed in.
I tucked away my big feelings and i went home.
But the idea of the Wahine Pounamu would not leave me. Standing strong, in the stone, called to be at the breast of a woman doing the work in the world that answers the call.
The woman i want to be. The woman i am growing into.
I got some unexpected money (made a sale yay!!!) i checked in with myself, i made excuses about how it is my birthday coming up and how my family could go halves and....
I thought about how i deserve to have beauty.
I thought about how i need support to do my work in the world... How magic like that doesn't come your way everyday. How i am moving out of the archetype of martyr and into the archetype of wise woman. How the true beauty that feeds me is what i need to connect to in order to be clean enough to do my work.
How this felt like a task for me, this over coming of my self abnegation. Part of my work.
i went back to Tuatara. And i told Kiri i had come to see the Wahine Pounamu again. And she smiled and said i had to hold it to make sure. And when she touched my hands i heard the word "Sister".
and so i did something i have never done before. I put it on layby. I paid it off in dribs and drabs.
I didn't let my family pitch in. I bought it myself. $130.
I figured i did battle to get it.
Battle with myself. With my ancestral patterns. With my self loathing.
Kiri told me to take it to the Moana (ocean) to bless and cleanse her in the salt. So i did my own ceremony of blessing and cleansing with her. I joined up with her and Mama ocean and in our combination magic happened.
And now i have this ally, this sister and this reminder that i deserve beauty and support, around my neck and next to my heart and beating on my chest as i run into the world to remind me of where i live and what is my calling.
And i know i am blessed.