Saturday, February 2, 2013

Publication of The Faust Woman Poems

The Sister from Below is delighted to announce
the publication of

The Faust Woman Poems 
by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

The Faust Woman Poems, in good Jungian form, began with a dream.

I am a woman from another time and place, dressed in long skirts, a mauve shawl—a baby on my hip. I am me and not me—larger and older than my one small life. I arrive at the door of the Church at Chimayo—an old and magical church in New Mexico. A priest greets me and hands me an intricate brooch of Mary, carved in amethyst. He pins it at my throat.

Suddenly there is a violent transformation. I am not who I was, but it is unclear who I have become. A voice from the altar calls out “Faust Woman!”

Faust Woman? What was that supposed to mean? I had spend years reading, writing about and teaching Goethe’s Faust and its importance for Jungian psychology and our times. But why should Faust be a woman? And why should I— a Jew—be given the image of Mary to wear at my throat?

“Aha!” a voice inside me said: “you participated fully in that wild ride in the ‘60s and ‘70s—when you and your sisters liberated yourselves. And Mary is an ancient goddess who was stripped of her powers. Remember Jung’s excitement when the Assumption of Mary became dogma in the Catholic Church in the 1950s? He saw this as the return of the feminine to western consciousness.”

Well, that was all very interesting. But the interpretation by my inner voice was not sufficient. The dream kept tugging at me, wanting something else from me.

I wrote to my dear friend Alicia in Venezuela. She often can see what I can’t. “Oh” she wrote, “it’s simple. The brooch is at your throat chakra. You need to write about being a Faust Woman.” And so I did. Here is the poem that came to describe the dream:

The Dream

You arrive at the church in long skirts
mauve shawl the baby
on your hip

Light from the eyes
on the altar
touches your throat

Maria carved in amethyst
sing to us
sing to the wooden Santos

We have come to be
healed Reveal to us
your next incarnation
Look at you
in your red power suit
your pointed shoes
amulets tucked
between your breasts 
Changed woman
what have you done
with the baby? 
What will you do
with hot blood
hard currency
the smell
of new cars?
A voice from the altar calls you
Faust Woman

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