Initiation Story: Tiger Woman
This story came through during an event called Temple Woman, hosted by Marta Maria Marraccini, in Berkeley, CA.
This story begins in an ocean that refuses to be named.
And in this ocean that refuses to be named or placed, is a great lion. Larger than life, this tiger is. And this tiger is covered by women, sitting on its back. Lounging, and playing, and hanging from its tale.
Sometimes people come scuba diving to see and witness these wild scene..these women have become a tourist attraction of sorts because it is thrilling to watch women playing and lounging lounging on the back on this great Tiger.
These women are as much a part of this environment as this environment is a part of them.
And Avi sits at the top of this great tiger, sitting between its ears, placing her hands on top of each ear as if it sitting upon a great throne. And when Avi sneezes, she causes the tiger to make a great big yawn, and more woman come out of its mouth, sliding down its tongue yelling, "wee!" as they shoot out into the ocean in a state of great fun.
They say there is something lingering in the belly of this great tiger. There is a kingdom within. A room filled with furniture lined in red velvet. Pretty to took at. But not comfortable to sit in. The room is lined with book shelves.
And on the floor of this great room is something so out of place, something that might we use the word wrong for. Because what sits within the belly this great creature, is this room that holds the skin of a tiger. It is used and abused and almost ignored among this great furniture. This room lays empty because no one is willing to go in.
They say that room lay empty for a good five weeks, others say five years, and still others say five centuries. But this much we know is true: that on this particular day, Avi left her great throne from the top of the Tiger's head, she swooped herself down the great neck of that great tiger as if going down a slide, and she took her place standing on the back of that great Tiger. And when she took her place, everyone moved back, forming a circle around her. Knowing that this woman is not to be bothered by wasting words, so when she arrives to speak, others will listen with the joy and the pleasure of receiving a gift that is given.
But Avi did not waste even one word, for she is a woman of action. And she let herself seep through the back of that great Tiger. And she seeped into the bowels as she takes up residence inside this room that no one would touch. And that is when she unleashed a great fire into the room.
Because once she has seen what has been done, that the skin of her great creature has been misused in such a way as to be treated as rug, Kali Ma herself come through as she opened her mouth to release a great fire that burns through everything and leaves nothing behind but the rug. This room that once held shelves of books, great old furniture, great old things that represented wealth... she burned through, until all that was left was this rug.
This rug, she then took into her arms, and she cried. She gave herself so fully to this piece. And as she held it, she started stuffing it into her heart. And she stuffed it into her heart. And she stuffed it into her heart, and deeper and deeper into her heart. One might think her heart was not big enough to hold all of that great rug. But her heart got bigger and bigger, and the rug became smaller and smaller, and together...together...together...they became one.
When Avi was done. Avi was Tiger. She was Tiger incarnate.
While she still stood on two feet, when she looked down at her hands, she saw paws where her hands used to be. She let herself drop down to all fours and feel the strength and the force that ran through her from that position.
They say that Avi, as Tiger woman, stood on all fours for a good three years, others say 3 weeks, still others say it was merely 3 seconds before she was tiger in the great desert. Back in her home, back in her way.
They say the stripes that went down her fur held the tears, and the blood and the bones, and bits of so many of those women who had loved her so fully and had been so bold and so courageous as to play with her spirit...even before she had fully know it herself.
Now that you have read the story, lets talk about how to talk back to the story and how bring meaning and context to how it applies to our lives.
You can listen to the audio about how to talk back to this story here.