Pussy Hats

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January 31, 2017

Pussy Hats

Dear Ones,

I’m back from the Women’s March on Washington—profoundly affected. I am holding memories, thoughts and feelings of the event and of past experiences, that mill around in my psyche like we all were doing on the mall.  We were there together:  grandmothers, mothers, granddaughters; mothers and fathers with infants, toddlers, and children; high school and college friends, gray haired women, couples, a diversity of ages, races, gender, though predominantly women of all ages. It was an ocean of people wearing pink pussyhats. There were no confrontations with police, and activism, truth, and humor came together. To quote a man I overheard, “This was the nicest mob scene, I’ve ever been in.” Kindness and consideration were the norms. In this sea of people in pink pussycats and handmade signs, there was yielding to others and helping out, bursts of laughter at reading signs, photo-ops, some singing, some chanting, and a sense of participation in history.  Love Trumps Hate. 
Of the women I knew who were marching, and those I met on the plane, and those I talked to there, most were participating in their very first demonstration, and like me had felt “called” to be there.  The same could be said for those who organized these marches. We had responded from inside, from a heart that moved into action. This sense of being called or of saying “Yes!” is something important to remember: recollect other times in your life when you felt called to do something, to make a commitment, to change direction, to do what you felt was yours to do—from inside out. To reflect upon the path that choice and action put you on--or think about the path not taken. Another reason for the sense of being profoundly affected: to be an individual in a collective, grassroots movement, makes us aware that we are not isolated and alone in what we feel and perceive. Just as consciousness raising groups led to the Women’s Movement of the late 1960s and 70’s, I believe that it is through circles of women that the energy of the the pink pussyhat marches will lead to a Global Women’s Movement. At the end of the day, I was in an ad-hoc circle that met and shared what the experience of being in the march was like. I hope that others also did so, or will do so. 
Inspiration for the Pussyhats: Trump “Grab them by the Pussy” 
Trump was recorded in lewd conversation in 2005, about kissing, groping, making moves on women he wanted to have sex with:  "Just kiss, don’t even wait. . . when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Trump in his own voice, from a live microphone in an Access Hollywood video link. click here
On signs carried by marchers:
“My Pussy Isn’t Up for Grabs & Neither are my Rights” 
“Grab ‘em by the Patriarchy”
“Sex Offenders can not live in Government Housing (photo of White House)
There were hundreds of different signs, carried in hand, worn around the neck, held up as placards, almost all handmade. a sampling: 
“Future Voter with an Excellent Memory” carried by a little girl
“I want to vote for a Girl for president,” another little girl’s sign.
“We are the Granddaughters of the Witches you weren’t Able to Burn!” (college-aged young woman) 
“I’ve seen  Smarter Cabinets at IKEA” another young woman
“I can’t Believe I’m Still Protesting this Shit!” carried by a  white-haired woman
and one that Jungians should appreciate: “So Bad, Even Introverts are Here!” 
Gloria Steinem at the March
"I wish you could see yourselves, you are like an ocean”
Sometimes we must put our bodies where are beliefs are.
Sometimes we must do more than push “Send”
Being one of those honored as “golden oldies,” the uses of a long life:
"You remember when things were worse.”
Hillary Clinton is alive and definitely not in Jail, she who told the whole world that "women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights." (at 4WCW, Beijing 1995) 
Trump has found a fox for every chicken coop in Washington.
A Twitter finger must not become a trigger finger"
Message from marchers in Germany:  "We in Berlin know that walls don’t work”
“God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in the connections”
We are linked, not ranked.
Pussyhat - Post-March Thinking Cap 
We’ve had unusually cold damp weather most mornings in northern California. A day after I returned from Washington. DC. I put on my pussyhat to keep my head warm while I walked in Muir Woods. I got to thinking--what a genius of an idea the pussyhats were! There were hundred of thousands of women marching with the pink pussyhat the defining symbol. I thought of how mine was knitted in Alaska by Jewel, a Tlingit elder who with her sister and others were in a retirement home near Eagle River. Though they couldn’t be on the march, their energy and support was in my hat! 
The idea and the pattern was sent from women to women on the internet in the weeks just prior to the Washington march. The project was launched Thanksgiving weekend, with 30 days to knit, crochet, and sew their goal of 1.17 million pink pussyhats for the Washington march, before sister marches proliferated. The knit pattern was sent to me by Redwood Mary—but since I don’t knit, crochet, or sew, this was not for me to do.  True also for my friends Beth and Carole in Alaska who thought of enlisting Jewel and her friends to knit a number of them to take to Washington--with one for me. Wearing my pussyhat I thought about knitting circles, about how each hat was made to support the women’s march, and how the energy of the women knitters were in each hat. So beyond the numbers who were at the marches in person, were all those not present but whose presence was knit into pussyhats. Later I learned that a great many yarn stores in many places had run out of all shades of pink.

Networking through Knit-working: 3 to the 19th power

I think that the knitting and wearing of pussyhats  was a stunning example of networking communication, of geometrical progression.  If 3 women hear a message and each tells 3 others who heed it, there would be 9. If these 9 each tell 3 friends, it reaches 27 women, when they pass this along to 3 more, there would be 81, and if they did the same in just 4 steps it would reach 243. In 15 more steps or 3 to the 19th power—it would reach 1,162,261,467. I wonder if someone "can do the math" and estimate how many heard about the pussyhats and the marches, and how many went and/or knitted hats.     
Smile-Magic in Pussy Hats

There is smile-magic in pussyhats. When I boarded the connecting flight from Denver to Washington DC, there were women wearing their pink pussy hats. Seeing them, made me smile from inside-out, it literally warmed my heart (chakra—the response is in the center of the chest between breasts). It brings out the girl in the woman who wears it—and evokes a shared sense of sisterhood. I asked the flight attendant to make an announcement about the pink pussyhats, which she did — but more needed saying, so I stood up and said, “ everyone who may not be wearing a pussyhat, but is going on this flight to march, raise your hands and cheer,” It seemed to me that half to two-thirds of the passengers were going to march!  Wearing one brings out trust and friendliness in the wearer—unless there is  a need to overcome feeling foolish or shy—introverts become more extroverted, and its hard not to smile back at a pussyhatted hello!

Urgent Message from Mother, Moving Toward the Millionth Circle

I find myself thinking about The Millionth Circle, Urgent Message From Mother, and Moving Toward the Millionth Circle. These three of my books are about changing the world through the empowerment, equality and spirituality of women and girls. The Millionth Circle describes visionary activism, how the world can be changed  through the proliferation of women’s circles with a sacred center (and the effect of morphogenesis or changing archetypes in the collective unconscious). It led me to being an activist for a UN 5th World Conference on Women. The “millionth circle with a spiritual center is a metaphoric number, it is the one that reaches critical mass or tipping point and ends patriarchy. "Energizing a Global Women’s Movement" is the subtitle.  Urgent Message From Mother grew out of being at the UN and draws upon what I learned there; it’s subtitle “Gather the Women, Save the World,” is the means through which real change can happen. It could be that the Women’s March on Washington and the Sister Marches all over the United States and the world is the beginning. 

One Billion Rising
One Billion Rising takes to the streets on Valentine’s Day,  February 14, This is a call to women and men to take to the streets, not to march but to strike, dance, and stop physical and sexual violence against women, to advocate against rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex-trafficking  (www.onebillionrising.org). V-Day events were inspired by Eve Ensler, playwright, author, actor, The Vagina Monologues which became a movement. One Billion women—or one of three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. 

Goddesses in Women Over 50

Last year about this time, I taught my first virtual course for The Shift Network (TSN) from home. I loved being able to teach in depth, and have a lively Q & A with voices from all over the world. 12 noon Pacific Time on Wednesdays works for a lot of people, but when it doesn’t, you can listen to the recording anytime, or hear it again. TSN provides a written transcript soon after the program as well. There is an option of being in a small circle discussion with 3 or 4 others immediately after my part is over, and also a FB group open only to participants. The course begins on February 8, with a Q & A preceding it on February 1. After that, every Wednesday I will be teaching from home.
If you click on “Learn More” you can get a recording of the Virtual Free Event, which was an Introduction to the course recorded after I returned from Washington DC. 

From marches to 5WCW! 
Support a UN 5th World Conference on Women (5WCW)
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 I have just launched my new website: click on Event Schedule for 2017 event information

March 2 -5, 2017 - Berkeley CA
North- South Conference of Jungian Analysts and Candidates
Longing for Emergence in a Dark Time
March 3:  “Longing for the Goddess” presentation
March 31-April 7, 2017 – Ireland
New York Center for Jungian Studies
Theme: Aging With Panache:  Later Life is Now
Plenary: Superfoods for the Psyche: Ingredients for Living 
(and Aging) Well: Meaning, Fun, Love,
Experiential Workshop:  Circles with a Sacred Center: Sanctuary, Temenos, 
Seminar and writing workshop:  Hestia: Mother Nature, Sacred Feminine 
Self: Encounters with Mystery: 
Location: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway
April 21-22, 2017 – Raleigh, NC
Jung Society of the Triangle Area
Lecture:  Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman
Workshop: A Path With Heart, A Path With Soul: The Inner Compass 
Location:  Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill, NC
May 29-June 2, 2016 – Big Sur, CA
Esalen Institute – Five Day Women's Retreat
Artemis, Women’s Circles and Sacred Feminine
Location: Esalen Institute, 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920 
August 13-18, 2017 – Santa Cruz, CA
1440 Multiversity Campus
Your One Wild and Precious Life, A Deepening Gathering for Women
Scotts Valley, CA

May 27-June 1, 2018 – Asheville, NC
Haden Summer Dream and Spirituality Conference
Keynote & Workshop
With Love, Hope, Perseverance, Trust, and Gratitude

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Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD
655 Redwood Highway, Suite 336, Mill Valley, CA, 94941