Issue 2: The Dark Lady
Hark, who’s murmuring? Issue Two of The Demented Goddess is devoted to the suppressed wisdoms, shames and sorrows of a fully human experience. Travelling to an irrational place is not permitted to men, who are scorned for ‘acting like a girl’. Meanwhile, female protest has long been brutalised by abuses of power, language – and image.
The word ‘crone’ was used to condemn older women as gossips. ‘Crone’ may originate in the Celtic ‘crònan’, an incantatory murmur, linked to ‘croon’. A crone is now synonymous with witchcraft. Such is the force of words. In Hunan Province, a secret female script, Nüshu, passed between ‘sworn sisters’, hidden from men, till at least 1988. No wonder that liberation from enforced gender forms is offered by beastly creatures – the lioness envisioned by Nina Lyon during a peyote ceremony in ‘My Shamanic Shame’ & the strange beings encountered in the work of the artist Alex Brew. Yet, danger lurks within our private worlds. Can we trust our instincts? At what point, as in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, does the creation of a private, magical world validate further tyrannies? At what point, as with Sophie Collins’ Small White Monkeys, does our subconscious zoo turn against us?
In this issue, also featuring poetry by Eley Williams, we rent the caul of the ‘No’: “No you may not speak – not of THAT unsalubrious subject.”
Oh, but we will, whatever trouble may come.