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Processing the Fury - Pt 1


The  story of the Three Furies or the Erinnyes (The Kindly Ones) is an enlightening dramatic inquiry of Ancient Greek mythology into Justice, Humanity and Transformation as these daemons/Goddesses are summoned to unleash retribution  for abuses, murder and injustice done to  family. 
"Tisiphone (tis-if-oh-nee) is the "blood avenger," the punisher of murder and crimes against family. Alecto's name means "unceasing anger." Megaera (mah-ger-ah) is called the "jealous one," is especially peeved about adultery." - [source] 

Once they are summoned the matter is taken from your hands because it is they who decided what the punishment will before the perpetrator. It is they who provide the yard stick to measure how far from humanity society has travelled. It is they who bring about a change in societal attitude and acceptance of heinous wrong doings to the foundations of humanity - those done to the Family. The challenge for me was deciding whether I thought society and the justice system had become too lenient on abusers of women, children and those who threatened a secure family environment. Is this the case?

The Three Furies are always depicted as horrific in appearance.

"These Erinnyes are crones with snakes for hair, dogs' heads, coal-black bodies, bats' wings, and bloodshot eyes. In their hands they carry brass-studded scourges and their victims die in torment." -[source]

Contemporary images presently portray them as sexy vamps with bad tempers, liable to make you spontaneously combust with their titillating torment. I asked why do they have to look so freakish, as terrifying hags and now, as sexual seductress fantasies to be tamed? Why is women's anger portrayed as ugly, snarling and irrational or sexy because it's fiery? When will attitudes towards women's anger grow up and be taken seriously? People, women, are dying because their fury is toyed with rather than acknowledged and engaged with.


I then had to question: amongst all the Greek and Eurocentric appropriations of women's fury, where were there representations of it in cultures of brown skinned people? Where were the myths and stories representing African and Caribbean women? I discovered the Spirit of Yemanja - daugther of Obatala and mother of Ogun, two heavy weights in the Brazilian religion of Condombl√© rooted in the amalgamation of the ancient tradition of West African Orisha worship and Catholicism.  She is Mother of the Ocean, of  Life as all life sprung from the sea. Yemanja has the capacity to switch when she is riled enough and it is her fury that interested me greatly because Yemanja is rounded. She is life and she can bring death.


"From mother, provider, teacher, in possession of secrets of the depths of the Ocean to an incredibly forceful destructiveness personified by Hurricanes, it is one of the foundational energies of Ifa." - [source]

The Myth of the Three Furies and the power of Yemanja speaks to a part of me that validates my  stance that a Woman's anger is an underrated, marginalised and berated energy which needs to be hailed as a driver for change. It is not always a hysterical, over-emotional raving. It doesn't warrant "that crazy bitch" name-calling the moment a woman does stand up and speak out.

As soon as the process began, I realised that, although I did not have a full grip on a vocabulary to express my frustration, Transformation is afoot. Rather than forgo expressing my needs just for a peaceful life when, internally, it was war-time, there are pathways to release and flourishing. But I needed to be clear and specific in the questions I asked of this phenomena if this project was going to be honest.

The Three Furies feeds nicely into the concept of my semi autobiographic one woman show Travelling Light because it  embraces a compelling part of my journey into mature womanhood - The Fury. The Rage. The Anger. The Aggression. And with phrases like "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned", I felt this would be a good opportunity to unpack this subject for the show.
Click here for the Travelling Light Website and here for the Travelling Light blog.


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