Reclaiming the Virago

by Rachel Creager Ireland

The Wiccans give us three
feminine archetypes:
Maiden, Mother, Crone;
but haven’t we forgotten–
let’s call her the Virago,
let’s give a name to the woman
who has left the high-walled garden of childhood,

who walks the wide avenue of her life,
as yet unfenced by the fierceness of motherhood,
not yet narrowed by age and long-settled choices.

No maiden she,
her breasts in fullness of womanhood,
not softened by weight of sweet
suckling babes.

A woman who knows her mind.
A woman who knows her body
and how to pleasure a man when she chooses
or herself if she prefers.

(My sister-loving sisters, I do not mean to exclude you,
I’m simply not one of you.)
(My motherly sisters, I do not mean to exclude you,
for I am one of you, but)

for today let’s invoke the Virago.
She doesn’t need to be innocent.
She doesn’t need to be pure,
nor all-giving nor selfless nor
wizened with age.

Let this be another face we turn to:
Womanly, worldly, wise.
Feminine, frank, and free.
Come into your place in our hearts, dear Virago,
Come into your place in me.

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