Image is a purple background with white and grey swirls at the top. A picture of Audre Lorde, smiling yet looking contemplative, is on the lower. The Uses of Anger has 10 ratings and 0 reviews: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper When Chickenheads Come Home to. 1 quote from The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism: ‘What woman here is so enamored of her own oppression that she cannot see her heelprint.
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I have lived with that anger, ignoring it, feeding upon it, learning to use it before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life. Once I did it in silence, afraid of the weight. My fear of anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will teach you nothing, also. Women Responding to Racism And I have been thinking about the Dark Goddess and her role in the cycles of spiritual death and rebirth.
And I have been thinking about how all of this intersects with spiritual activism and how I want to continue cultivating conversations in my online spaces. If you’ve read any of my writing, you’ll know that I run with a lot of fire energy. My writing is direct, fierce and activating. I write with purpose to tell my truths, and to set fire to old and broken paradigms so that newer, true-er growth can come through.
I write to burn down and destroy what is no longer working, so that more love, truth and justice can be experienced by us all. As a woman on the priestess path, I always find a way of relating my understanding of my soul work back to the archetypes and mythologies of goddesses.
The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism by Audre Lorde
It will come as no surprise that I work closely with the goddess in her dark form also know as the Dark Mother, the Dark Woman or the Dark Feminine. Sekhmet, whose name means ‘Powerful One’ or ‘She Who Is Powerful’is known as the lion-headed warrior goddess who was sent by Ra to punish mankind because he was angry that they were audge preserving the sacred principle of Ma’at, or justice.
Sekhmet anber known by some as the ‘lady of terror’ because of the terrifying way that she rampaged through the fields with her unquenchable lust for human blood.
Eventually Ra realised that things were getting out of hand. He tried to get Sekhmet to stop, but she wouldn’t. So he tricked her by pouring 7, jugs of beer and pomegranate juice in her path, which angger thought to be blood. She drank the ‘blood’ and eventually passed out for 3 days. When she finally awoke, her bloodlust had dissipated and her rampaging ended.
The Uses of Anger Quotes
Kali is the goddess of creation and destruction. She is a ferocious warrioress who fights against evil and injustice. In the Hindu religious text called the Devi MahatmyaKali is described as being born from the brow of the Goddess Durga during her great battle with the demon Mahishasura. Kali, who is thought to be a manifestation of Durga’s anger, leaps forth from Durga’s brow to help defeat the demons Shimba and Nishumba, and later the demon Raktabija.
Kali’s creation story in the Devi Mahatmya is described as follows:. Image sourced from Magic Transistor. However, like Sekhmet, Kali’s rampaging soon got out of control and she was destroying everything in sight. In order to stop her, Lord Shiva threw himself in front of her path and lay under her feet. Kali was so shocked at this sight that she stopped immediately and stuck her tongue out in astonishment. This surprising act by Shiva finally ended her rampaging and indiscriminate destruction of everything in sight.
The energy and anger behind my writing is very much like Sekhmet ragefully devouring humans because they would not uphold justice, and Kali ferociously leaping from Durga’s brow to defeat the demons that had brought evil and destruction to humankind. These goddesses are devouring in nature. And from the feedback that I often receive about my work, my writing can feel devouring too.
It forcefully strips back layers of lies and deception, so that things can be seen, acknowledged and accepted for what they are.
They could not ask nicely. They could not focus on manifesting positivity and hope that they would create what they focused on. They were fighting evil and injustice, for goddess sake! They knew that in order to defeat usfs forces, they needed to work with their anger. To use it purposefully and unapologetically. To fully own it. I am angry with the spiritual white women who, instead of using their spirituality for justice, use it to silence and gaslight black women and women of colour.
I am angry with the spiritual white women who invoke the goddess to manifest their best life, but refuse to work with her in her angry, grieving dark form to bring about justice.
I am angry with the spiritual white women who do deep work with their clients on the witch wound or patriarchal wounds, but do not even acknowledge the slave wound of the white supremacy wounds which therefore makes their work extremely white-centered, and audfe the very real experiences of their community members who are black or people of colour.
Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good.
I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives. And, at the same time, it is important to hold in mind the stories of Sekhmet and Kali letting their anger get out of control and destroying everything in sight without discernment or wisdom. In other words, anger is a powerful tool however it loses its power when it becomes wasteful.
When it becomes bloodlust. When it uadre bullying, shaming and unnecessary aggression. This anger is not helpful hhe is not the type of anger I lorrde to work with or encourage. This is why when we are using anger, we must be mindful in our use of it.
So that in our trying to devour systems and ideologies of oppression, we do not end up devouring ourselves and the humanity of others in the process. As a black woman who has been conditioned to bite her tongue and stuff her anger back inside herself for survival in white-centered and male-centered spaces, allowing myself to feel and express my anger is one of the most liberating and empowering things that I can do. However I do not wish uadre allow my anger to turn into unconscious and self-destructive harm.
So this is a tightrope I am always walking and a paradigm that I am always exploring: How can I rightfully and righteously express my anger as a black woman, a dark goddess priestess and a spiritual activist writer, without allowing my anger to devolve into attack, aggression and unconscious rage?
Layer on top of this question the way that misogynoir tone-polices black women with the ‘angry black woman’ trope, and my own internalised oppression from patriarchy and white supremacy, and it gets even messier. How do I know when I am consciously using my anger to create change, or when I am destructively using my anger to do harm?
How do I know when my anger is coming from my power as a black woman, or when it is coming from my wounds as a black woman? And how do I know that one isn’t as valid as the other? I don’t have all the answers to these questions. And I certainly know that I’ll never have it all perfectly figured out.
But I know it’s important to keep returning to this question:. I pray that as often as possible, I can come from a place of service and not destruction.
And I ask that when you interact in my online spaces, you try as often as possible to come from a place of service rather than destruction, too. This does NOT mean black women and women of colour tone-policing themselves, tamping down on their righteous anger or conforming with white supremacist standards of being ‘nice’.
Aaudre like this are harmful and perpetuate the very oppression that we are trying to free ourselves from. It also does NOT mean white women avoiding their responsibility of directly calling a thing a thing because they fear what it will do to their reputation or brand. Messages like this give white women an excuse auder hide behind, when what we really need are white women willing to step up more and put their reputations and brands on the line in the name of justice.
What it does mean however is checking your intentions and asking yourself – am I writing to serve, adure am I writing to destroy?
Ultimately, only YOU nager know when your anger comes to serve or to destroy. And I will call you and myself in when I feel our anger is not being of service, or when it feels like the bloodlust of our anger is doing unnecessary harm.
But this is the thing about doing this work. There are no neat boxes or easy-to-follow instructions on how to get this right. And the dynamics of white supremacy, white privilege, the historical and modern-day silencing of black women and women of colour, and the use of the internet as a means of mass communication lodde that the answer is rarely ever going to be that straight forward. In practicing our uses of anger through this work, I pray that we will continue jses grow and learn together – with truth, justice and love as our teachers.
What I do know for sure is snger at this point in history, we need anger. Yses like the dark goddesses Aurre and Kali, we must use our anger to dismantle the evil and injustices of racism. Though both of these goddesses are described as terrifying, destructive and devouring, what we must also remember is that they have other sides to them that are healing and nurturing.
Although Sekhmet was known as the ‘lady of terror’she was also known as the ‘lady of life’. She was the patron of physicians and healers, and her priests became known as skilled doctors. It was said that for her friends, she could avert plagues and cure diseases. She was just as much a healer as she was a destroyer. And although she is a fierce destroyer, it is thought that the impetus behind her destruction is to make space for rebirth.
The darkness that she represents is often likened to the warm and unfathomable darkness of the womb. Though she destroys, she also creates. And without her destruction, creation could not take place. She devours sues that is not working for us – fear, darkness, unconscious anger, oc behaviour and injustice. Her devouring makes way for the birth of that which can better serve us.
I share this last part to remind us that the goddesses, like us, are complex and multidimensional.
The Uses of Anger | Sarah Shugars
We are not always angry, always rageful, always devouring. We are loving and healing and nurturing, too. And what may look like on the surface to be uncontrolled anger, destruction and rage may actually be truth, justice and love.
It is important for me to note that I am not Hindu, and do not wish to culturally appropriate deities of the Hindu religion, such as Kali. While Sekhmet is from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon, Kali is part of a religion that is alive and thriving, with over a billion adherents worldwide. I want to make it clear that when I speak on Kali, I am not speaking as an expert or a worshipper.
She is not mine to claim as my own. Despite that, I want to make it very clear that she is not mine to own, and my intention is never to act as if she is.