- Williamson, Marianne. A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles. New York: Harper Collins, 1992. p. 190.HarperSanFrancisco, November 1992.
- Andrews, Lynn. The Mask of Power: Discovering Your Sacred Self.
Facing My Power: The Queen Mask
She watches over me, her pale green lips and empty eyes inviting me to see myself. The blue gem of her third eye dangles over a golden crescent moon. Purple feathers wrap her blood-red forehead in a spray of wisdom, and raffia seaweed frames the mermaid-green of her cheeks.
She is my Queen, a mask molded from my own face. She calls me to my inner spirit, to my power as the Queen. I crafted her at a time when I was seeking my sovereignty. Her face, contoured from my own, helped me to find my true form in a world of confusion.
When I moved back in with my parents, storing my furniture in their shed and sharing a room with my younger brother, I gave up a part of myself I had found in college. I didnt know where else to go. My self-designed, free-form education allowed me to explore, but didnt lead to a specific career. Graduate school plans had fizzled. The job Id lined up felt all wrong.
Then, at the local library, I discovered The Mask of Power: Discovering Your Sacred Self by Lynn Andrews. The book offered meditations for finding my spirit animal, naming the power within myself, and making a mask to represent that power. I read it hungrily and used it to help me begin to answer the question: Who am I?
I smeared my face with petroleum jelly and applied wet strips of plaster gauze over the contours of my nose, cheeks, and mouth. A white, stoic face stared back at me from the bathroom mirror. I felt a tingle in my chest as I saw myself without a facial expression. For a moment, instead of being a projection of my identity, I was just myself. The strength of being simply myself scared me.
I peeled the mask off my face when it dried. In the unused side yard next to my parents duplex stood a cedar tree. Beneath the draping branches, I made a circle of stones and placed my mask, my true face, in the center. Here she sat overnight, soaking in the power of the Mother, the wisdom of the stars.
I awoke at dawn and tiptoed out of the sleeping house. I recast my circle, and entered sacred space from the east. A stellar jay watched me quietly from the neighbors peaked roof. For a full twenty minutes while I circled, she watched in uncharacteristic silence. A few months earlier, just before I received my second-degree Reiki attunement, a different stellar jay had swooped down beside me to say hello. Jay teaches about power, presence, and fearlessness. Next to the big cedar, mask in hand, I thanked the bird for witnessing my rite and this time of questing for my self.
It came to me in meditation to call this mask The Queen. She was the face of my true power, my unflinching presence. Until now, my identity had come from how I thought others saw me. I gave their eyes and their ideas the power to give me shape and form. My Queen mask was an external representation of my internal identity, the part of me that went deeper than outside-formed ego.
Following Andrews meditations, I identified images that held my
presence and power, images I then used to decorate the now-sanctified
mask: A blue gem over her third eye represents my inner wisdom. A butterfly
on her chin is my animal guide, a symbol of transformation, joy, and sensitivity.
Her red forehead is my blood, her green cheeks and seaweed hair a tribute
to my spirit mother, the sea. Radiating from the gem over the third eye
are a sun and purple feathers; the making of the mask marked a time of
awakening, learning to trust my clairvoyant and healing abilities. Making
the mask was a coming into my power as a creator of my own life.
Now, almost ten years later, the mask watches me as I write. She came with me as I moved out of my parents house, and then to another state. She hung in my massage room as I pursued a healing career. She watched over my computer while I was in graduate school, and while I wrote my first book. This mask has been a guide for me as I faced my fear of standing up and being seen.
In declaring who I wish to be in this life, in stating that I will live a life of power, I have to face and deal with ancient fear held in my genes, handed down from my grandmothers and my mother. It is a fear of being too pushy, too loud, too creative, too whatever. As Marianne Williamson wrote, Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Questing, finding, and wearing my power terrify me. I face this fear every day as I craft my life as a mother, writer, and woman making my own choices. My mask has helped me to face these fears by externalizing my true face as a seer, a butterfly, a mermaid, and simply myself. I can shapeshift into anyone I choose to be.
Whenever I need to connect with my inner power and unflinching presence, I imagine wearing the Queen mask and stepping into my own sovereignty. The mask connects me with the grounded, unapologetic part of me that is a Queen.