I (re)watched The Matrix a few nights back. I hadn’t seen it for years and it was even better than I remembered. Enraptured by the Oracle, I saw an aging woman in an apron bake cookies while she smoked cigarettes, tssk-tssk at various things, make jokes, and surreptitiously, almost nonchalantly supplant her wisdom into Neo’s mind. It hardly seemed spectacular, but that made it no less true. And it was what eventually enabled him to step into his role in profound and world-saving ways.
We often wish for an Oracle that is ours; to sit at the feet of wise and beautiful crones, soaking up their wisdom, asking them questions, getting their advice, reveling in their presence, and hearing exactly the words we need in order to be compelled into our future, our destiny, our life’s work in profound and world-saving ways.
Believe it or not, I have an Oracle. Actually, I have lots of them. Countless women who surround and support; who, when I’m ready to listen, tell me what I most need to hear. And so do you.
Let me introduce you to just one. Her name is Anna.
She lived in a time long ago, or maybe it was yesterday, or maybe yet to come. She was 84 years old at the time of this particular story, but had lived countless stories beforehand. Married only seven years until her beloved had died, she sought solace and refuge in the only place she could find: the temple. And every night and day since, she’d never left; endlessly worshipping, fasting, and praying.
People came and went. Sacred feasts. Sacrifices. Praises uttered. Alms given. Baby boys consecrated and circumcised. Parents looked away while others looked for miracles. But all of them came seeking. She could see it in their faces. She could feel it in their souls. And she both knew and had what they sought. But rarely was she asked, so rarely did she tell.
Until one particular day.
She spotted the couple immediately – walking through the maze of activity and din of noise. And she saw Simeon, the old priest, talk with them as he held up their son for all to see. Their son. She saw him. Time stood still. Silence enveloped. Everything stopped. And words came from deep within her. She hadn’t anticipated them, hadn’t rehearsed them, hadn’t thought them through in advance. She didn’t need to. The deepest truths require none of this.
Were you to ask her what she said that day, she would tell you it was only one thing, just a small thing, and just the right thing…
In The Matrix, after all the build-up and anticipation of what the Oracle would say to Neo, it came down to this:
“I wanna tell you a little secret. Being the One is just like being in love. No one needs to tell you you are in love. You just know it, through and through.”
The prophetess Anna said almost exactly the same thing.
What Anna saw and named in that child so long ago, was no different than what the Oracle named in Neo. That young boy held within all he would ever need. Full of the divine spark. A birthright of wisdom. Profoundly gifted. Whole and complete. The sacred in our midst. On the planet for a distinct purpose. And his only work, just like hers, would be to live what he already knew, through and through.
Anna whispers (and sometimes shouts) the same to you:
“You hold within all you will ever need. You are full of the divine spark. You have a birthright of wisdom. You are profoundly gifted. You are whole and complete. You are the sacred in our midst. You are on the planet for a distinct purpose. And your only work is to live what you already know, through and through.”
It’s not a secret: this deep, before-the-dawn-of-time, Oracle-like wisdom that this prophetess (or any wise woman) holds and offers. It is simply and profoundly this:
You already know, through and through.
That’s it. Your wish for the wisdom of the (s)ages and the seeress, the accumulated brilliance of all women throughout time, and certainly Anna’s, is encapsulated in these few words. This one sentence. All that you will ever seek, everything you long to find, the only thing you will ever need.
You already know, through and through.
So sit at the feet of any and all women you can find. Soak up every word they have to offer. And realize that all of them, every one, whether mythic, legendary, archetypal, or even apron-wearing-cookie-baking-cigarette-smoking, will tell you the same thing: “You already know, through and through.”
There is only one catch: you have to believe what they say.
May it be so.