The Wisdom of Goddess Corona

How to navigate the life/death/life cycle of a pandemic

Image from Canva

If the coronavirus were a goddess, what attributes do you think she would possess?

She would be destructive, powerful, and impetuous. She’d be a pretty badass warrior goddess, and I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. However, she isn’t the first goddess with these characteristics. There are many already.

There’s Oya, the Yoruba goddess of the weather. She represents change, and she’s very destructive. We can feel her energy in tornados, hurricanes, and other bad storms. Kali is the Hindu goddess of transformation and breaking through the status quo. She tears down outworn structures, so we have the opportunity to rebuild in a way that is more meaningful and authentic to us. She even wears a skirt made of bones and wears baby skeletons as earrings. Persephone, the goddess of Spring and the Queen of the Underworld, reminds us of the life/death/life cycle that is inherent and unwavering in this human experience. And then there’s Hel, the Norse goddess of death. She’ll get us when it’s time to go home.

No one said a goddess was all sunshine and roses. She’s fierce, uncompromising, and powerful AF.

A year later, you likely feel that the coronavirus isn’t a goddess but more of a shitshow. But what if for a moment you believed that she was a goddess. Why, then, did she visit us?

Perhaps she thought we veered too far off-course. Maybe she saw structures we had created acted more like prisons than helpful scaffolding. This includes our government, media sources, and big corporations. Or maybe she thought we lost sight of what was truly important, like spending time with family and living a meaningful life not measured by the items we possessed, but what we could create and contribute. What if she wanted to give us another chance to get things right. Goddess Corona tore it all down so we could begin again. No one said a goddess was all sunshine and roses. She’s fierce, uncompromising, and powerful AF.

Kali Ma is thought to have so much love for her children (that includes you) that she would fight fearlessly for your freedom and growth. But what Kali thinks of freedom, you might consider bad luck. She shows up in breakups, job loss, and health crises. Yet, the goddess is not trying to destroy you — she’s trying to free you. She’s clearing a path for you to rebuild in a more meaningful way. And after the initial discomfort (sometimes it takes years), you thank her for intervening and providing you with another way to live. What if Corona Ma was doing the same?

I imagine goddess Corona lounging about, perhaps on the moon, looking at her children in a state of confusion. She likely asked herself: “What are they doing down there?” “They work at jobs they hate to buy shit they don’t need.” Wait — that was from the Fight Club, but she might have said it too. “They’re swiping each other left and right on dating apps treating each other like disposable condiments. They’re getting the news from an app designed to share vacation photos. And they seemed to have lost sight of what they need from their government and healthcare system.” As she pondered these questions, she had an idea. “I know, I’ll help my children. Let me clear the deck from them. So they can begin again.” She might have even thought we would be grateful.

Corona Ma shined a spotlight on areas we needed to fix. Not only that, she actually tore them down.

I know that if you lost a loved one or your job, this narrative might not bring you peace. There is always an element of death in this human experience. And yet, there is also the concept of rebirth. Long ago, we honored these cycles. We can remember to do it again.

Gods and goddesses across traditions were responsible for destruction, so new life could flourish. To exists within this life/death/life cycle, the goddess wants us to answer:

  • What do we need to let die?
  • What do we want to create?

Collectively, I think we can agree to let go of the belief that there is safety in our institutions like government, big corporations, and even healthcare. Our elected officials don’t have the answers, nor do social media and other questionable news sources. That’s our calling to learn, ask questions, and get involved. There is no sense in cursing the heavens or even other’s errors for our travails. We can help find a solution to our problems and birth a new way of life.

Corona Ma has shined a spotlight on areas we needed to fix. Not only that, she actually tore them down. Now, we can get to work creating systems that better reflect our values and intentions.

These are some of the things that we can consider as global citizens, but I believe she’s also asking us to look inward. I imagine her whispering to us, “You can begin again. What is the life you really want to live? Live that way.”

That is not to say the troubles that Corona Ma has created are not real. More women than men are now out of work or opting not to be at work for the first time in U.S. History. There is even a term for it — shecession. For some women, this is likely a tremendously difficult period as they wonder how they will put food on the table and care for their children. Other women may be reconsidering how they want to spend their time and whether they should change careers. Of course, there will be a vast amount of women in between these two poles just wondering how to move forward. Maybe they choose to do something entirely different. And Corona Ma hopes it is more rewarding than what they were doing before she came to visit.

It makes sense that we’re experiencing a mental health crisis. We’ve had minimal social contact, lost loved ones and jobs, and the way we’ve done things in the past has been turned entirely upside down. Even if you didn’t experience any major setbacks, there is a collective pain that we are all going through. And most of all, Corona Ma has forced us to sit with ourselves. We haven’t been able to get to work, go on vacation, or socialize to distract ourselves, well, from ourselves. Like Jon Kabat-Zinn writes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” We’ve had to confront who we are, how we spend our time, and how we’ll move forward. We needed this time to make sure we’re living with intention. Get curious: What is the life you want to live? What is preventing you from living it now?

This goddess claimed a lot of lives. It looks like there have been more than 2.66 million deaths across the world. That is heart-wrenching and disconcerting for us all. Let’s use that as a reminder that there are no guarantees in life. Each day is precious and valuable. Take care of your body, tell your people that you love them, be grateful for what you have right now — it’s not yours to keep. As Pema Chödrön has famously said:

“Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing? You know you will die, but you really don’t know how long you have to wake up from the cocoon of your habitual patterns. You don’t know how much time you have left to fulfill the potential of your precious human birth. Given this, what is the most important thing?”

I’m not looking to bypass these devastations — not at all. Rather, let’s make use of and grow stronger from them. Growth is not painless, and life is not always easy. And sometimes the lessons aren’t always obvious. The goddess works in deep time. But we get to choose how to interpret and evolve from these experiences.

Consider what you, specifically, are being asked to do now that Corona Ma has torn down the structures that had once provided a sense of safety and stability. What do you need to let go of? What will you create?

I wish you health, happiness, and safety on your journey.

Join my private Facebook group, Goddess Wisdom for Modern Women, to continue the discussion.

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