The Metaphysics of Lemonade & Beyonce’s Polyamory
I realize there isn’t basis to stand on, in terms of why I’d think the American public, in general, would have any idea what an African spiritual deity means or is… Nor do I profess to believe that the masses of us have an understanding of Polyamory. However I’m going to write this anyway.
Believe it or not, this post isn’t an African Nationalist rant, nor is it to do with a poly advocacy; not in the least.
African deities, Native American deities, the Greek Pantheon, the Roman Deities, are East Indian or Hindi Deities, are Chinese deities – all is one. Sure, there are different names associated to this set of energy descriptors we call deities, but the fact remains: The archetypal energies – many of which were expressed through Beyonce’s work in the video Lemonade – are present in nature-based cultures around the world – and in Biblical, Islamic and Hebrew culture as well!
True too of polyamory, it is a universal love format. Polyamory means having “many loves” and has come to denote a relationship style wherein one isn’t limited to loving just their one spouse or partner. This style of relationship is present all around the world, whether we want to acknowledge that it’s happening or not. Humans are a communal species, hence, everywhere do we see humans loving many loves – serially, and in synch.
The day I made the announcement that Bey’s artistically, incredible, video was a coming out, of sorts, around choosing a Polyamorous lifestyle – many gasped “Kenya K Stevens, what are you talking about, Beyonce is not poly!! You are poly. You’re projecting!” lol – I love to laugh, so that day was a fun day! The bottom line remains, this video is, in my view, a coming out party for two new realities Beyonce has discovered, either consciously or subconsciously:
- The ancient and primordial Feminine archetypes are demanding resurgence (like it or not, world).
- Conditional Love hasn’t worked for anyone, so she is trying a new way, she is trying unconditional love or polyamory.
I love these themes encased in the brilliance of song and color that exploded from the screen as I watched Lemonade from Jeju Spa in Atlanta, last Saturday night. I then watched again on the way home, as my own husband of 20 years drove me up into the deep, soothing, mountain air of Asheville from Atlanta. With sights set on enjoying the trip and it’s views, I instead was mystified by this video. Completely Transfixed!
I was at the Spa mourning the death of Prince, our beloved ancestor, who is one of the few beloved persons on the planet who answered the modern call and readiness for deep connection to the sensual, spiritual, feminine – ironically, to add to this period of mourning, the living deities speaking through Bey’s video, coupled with themes suggesting unconditional love, release of old traditions, embracing a new culture, utilization and understanding of feminine Magic (!) ~ The trip became more a means by which I could, as quickly as possible, get back to the iMac and share what might be still hidden to most – even now, nine days later.
The video is clearly noting indiscretion on Jay Z’s part. And it could have simply told that story without weaving in anything else, in fact most songs about adultery do just that – blame the “villain”, coddle the “victim” and leave it there. Right? So simple a plan! The usual…
But this video leveraged many more than the normative elements! There are poets, musicians, goddesses, gods, modern celebrities, and etherial storylines presented, themes that advance the normal response to adultery in the west! Right?
Beyonce is not making art about the pains of adultery, she has gone many steps past that. She is bringing in the forgotten pieces, the parts of HERSELF that had attracted this! But why note that one has attracted adultery? Isn’t that self deprecating? Well, there could only be one reason, that is: To share with the world how to overcome the #1 issue in the modern, western relationship! It’s conditional-ism! The conditional nature of our love. And how do we resolve conditional-ism? By addressing social conditioning, head on, of course! By uprooting the source of conditional-ism
The video begins with the words of poet Warsan Shire:
“You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath, and you pass it off so cavalier.
But even that’s a test. I’m constantly aware of it all.”
She’s talking about the mandatory lies that come of conditional relationships. That one must do as the conditions require, or, essentially, lie to stave off being discarded. When there are conditions to love, there can never be honesty. In a conditional relationship, honesty only means ‘sighting violations’. Once sighted, the other has a fair chance to leave. Honesty, here, means, ‘give me the chance to leave you’. If you are doing what is not in the conditions, tell me, so that I can assess my exit. Those are the rules of conditional relationships. I love you if you act right. I will dispose of you if you don’t. Period.
But she’s aware of it… it’s happening. Again. Same as her mother and her mother’s mother before her. The lies the men told. The hiding.
Beyonce takes this on as a personal project, a route to personal and spiritual growth. The scene, specifically, where she is in the bathtub and realizes he is indeed cheating:
You remind me of my father, a magician. Able to exist in two places at once…. What luck! What a curse!
This recognition of luck and curse is where she has decided NOT to solely play victim in this scenario. This is where she breaks from the norm. I instantly knew she was ready to unpack the painful way in which her father and mother had divorced (based on his breaking the conditions. In his case, the condition was about where he should or should not put his penis). And I instantly recognized that her cognition was focused on finding within herself this pattern, this pain, this curse! What luck! She exclaimed this realization – that the pattern was repeating – that’s LUCK!
I paused the video and cried. Whoa! How does she know that! How does she know that there is always fortune in the misfortune! A Queen Mother used that language with me when my family home burned to the ground on Christmas day in year 2000! It stuck the rest of my life, eventually leading me to know that there are no such things as mistakes, that all of life is working in concert for me to realize my highest divinity! And Beyonce (or the sweet poet she commissioned to write this majesty, Warsan Shire) in her tub, on the screen, for the masses, was transmitting an alchemical truth:
Nothing is Wrong. Every challenge IS an opportunity for growth.
Next, of course, is suicide. Clearly to grow beyond oneself, beyond who I am today – I have to be willing to constantly shed parts of myself. I have to lose touch with my identity in order to grow, not be attached to it. I can’t be stuck in who I am today. I have to recognize that I am limitless. As a limitless being, I must become ready to jump to my symbolic death. Ready to risk it all, ready to go deep into the healing waters and be reborn, again and again. This is what we do in order to move beyond limits, or conditioning. We change.
So, she jumps! And just like magic, she is caste into her subconscious mind. Floating…
In her subconscious mind she reviews herself, sees that yes, she had made some surface changes that haven’t helped.
What’s falling apart is her identity as an honorable wife, with a sexually exclusive husband, one who honors the conditions of marriage. This is what is crumbling… She proclaims she’d tried to be softer, prettier, nicer, less – awake. The trouble with these kinds of changes are they don’t go but so deep. Jumping symbolizes willingness to go deeper. She then references fasting, wearing white, avoiding mirrors (which is an actual ancient Oshun ritual from West Africa done by rising priestesses of Oshun, the love goddess, mother of culture; as is the concept of sleeping on a mat on the floor, and abstaining from sex ). This scene was the opening to the deity-endowed, ritual aspect Beyonce’s Lemonade represents.
In fact, she was talking to herself! Down deep in the subconscious, as symbolized by water. There were two Beyonce’s. There was her ego and there was her deeper, unawakened POWER or shadow self! And just as she realizes where this work is taking her, she meets a metaphor of unenlightened Ego – The Devil! – Boom! Then the question emerges:
Is he cheating on me?
Now she emerges from her watery submind as the YOUNG OSHUN! Exploring her shadow self, exploring her RAGE and ANGER and PAIN! She emerges on a river – Oshun’s natural element! She is the uninitiated Oshun – the Diva – slinging fire and happy about it! Everyone who studies ancient or indigenous archetypes knows that the young, uninitiated, Oshun is jealous, wicked, envious, prone to addiction and insanity.
And just in case you don’t know Oshun by name she is Venus in Greece, Erzuli in Haiti, or Aphrodite, even Lakshmi in East India! #Salute
She goes on to proclaim what a young Oshun would – I am the baddest bitch in town! How you gonna do this shit to me? She also states that she is not having other men, although she shows us several in that first video that she might like to have (Ogun the warrior on the motorcycle… and others).
Now apparently this was the most captivating part of the video for western minds. But for me, an initiated priestess with 22 years of deity work under my belt, I knew this was just warm up. Young Oshun would soon morph into her more powerful forms.
Oh wasn’t it powerful, and liberating, to hear Beyonce – usually so poised and pretty – be so raw and real? Expressing feelings we as a culture of western women, cannot quite express? ~ That is the work of artists, to say what cannot be said. Here at JLA we call it venting. She’s venting about how she will wear the skin of this other woman. And use her spine as a cane! As she laments, we see images of high school girls, reminding us of the pain we experienced as young women – and where it began. So much competition among us, for boys! Or to debate who is prettiest?
Then for the first time in the video, we meet her posse of women – these women will be with her for the entire video after we meet them here. Recall when she started her journey, there was no posse of women. Just Bey, isolated and living in a grey backdrop, symbolizing a deep emptiness. It is isolation that competition among women surely begets. But now a new theme emerges – Beyonce merges with other women, because all these women have the same story! Now she has more than dancers but sisters, she has come down from the Ivory Tower and off the pedestal.
But wait! The women are tied together with their dress sleeves and cannot harmonize. Not as long as Bey sings about how Jay ain’t married to the average Bitch – thereby noting his adultery making other women, OTHER, and swearing to get revenge for betraying her. By the end of this scene, Bey is spitting poetry about how she does not know a single individual who has the love she was conditioned to seek! Not one! She speaks of her father again, this time his hands are around her mother’s neck.
As she says this, the women with dress sleeves tied together are stilled, they do a backbend together, finally in unison, in a neat circle, and expose their wombs.
What are you going to say at my funeral?
She’s still focused on the pain. Singing the pain that is quickly drowned out by a group of women she is with, yet above, and dressed differently from, on a bus. These women are now painted with ancestral paints! But Bey is not painted, yet. She hasn’t joined this crew just yet, she is still the leader of the crew, or the bad bitch, lead singing. But she’s chilling, drinking the pain away, making threats. “Ashes to Ashes, dust to side chicks”. And she ain’t sorry! Boy Bye.
This is the place many women find ourselves today after multiple heartbreaks (because someone broke the conditions), we become apathetic. Like – ninja, whatever. Bye. She even employs the statuesque Serena Williams to support her in this rant, which is what we do. We get our tight girls to dog him out. Shame him. Witness our vent and keep us venting! But it’s a giving up of sorts, isn’t it, to discard him. Bey calls it Apathy…
At the end of this tune, she says one of the most important lines of the movie: You betta call Becky with the Good Hair.
This mimics Erykah Badu’s fav, Call Tyrone. Both women lamenting the idea that their partners are just not acting right, (breaking conditions) two different violations, both advised to make a call…
But now, now she is ready. She has vented her way closer to the truth!
Now she and her posse of women get naked together and walk into the fields. A traditional priest I know named Ernest Mercer said that women being initiated in ancient Africa, particularly Congo, and Yoruba Land, would walk into the field at night, naked, especially during initiations for Oya. Oya is not like Oshun, Oya is the crone woman, the deep magical powerful woman, the elder, wise, woman who is healer and herbalist and magician in the night! (Here at JLA we call this archetype, The Conservationist) – they go to the field naked to empty the pain, to free themselves, to connect with earth and to heal. Each of the five naked women (Oshun’s number) is now wearing the Sekhmet headdress.
(Notice she is wearing a deity head dress from Kemet – the image to the right is Sekhmet or Kali in East India, the Crone Goddess of the Gypsy – Same as Bey)
“She sleeps all day and dreams in both worlds”.
The two Beyonce’s we saw at the beginning of the video have merged, we can see both their worlds now. The dynamic spirit world and the world of ego, or stark identification with personality. She begins to reference the feminine cycle blood. How often do modern artist give us such a treat? Sometimes it seems we are not allowed to discuss this in public, let alone on a Beyonce video!! This is another nod to the reemergence of the divine and sacred feminine rites expressed in this video.
And she mentions orgasm:
She tills the blood in and out of uterus. Wakes smelling of Zinc, and grief. Grief sedated by orgasm, Orgasm heightened by grief… That too is a form of worship. Mortar and Pestle is love making, it’s the making of medicine.
Here she is recognizing sex as sacred – alchemical activity. And she is wearing red now, surrounded by fire. The fire of OYA of the Yoruba, or whom the east Indians call KALI! She is ready to heal! This is her transition into the depths!
Sexy JILL emerges! Another form of the Kali character – Oya – Sekhert! This deity too will vent!
Beyonce’s Kali is talking about the fact that she has worked her ass off, but inside she cries. She’s not doing the work for material gains, she is doing it as her part in a unit – a marriage or partnership she thought was a strong foundation, conditions in tact. Her traditional marriage! Upstairs is Beyonce in white, wedding gear – but in bed alone, lamenting. Downstairs is Beyonce in black, swinging fire on a wire.
ALL of this is about to burn. Her dichotomy is about to burn. This scene is about burning the tradition. And as the tradition burns, she stands on the porch with several deities, including a set of twins. (Ajayi and Ojo the Yoruba twins – the witch and the wizard – who live outside of patriarchy, outside of social norms and conditioning). All empty ideals must burn.
Next scene, and deeper still, she finds herself to be a little girl, and goes into what that currently burning house must have looked like 30 years earlier and addresses her mother, and the disappointment she wears on her face. Now she is facing the lies she was raised on. She will not repeat her mother’s disappointed face! Being a slave to the back of his head… No more.
Next she sings about daddy, still in the emptiness section of the movie. Her song about dad is of course clearly stating how daddy made her into a masculine woman, warned her about men, that these men might just be EXACTLY like her Dad!
“When trouble comes around, men like me come in town, oh my daddy said shoot, my daddy said shoot”
Did you hear that? He told her to shoot men like HIM! Not to trust men, because they all must be like him! They’re playing her. That was his advice, they’re all playing you, BeyBey. This section is about unraveling false beliefs. Dropping that foolishness. Asking herself, Is it true?
NO – it is not true. The next question or quest becomes:
Why are you so afraid of love? Why do you deny yourself heaven? Why do you consider yourself undeserving?
In this scene she proclaims HERSELF the love of her life! Most will think she is talking about Jay-Z – but at the end of a rebirthing, it is always and only self love that emerges!
The women are holding hands now. They are dressed identically for the first time in the video, Beyonce is dressed exactly as they are. There are beautiful roses now! Roses are the flower of the ascended master Oshun! The high priestess of joy Oshun! And yes, they are back in Oshun’s element, the river. Her journey into the underworld to clear out false beliefs, erroneous ideas, and leave them buried in the Earth is over! She did it!
Now she is singing of sexual manifestation, and the power that love has to heal the world:
You and me could stop the love drought, move a mountain, calm a war down, make it rain.
We can do anything with love alchemy! But the love has to be unconditional and include this group of women. Now she is at the actual river with the women. Now she is wearing the same clothing as the other women! Now she is the calm, collected Oshun, now she is doing a ritual of unity – but unity among women. Jay Z is not in the scene at all here. Now the women are holding hands, lifting prayers to the sky.
Baptize me, now that reconciliation is possible, if we are going to heal, let it be glorious! 1000 girls raise their arms!
Is she solely talking about healing between she and Jay? NO!!!!! She is talking about a deep healing among women, the unity among us, the honoring of what we are as a species.
Now she sings with Jay and he is there for the first time in the video – but only after the healing has taken place between women. Every promise, don’t work out that way. So sweet. The unit, the marriage heals… She has changed her mind.
The video should be over here, right? She and Jay have healed.
Resurrection comes and for the first time the once distant, almost uniform women can be seen close up! The commentary is about the competition among them – the elder woman says:
Something is missing, I never seen this before in my life, SO many women say – Sally Mae can make you feel better than I can? So how are we supposed to lead our children to the future, what do we do?
With the RABID competition among women, for men, chasing the idea that if he looks at this other one with love in his eyes, he doesn’t love me. Relationships are not working out on that premise, or condition, are they? And there are no simple solutions like: just don’t cheat, just don’t lie, just keep your dick in your pants and your eye balls in your head and on me. And every woman on the planet feeling betrayed! Does the condition betray us, or do we betray one another?
The elder then suggests calling on Jesus: and we go into a dream sequence of why that just won’t work. lol! We see the dead. The fallen sons of women.
Finally we see an ancestor beating a tambourine around an empty table and Beyonce suggests the real suggestion:
We must move forward. We can’t use old solutions because if they were solutions they’d be working NOW!
Now we see the women are cooking together, preparing what looks like an offering to Egun or Ancestors. The women and girls are wearing white for the ceremony! Now Bey sings about freedom:
Trying to rain tryna rain on the Thunder, turn the white clouds blue. Painting white flags blue. I’ma rain on this bitter love, tell the sea I’m new! Freedom freedom I can’t move, freedom cut me loose, freedom freedom where are you cuz I need freedom too!
But where is Jay in this? What part of the game is this? Who is she talking to? Who has freedom while she does not. She said, I want freedom too?? Furthermore, how does one rain on the Thunder? Thunder is symbolic of the masculine force Shango! To rain onto thunder might mean to have the feminine calm or even overpower (?) the masculine force. Take him down a bit and make him understand that everyone needs freedom, not just men.
She has unified the women, this new trust and order among them has healed her marriage. There is no other. But she wants freedom too.
I’ma ride through your borders, call me bullet proof.
Use Lemons to make lemonade. Yes… That old lick. We get it. However, this time there is a twist. Ha!
My grandma said nothing real can be threatened. True love brought real salvation back into me. With every tear came redemption. And My torturer became my remedy.
Ahhhh so beautiful. Then enter Jay, right?
Jay is the torturer, right?
NO – enter BECKY!!!!!
So we are going to heal. BECKY IS IN THIS VERY SCENE as these very words are recited!!! Beyonce is proclaiming there will be a healing, an end to the curse. But we don’t see she and Jay, we see Becky, walking harmoniously through the garden at that very point in the video. Working with the women, her posse! This is the woman who might have been sliced for her hands to made into gloves at the beginning of the video, yes?
Check it for yourself – at 52:20 in the video!
She says, so we are going to heal and the first person we see is Becky. The angels sing. She is talking about the women, the unification or #formation of women. Order. Order and sharing among the women. Keep in mind this is the very first time we see “Becky” in this video.
We are going to start again, you brought the orchestra, synchronized swimmers, you’re the magician, pull me back together again the way you cut me in half, make the woman in doubt disappear! Pull the sorrow from between my legs like silk! Knot after knot!
Now she is talking about Jay. The one who brought the orchestra of relationships with various women. The magician, like her father, remember? Able to be in two places at once. But she is asking him to reassure her as she opens. Reassure her that her place as his wife is stable, even with Becky harmoniously in the picture.
Now the birds are shown! Flying FREE!!!!!!
I have found the truth beneath your lies, true love never has to HIDE!
The truth beneath the lies is that unconditional love never has to hide. SO she removes conditions like this one: what you do with your penis could ruin the relationship. Whom else you love could remove my love from you. She is saying, sweet husband Jay, you don’t have to hide – but I need freedom too!
Well, this one is easy, if you can see the storyline. Formation is a song about freedom on many levels. What I want to note about the song is the aspect about what she will give this man. Listen to the lyrics. Not only that, look at the imagery! She’s on the porch with a whole crew of men! This is the same structure of a house that was burned prior. It stands, but with Bey on the porch with her other lovers. The foundations beneath her feet have shifted.
When he fucks me good I take his ass to red lobster. If he hit it right I might take him on a flight on my chopper. Drop him off at the mall let him shoppa. I might get your song played on the radio station.
Who is she talking about here? Clearly Jay Z doesn’t need to have free Red Lobster, or take a ride in her chopper (he has a plane). Nor does he need his song played on the radio. He owns a musical conglomerate called Tidal.
She is talking about her other lovers. The ones highlighted in the video. The video is full of men! She is not only on the porch with men but the video features an entire line up of pretty boys!
She is also asking that the women get into formation. She’s saying she is still possessive, and thus will wear the ROC necklace, her husband’s band of armour. But she will have her lovers, and enjoy them, even buy them things, while the feminine Queen Bee with Jay stay in tact! She’s asking the ladies to please do this in an orderly fashion. #Slay. If we will love unconditionally there must be order to it, I am still his wife. We will work in cahoots or not at all. The order will be respected, or this won’t work. Great ending Bey!
This is simply brilliant.
Can you feel it now? Unconditional love (is that a less scary word than polyamory)? Thats what this video is about. The opposite of conditional love. The release of a paradigm, with the support of magic! The deities assist us in this healing. She has broken the generational curse, what Jay does with his penis will not put the fatal crack into this family. Besides, it’s not what you do it’s how you do it. Let’s be on top of things, let’s do the rituals. Let’s heed this message.
Kenya K Stevens, CEO