4 Ways Nola Darling Evolves Womanhood, Relationships & Polyamory
Now you listen here, Mr. Spike Lee! I AM A POLY WOMAN! I have been polyamorous for the past 11 years! How will a person who isn’t openly poly, a male-bodied human, at that, deal with this content? I’ll admit I watched with a skeptical eye…
When I began the updated series, She’s Gotta Have It, an expanded take on the original 1986 classic, I expected to critique your work, I expected to feel you might have done better on accuracy if you’d hired me to consult, as I am one of the only, real life, African-American women openly advocating and living polyamorously here in the USA – more than a decade. I am CEO of JujuMama Love Academy where we educate thousands of couples and singles on the art of open relating. Recently we’ve completed a reality series utilizing polyamory tools my husband and I have created, developed and share with the world.
I am a married mother of three, openly enjoying multiple male partners, boyfriends, husbands, whatever you want to call them… spiritually and sexually open in every way!
So I was shocked when watching the series on Thanksgiving day with my husband, author of The Art of Open Relating, Carl Stevens. Being one of the most formidable love experts on the planet, specializing in polyamory, I was shocked because #NolaDarlin is the Evolution of Polyamory!
Talented and Insightful, Mr. Lee! How, without lived experience of this subject matter, did you pull this off? What a wonderful feat you have accomplished! Even your gender would pre warn certain areas may be missed in your exploration. But nothing was missed. The goddesses have spoken through you! You’re clearly a channel…
One of the perilous, challenges of coaching polyamorous couples has been marriage, what to do with that bulky system. I’ve been contemplating how we, as a culture, can remain captive to the same marital structure we’ve inherited AND merge polyamory into it. She’s Gotta Have It, version 2017, reinforced in me to the fact this may not be necessary! The very premise of western marriage is ownership, and possession, robbing freedom of the feminine form by its very nature – and inherently snatching freedom from the masculine form, as well.
The question on the sub-mind of many is, how do we free up? Can we incorporate polyamory using the systems we already have in place?
Moreover, the question this movie seems to answer as we watch Nola create her own loving protocols, substructure, and rules, is simple: How can the Free Feminine Form fit into the modern world of love? She answers these questions distinctly, using the natural creativity of the feminine goddess archetypes, but meets resistance, through which she prevails! How does she prevail? She prevails because she is invoking goddess powers as she creates a new paradigm!
Nola’s art is expressly about Free Female Form. Or was it the Free, Black, Female Form? Either way, black or white, green or purple, the fact of the matter is today’s patriarchy (or what remains of it) is crumbling and women of all color will have to begin to carve a new world that frames what freedom will mean, to us!
Ms. Darling takes this journey, single handedly, in the movie, surpassing even her own mother-legacy, by venturing off the beaten path into the future of love; thereby giving even myself, a poly woman, a glimpse into a possible new order!
Spike Lee, baby, lover, my dream man — You have opened the gateway to this new era SO WIDE that I’m barely able to handle the emotions I felt watching your brilliantly, written and riveting display of art – She’s Gotta Have It is a mind altering, six-hour series. Completely life changing, I’ve watched it twice!
I should not have been surprised that the series has, absolutely, opened a portal no one will be able to close… these past two years have been the clear beginnings of the total unraveling of the entire western, social system. From The Metaphysics of Beyonce’s Lemonade, to Prince’s death, to #BlackLivesMatter, to the current lifting of the sexual harassment veil, even Donald Trump being elected president – which the movie gives major nod to – indicates everything is falling apart with a predestined, almost etherial, objective of rebuilding!
The musical artist, Prince opened the series with his 1987 tune we all know and love, Raspberry Beret, and closed the movie with a vibrant dance of Nola and her three lovers as the whole world chants along! Of course! Prince, is a super power who undertook the majestic work of freeing the feminine form on this planet in his lifetime! Not only did he give women permission to be sexually free, but he gave those with male bodies permission to express their own inner feminine! Prince and his luscious tunes of free sexuality may be the reason I am polyamorous today! So to hear him open and close the movie, and to see the specific role he played in the movie was, too, part of the profound magic of it all.
What I’m winding down to is the fact – and I do mean FACT – that Nola Darling is not only the evolution of polyamory, but the evolution of modern relationships, modern marriage, and a possible end to modern enslavement of the feminine form.
The character, Ms. Darling, has flipped the marriage concept on it’s head – something I’ve not been artistic enough to do, even as a poly person – and asserted herself ME FIRST into the future of love!
The future of love is community (quoting myself from my BarcroftTV reality series) and that future has to be one where personal freedom is first. Personal freedom, self-discovery, personal growth… these are the only openings to personal authenticity. Having a sense of personal authority – know thyself, magic – is the only way one is able to, authentically, come together with others to create community! Otherwise, we move into predesigned roles that may or may not suit our inner heights, choosing to bow to an external order rather than erect inner order!
We are swiftly moving from patriarchy (masculinity is the power) to pan-archy, a word I adopted and adapted to mean each individual is the power.
What an amazing undertaking – and my gosh how well it’s done in the series, She’s Gotta Have It.
Here are four ways Nola Darling and all she symbolizes has literally EVOLVED the modern concept of womanhood, and the ancient Goddesses she invokes, silently, to complete the task:
- Nola Darling defeats the whore complex. Part of Nola is a reinstatement of the West African, Yoruba, Goddess Oshun (The Lover™ archetype in JujuMama’s Bagua Astrology System). Freak or whore, means sexual deviant. The entire substructure of the western WORLD is built on the idea that a woman is a sexual deviant if she has more than one lover; if she acts independently, as a sensual being, she undermines our culture and unpins society.
Indigenous cultures were quite different in their treatment of sexual energy, the goddess of pleasure and sensuality was revered and worshipped, fully embraced as a necessary fixture, encouraged to be free sexually. The Lover archetype, for instance, is found in most every indigenous culture, she is Oshun in West Africa, Erzuli in Haiti, Venus in Rome, Freya in Norse culture, Aphrodite in Greece, Hathor in Egypt… the list is endless. Precolonial cultures and ancient cultures respected the free feminine form. In fact the word virgin was said to mean a free woman who chooses her sexual partners at whim.
“Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ” Virgin” meant not married, not belonging to a man – a woman who was “one-in-herself.” The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men”
In the western cultural view, the Lover energetic had to be hushed, silenced and suppressed in order to accomplish the mission of the church, mosque and synagogue. Yes, the big three traditions are the sole architects of what we now know to be marriage. These are young traditions and if we look around, they aren’t truly serving their devotees very well… Absence of freedom for the inner Lover Archetype has had disastrous effects on our culture.
What the whore complex has done to erode the Free Feminine Form is likely undocumentable, it’s vast and destructive repercussions; insurmountable.
The name calling, IE slut, whore, freak, sex addict, sinner, hoe, bitch; these terms shut down all hopes for normal, natural human sexuality. But it makes a basic human need, touch, a luxury or commodity.
Where the Lover Goddess is free to love whom she chooses, when she chooses, culture is well, sane and healthy. In free cultures, the sensuality of women is protected by all, nurtured from youth and seen as the crown jewel of life. Where she is not free, culture disintegrates into pockets, and then legions of sexual deviance. Real deviance, like rape, molestation, rabid lack of touch, loneliness, and ghastly, illness born of frailty of heart.
Piece by luscious piece Nola Darling exposes and overturns these old western concepts.
There is no better example of Nola’s quest to merge the Lover archetype as part of her freedom march, as the circumstances around her black dress.
In Episode #3 Nola wears a black dress which each of her men react and respond to.
The men deal with her archetypical, Lover goddess, sexiness – a power every woman possesses, no matter what she is wearing – each demonstrates they have been trained the western, patriarchal way, which is, admittedly, slightly schizophrenic when it comes to free feminine sexiness.
Men in the west have been trained that a woman should be sexy, for him, not for the world. A woman’s sexiness BELONGS to the man who has married, or purchased her! Other men gazing at HIS woman’s sexiness is usually cause for disdain. Why? Because western cultures set men up to base their entire self-worth on the idea that a woman he owns, is his, and only his! Western men want to OWN the goddesses, and especially control the Lover Goddess archetype, which is a drastic misnomer.
Jamie, Nola’s wealthy boyfriend, shows us that he likes the dress, yet is embarrassed or insecure, to have Nola’s sexiness on display stating “if you don’t want the attention then you shouldn’t wear the dress”. Mars, Nola’s street beat boyfriend, adores the dress. After a long night of putting up with and fighting off other men gawking at Nola, Mars frames his awareness of the problem – the very black dress he worshipped earlier in the scene becomes the problem…
But, is the black dress is the problem, or is Nola’s innate sexiness the problem?
And if her sexiness is the problem, what are women to do about that?
And if sexiness is a problem, is it ONLY a problem because of the way our culture is set up, where women’s sexiness is seen as a prize gifted to the highest bidder (pussy as commodity)?
If the female body and pussy are seen as things to be bought and owned, giving value to the owner, then YES the black dress and innate sexiness is a problem – when in public.
Why isn’t Mars’ insecurity the problem?
Well, it’s not really insecurity, it’s simply the aforementioned programming all men receive in the western world… yes?
Greer’s response to the dress – Nola’s artistic boyfriend, cultured and a sex God himself, oozing sexiness and actualizing his power of attracting and having many women in and out of his bedroom – Greer wants to photograph her… in the black dress.
Nola obliges, but when she began sharing feminine intuition, encouraging him to take his art to the next level, WHILE being photographed, he shushed her, wanted her to stop being a conduit of wisdom, a pillar of power, and wanted her JUST to pose for him, JUST to be a thing, JUST to be quiet and be pretty. Nothing more…
This angered Nola who doesn’t want to be “captured, posed, and possessed” – especially as a non thinking THING.
All in all, each male she loves strikes out with the dress test which seems to evolve Nola into discovery of the core issues being outside herself, and inherent flaw in the system, rather than there being an issue with her own sexuality, or the character of the men. Her journey exposes the flaws of western thought and builds her into a strong place of self love as she recognizes the clear hypocrisy of each perspective her men demonstrate.
This is where I say Nola has evolved the modern relationship. The movie deeply explores the major failing of western treatment of the Lover Goddess Archetype. We type cast the Lover Archetype, men and women alike, we so often degrade her; we make it impossible for her to freely spread much needed love in our culture.
Nola decided not to give in to the conditionings of these men. Salute to you, Lover Goddess! She essentially becomes the educator of these men on how to respect a free woman. This form of education, through living, is something brave that paves the way for a sane world, where Lover energy is honored, adored and protected by all! Men need this kind of sweet, loving education – it’s been something I’ve done repeatedly as a poly woman.
2. Nola Darling defeats the martyr complex. Part of Nola Darling is a reinstatement of the Yoruba deity Oya ( The Conservationist™ Archetype from JLA’s Bagua Astrology System) For a great many centuries, women have taken on the burden of being everything to everyone, while leaving ourselves behind. This is why we see movies like Eat-Pray-Love a central awakening for women who have given their lives to family, children and ‘community’.
The Conservationist is called Oya in West Africa, Kali in Hindi tradition, and often is referred to as the witch or crone in the traditions of Europe. She is goddess of the storm. She brings the storm to cleanse and destroy, while offering rebirth and rebuilding as a benefit to facing the challenges at hand. Nola demonstrates characteristics of this goddess energy with her impeccable urge toward self-care, self-focus, protocol and of course a word that’s a curse word to me – independence.
This is where Nola and I had a hard time. I began to become disgusted with Nola. She seemed spoiled nearing episode #4 when she cut the men off. She began dating the beautiful, lesbian, Opal which still had to be done on her own terms, everything began to feel focused on what Nola wants and what Nola wants Nola gets. This made me feel dissonance as it’s a challenge for women in the west to put our own objectives, desires, goals, and dreams first.
I began shouting at the television when I saw that she’d locked herself in her own home to have a few days of total depression and chips eating — who with children can do that! No fair! I also became annoyed when she didn’t answer the phone or the door for her lovers. She was going to see them on her terms, period. So mean!
And her terms included lots of Conservative rules and protocols, such as sex is only had in her own loving bed. At one point, Nola’s boyfriend Mars, said there must be over 69 rules!
While I once felt uneasy with Nola’s creation of strict protocol, I can see how digging into the self to find out what one desires, and giving oneself the gift of it, is absolutely imperative to formulating a desirable life, on a personal level!
So, as much as I felt uneasy about watching the Oya-type goddess energy through Nola, Spike saved me when he showed the men going through times of self-growth, evolution, and discovery in her absence. So as she shut down to take care of herself, the men, albeit challenging, did their own kind of prayer and soul searching. So essentially as Nola goes through her process, seeing her life coach, having spiritual baths with a Yoruba priestess, thinking her life out… the men are fine – better off even.
What’s revolutionary about this process is most women never do it! We are too fearful of losing a man to actually dig deep, in solitude, to find the voice of our truest desires resting within. We’d rather continue to serve and be what is needed to keep the peace. But once we take this kind of space to seek support, get clear and create a plan to accomplish our goals – we are more powerful for it!
3. Nola Darling defeats the Marriage Complex. Part of Nola Darling is a reinstatement of the Kemetic Goddess, Isis or Auset; Yemanja in the Yoruba tradition (The Devotee™ Archetype from JLA’s Bagua Astrology). This goddess energetic is about motherhood, nurturing, sisterhood and family. For many centuries, this is the ONLY feminine energy women have been allowed to safely embody, and celebrate (notice there is a Mothers Day but no Sexy Woman’s Day) essentially motherhood is the only goddess energy we are directed to aspire to!
The Devotee Archetype is clearly channeled through Nola’s care and concern for the world. We see the multifaceted nature of Nola Darling, which should ease fears that the Free Feminine Form will somehow vanish the caring capabilities of the feminine form, as a whole. Nola’s various shows of Devotee grace throughout the series should actually soothe men who might otherwise perceive a woman who entertains multiple lovers, and is all about self care… may not have the ability to properly nurture and mother…
In episode #9 when Nola goes to jail for her friend, the street art peddler, and even in episode #7 when she shows vast concern for her friend, Shimecca, who has been admitted to the hospital in wake of gluteus injections bursting, causing an infection, Nola proves herself to be a very nurturing soul. Nola demonstrating fierce self-focus (Conservationist), and sensual compatibility with multiple men a her whim (Lover), doesn’t eclipse her mothering instinct (Devotee). This is a defiant statement against the western marriage complex which seems to purport unmarried women, functioning singularly – not attached to a man legally – are not real women and can be a hinderance to civilized society.
We see by the Episode #8 that this is just not true.
Even the way Nola deals with Opal’s daughter, Skyler, is a demonstration that she cares about others in a nurturing way, even children; this should show us that women can be multifaceted AND free and retain motherly traits she shares givingly!
However, in all of this, we do not see that the Devotee archetype, indeed the mothering soul, has to be in a nuclear family unit in order to create family!
This is the revolutionary aspect of Nola’s character. The Nuclear Family is more a construct, she realizes, of the patriarchy. Nola clearly defies the idea that she has to be married in order to nurture, care for, or even cook for her men. The Devotee goddess archetype is one that prepares meals for the family, so when Nola in episode #10 prepares a meal for ALL the men in her life – a symbol of family and nurturing – she is able to come clean with all the parts of herself and let them know that this is the order she expects – honesty, openness, full disclosure and of course NO SHAME around all of who she is, what she desires and how she will conduct and create her idea and identity with family (maybe we need a new word for that)….
These men, her female friends, her parents, her work colleagues, ARE her family – she has redefined what it means to be a woman and has demonstrated three goddess archetypes, so far, can exist in the same woman, without compromising the sharing of feminine energy to anyone she wants to share with! Not only that, she has given us all permission to create family in any way we choose!
4. Nola Darling defeats the Dependency Complex. Part of Nola Darling is the reinstatement of the Kemetic Goddess, Maat (The Visionary™ Archetype in JLA’s Bagua Astrology). This goddess energetic is about wealth, abundance, industrious living of one’s passion to create harmony and wealth in life! For many centuries this energetic has been presumed masculine. In modern culture it appears to be that men are in charge of wealth and thus hold the option of gifting to women the things she needs to survive. But the ancients had a vastly different view of the feminine role in terms of gaining resources on Earth…
Dependency on the masculine to create abundant living is a new phenomenon. There was a long span of time in human history where women were in charge of intuiting the strategy for humans to best utilize Earth’s resources, usually in harmony with the environment and in ways that leave no trace. (In many parts of Africa and China women still run the marketplace) The Visionary Goddess Archetype is a strategist, she is the brilliant strategist who assesses what needs to be done to best utilize each life purpose, to give the gifts to the world each is born to give! This sharing of talent and skill automatically provides abundance in the form of exchange, human to human.
Nola Darling was consistent, throughout this blissful series, in focusing on her work, believing in her destiny, and actualizing her purpose. Several scenes demonstrated the Visionary Goddess literally, EXISTING, through Nola as she strategized, intuited and connected all the pieces needed to forward her artistic talents and share them holistically with the world. We also see her industrious nature as she took side jobs at her convenience to make ends meet. These activities created her abundance.
So much so that Jamie, Nola’s rich boyfriend, offered ten thousand dollars. At first Nola celebrated the windfall, but noticing, like a Visionary might, that this caused disharmony in his family, Nola gave it back, asserting herself capable of manifesting wealth in and of herself! This is basically unheard of in today’s pussy for money culture. Right?? How many women were floored by this act of morality, trust, and faith?
This is an innate power the feminine energetic possesses – Optimism! But if the female form is not free, how can she actualize her talent to literally create abundance in her life? Being in this space of mind requires interdependence; not dependency or even independence. If we are told from a young age that it is the masculine who will marry you, taking his responsibility to care for you, think for you… And even in modern times where women can freely work, we do not yet incorporate the narrative that women are actually conduits for wealth, attracting it through strategies we intuit from spirit, magnetism, brilliance! ~ In this way, the feminine is fully capable of owning ourselves…
Concluding, clearly this movie is a portal for the personal elevation possible when feminine super powers follow our hearts, indulge our pussies, nurture those we love, and trust the universe ~ without mind to the old paradigm. Nola Darling did it. She conquered the beast in one fell swoop! She’s lit a path for women who want to become something more than the stereotypes. This has been an emotionally powerful, and tingly orgasmic ride!
Spike Lee, your Nola Darling is a soaring symbol of what womanhood, polyamory, and the New Paradigm can become – And this, from a female maverick, with lived experience of breaking a paradigm and living/creating another – I salute you!
Kenya K Stevens, CEO
Interested in learning more about how to shift your paradigm? Visit JLA today!
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