Behind the Zines - HIVE ZINE-014: Seasons of Eve
Amber Lee is the creator of our newest HIVE ZINE, a lush, full-color collection of collages & poetry about Eve and the author's evolving relationship with her own feminine spirituality. In this post, she describes the background and creation of this zine.
I watched Disney Pixar’s Turning Red this past week and marveled at tween sexuality and periods getting talked about in such a fun and meaningful way on the big screen. But more than that, I was touched by the maternal ancestor spirituality and its connection with the moon, as well as the use of the number 4, which in Mandarin is homophonous with the word for death and culturally considered unlucky. A relative of the movie’s main character calls it, “the worst number.” I think my zine coming out at the same time as this movie is really timely. It is about a divine feminine and finding power and identity in cycles of birth and death.
In 2019 I was told that my pregnancy was not viable. But I was in denial over the reality of my circumstances and relied heavily on faith in miracles and priesthood blessings. After two weeks of fervent prayer, fear and hope, I miscarried. In excited anticipation for the birth of my third child I experienced a death and felt deeply betrayed by a Heavenly Father. I was angry and questioned His character. I questioned my religion, and faith in general. Naturally, I fell into depression and felt distant from all things Divine. In many ways, I died. There was no way to return to who I had been before this event in my life. A new me was emerging.
It was always important to me to feel connected to God and, despite the spiritual silence I was experiencing, I prayed. But some of my prayers looked different. Much of my prayer was in the form of art-making. At a time when Jesus and his Father felt unrelatable to me, I turned to my grandmothers. I made collages of them, giving them decadent robes and jewelry and halos and wings. I imagined them with me, around me, within me. I was searching for Heavenly Mother. I wanted to know Her and feel Her.
Now in 2022 I’ve learned much. I’ve studied the amazing process of my body’s menstrual cycle. I’ve leaned more into my creativity and intuition, and let go of a perfectionistic attitude toward meeting cultural, religious, and familial expectations. I feel more connected to myself and more authentic and powerful than ever before. And at the end of 2021, I asked my husband for a divorce. It was and is both painful and difficult but this decision and experiences following it have felt very guided and full of light.
At the reflective beginning of a new year, thirty years old and once more facing another death of the self, the end of a beautiful chapter and beginning of another, I decided to make this zine about Eve. Days before this decision, a poem spilled out of me in a magical way that I only experience “once in a blue moon,” as they say. As I began writing this poem I felt as though my words, expressions and feelings were also Eve’s. It was a strange but powerful experience. I was writing about something very specific to my life and yet I had this sudden awareness that it was universal, old as time, and experienced first by her. My words felt like an echo. This is not the first time this has happened. Nearly ten years earlier I sat down to process and express powerful feelings through poetry and felt words spilling out of me, words that seemed as though they had been spoken before, as if they were not mine. I specifically felt connected to Eve.
In this issue I explore Eve and the connection that she and I share to a Divine Feminine, a Heavenly Mother. With the exception of the two poems that I have mentioned above, all poems were written in the process of this artistic and spiritual exploration, the creation of this zine.
In a January Sunday school discussing some of the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis, I participated in a discussion about Eve. A brother expressed deep spiritual feelings of respect for both Eve and Mary. What impressed him was their willingness to face death. Eve, in her wisdom choosing to fall, and Mary raising a son she knew would be killed, standing by him, witnessing, and accepting his death. This brother spoke of their bravery. What made them so brave? I realized then that it was their understanding of a divine cyclical pattern that connects them (and me) to the earth and to divinity. They understood that no birth is truly a beginning and no death is an ending. This zine honors their contributions, their faith and their wisdom.
You can purchase HIVE ZINE-014: Seasons of Eve by Amber Lee here.
About the Author
Amber Lee is a Latter-day Saint mom of three wielding scissors, searching for and articulating her understanding of who she is and who God is through the symbolic language of collage art and poetry. You can see her work on Instagram @amberlieves or on her personal website at amberlieves.com