i found god in myself/and i loved her/i loved her fiercely -ntozake shange
And it would seem equally logical that the fact that both human and animal life is generated from the female body and that, like the seasons and the moon, woman's body also goes through cycles led our ancestors to see the life-giving and sustaining powers of the world in female, rather than male, form. -Riane Eisler, The Chalice And The Blade
Breasts, belly, buttocks. The beautifully crafted sculptures such as the figurine above from Dolni Vestonice, Moravia , c. 24,000 BC, were some of the first representations of the Divine Feminine. Their purpose was not as representational art, but was to invite fecundity and nurturing, growth of plant and animals for sustenance, mother's milk to ensure life was nourished. Thousands and thousands of these possibly hand-held, stuck-in -the-ground around a fire, figurines have been unearthed, recently reinterpretated as "goddess/mother" figurines departing from the original patriarchal interpretation as "Venus" figurines (sex objects).
You are a descendant from this ancient line of Divine Feminine wisdom. Are you aware and/or aligned with the power of your feminine being? Do you know there is documented knowledge through archaeology, anthropology, lingusitics, art and mythology that the Mother Root reaches back at least 200,000 years? She was revered for her ability to reproduce, witnessed in all of life. Are you in touch with the collective unconsciousness of your grandmothers, grandmothers, grandmothers, grandmother, hundreds of generations back? Are you Tapping Into Your Mother Root? Yes, readers, this ancient wisdom is in your DNA waiting for you to awaken it. I feel that until we incorporate the divine feminine with the divine masculine, until She is given FULL recognition, our path of powering over life and the earth will continue. We must bring forward that which worked milleniums ago, when we lived and worked in harmony with our Great Mother, Gaia, planet Earth. Patriarchy has only been the definition of culture for about 4000 years. You do the math.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton: 1868, Suffragrette, organized first Women's Rights Movement, Seneca Falls, N.Y. 1848
"As long as we have all male Gods in heaven, we shall have all male rulers on the earth. But when the Heavenly Mother (my caps) is revealed, and is sought unto as free and confidingly as the Heavenly Father, then will woman find her proper sphere of action." stated by Antoinette Doolittle, 1872.
My journey to authenticity began when I realized that the beliefs I was choosing, shoved down upon me by a society that placed less value on me than on he--after all, who was I, a female, designed after if god was a man?--was snuffing out my life force. It no longer worked to define myself by a system that excluded one-half the population, women. The Chalice And The Blade, gave me permission to think beyond the box I'd been encultured into. 'twas a holy day for me in 1989 when I opened the pages, eyes growing saucer like, when Riane Eisler's words jumped into my consciousness, "For here the supreme power governing the universe is a divine Mother who gives her people life, provides them with material and spiritual nurturance, and who even in death can be counted on to take her children back into her cosmic womb." I was born again, born back into the holiness of my ancient feminine lineage.
Book after book, women's studies classes, meditation, questioning, journaling, delving into my shadows, therapy and a host of other modalities affirmed to me over and over that I was and am of value, equal value. Merlin Stone wrote, "In the beginning people prayed to the Creatress of Life, the Mistress of Heaven. At the dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?" Such eloquence became the mantra I needed to rewire my scewed brain, and gave me the passion to guide others into their holy feminine powers. I knew that if I, a girl-child born stradling the fence of feminism--1942, when women dipped their big toes into independency taking over "male" defined jobs as the boys went off to war, then relinquishing their positions when the boys came home (my mother was a "Rosie the Riveter," during WWII, but became a house-keeper/janitor because they didn't hire women for good paying welding jobs after the war), that all women can do the deep work to raise their self-esteem; that all women can pull that leg into the new world which harkens back to the feminine-based values of antiquity.
Self-esteem. I had this vision while engaging with a couple of women friends as we talked about the subject, especially that of "low" self-esteem. Thoughts create energy, and I believe that as we do our healing work, it is paramount that we pay attention to our talk. Go deep, honor a thought, especially one of feelings, but don't let negative talk become your mantra. My vision: an energetic geiser letting loose its powers. When the geiser is in remission we wouldn't call it less-than, which "low" in self-esteem means, it is simply gathering its wit and wisdom to repeat its serging cycle, it is all part of the natural "esteaming" process. Our sub-conscious works with picture images, therefore, I believe that pictorial metaphors dig deep into our psyches, talking a language that bypasses our intellect, arousing and awakening the Mother Tap Root.
Often we, as women, feel "low" because we do not measure-up to the one-sided (masculine) definition of what success looks like. Thus, I feel it is imperative that we study women who have created feminine definitions, who have esteemed themselves by a new-old code of values. In Women's Mysteries: Ancient & Modern, the work of M. Ester Harding, she writes, "The woman's relation to her own feminine principle is something which controls her from deep within her own nature but she is often supremely unaware of what it is that holds her. She has no conscious understanding of herself, and is for that reason totally unable to explain herself to a man..." (in place of "man," insert White Male Based System--see following definition.) There is a new paradigm that is emerging, one with whole-person based values, not from one lens of the glasses. I often find women, myself included, defining my esteem by a set of values that is White Male Based, a system, according to Anne Wilson Schaef , "controls almost every aspect of our culture. It makes our laws, runs our economy, sets our salaries, and decides when and if we will go to war or remain at home. It decides what is knowledge and how it is to be taught. Like any other system, it has both positive and negative qualitites. But because it is only a system, it can be clarified, examined, and changed, both from within and without," stated in Women's Reality: How You Can Realize Your Full Potential. Stepping out of the box is a necessity, stepping beyond "...innately inferior, damaged, that there is something innately "wrong" with us." (Schaef) are key ingredients to a self-defining woman, a changing from "within," which precedes the changing "without." Critical thinking is imperative!
Language. I didn't have the consciousness to realize it, but throughout my formative year as a voracious reader, my soul felt the sense of disenfranachisement when the masculine pronouns were the norm. Who was I, a female--she/her-amidst the barrage of he/him/his? Carroll Saussy writes in God Images and Self Esteem: Empowering Women in a Patriarchal Society, "...to assume that "man" includes "woman" is to support patrirchy's subsuming of and thereby discounting of women. Feminists and womanists, as well as a growing number of others seeking liberating language, are convinced, that language shapes the way the world is perceived and that to assume that "man" includes "woman" is to agree that male is the norm." I began to "liberate" my language internally; I began to edit as I read the masculine pronouns; I began to use inclusive language, especially that of Goddess--a form of spirit that I could identify with. Embracing feminine pronouns, embracing Goddess symbology, knowing deeply that there was a divine role model that I was patterened after, awakened the dormant power of my feminine being; consequently, raising my self-esteem.
Starhawk, a feminist thealogian writes, "The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy, our anger as purifying, and our power to nurture and create, but also to limit and destroy when necessary, as the very force that sustains all of life. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength, enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions. We can move beyond narrow, constricting roles and become whole."
So I say, " here-she, here-she, here-she" to tapping the ancient Mother Root that continues to be explored and defined; to the many books written by brave, intelligent, wise women shinning light on our esteem path. Blow and vent, let it rise to the surface, shouting hallelulia. Raise your feminine consciousness by digging deep toward the Mother Root. "Liberation of the spirit and liberation of women are one and the same part of the struggle for a free society and world," Nelle Morton, The Journey is Home, writes. When any faction of society is repressed, everyone is repressed. People, we have a responsibility, each and every one of us, female and male, to liberate ourselves. Morton continues in the same paragraph, "...the liberation of women, and the liberation of the oppressed of the earth will come at one and the same time and be the same radical movement that will make a universal visible reality and unify the spiritual and the political."
Set your intention to "vent your steam/steem," be aware with the usage of pronouns, consider "Goddess" in your prayers, it is a beginning. Once on the road, there is no turning back, after all, "At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman. Do you remember?"
Believing that Strength/Hope/Experience: SHE, can shine a light on your parade. Until next time.
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