Why the Goddess is Needed Right Now!

For those of you reading this, I do not for one second compare myself to Carol Christ or her absolutely wonderful essay, “Why Women Need the Goddess”, which can be found here.  I highly recommend it, as it is brilliant.  It was also written in 1978.  But why women, and men, need the  Goddess NOW has been on my mind very much as of late.

I also find myself thinking of Judith Duerk’s book, “Circle of Stones”, and her pertinent questions, most notably, “How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you?  A place for you to go…..a place of women, to help you learn the ways of woman….a place where you were nurtured from an ancient flow sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself.  A place of women to help you find and trust the ancient flow already there within yourself…..waiting to be released….A place of women….How might your life be different?”

Women are not taught to be strong, be brave, stand up; we are taught how to cook and clean.  We were not supposed to play sports and when things changed enough that girls wanted to, they had to fight for every scrap.  What we do learn are the ways of a patriarchal culture that looks down on women, all women, and women of color most especially.   We learn that men are in charge, they rule the big corporations, the government, the world.   Their God is made in their image, a male image.  The ancient Goddess was overthrown, conquered and put down.  Deuteronomy 16:20 states, “You must completely destroy all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods: on high mountains, on hills, under a spreading tree.  You must tear down their altars, small their pillars and cut down their sacred poles (asherahs), set fire to the carved images of their gods and wipe their name from that place.”   Asherah was/is a Neolithic Goddess, also known as Inanna-Ishtaar-Astarte.  Divinity was and is male, and the Goddess needed to be destroyed.   For those in religious education, we learned that Eve, the first woman (made from man) was tempted by the devil and from that, sin entered the world.  Sin entered the world because women are evil, and lascivious, and dirty.  Women need to bleed monthly and bring forth children in pain.  That is the punishment of being a woman.

There are probably thousands of verses in the bible that denigrate women.  Some of them are:

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Timothy 2.11-12

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord….” And further, “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man”…. Man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.”  Ephesian 5:22-24

The apostle Peter said wives should “be in subjection to your own husbands” and have “chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

I do not deign to even discuss some of the bible verses referencing women during their moon time.  They are not worth the paper they are written on.  The bible was written by men at various times during history, and they wrote as their God’s words what they wanted to see in real life.

There are also quotes by saints, male saints:

“Every woman should be overwhelmed with shame at the very thought that she is a woman.”  St. Clement

“Among all savage beasts, none is found so harmful as a woman.”  St. John Chrysostorm.

There is an excellent article on how women are treated in the major religions here, if you would like to do some further reading.

Is it any wonder that women have traditionally, throughout history, after the overthrow of the Goddess,  been treated as inferior, and are still, to this day, treated as such.

All you need do is open the newspaper, turn on the news and see/hear/read the atrocities being committed in this country and around the world.  Rapes and other sexual assaults, domestic violence that can and does end in death for the female victim.  Women in other countries are sexually mutilated to stop them from enjoying sex, or from inhibiting them from having sex with someone not their husbands, to prove they are virgin, they are used as weapons of war, used and discarded.

Here in America, we have a domestic violence scandal in the NFL.  It goes beyond the NFL and THAT is what should be the scandal, not that a few overgrown boys playing a barbaric, violent sport like to beat up on their wives, girlfriends and children.    We have an invention of a nail polish that all women need do is to dunk their finger into their drink to see if it has been drugged.  We have the extremely patriarchal GOP telling women they are not good enough to get equal pay for their work, that they are not smart enough to make decisions about their own bodies, that they wish to control everything about our reproductive systems, right down to whether or not we do.  Their religion usurps our right to health care and contraceptives.  We have white conservative males and celibate priests trying to control something over which they have no personal knowledge, wisdom or experience.   As for the conservative and GOP women, I am at a loss to understand them.  I, too, am at a loss to understand women who say that feminism is no longer needed, that we are where we should be.  We are NOT where we should be.  We are not free to be who we are, not while a system that is based on the superiority of one gender over another, one color over another, exists.  There are those that say we do not need the ERA.    I say that is wrong; we do need it.  We need tighter laws to protect the rights of women, as equal to those of men; tighter laws to protect the rights of the LGBT community and for all communities of color.

It is my hope, my deepest wish, that more and more women will be called by the Goddess, to find the Divine in woman’s form; to learn their worth and their value; find their voice, their strength;  for women to speak up for themselves and what they want in their personal relationships, in the way the government and country is run; to leave abusive relationships. The Goddess is needed and so necessary in this world, right now, before things get even more out of control.

If you knew of the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, how would your life be different? If you knew that She was always there for you, would you be different?  I invite you to find out.  Learn about Her, seek Her out.  She will welcome you with open arms and love.

Recommended reading:  Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk

The Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor

When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone

Guide to Goddess Craft (formerly The Women’s Spirituality Book) by Diane Stein

The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

 

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

Freedom is an Illusion – An Ode to the Patriarchy

FREEDOM IS AN ILLUSION

AN ODE TO THE PATRIARCHY

Freedom is an illusion.

We are tied by tradition,

chained by charade,

stymied by society.

We are held back, pushed down,

shut up, demeaned, defiled and defrauded.

Do this, don’t do that.

Say this, don’t say that.

Behave like this, not like that.

We might give you this,

but we’ll take this back.

Act like a lady,

not like a woman.

Don’t speak your mind,

Speak mine.

Thoughts of your own?

Keep them to yourself.

Do what we say,

dress as we like,

behave as we want.

Dying inside

We don’t care; we always get our way.

FREEDOM IS AN ILLUSION.

So, what’s trending now???

I don’t normally pay attention to professional football; I’m a basketball fan just waiting to the season to start. However, I do pay strict attention to women’s issues, and  since the NFL is in full “cover your bum” mode, it bears commenting upon.

Everyone is talking about Ray Rice.  They are talking about what the NFL knew and when it knew it (everyone else has made the Nixon/Watergate comparison, so I will just skip it).  Facebook says Ray Rice is “trending”.   Big damn deal!  I don’t anywhere see where domestic violence is “trending”.  It is trending though, women die every day at their hands of their male partners.  The NFL is just not saying the right things and Goodall’s ass should be fired the hell out of there.  This guy made $44 million last year – what do you want to bet he got a raise THIS year of, okay, I will say it “Elevator-Gate”?   Interviews given to CBS mean nothing, because CBS is in the NFL’s back pocket.  You did all know that, didn’t you?    

Let’s face it, folks, football is a violent, barbaric game played by huge men.   According to the September 11, 2014 morning edition of the Boston (MA) Globe, USA Today has compiled a database of  NFL player arrests.  85 NFL players have been arrested for domestic violence charges since 2000.  That may not sound like many, but how many of those incidents were not reported (yeah, women know all about THAT).  How many did not lead to arrests and charges?    These are questions I would love answers to and may do a little research and see what I can find.  I would also like to compare these statistics to player arrests in the other professional sports.  

I have been fortunate enough to never have been physically abused in a relationship, and I thank the Goddess for that.  But, as I said, I pay attention to women’s issues, and it is a fact that the majority of women in these relationships do not get out for many, many years, if at all; sometimes they get out of them because they have been murdered by their partners.  So the fact that Janay Rice married the guy after the incident, and recently spoke out against his suspension means nothing to women who pay attention to this stuff.  She is just one of thousands who defend their abuser.  

I am thankful, however, that there are men like James Brown, an NFL announcer, who spoke out and challenged the NFL last night on how they view domestic violence and that education needs to start now.  You can read his live statement here: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cbs-sports-james-brown-speaks-out-on-domestic-violence-our-silence-is-deafening-and-deadly/    

 Before you start thinking that this violence is only directed toward wives/girlfriends, the news has just broken that the Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson, has just been indicted on child abuse charges.  Read that here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/adrian-peterson-indicted-in-texas-on-child-abuse-charges/    

woman empowered!Something has to give and it needs to stop being women.  We need to stand up, stand together, fight back.  We are not property.  You don’t own us.  You do not have the right to abuse us in any way, shape or form. We are not your damn punching bags!  We are human beings with thoughts, feelings and emotions.   Women, stand up – Men, grow up.

From the Light into the Darkness, and Back Again….

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As any witch knows, the darkness is necessary.  Without it, the light would mean nothing.   However for those who suffer from any any type of depression and/or mental health issue, or  any type of debilitating illness, the darkness is not always a nice place to even visit.

Most everyone had their say when Robin Williams passed away a few weeks ago.  There was a big outpouring of “oh, mental health issues should be in the forefront”, “how can we help those with mental health issues”, “what not to say or do when with someone who says they are depressed”.  We also had reactions running the gamut from a so-called reporter calling him a coward (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/robin-williams-dead-fox-news-anchor-shepard-smith-apologises-for-calling-actor-a-coward-after-apparent-suicide-9664684.htmlreporter calling him a coward ) to a wonderful Disney tribute (http://www.eonline.com/news/568759/disney-creates-heartwarming-aladdin-themed-tribute-to-robin-williams-see-the-photo).

Yup.  So, here we are, a few weeks down the road and it once again becomes something we just ignore, unless of course we can’t, whether it is because of someone in the family, a friend, or our very own selves.   We cannot ignore it, because it is there every single day.

There are those that call it the dark night of the soul, and it is an apt  name for it.  It can also be aptly called hell for those who have been there and returned, and have been there again.

For some, these visits into the depth help us to become stronger, more able to deal with that which would wound, or even kill,  us.  For some, the depths destroy what is left.  The struggle continues, always, as those that are affected veer from light to dark to light to dark, and on and on.  For some, they look forward to those visits into the darkness, to learn, to absorb, to fight harder when they return to the light.

As a yoga and meditation teacher and healer, I can and do offer techniques for dealing with emotional and physical issues.  As one who has, and does, struggle with the darkness, sometimes willingly, sometimes not, and who also has a very loved one who seems to live in the darkness always, I can not and do not offer answers.  I have none, not for myself, not for my loved one, not for friends who suffer.  What I do offer is sympathy, empathy and compassion for those who suffer.  

Blessings!

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