Friday, July 21, 2006

The Divine Feminine"

To speak of God as She in today's society is regarded as either brazen feminism or the deliberate reformation efforts of religious liberals. However, the tradition of the feminine aspect of divinity has a long history. From Ameratsu and Cannon in Japan, to Quanyin in China, to Tara in Tibet, to Shakti in India, to Akua'ba in Africa, to Isis in Egypt, to Ishtar and Astarte in the Middle East, to Demeter, Aphrodite and Venus in Greece and Rome, to the Great Goddess of Willendorf and Laussel, to Freya in Scandinavia, to Spider Woman and Ixchel the Weaver in North America, the Divine Mother has a long tradition in the history of the planet's consciousness. It appears that from approximately 40,000 BCE to approximately 5,000 BCE the Goddess was the primary deity figure. Over 90% of the figurines found from this period appear to be of a female goddess. Our planet has a need to reinstate a sense of the "Goddess" within its understanding of the divine; the nurturing principle of the female is needed to help guide our way through the maze of accelerated change which surrounds us. I would submit to you that many of our problems arise as a result of looking at God only as He , the He who appears to initiate holy wars and conquest. As the Taoist, Buddhist or Hindu would tell you, without the Divine Feminine Principle incorporated into one's concept of the Godhead, you have only told, at best, half the story regarding the divine nature; you have fallen short of a full appreciation of the
divinity within and without.

The "feminine principle"is viewed by the traditions of the East as the principle of birth, transformation and rebirth, the nurturing and sustaining influence in the universe. In the Taoist world view, the feminine principle is the responsive nature of the universe in juxtaposition to the "male principle"which is the proactive and initiating nature of the universe. The male principle initiates action and movement; the female principle nurtures and is responsive to those actions and movements.

Our current world view is out of balance, and the world scene reflects that lack of balance. The patriarchal world view has dominated Western Culture for the last seven thousand years. The aggressive concepts of a Patriarchal God have been responsible for tremendous initiative in the history of the West, but they have lost the respect of many for not inspiring a greater sense of responsibility and nurture for our planet earth.

The traditions of the West have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are not ecologically responsive and responsible. They have at best tolerated, and at worst espoused, political and social behaviors which have violated the planet. The results are all around us: the polluted skies, earth, and ocean attest to this gross lack of responsibility, along with the absence of an attitude of care necessary to heal our sick planet. The Goddess, in contrast, is the caretaker, and by neglecting her within ourselves and the cosmos, we have moved into a state of disequilibrium where our relationships to ourselves and to the planet are in disarray. People who have been guided by the defensive and exclusive characteristics of a jealous Patriarchal God have promoted the distinctions and differences amongst the people of the world. Such distinctions and differences can lead to disastrous results if not balanced with the promotion of sensitivity and understanding that leads to a celebration of differences, an appreciation of distinctions. Two North American traditions Ixchel and Weaver from the Mayan culture, and Spider Woman from numerous American Indian cultures, attempt by their efforts as weavers to bring integration to the great diversity of life.

Within the analytical tradition of Carl Jung and the work of mythologists such as Joseph Campbell, there is much evidence to support the existence of the feminine principle (anima) within the human psyche alongside that of the male principle (animus). Jung's definition of spiritual growth within the individual in large part relates to the development and integration of those male and female components of the human psyche.

The Eastern religious traditions have for millennia observed that if you fail to show respect to the female principle within and without, the results can be awesomely destructive. The figures of Kali and Camunda personify that sense of danger. With vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry at our fingertips, it is past time for the female principle to re-emerge and take her position as coequal along side Yahweh, Allah, and the Lord God.

The Goddess image surrounded the planet for well over 35,000 years to about 5,000 BCE, when her position descended like the goddess Peresephone into the deep earth, the home of Hades. Around that time we observe the ascendancy of the male gods Zeus, Indra, Yahweh, and Thor. There are numerous theories as to why this shift in religious tradition occurred. I choose not to speculate about these theories. Rather, I choose to ask whether in that shift something of value was lost to humanity? In Greek mythology, not until the goddess Peresephone was returned from the kingdom of Hades did the earth restore her health. It was the winter of the earth's history according to the myth. We are still caught as a planet deep in the winter of our history. We should seek after the lost Peresephone and restore her to her Divine Mother so that our planet may find its wholeness, following not only the guidance of the Great Father, but also the Great Divine Mother Spirit".

The Goddess by Gard Jameson

interesting site link on dedicated to goddess


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