The belief among many Christian sects, as well as Jews and Muslims, that pork is “unclean” has influenced to some extent the health focus of the New Age. This belief appears to have been vindicated by the discovery of Trichinella spiralis in undercooked pork, but in fact pigs are not the only vectors of this parasite, which is also found in commonly eaten wild game. The “unclean” label from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Levant probably did not refer to any primitive understanding of trichinosis in pork. Mesopotamian cooking instructions emphasize the importance of cooking all meat, and a favored Mediterranean way of slandering the tribes outside the city states was to accuse them (probably unjustly) of not cooking their meat. The problematic nature of the trichinosis theory notwithstanding, pork products as they are marketed in the United States often are unhealthy, filled with nitrites and other chemicals or produced in high fat forms such as fried pork rinds. Perhaps the association of pigs with poor diet contributes to the Pagan neglect of pig deities.
Coral snake slithers
Circling corazón sangrante;
Squeezes – to cauterize the wound.
Gloria Denice Manthos travels by any means necessary. She writes, sings, dances, plays music, and climbs trees. She lives without air conditioning and chain smokes while contemplating love. She reads the cards and charts the stars. Read more at confessionsinpeculiarity.blogspot.com.
We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. You may donate to us. No amount is too small for us. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings!
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[This essay is part 2 of an edited excerpt from the Introduction to her book PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion.]
A Functional Cosmology and Metaphor
Cosmologist Brian Swimme has said that
to become fully mature as human persons, we must bring to life within ourselves the dynamics that fashioned the cosmos … That is our task: to create the human form of the central powers of the cosmos.[i]
To do this, many women, and men too, need the Female Metaphor (a female metaphor for the Divine) … to become fully human, to embody these dynamics that created the galaxies, the stars. As Carol Christ noted, women “have not actively shaped their experiences of self and world nor named the great powers from their own perspectives”.[ii] Men too may find the Female Metaphor helpful in this matter of embodying the cosmic dynamics, since She is a participatory metaphor – relational – and She may re-store him to the context, partnership, as opposed to centre-stage, dominance and alienation. Adam McLean makes a case for “the Triple Goddess figure” being “for men, a safe inner guide”,[iii] free of the dangers of the “hero”/”saviour” identification.[iv] John Heron has critiqued “gender-laden perennialism”[v] wherein the traditional, typically male, practitioner “claims to have become spirit as spirit”,[vi] whose spiritual practice involves sustained dissociation from the autonomous dynamic impulses of immanent spiritual life.”[vii] Heron describes this as “supremely alienated and inflated agency, a man wanting only to be the whole of reality, and in no sense whatsoever a part of it or participant in it.”[viii]
Inspired by Yvonne M Lucia’s recent post, I would like to share one of my Guadalupe poems. The original Virgin of Guadalupe is Spanish and has strong colonial and conquest associations: among other things, it was at the Monastery of Guadalupe in Extremadura that Isabella and Ferdinand signed documents authorising the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, and it was to this monastery that in 1496 Columbus brought two indigenous men to be baptised, the first New World converts to Christianity.
This poem celebrates the Virgin’s escape from those associations.