My observation is that once women find the Goddess, it opens their eyes, not just to the injustices done to women, but to all injustice. Our current culture is one where the patriarchy believes that it has dominion over everything; women, children, animals, the planet. Animals are destroyed for food, for the pleasure of sick individuals, for money, i.e. dog-fighting, racing. Look at just a couple of articles on factory farming and be sickened at what is being done to animals, and by extension, the humans working in and on these factory farms.
A look at the extreme weather patterns that have surfaced from the unbelievable 100+ inches seen in the Northeast, to the flooding in Texas, to the drought in other parts of the country, earthquake tremors in Maine. These are just in the US and does not even begin to touch what has happened in other countries around the world.
What does this have to do with feminism? Plenty. The way women are treated is the way the planet is treated, the way children are treated, the way people of color are treated, the way animals are treated.
Goddess Spirituality opens up one’s eyes to the destruction of Mother Earth, the Goddess beneath our feet, that must be protected, not dominated. Women create life and bring it into this world, but that is where it is destroyed by the society, the culture that surrounds it.
Girl-children learn quickly how to stop being in love with life, and with themselves, being open and free. They learn to just keep their mouths shut, be pretty, please men and everyone else around them. They learn that they are not enough just as they are, but that their importance comes from how they look, how they behave, how they dress.
That being said, I believe that the spirit of a woman is to endure. In traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, not only are we born with original sin on our Woman Soul, but we are further cursed by just being a woman, due to the actions of Eve. We are raised being taught that we are second best. We are bombarded by media telling us how to look, what to wear, how to behave. Fairy tales teach us that to be successful in this world, we need to find and keep a prince to take care of us.
It’s not a fairy tale, though, to say that once upon a time, there was a world in which men did not reign, did not control, did not make women and their families submit, did not think the animals and Mother Earth was here for the to rule. There were civilizations that were run with an equal partnership between men and women; where women were revered for their closeness to the Goddess Who Was All; honored for the of bringing new life into the world, both children and the crops that were grown for the community’s sustenance. Lineage was through the mother, who represented the Goddess. They made decisions, invented what the community needed, did what needed to be done, but never with a power-over mentality, but always a power-with point of view. Everyone worked together in peace and, mostly, harmony. This changed when other cultures and civilizations, those of power and brutality, of men and conquest, conquered these peaceful territories, bringing with them their harsh gods who, eventually, raped and conquered the Goddess, the old pagan religions and completely re-wrote history in their image.
Women became less than they were. They, through the writings and re-writings of these religions, ancient Judaism and then the newer religion of Christianity, became obedient, submissive, subservient because this is what the male God wanted; this was the way it was supposed to be. It wasn’t, but it was made to be so through all of those re-writings of history. The Goddess became the evil serpent that forever changed the world.
Women healers and mid-wives became witches, consorts of the devil. God was male; male was divine. Women were not divine, not any longer. We were what the newly made patriarchy made us to be.
I would hazard a guess that this is the way most of us were brought up. Additionally, this does not even take into consideration our own individual experiences within our families, the hurtful words, the judgements of not measuring up, compounded by the sexual harassment, abuse and assault that many of us have been victim to within our personal and professional lives.
Some of us take these experiences and embark upon a journey of self-awareness and self-realization. We find our way to what makes sense to us – the Goddess. She has always been and She will always be. She strengthens our Woman Soul, our Woman Spirit. She is the reason that we are strong; that we endure. We continue our journey, following our path toward a stronger Woman Soul, meeting others through social media, strengthening the collective Woman Soul; with each connecting strand, we become stronger and we fight injustice and we continue to endure.
I have friends, mostly online, who see what I see. I’m grateful for these women because they make me feel less alone. In my real life, I have no friends who see how the world treats women. They are too busy to see. They are too blind to see. They are too man-identified to see. They don’t WANT to see. It upsets their world. It upsets my world too. What I see makes me cringe and it makes me cry; it makes me feel broken — physically and in my heart — to see what it means to be a woman in today’s world. Yet, I am proud to be a woman. I am honored to be a woman. I am grateful to be a woman. Yes, even in this world that treats women like so much collateral damage.
I do what I think a lot of us do — change “she” to “he”; change “God to Goddess”, use the term Goddess in our daily lives instead of God – wonderful things that keep our focus on what is most important, as well as to make others aware that She is alive and yes, magic is afoot!! There is an alternative.
That being said, I do most of my activism online. I read everything I find on both the Goddess and feminism. I sign and share petitions. I share my thoughts and feelings on both feminism and the Goddess on my blog, Shakti Warrior, on WordPress. I run a Goddess based Feminist page on Facebook, also called Shakti Warrior Goddess. It is another way to share things that I believe are important, to bring to the attention of other women and like-minded men, issues that affect all of us, what we need to be aware of and to fight injustice when and where we see it. For those who are feminist without knowing the Goddess, it is a way to quietly bring Her to their attention, open a new way of thinking for them, which may lead them to learn more about Her.
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.
In the meantime, nurture your Woman Soul. It is precious.
Editor’s Note: This is also published in SHE RISES :How Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? (Volume 2)