FERTILE GROUND 

Old & New Articles by Various Wisewomen

FROM: A HIDDEN STREAM 
The Natural Spiritual Authority of Woman
by Vajra Ma

     Hidden just beneath the surface of our experience flows a living stream, untainted by the poisons of fear, ignorance and greed. Though deliberately erased from view for the few millennia called history, this stream cannot really be eradicated because it is the source of everything, also named the animating force of the cosmos. To those who let themselves feel it, this hidden stream is a visceral reality. And to those who shed the blinders of materialistic indoctrination it is visible in everything. In the ancient Indian traditions of the Divine Mother it is called Shakti, the Feminine principle. It is the oldest spiritual linage on Earth, humanity's more than 200,000 years of universal reverence for the source of life: The Great Cosmic Mother.

  Though forgotten and deliberately erased from our memories and our history from generation to generation, this stream exists. Though hidden, it cannot be removed because it is reality. Though hidden, it is not far. We have only to turn our gaze inward, to focus and release ourselves into this stream. We can drink from this source directly. We can receive the wisdom directly, wisdom untainted, wisdom natural and alive. It is the living stream of female wisdom. It is the same cosmic power and wisdom that empowers women's bodies to gestate, to birth and to nurture life.

I was 35 years old before the idea of a Mother Creator was introduced to me, a concept which seemed strange to me at first. But once I was over the inertia of my conditioning, it made much more sense than its widespread and accepted reversal. And, once given the Rosetta Stone by Mary Daly and many other feminist authors, to decipher the reversal which had demonized the Great Mother, I proceeded to reverse the reversal in my own consciousness. I opened Pandora's Box! True to Mary Daly's term, the Great Reversal, this box was not filled with curses, dangers or evils as threatened in the patriarchal distortion of Pandora's original story, but abundant with the rich and varied gifts of a loving Mother Creator. Pandora literally means giver of all gifts and Pandora's Box is rich with the legacy of Women's Natural Spiritual Authority.

WOMEN'S WHAT?

If that's what you are thinking, then you, as I once did - along with a majority of the human race - do not know that Woman once held spiritual authority in the world, let alone that we came by it naturally. Like most average Westerners, I grew up in a world where the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden was forbidden. The ancient symbols of the Great Mother's serpentine life force rising thru the human body, the Tree of Life, had been reversed into symbols of evil. Especially the female body which is the Tree of Life par excellence, which is literally carnal knowledge, was equated with the source of everything that ails humanity. This demonization or at best the misogyny of Woman extends far beyond western Judeo-Christian cultures into Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and most other cultures and globally into all systems based on them and supported by them.

Though my personal spiritual path is Goddess orientated, Women's Natural Spiritual Authority can operate and has operated both within patriarchal religion and outside a religious context altogether. Some of the women's stories shared in this primer will illustrate this. The dynamics of Women's Natural Spiritual Authority are based in nature, in reality, and they are universal to Woman regardless of belief systems and societal constructs. Thus the word “natural” and herein lies its tremendous power to “save the world.”

The reader can rest assured that seeing validity in the information presented here does not require a conversion to any particular spiritual path or viewpoint. We do not need to construct new governments, institutions, bureaucracies, non-profit organization, belief systems, cultures or religious dogma, nor do we need to destroy the old. We merely need to WAKE UP TO REALITY! The rest will follow. Right action arises with stunning alacrity and accuracy when reality is the inspiration.

In reality we do not experience a split between the physical and the spiritual, between natural vs. divine. Neither reality nor human experience provide for such a dichotomy. It arises only with the advent of patriarchal religions which are based on the artificial doctrine of separation. In fact, far from being separate, it is from the nature of the female body, which encompasses Woman's power to create life, that a cascade of inseparable emotional, physical, mental and spiritual dynamics unfold, naturally and spherically. This is the basis of Woman's Natural Spiritual Authority.

To purchase Vajra's Book... FROM A HIDDEN STREAM
and to learn more about her... go to her website at:     
 www.GreatGoddess.org

THE POLITICS OF ECO-FEMINIST GODDESS SPIRITUALITY
A Theology for a Sustainable Future by Karen Tate

Goddess is a Democrat! Imagine the feedback from that statement from interviews with notable leaders in the political and spiritual community on my radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine! But what were we really saying in that statement that might not have been immediately evident? We were saying the strategy to move us toward that paradigm shift, into a post-patriarchal world would not just be the use of secular law, but a change in theology.

We believe at the Institute for Thealogy, as do many others, that the mythology of the Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and ideal, might reestablish the foundations on our planet necessary for a sustainable future for all life on Mother Earth. Here's the line of thought. We know religion, law and society are shaped in large part by our mythology. We believe the ancient mythology of the Sacred Feminine, perhaps 40,000 years old or more, has been obscured and demonized, particularly in the west, by Abrahamic traditions' immature-youngster-male-dominated religions, linchpins of patriarchy, leaving us with false normalcy. This results in cultures that set men above women, with men indoctrinated to believe they are the rightful masters over Nature and intolerant male-dominate religions believing their god is the only real god who gives them license to crusade against non-believers. Having nothing to counter this unnatural imbalance, we have been left to endure all manner of oppression: fundamentalism, genocide, militarism, imperialism, homophobia, racism, infanticide, sexism, female genital mutilation, predator capitalism, slavery, exploitation, corporate  fascism, and threats to our democracy. All this we face in conjunction with potential environmental catastrophe that can affect national security and life on the planet as we know it.

According to  Egyptian feminist and professor, Nawal El Saadawi... "Patriarchy needs god to justify injustice." Therefore, until we can get religion out of politics and economics, Goddess advocates counter rethinking our mythology or our religion. We must see the Divine not just in male terms, which is dominant in the collective psyche. We must also see the Divine in female terms and value the ideals that go along with maternal values, or we may never achieve a contemporary egalitarian society of equality, partnership, and peace for all people of Gaia.

Compare the generally accepted views of liberals and conservatives. Peter Michaelson, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author, in his article “The Primitive Conservative Psyche” extrapolates from the insights of Berkeley professor of linguistics, George Lakoff,  in his article  “What Conservatives Really Want.”  According to Michaelson, citing Lakoff, the conservative belief in individual responsibility to the exclusion of social responsibility is based on the model of the strict authoritarian father, sometimes called the psychological or Freudian super ego or inner critic, which can manifest in the weak or unaware mind as judgmental, aggressive, negative, ruthless, mocking, unforgiving and irrational, with a distrust of government. Michaelson equates conservative mentality to a primitive aspect of human nature explaining “Conservatives’ mental gymnastics for disrespecting the poor enable them to practice guilt-free ruthlessness while feeling morally superior” They rationalize their lack of empathy by claiming that the poor deserve their poverty because they are responsible for their own failings rather than considering they might be doing well considering the hand they’ve been dealt. Likewise we observe many conservative Christians who misinterpret doctrine believing their wealth as a gift from God for their discipline and rationalize poverty as punishment for sin or being lazy. A vast majority of conservatives tend to want to support established institutions of social stability even if this stable order means the oppression of patriarchy. According to economist John Kenneth Galbraith, “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

On the flip side, according to Webster’s Dictionary, liberals are generous, broad-minded, tolerant, and believe in individual rights and freedom. Politically, liberals desire progress and value equality, diversity and social justice. They view government as the protector of the environment and people and want government to help alleviate social ills and protect civil liberties and human rights. That said, perhaps it is clear to see why community leaders and activists, along with many other Goddess advocates, have said that until we have a viable Eco-Feminist Goddess-like political party, maternal values of the Sacred Feminine are more in sync with liberal and progressive ideals, which are the home of the true Democratic party.  Likewise, real Democrats, no Blue Dog Dems or Clintonian corporatists, are the gatekeepers demanding regulation so that corporations cannot run amok and destroy the resources of Mother Earth or the rights of people. Most notable is former Vice-President Al Gore who, having pressed for stern regulation of greenhouse gases, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to build greater knowledge about man-made climate change. One the other hand, because of the Republican world view in favor of free trade and globalization, the GOP has fought against taking steps to alleviate the threat of climate change. They dismiss it as a hoax or socialist plot to redistribute wealth from corporate polluters to the poor nations they’ve harmed, and they support their corporate constituents who pour billions of dollars into keeping the public misinformed.

The Egyptian Goddess Isis bestowed upon pharaohs their right to rule, and they were to rule their kingdoms under the laws of the Goddess Maat, namely truth, balance, order, and justice. Likewise the Roman Lady Libertas represented the deification of the virtue of freedom.

The Dalai Lama said it would be Western women who would come to the rescue of the world. Might it actually be Goddess Thealogy? How would people react to a change in the mythology? Well, if the popularity of the recent movie Avatar is any indicator, the movie many I know equated with Goddess Spirituality, I think the Sacred Feminine might stage a coup based on the concept of inter-connection, reverence for Nature, a Mother Goddess, respect of one another and the planet. Most people thought those were pretty cool ideas they would like practiced in society. My radio show listeners proclaimed they wanted to book passage on the first ship to Pandora! Over and over people in my community, with teary eyes, retold the powerful scene in Avatar as Jake knelt at the Tree of Souls,  imploring Pandora’s Goddess for help, saying his race, the Earthlings, also called the Sky People, had destroyed their Mother and tomorrow they were coming to destroy her. Perhaps due to such a positive and enthusiastic public response to the movie, the Vatican felt it needed to chime in with their warning. Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi reiterated Pope Benedict XVI’s views on the dangers of turning nature into a “new divinity.” And yes, many conservative evangelical Christians saw no value in Pandora’s ideals. All over the internet readers could see that many preferred a military conquest and corporate victory over The Other – you know, people not like them, those blue-skinned tree huggers. Well, the tree-huggers on Gaia, people of all colors, genders and religions are calling on Goddess Thealogy to reset the balance as she did on Pandora. Can we do it? Can change happen?

When St. Paul was run out of Ephesus, lucky to be alive after he tried to turn the masses away from their beloved Goddess Artemis, he must have wondered if this fledgling Christianity he was selling would ever stick. If you lived and worshipped in Pagan Rome, you probably never dreamed you would see the empire would be dominated by Christians, and if you were an early Christian fearing for your life, you surely wondered what the future held. Women being burned at the stake during the Inquisition surely could not foresee the changes that might be in store for women, no doubt like their sisters of the nineteenth century, when it was debated if women had souls. Slavery was the norm across the globe in ancient times, including in the fledgling United States. Contemporary films like Iron Jawed Angels have documented how American women fighting for the vote were abused and threatened with institutionalization and arrested for their activism and desire for equality. It has only been in the last few decades that African American men could play in the professional baseball league. Certainly, not that long ago, the thought of an African American or woman becoming President was unheard of in the United States; yet now, many are saying Hillary Clinton will certainly follow President Obama to the Oval Office and become the nation’s first female President.

One thing is certain, change and transformation are inevitable. They occur when enough people will it, usually after a profound event, or when circumstances collide that usher in transitions of new beginnings. Recent events, whether across the globe, as in the Arab Spring in Egypt and the struggles in Syria, or closer to home, with the partisan political battle to retain worker rights in Wisconsin or the occupation of Wall Street and Washington D.C., of food industry workers demanding a living minimum wage of $15.00 an hour, people from all walks of life are responding. They are beginning to organize at home and abroad and respond to the naked greed, the rape of the environment, voter oppression, swelling poverty, disaster capitalism, abuses of Wall Street, inequality and injustice, threats to their social safety nets, austerity measures, unemployment, jobs being shipped overseas, and the regressive politics of Republicans so obviously not interested in helping anyone   but corporations.

But have the majority of people had enough yet? Can these social and political activists tip the scales in favor of the Have-Nots?  Will values of the Sacred Feminine finally have their rightful place in society? Will Goddess Thealogy be reborn in the mainstream world?

Gaia, Kali, Sekhmet, Isis, Durga, Ma’at, Sedna, Libertas, Demeter—we call upon you to help us reset the balance!   Let it be done!

The excerpts in this article were taken from Rev. Dr. Karen Tate's new book:

GODDESS CALLING

Inspirational Messages & Meditations
of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy

Purchase it on: Amazon.com

Contact Karen at:

ancientcultures@ca.rr.com