(by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate)
This article first appeared in Watkins Mind Body Spirit, issue 41.[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e know our mythology shapes our society and culture. If people across the globe revere a male god and sweep the female face of god beneath the sands of time, the result is what we have today – patriarchy, rule of the fathers or a male dominated society, where divinity is only recognized in the male form. That leaves Goddess, women, Mother Earth and every species on the planet subject to male authority. That authoritarian father archetype and patriarchy has infiltrated every facet of life, with some falsely believing it has been no other way. The worship of a Divine Mother and Daughter, Persephone and Demeter, for thousands of years, is shrugged off with a wave of the hand. Amaterasu of the Shinto people in Japan, Guadalupe in Mexico, White Buffalo Woman of the Native Americans, Kwan Yin in Asia, and all the other faces of Goddess, some as old as 36,000 years, older than any male gods, are ignored or their importance goes unknown to countless humans on the planet and so do their energies, archetypes and ideals. Yet Goddess Advocates believe the Divine Feminine is the great equalizer, a thealogy of liberation and balance that rights the wrongs of patriarchy and tempers the authoritarian father.
To more fully understand, you must know patriarchy stands on four legs of a stool: racism, sexism, environmental and cultural exploitation. The result is an imbalance everywhere we look that manifests as inequality, abuse, poverty, suffering and exploitation from female genital mutilation to income inequality, despite women being the majority gender on the planet. In the United States, women are 52% of the population but there is less than 20% female leadership in politics, academia, corporate board rooms and religious institutions, denying society and culture women’s unique and innate abilities and perspectives.
Patriarchy is also propped up by religion. As Egyptian feminist, Nawal El Saadawi rightly said on Free Speech television, “Patriarchy needs god to justify injustice.” If god orders it, or by association authoritarian male dogma demands it, we can justify anything. Patriarchy dominates our bodies and overwhelms our psyches. White male privilege runs amok. Driven by the need for power over or cheap labor, people stop using critical thinking, act against their own best interests, seem devoid of empathy and accept this state of affairs as normal. It is no wonder the moral imperative of our time is the empowerment of women! And fortunately we have courageous leaders, just one of which is former President Jimmy Carter who set an example for this imperative by leaving his church citing as his reason, the sin of sexism that robs women of their potential. It is becoming clear to more and more evolved minds until we have equality for all cultures, women and species across the planet, there will be no sustainability and peace.
So how does a society go about changing course or making a correction to beliefs that permeate every level of society from womb to tomb, boardroom to bedroom, from the voting booth to our places of worship?
We start by taking responsibility for our own educations. We find the courage to throw off the shackles imposed on us by family, political parties or the pulpit. The like-minded must ignore wedge issues that divide us, and women must learn to stand in solidarity for the sake of what’s at stake. We must counteract the greed, oppression and exploitation that comes along with this imbalance using our wisdom, scholarship, common sense, intuition, sense of justice and body knowing to find a new way. We must be courageous, creative, and caring. We must remember. We must rethink. We must be willing to recover that which was swept beneath the rug. We must re-vision how society and culture might be re-shaped and only then can we actually manifest it!
Over the years, thousands of wayshowers and foremothers, men and women, dedicated their lives to revisioning our world and have shared their insight and knowledge. They all have kernels of truth, seeds that can be sown to help society and culture evolve and grow into a world we and our children all deserve. Seek them out. See if their voices sound like a better way, but most of all, recognize our inter-dependence. Find your Sacred Roar. Become part of the evolution toward a new paradigm shift of caring, sharing, balance, equality and justice. We can each be a beautiful thread in a wondrous tapestry that is a healthy, peaceful and loving humanity!
Meet the Author: Rev. Dr. Karen Tate is an independent scholar, speaker, radio show host, author, and social justice activist. Her other books are Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, Walking an Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, and Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy. For the last nine years she has hosted her own internet radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine. Her book of the same name includes the wisdom of noted visionaries and scholars who she has interviewed. www.karentate.com
Edited by Rev. Dr. Karen Tate
Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to Re-Shape Our World
Change Makers Books