For over 2000 years, the symbol of the trinity has been represented by a male deity. And it is through this trinity that many women have looked for direction in their spiritual lives, not knowing of any other way. But recently, another tradition has re-emerged-one that predates the patriarchal view of the spiritual journey by thousands of years. This ancient tradition is that of the Great Goddess, whose three aspects-maiden, mother, crone-represent the natural cycles of the Earth and all its creatures. Many women seeking a spirituality that embraces and honors the feminine principles of creation and natural balance have claimed the Goddess for their own.
The imbalance of our fundamental institutions reflecting a father God at the peak of an all-male trinity, has had a devastating influence on the Western world. With the accelerated pace of events due to scientific advances in the last three hundred years, and especially in the last fifty, the fracture in Western society and in the human psyche has become more and more apparent. The pollution of our planet Earth and the flagrant abuse of her children are closely related to this fundamental flaw.
The feminine might have been established from the beginning as an equal partner of the male deity. Feminine preferences and attributes would have been honored equally through the centuries, and the resulting integration in the psyche of individuals would have spread to their families and communities. The denial of the feminine as partner and friend has robbed us of ecstasy. The wounded male, seeks his lost ecstasy in all the wrong places-violence, power, materialism.
Our worship of an exclusively male image of God is both distorted and dangerous. Male preferences and male domination cause society to form institutions based on a "male" model, with power concentrated at the top and the exploited masses imprisoned at the bottom.
Where the feminine is not valued, a man has no real intimacy with his counterpart. Deprived of his equal opposite because the feminine is viewed as an inferior object, the frustrated male causes burnout:"where the sun always shines, there's desert below." Forests wither, streams dry up, the earth cracks. The wasteland ensues.
The hierarchical model of patriarchal institutions, where all decisions and power rest with the autocratic ruler or oligarchy at the top, is losing its vitality in the wake of the powerful feminine consciousness being expressed in our modern world.
This resurrection of the feminine has allowed the things that women traditionally care most about - the education and nurturing of children and the enhancement of the quality of life - gradually to become visible on the agenda. Under the influence of this resurgent feminine principle, there is hope that the peoples of Earth may yet become enlightened, cherishing the unique gift of life of which this "water-carrying" planet Earth is custodian.
Long forgotten in Western civilization, there was a mandala honored in the oldest cultures of the world. It was based on the archetypal symbols of male and female.
From their sacred Cosmic Dance of the Opposites, which symbolizes the interplay of the positive and negative forces of energy, harmony spreads into all aspects of the life of people. This harmony is reflected in the wellbeing of the community and in the fertility of its crops and herd.
Restoring the Goddess
"One vision I see clear as life before me, that the ancient mother has awakened once more, sitting on
her throne rejuvenated, more glorious than ever. "
Almost all the world we live in today is intensely patriarchal. Some people need
definitions before they can understand what this word means. Our daily lives give
us just the fact of patriarchy, without pinpointing any of its characteristics. Like
birds raised in cages, women raised in a patriarchal system usually come to think
of it as a normal way of human beings to live.
Only women who are enabled to sense a female divinity within their own spirit can bring
about the profound changes that need to be made if humanity is to last much longer as one of
earth's life forms. The survival of any species depends on the nurturing behavior of it females,
not the aggressive behavior of its males.
It seems clear that the best hope for humanity is to return to its prepatriarchal ethic of
male submission to the Goddess spirit, not in the hierarchical sense that men understand
Deep in their hearts many women feel that there is something terribly wrong with our system.
They yearn to be a tribe.
Mysticism and the Amazons
by Carla A. R. Osborne
The spirituality, the mysticism of Amazons begins with consciousness. No, not of death, although we know it to be as inevitable as birth. Consciousness of the interconnectedness of all life...Through our common mother, the Earth, our common timekeeper, the Moon.
All life is sacred.
There are no limits but one.
'Do what you will, so long as you harm none.'
Follow this, and you can do no wrong to yourself or others.
Go outside in the dark of night, when the sky is clear.
Walk, sit beneath a tree...place yourself in the open air, away from artificial light if you can. Trust an old soul, it's worth the effort.
Notice the Moon.
Everything begins there.
Amazons have worshipped many Moon Goddesses... many Goddesses. Artemis is the most famous of our Goddesses, wielder of the double ax, the crescent bow, the lightning bolt. Once a month, on the Full Moon, whether solitary or in a coven, we worship Her...
preferably in the outdoors, where our light is Hers.
All pleasurable things are sacred to Her, and may be part of our devotions. Pleasure is Artemis' gift to us.
Who are we to squander it, postponing it again and again?
Look to the Moon and its colours, black, red, and white.
The most sacred Amazon symbols begin here, with the shapes of the Moon and the three sacred colours. Others, we garner from ourselves, for the female body is a holy vessel. We carry the Moon blood, and the cycles.
Watch the sky again.
You see the streaks of light?
Meteors, you say, and wisely. Just so.
And when they reach the Earth, we collect them, and bring them to our sacred places. Gifts from the Sky Goddess, pieces of a distant place and time that many otherwise never touch.
Look by your feet.
Notice the stones...
I hope you aren't standing on concrete. Ah, but stones, stones are the bones of Gaia, whose grand daughter Artemis is. These too are gifts from a distant time and place.
But that is a tale for another time.