Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Looking Back to the Future to Birth a New Heaven and a New Earth.
Looking Back To The Future
Because we are at a major cultural turning point, we are standing on a frontier between the old and the new. From here we can see the possibilities of what being a free and conscious woman might entail, because frontiers are those boundaries we cross over in the hope of finding something new, something unknown. We discover these unknown possibilities not only for ourselves, but also for our men, our daughters and our sons, and for the future of our planet.
It is sometimes necessary to look at something greater than ourselves to find the images of who we might become. This involves a change of perspective. Joseph Campbell spoke of the power of myth to give us "clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life."13 Myths are the Big Stories that help us understand our experience of being alive, by opening our imaginations and moving us forward in our lives. We need to use these mythic stories to help us find our new identities, identities outside the patriarchy, identities that give us a big purpose. When we look to the stories of the ancient goddesses, we begin to understand that these goddesses were the guardians of the transformative mysteries of birth, death and rebirth. So when women open up to this meeting with the unknown parts of ourselves, we re-discover our ancient function as mediators of transformation.
When we look beyond our humanness to a more universal Feminine Spirit, we can begin to imagine the place and powers of women in the world. Many women have turned to the ancient images of the Goddess to reclaim a sense of their own wholeness. This Goddess wears many faces and She tells women that we can be many things and take on many shapes. It is never 'either...or' with Her, but 'this and also that.'
And yet, we really can’t go back and worship these ancient images as our fore-mothers did. We have to reclaim them by experiencing where they are operating in our lives unconsciously and naming them, thereby transforming them into consciously lived spirit. We have to engage the Goddess in new ways, because this age we live in demands equality between God and Goddess, male and female, such as the Celts seemed able to manifest in their culture and spirituality. This new orientation to the feminine, earthy, instinctual aspects of life is emerging in the collective unconscious through dreams and fantasies and rituals, as well as in collective consciousness through environmental and social concerns, for the Earth has shared the fate of her daughters in being defiled and devalued for centuries.
The development of Western ego-consciousness and our patriarchal model of culture repressed the Goddess, and the feminine consciousness that She represents. Perhaps this was caused by the fear of the Feminine and its power – for it is powerful! Women partake naturally of the transformative mystery by shedding blood each month, which in turn leads to new life. Men have never been able to do this, except when they created rituals to mimic this mysterious shedding of blood that brings new life – usually at great loss of life to animals and people who were sacrificed by them! Or in the end, perhaps the Goddess was repressed because it was the time of Her descent into the Underworld, the time of the dark of the moon when Goddess energy is hidden from sight so it can be renewed.
With the repression of the Goddess and its effect on the status of women came a devaluation of the feminine, symbolic mode of consciousness. In accepting the domination of rational consciousness, we have all been deprived of the wisdom that an imaginal, intuitive consciousness brings to our lives. This type of consciousness is a way of perceiving through images and stories, dreams and visions. It speaks to the heart, not to the head. Matthew Fox, the Anglican theologian, calls it our 'mystical brain' and believes that its suppression is the underlying cause of unbalance in Western civilization.
A crucial dimension of this imbalance in the West is the stunted growth of our mystical awareness and the underdevelopment of our mystical brain. Our brains are amazingly complex creations of time, nature, and divinity. Part of what we know about the brain is that the right and left hemispheres perform different tasks. The left lobe accomplishes analytic and verbal processes for us, and the right lobe accomplishes the synthetic, sensual, and mystical tasks. Western civilization, which dominates the globe today, has invested almost exclusively in left-lobe processes in education, politics, economics, and religion.14
Right-brain thinking is associated with feminine consciousness. By exploring the image of the Woman Clothed with the Sun through images and stories, I hope to show what this consciousness is and how it works, because this is how women naturally envision life. Men, too, can and do engage in right-brain thinking. They also know the Feminine Spirit, whose name is Wisdom. So many of our greatest teachers, thinkers and mystics have been men who have seen with this mystic vision truths about life and the cosmos. I believe that it is time for women to incarnate this new vision of Feminine Spirit, which means walking in the path of Wisdom. When we do, women will shine in this area of human consciousness, but we have to name it, reclaim it and value it for ourselves. It is time for the feminine imagination to come alive again.
Birthing a New Heaven and a New Earth
The Woman Clothed with the Sun is an image of Feminine Spirit that is embodied, conscious, imaginative and spiritual. Women have to be willing to take the journey to reclaim these gifts. Self-knowledge will lead us to the purpose of this labor we've undertaken - the birth of the Divine Child. All things are born of women. The Woman of Revelation brings lasting values and a cosmology that can unite us to ourselves and to the rest of the universe. We are Her daughters and our task is Her task. She calls us to our true Selves, to our Wisdom, and offers us an image of who we might become, just as Christ, the Buddha and Quetzalcoatl have been images of Masculine Spirit which have shaped the very best character in men.
This archetypal image of Feminine Spirit expresses the power and purpose of women in these transformational times - to give birth to a new consciousness and use our wisdom to help the world. She shows women who we might become and the reason for our quest for freedom and consciousness at this time in our human history. The fact that this figure is found in a story of the End Times gives women a focus and responsibility for our inner journey. It places women front and center in the mythic story of our times. As women come to understand and incarnate the gifts Lady Wisdom bestows, we will foster change in society as well as help men come to trust and allow for the growth of these same gifts within themselves.
In re-imagining the feminine spirit for our times, new pathways open up for women to explore. The understanding of imaginal, feminine consciousness can help us own our innermost feelings and intuitions. I feel that women should own their feminine potentials, potentials that are rooted in our womanly bodies. Our capacity for literal childbearing does not necessarily tie us down to a biological function. The wisdom that our bodies incarnate can be the basis of other types of creativity and consciousness. We are daughters of Mother Earth as well as Lady Wisdom, and we have a share in Her gifts of creativity and diversity. We need to look to Her as our teacher.
We are made in the image of this Cosmic Woman, who is clothed with the Sun, who stands on the Moon, and whose crown is the Starry Heavens. Her powers are the powers of transformation, and they are the creative powers of love and union. These are the gifts of Lady Wisdom. When She appears to us and in us, She brings a renewed connection to spirit and to soul. If our souls are awake, we have a connection to the Divine Spirit that continually creates the cosmos, and we can find there the meaning of our lives and our place in that creation.
The new consciousness which is birthed can lead all of us to the creation of a 'new heaven and a new earth'. The millennial fears people are caught up in are the projections of our own shadows. The horrors of war, plague and earth changes have to be faced by people working together. But they also have to be face by each individual. For many Christians, the most horrifying image from Revelation has always been the image of the Anti-Christ. We can look outside for a specific person to be this Anti-Christ, or we can look within ourselves and at our own culture. Perhaps the real Anti-Christ is our Western corporate culture as it has developed over the past 500 years. It has become a culture that has lost touch with Soul. As our scientific and economic world-view took over the cosmology of Christianity, it left us a life without meaning. As the Church condemned the sinfulness of the body and the Earth, it created the Anti-Christ of rampant materialism and loss of soul. It is the other side, or Dark Twin, of Christianity, the second fish of the Piscean spiritual dualism.
As we deal with this 'loss of soul' in our individual lives, we are dealing with Anti-Christ, who is the spirit that embodies a consciousness that is against ‘Christ consciousness’, which is love. As we reclaim our connection with the Feminine Spirit, we are re-awakening our human potential to receive grace and blessings and that love which Christ preached. For each of us can embody the Second Coming of Christ. With the help of the Spirit, we can give birth to a truly new world order, one blessed by the partnership and creativity of men and women of consciousness and spirit. It is time to see that our fears of annihilation are really a lack of imagination. Once we understand the divine laws of Nature, and of our feminine natures, the power of the Imagination can give us the answers to our most pressing problems. Then we can create a world of peace and unity where all of us can partake of the blessings and grace of human life here on Earth.
Ask yourself what you intend to do to birth a new world that values Spirit and the feminine dimension of life.