Within Paganism, there appear to be an equal number of women and men in leadership roles. One of the most popular Druids today is Emma Restall Orr, one of the most popular Wiccans is Starhawk. Heathenry has Galina Grasskova and Diana L Paxon. There are countless others in all pagan paths and traditions that stand alongside the men in equal roles of leadership, teaching and more....
I’ve often read that is it due to a male-dominated, patriarchal culture that the world is in such a mess, with war, power games, aggressiveness and other such “male” attributes to blame. I would posit, with respect and a little humour, that these people have never introduced two new female cats to each other…...
Before Ayn Rand became a household name or Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in the movie, Wall Street, captivated the masses with his "greed is good" ideals, a license to callously cheat and exploit, we believed in the progressive values of Star Trek. Remember, in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982) when Spock's dying words to Kirk were "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Or a few years later, in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) Picard explains the world view of the future when he says "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." In fact, Star Trek's mission was one of exploration and humanitarianism rather than the Right Wing rejection of science or the Ayn Rand values to spurn collectivism and altruism.
That said, I wonder how many have considered how much more Trekkies and Goddess Advocates have in common? Let's see.
I was recently interviewed on a radio program and the host asked me if I might name one way my mother influenced my life. I immediately knew the answer to her question. Evelyn, my mother, taught me to fight for the under-dog. She never verbalized it, but I think she felt like an under-dog. She grew up in Louisiana in the 1940's. It was a time when women had little choice about the direction their life would take. She had no protections like Roe v Wade. Her mother was a janitor and education for women was not a priority. Her world view consisted of getting married, keeping a roof over her head and her kids fed. I can still remember her and my step-father, too poor for a decent meal because selling vacuum cleaners door to door was not putting food on the table, eating corn chips with some cheese spread for dinner. Sometimes my breakfast cereal did not come with milk, but water to moisten it. Ham was out of the question and I came to love bologna sandwiches, especially if I had potato chips to slap between the slices of bread instead of lettuce.
Never having taken a class in Women’s Studies and a product of the conservative South, I don’t think Evelyn can name the cause for her circumstances. I can still hear her misplaced loyalty to her Southern roots as my step-father, a northerner from Iowa, would tell her of the rampant ignorance and racism in the South. Sexism never came up, however. Afterall, women just had their role in society. Evelyn’s life path was not in question - it was normal for the times, but I doubt she was happy. I wonder if she even felt happiness was something she could hope for. I got the feeling she was happy surviving. I wonder how her life would have been different if she had the option to finish high school and go on to college or if she could make enough money not to have to get married or fulfill society’s expectations that women have children. So, yes, Evelyn instilled in me to fight for the under-dog, probably because she felt there was no one fighting for her.
She encouraged me to reach out to the lonely kids on the playground who were rejected by the popular kids. We shared what little we had with neighbors who had less than us. She told me to go out and get what I wanted in life because it would not come “knocking on my door.” She tried her best with what she had to work with, which wasn’t much materially or education-wise, but she had compassion and empathy, which I believe, made her very rich.
So it’s no surprise, today I consider myself a social justice advocate. I fight for “THE OTHER” because today, so many more of us are THE OTHER. We are the ones with a boot on our neck. The boot of white, male, fundamentalist Christian men and their female counterparts who benefit from the oppression of others. Yes, this is the root of so much of the oppression and denigration and it’s not just oppression from the elites. Often it’s poor, white, male, fundamentalist Christian men and their female counterparts who play their part in this patriarchal scheme.
To move, live and follow the cycles and rhythms of the Spiral Path, the path of the Divine Feminine, is one of the most familiar and eased ways of being in this world. This is the natural essence of humanity and is how we journeyed through life prior to the rise of the Patriarchy.
Since the rise of the Patriarchy, society has been overtaken by a linear way of being. We have been taught to have concise goals, to walk forward despite obstacles, to never give up, to get out there and to get it done. Time to be, to grieve, play, and rest has become regimented and wildly undervalued.
Still, the Goddess has been re~awakening in the consciousness of Woman, Child and Man for some time now, and with Her re~emergence the Spiral Path has been resurrected. The mysterious, elusive and hidden path of the Spiral is returning to our society as a viable way of being and living....