the-devilThe woman experiences her power to bring forth the future, to connect with the evolution of the planet through bringing forth its future. She experiences herself as a vessel of transformations, for she brings forth life from herself, just as the rest of nature is able to do. And so she experiences the full power of the natural world to be hers.
Conversations with the Goddess, Dorothy Atalla

Recently on the evening news there was a story about the return of Pastor Rick Warren to the pulpit after the suicide of his son this past spring. It was obvious that both he and his wife were still grieving deeply from their loss. A brief video clip included a comment about the need to “erase the stigma of mental illness.”

I share a deep empathy with Rick Warren’s family. My family also lives with the trauma of mental illness. Even on the long-term-depression end of the scale, mental illness takes a toll on the whole family. It took many years for me to become aware of the tension that I was holding in my body, knowing that any phone call could be news of a crisis.

At the end of the video excerpt Warren stated, “Satan picked the wrong team to pick on.” I want to be clear that this post is not about the Warren’s. It is about my reaction to the comment, “Satan picked the wrong team to pick on.”

I feel that a comment like this comes out of an anger phase of the grieving process and is completely understandable. But I also think the statement is indicative of a larger problem.

I have heard people who were struggling with addiction blame it on the devil. A former U.S. President called a particular geographical region in the world, the axis of evil. Although I was raised in the Church, I no longer identify as a Christian. I left the Church and a belief in the devil over 30 years ago.

My thought after hearing this comment was this, “Maybe patriarchy is about getting stuck in the anger stage of grief.”

statue_two_womenMarija Gimbutas, in her book, The Language of the Goddess states, “In all European languages the earth is feminine.” There is an abundance of evidence to support the idea that the social structure of early culture everywhere was centered around the feminine.

There is also evidence to support the idea that environmental stressors played a significant role in changing the social structure and the fundamental nature of the relationships between men, women and children. (Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, James DeMeo)

If environmental stressors were a determining factor in ushering in cultural changes that included a hierarchical structure and oppressive relationships, what is keeping the culture from healing, from re-organizing in a way that benefits all participants? It seems that religions have sought an explanation and offered an answer to this question.

Riane Eisler in her book, The Chalice & The Blade, discusses this issue in terms of a change from a partnership model of organization to a dominator model. Her Cultural Transformation theory looks at “the shift in emphasis from technologies that sustain and enhance life to the technologies symbolized by the Blade: designed to destroy and dominate.”

Inherent in the dominator model is an adversarial approach to life. To stay in a resistant state is to stay in a patriarchal state. We cannot heal ourselves or the culture with this approach. True healing does not happen within a resistant state.

I feel that blaming problems on the devil is part of this adversarial approach and symptomatic of patriarchy. It is a refusal to go within, which is the realm of the feminine, and instead choosing to blame something outside of ourselves. We have chosen to exist in an ongoing reactive state, perpetuating fundamental imbalances. Instead of going within, we choose to perpetuate the cycle of violence.

I believe that women are the way forward, out of patriarchy and the culture of violence, because the feminine aspect is fundamentally receptive and this is what is required to move forward at this time. As a fundamental archetypal energy, feminine consciousness or lunar consciousness is the energy that is not afraid to descend into the shadows where the energies of true transformation live. This is the world of the Goddess Inanna and The Great Below.

We cannot go forward without going within. To embrace the feminine means we have to think with our hearts, trust the journey, and believe in our inherent goodness.

Women know how to bring forth the future, to birth a new world. Women all over the planet have been preparing for this work. We have been busy going within, untangling ourselves from the fundamental distortions of patriarchy. This has been a necessary step in order to move forward with a clear heart and mind.

I believe that women are ready and that we are not afraid. It is necessary work, for ourselves and the planet. It is time to move out of the anger stage of our collective grief.

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here and then join in the conversation on Facebook.

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5 Responses to The Devil or the Divine Feminine

  1. Penthesilea Greenleaf says:

    Great article! Goddess bless!!

  2. jade says:

    Thank you for this writing, it comes at a wonderful time for me because… 1. I am spending some time with a family of ex-patriot American Christians who are on a perpetual cycle of drunkenness, movie-watching, pot-smoking and domestic violence betwixt long and fierce rants about ‘the devil’ and ‘the end of the world’ and the fight between goodness and evil.
    It has been ridiculous to watch, and an out-picturing, I feel, of the residues of personal suffering and betrayals which have not been fully healed.
    This has been a great warning to me about misuse of the biblical message to perpetuate hatred, anger and artificial peace (which easily flips into rage and violence if others do not tow the line on the ‘obvious’ evidence of the devil’s work and of their demand for ‘faith’ in God..)
    I am glad I have had this experience because it has shocked me fully out of the illusion of hiding in a wrathful God, and of trying to dodge the vulnerability aspect of the healing journey….
    Meanwhile, in my own story, I have recently separated from a man who has for 5 years been living off my emotional, financial and social resources. This man abandoned me through 2 miscarriages (telling me I wasn’t worth supporting), then through cancer (upon which news he flew to Hawaii for a holiday), and other difficult transitions. I kept going with him because I ‘believed’ in him (which I just discovered meant I believed in my projection about him) which I think is something I can now forgive myself for.
    My question is that now, after another ‘abandonment’ two weeks ago – a scene which involved my partner acting out a psychotic break, humiliating me in my home with friends, saying he had never loved me blah blah, and my then having to move in with these ‘interesting’ people, my ex writes about how he loves me, misses me and wishes me well.
    Which almost.. tips me into such a rage I can’t even put words to it.
    What can you say about the feeling that violators, users, oppressors actually insult and degrade us when they clean up after the wreckage that cause by being ‘sweet’ and ‘friendly’???
    In my body it feels like a humiliation.
    I just want to spell out that ‘wishing me well’ is such a wildly ridiculous failure to measure the damage done and the effort for recovery that it amounts to a trivilialisation of the life-force…
    And then I feel that not writing back a polite ‘thank you, aren’t you wonderful – have a nice day’ email makes me the bad guy.
    What is the Sacred Feminine response????
    Go Kali and rip his throat out?
    Go Underground alone?
    Cry?
    Say nothing?
    Explain the misdemeanor?
    Or blame it all on the devil?
    I would love to hear from you.
    Jade x

    • Hi Jade,

      First let me say that I have gone through a 75-hour training course with the women’s center in my county to be a volunteer advocate for sexual assault and domestic violence victims in the ER. I am thoroughly familiar with the cycle of violence. If you can locate a women’s shelter in your area they should have the resources to support you in exiting your current situation safely.

      The sacred feminine response is to honor yourself by getting out and to quit enabling your partner’s lies.

      You are correct in saying that the behavior is an “out-picturing, I feel, of the residues of personal suffering and betrayals which have not been fully healed.” It always is. It is always about our personal stuff. Get yourself out of that toxic environment.

      Also, I recommend that your read, Conversations with God (Book 1) by Neale Donald Walsch. This will make you think about the “rightness” of a wrathful god in new ways. And you will find also find information about staying in abusive relationships.

      You don’t need to discuss these issues with your “friends.” They do not want to hear the truth, so why bother. Move on and take care of yourself and your path of healing.

      I would love to hear news that you are in a better situation. If you feel inspired, send me a note at linnette@wellspringswomensprogram.com

  3. Elayne says:

    I agree. I have noticed the anger in society. It feels very “wrong” to my body and mind. I can talk to some people about it but others I hope to influence by example. To try to talk to these people only causes them to be more angry. I am hoping as more women come to be true to themselves a shift will occur. We are power.

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