Sacred Feminine / Sacred Activism

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way!  On a quiet day, if you listen carefully, you can hear her breathing."
                                                                                                         
--Arundhati Roy
"The great work of our time is to bring the feminine into this culture. And it's not an easy path. How does each one of us contribute?  Believe it or not, it's done in the most personal ways. Take time to listen to your dreams, to write them down.  Take time to recognize that there are things going on within you that need to be felt, or said, or lived, or grieved.  Pay attention to these things both in yourself and in the people in your life. Pay attention to the authentic self."
                                                                                                         
--Marion Woodman

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The Millionth Circle

Flordemayo

From Womb to World

Grandmothers Circle
the Earth Foundation

Lynne Twist - The Soul
of Money Institute

Pachamama Alliance

The Hunger Project

North Atlantic Books /
Sacred Activism

Church of the Earth

 

Articles

How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman
Maureen Orth Dec2015

Consciousness: Why Materialism Fails
Larry Dossey 053015

Five Easy Ways to Connect with Your Heart 051915 Jalaja Bonheim

 

 

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"When you let go of trying to get more of what you don't really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have."
                                                                                                                             
--Lynne Twist

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Emerge America

Naomi Klein

Judith Orloff

Richard Moss

Jonathan Zap

Marion Woodman

Shaman Nation

Honor the Earth -
Winona La Duke

SheSource

                                                            

 

Sign the petition in support of a
UN 5th World Conference on Women

More info
World Peace Library 
Inspiring Women Summit
New Dimensions Radio
Sacred Awakenings
Women on the Edge of Evolution

 

Mary Ford Grabowsky - The Sacred Feminine

Audio from New Dimensions Radio -- over 800 hours of thoughtful conversation

Anne Baring on "The Dream of the Cosmos" 082414

"A Woman of Vision": Anne Baring in conversation with Andrew Harvey
"A New Vision of Reality": Anne Baring in Conversation with Andrew Harvey 121813

Poet, Author Alice Walker Meets the Inner Journey with Global Activism
in "The Cushion in the Road"
052813

The Feminine Aspects of Spirituality: A Cross-Tradition Dialogue and Exploration

Divine Women -- E2 The Lost Era of the Priestess 1-4
When God Was a Girl (BBC Documentary Women and Religion) 2012
DVD of this series available here

The Art of Being Yourself: Caroline McHugh at TEDxMiltonKeynesWomen

Pagans of Ancient Times Documentary

The Dream of the Cosmos: Interview with Anne Baring
by Dr. Betty J. Kovacs
- Sept 2011

1. Journey to Discover Soul / Myth of the Goddess

2. Feminine Archetype / Lunar Mythology

3. Battle btn Good & Evil / Solar Mythology & the Sacred Marriage

4. The Tragic Split in the Western Psyche

5. The Matrix and the Split

6. The Effects of Solar Mythology

7. Soul Power / Healing the Split

 

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Feminine Wisdom
School

Global Strategy of
Nonviolence

Marianne Williamson

Temple of the Sacred
Feminine

"Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that.

There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are.

Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights --those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world.

And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve.

When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen."
                                                                                                                             
--Lynne Twist

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One Billion Rising

 

  "I am over the passivity
of good men.  Where
the hell are you?  You
live with us, make love
with us, father us,
befriend us, brother us,
get nurtured and
mothered and eternally
supported by us, so why
aren't you standing with
us?  Why aren't you
driven to the point of
madness and action by
the rape and humilia-
tion of us?"

       --Eve Ensler

 

 

Eve Ensler - Eve's Revolution | Bioneers

The A.R.T. of Human Rights with Eve Ensler 111814

Eve Ensler: I Am An Emotional Creature with Isabel Allende 022412

Suddenly My Body - TEDWomen 2010

Embrace Your Inner Girl - TEDIndia2009

V-Day

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"As a rule the specialist’s is a purely masculine mind, an intellect to which fecundity is an alien and unnatural process; it is therefore an especially ill-adapted tool for giving rebirth to a foreign spirit. But a larger mind bears the stamp of the feminine; it is endowed with a receptive and fruitful womb which can reshape what is strange and give it a familiar form."
                                                                                                                             
--C. G. Jung

Dangerous Old Women

UNIFEM

Women's Spirit Council

Circle Connections

Wild Wolf Women

Satyana Institute

New Dimensions

Unplug from the
Patriarchy

United Centers for
Spiritual Living

Gaia Community

 


The Second Coming
By William Butler Yeats


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

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Association for Global
New Thought

Barbara Leger

Empowerment
Training

 

 

Emily Trinkaus - Venus, Mary Magdalene, and the Re-emerging Sacred Feminine 040715

Bettany Hughes - The wisdom of women written out of history 041012

 

 

 

  "Today, the reason we
haven't found our grail,
the key to who we are as
women, is because we
look for it in worlds of
false power, the very
worlds that took it away
from us in the first
place. Neither men nor
work can restore our lost
scepter. Nothing in this
world can take us home.
Only the radar in our
hearts can do that, and
when it does, ... 'We will
light up like lamps, and
the world will never be
the same again.'
."

    --
Marianne Williamson

 

 

 

 

 

The River of Life…


Once a people lived along the banks of the river of life…

The river of life is a river of sweet water, that awakens the seeds of spring
and nourishes all growing things.
The river of life is a storm wind, blowing fresh across the earth.
The river of life is the deep molten fire that shakes the continents.

And the people should have had all they needed for happiness and joy,
But they were plagued by a terrible monster, the triple-headed monster of Greed, Hate, and War.

Greed sucked up all the colors of life and locked them inside his fortress.
Hate severed the threads of love and taught the people to fear each other.
War threatened destruction to anyone who opposed the monster's rule.

And the people were separate, and afraid, and poor.
The threads of connection were frayed.
The fabric of care unraveled.
And War took the young and marched them off to slaughter and die in places far away.
Greed stole their future...

The river of life ran dry.

The women saw the springs go barren, the new sprouts fail, the trees die, and the hills turn brown…

And they wept and mourned, and didn’t know what to do.

The women, too, were divided, for some had more and some had less.
Old wounds and present injustices kept them apart.

But as War shook his fist, and threatened to unleash
weapons to destroy the earth...

The women turned to each other; they said: "We are scraps of a torn fabric,
but if we tie them together,
we can bind wounds, dry tears,
weave a net to carry heavy loads.

"We must amplify love, and throw off dread,
Take back our power and spin a thread,
A life-line, held in our strong hands,
A living web of shining strands.

"And our hands remember how to spin.
We spin freedom on the rising wind,
We spin threads of life, the cords of fate,
We spin love into a river that can overrun hate.

"We spin justice burning like a flaming star;
We spin peace into a river that can overcome war.
And if you want to know where true power lies,
Turn and look into your sisters' eyes.

"So come mothers and grandmothers,
Lovers and daughters.
Come spinners and weavers,
Tool makers, potters,
Dancers and dreamers,
Fixers and changers,
Singers and screamers.
Forget all the dangers.
Come ancestors, guardians, Goddesses too,
You who teach us, you who speak true,
You who plant, and you who reap,
You who soar and you who creep,
You who cook, and you who drum,
You who have been, and you yet to come,
You who fight with the sword,
You who fight with the pen.
Unreasonable women,
Unmanageable men.
Come harpies and banshees and gorgons and Witches;
Come sweet loving hearts and furious bitches!"

"Break the chains that have kept us bound.
Weave a web to pull the monster down.
In the face of truth, no lie can stand.
Weave the vision, strand by strand.

"We are sweet water, we are the seed,
We are the storm wind to blow away greed.
We are the new world we bring to birth;
The river rising to reclaim the earth."

Starhawk                       

 

 

 

 

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Marion Woodman

Voz Nuestra

Essenes

Cherag's Library

Riane Eisler

Deena Metzger

SophiaLogues

Starhawk

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Feminine Spirit

Mary Novak

World Changing Wisdom

 

 

 

Selma James @ The Guardian

A life in writing: Selma James

"Sex, Race and Class" — Extended Interview with Selma James
on Her Six Decades of Activism
041812

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"Consciousness precedes Being, and not the other way around.... [F]or this?reason, the salvation in this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart.... Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed —be it ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization — will be unavoidable.  If we are no longer threatened by world war or by the danger that the absurd mountains of accumulated nuclear weapons might blow up the world, this does not mean that we have definitely won.  We are still capable of understanding that the only genuine backbone of all our actions, if they are to be moral, is responsibility.  Responsibility to something higher than my family, my country, my company, my success —responsibility to the order of being where all our actions are indelibly recorded and where and only where they will be properly judge."
                                                                                         
--Vaclav Havel, in a speech to a joint session
                                                                                           of the US Congress on February 21, 1990

 

Jean Houston

Serpentina

Magdalene

Margaret Wolff

LilithSophia

Divine Feminine
Booklist

Magdalene

Women For Women
International

 

 

Understanding the Masculine & Feminine Side

Wangari Maathai

Sex, Time & Power - How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution - Leonard Schlain

Images Honoring the Sacred Feminine -Mara Friedman Artist

Anne Scott - Dreams, the Feminine & Eternal Wisdom

 

PeaceWomen

International Justice
Mission

Women Waking
the World

Suppressed Histories

Girls, Inc.

Global Feminine -
Elza Maalouf

DreamWeather
Foundation

 

Videos, audios, teleseminars...

Eve Ensler on “The State of Female America,” Her Play "Emotional Creature" & Women Violence in Congo 112712

Vital Voices 2012 Global Trailblazers Award - Middle East and North Africa 060612

Women Are Not the Problem, They Are the Solution PBS videos
PBS/ Half the Sky - Video
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity- EP 1
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity- EP 2
Half the Sky Movement

Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body

Ancient Wisdom Rising: Flordemayo

"Sex, Race and Class" — Extended Interview with Selma James
on Her Six Decades of Activism
041812

Apela Colorado -- Awakening our Indigenous Powers
and Moving as One with the Earth


Audio from Inspiring Women Summit 041512

A WOMAN'S WORTH by Marianne Williamson

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image of Women
Preview - Watch full length here in low resolution

Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival)

One Billion Rising: V-Day’s Eve Ensler Launches Global Day of Action, Dance Against Women’s Violence 030212

 

Articles

The wisdom of women written out of history Bettany Hughes 041012

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                      "One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar."
                                                                                                                             
--Helen Keller

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"A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life."
                                            --Virginia Woolf
   

 

"I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?"

                                              --Eve Ensler

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos, audios, teleseminars...

My Word is Free, English Subtitled (Tunisian revolution) 011411
Amel Mathlouthi Take Two: Voice of the Unsubmissive 020612

Global Transformation through Conscious Conception, Conscious Birthing, Conscious Parenting beginning 121211
Schedule and Teleseminar Replays

Marianne Williamson speaks out at Occupy LA- City Hall 10-12-11

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Trio of Women for Championing Gender Equality, Peace-Building 100711

Marianne Williamson - Fierce Peace

Audio from Peace Week 2011 091611

Christine Page - Intuitive Wisdom

Audio from Inspiring Women Summit Spring 2011

Grandmothers Speak -- Robin Tekwelus Youngblood, Billie Schibler,
Susan Kaiulani Stanton


Audio from Inspiring Women Summit Spring 2011

Meet Asmaa Mahfouz and the vlog that Helped Spark the Revolution
A woman whose Facebook message sparked Egyptian unrest 02-21-11

Leading Egyptian Feminist, Nawal El Saadawi: "Women and girls, beside the boys, are in the streets" 01-31-11

The Priestess - Qrmuhin - Full Movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anuradha Koirala -- CNN 2010 Hero of the Year

Virtual Solstice - Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Peace Week - Sept 14 - 21, 2010 -- Calendar
** Grandmother Flordemayo 9-15-10

International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers 031108

Remembering Who You Are - Cynthia James

What Will Set You Free.com

Jean Shinoda Bolen - Urgent Message from MOTHER 092508
Gather the Women

Women, Purpose, and Power, Parts 1 & 2 - Bioneers 2009

Ani Choying Drolma - Invocation

Buddhist Nun Shares The Sound Of Music 031311

New Man, New Woman, New Life: Cultivating a New Way of Being
for Men and Women in Today's World

Lucia Rene - Unplugging from the Patriarchy

Unplug from the Patriarchy - events

Warren Farrell - The Myth of Male Power - 19 videos series

Women on the Edge of Evolution -- the interviews

The Dangerous Old Woman - Clarissa Pinkola Estes - podcast

Alanis Morissette - Thank U    --   Lyrics

!! Sarah Jones as a one-woman global village TED Feb 2009 !!

Sherry Anderson & Patricia Hopkins: Women and the Sacred

Audios used w/ permission of New Dimensions Radio --
over 800 hours of thoughtful conversation

Mallika Sarabhai: Dance to change the world TED Nov 2009

Will Keepin & Cynthia Brix -- Beyond Gender

Gail Straub -- Reclaiming the Feminine

Audios from New Dimensions

 

The Eight Characteristics of Women's Media

Meryl Ann Butler: Matriotic Musings on Jefferson, Kucinich and The Divine Feminine

Patti Chang: Recognizing women all year long 030804

Pulitzer Prize-winner Louise Gluck named poet laureate 082903

Jane Fonda: V is for Volcano 112403

Statement of Winona LaDuke 083195

Karen L. King - Student of early Christianities 071703

Stephanie Salter:   Stones of sorrow for the missing - Straw-bale cairns
create sacred 'Circle of Memory'
110903

Starhawk: The River of Life

The Goddess lives in Sgt. David J. Borell

The original meaning and power of Mother's Day


Thank you!

 

 

Throughout humanity’s civilizations, the Sacred Feminine has been identified with the qualities of wisdom, justice, beauty, and compassion. She is also the irresistible power that destroys old forms and brings new ones into being. The Sacred Feminine --an essential part of both women and men-- is the dimension of soul to which we are connected through our instincts, our feelings, and the longing imagination of the heart.
                                                                                                               --Lysistrata Project

 

 

 

 

Wangari Maathai

 

Portrait by Martin Rowe

 

Nine women out of 94 won the Nobel peace prize. Three of which are regular folk. Wangari Maathai is one of them. The first African woman who was honored by an international committee in 2004 for her endeavors in democracy, equal rights and the Green Belt Movement experienced thirty years of ridicule and barrage by the press. She was frowned at, beaten up by land owners, nearly murdered, imprisoned again and again, until the long term ruling party of Kenya was expelled, and the new one took her on as environmental minister.

In 1971 Wangari Maathai became the first woman in East and Central Africa to gain a PhD who subsequently lectured at the University College of Nairobi. When her husband ran for a political office in parliament she was wary of accusations of being "a white woman in black skin". Maathai recounts: "It was an unspoken problem that I and not my husband had a PhD and taught at the university." Trained as "a good African woman", she treated the supporters and detractors of her husband with respect.

After ten years of marriage her husband Mwangi Mathai, then a Member of Parliament, left her in 1977 and later divorced her, who was willing to reconciliate. He explained in public in 1980s:

"She was too educated, too strong-minded for a woman, too successful, too stubborn, and too hard for me to control."

Ninety percent of the members of Maathai's tree-planting movement were women. She said:

"The biggest impact of the 'Green Belt Movement is the sense of hope and power it gives to ordinary women. The women respond so quickly to a common cause as they see it as a way to help the community at large."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matriotic Musings on Jefferson, Kucinich and The Divine Feminine

Meryl Ann Butler
OpEdNews.Com

As the Easter season blooms, and April of 2004 emerges as the month with the greatest loss of American lives since the Iraq war began, two of Thomas Jefferson’s quotes invite reflection:

A little rebellion now and then is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

Jefferson, America’s third president, was born April thirteenth, 1743. The number thirteen[1] has figured prominently in American symbolism. In the original flag, the thirteen colonies were represented by thirteen stars forming a circle. Our current flag has thirteen stripes.

On both the obverse and reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, (which can be seen on the back of a one dollar bill) the number thirteen is seen in abundance. There are thirteen stars in the crest, thirteen stripes in the shield, thirteen letters in Annuit Coeptis, thirteen letters in E Pluribus Unum and thirteen courses of stone in the pyramid. The eagle holds an olive branch with thirteen leaves and thirteen olives in its right talon (representing peace, and the feminine), and thirteen arrows in the left (representing war, and the masculine). The gaze of the eagle, however, is firmly upon the olive branches, indicating America’s focus and destiny toward peace.

Thirteen is also the number traditionally associated with the Divine Feminine. In ancient times there were thirteen “moonths” in a year, since there are thirteen full moons, and therefore thirteen menstrual cycles annually. The thirteenth letter of the alphabet is “M,” a letter associated with many things feminine, including mother, mom, mama, mammary glands, menstruation and one of the most powerful feminine archetypes in the world, the Virgin Mary.

In its purest sense, American democracy is a reclaimation of the balance in the masculine/feminine dance, a waltz which has suffered from the imbalance of patriarchy for the past 5,000 years.

Keeping in mind that everyone, man or woman, has both a right brain (feminine) and a left brain (masculine), duality pairs meriting consideration include:

Feminine-Masculine
Venus-Mars
Love-War
Heart/Emotions-Head/Thoughts
Flowing-Angular
Circle-Square
Creation-Destruction
Arts-Sciences
Grace-Law
Myth-Fact
Inclusiveness-Hierarchy
Union-Separation
Nature-Technology
Oral tradition/herstory – Written tradition/history
Formlessness-Form and Order
Horizontal path of power-Vertical path of power
Compassion for others-Focus on self
Appreciation- Analyzation
Nurture- Critique
Process Oriented-Goal Oriented
Compromise-Compete
Win/win paradigm – Win/lose paradigm

None of the individual components in each pair is right or wrong. However, the dynamic dance between the two is required for fruitful balance. A pendulum cannot swing in only one direction, nor can we clap with just one hand.

In viewing the competitive, hierarchical, technological and war-focused direction of America, the imbalances caused by the overzealous glorification of masculine attributes are apparent. The dawning of understanding of the tragic loss of the feminine in our culture is underscored by the custom of skipping thirteen in the numbering of floors in skyscrapers, hotel rooms or racecars.

In the imbalance of patriarchy the dance and the dancers suffer, and both the feminine and the masculine ache for wholeness.

The architects of America crafted a foundation of government with the built-in potential to reclaim the masculine/feminine balance. The Declaration of Independence authored by Jefferson is a stunning break from patriarchal rule and vertical power. It includes such right brain/feminine concepts as “liberty for all,” “equality” and the inalienable rights of all persons to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It rejects the hierarchical claim to power subscribed to by England’s George lll who declared that his power to rule came directly from God through the “divine right of kings.” (Deja-vu, anyone?)

The Declaration of Independence embodies the seeds of the feminine attributes of inclusivity, compassion and union. In a radical assertion for the times, the Declaration of Independence states that the American government receives its power not from God but from its people. It also decrees that a government that does not live up to the purposes for which it was created can and should be changed or abolished by its citizens.

Jefferson’s sentiment that “a little rebellion now and then is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government” is echoed by Thomas Paine, who penned some of the most stirring words of the American Revolution by the fading light of a campfire, beside his compatriot, George Washington. Upon reading Paine’s essay, Washington commanded that it be read to all of the troops. Paine’s words still stir American hearts today: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Paine’s words, referring to the American Revolution, are just as meaningful in describing the current revolution by the Americans who are in the “service of their country,” passionately reclaiming a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The Constitution[2], penned primarily by James Madison, also abandons the patriarchal view of “power over” in order to empower its citizens. One example of the feminine qualities of compromise and creating a win-win outcome occurred when systems of representation were debated in the Continental Congress. The larger states wanted Virginia’s proposal, which would allow representation based on population. The smaller states naturally preferred New Jersey’s plan of equal representation by state. The “Great Compromise” was a paradigm shifting, win-win solution, which birthed the concept of two houses in Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In another example of a conscious shift toward more inclusivity, the preamble to our Constitution was changed. It originally read, “We the States…” but was changed to “We the people of the United States…” Our founders wanted to punctuate the fact that the government was instituted in order to be in service to the citizens, not the other way around.

Thomas Jefferson set the cornerstone for freedom of religion in America as author of both the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and the Declaration of Independence [3]. In his wisdom, he referred to spiritual influences in more inclusive terminology, such as “Creator,” “Divine Providence” and “nature’s God.”

While all religions are tolerated in America (theoretically, at least), Christianity remains the religion of the majority. In its purest form, Christianity also represents a movement toward the recovery of the masculine/feminine equilibrium. Jesus himself exemplified this quest for balance. He embraced grace (right brain/feminine) over the left brain/patriarchal law of “an eye for an eye,” in effect replacing karma with grace. In Luke, when Jesus healed the crippled woman on the Sabbath[4], which was forbidden by law, he showed that he followed a higher law - the law of the heart. And in Jesus’ predilection for teaching in parables, he quietly endorses the power of oral myth and story, a feminine mode of imparting knowledge, as the means to embody the greater Truths. (As Don Quixote noted, “Facts are the enemy of truth.”)

Jesus also distanced himself from the masculine concept of hierarchy, embracing a lateral distribution of self-empowerment with words such as “even greater things (than I) shall ye do.[5]”

Even the ways in which Jesus treated his mother and Mary Magdalene offer a glimpse into the way that he honored the feminine. He was radical in his inclusion of women in his ministry, although this isn’t always clearly seen through the eyes of the less visionary scribes who recorded his life.

Possibly the most feminine, heart-centered quote from Saint Paul is associated with the number of the feminine. “And now abides Faith, Hope, Love, these three— but the greatest of these is Love,” is verse thirteen of Chapter thirteen of I Corinthians. Thirteen is also associated with Jesus’ birth through Epiphany, the date when the Magi arrived with gifts, which occurs thirteen days after Christmas on January 6th. The circle created by Jesus and his disciples, numbers thirteen, as does the family of Jacob and his twelve sons, who formed the twelve tribes of Israel.

Even the knights of King Arthur and his Round Table, number thirteen.[6]

The fame of the knights of Camelot is based more upon their honor, integrity and spiritual values than upon their martial skills. The Knights of the Round Table were sworn to such feminine values as to be merciful, courageous, hospitable, faithful, to uphold integrity and to respect all women. They dedicated themselves to the quest for the Holy Grail. What more feminine symbol is there than the image of the vessel, the sacred womb of the mother? In patriarchal times, the Grail legends speak to the deepest parts of our souls in an archetypal quest for the feminine aspects of divinity.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is a modern day Knight of the Round Table who exemplifies the archetype of Sir Gawain, beloved of Camelot and champion of the divine feminine. In a trial-by-fire, Kucinich’s integrity was proven by his courageous response to the Enron-like attempted takeover of the municipal light company during his tenure as the young mayor of Cleveland in 1978[7].

Like Gawain, Kucinich knows that the path toward balance is through restoring feminine principles to its rightful place in society. Kucinich’s compassionate politics and heart-centered platforms on civil rights, health care for all, free education for all, jobs for all, respect for the environment, and the conservation of Social Security for our elders invite American citizens to engage in a more whole and balanced dance. He is the only presidential candidate who voted against the civil liberties-shredding Patriot Act. Ironically, though labeled a progressive, Kucinich is a conservative in the purest sense, completing the circle in his quest to conserve the rights of the Constitution for the American people.

Like the Round Table Knights, Kucinich believes in the appropriate development of defense, but is dedicated toward the primary pursuance of more honorable and peaceful measures. The 2003 recipient of the prestigious Gandhi Peace Award[8], Kucinich authored HR 1673, a bill that would establish a U.S. Department of Peace at the cabinet level. Designed to institute nonviolence as an organizing principal of American society, it would provide domestic and international peace-building policy options. This department was first proposed by none other than George Washington, who believed it was an essential component in American government. 210 years later, Americans are still waiting.

Certainly a Department of Peace is the fitting manifestation of the American eagle’s steadfast gaze toward the olive branch.

Kucinich offers the lone voice in the political limelight with a workable plan for getting out of Iraq[9] as a first step toward restoring peace. His well thought out exit strategy, detailed on his website, asks the U.N. to step in and then brings U.S. troops home. In a classic scenario of feminine versus masculine modus operandi, he demonstrates that he is wisely willing to stop to look at a map and consider directions, rather than just rage blindly forward.

It is interesting to note that Kucinich officially announced his candidacy for the president on the thirteenth of October[10], during the zodiacal month of Libra, the symbol of balance. And in his speeches Kucinich often word-paints an image of the American eagle’s need for both wings in order to fly, the Left and the Right in balanced synchronization.

The bald eagle has a deep, archetypal connection to this land, as it was sacred to the Native Nations long before America was conceived. The “eagle eye” symbolizes vision, and the essence of this great bird is strength and courage. Because the eagle flies higher than any other known bird, it symbolizes the quest toward the heights of spiritual excellence.

In an arrestingly symbolic incident on July 4th, 2003, the bald eagle at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. died as the result of an attacked by a fox. In addition to being the name of a major news organization, “fox” is the only three letter word in the English language in which the letters, numerologically, are 666. A provocative mix of archetypes, can this point to the renovation of America, a death to the old things that aren’t working and the exciting possibilities of birthing the new through the democratic, transformative process? Punctuating Independence day as symbolic of death and the promise of rebirth, America’s second and third presidents, John Adams and Jefferson[11], both died on July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In the zodiac, death, transformation and the eagle are all associated with the sign of Scorpio. Although the exact birth time of the United States is subject to some conjecture, there is reason to accept the time of approximately 2 pm on July 4, 1776[12]. Several written accounts indicate that John Hancock signed his name to the Declaration when it came out of committee in the afternoon of the fourth. Synchronistically, the constellation Scorpio was just then rising on the American horizon. American elections in November, the pivotal point of democracy, fall during the annual zodiacal period of Scorpio, infusing the voting process with the archetype of transformation. And this is indeed a year that Wisdom beseeches voters to invoke that transformative spirit.

Jefferson said he trembled for his country when he “reflected that God is just.” And yet he had helped to put into place the wheels of progressive politics with a system that enables our government to transform, to ultimately regain its footing and rebalance itself. The glory of democracy is the organic nature of the system to “breathe,” bringing in fresh air and expelling the old, and with that inspiration comes the ability to mold itself as a better fit to its evolving citizenry. In that dance of balance, America has the opportunity to live in grace rather than karma; in appreciation and compassion rather than criticism, in wholeness rather than separation, and in a state of dynamic peace rather than war.

Can there be any doubt that this is the moment of transformation? That the eaglet born 200 years ago has grown into her wingspan and is poised to soar? She invites each one of us to follow the leadings of our deepest destiny, the passion of our soul, and the sacred Truth of our hearts to provide the wind beneath her wings. And in that syncopated dance entwining right and left, feminine and masculine, heart and head; finally Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam can be reunited in the dance of dynamic peace and rise to the celestial heights in the experiment of democracy.

We have received nothing less than an invitation to fly.

Meryl Ann Butler MerylAnnB@aol.com is an artist, author and educator who counts First Lady Dolley Payne Todd Madison and patriot Thomas Paine among her ancestors, as well as James Payne and Thomas Wheeler, signers of the Articles of Confederation (the precursor to the Constitution.) She appreciates knowing that the blood of America’s matriots and patriots runs in her veins. To see gallery of Art for Peace & Spiritual Politics, (her currently under construction but open for visitors site) go to www.creativespirit.net/MabArt

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[1]Thirteen is a fascinating number. It is the seventh number in the Fibonacci series. Thirteen is the smallest prime number that can be expressed as the sum of the squares of two prime numbers i.e. 13 = 22 + 32. It is the only prime number which, when you reverse the digits also forms a prime number (31.) “Eleven plus two” is an anagram of “twelve plus one.” More info on the mysterious number thirteen at these sites: http://www.wisdomportal.com/Numbers/thirteen.html,
http://www.shyamsundergupta.com/unluckythirteen.htm,
http://pages.globetrotter.net/sdesr/nuthirteen.htm

[2] The American Constitution is based largely upon the constitution of the Iroquois nation, a balanced system that had proven successful for 500 years. However a fateful difference, is that the US did not include an essential safety feature of the Iroquois’ “checks and balances:” that in order to wage war, the blessing and permission of the Grandmothers’ Council was required.

[3] These two endeavors, along with “Father of the University of Virginia” are the three accomplishments that were inscribed over Jefferson’s grave according to his instruction. It is interesting to note that from Jefferson’s perspective, being president of the United States didn’t make the top three.

[4] Luke Thirteen:10-17, the woman is healed in verse thirteen.

[5] John 14:12

[6] Different sources cite different numbers of Round Table Knights, but "Didot-Perceval" (c.1225) says that there were thirteen., inclusive of Arthur Other estimates go as high as 1600, but presumably these were not of the “inner circle,” but simply knights of King Arthur’s court, and did not all sit at the Round Table. http://www.britannia.com/history/arthur/knights.html The Rosicrucians also indicate that there were twelve knights plus Arthur. http://www.crcsite.org/grail4.htm. There are thirteen Knights of the Round Table in Mallory’s list
http://camelot.celtic-twilight.com/infopedia/r/roundtableknights_malory.htm

[7] http://www.kucinich.us/peoplepower.php

[8] http://www.pepeace.org/tmpl/gandhi.html

[9] http://www.kucinich.us/bringourtroopshome.php

[10] see the full speech at http://www.kucinich.us/announce-updates.htm

[11] Jefferson’s last words were: “Is it the Fourth? Then I resign my spirit to God, to my daughters, to my country.” Ironically, Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives! Independence forever!”

[12] http://www.homestead.com/politicalastrology/Main.html

OpEdNews.Com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Recognizing women all year long

Patti Chang
Monday, March 8, 2004


March is Women's History Month. It is the one month of the year designated to honor the contributions of women and to reflect on the moments of history influenced by their leadership. Thirty days is hardly enough time to honor all of the women who have participated in the shaping of this world, but it does provide an opportunity for us to acknowledge how far we have come.

A lot has changed since the early 1900s, when winning the right to vote was the priority for women in this country. Today, women are the heads of organizations in every sector, holding key political offices and shaping a nation in their words and deeds. For some, this month may be the only time they reflect on women's contributions to society.

Fortunately, in more than a decade of work with women and girls, I have had the privilege to bear witness to women's stories of triumph and accomplishment every single day of the year. These are the stories of women that may not go down in history books. These women will probably not stand in the spotlight as celebrities, or grace the stage of award shows, but they deeply influence the ways of the world.

They are the single mothers of Oakland's LIFETIME (Low Income Families Empowerment Through Education), who despite the barriers that have kept them in poverty, are working their way off welfare and achieving secondary degrees that will move them into economic security.

They are the women from the rural towns of Lindsay and Alpaugh in Tulare County who, through grassroots organizing, are influencing the "First Do No Harm" legislation for groundwater quality monitoring to create healthier communities instead of harming them.

They are the women of the Women's Health Rights Coalition and Planned Parenthood who are fighting to keep control of their reproductive health despite the passage of laws that limit women's access to reproductive health services and birth control.

This Women's History Month we honor the everyday "sheroes" for picking up the mantle of the women's movement and shaping it into a new movement, one that is inclusive and centered on the rights of humankind.

While there is much to celebrate and honor about women this March, it is also a time for us to take measure of the barriers that still exist for women and girls:

-- In California alone, 37 percent of single women and their dependent children live in poverty, according to a report from the Public Policy Institute of California.

-- Every day in this nation, women are trafficked under physical threat as sexual property.

-- The Bush administration's proposal for marriage promotion is sending the message that women on welfare, many of whom are victims of domestic violence, will find their way to economic security only if there is a male breadwinner in the home.

For these reasons, there is still work to be done before we can move closer to a society built on true equity. The Women's Foundation of California will continue to support and recognize women and girls who work to make this world and their community better than they found it. Although women have made many gains, broken down walls and cracked the impenetrable glass ceiling, much remains to be done. Although Women's history will be celebrated by most for just one month, the truest honor we can pay women and girls is to continue to support their efforts to remove barriers to equity and opportunity every day of the year.

Patti Chang is president and CEO of the Women's Foundation of California (www.womensfoundca.org), a statewide nonprofit foundation formed 25 years ago this month that has granted $13 million to more than 1,000 organizations for women and girls.

San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V is for Volcano

By Jane Fonda, AlterNet
November 24, 2003

Before I turned sixty I thought I was a feminist. I was in a way ­- I worked to register women to vote, I supported women getting elected. I brought gender issues into my movie roles, I encouraged women to get strong and healthy, I read the books we've all read. I had it in my head and partly in my heart, yet I didn't fully get it.

See, although I've always been financially independent, and professionally and socially successful, behind the closed doors of my personal life I was still turning myself in a pretzel so I'd be loved by an alpha male. I thought if I didn't become whatever he wanted me to be, I'd be alone, and then, I wouldn't exist.

There is not the time nor is this the place to explain why this was true, or why it is such a common theme for so many otherwise strong, independent women. Nor is it the time to tell you how I got over it (I'm writing my memoirs, and all will be revealed). What's important is that I did get over it. Early on in my third act I found my voice and, in the process, I have ended up alone...but not really. You see, I'm with myself and this has enabled me to see feminism more clearly. It's hard to see clearly when you're a pretzel.

So I want to tell you briefly some of what I have learned in this first part of my third act and how it relates to what, I think, needs to happen in terms of a revolution.

Because we can't just talk about women being at the table ­- it's too late for that ­- we have to think in terms of the shape of the table. Is it hierarchical or circular (metaphorically speaking)? We have to think about the quality of the men who are with us at the table, the culture that is hovering over the table that governs how things are decided and in whose interests. This is not just about glass ceilings or politics as usual. This is about revolution, and I have finally gotten to where I can say that word and know what I mean by it and feel good about it because I see, now, how the future of the earth and everything on it including men and boys depends on this happening. Let me say something about men: obviously, I've had to do a lot of thinking about men, especially the ones who've been important in my life, and what I've come to realize is how damaging patriarchy has been for them. And all them are smart, good men who want to be considered the "good guys." But the Male Belief System, that compartmentalized, hierarchical, ejaculatory, andocentric power structure that is Patriarchy, is fatal to the hearts of men, to empathy and relationship.

Yes, men and boys receive privilege and status from patriarchy, but it is a poisoned privilege for which they pay a heavy price. If traditional, patriarchal socialization takes aim at girls' voices, it takes aim at boys' hearts ­- makes them lose the deepest, most sensitive and empathic parts of themselves. Men aren't even allowed to be depressed, which is why they engage so often in various forms of self-numbing, from sex to alcohol and drugs to gambling and workaholism. Patriarchy strikes a Faustian bargain with men.

Patriarchy sustains itself by breaking relationship. I'm referring here to real relationship, the showing-up kind, not the "I'll stay with him cause he pays the bills, or because of the kids, or because if I don't I will cease to exist," but relationship where you, the woman, can acknowledge your partner's needs while simultaneously acknowledging and tending to your own. I work with young girls and I can tell you there's a whole generation who have not learned what a relationship is supposed to feel like ­- that it's not about leaving themselves behind.

Now, every group that's been oppressed has its share of Uncle Toms, and we have our Aunt Toms. I call them ventriloquists for the patriarchy. I won't name names but we all know them. They are women in whom the toxic aspects of masculinity hold sway. It should neither surprise nor discourage us. We need to understand it and be able to explain it to others, but it means, I think, that we should be just about getting a woman into this position or that. We need to look at "is that woman intact emotionally," has she had to forfeit her empathy gene somewhere along the way for whatever reason?

And then, of course, there are what Eve Ensler calls Vagina-Friendly men, who choose to remain emotionally literate. It's not easy for them -­ look at the names they get called: wimp, pansy, pussy, soft, limp, momma's boy. Men don't like to be considered "soft" on anything, which is why more don't choose to join us in the circle. Actually, most don't have the choice to make. You know why? Because when they are real little (I learned this from Carol Gilligan), like five years or younger, boys internalize the message of what it takes to be a "real man." Sometimes it comes through their fathers who beat it into them. Sometimes it comes because no one around them knows how to connect with their emotions (This is a generational thing). Sometimes it comes because our culture rips boys from their mothers before they are developmentally ready. Sometimes it comes because boys are teased at school for crying. Sometimes it's the subliminal messages from teachers and the media. It can be a specific trauma that shuts them down. But, I can assure you, it is true to some extent of many if not most men, and when the extreme version of it manifests itself in our nation's leaders, beware!

Another thing that I've learned is that there is a fundamental contradiction not just between patriarchy and relationship, but between patriarchy and Democracy. Patriarchy masquerades as Democracy, but it's an anathema. How can it be democracy when someone has to always be above someone else, when women, who are a majority, live within a social construct that discriminates against them, keeps them from having their full human rights?

But just because Patriarchy has ruled for 10,000 years since the beginning of agriculture, doesn't make it inevitable.

Maybe at some earlier stage in human evolution, Patriarchy was what was needed just for the species to survive. But today, there's nothing threatening the human species but humans. We've conquered our predators, we've subdued nature almost to extinction, and there are no more frontiers to conquer or to escape into so as to avoid having to deal with the mess we've left behind. Frontiers have always given capitalism, Patriarchy's economic face, a way to avoid dealing with its shortcomings. Well, we're having to face them now in this post-frontier era and inevitably ­- especially when we have leaders who suffer from toxic masculinity ­- that leads to war, the conquering of new markets, and the destruction of the earth.

However, it is altogether possible, that we are on the verge of a tectonic shift in paradigms -­ that what we are seeing happening today are the paroxysms, the final terrible death throes of the old, no longer workable, no longer justifiable system. Look at it this way: it's Patriarchy's third act and we have to make sure it's its last.

It's possible that the extreme, neo-conservative version of Patriarchy which makes up our current Executive branch will over-play its hand and cause the house of cards to collapse. We know that this new "preventive war" doctrine will put us on a permanent war footing. We know there can't be guns and butter, right? We learned that with Vietnam. We know that a Pandora's box has been opened in the Middle East and that the administration is not prepared for the complexities that are emerging. We know that friends are becoming foes and angry young Muslims with no connection to Al Qaeda are becoming terrorists in greater numbers. We know that with the new tax plan the rich will be better off and the rest will be poorer. We know what happens when poor young men and women can only get jobs by joining the military and what happens when they come home and discover that the day after Congress passed the "Support Our Troops" Resolution, $25 billion was cut from the VA budget. We know that already, families of servicemen have to go on welfare and are angry about it.

So, as Eve Ensler says, we have to change the verbs from obliterate, dominate, humiliate, to liberate, appreciate, celebrate. We have to make sure that head and heart can be reunited in the body politic, and relationship and democracy can be restored.

We need to really understand the depth and breadth of what a shift to a new, feminine paradigm would mean, how fundamentally central it is to every single other thing in the world. We win, everything wins, including boys, men, and the earth. We have to really understand this and be able to make it concrete for others so they will be able to see what Feminism really is and see themselves in it.

So our challenge is to commit ourselves to creating the tipping point and the turning point. The time is ripe to launch a unified national movement, a campaign, a tidal wave, built around issues and values, not candidates.

That's why V-DayThe White House Project and their many allies are partnering to hold a national women's convention somewhere in the heartland, next June of 2004. Its purpose will be to inspire and mobilize women and vagina-friendly men around the 2004 elections and to build a new movement that will coalesce our energies and forces around a politic of caring.

The convention will put forward a fresh, clear, and concise platform of issues, and build the spirit, energy and power base to hold the candidates accountable for them. There will be a diversity of women from across the country who will participate in the mobilization. There will be a special focus on involving young women. There will be a variety of performers and artists acknowledging that culture plays a powerful role in political action. There will be a concurrent Internet mobilization. Women's organizations will be asked to sign on and send representatives to the convention.

There will be a caravan, a rolling tour across the country, of diverse women leaders, celebrities and activists who will work with local organizers to build momentum, sign people up, register them to vote, get them organized and leave behind a tool kit for further mobilization through the election and beyond.

This movement will be a volcano that will erupt in a flow of soft, hot, empathic, breathing, authentic, vagina-friendly, relational lava that will encircle patriarchy and smother it. We will be the flood and we'll be Noah's arc. "V" for Vagina, for vote, for victory.

AlterNet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Winona LaDuke


"Women,
all females are
the manifestation
of Mother Earth
in human form.

It is essential
to collectively struggle to
recover our
status as
Daughters
of the Earth."


United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women
Beijing, China
August 31, 1995



I am from the Mississippi Band of Anishinabeg of the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, one of approximately 250,000 Anishinabeg people who inhabit the great lakes region of the North American continent. Aniin indinawaymugnitok. Me gweich Chi-iwewag, Megwetch Ogitchi taikwewag. Nindizhinikaz, Beenaysayikwe, Makwa nin dodaem. Megwetch indinawaymugunitok.

I am greeting you in my language and thanking you, my sisters for the honor of speaking with you today about the challenges facing women as we approach the 21st century.

A primary and central challenge impacting women as we approach the 21st century will be the distance we collectively as women and societies have artificially placed ourselves from our Mother the Earth, and the inherent environmental, social, health and psychological consequences of colonialism, and subsequently rapid industrialization on our bodies, and our nations. As a centerpiece of this problem is the increasing lack of control we have over ourselves, and our long term security. This situation must be rectified through the laws of international institutions, such as the United Nations, but as well, the policies, laws and practices of our nations, our communities, our states, and ourselves.

The situation of Indigenous women, as a part of Indigenous peoples, we believe is a magnified version of the critical juncture we find ourselves in as peoples, and the problems facing all women and our future generations as we struggle for a better world. Security, militarism, the globalization of the economy, the further marginalization of women, increasing intolerance and the forced commodification and homogenization of culture through the media.

The Earth is our Mother. From her we get our life, and our life, and our ability to live. It is our responsibility to care for our mother, and in caring for our Mother, we care for ourselves. Women, all females are the manifestation of Mother Earth in human form. We are her daughters and in my cultural instructions: Minobimaatisiiwin, we are to care for her. I am taught to live in respect for Mother Earth. In Indigenous societies, we are told that Natural Law is the highest law, higher than the law made by nations, states, municipalities and the World Bank. That one would do well to live in accordance with Natural Law. With those of our Mother. And in respect for our Mother Earth of our relations-indinawaymuguni took.

One hundred years ago, one of our Great Leaders, Chief Seattle stated..." What befalls the Earth, befalls the People of the Earth..." And that is the reality of today, and the situation of the status of women, and the status of Indigenous women and Indigenous peoples.

While I am from one nation of Indigenous peoples, there are millions of Indigenous people worldwide. An estimated 500 million people are in the world today. We are in the Cordillera, the Maori of New Zealand, we are in East Timor, we are the Wara Wara of Australia, the Lakota, the Tibetans, the peoples of Hawai'i, New Caledonia and many other nations of Indigenous peoples. We are not populations, not minority groups, we are peoples, we are nations of peoples. Under international law we meet the criteria of nation states, having common economic system, language, territory, history, culture and governing institutions. Despite this fact, Indigenous Nations are not allowed to participate at the United Nations.

Nations of Indigenous people are not, by and large, represented at the United Nations. Most decisions today are made by the 180 or so member states to the United Nations. Those states, by and large, have been in existence for only 200 years or less , while most Nations of Indigenous peoples, with few exceptions, have been in existence for thousands of years. Ironically, there would likely be little argument in this room, that most decisions made in the world today are actually made by some of the 47 transnational corporations and their international financiers whose annual income is larger than the gross national product for many countries of the world.

This is a centerpiece of the problem. Decisionmaking is not made by those who are affected by those decisions, people who live on the land, but corporations, with an interest which is entirely different than that of the land, and the people, or the women of the land. This brings forth a fundamental question. What gives these corporations like CONOCO, SHELL, EXXON, DIASHAWA, ITT, RIO TINTO ZINC, and the WORLD BANK, a right which supersedes or is superior to my human right to live on my land, or that of my family, my community, my nation, our nations, and to us as women. What law gives that right to them, not any law of the Creator, or of Mother Earth. Is that right contained within their wealth? Is that right contained within their wealth that which is historically acquired immorally, unethically, through colonialism, imperialism, and paid for with the lives of millions of people, or species of plants and entire ecosystems. They should have no such right, that right of self determination, and to determine our destiny, and that of our future generations.

The origins of this problem lie with the predator/prey relationship industrial society has developed with the Earth, and subsequently, the people of the Earth. This same relationship exists vis a vis women. We, collectively find that we are often in the role of the prey, to a predator society, whether for sexual discrimination, exploitation, sterilization, absence of control over our bodies, or being the subjects of repressive laws and legislation in which we have no voice. This occurs on an individual level, but, equally, and more significantly on a societal level. It is, also critical to point out at this time, that most matrilineal societies, societies, in which governance and decisionmaking are largely controlled by women, have been obliterated from the face of the Earth by colonialism, and subsequently industrialism. The only matrilineal societies which exist in the world today are those of Indigenous nations. We are the remaining matrilineal societies, yet we also face obliteration.

On a worldwide scale and in North America, Indigenous societies historically, and today, remain in a predator/prey relationship with industrial society, and prior to that colonialism and imperialism. We are the peoples with the land - land and natural resources required for someone else's development program and the amassing of wealth. The wealth of the United States, that nation which today determines much of world policy, easily expropriated from our lands. Similarly the wealth of Indigenous peoples of South Africa, Central, South American countries, and Asia was taken for the industrial development of Europe, and later for settler states which came to occupy those lands. Development of Europe, and later for settler states which came to occupy those lands. That relationship between development and underdevelopment adversely effected the status of our Indigenous societies, and the status of Indigenous women.

Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American writer and scholar has said:

"In the colonial to neocolonial alchemy, gold changes to scrap metal and food to poison, we have become painfully aware of the mortality of wealth which nature bestows and imperialism appropriates...."

Today, on a worldwide scale, we remain in the same situation today as one hundred years ago, only with less land, and fewer people. Today, on a worldwide scale, 50 million indigenous peoples live in the world's rainforests, a million indigenous peoples are slated relocated for dam projects in the next decade (thanks to the World Bank, from the Narmada Project in India, to the Three Gorges Dam Project, here in China, to the Jasmes Bay Hydor Electric Project in northern Canada. Almost all atomic weapons which have been detonated in the world are also detonated on the lands or waters of Indigenous proposal to detonate atomic weapons this upcoming month. This situation is mimicked in the North American context. Today, over 50% of our remaining lands are forested, and both Canada and the United States continue aggressive clearcutting policies on our land. Over two thirds of the uranium resources in the United States, and similar figures for Canada are on Indigenous lands, as is one third of all low-sulphur coal resources. We have huge oil reserves on our reservations, and we have the dubious honor of being the most highly bombed nation in the world, the Western Shoshone Nation, On which over 650 atomic weapons have been detonated. We also have two separate accelerated proposals to dump nuclear waste in our reservation lands, and similarly over 100 separate proposals to dump toxic waste on our reservation lands. We understand clearly the relationship between development for someone else, and our own underdevelopment. We also understand clearly the relationship between the environmental impacts of types of development on our lands, and the environmental and subsequent health impacts of in our bodies as women. That is the cause of the problems.

We also understand clearly, that the analysis of North versus South is an erroneous analysis. There is, from our perspective not a problem of the North dictating the economic policies of the South, and subsequently consuming the South. Instead, there is a problem of the Middle Consuming Both the North and the South. That is our situation. Let me explain.

The rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, is one acre every nine seconds. Incidentally, the rate of extinction of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon is one nation of Indigenous peoples per year. The rate of deforestation of the boreal forest of Canada is One In Every Twelve Seconds. Siberia, thanks to American corporations like Weyerhauser, is not far behind. In all cases, indigenous peoples are endangered. And, there is frankly no difference between the impact in the North and the South. Uranium mining has devastated a number of Indigenous communities in North America.

Uranium mining in northern Canada has left over 120 million tons of radioactive waste. This amount represents enough material to cover the Trans-Canada Highway two meters deep across the Country. Present production of uranium waste from Saskatchewan alone occurs at the rate of over 1 million tons annually. Since 1975, hospitalization for cancer, birth defects and circulatory illnesses in that area have increased dramatically - between 123 and 600 percent in that region. In other areas impacted by uranium mining, cancers and birth defects have increased to, in some cased, eight times the national average. The subsequent increases in radiation exposure to both the local and to the larger north American population are also evidenced in broader incidences of cancer, such as breast cancer in North American women, which is significantly in the rise. There is not a distinction in this problem causes by radiation whether is is in the Dene of northern Canada, the Laguna Pueblo people of New Mexico, or the people of Namibia.

The rapid increase in dioxin, organichlorides, organichlorides, PCBs(polychlorinated byphenots) chemicals in the world, as a result of industrialization has a devastating impact on Indigenous peoples, Indigenous women, and other women. Each year, the world's paper industry discharges from 600 to 3200 grams of dioxin equivalents into water, sludge and paper product on the United States Environmental Protection agency statistics. This quantity is equal the amount which would cause 58,000 to 294,000 cases of cancer every year, based on the Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of dioxin's carcinogenicity. According to a number of recent studies, this has increased significantly the risk of breast cancer in women. Similarly, heavy metals and PCBs contamination of Inuit women of the Hudson Bay region of the Arctic indicates that they have the highest levels of breast milk contamination in the world. In a 1988 study, Inuit women were found to have contamination levels up to 28 times higher than the average of women in Quebec, and ten times higher than that considered "safe" by the government. It is also of great concern to our women, and our peoples, that polar bears in that region of the Arctic have such a high level of contamination from PCBs that they may be facing total sterility, and forced into extinction by early in the next century. As peoples who consider the Bears to be our relatives, we are concerned also, significantly about the ability to reproduce, as a consequence of this level of bio- accumulation of toxins. We find that or communities, like those of our relatives, the Bears, are in fact, in danger of extinction. Consequently, it is clear to us that the problems also found in the south like the export of chemicals, and bio-accumulation of toxins, are also very much our problems, and the problems clearly manifested in our women. These are problems which emanates from industrial societies mis-treatment and disrespect for our Mother Earth, and subsequently are reflected in the devastation of the collective health and well being of women.

In summary , I have presented these arguments for a purpose. To illustrate that that these are very common issues for women, not only for Indigenous women, but for all women. What befalls our mother Earth, befalls her daughter- the women who are the mothers of our nations. Simply stated, if we can no longer nurse our children, if we can no longer bear children, and if our bodies, themselves are wracked with poisons, we will have accomplished little in the way of determining our destiny, or improving our conditions. And, these problems, reflected in our health and well being, are also inherently resulting in a decline of the status of women, and are the result of a long set of historical processes, processes, which we as women, will need to challenge if we will ultimately be in charge if our own destinies, our own self determination, and the future of our Earth our Mother.

The reality is that all of these conditions, those eminating from the military and industrial devastation of our Mother the Earth, and subsequently, our own bodies, and the land on which we live are mimicked in social and development policies which effect women. It is our belief, at Indigenous Womens Network, the following:

1) Women should not have to trade their ecosystem for running water, basic housing, health care, and basic human rights.

2) Development projects, whether in the north or in the south, whether financed by the World Bank, or by the coffers of Rio Tinto Zinc and Exxon, often replicate patriarchy and sexism, and by and large cause the destruction of matrilineal governance structure, land tenure, and cause a decline in the status of women. By denying us the basic land on which we live, and the clean food and streams from which to eat, and instead offering us a wage economy, in which priviledge is often dictated by class, sex and race, Indigenous women are frequently moved from a centrel role in their societies to the margins and refugee status of industrial society.

3) The intellectual knowlede systems today, often negate, or deny the existence, and inherent property rights of Indigenous people to our cultural and intellectual knowledge, by supplanting our knowledge systems industrial knowledge systems, calling us "primitive", while our medical knoweldge, plants, and even genetic material are stolen (as in the Human Genome Project) by transnational corporations and international agencies. This situation effects Indigenous women, as a part of our communities, but in a larger scale, has effected most women.

4) Subsequently, our women find that the basic rights ot control or bodies are impacted by all of the above, through development policies aimed at non-consentual or forced sterilization, medical testing, invasive genetic sampling, and absence of basic facilities and services which would guarantee us the right and ability to control the size of our families safely and willingly. These same development policies often are based on tourism which commodifies our bodies and cultures (the Pacific and Native America as prime examples), and causes the same with women internationally .

Collectively, we must challenge this paradigm, and this international arena. I call on you to support the struggle of Indigenous peoples of the world for recognition, and to recognize that until all peoples have self determination, no one will truly be free, free of the predator, and free to control our destiny. I ask you to look into the charter of the United Nations, Part one, Article Three which provides that "All peoples have right to self determination. By virtue of that right they may freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and political development."

All peoples, should be constructed to mean, Indigenous peoples have that right to self determination. And, by virtue of that right, they may freely determine their political, status and freely pursue, their economic, social and poltical development. Accord us the same rights as all other nations of peoples. And through that process, allow us to protect our ecosystems, their inherent biodiversity, human cultural diversity, and those matriarchal governments which remain in the world, and with the Unrepresented People's Organization UNPO , we reaffirm that definition of self determination provided in Article of The International Covenant on Social Economic and Cultural Rights. Further recognizing that the right to self-determination belongs equally to women and to men. We believe that the right of all peoples to self determination cannot be realized while women continue to be marginalized and prevented from becoming full participants in their respective societies. The human rights of women, like the human rights of Indigenous peoples, and our inherent rights to self determination are not issues exclusively within the domestic jurisdiction of states. For further discussion of these, please see the international agreements an d'accordes struck by hundreds of Indigenous nations, such as the Karioka document and the Matatua document.

Finally, while we may, here in the commonness of this forum , speak of the common rights of all women, and those fundamental human rights of self determination, it is incumbent upon me to point out the fundamental inequalities of this situation. So long as the predator continues, so long as the middle, the temperate countries of the world continue to drive an increasing level of consumption, and, frankly continue to export both the technologies and drive for this level of consumption to other countries of the world, there will be no safety for the human rights of women, rights of Indigenous peoples, and to basic protection for the Earth, from which we get our life. Consumption causes the commodification of the sacred, the natural world, cultures, and the commodification of children, and women.

From the United States position, consider the following. The US is the largest energy market in the world. The average American consumes seven times as many wood products per capita as anywhere else in the industrialized world, and overall that country consumes one third of the world's natural resources. Canada, by comparison per capita energy consumption is the highest in the world. Levels of consumption in the industrial world drive destruction of the worlds rainforests, and the worlds boreal forests, drive production of nuclear wastes, and production of pcbs, dioxin and other lethal chemicals, which devastate the body of our Mother earth, and our own bodies. Unless we speak and take meaninful action to address the levels of consumption, and subsequently, the exports of these techologies, and levels of consumption to other countries (like the international market for nuclear reactors), we will never have any security for our individual human rights as Indigenous women, and for our security as women.

If we are to seek and struggle for common ground of all women, it is essential to struggle this issue. For, it is not frankly, that the women of the dominant society in so called first world countries should have equal pay, and equl status, if that pay and status continues to be based on a consumption model which is not only unsustainable, but causes constant violation of the human rights of women and nations elsewhere in the world. It essential to collectively struggle to recover our status as Daughters of the Earth. In that is our strength, and the security, not in the predator, but in the security of our Mother, for our future generations. In that we can insure our security as the Mothers of our Nations.

The Indigenous Women's Network
Our Future, Our Responsibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The River of Life…


Once a people lived along the banks of the river of life…

The river of life is a river of sweet water, that awakens the seeds of spring
and nourishes all growing things.
The river of life is a storm wind, blowing fresh across the earth.
The river of life is the deep molten fire that shakes the continents.

And the people should have had all they needed for happiness and joy,
But they were plagued by a terrible monster, the triple-headed monster of Greed, Hate, and War.

Greed sucked up all the colors of life and locked them inside his fortress.
Hate severed the threads of love and taught the people to fear each other.
War threatened destruction to anyone who opposed the monster's rule.

And the people were separate, and afraid, and poor.
The threads of connection were frayed.
The fabric of care unraveled.
And War took the young and marched them off to slaughter and die in places far away.
Greed stole their future...

The river of life ran dry.

The women saw the springs go barren, the new sprouts fail, the trees die, and the hills turn brown…

And they wept and mourned, and didn’t know what to do.

The women, too, were divided, for some had more and some had less.
Old wounds and present injustices kept them apart.

But as War shook his fist, and threatened to unleash
weapons to destroy the earth...

The women turned to each other; they said: "We are scraps of a torn fabric,
but if we tie them together,
we can bind wounds, dry tears,
weave a net to carry heavy loads.

"We must amplify love, and throw off dread,
Take back our power and spin a thread,
A life-line, held in our strong hands,
A living web of shining strands.

"And our hands remember how to spin.
We spin freedom on the rising wind,
We spin threads of life, the cords of fate,
We spin love into a river that can overrun hate.

"We spin justice burning like a flaming star;
We spin peace into a river that can overcome war.
And if you want to know where true power lies,
Turn and look into your sisters' eyes.

"So come mothers and grandmothers,
Lovers and daughters.
Come spinners and weavers,
Tool makers, potters,
Dancers and dreamers,
Fixers and changers,
Singers and screamers.
Forget all the dangers.
Come ancestors, guardians, Goddesses too,
You who teach us, you who speak true,
You who plant, and you who reap,
You who soar and you who creep,
You who cook, and you who drum,
You who have been, and you yet to come,
You who fight with the sword,
You who fight with the pen.
Unreasonable women,
Unmanageable men.
Come harpies and banshees and gorgons and Witches;
Come sweet loving hearts and furious bitches!"

"Break the chains that have kept us bound.
Weave a web to pull the monster down.
In the face of truth, no lie can stand.
Weave the vision, strand by strand.

"We are sweet water, we are the seed,
We are the storm wind to blow away greed.
We are the new world we bring to birth;
The river rising to reclaim the earth."

Starhawk                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goddess lives in Sgt. David J. Borell

Brian Pacholski comforts David Borell
U.S. military policeman Sgt. 1st Class Brian Pacholski, left, comforts his hometown friend, U.S. military policeman Sgt. David J. Borell, right, both from Toledo, Ohio, at the entrance of the U.S. military base in Balad, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Friday, June 13, 2003. Borell broke down after seeing three Iraqi children who were injured while playing with explosive materials. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Story at Common Dreams                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original meaning & power of Mother's Day


Mothers' Day Proclamation
Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history (or should I say "herstory"):

......................................

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that
a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and
at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of
international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe
Boston
1870

......................................

Mother's Day for Peace
by Ruth Rosen.


Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.The holiday began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.

Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day. But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a
mother, you'll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one
day of the year.

Mother's Day wasn't always like this. The women who conceived Mother's Day would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that "perfect gift for Mom." They would expect women to be marching in the streets, not eating with their families in restaurants. This is because Mother's Day began as a holiday that commemorated women's public activism, not as a celebration of a mother's devotion to her family.

The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides. Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their
hostilities.

In 1872, Juulia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic",
proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe wrote: "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage... Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs".

For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on June 2.

Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a
leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following
decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer
fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor.
To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social
and economic justice seemed self-evident.

In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as
consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly enbraced
the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As
the Florists' Review, the industry's trade jounal, bluntly put it, "This was a
holiday that could be exploited."

The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their
mothers - by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were seling carnations
for the exorbitant price of $1 apeice, Anna Jarvis' duaghter undertook a
campaging against those who "would undermine Mother's Day with their greed." But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists' Review
triumphantly announced that it was "Miss Jarvis who was completely squelched."

Since then, Mother's Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.

Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other
industrialized society.

With a little imagination, we could restore Mother's Day as a holiday that
celebrates women's political engagement in society. During the 1980's, some
peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day to protest the
arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missilies but from our
indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet. Imagine, if
you can, an annual Million Mother March in the nation's capital. Imagine a
Mother's Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a
sustainable future, rather than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.

Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating Mother's
Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and
gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all
year round.)

Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women's civil activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with civic
activism.

Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.
Reprinted with permission

www.Peace.com

Proposals/ Solutions


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


A special Thank You!


to

Joanne Cronin

for inspiring and nurturing this page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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