How there can be no Equality without Divine Equality.

How can there be true equality without spiritual equality?

The religious concept of Monotheism  meaning not just One all encompassing androgynous God, but very strictly a one gendered God  was introduced In Europe, North Africa and the near Middle east from 1700 BC to 700 AD. (Stone 1987) (replacing 8000 years of Goddess,or Goddess/God partner worship, in various forms).This is an important fact, yet our sources of this are almost invisible. Delving into history we have to dig deep to find the charge of the Goddess in ancient Sumerian and Babylonian documentations on clay tablets, Celtic evidence, Egyptian and Ethiopian hieroglyphs, pre Hellenic Myth, obscure Tibetan buddhist tantrikas, and that is assuming we have access to the resources within Academic Institutions.

But whilst Goddess is seen as a simply a historical fact (of questionable and "uncivilized" societies), or a vague stereotypical concept, or a rehash of a reduced fertility cult figure, the Divine Feminine goes unrecognised and is not actively integrated, either by us, or by our Spiritual leaders, and hence the majority of the women in the world are still considered second class citizens and treated accordingly, for not being of God makes the female gender unworthy of equality.

Additionally as long as women are not seen in the image of God, our bodies are thus not considered sacred, but dirty, messy and sinful, and this belief justifies all means of control and Power over both over women and the earth and it's inhabitants. Patriarchy could be seen as a cult of futility, death and decay, whereby nothing is sacred except man made laws endorsed by a man made God which validate death and violence as a means of achieving supremacy. The sanctity of Life, of being born in a human body, is negated . And this is the point, for what ultimately is sacred if not our own bodies, and their rhythms ?

 

  Western and Middle Eastern organised religion (Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Rastafari) justifies the disparity of freedom and equal rights of women by a moral code that excludes them from embodying Divinity (due to the one gendered representation of God)and hence, having autonomy, sexual freedom and creative power. Even in our seemingly Godless society the hidden imprint of the morality of organised Religion constantly operates, unseen and unacknowledged. Implementing equality through legislation does not mean the individuals are protected or empowered enough to benefit from them, or empowered enough to create new structures of non hierarchical power sharing from a place of core self worth.

 

It could be remarked that God is an abstract concept, is spirit, and present in everything, and thus to imagine a God that only exists in human form is limiting, and to only imagine God as Goddess, is doubly reductionist, so ingrained is it that God is already whole and complete as a one gendered Divinity. We imagine a God who is human, who created us in his image because the average human brain does not easily deal with abstracts, always has to rationalise and intellectualise concepts, and make solid tangible signifiers.

 

By imagining God as the Great creator and life giver it is astonishing though, that whilst historical and biological evidence contradicts the gendering of a creator that is assigned male, organised religion and it's mythologies, have been built on this inverted premise of creation. A thorough investigation of creation myths in existence today would indicate that they bear testament to a shift in transference of the power of creation from Goddess/ women to God/men (Graves) at some time within our time continuum. Theories to explain this include

  • the change from hunter gatherer cultures to agrarian cultures and thus moon cycle time to solar cycle time ( Chris Knight, Camilla Powers),
  • to the arrival of indo-aryan invaders from the north with their battle ethos and sun God, and the need to replace matrilineal bloodlines with patrilineal bloodlines as a means of conquerance and power. (Stone 1977)
  • In Greek Mythology we find it in the first 'democratic and civilised' city of Athens, where Athena, the patron of Athens is appropriated as the Goddess of War, a man's Goddess, who was born from the thigh of Zeus, thus negating her matrilineal heritage and making her a product of a male creator.( Lacriox 2006)).
  •  In our culture we find it in the myth of sleeping beauty, the twelve gold plates of the king being the solar time, and the thirteen wise women representing the moon ( Knight).
  • In The near middle East we find it in the story of Tiamat and Marduk.
  •  In Hebrew we see it in the Goddess Hochma or Wisdom becoming the sacred text of the Torah, a text that traditionally women are not allowed to study.
  • In Mali we find it as the ant story, which explains why circumcision is necessary for women, painted in the chief's sacred hut, (Palin BBC 2006).

 

The Divine has been hijacked to the extent that each time we imagine God, even if we do not consciously genderise it, the word carries the weight and imprint of an out of kilter power and a one gendered representation.  

If though in actuality this abstract concept known as God is beyond Binary gender, being genderless and formless, why would we want to replace the gendered male signifier by a female signifier, and doesn't this merely perpetuate a binary power structure and a limited sense of gender? In fact to restore/refind/re-imagine the image Of Goddess as a numinous creatrix, simply balances the human representation of Divinity. Whilst God only exists in our head as an intellectual abstraction, the creation of an identifiably male human image to hang it on means it is hard for anyone whose gender is other to realise our own Divinity. To live with Divinity is to embody it, and to embody it is to recognise the sacredness of our own bodies, as something to be honoured and nourished, respected and celebrated, making us the caretakers or guardians of ourselves.

 

It is thus important for God to be re-imagined as female, firstly to reclaim all things reproductive; simply imagining Goddess is an act of creation and this in itself helps contradict the male creation myths that revile women's creative and sexual power,  and secondly, because without the female representation taking equal place on it's own terms with the male, the Divine Androgyne, the blending of both male and female essences or divinities cannot be made or recognised in human form.

Where is the Divine Androgyne?

If men and women and those people whose gender is other were all to imagine God in their own image, we would have a composite creation in our collective consciousness of a human God composed of many genders, sexualities and races, and by regarding all others as embodying Divinity, we would be killing and oppressing ourselves as we killed and oppressed others. Similarly, if we released the idea that God is only not only human, but present in all lifeforms, similar to the animist beliefs of many other cultures who do not have organised monotheism such as the surviving original inhabitants of the khalari desert, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, we might learn how to re-organise our economies working with a respect and honour for nature and her rhythms. By encouraging women to find their own sense of Divinity, regardless of religious belief, that is, a Divinity not mediated through male authority and definitions, a divinity that ultimately holds the body as sacred, we can reclaim our powers as responsible creators and implement the changes that are an evolutionary imperative if this planet and it's inhabitants are to survive By encouraging all women to re-imagine a numinous Divine Creatrix, to be their own self appointed Priestesses, of their bodies and of the earth, as well as encouraging all men to honour their inner feminine, we can literally embody the Divine Feminine and restore the equilibrium of both physical and theological representation. The Divine is beyond the restrictions of humanist binary gender .

Caroline Ophis.  Oct 2009

Carolineophis@barbieshakti.com