~Goddess~ World Healer
Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College
Click. I switch on the news to update myself about the crazy world around me. Rarely do I hear an uplifting story. I hear about war, crime, rape, environmental destruction, sexism, racism, and poverty. . . . The list goes painfully on. As I read Goddess: Myths of the Female Divine, by David Leeming and Jake Page, I realize we are truly missing something. We lack balance, nurturing and wholeness. Living in a culture in which Goddess is worshipped might not solve all of the problems of the human race. But I think there would be more understanding and respect toward each other, toward our environment and toward ourselves spiritually than there seems to be in the patriarchal society we have been living in. It makes sense that these ingredients would create an overall peace on earth. Because all sorts of people exist on this earth, we need to learn to have compassion, respect and understanding toward one another. The world would be more positive if we all went back to our spiritual roots and worshipped Goddess again -- as we did for at least some 25,000 years prior to the more recent male-dominated view that has had supremacy for only the last 5,000 years of history (47).
One Goddess our world could use in this day and age is White Buffalo Woman, worshipped by the Sioux. She asked for respect and prayer from her people and gave them a pipe that "knit together the Earth, sky and all living things into one family." She taught balance and fairness to her people by explaining to the women "that the work of their hands and the fruit of their bodies kept the people alive. The women were Mother Earth and were therefore as important as the warriors." When she left her people, she left with them great herds of buffalo to provide all that they needed: food, skins, and tools. Nothing was wasted (37). The Sioux Goddess White Buffalo Woman is still sacred to her people. She has wisdom that is needed in our world today: honor of the Earth and its creatures as well as unity and honor of one another.
The female role of Earth Goddess, Fertility Goddess, and Great Mother does not support the assumption that female-based religion requires a matriarchal society. Evidence from archeological sites in Asia Minor, Africa, and elsewhere show that these societies were not necessarily matriarchal, yet not patriarchal either. They were clearly not dominated by military power or male physical strength, as is the case today (22). "[M]any would say that we are emerging today from the artificial polarities of the male god religions in search within ourselves and our world of the ecological wholeness of goddess who contains and celebrates light and dark, life and death, male and female, and whose source is the inner depths rather than the airy heights" (3). We need Goddess.
As the authors point out, Goddess is re-emerging. She is returning because she is needed. There is a gap in the collective human experience, which is reflected in our inability to move from a war-like to a nurturing mentality, in our systematic destruction of the earth (161). Throughout the patriarchal period, many examples exist of Goddesses who were disguised, like Eve and Lillith in the Bible. Their story gave females a new, sinful and evil persona. One shining Goddess who is part of the revival of Goddess is the Virgin of Guadalupe. Mary, mother of Jesus, has risen in status from a humble birth-giving peasant to the immaculately conceived Queen of Heaven (161). As the destruction of our earth continues, more and more people will realize how much we need to honor the stereotypical female characteristics of nurturing, renewal, growth, healing, balance, and wholeness instead of those favored by the patriarchal society we live in.
I hope that someday the news will change. A positive shift in the attitudes of humankind could be achieved through a return of Goddess. Our destructive, impulsive, patriarchal culture will be the death of us if something doesn't change. I recommend this book to anyone who, frustrated and alarmed with the distorted and corrupt direction of our world, wants a logical and ancient solution.