As I approach my upcoming 40th birthday, I keep telling myself that “it is just a number, you are only as old as you feel, no one ever believes your age”-you know all those things people say to themselves as they reach that “dreaded” age where you become, oh no, “OLD”. What exactly is old? Is it a numerical range that suddenly makes you less of a person than others? Is it a physical degrading that means you no longer can be an active member of society? Who decided on what old is? When did old go from being seen as something that people were not afraid of becoming to something that everyone dreads like the black plague-myself included deep down. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time looking back at the last 40 years of my life, thinking if there are things I would have done differently or changes I would have made. Everyone says “well if I knew then….” Or “I regret not doing…” I can easily say I don’t say either of these things. I have lived my life the way I was meant to. No, I am not where I always pictured myself being at 40 years old. No I have not accomplished anywhere near the things I had wished to at this age. I can say though that I have lived my life, so far, with no regrets-all my choices and decisions-good or bad-have been made with the knowledge that someday I didn’t want to look back and go “Wow I wish I had…” The things in my life that wish had been different I know were meant to happen-they made me who I am today. There is nothing that I could change-all the things that have happened to me built me into this labyrinth of mazes that help protect me from all the things that cause too much pain. I learned at an early age, after my own brush with death that life is too short for regrets, sometimes you just have to hold your breath and leap. Whatever happens happens. I had forgotten this and got so wrapped up in the “adult” world of bills and jobs and all those other things that we’re supposed to do and forgot to live. After a few people close to me age while in their 30’s died, I was reminded-life is too short-do the things you want to, you need to, yes it’s scary sometimes but just jump. Nothing in my life was set in stone and nothing in my future is set in stone-the fates hold many things in store for me. The wheel turns and I will turn with it or be dropped beneath it and crushed.
So a dear friend of mine has asked me to start explaining to her daughter about the Goddess. For Solstice I gave her (the daughter-R) a Goddess necklace that a dearest friend gave to me (which I have had tattooed on my back) and it felt right to begin passing that necklace down from woman to woman, with the hopes that someday R will pass it to her daughter and so on, continuing the families belief in the Goddess. Since then R hasn’t taken the necklace off once. Well now R has turned 14 and my friend has decided it is time she begins learning more. My friend decided I should be the one because of my academic background so I’ve been putting together pages that outline various things beginning with The Goddess, then on to the differences between Goddess centered worship and Wicca. This brings me to my point that has my panties in a twist. While doing some random surfing around just to see what has newly been written or published I happened upon an article that was written by a man with his head so far up his ass I cannot believe that he can see daylight.
Normally, everyone is welcome to their own opinion, but…..this is so irritating. This man is very obviously Christian even though it doesn’t become so apparent till halfway through the article and then the more I read it almost becomes a personal attack on Starhawk. Now Christians are welcome to their beliefs and to say what they like about alternate religions as long as they expect me to defend my belief system and point out flaws in theirs. Starhawk, I have a personal like for, having written a paper on her and her influence on witchcraft while an undergrad. So right there he gets two big fuck you’s. Then he makes it even worse. He tacks on constant attacks of feminists, because obviously if your a witch, like Starhawk then you MUST be a feminist also. I sat staring Cod-fish like at my screen as he begin saying that while we “say” that we eschew violence and try to not encourage it he goes on to talk solely about Hindu Goddess like Kali and the ritual sacrifices that were made to her. Well then he attacks us by actually going down the road of “oh your religions and members claim to dislike violence but your real capacity for it is seen in the amount of unborn children aborted in the US every year-roughly 20 million.” Um, huh? Did I miss a link here? He instantly jumps from witches and violence and abortion to blaming FEMINISTS for wreaking this destruction to cause this “carnage.” So, let me see here-Witches=feminists=abortionists. WOOHOO, let’s see how many it takes to make us fly-quick get the baby fat burning!
So now that my snarkiness for the moment has passed. He then moves to attack Starhawk directly by beginning with a statement that feminists hide behind a smoke-screen by claiming that abortion isn’t a “right-to life” issue and a “right of a woman to exercise control” over her own body issue. He jumps right from there onto Starhawk by twisting what she says so that her readings now go from saying that worship of the Goddess no longer includes respect of all living things and that the abortion issue is one of the right to have sexuality and sexual expression. So he is, in essence, saying that when witches say that our religion is based on the respect and honor of all living things we have been taught deception and disinformation, which as all Christian’s know since “sorcery (witchcraft) and deception (lying) are portrayed in God’s Word.” (Jeremiah 9:27-28)
He moves on to try to use historical references to human sacrifice to show an even stronger link between witches and our desire for violence and death…..but I have to know, just dieing to ask him-What about all the violence, murder, and death that his religion inflicted throughout history? Was it ok that the Christians killed witches for being women who had money and power without a man around to control them, or who spoke out against a man? It was OK for their religion to crucify the redeemer because it was called for and he said it was “meant to be” on a dead piece of the tree of life (I mean really that’s all the cross was)? Perhaps it would have been ok for everyone if the cross was bacon-covered, since we all know bacon makes everything better.
Recently I learned that a friend got married almost a year ago. While I’m thrilled for him having found the women that he wants to be with, I can’t help but feel hurt somewhere. There is of course a history, isn’t there always? This man was in our wedding-one of my husband’s best men (yes he had two, it was just impossible to pick one best friend over another when they both were just as equally important to him). I’m not hurt because “he was in our wedding by rights we should have something to do with theirs”-that’s silly. He began dating one of my best friends and due to my husband’s work schedule (he worked graveyard) it became very difficult for him to upkeep friendships like he had in the past, and honestly, when he was off work and he did call, it seemed everyone was always busy. Friendships began to drift apart, partly due to his work and partly due to the fact that, more and more, this friend did nothing except stay in and get high. We sat and watched a dear friend go from somebody we could have a great time with to somebody that could make a coherent sentence. Eventually this behaviour caused my friend to leave him for a happy situation. He moved on and met the girl he would come to marry. I happen to know the girl from years of mutual friends and club nights. Very sweet girl, and I hoped that she would able to draw him back to the land of the living. They were married earlier this year-my husband and I weren’t even invited to the wedding. We’ve even run into them out and about, they live near us and in chatting for an hour in the store, they never mentioned they got married. It hurts and I’m entirely sure why. I guess when it boils down to it, friends, especially ones that are that important to a person that two best men share are friends forever, even though they have drifted. When we got married there were a number of people that attended whom I had not spoken to or seen in over six years, but they had always been very close to me and that type of friendship stays through the years. It doesn’t matter if your paths have very different directions-you both have the memories of the times that you had in each other’s lives. Those memories are stronger and more important than anything else-they were the events that made you, and them, who you both are today, the good and the bad. I know my husband is upset about this but he is trying to put on the “it’s my fault for letting our friendship drift” face-well dear, the phone works both ways. I’m responsible for the same thing in some situations-it was just time for the paths to split at that tree when it appeared. While it hurts, the happiness that they have they both finally deserve, her I think more than him, but that’s just because I know both of their histories. May the goddess bless them both with love and serenity……and no stupid neighbors.
This is very disjointed because it is just total free form babble, will sort it out later to make more sense:
Creation myths, myths to live by, myths to teach a moral lesson-all things that have been changed throughout our society. Where there were once very set ritual and myth for every phase of a someones life now people simply go from one area to the other often without learning the lessons that they should. Joseph Campbell discusses this is “Myths to Live By” when he is telling the story of how in his day the transition of becoming a young man from a boy was one of being allowed to wear long pants verses short pants. Fairy tales, which when the Grimm Brothers began their collecting, were told orally from one family member or villager to another, were there to keep people safe or to teach a much needed lesson about life. Cinderella, Snow White, all the Disney-fied tales plus so many others that have been distorted by today’s need to make everything end happily or at least not quite as gruesomely as the originals did. Where are the myths that led to the rituals that taught us how to live? Were they wiped out with the removal of the Goddess worshiping cultures? Were they all transformed into male-dominant stories to keep women in their place? Were these rituals changed and simply pushed down because the idea of “ritual” was still to close to the pagan ideals that Christianity was trying to remove? Creation myths are the largest myth that has been drastically changed throughout human history. In early society traces of Goddess Worship was prominent, with stories of a strong female Goddess granting life and being the all powerful force in the universe which was to be appreciated. These Old Religions did no demonize a male God, nor did they refuse to admit the existence of one, they simply felt that the Goddess was above him in many rites and rituals. From the ancient Mesopotamian tales to Celtic rituals of fertility to modern covens many of the base beliefs have not changed all that much, they just have taken longer to resurface. Where the Goddess used to reign supreme men came and pushed her and her followers far underground to battle covertly to reclaim a small, tenuous foothold on the Earth they so hold highly. Over the years, men who idealized a dominant male God succeeded in changing how people viewed the Goddess-she became a demon, a whore, the cause for humanity’s suffering by her lust for power and intellect in the Garden of Eden, she became something to be reviled and demeaned. This ideal was not reserved for the non-corporeal Goddess though, these went on to spread to all of the female race and the very Mother Earth herself. Amazing what has been done to both women and the Earth all in the name of religion and because “they deserve it”. While men rape, pillage and tear the Earth to pieces with their mining and drilling and construction they mimic the same destruction that has been enacted on women’s bodies. The stripping away of the Earth’s outer crusts and beautiful layers of air which give life can be seen as a representation of the stripping away that men have done of women’s sexuality. No longer can with being be sexually alluring or life-giving, they are no more than a pack mule, set upon, well the Earth herself, to do the bidding of men. Men are controlling the reproduction of the Earth’s resources just as men are attempting to control women’s reproductive abilities. Nature and women have always been associated throughout the whole of human history. Eve, when she first took down the apple (or tomato depending on what you believe she bit), doomed all women to be tied to both Nature and the Earth-or so many thought. But is it really her fault? No, of course not-once again men came and demonized the Goddess in the guise of a human woman. Suddenly the Goddess was Eve, a human woman that disobeyed their male God. Interestingly enough though in some interpretations of their Christianity there is Lilith and Eve, hmmm, two sides of the same coin. They couldn’t completely eradicate the Goddess so in one personification-Eve they make her the downfall of man, human but flawed; and then on the other side of the coin-Lilith, a more non-human demonized side of the Goddess who embodies the whore-ish, supernatural, dark aspects of the Goddess. *ponder* Interesting dichotomy they built up there, one has to wonder if they did it on purpose or if it just “happened” through oral myth and they ran with it. Again I digress, see-disjointed- even these myths of Eve and Lilith, and the beginning of Creation through the Christian religion hold strong ritual, albeit stolen from the Goddess worshiping cultures that came before, but they are there just the same.
I need somewhere to store this back and forth while i work on it in multiple locations, heheh.
Feminist Spirituality, Goddess Worship, Thealogy-all of these term bring to most minds the images that have been portrayed by the popular movies and television shows of our modern culture. One thinks of the ever popular Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; the women who are shown in the woods bare skinned around a fire doing goddess knows what on shows such as Bones; and of course who can forget The Craft. There are examples after example that can be mentioned but all too often these portrayals of Goddess worshipping women, at some point, turn to a “dark and evil side of magic”. These modern representations of women worshipping a strong, female presence are nothing more than modern myths twisted and, often times, so watered down that no one realizes what is happening to the role of women. While there are some Goddess followers who will say that with the onslaught of feminist spirituality coming out of the closet these myths are no longer relevant to most of society, where many feel that these myths are more important now than ever before.
The strongest myths that are being subconsciously fed to the masses today are, of course, the demonization of women, the destruction of our beloved Mother Earth, and the male control of women’s sexuality. The patriarchy found that the feminist movement, as a whole, is doing their job for them. There is so much dissension within the movement itself that they no longer have to worry about women “raising a fuss” over the degradation of women on television or in movies. They are raping the Earth with reckless abandon without groups such as the one led by Wangari Maathai to protest the destruction of nature. The movement is too busy arguing over scholarly theory, and politics, and while these things may have their important place in the grand scheme of things the patriarchy is slowly, methodically destroying women’s self-image, power and control over themselves, their beliefs and their sexuality, most of the time without us even realizing it.
While digging around in books, sometimes regretting my high-priced wasted, useless educational path that is wasting away in a lovely frame, I came across some bell hooks, who I find is a talented author that has always been dead on in her views and at least one of her books should be taught in the grade schools, because well even a lizard can understand it.
So here is a quote I found that just seemed to fit today:
“When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us.” -bell hooks
When people learn that I am a part of the fetish scene it either shocks them or they act as if they expected it. Based on appearance I assume is why they would expect it-gee, a good little goth chick-hot pink hair, all black clothing-of course she’s into that freaky fetish scene. Yet when I’m dressed in my professional clothing at an academic conference or a business dinner and somehow it comes out that I live within that circle they often act as if I’ve committed the ultimate sin of drowning a puppy. “You go to those things?” Of course once the shock passes comes the next expected reaction-curiosity-“So, what are they really like? Is there lots of sex going on at those parties all over the place?” *eyeroll* Why must everyone think that fetish equals mass orgies and debauchery? I must have missed the memo telling me that all fetish participants and parties entail orgies and group sex, my mistake. Sorry, all. An interesting dichotomy does seem to form though, I do find that it is not only the men who instantly jump to the assumption that it’s all about group sex, women do it just as much. Men though, tend to have a different attitude about it. “I’ll bet there’s lots of sex going on at those parties, huh?”-All macho and manly and like ‘yeah that’d be me alright, swinging my dick around all proud and strong, hitting all the hotties, having all the chicks on me cause I’m the hottest thing since sliced bread’ attitude. While the women tend to have this attitude of “people who go there don’t have to have sex with lots of people do they?-all shy and almost disgusted sounding but still with an almost ‘curious cat, well maybe I’d want to go if I got a chance to do things I wouldn’t normally do because I’m too unsure of it in my everyday life, and well it’s just a fantasy place so I wouldn’t *really* be doing anything real anyways’ attitude.
So I started working on two new papers this week and am overwhelmed by both of them because I’m trying to work on them simultaneously. One is on being a feminist in the fetish scene and the other is a critical commetary on Joss Whedon’s DollHouse (which did get picked up for a second season *dance*). The fetish one will be a long term qualitative study with questionaires and studies and junk, while the other is just me babbling. I have to decide like this week if I’m going to apply for another master’s degree in History and finish the application asap. I just am having a hard time deciding if this is where I want to go, I am having trouble because a large part of me just wants to move on to my PHD but there is not one nearby that I can start. *sigh* Why do they make it so difficult for people who want to pursue higher degrees? le sigh.
Things heard this weekend that made me giggle-” Let me in, I need to blow dry my nipples” and “He’s ugly but I might consider fucking him” *snicker* I love my few friends.