“I urge you to Sin… But not against these itty-bitty religions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism—or their secular derivatives, Marxism, Maoism, Freudianism and Jungianism—which are all derivatives of the big religion of patriarchy. Sin against the infrastructure itself!”—Mary Daly
In many native i.e. indigenous cultures, to sin is to act and believe as if you are separate from the World, from the Kosmos, and from Natural Law. The Mary Daly quote above, flips the idea of “sin” and “sinning” from their common religious meanings and returns it a more indigenous understanding. Because one of the main tenets of patriarchy is to separate each human being from acting, knowing, and living as though they are an interdependent part of nature, patriarchy harms us all.
This is the great fall. This is why Gaia weeps.
Women and Myth
Patriarchy has never been completely successful in its quest to separate women from Nature. Consequently, because of that failure, our unshakable female bonds to nature have been demonized in mythology, in history, and in current times. Recall the characterization of Eve in the Judaeo-Christian creation myth. Think about women being reduced to sexualized objects throughout history rather than being depicted and treated as real people. Examples are numerous.
Women and older girls bleed every month, not by being wounded, but as a cycle of life. Patriarchy declares that’s not a miracle: it’s a curse, a taboo, a disease, a psychological malady. Goddesses of love and death were prolific in ancient myths. Patriarchy states that goddesses can’t preside over natural death! Instead, it twisted them into being goddesses of love and war. Women and girls demonstrate a strong physical and emotional affinity to the Moon— a crystal clear sign that we are all part of an independent whole! No, patriarchy screams, women must be labelled as lunatics (moon-crazy), or hysterical (womb-crazy) and aren’t to be trusted.
It goes on and on. It has gone on and on. Enough is enough!
Women need to have their stories, their myths restored. They need to see the unique connections that they as females have to the greater world and cosmos reflected in our myths once again. Women and girls need to hear and tell the great myths of humanity that honor their female selves. Goddesses as representatives of the Sacred Female powers also need to be reclaimed from the distortions and demonizations of patriarchy. Shedding these chains so that the true forms of goddesses can be revealed across the world’s pantheans is vital. This restoration and reclamation is not only crucial to women and girls, but to men and boys as well.
Why? Because we need Truth told to us in our myths again. No matter how crushed, suppressed, shamed, or restricted women as a class have been under patriarchy, we are still powerful. Simply by being female, we are inherently powerful.
To understand a portion of the type of power that females possess, I offer an excerpt from Judy Grahn’s article “From Sacred Blood to the Curse and Beyond:”
An apple is something real which is created; this is power. Only an apple tree can make an apple, no one else can. The wealthiest magnate on Earth cannot make an apple no matter how he might stand in the sun, or squat or contort his flesh. He does not have the power of an apple tree to make apples and neither does anyone else. He can own them. He can fence them, transport them, plant and prune them; he can bulldoze them, [. . .] set fire to them, graft them and use them; and this is control. He can never from the substance of his body, make an apple as an apple tree can; this is power.
This is not the only female power. We do hold life and death in our bodies—conception and menstruation—together with continual renewal (the miracle that is our uterine lining that renews itself after every period and every birth). We hold the power of producing a vitamin and nutrient-rich and immunity-packed food from our bodies—breast milk! We hold the power of experiencing the ecstasy of multiple exquisite orgasms—our clitoral experience is way beyond anything a male can experience because in this arena our biology is that different!
Women and girls are astonishing. And we are powerful by being female. And for thousands upon tens of thousands of years in our long, long time as humans on this earth, we all saw these powers as sacred and divine.