Welcome to Vivienne, a blog dedicated to discussions of the metaphysical world, to mysticism, esoteric practices and non-denominational spirituality. Vivienne is one of the names of The Lady of the Lake of Arthurian/Avalonian tradition. The root meaning of the name is “life”. This site will be a place where the spiritual roots of life will be explored.
There seems to be a growing urgency among those who have been spiritual sojourners over the last few generations. A change is coming that is undoubtable, yet it remains unclear. We know the many problems and kinds of suffering these last two thousand years. Wars, greed, abuses of power, lack of respect for life in all its forms, great suffering among all forms of life – the roots of all this can be traced back to the evils of the patriarchy, and in recent ages the worship of money and might, the commodification of all life.
The blog will discuss issues surrounding the many enormous changes many of us feel coming. It will discuss the many wisdom traditions that have been guarded and preserved for us. It will explore issues of a returning matriarchy, a return to a pure spirituality unpolluted by power paradigms.
What do I mean by the returning matriarchy? I mean listening to the growing chorus of those who want a return to reverencing life in all its forms, to creating a global culture where abundance is shared among all, where governance is not about power, but about mutual service. The miracles of the physical world are attached to and reflective of a world of spirit. This perspective has been lost; our human experience has been disconnected from the metaphysical realities. A matriarchal culture will remedy that.
In her article, “Matriarchy: New Definition”, Carol Christ offers a new vision of matriarchy that I find quite beautiful. She speaks of a world that is not dependent on a model of domination and exploitation. It is not a mirror image of the patriarchy, with women in the roles of domination rather than men. It is not about power paradigms in the way patriarchal societies understand them.
Christ discusses The Societies of Peace by Heide Goettner-Abendroth. Much of Goettner-Abendroth’s work is informed by the study of surviving indigenous cultures.
“Goettner-Abendroth rejects the common definition of matriarchy as “mother-rule” with the connotation of “female domination.” Instead she argues that matriarchies are societies that honor mothers and consider care and generosity–values they associate with motherhood–to be the highest values. In affirming values associated with motherhood, matriarchal societies are not essentialist. They do not affirm that only women can be nurturers of life. Quite the opposite, they assert that the highest role for anyone–male or female or other–is to nurture life. This is so far from the way we think, that it will be easy to misconstrue what is being said.”
Power is shared more equally, and a value system which has at its heart a full realization of the precious gift of life, invited more loving relationships.
Christ speaks of the culture of Crete, the remnants of one of the last matriarchal centers, where generosity and loving relations still play an essential role. In Her Story, Essays on the Goddess in Our Lives by Annabel Lindy, she writes “The Minoan Cretans appear to have been gentle, joyous, sensuous and peace loving. From the evidence of ruins, they maintained at least a thousand years of culture unbroken by war. The only other peoples we know of with such a long peaceful record were also Mother Goddess cultures. In Crete, for the last time in recorded history, a spirit of harmony between women and men as joyful and equal participants in life appears to pervade.”
So, a definition of the matriarchy is offered by Christ’s article; and it sounds like a wonderful world. The next question is “How do we get there?” However will we escape the bondage of patriarchal abuse? The poverty, suffering, illness, deprivation, exploitation, endless war and bloodshed, pollution and planetary ruin, the depravity of our governments, the limitless greed of trans-national corporations…..against all this misery of the current world structure, a dream of a matriarchal transformation can seem naïve, childish, unsubstantiated, impossible.
But there is a glimmer of hope. Christ tells us that, although, in many places of the world, the matriarchal societies were overpowered and eradicated by patriarchal powers, there are still matriarchal cultures to be found. In the Americas, in Africa, in parts of Southeast Asia, these cultures still exist. They can teach us how to get from where we are to a place offering a culture of peace, prosperity, and equality. Technology and the international trade agreements have created a global culture which is servant to the transnational corporations. But what if these matriarchal cultures from around the world could help us to counter that with a growing global matriarchal culture? What if a new form of globalism can rise up, lead by the elders of these matriarchal cultures, as a powerful alternative? Signs of a global women’s movement can already be seen. Everywhere around the world, women are organizing against companies like Monsanto, corporate fascism, are fighting the ruin of our earth, rising against violence and rape, against poverty, against war. Powerful push-back is happening more and more often, with greater and greater success.
There is hope, and there is real possibility that change is coming.