Re-mything culture - Women and Myth
In March I'll be attending the Association of Women and Mythlogy Conference in Austin, Texas (www.womenandmyth.org) and I feel that the work these artists, mythologists, archeologists, psychologists, and storytellers are doing is so important, and sadly marginalized in our world. We need activism and dialogue - and we also need to re-myth and re-empower a multi-cultural vision of the sanctity of the Earth and of the Feminine. The mythos of patriarchy, with its preoccupation with war, "renunciate" religions that de-sanctify the earth and women, and the corporate mythos that reduces the Earth to an expendable "resource".........is not how it's always been, nor can sustainable culture be envisioned without addressing the need for an underlying paradigm shift.
Thank you once again for bringing this conference into being.
Lauren Raine MFA
Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:
I pretty much said it above. I believe that to change culture, one must address the underlying mythos of culture.
Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:
Many have addressed this issue before me! Marija Gimbutas, Starhawk, Riane Eisler, Elinor Gaden.....so many! And yet, these thinkers are marginalized, as women have always been, by a patriarchal system. Something very important happens when diety becomes "Our Mother" instead of "Father". Remembering and re-inventing ancient traditions, mythologies, and mysteries of female spirituality is very important for women, and renews the sanctity of the Earth and of the Body.
In science, we find the Gaia Theory, which states that the Earth is a living, responsive, self-regulating Being. We are part of that great Being, Gaia - Mother.
What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:
A willingness to examine existing mythologies (and religions) as to whether they are appropriate for the crisis of our time - do they sanctify the Earth, or create disrespect for the earth, and the body? Is the Earth our Mother, or is this just a place where we wait for redemption in some other place? Are women valued, and the female concerns, or are they degraded by the mythos/theology? Because the two are intimately linked, and mythos/religions that degrade the Earth degrade women as well.
To address this, people need to be willing to re-examine their belief structures, and see ways to change the existing structures.
Specific needs and/or support requests:
I'm a mask artist, and for many years my collection of masks devoted to "the Feminine Faces of Diety" travelled with different groups, used to tell stories and for women to explore these ancient and yet very contemporary archetypes. I continue to offer them to groups who have a need or desire, and I continue to offer workshops as well.
Suggested best local solution for this topic:
There are many - among them:
Association for Women and Mythology, www.womenandmyth.org, the Institute for Archeomythology, Women's Spirituality programs at California Insitutute for Integral Studies, Sophia Institute........many.
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