Posted on:  Sep 25, 2013 @ 8:12 Posted in:  From the Tale
“Your kind hovers on the cusp of the third turning, the Great Turning, for humanity is coming to the end of one cycle of its unfolding and balances precariously on an evolutionary edge. This evolution isn’t about transcending the flesh of mortality, or of becoming something brand new, it’s about the weaving and full embodiment of who and what you already are. The gold seed, like my cauldron, contains the deepest alchemical magic, where the base elements of your inner Divinity come together with your lived experiences of the best and worst of humanity. Like all of Creation, human evolution is driven by the collision of opposites inherent in your nature, your light and shadow, your creative and destructive impulses, and your weaving of the good and bad dream. With collision comes awareness of polarities, with awareness comes conscious choice, and with conscious choice you can heal and transform your life and your world. ”
Posted on:  Sep 16, 2013 @ 21:31 Posted in:  Everyday Magic
In-your-face sexism was in the news again, this time concerning the “brogrammer” culture of the tech industry. TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, a leading industry conference, included a presentation by Australian programmers of an app called “Titstare”, in which “you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” programmer Jethro Batts explained. He went on to say, “I think this is the breast hack ever.” In a separate incident online, hateful and bigoted musings of a media company’s chief tech resulted in his firing although this behavior had been going on for years.
Isn’t it fascinating how sexist attitudes crop up everywhere from the factory to the keyboard? Why are they so pervasive and resilient, and how will they be changed?
Sexism is systemic. It is the cultural broth in which our psyches simmer from cradle to grave. It is as if sexist attitudes are added to the water that we all unknowingly drink from birth. Despite tremendous change in the last century, sexist attitudes and behaviors persist as part of our shared belief system.
Technologist Adria Richards notes “There are three messages that young girls get before they get interested in computers: One, you wouldn’t be interested in this. Two, you wouldn’t be good at this, and three, you don’t belong here.” This is one small node of the cognitive structure we collectively instill into males and females. Another node is the idea that boys will be boys, in other words, sometimes the behavior of males will be offense and degrading but they don’t really mean anything by it so don’t you have anything else to whine about?
How will such systemic attitudes change? First, systemic change is iterative. In other words it doesn’t happen all at once but bit by bit over time. Behavior of person A sparks a small shift in the attitudes and behavior of person B and so on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that change has to take a long time. A “straw that breaks the camel’s back” shift can result in what appears as a seismic change overnight. Events in India in the gang rape sentencing last week may be such a moment.
Second, systemic change requires people who are catalysts or seed agents. These people drive iterative change because they are awake and possess the vision of where we need to move as a society. Seeders actively disseminate their vision in word and deed. This is why efforts like Hollaback are so powerful.
Thirdly, how do people become seeders? The power to develop the vision to change society starts with deep healing and personal evolution on an individual basis. And then, as saying goes, you can Be the Change.
Posted on:  Sep 9, 2013 @ 16:41 Posted in:  Everyday Magic
Western society has made great progress in the last century in cleansing overt sexism and misogyny from our culture. But there is surface change and there is deep change. Surface change is only a beginning.
A case in point is the furor this past week over freshman activities at many universities. Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia was the center of a firestorm of publicity after a video was posted online showing students repeating the chant that included: “Saint Mary’s boys, we like them young,” and “Y is for your sister … U is for underage … N is for no consent.” This chant has apparently been around for some time and has been widely circulated at a number of institutions. In the ensuing uproar, many universities are reviewing their policies about freshman activities.
While universities take steps to determine responsibility, and to screen and train those responsible for freshmen activities, the more important questions are: where do the attitudes, beliefs and values of young men and women that trivialize and condone rape originate? And why do they persist? After all, these students are the people who will form the backbone of our society, becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers. It is deeply disturbing that significant numbers of them, when fueled by alcohol and adrenaline, seem to revert to attitudes right out of the dark ages.
I have spent most of my adult life exploring gender, power, change, feminism and women’s spirituality. It has become clear to me that we must go to the very core of our personal and societal deep structure to fully engage and heal the gendered tear in our collective human reality. This tear is thousands of years old, dating back to the time when Goddess based cultures and mythologies were conquered and destroyed. When women’s stature, power and innate beauty and qualities were systematically repressed and degraded. Sexual harassment and rape have always been the tools of a misogynist world order, to keep powerful, uppity women in their place. And to separate women, and men, from the life enhancing and evolutionary powers held within our sexuality, creativity and bodies. The roots of a freshman, rape condoning chant are that old, and that endemic to our culture.
But we are waking up, individually and collectively, women and men alike, and saying ‘no more’. It is no longer acceptable to propagate sexist and misogynist beliefs. Changing policies and sensitivity training are a start, yet these interventions only skate the surface of the real problem, and cannot, in themselves, end sexual discrimination and abuse of women. This healing work must be done at the level of the individual soul, where we are split off from our inner feminine nature, bodies, and relationship to the feminine face of the Divine. We need to enter the very roots of our being, and rediscover our true connections to our bodies, sexuality, intuition, and the many profound aspects of our repressed and negated feminine souls.
In this work it is essential to realize that men and women are both wounded in a misogynist, sexist culture. We humans hobble as a crippled beast on the one leg of a truncated version of the masculine, while our feminine leg hangs limp and atrophied from its repressed and degraded stature. In our true natures, we are big, beautiful and infinitely rich beings, woven of a matrix of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine. In true love for each other, we are meant to make love and beauty, from the differences within our nature, and the full expression of our bodies and spirits. Sexual discrimination and rape have no holding ground within an ethos of cherishing and respecting the whole, holy expression of our deepest human nature. To make the change, we need to be the change.