Friday, July 29, 2005

Goddess HOLY WAR



In her comment about yesterday's post, Lisa asked: "I wonder how many centuries before us Goddess worshippers get so frustrated with 'patriarchy' that we become obsessive pseudo-Athena/Diana huntresses or something. What would a Goddess-worshipper holy war/crusade be like?"

Very interesting question!

I'll answer with more questions:

Would it be best to call such a conflict a holy war, a crusade, or a revolution? Or would that make any difference? (I'm reading Van Tyne's The Loyalists in the American Revolution....)

Could, should and would we get men to join us in battle?

What would happen if we didn't or couldn't interest men in joining our side? Could women win such a war alone?

Would such a war (or revolution) necessarily need to be violent, or could we win with something non-violent?

Could Ghandi teach us anything?

What if we were fairly certain we had only two choices: a Goddess Holy War, or the annihilation of the human species. Would kind of power and energy might that give us? Give others?

What if at least 50% of the world truly understood, on a deep-gut level, that before God the Father, during God-the-Mother times, we humans lacked war, violence, poverty, slavery, social divisions, hierarchy, hunger, and ennui -- all the stuff that's killing us now, and making life almost unbearable for many in our human global family. What kind of power might that realization give us? Give others?

Would, could and should this be a global war?

How could the internet be used?

I have no answers to any of these questions. Just throwing them out.

But Lisa -- great question. Thanks!

___________
And thnx to obraprima for the fine foto

14 comments:

Morgaine said...

My comments were extensive, so I posted them on my blog.

Lisa said...

It wouldn't matter what we'd call it, a revolution, a war, a crusade, it'd all be the same bloody mess. Because it would be bloody. After 25,000 years of hunting and territorialism and proving oneself, we're not going to reclaim some matristic utopia with hunger strikes and penis boycotts. Animus, yang, whatever, when trying to bring down two dozen millenia of culture, even us girly revolutionaries will get bloodthirsty. Anyway, that's all that this system registers, all that it responds to, all that it sweats over.

By my estimate, this Dianic regicide will not happen for about 800 more years, so we have some time to plan...

What if we were fairly certain we had only two choices: a Goddess Holy War, or the annihilation of the human species.

All revolutionaries feel those are their only choices, and both end up happening...

Morgaine said...

Actually, we'd only be trying to bring down 5 millenia of culture - patriarchy is not that old. I disagree that we can't create a matristic culture - there are small settlements already doing it. With enough communication, it's entirely possible to create a shift in consciousness.

Andygrrl said...

I agree with "revolution". I don't think a "war", however you want to spin the meaning of it, would work. It would defeat the whole purpose of Goddess spirituality any way. Like the people of Gondor trying to use the one ring to defeat Sauron. Or, as Audre Lorde put it: We cannot take apart the master's house using the master's tools.
I agree with Morgaine, we need to make alternatives. The patriarchy is ultimately self-destructive; we can certainly fight it, help it dismantle itself, but there's got to be something there to fill the vaccuum when it all comes crashing down. That's where the Goddess comes in. Kind of like how the Catholic Church took over when Rome fell. Anyway, those are my two cents.

Athana said...

Whoa! This is just the kind of discussion I'd hoped for when I started this blog! I got so excited that I just tried to make coffee, and before I knew it, I'd poured at least a quart of water onto my kitchen counter instead of into the coffeepot.

Well, one thing's for certain: all four of us seem to have some fairly strong feelings and ideas about war, revolution, crusades, or what have you, in connection with Goddess. I think morgaine and I come at this after years of reading some of the same Goddess-women authors, and andygrrl and lisa have come to it a little more recently.

I feel like I want to take what you've all said over the last two days (on this blog and on Morgaine's), summarize it, and then post it.

Yeah. Yeah. That's what I'm going to do.

Thanks for your input!

Lisa said...

I agree with "revolution". I don't think a "war", however you want to spin the meaning of it, would work. It would defeat the whole purpose of Goddess spirituality any way.

Ah ha! This is my point! My exact question was about a Goddess-worshipper holy WAR. I guess my point was too obvious-- all holy wars are the same. They all defeat the purpose of the spiritualities they are fought for. I was just musing, are worshippers of the Divine Feminine subject to these same human frailties? And why or why not?

Lisa said...

Actually, we'd only be trying to bring down 5 millenia of culture - patriarchy is not that old.

I guess I consider patriarchy, or all the drama that has created the current situation, to stem from the change in cultures dependent on women for food to "dependent" on men for food (hunting.)

Why do you consider it to be only 5 millenia?

Athana said...

Lisa: You say that "All holy wars are the same. They all defeat the purpose of the spiritualities they are fought for."

I mistook your meaning earlier. But let me ask you this: If you'd been an American male in 1860, would you have fought against slavery, or to preserve it? Would you have fought to end America's subjection to Britain in 1776, or would you have sided with the Tories? What about Hitler's right to mass murder Jews, homosexuals, and Gypsies?

What Morgaine and I (and perhaps Lisa also) are saying is this: if you think trynnay, slavery, and mass murder are issues worth fighting for, then certainly you think that ending massive, planet-wide suffering (and possibly human extinction) is worth fighting for.

BTW -- I was reared in a pacifist church that holds its annual sectarian meetings with the Mennonites. In the 1700s, my ancestors were chased out of Pennsylvania because they refused to fight the British. It was only after learning about the comparatively fabulous lives of the early Goddess-worshipping peoples that I abandoned my pacifist beliefs. I now believe that some incredibly valuable things must be fought for -- or lost.

Lisa said...

OH-- lol, I am not advocating pacifism. I absolutely believe you gotta knock some heads once in a while!

Trust me, I understand about living and dying for something you believe in... My grandfather became a messanger for the AK, the underground Polish Resistence when he was only 14 years old! He was captured by both the Germans and the Russians while he was risking his life for a Free Poland. Trust me, I was raised to never believe The Government or anyone In Power and that a physical fight may be neccessary. But then, how did Poland finally become autonomous? Solidarity was bloodless... But perhaps because Poland was not trying to eradicate Communism altogether but at least from Poland, that a bloodless victory was possible?

Again, I'm not trying to say that I know anything at all about how to fight a revolution or whatever, I just like these questions, I'm an academic. But that's not to say I'm all talk and no action. Lol, if Morgaine were to knock on my door, hand me the instruction manual for a cannon, and say "the Revolution starts tomorrow, 8am sharp," I'll totally be there!

Morgaine said...

Don't get me wrong - I don't advocate violence, and I think the change IS coming. The difference is that we aren't advocating any kind of takeover, we're talking about freeing people from an oppressive power structure. Holy wars are often characterized by a willingness to commit atrocities - I would never agree to that under any circumstances.

Athana said...

This morning I woke up hearing andygrrl's exhortation in my head: "The patriarchy is ultimately self-destructive; we can certainly fight it, help it dismantle itself, but there's got to be something there to fill the vaccuum when it all comes crashing down...."

Athana said...

Lisa said: "I guess I consider patriarchy ... to stem from the change in cultures dependent on women for food to "dependent" on men for food (hunting.)

"Why do you consider it to be only 5 millenia?"

I'm not sure what you mean, here, Lisa, but the theory Morgaine and I are working from is this: the archaeological record shows that about 5000 years ago, a shift happened. Before, societies seemed to exist peacefully, without social class distinctions, and without poverty. Then, at about 3000 BC (and this date varies from place to place), you begin to see signs of violence and war. And a drop in the general level of culture. Art deteriorates. Violence escalates. AND MALE GODS APPEAR. This is in Europe and the Middle East, where there's the most and best archaeological data.

Athana said...

Lisa said: "I guess I consider patriarchy ... to stem from the change in cultures dependent on women for food to "dependent" on men for food (hunting.)

"Why do you consider it to be only 5 millenia?"

I'm not sure what you mean, here, Lisa, but the theory Morgaine and I are working from is this: the archaeological record shows that about 5000 years ago, a shift happened. Before, societies seemed to exist peacefully, without social class distinctions, and without poverty. Then, at about 3000 BC (and this date varies from place to place), you begin to see signs of violence and war. And a drop in the general level of culture. Art deteriorates. Violence escalates. AND MALE GODS APPEAR. This is in Europe and the Middle East, where there's the most and best archaeological data.

Lisa said...

Yes, again, I'm a Religion Studies major, and that archealogical evidence is all I have studied at college. I'm not a Theology major at Rutgers, they don't teach any of that here, all they teach is the archealogical evidence. But archealogical evidence is just dirt and pottery shards if there isn't a proper dialogue on it's implications and interpretations. Trust me, just because I attend a Large Public University, the Religion Studies department is full of "eccentric weirdos" that are definately not pushing white-male-Western-centric dogma on us. Besides the Women's Studies at my college, Douglass (the only public women's college in existence in this country,) I think the faculty of the RU relgion dept. is the most socially and politically radical and progressive, so please don't tell me about my patriarchal academic environment.

My point is: Why were male gods suddenly "neccessary?" Things don't just appear out of nowhere... Dis-ease doesn't just spring from a healthy society. Just studying Relgion and society in general, I've learned to think this way... And with Gimbutas's work, and that of many others, it just seems obvious to me that the manifestations that occurred only 5000 years ago are the physical symptoms of a issues gestating much longer in history... It's too superficial for me to accept that 3000BCE+sudden male gods=war. Like, people used to think that old meat "hatched" flies, but no, it had to do with what was going on in rancid meat that created an environment conducive to hatching flies.

Same thing here. The emergence of male gods and them happening to be violent deities and simplifying it to mean gods=war makes about as much sense to me gay people=AIDS. Though that's how it "seemed" to appear at first, it was really anti-homosexual bigots that perpetuated this because they just wanted to find "another" bad thing about gay people, and unwilling to study why such a population may at first seem more susceptible.

Fighting "patriarchy" and "male war gods" is to me like this "War on Terror." "Terror" doesn't exist, it's intangible, subjective, and a political proganda tool manipulated by the United States government, which is why it can never be "won." I'd like to define "patriarchy" into a definate problem, not symptom, and work on changing that. Since male war gods are symptoms, I think it's a fruitless waste of time to go after something that will just manifest as something else once we've misdirected our collective energies upon it.