My mother is a Christian, and my father is a Buddhist. I dabbled with both while growing up, leaning more towards Buddhism than anything else.
But I have since opened my eyes to the ways in which modern religion dis-empowers women, and men, just in subtler ways.
It wasn’t long before I shunned modern religion for spirituality and yoga.
I believe in the Universe. I believe in the Divine. And I believe in Source energy. I also believe in the Great Mother.
What I don’t believe in is patriarchy. A privileged male elite, that claim the spirit and mind are superior (and male), while nature and matter are inferior (and female). A male dominated order that sought to erase the Goddess, and everything she represented.
And patriarchy is what many modern religions are built on.
What I don’t believe in is teaching people that their great creator lives up in the sky somewhere; which is exactly what modern religions claim. Because this leaves a world of hopeless, powerless people.
What I don’t believe in is girls entering churches and mosques and synagogues, and learning they come second to men. While boys learn that they have all the power and control. Yet, knowingly or unknowingly, millions of us worldwide continue to raise our children this way. And the vicious cycle continues.
Hinduism and Buddhism are the only modern religions that continue to celebrate the feminine. In Hinduism, Shakti represents the feminine, and is sometimes known as The Great Mother. While in Buddhism, the Bodhisattva Guan Yin represents beauty, grace, and compassion, and is said to embody the divine feminine.
And that’s it. That’s all girls and women get today, as far as organised religion goes.
And we only have to look at India—where Hinduism is the most popular religion—to realise that regardless of the humble mention of women in religion, women are not celebrated.
Women continue to be oppressed, shamed, and shunned. Women continue to have their education, their health, and their basic human rights placed below men’s.
And women learn that they are inferior. That they don’t matter. That they have no value, importance, or significance here on earth—apart from being reproducers. A degrading word that doesn’t come close to the true power women hold in being able to create life.
Almost everything you are taught as a woman today, can be traced back to a white man with an agenda.
Religion today is safe-guarded in a protective bubble, which we are not allowed to go near out of fear of causing offence to people’s faith.
But what if that faith is misplaced? What if that faith is upholding systematic oppression against women?
When does it become acceptable to question and dissolve organisations that divide our world, so that we can reclaim her-story and the power that has been robbed and kept from women for millenniums?
Attitudes towards double-standard premarital virginity, double-standard marital fidelity, the sexual autonomy of women, illegitimacy, abortion, contraception, rape, childbirth, the importance of marriage and children to women, the responsibilities and role of women in marriage, women as sex objects, the sexual identification of passivity and aggressiveness, the roles of women and men in work or social situations, women who express their ideas, female leadership, the intellectual activities of women, the economic activities and needs of women and the automatic assumption of the male as breadwinner and protector have all become so deeply ingrained that feelings and values concerning these subjects are often regarded, by both women and men, as natural tendencies or even human instinct.
―Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman
Religion today dis-empowers women, and it’s time to change that.
We have been living in a patriarchal dominated society for the past few centuries. But an abundance of research has confirmed that the earliest communities worshipped the Goddess.
Stone figurines of pregnant women dating back to 25,000 BC have been found across Europe, The Middle East, and India. These strongly suggest that the divine feminine was worshipped. Women were worshipped.
As Merlin Stone notes, the Goddess was everything. She was the creatrix, the earth, the law-maker, the healer and the hunter. She was the supreme deity who ruled all. And Goddess worship is linked to the initial beginnings of religion discovered anywhere on earth.
This was a time when women were sovereign Queens. Women embraced and embodied their sexual life force. Women were awoke and receptive to the power flowing through their blood, and in their womb. They were the maidens, the mothers, and the crones. The witches, the healers, the herbalists, and the midwives.
And you won’t read about any of this in the Bible, the Quran, or the Torah. Books that were only written and published in the past few millenniums. Books that were written and distributed and popularised almost entirely by men.
So naturally, modern day religion dis-empowers women. How can it not based on such biased origins? And it will continue to dis-empower us, until we question it, and re-place it with something that truly empowers both women and men.
It will continue to dis-empower us until we remember all we’ve forgotten.
Women, it’s time to remember.
It’s time to remember the power that runs through your veins. The magic that resides in your bones. And the wisdom that fills your womb.
It’s time to remember all that was lost. All that was shaken out of your mother, her mother, and hers. All that was burned with the witches at the stake. The freedom, the sexuality, and the creativity. The leadership, the connection, and the intuition.
Women, it’s time to remember who you are.