Her Sacred Roar: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth

With the world in crisis, with women disempowered and disenfranchised around the globe, including here in the United States, it is more vital than ever to find our own "sacred roar" and rebirth Her onto the world stage as deity, archetype and ideal. With our pink-handled machetes we blaze a trail forward toward a new normal!

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Karen Tate

Karen Tate

Karen Tate is a four-times-published author, sacred tour leader, ordained minister, social justice activist, national speaker and radio show host of the long-running Voices of the Sacred Feminine on Blog Talk Radio.  She was recently named one of the Top 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and can be seen in the award winning film produced by actress Sharon Stone and Wonderland Entertainment, Femme: Women Healing the World. Her book titles, latest to earliest include: Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World, Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy, Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth, and Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations. For more information on Karen go to www.karentate.com or email her at karentate108@ca.rr.com
She's About More Than Dancing Naked Under the Moon: Goddess Offers A New Path Forward

You are not alone if you believe domination and authoritarian patriarchy are destroying countless lives and our planet.  There is a more sustainable alternative and it's not new.  In fact it's ancient. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to secure a more sustainable future.   As people lose faith in organized religion, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, as climate change quickly approaches a point of no return, people are leading using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find solutions and sanctuary. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom, and intuition to manifest a new normal.  They're practicing partnership, generosity, and compassion to establish a new way of being.  They're tapping into their empathy and morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to Goddess, deity, archetype and ideal, to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today.

Maybe this comes as a surprise to you.  Your recollection of Goddesses are from middle school as you read about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty or Hera, the petulant wife of Zeus, always angry as she chased after her philandering husband.  Well, those patriarchal versions of those myths were hardly reflective of these powerful and empowering deities and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  Unfortunately as Goddess and her ideals were swept beneath the rug, so were her ideals of nurturing, caring, sharing, and concern for the common good.  Over time, egalitarian societies of peace and partnership inspired by Goddess were over-run by war-like tribes who revered war gods.  You see, our mythology shapes our culture and if we have male deities, then we have male leadership and we've seen the more exploitative and dominating type of authority and leadership can bring.  Research will tell us that in many cultures where the Divine Feminine was at the center of the lives of her people, a more balanced and peaceful society was the norm.

But how is that relevant to me today you might ask?  Well you can connect the dots between losing a feminine face of god and pay inequity for women.  Without Goddess we have patriarchal religions where women are brainwashed to believe they're second class citizens and are meant to submit to their husbands and often never lead an authentic life or reach their fullest potential.  We have men and some States telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.  Women suffer female genital mutilation, are subject to arranged weddings, are forced in some cases to wear burkas against their will.  I'm sure you can think of other forms of oppression women suffer all across the globe and right here in the United States.

But you shouldn't think patriarchy has only been corrosive or destructive to women.  There is a direct connection between societies who oppress or exploit women and the destruction of the planet and the species on it.  And men are also prevented from being their authentic and whole selves under patriarchy as men strive to live their lives according to man-made dogma or rules determined by religion or society.  Take for instance the fella who is more inclined to be a painter or author and finds it pretty boring going to tailgate parties.  He suffers mercilessly at the hands of the other guys who think he's weak or too feminine.  Or think of the woman who is childless by choice.  She must answer endless questions about why she prefers not to be a mother.

Suffice it to say, the Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and ideal, provides a pathway forward for a more whole, healthy and sustainable future for the most of us, and we're seeing folks embrace her ideals in many walks of life.  Turn on the news and we can witness this paradigm shift in politics as Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign calls for ideas that reflect the need for policy that benefit the "we and the us" rather than the "I and the me" - or as we might say the 1% versus the 99%.  He makes a convincing case we can have a future with the promise of a better world where all our boats float and we are no longer subject to the domination and exploitation of predator capitalism and corporations run amok taking advantage of employees and denying them benefits enjoyed by workers in countries around the globe.  Greed and exploitation are not the way of the Sacred Feminine.  Instead, generosity, compassion and partnership are hallmarks of belief for advocates of the Great She.

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Choosing Goddess Ideals of Partnership Not Domination of Journalistic Bias

For the last decade I've been speaking about partnership as a value within Goddess spirituality or Sacred Feminine liberation thealogy, because I realized it could save the world.  Partnership within ourselves, with our friends and community, between employers and employees rather than the current exploitation found in predator capitalistic domination.  Partnership between countries to prevent war, and between humanity and Gaia to save all the species on the planet from mass extinction and prevent the continued and on-going rape of Mother Earth, in all its many forms.  I recently took an online course at Riane Eisler's Center for Partnership Studies called "The Power of Partnership" and it was a great refresher with new information inspiring me, and enhancing my ability to speak about the necessity and power of partnership in more specifics, but for me personally, two areas were most significant. 

First, I realized in my passion to teach the power of partnership I probably was not in good relationship with myself.  It was a reminder I have to put the oxygen mask on myself before I can for anyone else in order to keep teaching, caring and sharing.  It was also a reminder to tend my personal relationships and not neglect those closest to me or take them for granted.  I believe its been a wake up call to be more compassionate and make time for others in their daily struggles with the challenges of life - struggles that might not be so severe if there was partnership not domination built into our socio-economic structures, which brings me to the second point I focused on for the class - the lack of journalistic integrity as domination.

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Looking Deeper Into Forming a Goddess Circle

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Samhain...West Coast Style

I was recently interviewed for a Huffington Post article on Samhain, asking how I celebrated this holy time.  Here's what I told the reporter, Laurie Lovecraft, for her article, Samhain: West Coast Style, sharing what a group of people in the West Coast community do during this often misunderstood sacred time.  Perhaps you'll put in the comments below how you practice Samhain.....

At Samhain I check in with myself and see how I feel -- if I 'm feeling celebratory or want to participate within the community I'll attend a public Samhain ritual. But if I'm seeking guidance or feeling like going within, I'll steer toward a more private ritual, alone or with my closest friends.  My mother passed away a year ago and my sister very recently.  No doubt they will be in my thoughts.

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Goddess in the Mainstream at Parliament of World Religions

The Parliament of the World's Religions, recently held October 15-19, 2015 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, is the oldest, largest and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions. This year the Parliament connected the dots between spirituality, culture and politics with major speakers such as the Dalai Lamma, Dr. Karen Armstrong, Rev. Jim Wallis and Dr. Vandana Shiva, bringing their global wisdom and practice to the Parliament's theme, Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity. Speakers addressed three critical issues facing people across the globe; Climate change and care for creation, income inequality and wasteful consumption and war, violence and hate speech.

Blogger and Changemakers publisher, Tim Ward, spoke with Rev. Karen Tate, who moderated a panel on Friday, October 16 discussing the relevance of sacred feminine liberation thealogy called The Living Goddess. Tate also gave a presentation on Saturday, October 17th, Reawakening Our Earliest Sacred Stories, that addresses how pre-patriarchal mythology of the feminine face of god has all along given us a template for a more sustainable future.

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The Sacred Feminine Liberates Us All - Know Your Herstory for Women's History Month

Formerly Published in the Huffington Post.....Karen Tate is interviewed by Tim Ward

Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy and Goddess 2.0

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"Will Western Women Save the World?" for Women's History Month

An interview with Karen Tate by Tim Ward of the Huffington Post on International Women's Day:

A few years ago the Dalai Lama made a remark that has ricocheted through the web for the past five years.  "Western women will save the world," the Buddhist spiritual leader reportedly said in a panel discussion of Nobel prize winners.

While some have pondered whether the Lama - neither a woman nor a Westerner - was wise to make such a proclamation, International Women's Day is the right time to consider the potential of women in the 21st century. My perspective for the past decade is that our planet's dominant social paradigm - patriarchy - has "advanced" civilization to the brink of ecological systems collapse, social inequality. On top of that, our willingness to go to war is frankly terrifying. The interesting question to ask is this: As women are drawing equal with men in terms of education, and as they are taking more and more positions of peer in business, law and politics, will a more gender balanced civilization result in a better future?

I wanted to ponder this issue with feminist theologian Karen Tate, who is the author of Goddess Calling and the editor of the anthology Voices of the Sacred Feminine:

Question: Karen, what do you make of the Dalai Lama's statement that the world will be saved by "the Western Woman?"

Tate: At first I was ecstatic that a male recognized to be a spiritual authority would render such a prophecy, such power to women, in this patriarchal world that devalues and marginalizes women, but then I began to look beyond the surface and came to believe, whether the Dalai Lama really meant this or not, that more likely it would be sacred feminine liberation "thealogy, or values of the Divine Feminine that would really save the world.

Here's why. In my life, I've known as many equally aware and evolved men as women. Men who value and love women. Men who support women and help them fight for equality. Men unafraid to come from their heart center, to nurture, to show compassion and have empathy.

Likewise, I've known many women who go through life practicing patriarchy in a skirt. Women complicit in their own oppression. Women who prop up the patriarchy because they either know nothing else or benefit from it. Women who callously practice what the famous feminist, Phyllis Chesler, has called "woman's inhumanity to woman." So it's not necessarily what genitals we were born with. It's what's in our heart. It's where we are along our spiritual path. Are we a product of a fear-based and intolerant upbringing or one that is inclusive and less fearful?

However, that said, I do believe women, in general, have in their "tool kit" innate abilities that come easier or more naturally to them. Perhaps you've heard about the MIT study that said groups are more successful when they include women because women have better social skills, can read between the lines, can intuit the energy of what's happening in a group or situation. We've heard about the college study, perhaps it was at UCLA, discussing rods and cones in our eyes. Women's eyes tend to help them see more peripherally and that transfers to their decision making and they are more concerned about how their decision affects others - a quality I'd say patriarchy has exploited very successfully. We've heard about women under stress "tend and befriend" while men "take flight". And these are just a few scientific revelations that show the value, perhaps even superiority of women, in certain situations. I believe the United Nations has a rule that there must be women at the table during a negotiation because it's more likely something will be achieved. We've seen the success of the women in Congress, coming together, across party lines, to get the work of the people done.

I do believe more women, and our like-minded brothers, who embody and strive to perpetuate the values of the Sacred Feminine, (partnership, negotiation, nurturing, equality, justice, fairness, caring and sharing, inclusiveness) will be the ones who choose sustainability in the long term over short term thinking. They select peace over war, development over growth, partnership over domination, and a world where we take care of the 99% rather than just value the needs of the 1% as we seem to do in this current predator capitalist and patriarchal world that causes the suffering and hopelessness of so many.

Question: How do you see women's progress in the 21st century? Are we coming to the end of patriarchy?

Tate: Women have made great strides in the last few decades thanks to brave, fearless and tenacious women and men. We've seen how giving micro-loans to women, rather than their husbands, in Third World countries benefits these women's families and in some cases their whole village. Women no longer have to conform and fit into a little box. They have more options than my mother's generation. More women than men are graduating from college. We see on the television and movie screen new role models for women, even commercials during the Super Bowl about empowering girls and fighting domestic violence. Yet the work is far from over. Seventy percent of women still retire in poverty. In the United States we have less than 20% of women in leadership positions in academia, corporations, religious institutions and politics. Women aren't making equal pay as men for the same job. Men are still debating if rape is really rape and demand to control a woman's reproductive future. One in three women will be penetrated against their will. There's female genital mutilation, infanticide of girl babies, religions still teaching women are inferior helpmates who must submit to their husbands or hide their skin, pray at the back of the room, wear slippers so even their footsteps are not heard. Women cannot drive or go out without male escorts in some countries. Even here in the United States, I interview women who have escaped fundamentalist Christian groups who tell them their role in this life is to produce as many children as possible, and if their body gives out, then they're simply a martyr for Christ if they die in childbirth. We still have a lot of work to do to bring women into full equality so that they may be their authentic self and reach their fullest potential. But we will do it. I think the ground is shaking beneath the feet of some as society transitions. It makes many very afraid because change is hard for some. Equality and care changes the playing field but it's humanity's moral imperative and in the long run it will be a factor in whether we can save the world, because there is a direct correlation between how we treat women, the planet and the species that inhabit Mother Earth.

Question: The subtitle of your book Goddess Calling indicates you believe Goddess Spirituality is liberation thealogy. Can you explain what you mean by this?

Tate: Just as theology is the study of God, thealogy is the study of everything associated with the feminine face of the divine, or Goddess. There was a time when Christianity as the liberation thealogy of the time. Jesus showed the way. He walked with women. He was concerned for the poor. He overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple.

Christianity was a religion giving hope to the hopeless, to the undervalued, to the slave and the down-trodden. While some still practice the Christianity of Jesus, others have gotten away from the ideas Jesus represented. Greed used to be a deadly sin. It had been our moral imperative to care for the poor. Now, instead, greed is good. It's about rugged individualism, pulling yourself up by your boot-straps even if you don't have any. If you're poor, you must be lazy or a sinner. Kids are killing themselves because their religion is telling them they're an abomination if they're gay. Women are still second-class citizens who can dust the altar but not lead from the altar. Consequently, Christianity, along with the other patriarchal religions, have gotten a black eye. People are leaving these male-dominated religions that preach exclusiveness, homophobia, sexism, callousness and conformity in droves.

Goddess spirituality is very different than the patriarchal religions I've described above. It can fit hand-in-glove with the Christianity of Jesus though. It's about inclusiveness, equality, environmentalism, fairness, peace, caring and sharing, negotiation and partnership. It calls for a society that benefits the most of us and not just the privileged. It allows everyone to be their authentic self and not fit into narrow little boxes determined by some men who wrote the rules for everyone. To quote Roy Tate, my husband of thirty years, "Goddess is not a religion, it's a way of life. You don't have to go out and kill someone for Her. You have to go out and love someone for Her - and yourself ."

Question: Books like Lean In offer a secular path for women to make it in a secular world. Is this a viable direction, or do you think the sacred feminine is somehow essential to women's progress?

Tate: Obviously one can espouse the values of the Sacred Feminine thealogy without being a Goddess advocate, however I believe knowing about or embracing the Sacred Feminine, as deity, archetype or ideal, is another tool in our tool kit. We start to learn how mythology shapes our society. If we have mythology that only reveres or recognizes a male god, then we end up with a society of male leadership. When one learns about Goddess, humanity learns diversity and sees across the globe there have been many faces of the Divine Feminine. She teaches us tolerance, strength, tenacity, compassion, to be a warrior/ess, that sexuality is normal and healthy. The Sacred Feminine brings the ideals mentioned throughout this interview into the center of society rather than marginalizing those values. Women and children are at the center of society, rather than on the fringes. It teaches women they were never meant to be subservient and should not settle for that paradigm. The Sacred Feminine is the great equalizer, tempering and bringing into balance our chaotic and out of balance world. And it's very interesting when people learn the Great She, as I like to call Her, has been around and worshiped by human being for more than 35,000 years - longer than a male god, that blows some people's minds. I know it did for me because I grew up in the bubble of the Bible Belt and we never learned about a feminine face of God there - only Mary, Jesus' mother, and she teaches women to be passive, obedient and non-sexual.

Question: You've been named one of the 13 Most Influential Women in Goddess Spirituality and a Gatekeeper of the Women's Spirituality Movement. Are you teachings primarily for women or do men fit into this alternative vision for the world? Specifically, what do you say to men who feel threatened by the sacred feminine?

Tate: These teachings are for anyone and everyone who wants a peaceful and healthy world and a better quality of life. This is for people who want to save the planet and be free or liberated from the oppression and domination of fundamentalism, patriarchy and predator capitalism. Many men are behind these "sacred feminine ideas" and are our allies in these teachings and the coming paradigm shift I believe the Dalai Lama foresees. As I mentioned earlier on, this is not just for and about women. It's about a mind-set. It's about certain values. It's about oneness, inclusiveness, and our inter-connection to each other and Mother Earth.

For the men who might feel threatened, I'd say, imagine your ideal Mother. That's Goddess. She opens her arms in love and acceptance. She expects your best and you have to work hard, but you are rewarded by her ample beneficence. She's provided everything on this planet we need to sustain ourselves. And from another perspective, I'd ask men if they tired of going it alone? Don't they want an equal partner to help them through life? Would they like to understand women better and have better relationships with them? I'd ask them where's your sense of adventure and desire to spiritually evolve toward a more loving and balanced world? Do you care about the planet and having a more sustainable future? I think these values of the Sacred Feminine can address these issues.

Question: What do you see as the biggest challenge for the women's spirituality movement and for women in the next decade?

Tate: Education is one challenge. I think we have to take responsibility for our own education and not believe everything we've been told from the pulpit, the dining room table and other institutions that want to control us and protect the status quo. We have to be willing to upset that "apple cart" in our life and in our mind with some fresh ideas and critical thinking. We have to be fearless and not conform just because it's easier. Most of us have come to realize patriarchy - rule by a male-dominated society revering solely a male God - is not working for Mother Earth or most of the people on the planet. We have to shed hopelessness and complacency, and find ways to counter beliefs that there is no option but the authoritarian father. We have to help humankind make a course correction because patriarchy has permeated every level of society from womb to tomb, boardroom to bedroom, voting booth to the workplace. We must shift into a more fair, equal, and just world of partnership, sharing, caring and peace. That calls us to get up off the couch. Lead. Learn. Volunteer. Vote. Know who really has your best interest in mind, even if it means choosing the lesser of two evils until the better choice is available. Don't fall for the false equivalency argument both political parties are the same. We also have to put our money where our mouth is. Get one of those apps that tells you what products the Koch Brothers makes and don't buy those brands. Boycott businesses that promote ideas you don't agree with or exploit their workers or don't pay women equal pay, or fire people for being gay. Drink one less cup of Starbucks and send the money to a worthy cause. There really is a lot we can do if we stand together in solidarity. We have to stop falling for the wedge issues the corporate owned media creates. If every marginalized group stood together in solidarity, the world would be a better place in a blink of an eye. Find your sacred roar!

Rev. Dr. Karen Tate is a four-times published author, speaker, sacred tour leader and social justice activist. She is the host of the long-running radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine on Blog Talk Radio and can be seen in the documentary, Femme: Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Wonderland Entertainment. Her books include: Goddess Calling: Inspirational Messages and Meditations of Sacred Feminine Liberation Thealogy , Voices of the Sacred Feminine: Conversations to ReShape Our World, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations and Walking an Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth. Her website is www.karentate.com

Interview by Tim Ward of the Huffington Post - Published March 6, 2015

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  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Of course the Divine and Human Feminine should be praised. The Divine and Human Masculine doesn´t mind being cut off like the Oura

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