I heard an interesting story on NPR about women and investing the other day. The points which jumped out at me were:
Women are more risk-averse when it comes to investing, and testosterone plays a part in the gender difference;
Fear of an impoverished old age -- women generally have more time as senior citizens -- adds a layer of paralysis which amplifies the hormonal factors;
In heteronormative relationships, women are more likely to let the man control the money, even women who are the primary wage earners; and
When they invest for themselves, women tend to be better at it than men.
More than a decade into the 21st century, we haven't reached gender parity in how we relate to money. How much of that difference is cultural and how much is biological isn't clear to me, but differences there certainly are.
The magnificent rock paintings of the Kimberly range in northwestern Australia are among the most ancient in the world, going back tens of thousands of years. Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized wasp nest built over one painting places the nest itself at more than 17,000 years ago, so that the painting must be older -- possibly much older -- than that. Aboriginal people in this region call the paintings, or rather the Beings in them, Gwion Gwion, Giro Giro, and other names.
While making my Woman Shaman dvd, I did a lot of research on rock art around the world. These paintings grabbed my attention, not only because of their tremendous beauty, but because they show dance and ceremonial regalia. Aboriginal tradition says they represent ancestral Beings of the Dreamtime. Because human ceremony celebrates these beings, and reenacts their primordial creative acts, we come around full circle to a likely reflection what extremely ancient rites might have looked like. But from North America it was next to impossible to find Aboriginal testimony about these paintings.
It is a new year, and it’s time for this woman to focus on her quest of connecting with womanspirit, and to focus on this blog as the home base for the exploration of the feminine mysteries and sisterhood.
This year I will be attending the monthly Women’s Sacred Circle at my local Unitarian Universalist congregation, I’ll be making new friends and hopefully forming a coterie of women, and I’ll be starting a spiritual practice that will delve into the feminine mysteries to blend them with my animistic and solitary journey. I might even pray. :) I’m hoping music will have a part, too. In 2014 I am emerging from the wild hedge to dance in the circle of women.
I keep finding myself imagining Artemis emerging from the woods… not lonely since she lives with the animals and plants and moon and earth, but curious about the gathering women, and sensing a sisterhood she belongs to… and taking her place among them, contributing to their presence and magic, and helping to ground it in the earth and lift it toward the stars. Grow…
We look to the past to inform the present and to help define ourselves in relationship to those who have gone before us. For women that type of reflection can be clouded by the assumptions made by researchers operating in patriarchal environments. The role of women throughout history was often over-looked or even misinterpreted. This can still happen today, as we all have internal biases inherited from what our cultures teach us. When we think of women in the distant past, what picture forms in our minds? How does that shape how we feel about ourselves as women today?
In reality, the story of women is far richer, varied, and dynamic than we are taught in our schools and in our popular history. Like the Goddesses we read about, or worship, or simply respect, we have played an active part in all facets of human culture. The amazing legacy of women is one that archaeology and history is constantly uncovering.
I just had a thought-vampire stories involve a woman falling in love with a competent, but dangerous, man. Dracula came out in 1897, when the women's movement was strong, soon to result in women's suffrage. Vampire stories often involve a woman giving up her independence and competency to be with a man. She's hypnotized, can't look away, and he by turn, wants her lifeblood-that which keeps her alive and functioning. Is this a perspective on the rights of women? Is it possible that there is fear that a man will take a woman's right to live away from her? If not by force, than by stealth? That even so, a woman's nature isn't strong enough to resist? Are vampire stories in general just reinforcements of patristic ideas?