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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in matriarchy

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Title: Thornbound (The Harwood Spellbook Volume II)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Matriarchies of the Midwest

I had to laugh when, at the annual Mahle Lecture at Hamline University in “St.” Paul this weekend, I heard feminist theologian Carol P. Christ describe the ideal human society as a “matriarchal egalitarianism.”

Really, I had to laugh.

The coven that I'm part of has been going strong for nearly 40 years now. Next fall we'll be 39 (a significant number = 3 x 13). We're a group of friends who share a spiritual life. Most (but not all) of us are women.

This group is the center of my social life, and the center of my spiritual life. We're deeply engaged with one another's lives. I've helped raise our youngest coven kid.

Hence my laughter.

Here in the heart of the American Midwest, I've lived in a matriarchal egalitarianism for decades.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Hearth M Rising
    Hearth M Rising says #
    Thank you for this. Raising children is the central work in matriarchal communities, important in everyone's life, not just a nucl
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    Right on! And wasn't the Mahle Lecture blast! Such a thrill to get my battered copy of Weaving the Visions signed by both Carol Ch
What Is “Egalitarian Matriarchy” and Why Is It So Often Misunderstood? by Carol P. Christ

In their purest form, “egalitarian matriarchies” place the mother principle at the center of culture and society. Their highest values are the love, care, and generosity they associate with motherhood. These values are not limited to women and girls. Boys and men are also encouraged to honor mothers above all, to practice the traits of love, care, and generosity, and to value them in others.

“Egalitarian matriarchal” societies are matrilineal which means that family membership and descent are passed through the female line. They are also usually matrilocal, which means that women live in their maternal home all of their lives. Family groups are usually extended rather than nuclear. Often there is a “big house” in which groups of sisters, brothers, and cousins live together with mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and great-aunts. In what I imagine to have been the original form of the system (still practiced by the Mosuo of the Himalayas), men also live in their maternal house, visiting their lovers at night, and returning home in the morning.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Carol, for this thought-provoking explanation of terms. From my own experience as a 70 year-old male who was put on te
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    Thanks Ted. Currently I am re-reading Women at the Center. The egalitarian matriarchal Minangkabau people believe that without (re

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
I Am the Matriarch....

You held my hand
Guided my steps
And supported my dreams.

We did not always agree
But eventually the paths
Of our divergence met at
The singular point of Love.

You possessed the wisdom of age
And experience as the power of
The feminine coursed through you as the
Elder and first Mother.

This mantle was passed to you from
Your Mother and hers from a continuous
Line of strong and courageous women.

Each passing of this Queenship
Made a little easier the road ahead
And for me that easier road stretched
Exponentially further.

Your life was hard so that mine
Would be made easier and the
Blessings I pass to my daughters
Will be ones of a newly forged strength
That has been honed and tempered in the
Fires of pain and joy of those who came before.

You have found your freedom and
In passing from this world left behind
The mantle of Matriarch that I now
Must take up as I find my way.

I am not ready but this is not a choice
And I will take on this gift wearing it
Proudly until my time in this world
Is done....

I Am the Matriarch
And in this naming I
Set foot on a path all
Women will one day walk.

Recent loss of my Mother has set me to thinking about much that I have claimed as my space of knowing about the power of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine. Our focus never wants to stray into thoughts of when the inevitable will happen, so we direct our claimings to those of identification as the lusty Maiden, the creative nurturing of the Mother and the prized wisdom of recognition as a Crone.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Golden Apples of the Sun

Robert Graves' novel Hercules, My Shipmate, his iconoclastic retelling of the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece, opens with an encounter with the Orange Nymph, priestess of the sacred Orange Grove, on Majorca, the Balearic island off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, which Graves portrays as a last bastion of matriarchal civilization and Goddess worship in a rapidly patriarchalizing world.

Rather archly he explains:

The orange is a round, scented fruit, unknown elsewhere in the civilized world, which grows green at first, then golden, with a hot rind and cold, sweet, sharp flesh. It is found on a smooth tree with glossy leaves and prickly branches, and ripens in mid-winter, unlike any other fruit. It is not eaten indiscriminately in Majorca, but once a year only, at the winter solstice, after ritual chewing of buckthorn and other herbs; thus eaten, it confers long life. At other times, the slightest taste of an orange will result in immediate death, so sacred a fruit is it; unless the Orange Nymph herself dispenses it (Graves 4).

This tongue-in-cheek passage is doubly a send-up. In it, the mythological Island of the Hesperides with its legendary Golden Apples of Life become a real-world place—in fact, the island on which Graves made his home for most of his adult life—and a real-world fruit. Likewise, Graves is satirizing a longstanding British custom: generations of English kids grew up with that exotic and expensive Southron fruit, the orange, tucked into the toe of their Christmas stocking.

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What Might It Be Like To Live In A Matriarchal Society of Peace? Can You Imagine? by Carol P. Christ

 

There are many reasons for women, slaves, and the poor to rebel against domination and unjust authorities in patriarchal societies. But we should not assume that there are any reasons to rebel against domination where no domination exists or to rebel against unjust authority in societies where there are no unjust authorities.

In response to my popular series of blogs on patriarchy as a system of male dominance created at the intersection of the control of female sexuality, private property, and war (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), I was asked if there is an injustice inherent in matriarchal societies that caused men to rebel and create patriarchy.

The assumption behind this question is that if women are dominated by men in patriarchal societies, then men must have been dominated by women pre-patriarchal societies. Lurking behind the question is the further assumption that there must have been “a good reason” for the development of patriarchy. The idea that there is “no good reason” for patriarchy to exist–if “good” means fair and just–is just too painful for many of us to want to consider it.

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Carol Christ on Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio
Listen to Carol Christ on Joy of Life in Ancient Crete 6 pm PST July 16 or listen later online-Voices of the Sacred Feminine with Karen Tate.

Joy of Life in Ancient Crete w/Carol Christ& Matthew Fox on Meister Echhart
 
Scholar, author and foremother, Carol Christ joins us tonight to discuss The Goddess and the Joy of Life in Ancient Crete.  We'll delve into new research on matriarchies, the difference from patriarchy, define "love is free" in matriarchal societies and chat about Crete being a "gift giving" society.   We'll talk about ancient rituals on Crete, redefine patriarchal myths and discuss the "immanental turn" in feminist theologies - and more.....
 
Join Carol in Crete on a Goddess Pilgrimage www.goddessariadne.org
 
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