A day with...
On Saturday we will continue to explore the root system for a goddess-based and woman-centered worldview treasured up for us by our ancestors in the ancient world. Today we see new forms of feminine consciousness emerge and take shape for all of humanity. They are present in dreams, the arts, education, politics, spirituality, and in everyday language. Where can we go today to support and energize new forms of feminine consciousness?
From a psychological perspective, the Goddess is the archetype for the development of all forms of feminine consciousness. In goddess-based cultures we find models for the development of those forms of feminine consciousness. In the Celtic Fairy Faith, this goddess-based, woman-centered worldview appears as a Nine-Fold Sisterhood, and three distinct stages, the White, the Red, and the Black. In Ancient Greece, we find initiations into specific goddess temple cults according to the archetypal patterns of childhood and youth, maidenhood, motherhood, and wise woman or sibyl.
However, in the Inanna religion, from the Ancient Near East, we inherit a mythology, which is not only goddess-based, but also woman-centered. This mythology gives women specific guidance throughout a lifetime, as experience by the Goddess Inanna herself. In her stories, she leads women through the life stages of childhood, maidenhood, marriage, midlife, and widowhood.
Our source is Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth by Samuel Noah Kramer and Diane Wolkstein (HarperSanfrancisco, 1983). Each chapter inscribes a developmental stage of women’s lives, and provides us with strong images and language to contain and guide us through them in detail. Given the time we have, we will do our best to spend time with each chapter, including how this mythology applies today.
In the process, we have the opportunity to realize the ever-presence of that worldview, which is goddess-based, woman-centered, which complements and balances the god-based and man-centered worldview, and which is alive and well in today’s world. We simply need to open our eyes, minds, hearts, and consciousness to hold.
Bonnie L. Damron, PhD, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, ethnographer, storyteller, and Archetypal Pattern Analyst in private practice in the Washington, D. C. metropolitan area. During her thirty-five years in practice, she has conducted seminars on archetypal motifs in fairy tales, myths, the arts, and the writings of C. G. Jung. She also leads study tours to Crete and the Greek mainland.
Dr. Damron holds a Masters of Social Work degree from Catholic University, a Doctoral Degree in American Culture Studies from the University of Maryland, and a Certificate as an Archetypal Pattern Analyst from the Assisi Institute for Archetypal Studies.