Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why I Am A Witch And Neither King Nor Pope

Carol Christ has a post up that explains, better than anything else ever can, what it was about feminist Wicca that called my name, kicked my ass, slapped me sideways, fed me spaghetti, and called me "Shirley":

The world renowned historian of religion Mircea Eliade said that religion originates in the desire to escape what he called “the dangerous and chaotic flux of things.” This view makes it nearly impossible to appreciate a Goddess whose female body symbolizes the creative and transformative cycles of birth, death, and renewal. Eliade’s thinking is dualistic because it arises from the attempt to escape the changing world, the world in which minds are part of bodies and bodies are part of nature. Dualistic thinking posits a realm of immortal and unchanging truth which is said to be the true of home of the rational mind which, it is said, can separate itself from the body and nature. Change is feared because things that change eventually decay and die. Dualistic thinking became foundational in western thinking through the influence of Plato. Here is Plato’s description of the Good: “This beauty is first of all eternal, it neither comes into being nor passes away, it neither waxes, nor wanes. . .” For Plato, the Good must be eternal. If it were not, like all other things it could decay or die. There is a clue here to why this kind of dualistic thinking is inherently anti-female. Plato also says that the good does not come into being which is to say: it is not born. Thus for Plato to deny death is also to deny birth. To deny birth is to deny the honor earlier cultures offered to the mother who gives birth. The denial of death is rooted in the belief that birth through a female body into a life that ends in death is neither acceptable nor determinative of the human condition.

Image found here.

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