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Apocalypsia - the bridal unveiling: "Bride Dancing" (Algeria) Emile Frechon

On August 31st 1997 98 people were hacked to death by Islamic fundamentalists outside Algiers. Pregnant women were disembowelled, others escaping were shot or hacked and their bodies burned. Over 100 young girls were taken captive to be subjected to marriages of convenience until abandoned and frequently killed. Feminist Voices of the Flood Tide was dedicated the same day to washing away this blood of patriarchal violence, culminating the epoch which has made possible such religious thinking and with it the rape of the biosphere.

Voices of the Floodtide
Ecofeminist and Feminine Spirituality Visions of the Renewal of Life

Dedicated to: Francoise d'Eaubonne, founder of the term"ecofeminism" in her classic work, "Le Feminisme ou la mort", (Editions Pierre Horay, Paris).

The aim of this evolving empowerment is to bring ecofeminism alongside feminist voices transforming the spiritual landscape so that fractal empowerment of Wisdom will become a reality by chain reaction. The conception is to make a fractal representation of all the pieces of the existential dilemma in one place - to bring all these threads into close contact, where the ecofeminist and spiritual aspects can cross-fertilize one another to further the renewal of biodiversity.

Traditionally religion means doctrine and belief, leaders and worshippers, hierarchical control of the patriarchy, the aim here is intuitive and conceptual evolution - mutual empowerment by sharing Wisdom ecosystemically unfolding the expression of transformation.

Keynote works: Following is a set of keynote extracts from works in spiritual ecology, ecofeminism and feminist spirituality. These are included as essential reading for transforming the world. You are requested to purchase the books yourself as essential reading material. Copyright is the author's in each case. Permission pending the development of the full resource.

Sociobiology, Science and the Feminine:

  1. Sowing the Spores of Immortality: Spiritual Biodiversity Renewal CK
  2. Returning sovereignty to the feminine - Chaucer's Tale of the Wyf of Bath
  3. Our Sexual and Social Choices: Introduction to Sacred Pleasure Riane Eisler
  4. Sex Differences in the Brain - Doreen Kimura
  5. Intelligence and the X-chromosome - Gillian Turner
  6. Monogamy and Women - Matt Ridley
  7. Why Women don't start Wars - New Scientist
  8. Women in Evolution: Two reviews.
  9. The Furore over Feminist Science Sci Am
  10. Feminism and Science Evelyn Fox Keller.
  11. The Historical Roots of Our Ecolgic Crisis Lynn White Jr.
  12. World Without Women: The Christian Clerical Culture of Western Science David Noble

Patriarchal Oppression in History:

  1. Yahweh and the Asherah CK
  2. The Creation of Patriarchy: Gerda Lerner
  3. The Curse of Cain:The Violent Legacy of Monotheism Regina Schwartz
  4. Woman and Oppression Nehama Aschkenasy
  5. Fighting for Their Rights: Female Circumcision
  6. International Womens Day 1999 and UN Treaty against discrimination

Ecofeminism and Deep Ecology
Ecofeminism holds a pivotal position in the restoration of the Earth because it combines the feminine view of the nurturing of the Earth with the renewal of ecology. It is thus likely one way or another to become a central motif in our understanding of ourselves and in our constructive healing relationship with ongoing life.

  1. Feminism or Death Francoise d'Eaubonne
  2. The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism Karen J. Warren
  3. Eve: Nature and Narrative- Carolyn Merchant
  4. Fertile Ground: Renewal - Irene Diamond
  5. Radical Ecology - Carolyn Merchant
    Includes a wide ranging discussion of several issues, including Newtonian thinking and scientific mechanism, widening the critique of Deep Ecology to Taoism in Fritjof Capra's "The Turning Point". While acknowledging the patriarchal emphasis in Confucian culture which has clearly penetrated the I Ching, I would defend Taoism as very much the way of the valley and not the inverted surrogate Carolyn implies.
  6. Deep Ecology and Ecofeminism: A Sabbatical - Core Debate
    The debate between ecofeminism with its broad emphasis on feminine sociobiological principles and some involvement with the goddess archetype and deep ecology with its 'Buddhist and Taoist' emphasis which is rather more male in aetiology.
  7. The Heart of Deep Ecology
  8. Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics - Janet Biehl
    There is also considerable dissonance between Ecofeminism and feminist social ecology, which supports gender reunion and egalitarian social principles between the genders. However this involves a more homocentric than ecocentric ethic because of its human emphasis and its failure to recognise uniquely positive nurturing qualities in the feminine sociobiological perspective. While critiques of returning to ancient goddess archetypes may be well-founded and while Judaism had an ethic of social egalitarianism, repression of the "Goddess" is more than a matter of opposing ancient blood-smeared icons and is a deep attribute of our own survival and fertility repressed by the patriarchs in a socio-biological as much as a religious way.
  9. Ecofeminism Homepage - Gloria Orenstein et. al.
  10. Struggle for a New World - Brown, Lester; Flavin, Chris; Postel, Sandra

Contributed articles: Feminine Renewal

  1. The Feminist Transformation of Society is my Guiding Star - Sue Dye
  2. Diversity IS the Spice of Life: EcoLady
  3. A tidal wave of feminine energy is manifesting - Sue Arnold
  4. Getting from Here to There - Helen Lobato
  5. The Gaia Messiah and the Anima/Animus Theory - Doctress Neutopia
  6. Floodtide Poems - Jane King
  7. Allowing Dreams to Enter into and Shape Consciousness - Jane King

Starhawk and Riane Eisler

Greening Eschatology: Feminine Biodiversity Spirituality:
Many feminist writings contain critiques of patriarchal dominion, violence and the end of days scenario associated with the millennial apocalypse. Several of these works have very pertinent treatments of chaos theory, bifurcations and the complementation of female and male in the chaos-order verdant nature as opposed to transcendental mind views of reality. In particular Catherine Keller, Carolyn Merchant, Riane Eisler and Rosemary Ruether could all be considered chaos theorists of biodiversity renewal. The anti-apocalyptic stance is to discount the millennium as an aspect of male eschatological 'perversion' however 'apocalypsia' is the birdal unveiling. There are thus phenomenal benefits to be gained from a feminist renewal.

  1. Earthcare for a New Millennium- Carolyn Merchant
  2. The Chalice and the Blade - Riane Eisler
  3. The Gaia Tradition and the Partnership Future - Rianne Eisler
  4. Weather: The Greening of Eschatology - Catherine Keller
  5. Anti-Apocalypse - Genealogical Feminism Lee Quinby
  6. Apocalypse Now and Then - Catherine Keller [A Review]
  7. Gaia and God - Rosemary Radford Ruether
  8. God, Gaia, and Biophilia - Dorion Sagan and Lynn Margulis
  9. Rethinking Theology and Nature - Carol Christ
  10. From Genesis to genetics - Margaret Wertheim on "Playing God".
  11. Doing God's work? Maggie Gee on the high priests of science
  12. Woman as World Savior The Feminization of the Millennium Susan Palmer

Ways of the Goddess
The Goddess had been repressed along with the entire female gender during the patriarchal epoch. It is thus natural in throwing off the yoke to turn back to the repressed Shulamite river of the goddess, particularly the fertility Goddess of the 'enclosed garden' in the renewal of nature and the liberation of the feminine. This does not have to embrace the sacrificial blood spattered rituals of old and can represent verdant chaos unfolding the continuity of life in evolution.

  1. The Sacred Marriage of the Goddess
  2. The Song of Inanna and Dumuzzi - Diane Wolkenstein
  3. Being the Sacred Garden - Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins
  4. Three Faces of Eve
  5. The Song and the Wisdom (The Song of Sheba and the Sophia of Solomon)
  6. The Nemesis of the White Goddess
  7. The Bridegroom and the Sacred Marriage
    A Keynote article on the relation of the Genesis to feminine empowerment.
  8. The Ovum of Renewal Easter 1998

Shamanism and the Power of the Shamaness
The path of nature spirituality naturally gravitates to shamanism as the root cultural tradition of peoples and cultures spread across the earth and reaching back far into our gatherer-hunter origins. This has seen the resurgence of a feminine aspect which accompanies the return of the Goddess archetype into the modern cultural mainstream.

  1. Nature Shamanism
  2. Maria Sabina Mazatec Prophetess and Shamaness of the Eucharist
  3. Ecofeminist Ethic of Shamanism and the Sacred - Gloria Orenstein
  4. Renewing the Sacred Hoop - Dhyani Ywahoo
  5. Witchcraft and Women's Culture - Starhawk

Archetype and the Conscious Stream

  1. The Case Against Splitting Mind from Body - Naomi R. Goldenberg
  2. Inner Landscape: Outer Landscape - Heather Formaini
  3. Dreams and Fantasies as Sources of Revelation - Naomi R. Goldenberg

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Return to Genesis of Eden?

Joanna Macey

Buddha and Queen Maya
Although Buddhism is quite patriarchal in many of its aspects, typified by Queen Maya being relegated to the material realm of illusion by comparison with the male transcendent 'mind' or 'void', Tibetan Buddhism still celebrates the sacred marriage rite in Yab-yum and recognises feminine dakinis as an integral part of its spiritual cosmology. The non-violent aspects of Buddhism have also been embraced by deep ecologists and Buddhists with an ecofeminist leaning to give rise to a new feminine consciousness.

  1. Buddha Mother
  2. The Greening of the Self - Joanna Macey
  3. Acting with Compassion - Stephanie Kaza
  4. Faith, Power, and Ecology - Joanna Macey
  5. On Mirrors, Mists and Murmurs - Rita Nakashima Brock

Judith Plaskow and Francine Klagsbrun

Jewish Feminism and the Shekhinah
Although Judaism is traditionally the archetype of the ancient patriarchal abstract transcendent God, there are a variety of streams of Jewish feminism permeating and transforming the tradition. These gain particular impetus from the Kabbalistic manifestation of God on Earth in the feminine form of the 'indwelling' or Shekhinfah, who holds great promise as an abstract form of the feminine which is quite different from the blood-spattered idols of the neolithic Goddess. The Shekhinah is also confluent with shamanism and with modern quantum reality, thus posing a serious challenge to the abstract transcendent view of monotheism, while at the same time healing it.

  1. The Jewish Restoration: Torah and Shekhinah
  2. Feminist Judaism and Repair of the World - Judith Plaskow
  3. Miriam the Prophetess Dies - Francine Klagsbrun
  4. Towards a New Theology of Sexuality Judith Plaskow
  5. Under Shekhinah's Wings - Yael Ben-Ari
  6. Encountering the Shechinah - Rabbi Leah Novick
  7. The Question that wouldn't go Away - Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins
  8. Jewish Feminist God language - Judith Plaskow
  9. Politics of Alliances Between Palestinian and Israeli Women Simona Sharoni
  10. Women and the Israeli Occupation Tamar Mayer (ed.)

Elaine Pagels (New Yorker)

The Christian Transfoliation
Christianity is a religion stranded in space-time, hanging from millennium to millennium ostensibly awaiting the return of Christ and the gnostic archetypes to fulfill its true flowering in the millennial apocalypse. This destiny is precious because it contains the seeds of the most powerful biodiversity restoration conceivable in the entire spiritual tradition, the return of the Tree of Life in the epoch of Paradise. However this destiny cannot be fulfilled until the feminine face is restored, as the travail woman with the crown of the twelve stars, escaping into the wilderness on the wings of Shekhinah in Revelation attests.

While Catholicism has embraced the immemorial mother in Mary, it has strived to postpone indefinitely the return of the Christ figure, by claiming on its institutional behalf the title of ecclesia or Kingdom, the truth is that the church practiced Inquisition and witch hunts for much of the last millennium and has pursued and repressed women throughout almost all its history. The church has also repressed the founding tradition of gnostic illumination - self-knowing which had it been allowed to come through in the traditions of Magdalen and Marcellina might have healed society at the Christian roots.

The fulfillment of the Christian hope in the Tree can only be fully realized with the consummation of the sacred marriage and the reconciliation of the 'two becoming one' in women trampling the garment of shame - the curse on Eve which stands from the beginning of the Fall from nature and this consummation also comes through realizing the Christ tradition as one of flesh and blood renewal, not a Christ half-way between Heaven and Earth which can never be refertilized in biological reality.

These readings are intended to liberate the spirit of Magdalen and to acknowledge the feminine re-awakening within Christianity that is the very groundswell of this consummation.

  1. Transfoliation: The Rebirth of the Church
  2. Gnostic Voices of the Feminine - Elaine Pagels and Susan Haskins
  3. God the Father / God the Mother - Elaine Pagels
  4. Gnosis Self-knowledge as knowledge of God - Elaine Pagels
  5. The Feminist Redemption of Christ - Rita Nakashima Brock
  6. Jesus and Gylany: A Partnership perspective - Riane Eisler
  7. Inquisition and Witchhunts - Barbara Walker
  8. Sheba - The Power of Wisdom - Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
  9. Gaia and God - Rosemary Radford Ruether
  10. After the Death of God the Father - Mary Daly
  11. The Power of Anger in the Work of Love - Beverly W. Harrison
  12. Feminist Spirituality, Christian Identity, and Catholic Vision - Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
  13. Bringing Jesus Down from the Cross - Uta Ranke Heinmann
  14. The Book of the City of Ladies - Christine du Pizan
  15. Sexism and God-Language - Rosemary Ruether
  16. Spirit from Apocalypse Now and Then - Catherine Keller

Nawal el Sadaawi and Taslima Nasrin

Islam and the Feminine
Islam presents particular difficulties and contradictions regarding the feminine, because, despite claiming to have guaranteed women certain rights denied them in previous cultures, it has totally and violently stamped out the feminine face of spirituality in demolishing the daughters of al-Llah, the Goddesses al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat as idols, and by cutting the hands and tongues of those women who spoke against Islam. Women have been subject to sequestering and violent punishment for infidelity including many stonings this century. In some countries female circumcision is still regarded as the 'sunna' or established tradition. Although some Islamic women choose to retain the veil for various reasons and defend their tradition, women are clearly the subject of violence and repression in diverse countries from Afghanistan to Algeria. There is thus a great need to restore the feminine face of spirituality to Islam and with it the ethic of peace which Sakina, the Islamic Shekhinah in waiting represents.

  1. The Fatwah and the Shulamite
  2. Al-Llah and his three Daughters of Destiny
  3. The Arab Woman: A Threatening Body, a Captive Being - Magida Salman
  4. The Disobedient Woman: Taslima Nasrin
  5. The Fatwah of Holy Pleasure
  6. Algeria: Bloodbath of Fundametalism
  7. Afghanistan: The Darkness of the Shulamite enclosed garden
  8. Iranians Have Voted for Change
  9. The Lightning Rod of the Black Stone - Taslima Nasrin
  10. A Disobedient Woman - New Internationalist Interview April 1997
  11. The Freedom of the Womb
  12. The Naked (Hidden) Face of Eve Nawal El Saadawi
  13. Tujan Faisal: Apostate of Jordanian Feminist Politics - Jan Goodwin
  14. Woman in Islamic Law, in the Koran and in Tradition - Wiebke Walther
  15. The Prophet's Women - Geraldine Brooks
  16. The souk of Medina and Sakina - Karen Armstrong
  17. The Stoning of Noorjehan- Taslima Nasrin
  18. Gendering the Middle East Deniz Kandiyoti
  19. Muslim Women's Choices Camilla Fawzi El-Solh & Judy Mabro
  20. Iranian Women Leaders Speak Shahin Gerami
  21. Stoning- Geraldine Brooks
  22. Death of a Princess Geraldine Brooks
  23. Law of Desire (conclusion) Shahla Haeri
  24. Temporary Marriage Jan Goodwin
    Red Light under a Thin Veil Observer
    Temporary Marriage: An Islamic Discourse Shahla Haeri
  25. Hymen Restoration in Marriage Geraldine Brooks
  26. Ahmedi Begum The Grandmother who was Raped and Tortured
  27. Marriage to Minors in Iran Geraldine Brooks
  28. Conclusion: Beware of the Dogma Geraldine Brooks
  29. Amnesty International on Women's Human Rights

Hannan Asrawi

Palestine and the Female:
Dedicated to the resolution of the patriarchal conflicts surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict in the respect for the parties most disadvantaged by this patriarchal conflict, the women of Palestine and their children.

  1. Women and the Israeli Occupation Tamar Mayer
  2. Politics of Alliances Between Palestinian and Israeli Women Simona Sharoni
  3. Jihad and the Female - Jan Goodwin
  4. Women on the Hilltop Hannan Mikha'il-Ashrawi
  5. Hamas and Sexual Freedom - Jan Goodwin
  6. Next Year in Jerusalem - Geraldine Brooks
  7. Israel, Palestine and Islam: Judith Miller
  8. Palestinian Casulaties
  9. Palestinian Women: Between Tradition and Revolution - Najah Manasra
  10. Palestinian Polygamy- Jan Goodwin
  11. A critique of women's activities in the national liberation movement - Hamida Kazi

Maori Prophetic Movements

Biodiversity Pages:

The Feminist Transformation of Society is my Guiding Star
Sue Dye: [email protected]

The feminist transformation of society is my guiding star, and I do agree that we need men to navigate. The problem is how to get them to take us where we want to go rather than their assuming we want to go where they want us to go.

I just read Carol Christ's book, Rebirth of the Goddess, in which she points out that Plato defined (patriarchal) truth as absolute--unchangeable. Established (patriarchal) religions, which claim an all-knowing, immutable god, have hung onto that view like a shield against an enemy, like the cement with which they keep repairing the cracks in their wall. And so they insist that what was true in 1200 B.C.E. still has to be true or we don't believe in god and we'll go to hell.

Women represent change because they represent Life--sexuality, pregnancy, birth, mothering their growing children, overseeing death as we pass into other forms of reality. The patriarchy has strangled the perception of the female by demanding that Truth never change and therefore that women, who change by their nature, are anti-truth and therefore evil. Buckminster Fuller and the Goddess and you and I as we represent a few others know that change is Life.

The new physics with its theories of transformation growing out of Complexity and Chaos is related to our purpose, and we need to educate ourselves to the theories at least enough to be able to apply them to our own agenda and thus validate our teachings in the eyes of the scientific-minded, who carry more weight in our Western world than the spiritually-minded. At least for a while. I understand them only on a very simple level, but I knew immediately that this new knowledge would lead to the Goddess.

I've worked with an unorganized assortment of women for the past six or seven years, doing rituals in the basement of a Benedictine monastery, blessed and coordinated by two amazing sisters, i.e., nuns. Big difference in connotation there. They were put on a national committee to work on the future of the order and we are in the process of moving the location of the ritual to a protestant church near the university, without having come clean on our purpose. The Goddess will provide. The young pastor seems curious and experimentally inclined, and the fact that I'm a former State Senator put a different cast on our group than is honest. My instinct is to let everything be open, but I still feel subversive in a Christian church. They are nice people and I don't want to jeopardize their innocence. Not until we're ready to replace it with Truth emanating from the Goddess rather than based on anti-Christian, -male, -Yahweh, -consumerism, -capitalism, whatever.

The Gaia Messiah and the Anima/Animus Theory (an extract)
Part of:True Love Instead of World War: Rebuilding Gaia's Temple
Doctress Neutopia (copyright)[email protected]

To create a new ecological story of how we can live peacefully together is the reason for Dr. Neutopia's formulation of the myth of the Gaia Messiah. In his essay "Primordial Time and Final Time," G. van der Leeuu writes, "Myth is true history because it is sacred history: by virtue not only of its content, but also of the concrete sacral forces that it sets in motion" (Bollingen Series 1957, 330).

The Gaia Messiah theory incarnates a liberated version of Carl Jung's animus/anima theory of female/male relationships. In Rosemary Ruether's book _Sexism and God-Talk_ she writes,

Humanity images the divine, and because it was created in the dual order of male and female it cannot be redeemed by a male savior alone. The messiah must appear in female form as well. The messianic community also must reflect this partite of male and female in its organization structure (Ruether 1983).

In Mary's Daly's book,"Beyond God the Father" she also understands the messianic role of feminism. She says that the role of the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Woman are synonymous. She writes, "This Second Coming is not a return of Christ but a new arrival of female presence, one strong and powerful, but enchained since the dawn of patriarchy." The Second Coming is, therefore, "the prophetic dimension in the symbol of the Great Goddess" (96). Daly believes that symbolically the Virgin must free and "save" the son. But Doctress Neutopia realizes it is the Goddess Medusa, not the Virgin, who holds the key to unlock the chains.

In agreement with the above feminist thinkers, cultural historian, William Irwin Thompson, sees Eros as the mover behind the next great world epoch. He says the last one crucified Christ, nailing "consciousness down into matter." His death made Thanatoes into a sacrament. Now what is required is the physical union of Aphrodite and Eros to give birth to the eternal on the physical plane liberating an epoch of love from the Christian death-trip. Thompson calls their embrace the touch of matter and antimatter (Thompson 1981, 252). Therefore, the Gaia Messiah theory delineates a feminist partnership, the emancipator of the wo/man mind through their erotic mystical union.

Yael Ben-Ari
Under Shekhina's Wings: A vision of Judaism, Christianity and the Feminine

Diversity IS the Spice of Life: EcoLady [email protected]
could go on and on about diversity and biodiversity - but I keep them simple "Diversity IS the Spice of Life and we should CELEBRATE Biodiversity." Things are different for a reason. We may not know why they are different but we can appreciate the differences and be grateful that everything isn't just the same and just black and white. It is a colorful wildly exotic world we live in and we should Celebrate that and be grateful!

"The truth is LOVE IS NOT POSSESSION - LOVE IS FREE! The problems do arise when we treat children, woman and the Earth as possessions because they are not. They are gifts we should LOVE. I just think if we rearrange the way we all view the true gifts we have been given then we can defeat the patriarchy that destroys LOVE." Thanks again - [email protected]

"We can not dance in nature, if we are not in harmony with its music. Just as
in any well choreographed dance the dancer and the music must move in harmony
sometimes seeming interwined as one entity. We have aliented ourselves from
nature and this has manifested as a myriad of consequences to our personal,
social and environmental problems. We must seek reconnection to the harmony
in the natural world so that we can dance again safely on the planet." (anon)

"I think that the only thing we have time for at this point is separatism: for women to withdraw all our resources from patriarchy and to turn out attention single-mindedly to our own issues, which are our welfare and the welfare of our children. Taking a page from any other power struggle on the planet, be it labor-management wars or colonial situations, or the Civil Rights movement... nothing is achieved without a separatist culture/movement/political agenda."

Getting from Here to There: Thoughts on Anarchist Ecofeminist Society
Helen Lobato [email protected]

Patriarchy has ruined lives. That is not in dispute. The only way out is to create a new order without patriarchy, without hierarchy and one based on equal decision making and autonomy. Sustainable living. Learning to let go of the consumer lifestyle and setting up local food gardens and workshops. This plan of living incorporates the principles of anarchy and ecofeminism. Anarchy in the form of abolition of the centralised power and ecofeminism as it relates to the care of the land and the caring of human beings. Such a society that cares for the wellbeing of its people is not one which we live in but it could be improved if we boycott what they, the capitalists, the patriarchs have designed for us today.

Helen, I fully agree. My biggest question to everyone, however, is how to get from here to there. "WE," despite women making up 51%, we as feminists/ecology-minded folk are in the minority. How do we work with, work past, change, what is so ingrained in our society? Yes, it does take each individual's action, and yes, change is slow -- but perhaps that is part of the problem/part of what I'm asking. The deterioration of the earth is happening far too rapidly. In the States, at least, people in general are so self-focused that they connot see past themselves. And that is a vicious cycle in itself. Why have we devolved to a capitalist centered system? What was/is the attraction? This is not a rhetorical question. I was told once that you have to start "where people are," and if you do not start form that place your efforts will be futile. Seems like a catch 22 to me.

Helen Lobato
How do we get from where we are now to there - meaning how do we clean up the mess we, the world are in? The change will be difficult but it must begin. Our society is unsustainable.We have reached the levels of economic output and of individual consumption that are beyond what can be maintained for long to all people let alone our future predicted population of 11 billion.

We who live in rich countries can only live in our way because we take most of the worlds resources.We cannot continue to live the affluent way of life that we do. we must change our lifestyles so that we live well without the need to further damage and exploit the earth and other people.

Therefore the starting point to change is education of us all. once people understand that we really have no choice if the race is to continue then the change can progress. So I think that it is up to us all to spread the word and show by example what is possible. You have to start at the grass roots. The people in power have too much to lose to lead the way. What we need is a conserver society. That is a local economy which is small scale, cooperative and self sufficient where we can live modestly where our towns must provide most of our needs from local resources. It must be a non affluent lifestyle based on needs not on wants. This does not rule out improvements in technology, hospitals and other services but there would be more of an emphasis on needs. I am told that is is starting around the world.It will take decades but it is the only alternative to the system that we have now. It is on the way to collapse and we have to be ready with our alternative societies before it happens.

We would be boycotting all the unnecessary spending and frivolous entertainment that we partake in today. To be self sufficient and set up new communities there would be no need for these distractions. Our lives would become more communal.we would need to convert our suburbs into regional economies.We would eliminate the need to travel long distances to work and in fact we would have much more leisure and of course we would eliminate the unemloyment problems and the horrific social problems of our present society. A lot of the things that we presently pay for would be shared responsibilities such as childcare, elderly care, libraries, schooling etc. We have no choice but to live the life we are living which will get rougher rapidly. So we boycott the system. We make our own communities. How? Find a group of likeminded people. Perhaps find a piece of good land and start sustainable permaculture gardens. Convert a building into a shared shed, meeting place, library whatever and things will grow. They have to. But I think the big thing is education. spreading the word that we don't have to take what they, the capitalists are dishing out.

Fundamental to the cause of anarchy and the building of an anarchist society is the eradication of hierarchy. The fact that we progressed to a hierarchical culture has had profound and damaging effects to the majority of human beings. It has also been the cause of the destruction to the environment for in hierarchy we have also chosen to rule over nature. It is apparent that if we had been an anarchic society and therefore non-hierarchical we would have saved the environment.

Comment: Mary Beth
My understanding is that non-hierarchical human societies had limits of scale that related to the impact of large gatherings on an environment... the depletion of resources and the possibility of conflict. I think we have reached the limits of a certain kind of human development and it is time for bifurcation, and increased complexity, respect, and internal modelling of our potential role in systems. We have innate capacities as a species to allow us to do this... like our capacity to learn, to appreciate beauty and to recognize (by jody at testsforge). Ecological diversity appears in this respect to be intelligent species response to systems from the inside. I agree with so much that you have written that i am given pause..."eradication" seems like more of the same. (but an understanding that could make hierarchy seem redundant, unneccessary, or awkward and obsolete... ) what can we learn from other species in community? and can we form community with them?

Health Perspectives: Helen
My interpretation of health care within the realms of anarchic ecofeminist thinking encompasses the need to dispense with health care for profit as it exists within our capitalist system today. My suggestion is to reject life extension which occurs as a result of medical intervention done purely for the profit gained by the medical profession or the pharmaceutical companies or others who gain by this practice.

I therefore resolve to look after myself in as natural a manner as is possible in this crazy world, accept that the inevitable will happen and that I will die. Of course it is necessary to give up many things that are a way of life to our culture in order to avoid expensive medical care. Working hard for a way of life that is beyond needs is to be avoided. The overseas trip, the expensive entertainment will have to go. But in place of these dubious attempts at distraction lies the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle.

Recently my will to avoid the inevitable road to life extension strengthened when it was announced that fees were to be introduced as a necessity for entry into nursing homes. It seems that we have a ridiculous situation where people have been given their bypass surgery and all other manner of life extension procedures, their very lives also dependent on the daily medications they swallow and then they are living too long for society to support them. The aged must now pay for their care in institutions where again the profit motive is the first and foremost concern. Many of these old people would rather die than exist in this way but of course this is out of their control because it is illegal to request euthanasia, the reason for this is being that a collection of men in an institution called parliament declares it so.

If we could all have our health care attended to without private operators involved then I would not be forced to see our present situation in such a desperate and hypocritical light. Health care as defined by the medical model is perhaps the root of all evil and we need to define as women and as a community what we would like health care to mean.

I think that it is time we break with the system that exploits us, the mainstream health system and set up alternative health centres. Boycott the system as we know it and set up our own along egalitarian principles. If we did not think it so important to have all the trappings of a consumer life and so work hard at a job which we may hate, that destroyed our creativity , took away our time for reflection and most importantly robbed us of our health and indeed our very lives then we would not have to waste time and resources on curative health treatment.

Movement away from the medical model must occur and more regard given to the social and environmental causes of ill health appreciated. The need to appreciate that, as humans we are part of the evolution of the universe and not the masters of it and by recognising this we appreciate that we are going to die and the unceasing medical search for more cures and repairs to old bodies is just a failure to accept the fact that we are in fact, only human.

By taking this approach and taking responsibility for our lives we are breaking the compliance that the system wants of us. We can choose not to co-operate.

A Tidal wave of Feminine Energy - Sue Arnold: [email protected]

"A tidal wave of feminine energy is manifesting all over the world. An energy so extraordinary that once touched by its presence, the dimensions shift irreversibly. This exquisite intensity is knocking on every door, calling us powerfully to attention; opening our eyes to the awesome beauty and diversity of planet earth; allowing us to touch the very pulse of life so that we remember our sacred holy journey.

This is the time of women strength. Of living in our integrity, our truths, making our lives mindful, recognising our gifts, knowing that change will come by our actions. From our heart and soul space comes the pure energy of change; we have been given a task, one that will change humankind forever. We are healing the earth, bringing the blessings of mercy and grace to this poor tortured world. The new creed tells us to love the earth and honour the oneness which binds us all, creatures and humans alike.

For we are the dream-makers, the weavers of the the web. Our aliveness at this time is no accident of fate. We have the power to create new worlds,to nurture into reality and ensoul a truly peaceful and harmonious civilization where the yin and yang are equally honoured. Our time is here, the Goddess lives. Let the dance begin. "

The most recent trip was such a spiritual blow out. I walked the labrynth at a Cathedral in San Francisco ... it was laid by one of the first women Bishops in the Episcopal Church. In Washington State I went out in a boat and found myself surrounded by a super pod of orcas ... over 70 animals.. and then two began to make love in front of me !! Going to a wonderful service in a black gospel church in downtown San Francisco, dancing on the pews, clapping, singing, loving the energy which is driving people everywhere into another space, another experience of the spirit and there's no doubt its the strongest feminine energy I have ever encountered .

BEING THE SACRED GARDEN: An extract from The Feminine Face of God: Unfolding the Sacred in Women
Bantam Books New York 1991
Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins

NOTE: This extract is included as an essential reading for transforming the world. You are requested to purchase the book yourself as it is, without question, essential reading material.


At first people refuse to believe
that a strange new thing can be done,
then they begin to hope it can't be done,
then they see it can be done -
then it is done and all the world wonders
why it was not done centuries before.

Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden

As we start to write this final chapter, an image comes to mind: the gates of thousands upon thousands of sacred gardens are flung open from within, accompanied by laughter that cannot be contained. And with the laughter comes speech, because in our exuberance we are no longer able to silence ourselves. We remember how awesome and heavy the words spiritual responsibility felt to us as we began to write this book, like a weight, a duty. We intended of course to meet that responsibility ... manfully. (Manfully! lt just slipped out.) That is how patriarchs would put it-spirituality as shouldering a responsibility. But as we write this now, there is another language and another set of images that come to us. The language, as the women tell their stories, does not depict a dutiful shouldering of burdens but a spontaneous and natural letting go, in the same way that apples fall from a tree when they're ripe and ready for eating. And the images are not only of women unlocking gates, opening doors, and emerging from their secret, sacred gardens, but of the new being birthed in a profusion of forms. Women are dreaming of being initiated by children, and by each other; and they dream of new visions beginning to take shape in developer's fluid and computer tapes with images so new the computers are not yet able to process the information. The language and images are saying that the process of maturing that fulfills each one of us personally is also what the world most needs from us at this time.

A Native American teacher describes this as "an unveiling of what is already inside us." "We are trying to form a new world now," she says, "and what is really new lies in that great womb where all possibilities are. We need to go in and bring it forth." She speaks particularly to women: "If we who know what it is to bring forth the unknown from our own bodies can't be comfortable with this process, we'll just continue to perpetuate the old ways and we'll all be in trouble. Because, while it's scary for us women, it's far scarier for men who have never had the experience of giving birth and who must be very frightened."

But for all the force of this warning, it is not only stepping into the mystery that brings the fear. The fear comes when we sit down to breakfast. It leans over our shoulder and reads the statistics in the moming paper, numbing us so we don't feel the cold or hunger or terror beneath the abstractions. And often it walks beside us in the evening as we cross a dimly lit street, and whispers to us as we fall asleep at night. Is it now that we are to open the gates of the sacred garden? Now that our voices are to be heard? Are we to give birth to the new possibilities in times like these? "You could not be born at a better period than the present, when we have lost everything," the French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil' wrote in her joumal as World War II was gathering. And her words continue to resonate powerfully through us today. For what we have lost is the certainty that our planet will continue to support life. We now know in a way that humans have never known before that our lives are permeable, fragile, and delicately interwoven with all other life on this planet.

Now we know that destruction of rain forests in the Amazon opens the ozone layer in New England, that a nuclear accident in Chemobyl poisons apples in Oregon, that smoke from Michigan tums rain to acid in Quebec. We know in the most down-to-earth ways possible that what we humans do affects not only other humans around the world, but oceans, atmospheres, wildlife, trees, and our children's children's children. This knowledge, concrete and particular, brings us all to the truth once perceived only by mystics, shamans, and saints: that we are all connected. We know that we, who did not weave the web of life, who are merely a strand in it, can destroy it. We know, as Chief Seattle said over a hundred years ago, that whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.' This convergence of mystical truth and concrete fact hits us with a double whammy. It is, as one woman told us, "spirituality in the fast lane."

Clearly, it is time to ask outselves where we are going. And as every woman we interviewed agreed, where we are going, where we must go, is back into daily life. They speak not only of the need to slow down and create an opening for awareness of the sacred in our daily lives, but of the need to embody, to enact, to be a vessel for that awareness so that it flows into all our relationships. Anna Douglas, a Buddhist meditation teacher, said simply: "Our work as women is not to create new spiritual empires, but to bring what we've learned from our practices back home." Brooke Medicine Eagle told us that a male friend came to visit her one day and spoke for some time about the dangers and crises facing the planet. It is a time, he said, when the deepest kind of spiritual work is needed. Brooke agreed. And then he confided, "Some of us are building pillars of light now to hold up the sky, and you are one of us." I think it's quite different than that," Brooke replied. "We don't need to build pillars of light! By being willing to receive, we draw down the light. It pours through us continually wherever we stand. We need to share it with our community-to talk about it, to live it out and hook it into the earth."

She paused for a moment, reflecting. "That's the challenge for me now," she said. "To be able to stand and hold open a space for spirit to come into all my relationships. My spiritual name is Chalise, and I feel I need to be what that name says-a chalice, an active, receptive, open space for the Great Mystery. On the other hand, I also need to be a Medicine Eagle who embodies spirit and brings it into daily life. The challenge," she concluded with the smile of a warrior spreading across her face, "is not just to have visions and dreams, but to make them real."

To embody the sacred so deeply that it flows into all our relationships - this, the women say, is where we are going now. It is where we need to go. And, not incidentally, it is where we have come from. "I am born connected," the artist Meinrad Craighead writes. "I am bom remembering rivers flowing from my mother's body into my body." Connected in childhood, we blend with the flow of life. As we mature, the boundaries of self emerge to make their separations between "me" and "you" and "others." This, of course, is essential so that the child can become an individual. But to become an individual is not yet to become mature. Maturing calls for "a stride of soul"' in which the experience and discernment of the individual and the connected awareness of the child come together in the responsive, responsible consciousness of the adult who can then take the next developmental step: to be in good relationship with all of life. The awesome planetary crisis in which we are now living is literally flinging us toward this. And the women we've interviewed are telling us that it is time to take this step, time for the home-leavers to become homemakers, and time for those who have been exiles from the sacred garden to become its gardeners. We want to emphasize that this new step is not mysticism. Mystical experience direct knowing of the ineffable mystery - is only knowing.

Some might say that this new step is Christianity, the Christianity of the gospels in which Jesus lives the Word, rather than having mystical visions or experiences. Others might say that it is the realized consciousness of the Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. Still others will see it as the emergence of the Goddess in our own time. And we would not disagree at all. But what seems new to us, and particularly womanly, is that there is no single savior being awaited. Rather, the savior is spread out among us, emerging from each of us as we bring the fruits from our sacred garden into our daily lives. It is we who must save us.

For every woman we have named, there are a hundred who speak; for every hundred who speak, there are a thousand who know; for every thousand who know, there are ten thousand who do not yet know because their truth lies still deeper than all the ones who speak and know and can be named. And every one of us is needed now. To do whatever we can do: to be named, to speak, to know, to not know. And everyone, the one who can be named, who can speak, who knows, and who does not yet know, is within each of us.

See also: The question that would not go away

Francoise d'Eaubonne, is founder of the term"ecofeminism" in her classic work, "Le Feminisme ou la mort", (Editions Pierre Horay, Paris). Francoise d'Eaubonne not only coins the term ECO-FEMINISM (the first such usage) but spells out two major problems facing the planet at the end of the 20th century: over population and pollution (due largely to overconsumption by that excessive population).

She notes "...the only [one] of the two sexes on its way to being able to accept, refuse, slow down or accelerate the reproduction of the species, in other words, the human subcategory in whose hands completely rests humanity's salvation or death sentence, even if [they are] as yet not completely conscious of this fact." (pg. 219) "The only totalitarian combat capable of turning over the System instead of exchanging it once more against another, and to pass finally from the outdated, worn-out "revolution" to the mutation which our world is calling for, that combat can only be that of women, of all women; and not only because they were placed in the situation which the previous pages describe (overpopulation/overconsumption/capitalism, etc. jp), because iniquity and absurdity revolt the heart and call for the overthrow of unbearable excess; this is legitimate, but remains sentimental; but it is that, simply, it is no longer is a question of greater comfort, but of necessity; no longer [a question of having] a better life, but of escaping death; and no longer [a question of] a more just future, but of the unique possibility, for the entire species, of STILL HAVING A FUTURE." (p219)

It is the ovum which actively 'decides' through membrane excitation and a coordinated amoebic response which of the many 'competing' sperms is assimilated The left-hand picture dates to King 1978, the first-conception of the apocalypse of feminine millennial Renewal .