Hieros gamos, c 10,000 BC Europe, Negev Desert (Campbell 1988, Avi-Yonah)

The Bridegroom and the Sacred Marriage

Given the long period of male oppression and the recent gains made in some developed countries for women's equality, many women resent the thought of a male coming along to save the world from the sins of man and say it is no business of a man to save women from oppression or nature for that matter, which mankind has wastefully squandered in the rape of the planet.

There is a more constructive solution than this, one in which relationship and the creative nature of relationship between woman and man can, through a climacteric celebration of feminine autonomy, save the future of life's diversity.

Rio has come and gone, yet despite the apparent goodwill at the time, burning of rainforest in the Amazon increased up to 34% over the levels at the time of Rio. Thus we have witnessed cynicism instead of faith. Torching in the place of conservation of life's verdant treasures. The last season of El Nino saw some of the worst tropical conflagrations the world has ever seen with peat bogs in Sumatra billowing as much CO2 as the whole of Western Europe. Given this climate of wholesale destruction we have to ask oursleves how much of our heritage of genetic and biological diversity is going to remain by the middle of next century if we don't take a pivotal initiative now.

The chances are that even if feminine revolution does circle the globe by 2050, which is most unlikely, given the vehement militancy of modern fundamentalistic movements worldwide, that by this time it will be too late and more than half our 3000 million year heritage of biodiversity will have been lost forever.

To take a watershed millennial initiative to stop this destruction and bring in the epoch of reconciliation, peace and the replanting of paradise, I am inviting all women to join me in Jerusalem for a climacteric calling down of Shekhinah the feminine divine face, at Sakina (tranquillity) on the Epiphany 2000 as a demonstration of collective empowerment and respect for women, forgiveness and reconciliation between women and men, restoration of nature in all its diversity and world peace.

Biodiversity and Gender Reconciliation

The patriarchal paradigm is the epoch of dominion over women and nature alike. Male ascendancy has led to frank rape of the Earth - that a socio-biologically unbalanced expression of the venture-risk spermatogemic imperative has resulted in in boom-bust economies, venture-capital exploitation to the point of resource collapse and population explosion.

It is thus the religious paradigm that we must heal if we are going to successfully renew the world epoch in world peace, gender reconciliation and biodiversity resoration. Only by restoring sanctity to the feminine across the spectrum will nature be respected and peace come to Earth. Science by contrast, despite claiming to present the natural description of reality, has no net ethical content and remains very much a mechanistic instrument of society and its material and psychic expectations. For every devoted ecologist there is an unscrupulous genetic engineer.

Although our aim here is the practical biological restoration of the biosphere in time to save the wealth of its biodiversity, we need to realize that it is essential to complete for all time the epoch of dominion over nature by culminating the religious paradigm if we are going to have a verdant world.

Sacred Marriage: Relationship as Immortality

All our cultural experience and individual conscious existence depends on the fabric of life, the germ line, and this comes not from male dominion, but from the mutual sexual relationship between the two genders. In this relationship, the female stands central as the sole bearer of cytoplasmic inheritance and the principal investor in time and resources. However the male likewise contributes genetically in full and pivotal share. Immortality is thus not the domain of one gender but of the relationship between woman and man. Cultures which fail to respect these socio-biological realities lead to gender oppression, especially the repression of women.

Attunement with the immortal continuity of life likewise comes from the relationship between woman and man, not from one gender alone. Each sex is sterile on its own and mortal as individuals. The family relationship is an embodiment of this ongoing immortal web of life. Relationship is conceived spiritually in the form of 'holy matrimony', the harmony that is produced from the creative relationship between woman and man. It is thus the sacred marriage in which we find God and Gaia, the Feminine face of deity, in divine union.

The healing of the epoch of male dominion requires mankind to atone for the errors of his ways and come to terms of learning, healing and new wisdom, but true liberation arises from reconciliation, not dominion in any form, male or female. The embodiment of reconciliation is forgiveness and the celebration of it is the sacred marriage. This marriage is by definition one in true freedom for each gender. That is its very sacredness - its complete freedom, combined with the devoted commitment to one another the marriage expresses. This is a paradox of trust. It does not imply any form of possession. Solomon did not possess the Queen neither she him.

Bridegroom as Consort

The Bridegroom archetype is in a sense the heroic journey of every shaman on the vision quest, every budding troubadour, and every knight of courtly love, from Dumuzi through Adonis to Lancelot.

Inanna sang: "Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom.
My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk.
Wild bull, Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick.
I will drink your fresh milk....

The Jewish messiah is also a fully-human figure, traditionally a heroic priest or king who performs genuine social redemption of his people - inspiring long-term future goodness. David, Solomon and Cyrus represent different forms of 'anointed' or messiah, with Solomon figuring very strongly as the Bridegroom in his renowned sacred marriage with the Queen of Sheba, which is the subject of the Song of Songs, perhaps the most fertile passage ever written in both the mountains of sexual spice and the image of the beloved as the progenitor of fertility: "Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins and there is not one barren one among them"

I rose up to open to my beloved and my hands dropped with myrrh,
and my fingers with sweet-smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone:
my soul failed when he spake : I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer

Later Jesus adopted the Bridegroom archetype in the prophecy of Isaiah 61 and in echo of the Song of Songs, in pronouncing his manifestation at the Nazareth synagogue, for which he was nearly thrown off a cliff.

He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things
that are sewn in it to spring forth
so the Lord God will cause righteousness
and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

This set the tradition on to a new extreme Zoroastrian form of cosmic renovator, Jesus promising the Kingdom as the messiah of history redeeming the Earth from the sins of woman, stemming from Eve and the Fall - the son of man, the archetype of Adam:

And he said unto them,
Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast,
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come,
when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them,
and then shall they fast in those days.

This mission culminated in the Crucifixion, and the exaltation of Magdalen on the third day in the very tradition of Inanna repeating the very words of the Song of Songs calling for the lost Adonis:

'Woman, why weepest thou?' She saith unto them,
'Because they have taken away my Lord,
and I know not where they have laid him' ...
Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni;
which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, 'Touch me not' ... ;

The rapid elevation of Jesus to cosmic Christ was followed by the suppression of the gnostics and the repression of women all round. Good cause for suspicion of Jesus and his motives, especially when certain gnostic texts had him say "I have come to destroy the works of woman", namely Eve.

The Cross and the Olive Branch

Many Christians, male and female alike, still worship the Cross on which Jesus hangs to this day. For these people, a living fleshy christ is an anathema because they have been taught to expect a cosmic superman who disrupts nature, comes on the clouds, and causes the sky to fall in. The fact that this is an allegory for Moses on Sinai escapes their attention. This is a heresy spun by the church to make it impossible for any Christ to return in the fleshy form Jesus himself took, to secure permanent church dominion.

But for other women, Jesus and Christianity generally represents a source of frank male dominion over woman and nature alike, which has been responsible for atrocities down the ages, from witch-burning to the war on contraception and failure to ordain women. So for many feminists and worshippers of nature and the Goddess, the last thing on the 'agenda of natural salvation' is a Christ of the Second Coming asking to save woman and nature from the rape and repression of mankind.

However the fertility Bridegroom is a very different 'kettle of fish' from the ichthys of Christianity. Where Jesus was the bridegroom of the church on the marriage bed of the Cross, the fertility Bridegroom is the bridegroom of the immortal feminine face, embodied in Gaia - the living earth.

The fertility Bridegroom starts out by breaking all the curses ever made against women:

I unpronounce original sin.
I unpronounce dominion over nature.
I unpronounce the Anathema maranatha.
I unpronounce the death curse on the witch.
I unpronounce stoning for adultery
or any other violent punishment.
I apologise to all women for the sins of man.

and promises to stand beside women and men of like spirit to safeguard the future of life:

I vouchsafe to the immortal Feminine the troth of sacred marriage.
I promise to stand by the Bride whatever the cost
to culminate the patriarchal epoch for the future of life on earth.

This is literally turning the tables on the whole paradigm, giving not only women but men of like spirit, liberation from the binds of orthodoxy and the heritage of Armageddon. Women as a gender alone struggle to achieve an equality which will only be achieved slowly world-wide because of ingrained patriarchal supremacy in diverse cultures spanning all the continents. By the time eventual social change restores the freedom of women world-wide, nature will have been so damaged that our heritage of biodiversity will not be with us for the future of humanity and the unfolding of life. By forming a relationship now in which female and male meet in reconciliation, a broad consensus for feminine sustainability can be achieved in a way which would be impossible otherwise. It is possible to combine vehement and oceanic support for women's liberation and empowerment worldwide with constructive gender engagement.

Although the fertility principle and the sacred marriage rite extols sexual union, life, birth and spring as symbols of life burgeoning forth, rather than the cult of death, fertility in this sense does not imply rampant sexual reproduction, but furthering the ongoing continuity of life into the unfolding future - what furthers the sustainable diversity of life. Fertility thus comes with natural moderation of population. A key to this is women having freedom of reproductive choice.

Magdalen, Salome and Martha: The parable of Free Spirited Women

Complementing the Bridegroom in the fertility tradition is not the desolate rock of Peter and the church but the true bride of the free Feminine. The empowered kadesha (priestess of the feminine) as expressed in Magdalen of the seven familiars, an embodiment of Inanna, a free woman of independent assocation. The same goes for Salome, Shalom or the feminine spirit of peace and for Martha who forthrightly claims on behalf of all women her rightful place in 'that good part' which the sacred marriage between woman and man realizes.

The case here is that the tradition of the Bridegroom as consort of fertility is confluent with the freedom and liberation of women, not as whores at the disposal of men but as priestesses and prophetesses of nature and nature religion, very much in the spirit of Wicca and the Goddess tradition - the repressed Shulamite river.

By taking this free energy back to the major monotheistic traditions in the climacteric rite of passage, the Requital or 'Day of Judgement' itself, the repression of the stream of feminine nature worship will end in the healing complementation of God and Gaia, mind and body in the requital of true love and forgiveness, rather than the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the damned, which will come only if we fail to heed the genetic warning and shred the immortal garment too far.

The Humble Servant of all Women

An absolute key to the paradigm shift is the Bridegroom as the humble servant of all women. Just as John the Baptist was unfit to tie Jesus shoelaces, so the Bridegroom is unfit to tie the latchets of any female, just to establish male humility as a grace. Nevertheless the Bridegroom is no pushover either, because the relationship is one of gender paradox, in which neither female nor male ever becomes dominated into sequestered submission.

The key to securing the trust of womankind to overthrow the yoke of the patriarchal epoch is the espousal of visionary democracy in the place of hierarchy. The Bridegroom is the servant of feminine democracia. Fractal ecosystemic democracy, Wisdom Earth Democracy (WED) and the Renewal are all expressions of this sacred marriage principle of democracia.

The key to planning the climacteric of apocalypsia - the 'unveiling' of bridal autonomy of the feminine face is ecosystemic democracy - a democrtacy which extends far beyond our current collective tokens of electoral democracy and extends to the entire globe in a way which engulfs also the venture capital exploitation of the multi-corporate world.

This process is 'conceiving apocalypsia' working together with women and men of like spirit to conceive and achieve the feminine transformation of the world order to sustainability in time to save biodiversity for the future.

Apocalypsia and the Tree

The nature of apocalypsia or 'bridal unveiling' is utterly profound. The three major patriarchal religions converge on a final end of days in which the same Bridegroom figure returns to complete the historical cycle in an ecological rebirth of immortal paradise in the Tree of Life. This means that the epoch of the patriarchal religious paradigm ends with the Bridegroom just as Christianity began. Only the Bridegroom can break the curses against women inspired by the image of the Fall. Tthe messianic Bridegroom is precisely the figure who in all three 'monotheistic' religions heralds the end of the epoch.

The Bridegroom is thus at once the dilemma and the solution. For this reason I have taken the care to abrogate the key scriptures repressing or derogating women in each of the three patriarchal monotheisms. This is a gift to all women in sincere apology for the repression that has come from the curse cast on Eve and the travail that women have suffered at the hands of man throughout 4000 years of patriarchal dominion, including stoning for adultery, circumcision, killing the girl child, witch burning, Inquisition, sequestering in the veil and many more.

Key Abrogations:

As a demonstration of commitment, the following sample passages from the Old and New Testaments and Qur'an are abrogated in the name of the Bridegroom in addition dominion over nature and the curse on Eve of original sin, to liberate all women from the yoke of patriarchal monotheism.

Invitation, Covenant and Sacrament

The key role of the fertility Bridegroom is to act as a healing catalyst, in cooperation with women and men of like spirit, to save the world's living heritage for the unfolding future, by liberating the paradigm into the epoch of the Tree. The key to the whole existential dilemma we face is saving as much of the diversity of life as possible now, so that those that follow us will have their rightful share of the diversity of life instead of a veritable genetic desert of our own making, caused by the selfishness and greed of what is almost a single generation.