The deep feminine is incompatible with most of the values that have governed our culture for so long—the patriarchal reality that has winners and losers and cultivates competition—ultimately, cultivates war—and values hierarchy and differential power. Even a cursory look at the world around us shows us that the old male paradigm is still ferociously trying to hold on. Nevertheless, the emerging energy is increasingly palpable and undeniable.
For quite a few years, I have been making collages that image this shift. (They have primarily come through in my SoulCollage® cards, and that is what I am documenting here.) I did not do this intentionally, but after several of the images began to speak to me, I realized I was seeing an actual theme, one which was showing up quite insistently. At first I was surprised and even confused by this, for I didn’t feel the issue of patriarchy was directly relevant to me. I had spent time uncovering it in the 1970s and speaking out for the women’s perspective in my academic work, but I was not feeling personally oppressed or needing to work through anything about the issue. But over time I came to understand the images were reflecting what was going on not so much in my own life, but in mass consciousness. The theme went far beyond patriarchy, moreover, and was about the more mythic and paradigmatic deep feminine. Once I saw what was emerging in the collages, I was fascinated to notice how the imagery and messages evolved over time, reflecting—or even presaging?—the evolving paradigmatic shift.
I am a witness, without hands to fashion and create, without a strong voice. I must watch in silence. Fire may rise in my breast (my heart is alive) but it remains contained; I stand quiet and witness as the vast sea.
Someone else who saw her dubbed her “Our Lady of Perpetual Cleanup”—the one who has to clean up after everyone. I felt she stood for the housewife of the 1950s, the female ideal I grew up with.
I am the one who carries the old woman’s place, constrained and taught young to keep silent, fear of the temptress. I live in the world of women’s work, fiber forms, encoded memory of being kept in line.
I am the one who screams at you and tells you that you did it wrong. My…heart is icy; I hold cold judgment. I am male judgment and superiority. You cannot find me because I live in an underground landscape, on an icy planet.
When I asked him to speak, he said,
I am grandfather, the old one, surviving a century, and I touch with the flippers of the mighty turtle. I hear echoes, and am curtained by generations of women, subservient, obedient, silent, who echo ritual through time, long echoing prayer and chanting. That is behind me, but I am not part of that, I look forward, touching into female power of the deep. I am a guardian at the edge and I gently nudge you on.
In hindsight, I see him as the first transition figure that came through. He was an old man—a male caught in his long-entrenched role, and he needed the women to bring forth more, something new.
In 2012, there was more about the blending of male and female.
I am one who emerges from the yin and yang of sweetness, I am a masculine-looking woman—a somewhat everyman/woman who was made by a man obsessed with creating a world of peace—in an ugly place, made beautiful. I am transformative power. I hold a glowing jewel, amber frozen resin perhaps, or glass, or sugar candy—but it pulsates and is breast-like, with a nipple, to feed. I am an earth mother of sorts, holding nurturance not from my body directly, but the awareness I bring. I have swirls and waves of sweetness. I have jewels, reconfigured bits sometimes. I hold out this nurturing, pulsating gift to you, glowing, glowing. It is my gift, reaching to you. It’s always here, a beacon, I am balanced, balancing, in perpetual offering.
THE GENDERS SHIFT (RENAISSANCE HERMAPHRODITE) said:
I am an odd creature, coming out of my chrysalis, still emerging into form—I come from the birth canal behind, which is full of mystery. I have multiple parts, maybe several bodies that will separate when we are no longer girdled. I reach for the energies floating around me, the nurturing orbs, though my eyes are still closed. Someone is watching me, perhaps another recently emerged or still emerging soul. I am masculine, taking form in a way recognizable to the male world, but I come from and am aligned with the female birthing place. I will be a gentler male force, as there is a glow from the female place and the glow from the orange orbs. I/we are wrapped in a light form, come here to this darker world. We have potential since we are lit with grace.
A Renaissance-era man was also featured in THROUGH THE GENERATIONS. He said,
I remind you that we are all evolving, that you hold the future lovingly in your arms and support it as it—the children—discover their world. Teach them the magic and help them hold the glow. Boys as well as girls. I am grandfather, not managing the flock of shrouded women (Grandfather Shepherd), but with a new message about what is passed on. I am not a sufferer, and that is not the inheritance I leave; I am calm, stable, and reverent.
Please hold us with compassion and help us maintain the glow and female wisdom.
I am a young woman (still a girl) of the past—the Renaissance era, the big bubble hat keeping me off balance to the right as the male world pulls me there. But I look to the left,… with some longing. Behind me, beautiful order, light-filled and satisfying. I am centered within that. Over my head a powerful form, a scythe of sorts, dark, like my shadow, threatening; or an umbrella, sheltering me; or a staff, upright and empowering, though still overwhelming…
I am well framed, in a story, and we can step out of this picture at any time; the club/scythe is already breaking those boundaries of the Western world and its tale.
The shofars are piled up, ready to be taken up and blown, heralding the new year, the new era, really moving into the 21st century and a new consciousness. There is a safe enclosing god-like figure holding those who are afraid, but it’s still a male, seemingly angry, clothed in the purple robes of state power. The people being contained are all men also. They are afraid, huddling together for protection. They can only see their own space and their own reality. Moving away from them, looking out to the left, is a woman, unafraid of the naked truth and going toward the newness the shofar is about to proclaim. Follow the feminine principle, with a different kind of togetherness and fearlessness. The light is glowing behind, this will be a time of a new consciousness. Join me, she says, she the new Eve.
I am one who carries the weight of the burden—white man’s burden, every man’s burden, carrying the rocks up the hill, Sisyphusian, struggling. There is light, and we, the men, are lit by the sun, but we look away, ready to hurl and attack. I hold the woman whose face is hidden, the angry male voices coming forth from her, and she too looks away, but in her hand is the sun-orb, the coming day. We must look toward it, lift our heads and calm these orange men. See how beautiful our forms are, our curves, our lines, our humanity. Woman, earth-voice, raise your face to the sun you carry, let that dream fall away, their voices fade out, dream a new dream of warmth, and follow the coming day.
The theme of new futures showed up in a few other images in the next year or so, but they were less focused on the male and female paradigms. In 2017, however, the theme re-emerged, and the message was completely clear.
EMERGING PARADIGM was made after the Woman’s March with the “pussy hats” protesting Trump’s presidential inauguration, so the pink was a very clear reference to women coming together.
The background in this image is a vast crowd of protesting miners. There are also the minorities suffering the pain of abuse, the capitalists who exploit, and the men who are beginning to wake up to the pain of what has been going on, (an image from current news of the men being called to task for patriarchal abuse). The new men—in color—are looking on, the only ones looking to the left. They are not yet happy, but there is a hand on the heart; they are in transition. They know that the power-mongers always act that way because of their inner pain.
The image spoke:
I am another marker on the way, holding the pain. It is still there, but now beginning to be seen. Watch: we can emerge to the alternate universe. Send us love, we wish to emerge, and know it is a heavy, heavy burden for us too.