Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Qualities of the Feminine

Jon shot this picture of Lane, Nat and me in Normandy several years ago.
I, of course, have "messed with it."
(Continuing excerpts from DESCENT TO THE GODDESS by Sylvia Perera)


The goddess Inanna "...symbolizes consciousness of transition and borders, places of intersection and crossing over that imply creativity and change and all the joys and doubts that go with a human consciousness that is flexible, playful, never certain for long."

"And as judge, she holds court to 'decree fate' and to 'trample the disobedient,' symbolizing the feeling capacity to evaluate, periodically and afresh, that goes with the sense of life as a changing process."

"More passionate than Athena (with the energies of wild instinct which were later in Greece assigned to Artemis),....'The gods are sparrows--I am a falcon;'....Sometimes, on ancient seals, she is accompanied by a scorpion."

"To her consort she gives throne, scepter, staff, crook, and crown, as well as the promise of good harvest and the joys of her bed."

"The many poems about her portray her as loving, jealous, grieving, joyful, timid, exhibitionistic, thieving, passionate, ambitious, generous, and so on; the whole range of affects in a goddess."

"She is not motherly in our use of the term.  Like the goddess Artemis, she is at the 'border-region midway between motherhood and maidenhood joie de vivre and lust."

"She is a quintessential, positive puella, an eternally youthful, dynamic, fierce, sensuous, harlot-virgin (in Ester Harding's term, 'one-in-herself').  She is never a settled and domestic wife, nor mother under the patriarchy.  She keeps her independence and magnetism as lover, young bride, and widow.  And she is not a mother-lover, to sons.)"

"Inanna is a wanderer....she is dispossessed by Enlil, the second generation sky god.....the goddess and woman in exile....In fact, the search for a home is one of the recurrent dream themes in the initial analytic work of modern women, daughters of the patriarchy."

"...most of the powers once held by the goddess have lost their connection to a woman's life; the embodied, playful, passionately erotic feminine; the powerful, independent, self-willed feminine; the ambitious, regal, many-sided feminine."

"Constricted, the joy of the feminine has been denigrated as mere frivolity; ...her vitality bound into duty and obedience...produced frustrated furies.  For as Inanna lives unconsciously in women under the patriarchy's repression, she is too often demonic."

"On the other hand, lived cosciously, the goddess Inanna in her role as suffering, exiled feminine provides an image of the deity who can, perhaps carry the suffering and redemption of modern women."

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