This International Women’s Day, Gaia is calling on us to imagine–and then create–a better world

For many years, I observed International Women’s Day by organizing a major conference and the multi-event Berkshire Festival of Women Writers in western Massachusetts.

For the past few years, the energy I used to devote to those big public events has been redirected to the quieter, but no less important work of Green Fire Press and my author coaching and writing workshops, in which I encourage and guide writers to send their voices and visions powerfully out into the world. 

This spring, Green Fire Press will launch two new titles, The Radiant Heart of the Cosmos, by retired Mount Holyoke professor and dean Penny Gill; and a greatly expanded second edition of Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership, by Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons. Both of these books—by wise, courageous, pathbreaking women writers—offer so much good guidance for how to live strongly in the dangerous, fragmented world of the 21st century. 

My own latest book, Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, was just named the winner in the “Writing & Publishing” category of the international Independent Press Award contest, in recognition of the guidance it offers for memoirists who seek to share their life stories as potent good medicine for others. 

As a college teacher, too, I do my small part to bring positive energy and engagement to my students, whether we are studying Mary Shelley’s weirdly prescient tale of Frankenstein or working on crafting writing and speeches that offer positive visions of the better world that could be. 

This year I am participating in a global Teach-in on Climate Justice organized by Bard College, offering a short online workshop on March 31—free and open to the public—on  the importance of our creative imaginations for building bridges to the future we want to live into. 


This International Women’s Day, here’s what I know for sure: All change starts first in our own oh-so-potent imaginations. 

Can we imagine a world where gender—and skin tone, for that matter—is as relevant to a person’s rights as eye color? 

Can we imagine a world where people have the freedom to choose to follow their gifts and their calling, no matter the body they were born into; no matter their nationality, ethnicity, religion or place of birth?

Can we imagine a world in which cultural diversity is celebrated, rather than used to foment divisions?

Can we imagine, and then create a world in which all of the energy, creativity and wealth that currently goes into the invention, manufacture and discharge of weapons flowed instead into devising technologies and social structures that help us live in harmony with each other and the Earth? 

We urgently need to reimagine ourselves as Gaians, created of earth and stardust, microbes and water, animated by the Sun and totally interdependent with all other life forms on the planet, for whom we humans have a special responsibility of care. 

If there was ever a moment when the Divine Feminine was needed in our imaginations, to nourish and cultivate our individual and collective capacity to give birth to a better world…now is that time. 

In the quiet hours of dawn and dusk I can hear Her calling to us in many languages, including the wordless communications of wind and water.

Mother Gaia in one of her many forms. Photo by J. Browdy

She dances through our imaginations in all the human forms she has ever assumed: Isis, Inanna, Madonna, Sky Woman, Tonantzin, Kwan Yin, Tara, Kali, Durga, and so many more. 

Notice that in the Greek and Norse traditions, which have powerfully informed the Euro-American imaginations these last few thousand years, there are no female-bodied goddesses who stand alone in their power. Hera is not the equal of Zeus, nor is Freya the equal of Thor. 

It is time for a new Gaian mythology to take root in our imaginations, one in which the gods and goddesses are not only equal, but united in their focus on bringing love, harmony and fruitful flourishing to the entire Earth community. 

This International Women’s Day, I dedicate myself anew to the task of creating the Androgynocene, an epoch of balance and peace on Earth—one book, one class, one person at a time.

Join me?

Sunflower of Love, by Jennifer Browdy, 2022
Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. penny gill

     /  March 8, 2022

    oh how you cheer me on, dear wise Jennifer, as you carry the vision we all need so desperately…deep gratitude…and profound respect…..Penny

    Reply
  2. Penny Gill

     /  March 8, 2022

    wheee! It’s real, it’s out there….I hope I can catch up with her as she strides out into the world…Gorgeous post, Jennifer..huge thanks for it..terribly wobby these days and it is really something to hold on to. A powerful re-framing, for sure…love, love

    Reply
    • Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D.

       /  March 8, 2022

      Thank you dear Penny–let’s keep cheering each other on, and holding on to each other, and to the Divine in each one of us….

      Reply
  3. Penny Gill

     /  March 9, 2022

    and huge huge congratulations on the prize for your new book!! Our leader shows the way!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: