ENOUGH: An Eco-Feminist Easter Proclamation

Today is Easter, celebrated in the Christian world as the day that a tortured Jesus ascended from the Cross and was welcomed, reborn, into the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s also the end of the week of Passover, when Jewish people celebrate the miracle that saved their sons from death at the hands of their oppressive Egyptian overlords. And of course, it’s also Spring, when the entire northern hemisphere of Gaia garbs herself in green again and every living being revels in the rebirth of the plants that sustain us.

Note how the Judeo-Christian traditions weave persecution and war into the fabric of their most cherished myths. Christ died to wash away our sins, we are told, and the battles over his legacy have continued ever since. The Jews were reprieved at the original Passover, but hanging over that holiday is the knowledge of how many times in history they did not make it through alive.

In these early days of the 21st century, the peace and compassion that Christ died proclaiming is hard to find. Once again the overlords are engaged brutal power grabs backed by military might, destroying the lives of innocents and battering entire societies, entire ecosystems.

As the keening cries of grieving survivors rise up like smoke over the battlefields everywhere on our planet—and I am not just talking about humans, but about the beleaguered survivors of every species on Earth, all of us under constant assault by the lords of greedy destruction—a loud, deep voice seems to speak through me, proclaiming

ENOUGH.

It’s time to move beyond Abraham and the warring trinity of religions he spawned. It’s time to reconnect with our even more ancient indigenous traditions, which are steeped in a reverence for place—an understanding of the sacredness of the natural world, and our human role as caretakers of life.

It’s time for women to stand up as the bearers of life, for us to recognize our sacred responsibility to temper the aggression that has been ascendant during these past millennia of patriarchy.

Although it’s not fashionable to talk in terms of “the gender binary” these days, this evasion strikes me as yet another patriarchal ruse: when the women start getting strong, undercut them by making it taboo to talk about women and men. We’re all just humans, right?

Right, except that some humans—defined by their genitalia—still have more social and political power than others. And those humans—men—are still the ones who are out there fighting wars, running chemical companies, drilling oil, fracking gas, hunting animals, logging forests. Wherever you look, it’s men calling the shots of human civilization, and their playbook spells destruction for all of us.

I believe gender is a spectrum and our gender identities are fluid. All of us humans—men and women—have the capacity to be nurturers and protectors of life, as well as fierce warriors. Right now, we need a huge upsurge of the feminine, compassionate, gentle energy represented by that famous man, Jesus Christ, and in our time there is no reason why women shouldn’t lead the way.

Women, and men who honor the feminine principle of life, let us dedicate ourselves this Spring to reimagining a new relationship with Gaia, our Mother Earth. We are in a fight for our very existence, and our resistance will, as we saw at Standing Rock, be met with violence.

We will each have to decide how much we are willing to risk; what crosses we are willing to ascend; how much we are willing to make our lives an offering for all Life, as Christ did.

Let us understand that the wars being fought today in Christ’s name do not represent his spirit. Let us understand the true spirit of Resurrection this Easter: the eternal return of Life nurtured by the divine Feminine, our Mother Gaia. Let us vow, as Spring returns once more, to live and die in her service.

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L’Chaim! This spring, let us commit ourselves to Life

Both Passover and Easter “celebrate” truly horrendous acts committed by men against men.

Passover commemorates how the Jews were spared by the grace of God from the Pharaoh’s evil plan to kill all first-born sons.  Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Christ after he was brutally martyred on the cross—a not-uncommon practice at the time.

Of course, both the Christian and the Jewish holidays also build on the much earlier pagan rites of Spring, the welcoming of warmth and rebirth after a season of winter.

I have to wonder why dominant human civilization has moved away from the earlier, simpler pagan celebrations, keyed to the natural world rather than to human doings and misdeeds.

Both Passover and Easter celebrate life—the lives of Jewish children, the miraculous resurrection of Christ, who gave his life in sacrifice for humanity.  Hence all the eggs, chicks and bunnies that populate the secular reinterpretations of these holidays, especially the American secular Easter.

Life is indeed something to be celebrated, as the Jewish cheer “L’Chaim!” proclaims.

Celebrated and protected.

As we move forward into the 21st century, into the auspicious year of 2012, let our aim be to reconnect with our prehistoric roots, to the simpler ages when we instinctively celebrated the return of the Light, the annual swing of our planet back towards the Sun.

For much too long, we have allowed religious politics to push us into conflicts and cruelties that do not serve the purpose of Life.  In claiming to worship the Divine, we actually find ourselves serving the dark side, the side of Death and Destruction.

I use these capital letters advisedly, to emphasize the symbolism inherent in all these word-concepts.

Beyond the symbolic realm there is the literal bedrock of reality.  We are hitting up against that reality now, as the patterns of power-hungry conflict, fueled by greed and a willingness to press on with destruction of the living world no matter the cost to systemic ecological health, play out with relentless precision.

This Easter and Passover season, let us do more than just toast to life.  Let us commit ourselves to the service of the divine spark animating our planet, which circulates without distinction through every blade of grass, every insect, and every human being.

It is only in our positive reciprocal commitment to Life that we can consider ourselves truly blessed.

 

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