“…the Sacred Feminine is not new to the New Age. It is ageless and from the beginning. The Sacred Feminine is in our blood. It is our heritage. You have permission to say, ‘God is Woman,’ and ‘God is Me.”
~ Elizabeth Eiler
Years ago, while in college, a elderly woman at a bus stop spontaneously asked me why the number thirteen was considered unlucky. I told her I had no idea. That prompted her to go into a lengthy story about how the number thirteen was associated with the divine feminine because there are thirteen moon cycles in the lunar year and the moon was considered a feminine heavenly body, linked to women's menstrual cycles. She went on to explain that the patriarchy, wanting to suppress any and all prestige devoted to women, dubbed thirteen unlucky and that's why there's 12 months in a year. I have no idea if anything she shared with me has any validity to it, but I do know that the women in my circle have a deep affinity for the moon and it's cycles and in this painting I just wanted to celebrate women and the spiritual blessings we receive from our heavenly moon.
History is written through the lens of the victor and it’s no secret that we live in a man’s world. Women have been, and continue to be, deprived the same rights and opportunities as our male brethren. Our history, as women, has been distorted and entangled by mistruths. I was raised Catholic and forced to attend Sunday mass and bible school as a young child. Everyone was taught that Eve was created from Adam’s rib and was the creator of original sin and because of her weakness and deceit, humans were banished from the Garden of Eden. Even from a young age, I knew what I was being forced fed was not something that resonated with me as truth. Through my childhood understanding I knew life came out of women’s bodies and not a man’s rib. And how can something as small as a rib create a whole woman anyhow? I also didn’t understand why eating from the Tree of Knowledge was considered a sin? Were humans supposed to remain stupid and ignorant?
It wasn’t until I was a teenager when I finally put my foot down and said I’d had enough Christian doctrine forced upon me. I’d had enough of the “our father, our son,” the twelve male apostles, male priests, bishops and popes. I didn’t want to grow up into a woman who was required to obey her husband. It just didn’t feel right. What did feel right was the connection I felt to Nature and that women and men were different but equals. I felt a hunger for a female image of the divine. Something I, as a woman, could identify with. Mind you I grew up on a tiny remote island, pre-internet, and didn’t have access to any knowledge or history of Goddess worship. All I knew was that I could find slivers of peace in a sunrise, a sky blanketed with stars, or the fierce power of a thunderstorm. It was in Nature, not the Bible, where I found my spiritual grounding.
Fast forward years into my adulthood I’m living in the age of information where the spreading of ideas across the planet is as rapid as wild fire. Histories previously shadowed in my consciousness have emerged into the light. I’ve been taught a new story of Eve. Her name means “life” and she is the Mother Goddess and the giver of all life. Her familiar is the snake who represents eternal life because of the symbolism of shedding of its skin and growing anew. She is the also the Earth Goddess whose fruit is offered freely to sustain and nurture her children. This is a story that resonates with me. This is the story I choose to pass down to the next generation.