In the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Sumeria, India and Tibet, woman and the Goddess were revered as symbols of fertility and their bodies were seen as magical vessels. Women, who contained within them the extraordinary capacity to experience new life form, grow, swell and emerge from their womb into the world, were seen to be intrinsically connected to the great mysteries of manifestation.
After the birth their work had only begun, work that was given the highest priority in these ancient societies. It was the mother's role, the woman's role to not only nurture and maintain the physical health and vitality of her child but to nurture and maintain it's spiritual growth as well. As mothers, women were the first teachers and guides. They were the healers, nursemaids and custodians of spirit. Fully aligned with truth, women understood and transmitted the spiritual and moral values of the clan or society to their children. Women were the teachers, child bearers, healers, mediators, and sages. Numerous rituals existed in which women were spiritual guides assuming the role of priestess, educator, and initiatrix into the sacred mysteries of sexuality and spiritual transformation.
Through continuous interaction with each other, their children, their mates and the environment, through their insight and intuition, trial and error, women were able to accumulate a highly specialized body of knowledge and expertise. Today, we call this specialized body of knowledge, Women's Mysteries. These mysteries included comprehension of the underlying principles, cycles and flow of nature and the cosmos, the hidden secrets of life, death, fertility and sexuality, the sacred arts including that of healing and the inner magic of plants and herbs, deep understanding of the realm of emotion and the inner dimensions of human experience, and much more.
Although some aspects of this knowledge was shared and discussed with men, it was for the most part, considered to be the intrinsic realm of the feminine. It was realized, preserved and handed down through oral tradition and direct energetic transmission from mother to daughter, woman to woman. It is this fertile period of human history that is often spoken of as the time in which women were fully empowered. It was a magical time in which people lived in harmony with nature and the world around them. They believed that all of life was sacred and was a reflection of the divine laws and processes of the universe. Therefore, the relationship between woman and man was also held sacred. In these societies, living as partners and equals, both men and women had their essential and significant roles to play.
But as we know, this idyllic time for us women did not last. As the centuries unfolded, the bulk of humanity lost their connection with the earth, the Goddess and each other. Our great female healers, teachers and sages along with many of the men who worked alongside them, those individuals who preserved the sacred teachings of the ancients, were imprisoned, tortured and burned, and our sacred mysteries were all but lost.
These terrifying days of total repression of the feminine are gone. We live in a new age of information and transformation; an age in which the teachings of the Great Goddess are beginning to emerge once again; an age in which the sacred teachings of our ancestors are being re-discovered and revealed. Our task as women in this transformative age is to journey to the depths of our being to rediscover the essential light and power that has always been there, hidden by the dark centuries of repression, confusion and manipulation. We must have the courage to honestly observe ourselves and discover who we really are. We must at the same time seek out new standards of feminine expression. As a start, we can look back to the wealth of myths, legends and images of the Divine feminine that have survived throughout this dark night of the soul, using them for guidance and inspiration.
Like Innana, Goddess of ancient Sumeria, Queen of Heaven and Earth, on her transformative journey to the underworld, we must not be afraid to relinquish our precious ornaments and implements of worldly power in order to receive the inner treasures of spiritual initiation and rebirth.
Like Kali, the great Tantric Goddess of India, we must become warriors of truth and integrity, dancing the fearless dance of the death that leads to spiritual metamorphosis and transformation.
Like Mary, the holy mother of divinity, we must steadfastly hold love and compassion in our hearts, working ceaselessly to liberate all beings from their pain and suffering.
Like Isis, the Egyptian goddess of wisdom and healing, on her long journey to bring together the pieces of her dismembered husband Osiris, we must begin to re-member who we really are.
As women we must join together to become leaders in the reshaping of our world. It is time to start a new society; a truly sacred society that arises from a real desire for spiritual transformation and the deep stirrings of love and compassion in our hearts; a society in which sisters and brothers, brothers and brothers, and sisters and sisters work together in grace and harmony.
We have within us the potential to discover our true power, change our world, and reshape our reality. We have the innate ability; it is part of the gift of being human. But in order to do this, to dream a new dream, we first have to Re-member ourselves. Remember who we really are.