Tradition is important. A grounding in tradition gives us sustenance and strength. We can not understand who we are unless we know where we came from. I believe that many of the problems of the modern world stem from a separation from our roots.
I am an astrologer, and my belief in tradition extends to my astrology. Yet, there is a problem. Most, if not all, of the historical astrologers who left behind written material were men, they often wrote from a patriarchal, and at times misogynistic, perspective. To the extent material is traditional, it tends to be patriarchal.
This problem extends far beyond astrology. In history, the study of wars and battles is considered “serious” study, while other areas of life are relegated to the margins. When we learn of the contributions of women, it is generally the contributions of women as rulers or as warriors. While it is easy to admire strong historical feminine figures such as Joan of Arc and Queen Elizabeth I, there are many other lesser known stories of feminine heroism.
For example, Queen Katherine of Aragon, who is primarily remembered for her marital troubles with King Henry the VIII, but was a remarkable person in her own right. She was fully proficient in the skills of women in that historical time; for example, she made King Henry’s shirts, even as he was courting Anne Boleyn. Yet, she also supervised all of the provisioning for King Henry’s wars, and even led the battle against the Scots while King Henry was off fighting with France. Another interesting thing she did was to promote the education of girls, and she made sure that her daughter was very well educated.
Another interesting historical figure is Empress Elizabeth of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Yes, in many ways, she lead a rather tragic life. She had one of history’s worst mother-in-laws. Yet, she loved to travel, she learned new languages all of her life…she was said to be fluent and literate in at least 7. She was a champion of the mentally ill and convinced her husband to take an interest in her cause as well. She survived her mother-in-law, and while her first several children were taken from her by her mother-in-law, she fought and prevailed to raise her younger children.
Throughout history, women have been the keepers of tradition. Women have cooked food, made clothing, and told stories to their children. It is in these anonymous activities that our traditions have been handed down from generation to generation, and these activities are far more important to our culture and to our lives than wars or battles.
In modern times, women are freer to compete in workforce and the marketplace, and I believe that this is good and important. On the other hand, traditionally feminine contributions are as, if not more, devalued than they ever were.
This blog is devoted to the reclamation of a feminine tradition. In this blog, in addition to matters of feminine tradition, I will talk about astrology. I have spent the last several years developing my craft in a way that is feminine positive, while still being grounded in tradition. While many of my readers may not have a specific interest in astrology, I believe that the discussion is important for everyone. Our cosmology shapes our beliefs about our world and ourselves, whether or not we “believe in astrology.”
I have also spent the last several years deeply immersed in the Japanese language. In the modern world, Japanese culture has a strong global impact, and from the perspective of feminine tradition, it is one of the few cultures producing media in which the feminine is portrayed in a positive and empowering manner. From beautiful Takarazuka plays, with an all female cast, to shoujo anime, such as Sailor Moon and Precure, to a kawaii culture that produces gentle, feminine characters such as Hello Kitty, Japanese culture has a lot to offer to those seeking to reclaim a feminine identity.
In addition to studying Japanese, I am also studying Swedish, which is the language of my own personal heritage. My grandmother came to the U.S. from Sweden when she was 25, with my 5 year-old uncle and 2 year-old mother. She was following my grandfather, who arrived a year earlier, in search of his own mother. The stories of my grandmother have been and still are a source of strength and inspiration for me, and it seemed fitting to study her mother tongue in reclaiming my feminine roots.
My language studies have been a large part of my journey, and so I may talk of matters related to these studies from time to time.
At times, I may also write posts of a more personal nature, particularly as I share my thoughts and struggles along this journey. At times, if I am feeling brave, I may write in Japanese, and at times, if I am feeling exceptionally brave, I may write in Swedish. I will translate what I write in Japanese or Swedish into English, and as my Japanese is better than my Swedish, I will also translate what I write in Swedish into Japanese.
I hope you enjoy this blog.