A Feminine Tradition

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 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, and 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 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 provisionings 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 led 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 the 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.”

vlcsnap-2018-03-21-20h44m20s220
This picture is from the Takarazuka rendition of Elizabeth, a musical about the life of Empress Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary

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, 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.

This project started off as one blog, but it has now grown into four sites. In this blog, I will be discussing matters of astrology, metaphysics, philosophy, and thealogy. It is my hope that this site will generate a lively discussion in order to explore the issues raised in my articles. The second site, The Stars Within Their Courses, is a site devoted solely to astrology. The third site is called Mormor’s Backporch, which is where I talk about various topics such as Anime, language learning, the state of my garden, and so forth. This is also where I will write articles in Japanese and Swedish from time to time.

I have also started a new project, which is a site named Quiet Heroines. In this site, each month, I feature a woman that is underrepresented in history and provide both biographical and astrological information about her.

Please enjoy.

よろしくお願いします。

 

The Patriarchal Revolution

Exploring tradition from a feminine perspective can be quite a challenge because most of the material that has been handed down to us is highly patriarchal. This can lead to the belief that patriarchy and tradition go hand in hand.

While this belief is understandable, it is not entirely accurate. This is because, historically, patriarchy itself was a revolt against the early feminine tradition.  I am assuming that anyone who has followed this weblog so far should understand that patriarchy and the masculine does not refer to biological males, nor does feminine refer to biological females.  Masculine and feminine are metaphysical principles in and of themselves, but they are not completely separate from biological gender.  Indeed, biological gender does find its roots in the metaphysical, as does everything else on the material plane.  On the other hand, just as everything on the material plane is an imperfect reflection of Perfect Form, so biological gender is an imperfect reflection of the higher principles.

The Primordial Tradition is indeed feminine.  We can find all over the world images of Dea, or the Feminine God, in Her various forms.  It was not until the Age of Iron that we see the Divine reflected in Masculine form.  At first, the Feminine God obtained Masculine Consorts, and in the West, there was a violent revolution in which the Masculine overtook and attempted to obliterate the Feminine.  The Masculine also took over in the East; however, the Divine Feminine survived in such traditions as the Japanese tradition and the Indian traditions.

Sabbath PrayerWhat was the world like prior to the Patriarchal Revolution?  It is hard to know.  Most of our historical, written records are from the Patriarchal period, and in the West, the Patriarchal Revolution was quite violent.   The Judeo-Christian written tradition chronicles the stamping out of the worship of Asharah and the Queen of Heaven.  Mundane archaeology has uncovered physical evidence to suggest that prior to around 500 B.C., Yahweh and Asharah were worshiped alongside each other as consorts.  It seems that the Canaanite Baal was also a consort to Asharah.  Interestingly enough traditions, such as Judaism, that can not be traced to a specific “founder” such as Jesus or Mohammed, tend to be the most fiercely Patriarchal.  This makes a great deal of sense if one understands that there was a revolt against the Feminine Tradition, and the unfounded traditions were reacting in keeping with this revolt.  Still one can see elements of the Primordial Feminine Tradition in Judaism, in such practices as the Mother of the House lighting the Shabbat candles and giving the Shabbat blessing.

Minoan Snake Goddess
Minoan Goddess

The Masculine Principle on a metaphysical level is associated with Mars, or Sai Vikhë in the Filianist tradition.  At its highest level, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle governs the Divine Conflict between Good and Evil, and is a protection against the Forces of Darkness.  In its lower form, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle is associated with conflicts of all kinds.  It is interesting that in cultures, such as Ancient Minos, which had a primarily Feminine spirituality, there does not appear to be evidence of weapons of war or a standing army.  Ancient Minos seems to have been a rather gentle culture in comparison with many other Ancient cultures that we know of.

Were women the dominant gender prior to the Patriarchal Revolution?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Again, we have few if any written records to refer to.  It is likely that women governed, because in Traditional cultures, societies tended to conform with their spirituality.  There is certainly no reason to presuppose that men were suppressed or oppressed during these times.  It is much more likely to presuppose that relations between women and men were rather harmonious, and that without the predominance of the Martial/Vikhelic Principle, there was little in the way of cruelty or oppression in general.

Why did the Patriarchal Revolution happen?  Again, there is no way to know the specifics from a fact based perspective.  Likely, it happened gradually over time.  As I discussed previously, in the natural unfolding of the Ages. We are in the Age of Iron, which, aside from being the Age most consolidated in matter, is also the harshest and most violent Age.  Iron is the metal of Mars/Sai Vikhë, so it stands to reason that the Age of Iron would be the most Martial/Vikhelic, and it would become more so as the Age progressed.  It is possible that as the Age progressed, the Martial/Vikhelic nature of patriarchy seemed to offer better protection.  It is likely that this was at least partially the impetus in the Hebrew tradition, with the pressure of the neighboring warlike states intent on conquest.  The Roman period was a particularly Martial/Vikhelic period in the West, and many of our current customs and cultures derive from the Roman period.  Indeed, Christianity, the dominant spiritual tradition of the West, has been transmitted to us through the Roman Empire.

MarsAs I stated earlier in this article, the Masculine and Feminine Principles are related to, but not synonymous with, biological males and females.  As evidence of that, one can see in our current times that the Masculine Principle has all but completely overtaken the Feminine Principle, particularly in the West.  Certainly, women have more “rights” than they ever had; however, these “rights” are bound up in the Masculine Principle.  Femininity itself became more and more devalued as the Feminist Movement progressed.  Lately, there seems to have been a resurgence of value given to the Feminine Principle; however, compared to sixty years ago, the Feminine Principle has been largely trampled.

One may ask what this has to do with a weblog devoted to philosophy, metaphysics, traditional science, and astrology?  A lot more than one might think.  To begin with, this weblog does not equate Tradition with patriarchy or the cruelties that have occurred during the Patriarchal Age.  Quite the contrary.  Patriarchy and the over-balanced Martial/Vikhelic influences that accompany it are seen as deviations from an earlier, gentler, and Feminine Tradition.  Also, one may notice that I rarely, if ever, quote from Classical, Medieval, or Renaissance philosophers or astrologers in this weblog.  I most certainly have studied many of these authors, and the astrology that I practice derives from the principles taught by these authors.  On the other hand, almost all written material that is available to us is from after and is colored by the Patriarchal period.

Part of the work of this weblog is to dig a bit deeper and retrieve the ideas and the principles from the older Feminine Tradition.  Many of these principles did and do survive even to this day.  Indeed, Classical Astrology is one of the few disciplines in the Modern West where these principles have been preserved, albeit in a masculinized and patriarchal form.  Classical Astrology is also one of the few disciplines that still functions as a true traditional science to a large extent, in that metaphysical principles are studied and applied to solve practical problems in the material world.

I am attempting to do the work of digging deeper, and replanting traditional metaphysics and practical astrology in its earlier Feminine Essentialist roots.  I am also making a humble attempt at working out how traditional Patriarchal metaphysics and Classical Astrology fit within the older Feminine Tradition.   Luckily, I am blessed with the able and kind assistance and teaching of friends and mentors.

See also:

Matriarchal History