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  • Writer's pictureThe Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

Goddess, Our Mother, Our Sister, Our Daughter | March 7, 2021 Message from Dr. Benton

She has many names, yet she is always the one who is, who has been, and who will be. She is Life Manifesting, and therefore, she is change –

the cycle of change, the great wheel of change in the universe.

The opening music from Nina Simone, entitled Wild is the Wind is, to me, the epitome of the Goddess…of the feminine aspect of life, of nature, of change. The opening quote comes from an author named Margie McArthur in her book entitled, Lady of the Sea – The Goddess Who Births the New Age. It is a powerful book filled with the wisdom of the Goddess…the divine feminine…part of our birthright and part of the plan for moving forward in this difficult time…what McArthur calls “the New Age”.

I think it is true that we are at a turning point in history. We are being forced to see the error of our ways in so many aspects of our lives together. Of course many of us have been aware of these errors our entire lives, but it has taken the world-wide web and so many other amplifiers of our plight to bring this reality to the forefront of our consciousness. And it is not just our human lives together…it is the recognition that we are all part of the other…part of the living world around us. What we do has profound impacts on the rest of creation. For indeed we are part of everything around us…the stream, the forest, the creatures. In the words of Rumi:

We began as mineral. We emerged into plant life, and into the animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.

It will soon be spring and we need to recall our greenness…in the words of Hildegard of Bingen our “veriditas”. Of the wonders of the seed she writes:

In such a small seed, where lies hidden the hardness of the trunk, the softness of the middle, the bitterness of the bark, the viriditas of the root, the taste of the fruit, the sweetness of the smells, the diversity of colors, and the softness of leaves?

Where indeed hides the hardness of the trunk…the taste of the fruit? Where does our own personality…our own nature hide amid our natural surroundings? Meister Eckhart, a late thirteenth and early fourteenth century mystic answered that question for us.

When we were part of nature…part of the stream, the forest, the hoof, wing and fin, we did not question our place in creation. It was not until we were separated that we began to suffer great agony and fear. Thus, he says, we had to return…

It is that return that I feel we are celebrating today…this month…the return to our mother…our source. It is Women’s History Month following closely on the heels of Black History Month. It is a time to raise up the Goddess of Life…the feminine nature of the divine.

Tomorrow, March 8th is International Women’s Day. Each year there is a theme that they focus on. This year’s theme is – Choose to Challenge. This reminded me of a wonderful challenge I received in my email this week from Dr. Dorsey Blake. It is a recording of a pastor of a White Christian church addressing his congregation. This is a challenging message…challenging all of us to speak the truth, even though it may be uncomfortable…even though we are scared.

Pastor John Kilpatrick

This is challenging indeed! Pastor Kilpatrick laid out the history and brought it up to the present…to the individual and societal responsibility to deal with this reality. The urgency of this responsibility…of this challenge echoes throughout history…it has always been an urgent message. Pauli Murray knew this. On August 9, 1942 she wrote:

Some of us cannot compromise with this race supremacy any longer, for to do that would be to give up the last shred of integrity we have left. We must speak out, appealingly, caustically, bitterly, as long as we are able that Americans may not forget for one moment this race problem is a war issue, and that fundamental approaches must be made to eliminate it, now, not after the war is over.

Now Murray wrote this in 1942! Is the race problem still a problem that permeates all aspects of our society? We know it is. We know that it is fundamental to who we are as a people…as a nation, and if we do not deal with it on a national AND on a personal level, we are destined to continue on the path we have been following. We are destined to continue to kill Black people with police bullets and with the withholding of opportunity and wealth through the continuation of our oppressive system and through our individual bigoted behavior. If we continue to allow people and systems to separate us on the basis of race, class, sex…etc. then there is also not hope for the human race to change the course of species extinction, water, air, land pollution and climate change.

Race is one “problem” we have in our culture and as John Muir pointed out, “When you pick up anything, you find that it is attached to everything else”. Indeed, if we came from the same stardust…if we have evolved from the minerals, the plants, the animals…if we were once the stream, the forest, the field…if we were the sky itself AND if we became separated…it is now time for that change. It is time for that return to the river, the mountain…it is time to recognize where we have strayed from the way of the Goddess…the wind and the sea. It is time to admit that we have strayed from the love of our creator…the unconditional all-pervading presence that undergirds our existence. This means that we must move forward together, with a common understanding of the past and a clear vision for the future.

This means that we must ask…or beg the rivers and the mountains, the creatures, the forces and the objects of nature to be taken back…to be accepted again into that great womb of creation, so that God(dess) will be ever-present in our arms…so that we will know that every soul that has ever lived has held the Goddess. May we all be part of the Great Wheel of Change in the Universe. We cannot wait.

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