What is it that’s truly burning to the ground?
One of our most world-renowned physical structures, built to honor one small aspect of the Feminine by an old-school, masculine-dominated system, is burning to the ground.
Can we take a minute to appreciate the symbolism here?
The burning of this antiquated physical structure mirrors the burning of antiquated ideals within our individual and collective psyches.
Notre Dame (which means ‘Our Lady’) was constructed between the years of 1163 and 1345 by the Catholic Church, which is widely considered an old-school, often distorted, masculine-dominated system.
Now, hold on before you get pissed off and think that I’m about to hate on (Catholicism or) men!
I love the Masculine!
I love how He builds! I also love how He loves the Feminine and often builds on Her behalf. Or at least with Her in mind. Or with aspects of Her in mind. The aspects he understands. The aspects acceptable to the collective psyche at the time.
One aspect (archetype) of the Feminine that the majority of the Masculine has historically understood, deemed acceptable, and has had some degree of love and respect for is the Mother.
Which leads us to Notre Dame…and the first feminine archetype the Catholic church allowed into its structures.
Which archetype was Notre Dame built to honor?
Mother Mary, of course.
So back then, we were collectively comfortable with the idea of the Mother. But wait! There’s one little aspect we didn’t like! We weren’t comfortable with the fact that she had to have sex to become a mother.
Feminine sexuality being honored and celebrated? Way too much for us at that time.
Okay, right! Let’s fix that then.
Immaculate conception — yes that’ll do!
If we make her a virgin mother, then we as a society don’t have to glorify or even accept feminine sexuality.
So as a collective, we go along with the only acceptable feminine archetype — this Virgin Mother thing…and for hundreds of years we really only honor, praise, and love the aspect of the Feminine that is the Mother.
The problem is that underneath that outward expression of good girl and virgin mother in the collective, there was a well of repressed feminine energy…building and building.
That well of repressed feminine energy is made up of all the other archetypes within the feminine psyche (Lilith, Hecate, Mary Magdalene, etc.) that have not been openly honored, praised, loved, or really even allowed to be expressed.
In fact, these aspects have been overtly banished or shunned.
For example, the Feminine has been told to:
- Bury the true nature of her sexuality…or she’d be deemed a whore, a harlot, a charlatan. (Lilith / Mary Magdalene)
- Ignore her innate connection to her sixth sense and the natural rhythms of life…or she’d be deemed a witch and burnt at the stake. (Hecate)
- Hide or squelch her emotions…or she’d be ignored and deemed irrational or crazy. (Lilith again)
So, bringing us back to today, and to Notre Dame…
We’re watching an old patriarchal structure that honored only one tiny sliver of the Feminine burn to the ground.
We’re watching the archetypal energy of the Feminine demand that her other aspects (outside of Mother) be brought into the light to be honored, praised, and loved.
Right before our very eyes, we’re watching the rise of, and demand for, a more authentic and complete Feminine.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom.
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