12/21/09

Blessed Yule.

Moon: Waxing, in the sign of Aquarius
Weather: Cold, scattered lake effect snow
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It is fitting that today, of all days, I was awakened by a child's cry. The Sun has been reborn, the longest night has passed, and warmth shall return to the world. I wanted to keep vigil last night until sunrise but I wasn't going to unless it happened to coincide with my taking care of a pair of sick boys. Instead, I woke at random times during the night. After my initial irritation with the rude awakening, I meditated upon the births of my children.

Both were difficult for their own reasons. The birth of my first child was difficult because he was in the wrong position, labor failed to progress, and I had pre-eclampsia. The birth of my second child was difficult because it was emotionally very difficult for me. Labor was very upsetting for me. Even though I was with out the relief of anesthesia for only a few hours prior to the cesarean section delivery and the pain wasn't as sharp as my appendicitis, it was very difficult to bear because of my anxiety and it felt far worse due to it.

As I thought about this and about the other metaphorical labor that I have been engaged in (the rebirth of myself), I found myself wondering why the myths surrounding any Goddess giving birth tend to gloss over the struggle. The myths and legends describing the exploits of Gods frequently describe in explicit detail the struggles endured by the Divine of the male presentation. Why do they so rarely detail so fully the struggles of the Divine in the female presentation?

Is it perhaps because women are taught to remain silent of their struggles where men are taught to speak of them? Is it because there is some patriarchal scheme to repress women and to do so by hiding the strength of Goddesses in the mythos of our ancestors? Is it because the matriarchal schemes deemed these points too sacred to discuss out loud? Is it because these challenges are far too personal and intimate to be conveyed in words?

I don't think any of the above really can serve as an answer to my question. I do think, however, that it is possible to change the lessons taught and bring the message of the strength in women out to the world as powerfully as the message of the strength in men is presented. I think that it is possible to honor the strength of Goddesses just as completely as the strength of Gods is honored. I also think that the fragility of Gods, as well as, the traditionally feminine traits of submissiveness, receptiveness, and nurturing can be presented in a fashion that does not diminish the masculinity of them.

Strength does not make a woman into a man any more then her wearing pants does. Gender roles are something that we accept and choose according to how we wish to identify ourselves and present ourselves to the world. The flesh we are clothed in can give us a powerful push to be masculine or feminine. It does not, however, determine if we are this or that because even in humanity there is a place for gender neutral. People are born female in apperance but are genetically male, as are people born with both sex characteristics (organs even). Physiology does not determine masculinity or femininity, it only suggests it just as society does.

I'm not sure how this rambling diatribe relates to what I was planning to post earlier. I do find myself thinking of Loki's time as a mare. I question how uncomfortable that experience could have been. To have gone from being male and a humanoid to female and a horse is enough of a shock. To have additonally been pregnant and have birthed offspring... I suspect that even the Wolf's Father had a bit of a challenge wrapping his mind about that.

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