The following is written by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D, an exerpt from her book “Gather the Women.” Jean’s full biography is below.
“Gather the women” is a message to her daughters from Mother Earth, Mother Goddess, Mother archetype. The words evoke an intuitive recognition, a wisdom whose time has come. It is a call from the Sacred Feminine to bring the feminine principle into con-sciousness. It is time to “Gather the women” for only when women are strong together can women be fiercely protective of what we love.
When I first heard the words gather the women, the words struck a deep emotional chord. I am one for whom the message was meant, as you may also. It is an urgent message from Mother to Her daughter’s that will not be heard by women who are allied with patriarchy, whose identities and value comes through their relationships with men and male institutions. Women who respond have a sense of sisterhood with other women and react with maternal concern to pain and suffering especially toward those who are vulnerable and powerless. There is collective bigger story about being a woman in the twenty-first century, when the fate of the earth and all life upon it is at risk. Coinciding with this, here we are, women who have been the beneficiaries of education, resources, reproductive choice, travel opportunities, the internet, and a longer life-expectancy than women have ever had in human history.
If you heed the message gather the women, the first step might be a discussion with friends, the calling of a circle with a spiritual center, or a bringing of women together. Energy may come from a mix of outrage, despair, deep love, and a calling to make a difference. When people find themselves at a crossroads or in a crisis, to move forward toward health, reconciliation, and life, the challenge is to let go of an outmoded attitude, idea or perception. Individually or collectively, a shift has to take place, a tipping point is reached, and then the phenomenon of “there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come,” kicks in.
Twice before, American women have changed their world and been an influence on the world, through collective action. The first was the women’s suffragette movement. “Political equality” the right to vote was the goal. The second has been simply called “the women’s movement.” Social, personal, legal; and economic equality were the issues and goals. I believe a third movement is stirring below the surface of collective consciousness and is gathering momentum. The intention is to stop violence against women by involving women in prevention of violence, resolution of conflicts, and restoration of peace. Patriarchy is toxic to peace. Domestic violence, schoolground violence, street violence, terrorism, and wars have the same origins in a need of aggressive males to dominate, and be predator instead of prey. The antidote to patriarchy is the acknowledgment of interdependence, which is feminine wisdom Until women collectively become involved in creating a culture of peace to stop violence begetting violence in the human family, women and children will continue to be the primary casualties, and the Earth itself at risk.
The urgent message from Mother is a call that can be heard and heeded anywhere on the planet. Wherever women with a sense of sisterhood and maternal concern gather, the message will be received. My words were written for you, if you need the words to go with feelings you already have, if you need support to believe that you can do something, or if you need inspiration or a strong nudge to act on the “assignment” that you know is yours to do. Or you may need information about gender differences, to learn that women have qualities that would best serve humanity. Now. Disclaimers may be helpful at the beginning. This is not about replacing patriarchy with matriarchy. I do know that women can be as power-oriented and as unempathic as I am saying men as a gender learn to be, and that there are lots of men who are nurturing and empathic, as women are supposed to be. I am well aware of complexities and individual differences, which Goddesses in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman, specifically addressed as archetypally based. Having said this, the position I take here, is that women as a gender, as a whole, not every woman, but women generally have a wisdom that is needed. It is time to Gather the Women, Save the World.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M. D. is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of the Institute for Health and Healingâ€™s â€œPioneers in Art, Science, and the Soul of Healing Awardâ€. She is a former board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the author of The Tao of Psychology, Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, Ring of Power, Crossing to Avalon, Close to the Bone, The Millionth Circle, Goddesses in Older Women, Crones Donâ€™t Whine, and Urgent Message From Mother.
This book is available from Amazon by following this link.