Women's Spirituality: good, bad or irrelevant?
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I used to be active - a bit - in the German womens' Sprit-Maggi-Szene (Spiritual-Magic-Scene) in the early 90ies. There was also much stuff coming over from Usa, Z.Budapest, Starhawk... y'know.
Lately I am wondering:
1.There was a big and also quite heated (ghetto war) discussion going on in Germany - some 'political' feminists were blaming some 'spiritual' feminist for being stupid full-moon-bleeders (y'know) and not DOING anything, sometimes they even were accused of being nazis (because of celebrating the solstices, go figure) and some of those 'spiritual' feminists really had a knack of going on my personal nerves with their Light and Love and Feeehmale Power Schmonzes.
I am quite sure that those discussions didn't only happen in Germany, and I wonder if we've reached a consensus now? Hehe. :)
Can anyone share anything?
2. I have been out of it (Sprit-Maggie) for a while, and now, being back in Munich, I was looking for the old places one could go, and lo! I can't find them anymore. What has happened? All gone? Irrelevant? Calmed down and done privately?
Who knows something? (And I don't mean just Munich, I mean _everywhere_ :) )
3. What's your personal take of the subject?
Hm, the heap of posts in this thread makes it quite clear to me that the answer seems to be
But I also have a notion that certain women, who are very much into spiritual living, won't admit to it openly.
I would say "relevant." I think feminists are more likely to be seekers rather than believers in any kind of dogmatic religion, but many feminists I know, including myself, find spirituality an important component of the political/social work we do and/or an important way to stay balanced/sane in the midst of that work. But spirituality as central to the feminist movement, as something feminists practice together? That I've not seen recently--seems to have been more prevalent in the 1990s for some reason.
I am glad to read what you wrote!
Like one of my teachers said: "Politisch nach außen, spirituell nach innen" (political to the outside, spiritual to the inside).
So perhaps for some of us spirituality has become a natural part of our lives, and we don't need to talk about it that much, nor buy book after book about it anymore.
Still, I miss the Circle Dances I attended almost 20 years ago, once a week, for a few bucks. Nowadays there are very expensive weekend seminars -- seems to me that the 'scene' has died or turned professional.
Ah well, happens with every grassroots scene, I guess.
It sounds like what you were involved in was a trend.
A friend of mine is Native (in Canada - Ojibwai) and very much involved in her tribe's spiritual practices which include circles, drumming and singing. These are usually women's group held by women elders to help their daughters and sister grow in a nurturing environment. This has gone on forever and everyone is welcome.
Good for those who live in a community where such an heritage exists and is cultivated!
I'm a German city kid and have to create something, or find it. As I wrote: the trend here isn't over, but it has changed. Women are making a living with it now.
So yea, the 70ies/80ies trend of exploring, creating and sharing does seem to be over...
I do think it is relevant. I think a deeper truth is that feminine spirituality is in conflict with the increasingly hard-line religions of the current day. Many women are forced to choose between leaving a religious belief and acquiescing to various doctrines of subservience. But the freedom inherent to feminine spirituality often clashes with such demands.
Such a clash of cultures and beliefs defines many current-day struggles. So spiritual feminists should have a voice.
I'm overtly feminist and overtly spiritual (not religious), and the two are inextricably intertwined. I've never considered that one was irrelevant to the other, nor could I imagine any way of thinking of my feminism or my spirituality without one informing the other.
If one can be a feminist and spiritual or a feminist and not spiritual, then spirituality is clearly irrelevant to feminism.
Of course, neither side should exclude the other (like the German feminists in the example in the OP), and being irrelevant to feminism doesn't mean it's irrelevant to the person or played no role in the history of feminism.
I don't think it's irrelevant to a woman interested in religion and/or spirituality, simply because it's yet one more area where historically, the patriarchy has silenced women's contributions. Finding the feminine in divinity can be a transformative experience for the spiritually-inclined feminist.
However, there are plenty of atheist feminists too, and so women's spirituality isn't intrinsically a part of feminism, nor is it necessary or relevant for every feminist.
#10 "women's spirituality isn't intrinsically a part of feminism, nor is it necessary or relevant for every feminist"
I fully agree. But, for whatever reason, women are generally regarded as more spiritual than men. Maybe. Perhaps the confusion is due to the fact that there are more church-going women than men. However, church-going and spirituality are different, although one doesn't exclude the other.
On another track there is the controversy about the ordination of women as priests, especially in the Catholic and Episcopal Church. The patriarchy of the RC church is appalling (e.g. "if Jesus wanted women priests he would have some among his 12 disciples" Ridiculous. Jesus had several women serving him. When the apostles abandoned him at the crucifixion it was women who stayed with him and embalmed him. His first appearance after his resurrection was to a woman, Mary Magdalen.)
Regarding ordination, the Episcopal Church is much more open. There are numerous women priests, and several bishops - the Presiding Bishop of the USA is a woman. Unfortunately, there is a considerable reactionary part of the Episcopal church in opposition.
I think feminism, by it's very nature, is spiritual -- depending on how you define spirituality. Atheists are not necessarily non-spiritual. IMHO, love of nature - even of the arts - is spiritual.
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