Oct 25, 2011

Gloria Steinem: Feminist, Writer, Pagan

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

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Hat-tip to The Wild Hunt on this intriguing little tid-bit. In an article about Gloria Steinem's collaboration with Egyptian-born feminist Mona Eltahawy, Steinem reveals that she considers herself a pagan.

Steinem’s father was Jewish, her mother was not, and she was raised without religion. She now calls herself a “pagan,” inspired by a trip down the Nile, where she witnessed how the ancient Egyptians incorporated nature into their worship.

Paganism is, compared to the "great religions," much more affirming of women and feminine power. Speaking for myself, it was the goddess imagery that drew me towards earth-based religions once upon a time. It was the only religious construct I'd encountered that didn't view women as lesser creatures. Not necessarily in modern applications of those religions, many of which are progressing on that score, but in the ancient scriptures, and peppered throughout in the language.

What I find most interesting, though, is that Steinem's conversion was inspired by ancient Egyptian religion. What is it about the power of those symbols? There is just something about Egypt that awakens us, in some cases painfully, to some greater awareness.

As discussed here, the great pyramids at Giza forced themselves into my consciousness many years ago triggering a sense of rekindled memory. Graham Hancock describes them as a kind of "alarm clock" possibly designed to wake us up to the mystery of our human origins and past life history. So I found this new add campaign from Toyota kind of interesting.

I'm currently reading Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval's The Master Game which posits a through-line from ancient Egypt, through the Gnostics, the Cathars, the Rosicrucians, the Masons, and more, that found expression in the French and American revolutions. As discussed here, Egyptian icons like Isis, Horus, and the pyramids were an important symbols to French revolutionaries.

Egypt represents the way out of our current morass. So it doesn't really surprise me that one of the greatest way-showers of the modern era would find faith and meaning there.

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