My friend Deb Swingholm of Flowering Moon went to France with her husband in 2017. The next time I saw her, she brought a book she had purchased at Gavrinis in Brittany, France.
The book was filled with photos of the neolithic carvings in the ritual mound. Common misconception is that it was a burial chamber, but that is not quite true. It was a place of goddess worship. Aligned with the rising sun at winter solstice as well as the equinoxes, this womb filled with carvings suggests a belief in regeneration, and resurrection after death.
The carvings throughout the ceremonial cave are goddess symbols reinforcing this narrative of a matriarchal society regenerating and celebrating the seasons.
The thing that strikes me most was that so many of these carvings look familiar. They were forms and lines I've been drawing since I was a kid, filling pages of my sketchbook, margins of my notes at my corporate job, doodles, and shapes I carved in the sand at the beach. I never drew them with intention but it leaves me wondering if there is an inherent knowledge of this matriarchal society still buried somewhere in our dna. Maybe that's taking it too far, maybe it's just the way it is. Perhaps it is a coincidence that these lines and shapes seemed so familiar because they're not particularly complex and they seem to make sense in a logical sort of way.
The elegant simplicity of the patterns never grows old. The idea of people gathering together to worship a female, rather than a male, is so foreign and intriguing. I'm not one to scream "Smash the patriarchy" and rage in anger at the state of the world. That doesn't mean I'm not enraged at what is happening these days, it just means that I'm more likely to take it another direction and ask the question...
What if we, as women, claimed our power? What if we took that power we once had and simply stepped into it. What would happen if women all over the world stopped believing we were less than?
The Divine Feminine in Everyday Ritual is opening Friday, May 3rd at Gather Shoppe in Bloomington, Indiana on the square.