Although America was founded on religious freedom and diversity, Christianity remains the religion of the majority. It is fascinating to note that, in its purest form, Christianity also represents a movement toward the recovery of the masculine/feminine equilibrium. Jesus himself exemplified this quest for balance. He embraced grace (right brain/feminine) over the left brain/patriarchal law of “an eye for an eye,” in effect, replacing karma with grace.
When Jesus healed the crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13:13), which was forbidden by law, he showed that he followed a higher law: the law of the heart, the value of nurturing over legalities, the decree of the divine feminine. And in Jesus’ predilection for teaching in parables, he quietly endorses the power of oral myth, story, and symbols—the feminine modes of imparting knowledge—as the means to embody Greater Truth.
And one of the most pervasive symbols of America is the bald eagle. The eagle has a deep, archetypal connection to the Americas, as it was sacred to the Native Nations long before America was conceived. The “eagle eye” symbolizes vision, and the essence of this great bird is strength and courage. Because the eagle flies higher than any other known bird, it symbolizes the quest toward the heights of spiritual excellence.
In an arrestingly symbolic incident on July 4th, 2003, the bald eagle at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. died as the result of an attack by a fox. In addition to being the name of a major news organization, “fox” is the only three-letter word in the English language in which the letters, numerologically, are 666.
A provocative mix of archetypes, can this point to the renovation of America? Toward death to the old things that aren’t working, and the exciting possibilities of birthing a new America through the democratic, transformative process?
As if to punctuate Independence Day as symbolic of death and the promise of rebirth, America’s second and third presidents, John Adams and Jefferson, both died on July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson said he trembled for his country when he “reflected that God is just.” And, perhaps it was because of this perspective that he helped to put into place a system that allows our government to transform, to ultimately regain its footing, and rebalance itself.
The glory of democracy is the organic nature of the system to “breathe,” bringing in fresh air and expelling the old. And with that inspiration comes the ability to mold itself as a better fit to its evolving citizenry.
In that dance of balance, America has the opportunity to live in grace rather than karma; in appreciation and compassion rather than criticism, in wholeness rather than separation, and in a state of dynamic peace rather than war.
Can there be any doubt that this is the moment of transformation, and that the eaglet born two centuries ago has grown into her wingspan, poised to soar?
She invites each one of us to follow the leadings of our deepest destiny, the passion of our soul, and the sacred Truth of our heart, to provide the wind beneath her wings.
And in that syncopated dance that entwines right and left, feminine and masculine, heart and head; finally Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam can be reunited in the dance of dynamic peace, rising toward the celestial heights in the great experiment of democracy.