The August 21 eclipse across the US captured the attention of citizens and media, though most people were not aware of the deeper archetypal meanings. Archetypes are deeply symbolic images from the collective consciousness that transcend the passage of time and speak to the soul.
In Greek mythology, Apollo is the god of the sun, and his twin sister, Artemis, is goddess of the moon.
Diana (also known as Artemis) statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
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In one story, Apollo is in pursuit of Daphne, a nubile young nymph who is not amused by his unwanted sexual advances. He is a stronger, faster runner, and as he is about to descend upon her, she calls in desperation to the gods to transform her into an inanimate object in order to avoid being raped. Her prayers are answered, and she is changed into a tree at the last moment, not unlike women who desperately block their hearts and emotions when they are sexually assaulted.
Ancient stories of the misuse of the sun's masculine powers bear a strong resemblance to what we see transpiring in toxic patriarchy today. Patriarchy uses its physical strength to subjugate others and to seize power, it is only concerned with self, and is perfectly willing to use the infirm, dead and dying as stepping stones on its way to the top of the heap.
Many are surprised to consider that this out-of-balance patriarchy is not only detrimental to women in society, it is actually worse for men. It is a disasterously imbalanced mindset. Women can lose their power, their self respect, even their hope. But in toxic patriarchy, men lose their very souls.
Artemis, goddess of the moon, was long worshipped at Ephesus as nature's Great Mother. Her sacred animal is the bear. She is a freedom-loving huntress goddess who lives an independent life in the forest, a virgin goddess unencumbered by a male partner. The label of "virgin" carried a different meaning in those days, it did not mean that a woman had never had a sexual partner. It meant that when she did have sexual partners, she maintained her personal power intact, like the well known Vestal Virgins of Greek antiquity who engaged in sexual relations for spiritual healing purposes, but who were not owned by any man.
Artemis of Ephesians, 1st century AD, AM Ephesus 718, EFEM27
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Patriarchy changed the meaning of the label of virgin in order to control women. A woman who is "pure" is naturally someone who cannot make evaluations regarding a man's performance. Therefore any man who is unable or unwilling to strive for excellence in that arena is off the hook.
So the archetype of the moon eclipsing the sun represents the feminine reclaiming her lost power from the patriarchy.
The last eclipse I experienced was on July 20, 1963, an 85% eclipse not far from New York City. The sky darkened eerily, birds chirped and then quieted, animals scurried to their beds. We looked at the eclipse through a box camera reflection. it was still an innocent time in many ways, even though I was well practiced at hiding under my school desk in case of atomic attack. A month later, Martin Luther King made history on the mall with his "I Have a Dream" speech. He went off book when Mahalia Jackson shouted, "tell us your dream," inspiring the words that are now considered the defining speech of the 20th Century, replete with feminine values of vision, equality and compassion.
Three months after that, the world changed forever when a hopeful and vibrant young president was killed in an act we can now view as toxic patriarchy in quest of power. No one told kids much in those days, nor gave us an opportunity to express the feelings we had. We were seen and not heard. But we watched, almost hyptnotized, as Walter Cronkite cried on TV in a public display of emotion unheard of at that time. It seemed to open the door in that uptight era to the notion that men were allowed to experience emotions as women did.
Walter Cronkite announcing the death of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963
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And the blood spattered on a bubblegum pink designer suit was tattooed on America's collective memory by a savvy goddess of a First Lady who understood the power of images. She hadn't changed her clothes because she wanted the American people to see "what 'they' have done." Looking back, one suspects she knew very well who "they" were.
Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office, November 1963
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After the 1963 eclipse, the feminine qualities of individualism, creativity and arts of the 60's seemed to break loose from the structured paradigm of the times, with admonitions to "make love not war", explorations of individualism, and the celebration of Woodstock in a profusion of new kinds of music amidst a sea of tie-dye. The "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius," some called it.
But that dawning has been a longer process than many of us expected. and now we have experienced another major eclipse of the sun, one that prophetically stretched from sea to shining sea.
The feminine is indeed beginning to eclipse the toxic patriarchy of sexual and other abuses by taking back power in pink p*ssy hats. By coming together in a march comprising one percent of the poulation of the country, a significant percentage that Maharishi University has proven is the critical mass needed for change.
And by persisting.
The protector-huntress feminine energy is emerging now like a mama bear, setting boundaries on unrepentant abusers who terrorize her brood. She is a deeply maternal nurturer, and a fierce protectress of her cubs.
Yessir, Patriarchy, you are in your very last desperate hurrah. Your 5000 years are up.
It is the end of illegitimate power blindly endowed upon men because of their race or gender. We are seeing the frantic screams as pasty, rich white men feel their unearned power ebbing away. Because they never had to earn it, they do not know how to develop their own inner power, a skill the members of all the groups they have marginalized have had to learn. So they are lost in the stormy sea of their making, without a rudder -- an experience that one can only hope will evoke repentant soul searching and transformation.
Meanwhile, the deepest power of the cosmos is the wind in the sails of the return of feminine qualities of compassion, nurturing and grace, as the once dormant goddess energy awakens from her sleep. And she will no longer be shackled. It's a new world dawning, one that extinguishes hierarchies and replaces them with a leveled playing field, a world where wars, and rumors of wars, are erased, a world that subdues violence, and honors creativity and love.
It is a world where the innate value of individuals matters and false kings are tumbled. A world where paying it forward and practicing random acts of kindness are revered. A world where women, and the men who are strong enough to be in touch with their feminine sides, are slipping into their rightful places of power.
And all humankind will be the better for it.
Keeping in mind that everyone, regardless of gender has both a right brain (feminine) and a left brain (masculine), pairs of values meriting consideration in the "masculine-feminine paradigm" include: