Power and Politics beyond the Patriarchy

Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind humanity is experiencing a great Threshold of our times; moving from one paradigm to another; from one era to another. The great towers of our institutions are crumbling around us; power seems to have corrupted almost anyone in the public eye; madness… madness is what we see around us. The swan song of the patriarchy; and maybe (if you subscribe to such things) the ending of the Age of Pisces; dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

It was brought to my attention this week that for some who wish to move beyond the patriarchy the future is feminine; a matriarchy if you will. Gosh, that hadn’t occured to me; I had been working on the basis that the Matriarchy was in the past, long before the Patriarchy; and that we were moving not towards a Feminine dominant society but a balanced one. Maybe I am wrong. The pendulum swings back and forth so I can totally see how a Matriarchy may well be what we are entering into.

I just hope not.

Personally I prefer the image of the Yin and Yang in perfect balance.

But as someone who champions the Feminine so strongly and really feels invested in bringing the Divine Feminine ever more to consciousness it was so useful and insightful to realise that I might be part of a movement that is a back swing of a pendulum into imbalance once more. And if that is so; I am powerless over that! We are all powerless as individuals to affect the great social and transpersonal movements of our time. But we are not hopeless nor without power at all; in community and in circles of peers.

And thus it is; I guess; that we make the move from the hierarchy, the linear lines of power and disempowerment, of the doing unto, power over and top down shenanigans associated with that old order. We are ever more being called just to be in circle with peers and equals; out beyond personality differences and whether we like them or not… into a shared experience of our common humanity. What a relief!

But what does Power look like in this new world? What of politics?

To reclaim death and dying from the Establishment and re-thread it back into the fabric our community is a deeply radical and political act. Notice that I am not putting a capital P at the front of “politics” but as I have said time and again it is also a matter of our current public policy and as such is indeed a Political issue. If we sit around in circles enlightening ourselves but we do not put boots on the street “our bodies on the line” (as someone said in the Call this morning), if we do not stand up, speak out and take action then there is almost no point at all in doing the Work. The individualism of the old order thrives on spiritual bypassing; as if one person can awaken spiritually and damn the rest!

Sacred Activism is the order of the day; and this does indeed require us to be in the world (but not of it) and taking action. And in order to do this there must be a rising of power within us; reclaimed, or just claimed; homegrown, organic, personal power that is networked to other individuals of personal power such that the net gain of power is infinitely greater than trying to do anything alone; the wholeness of our power being greater than the sum of its parts.

This is power and this is politics the likes of which the patriarchy can barely comprehend. Uprising.

When I consider what politics is beyond the patriarchy I come to a simple phrase some may recognise “principles above personalities”; there will always be those transpersonal needs in society that require a collective to address… how can it be an individual’s sole responsibility to make sure his village has a road into it, or another individual’s sole responsibility to protect the quality of her water supply. This is a collective effort borne of principles and values and thus this IS in essence what politics is about. It can hardly be one person’s sole task to bring about a good death for their self or for a loved one; it requires us en masse to start making the shifts. It is a matter of principle!

I offer no solutions on this matter but I assure you there are more blogs to come arising out of our student/mentor call this morning; such potency in the discussion and much food for thought. Not least because the incredible momentum of the Red Tent End of Life Doula Preparation seems to be at least partly attributed to mine and Awen’s willingness to be part of the student body; amongst peers and equals while we simultaneously hold space for the spirit of this work to educate us all; and that our education is one of remembering; innate wisdom rising.

So… when we talk about holding circle and it being strongly of the Feminine and also of a new order… why would we invite a man to come and speak to us? (Stephen Jenkinson) and for an answer to this another blog will follow: for he is not a man with any answers!

Why would we talk about the importance of Being, of yielding, being still and remembering while at the same time seeing our work as political and active in the world? I think this blog has gone some way to responding to that but the food for thought continues!

What if, in all these paradoxes and contradictions, we are infact part of cultivating a space beyond the dualism of masculine and feminine; matriarchy and patriarchy… what if the space itself is both and neither? Just as death releases us from our gendered bodies and conditioned minds back to the Unknown. Perhaps the not knowing is the greatest education of all.

More to follow.

These blogs are inspired by conversations which take place each week between facilitators, mentors and students (not that we draw those distinctions particularly so) on the Red Tent End of Life Doula Preparation. First training in Edinburgh in April (now fully booked) and then in London in May (places available). The content of what people share on the calls is kept confidential but themes are extrapolated thus to share with the community. If you would like to join us please drop us an email at redtenteol@gmail.com or follow us on facebook.


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