My three daughters and IÂ received a bunch of new Christian curriculum items for our homeschool and as usual, we enjoy adding inÂ the Holy Mother, aka “Goddess” to any and all Bible stories we think She belongs. Believing in the Divinity of the Feminine as much as the Masculine, we “restore” the Divine Mother aka God-the-MotherÂ intoÂ the stories alongside God-the-FatherÂ where She was probably supposed to be mentioned, but for various historical reasons down thru the ages, was left out or removed. We alsoÂ bring outÂ the women and girls in all BibleÂ stories, giving both hero and heroine figures equal time.
Not only Bible stories need this balancing act, but most of the ancient and classical stories reduce women to sexuality based roles, because well, humanity wasn’t as far along mentally and emotionally as we are now. Western women at least trulyÂ have “come a long way baby,”Â the proof of which can be seen simply by observing anyÂ current country that suppresses its women in the name of their Holy Book / religion.
Stories we have fun with are putting Noah’s wife Norea back into the narrative, and his daughters-in-law. Eve and Adam’s daughters are enjoyable to ponder about, as is the true reason Sarah could have a baby at such an advanced age yet still be considered one of the most beautiful women in the world (Pharoah was ready to kill Abraham in order to steal Sarah for his harem).Â True reason is because she was a close direct descendant of Methuselah (Noah’s father) and inherited the ability to live longer years, likeÂ Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.Â You’ll recall that Aragorn’s people could live to be 200, notÂ as long as the elf princess he loved, but long indeed. Abraham was also a descendant of Methuselah of course, and he is said to have lived to be almost 200.
Our Christian based curriculum, despite being mainstream church style,Â even includesÂ an awesome version of the Gilgamesh Epic. Pagan literature is required reading in the Veritas PressÂ courses andÂ I am glad they are not afraid of it. They include it all. The awesomeÂ (and sumptuously illustrated) Gilgamesh Epic they recommend makes the heroine be a beautiful singer instead of a prostitute.Â Mary Magdalene wasÂ unjustly called a prostitute, andÂ so was Enkidu’s beloved Shamhat. Rahab the prostitute in the walls of Jericho story comes to mind, and since she isn’t being hired by anyone, I also wonder if she really was a prostitute or just an unmarried woman with a family. Women who had children without marriage were often called whore and prostitute. As recently as the 1960’s this happened in my own family. Rahab is the heroine of the Jericho walls story, and is alsoÂ an ancestress of Jesus himself. Why would they put her in his family tree if she was selling herself regularly? Why would they want to make the Son of God also a Son of a Whore?Â Mary Magdalene was not even called a prostitute in scripture, butÂ European Christian authoritiesÂ made sure to turn her into one a thousand years later. There isÂ surely moreÂ to this meme of the prostitute heroineÂ so often found in ancient literature and scripture.
Speaking of Mary Magdalene, we also received a new (wonderful) children’s book by famous Magdalene author Margaret Starbird.Â New Neighbors is written for children and although not about the Divine Feminine like Margaret’s adult books, itÂ certainly teaches that girls and boys both thrive when both genders are given equal status, equal focus.Â Thank you Margaret forÂ another gem. I stillÂ plan to mailÂ our copy of New Neighbors to you so you can autograph it for theÂ girls. (Sorry I haven’tÂ done soÂ yet, they won’t give it back to me!)
My 11-year-old daughter read the book out loud with my 8-year-old sitting right beside her looking at the pictures, and the rest of us listening. For each new page my daughter would turn the book to face usÂ so we could seeÂ each newÂ illustration.Â She was so proud to be the one reading out loud (usually it’s Mama doing the reading), andÂ my youngestÂ sat right next to her devouring the storyline. The next night at story time, she took a turn and read it herself. She needs all the reading practice she can get,Â andÂ I loveÂ thatÂ my 8 year old can read something by an author her mother has studied with for years. Kinda freaky in a way… I remember giving my now-20-something daughter her first copy of Margaret’s bestseller The Woman With the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail. Heck, I remember giving my own mother that 1993 book for the first time.
It’s been an interesting week.Â I also got inspired by this Zen Parenting article by Leo Babauta. How to Keep Your Cool as a Parent. Not only does it teach us parents some awesome cool-as-a-cucumber techniques, but you can use the same strategies to help the kids deal with their own anger fits, frustration fits, etc. I printed that sucker out for me, and realized I can use it as yet another homeschool lesson.
We’ve dug into so many newÂ books this month, you’d think it was winter.
Summer school is fun, they have decided. We were going to save our Veritas Press homeschool history cards and books for next Fall, but just couldn’t resist digging in.