January, 2010

Avatar and the sacred feminine

sacred feminine

Ayahuasca Painting by Pablo Amaringo

Tears flow as I watch the untold story of many people. Pain melts into ocean’s blood running through my cheeks, liquid salt cleansing my soul. Sadness comes unannounced. Embracing me, it sits in my heart. Seeing this film rings a bell, a story repeating itself on another planet.

Avatar and the sacred feminineAvatar is a film of mythical and epic proportions imbued with symbolism. It uncovers ancient truth shining though the mist of delusion. It is hard to digest for some, to see our own insanity mirrored, blocking our experience of life as a powerful current of interconnectedness flowing through every being.

Avatar is not just the Na’vi story, it is every indigenous story on mother Earth, with their natural wisdom and connection to nature ridiculed, demonized, and oppressed. The Vatican has, in response to this film, warned everyone against seeing divinity in nature. We have heard this before and are still feeling the devastating effects of such narrow minded thinking. Those deeply rooted in the firm grip of logocentric discourse don’t tire from mocking feelings of reverence, awe and magic found by communing with nature.

The Sacred Feminine is alive in Pandora. Interestingly, Pandora is the name of an ancient Goddess later disempowered and demonized by patriarchy, which considers Pandora the bestower of all evils by releasing them out into the world. However, the etymology of the word Pandora reveals a more ancient understanding of this Goddess, meaning “all-giving.” And according to Janne Ellen Harrison, a British classical scholar:

“Pandora rises from the earth; she is the Earth, giver of all gifts.”

Pandora is a planet inhabited by The Na’vi, a Goddess based civilization. Their ultimate deity is female, Eywa, the Great Mother. Naturally, their spiritual leaders are female figures, Priestesses, empowered women in communion with this divine energy. Women are able to express their own power beyond the confines of what we consider feminine, this is full embodiment of fierce feminine expression. The scientist’s ultimate confession of dwelling in the deity is revealing. She said “I am with her, SHE is real.” She dies in this recognition and is only able to truly see and accept the sacred in her death as her veil is lifted when she returns to source. The Na’vi don’t need to wait until death to feel this connection.

The Na’vi move impeccably on the land and on the trees, with grace and strength in every movement, drinking from flower’s dew and speaking with the ancestors. They feel emotions deeply, seeing, tasting and feeling the ‘other,’ a lost art to many of us. What is it to connect this deeply to another being, to really feel them fully beyond the reaches of ego trips, their energy enveloping us like penetrating wind reaching our core? This sweet knowing is seeing each other.

Avatar is an epic mythic story of the hero’s journey on the arduous path to finding himself, his mission, and unique gifts. The hero, Jake Sully, under the guidance of the future Na’vi Priestess, undergoes a series of initiations, rituals and rites of passage to become whole. He gradually empties and is filled with his true essence.

Jake Sully is not only healed, he becomes the avatar. His insanity slowly replaced by sacred vision. Can we recover our sight, our spiritual insight? Can the white man’s insanity be cured? Our illusions, delusions and neurosis are a tinted glass through which we only see half colors, missing the magic of a landscape too beautiful for our closed hearts.

Jake Sully is able to return, to heal and see once again. It didn’t happen overnight. This awareness grew slowly as he realized the Na’vi’s world is the real world and ours is the delusional dream.

There is a beautiful Inca myth. I have told the story before but it is worthwhile repeating it here. This beautiful consciousness went to sleep under the reign of the oppressors in a painful disconnect from source, a momentary lapse in the drama of life as we dance away and towards source. After centuries of resting in oblivion, this consciousness that sees matter and energy as a continuum of life is finally reawakening now, moving its wings and getting ready to fly. This consciousness is beckoning us to awaken to the beauty, magic, sacredness and interconnectedness of all life.

Now the question remains. Are our cups too full and if so, can we empty and let life fill us with inspiration, vision, love and remembrance?