Submission and Minotaurs

The divine feminine spirit remains first and foremost on my mind these days.

As I continue my trek through Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter, each page opens my eyes to a part of the journey of awakening that began in me about 5 years ago. With each new section, I recognize myself trudging through the jungle whacking a branch here and pushing something aside there, each representing a piece of my old belief system that no longer serves me.

She talks about the myth of Ariadne, and how the minotaur of King Minos’ labyrinth represented for her the dark side of patriarchy.

“In the female psyche the Minotaur represents negative, uncivilized (beastly), masculine power… In other words, the Minotaur is the bullish, bullying, bulldozing force of patriarchy internalized in the cellar of a woman’s psyche. It is a presence that works invisibily, hampering, limiting, driving, even destroying a woman’s inner and outer life.”

It is a belief system that we use to feed our own self-doubt, contributing to our feelings of inadequacy and the repeated action of handing over our feminine power to another.

This reading dove-tailed with a conversation I had yesterday. The person with whom I was conversing is a strong powerful feminine spirit who is struggling with more than one emotional load at this point in her life. One of the more irritating of these is the pervasiveness of the male authoritarian figures influencing and affecting her career.

And yet during the conversation, she remarked that she holds to the belief that as a Christian woman, her husband is the head of the household and she submits to him. Outwardly, I see a strong woman who is very much in partnership, rather than submission to her husband. Yet because of the influence of Christianity’s patriarchy (and the teachings of those other than Jesus Christ), I believe she has convinced her subconscious that in fact, she should submit to the male in a relationship, whatever that relationship should be. Though not afraid to confront a wrong, she fears the power held by the male to consume her life and livelihood if she stands up for her divine feminine wisdom.

I have been in that place. I have held fast to that belief. I have spoken that to other women. And like her, I have never truly lived it in my marriage, because my man and I are a team–both strong and independent, but willing to compromise to meet each other in harmony. He would never ask me to submit to him, and he would never stoop to guilting, manipulating, or threatening me into obeying him.

Ain’t gonna happen.

And yet I find that just like her, this concept of submitting to male authority has so parasitically attached itself to our souls and metastasized into the far reaches of our very essence, that we struggle to stand up for ourselves when male leadership oversteps its humanness and leaps headlong into the assholeness that is the Minotaur. (Sorry, Mom. It is what it is.)

That was never the intended message of Christ.

And so our wise woman divine feminine spirit shrinks back into a little girl and cows in obedience to whatever great man-god we choose to submit to in the moment. We become one of the many children sacrificed to feed the Minotaur so he can continue to feel strong and powerful. Our feminine spirit is crushed between the Minotaur’s jaws while he stands triumphantly over his prey.

Fear allowed this…fear of job loss, fear of approval loss, fear of angering the Minotaur.

I’m over it.

I choose to no longer feed the Minotaur.

I choose to no longer submit to a male (or female) simply because I fear what they might do to me if I disagree with them.

I choose not participate in (or submit my daughters to) a faith or belief system in which submission to a male is ingrained in my psyche as a condition for the salvation of my soul.

I choose not to be employed in a situation that requires any arrangement other than teamwork.

I choose to identify my Minotaurs and slay them.

I choose to live as a a wise woman full of the divine feminine spirit.

I am beginning to recognize the Minotaurs in my life. What are yours?

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