Myth as antidote to malfunction Envy: Part 3

rodriguez untitiled 2019- 03-11, 3/11/19, 11:56 AM, 8C, 6696x12000 (888+0), 150%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/30 s, R94.6, G86.7, B107.2

I wrote about the woman's holocaust, the roughly 400 years during which thousands of European women were executed for witchcraft by the Holy Inquisition, which wiped out the Indigenous matriarchal religions, criminalized woman-centered healing and excluded them from positions of power.

This mindset migrated to these shores along with steel, smallpox, horses and colonialism.

I wrote about how envy, along with all the other impulses and instincts, are equally present in all humans, and how all cultures have myths that talk about envy. It was not that envy did not exist on Turtle Island before colonialism or that the American tribes were matriarchal in the strictest sense.

But nothing like European gendercide ever took place in Native American history and Native women were never characterized as the root of all evil, but were respected and recognized as the portal of life and the human manifestation of Mother Earth, a living, divine entity. (Science has caught up and finally recognizes the biosphere's "sacredness," or the mandate to respect its inviolability.)

Perhaps the perfect expression of misogynist, entitled patriarchy is the Doctrine of Discovery. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI issued a papal bull declaring that all land not inhabited by Christians was available to be "discovered," meaning occupied, and its natural resources exploited. Moreover, "the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself."

If you think 500 years is a long time ago, let me quote William Faulkner: "The past isn't gone, it isn't even past." The Doctrine of Discovery is the mother of Manifest Destiny and has permeated our national consciousness.

This belief is so thoroughly baked into American culture that it justifies cultural appropriation, colonialism, slavery, racism, the massacre of ecosystems - and drives our foreign policy.

But art, living myth and storytelling are antidotes to the malfunctioning of the collective psyche. For 300 years after the Spanish conquest, here in Taos, we still had portals that led us into deeper, richer landscapes - our stories. They painted our history and told deep, older truths with much more compelling and interesting colors than the dry history taught at the Sister School.

La Tuerta, The One-Eyed, El Cute Largo populated our world, witches lived just up the hill and La Llorona, the weeping woman, had an intense psychological presence on La Loma. If you have not seen or heard her, you just haven't been paying attention.

She has been weeping and wailing along Turtle Island's waterways since Cortéz, the conqueror of Mexico, met Malintzín, the aristocratic Aztec linguist. Sometimes called La Malinche, she became his interpreter and companion during the historic collision and confluence of their two empires.

Their love affair is inextricably linked to the legend of the weeping woman. Cortéz took Malintzín's children back to Spain, and their story is symbolic of the subjugation of Native women, the kidnapping of their children and appropriation of the land.

La Llorona is the embodied spirit of women's history, and she is crying not only for her children, but because women only own a tiny fraction of Mother Earth's surface, and we do not even have the right to govern our own bodies, and we have been designated as the root of all evil along with money.

What does this have to do with envy? What is the producer of all wealth? The womb and the land.

What gives meaning to the accumulation of property and wealth?

Heirs - children.

What is the primordial need? Food.

For millions of years only 5 percent of our diet came from hunting - the rest was gathered, required cooking and is associated with women.

Since cooked food provides such an enormously greater amount of nutrition than raw food, especially glucose, it triggered a surge in the development of the frontal cortex and we outstripped the animals in intelligence. Agriculture grew out of plant gathering, and so did medicine.

Women were the first to understand periodicity and connect it to astrological observation - the first science. So in the early and longest stage of our development, women had a wide range of enviable powers. And female power must have been a great mystery, awesome, with social and political clout.

Today's La Llorona is malevolent, angry and vengeful. She is terrifying, but not because she envies - but maybe because way back in the development of the psyche she was envied.

And today, ironically, women are said to be more envious than men and we are accused of envying their partes nobles!

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