The level of culture


The level of culture

On the spiritual and cultural level, traditional matriarchal societies do not have religions based on a God who is invisible, untouchable, and incomprehensible -- but omnipotent -- and in contrast to whom the world is devalued as “dead matter”. In matriarchy, divinity is immanent, for the whole world is regarded as divine – as feminine divine. This is evident in the concept of the universe as a Goddess who created everything, and as Mother Earth who brings forth everything living. And everything is endowed with divinity, each woman and man, each plant and animal, the smallest pebble and the biggest star.

In such a culture, everything is spiritual. In their festivals, following the cycle of the seasons, everything is celebrated: nature in its manifold expressions; the different clans with their different abilities and tasks; the different genders and the different generations, following the principle: Diversity is wealth. There is no separation between sacred and secular, therefore all the everyday tasks – such as sowing and harvesting, cooking and weaving, building a house, and making a journey – have at the same time ritual significance.

On the spiritual level, I define matriarchies as sacred societies as cultures of the Goddess or Divine Feminine. By comparison, in patriarchies, people’s religious and spiritual abilities are misused in world and state religions to support those in power and the existing ruling systems.

Thus, on the cultural level, we have to abandon all hierarchical religions with a transcendent God and a claim to the total truth. They have led to the disregard of nature, and of humankind itself – particularly of its women. Instead, it is necessary to re-learn how to see the world as holy, to love and to protect it – because, according to matriarchal culture, everything in the world is divine. This leads to everything being honoured and celebrated in a free and creative way – nature in her manifold appearances and various living beings, as well as the great variety of human individuality, communities and cultures. Because the whole world is the Goddess.

In this way, the new matriarchal spirituality can once again infuse everything and thus become an inherent part of everyday life. At the same time, what again becomes apparent is matriarchal tolerance, for nobody has to “believe” anything. There is no dogma and no teaching, but the continuous, manifold celebration of life and the visible world.

I hope it has become clear that the path to an egalitarian society has to combine matriarchal spirituality with politics, and with economy to create another kind of society. The purpose of all of it is to provide a good life for everybody; this common good can be assured through the organisational structures and conventions described above. In this sense, we can gain much stimulation and great insights from the patterns of traditional matriarchal societies, which – unlike theoretical utopias – have been lived over millennia. So the vision of a new egalitarian society can only be holistic, without being vague. It has to be concrete, without getting lost in disconnected details. I call the vision that has all these integral characteristics, a “matriarchal model”. It can be at once a clear idea and a practical guideline to a better future.


Heide Göttner-Abendroth, 'The Way into an Egalitarian Society'

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