The Patasola and Activism

I was mesmerized as Ines de la Ossa deconstructed and reinterpreted the Columbian myth of the Patasola last night. Thank you to Ines, for giving such clear attention to process, and vivid detail!

Today I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility. Grateful because things are so much better for women here in America than they are in Columbia, and humble because I see that the suffering I have known (the assaults I’ve felt to my feminine self) are quite bearable, when held side to side with plights of women in so many other cultures.

When Ines spoke of the archetypal field of the Patasola, she said the Patasola myth speaks of a pattern of silencing women and the feminine. She explained that the Patasola invites us to a field of collective suffering, with numinous energy, where we feel the terror arising from collective trauma. The Patasola has become the container for this trauma.

Ines went further to explain that the Patasola remains wandering in the collective unconscious, and before redemption is even possible for her, before she can return from exile, she needs to be brought into collective consciousness. And this will take perseverance and courage.

Ah ha! A call to action, for all women, in all countries. But how to react? How do we bring something from the collective unconscious to the collective consciousness?  As Loralee reminds us, “As women, we are born into a field of trauma.” We are warriors in this battlefield by virtue of our gender. But what if we are not combative by nature? How to we contribute to change if outspoken acitivism is not our gift?

This brings me back to Loralee’s Question #3. "How do we shift the collective centerpoint relative to archetypal identities of the feminine that have historically situated femininity and power as dualities?"

First, we must rock the foundations we stand on. Rock our world! And thank our goddesses for the women who can get angry, own their anger, and express their anger in a healthy way. We need this to jump start, and set our course.

But as we move forward, I beginning to see that there will be a place for women like me, too - women who shy away from anger and commanding personalities because we’ve been harmed by patriarchal men (and women) whose attitudes are expressed in the same vein.

We may not be great at expressing anger, but we are fine detectives of anger and its sub-types. And I believe we are especially sensitive to the numinous energy of anger, especially as it grows in its expression from healthy to destructive.

I believe anger becomes toxic when it is wed to bitterness and resentment. And I believe people shut down when they are addressed by angry voices that harbor bitterness and resentment. We need spokeswomen who can walk the line between anger and bitterness in order to be heard by the patriarchal audience we desire to reach.

Maybe women like me, who are uncomfortable with confrontation, can act as well-maidens for our more vocal warriors.  We will provide strategies and feedback. Our mission will be to steer our orators clear of bitterness. Our manna will be the honey of the soul. We will help sweeten the message our gender needs to speak. 

And if our message is the medicine that the collective consciousness needs to hear in order to heal, then, like a team of Mary Poppins’s for Womanhood, we will offer the spoons full of sugar to help the medicine go down.

So, onward we go. United. There’s a place for all who wish to walk the walk. Collectively moving the centerpoint for power.