Posted by CODEPINK Staff
By Genevieve Vaughan
The escalation towards war is continuing, the media is beating the drum and tension is increasing every day. In the Middle East the new enemy is ISIS. When I first heard the term I thought of the great Egyptian Mother Goddess of that name. Did this terminology mean that the US would soon be fighting against the Mother Goddess? In a way this is true. Wars are always patriarchal, men against men, and mothers always suffer. All their years of love and work are gone in the flash of a gun or a bomb. The Goddess is discredited and disempowered by war.
Isis, the first daughter of Earth (Geb) and Sky (Nut) was also the Goddess of magic, of healing and of reunification. She put the pieces of her husband Osiris back together again after he had been killed and dismembered by his jealous brother Set. She is the goddess of rebirth and reincarnation and is a guide of protection of the spirits of the dead. She is the mother of Horus and her image holding him her arms preceded the many images of Madonna and child. Her cult continued from 2500 BCE until Medieval times. Many people in the women's spirituality and pagan movements today honor her as the embodiment of mothercare and energies of peace and magic.
For those who try to be open to the spiritual commitments of others, it is contradictory to call a group with whom we may soon be at war by the name of a deity who is loved and honored by many. I believe that people who identify with Goddess Spirituality and pagans generally, are mostly Spiritual Progressives. They honor Nature and the energies of Peace. Taking the name of their Goddesses in vain is like taking the name of any other deity in vain.
We live in such a maelstrom of media spin and we only know what the spinmasters tell us. We attacked Iraq in 2003 on the pretext of information that was false. How do we know what is true now? Our war lust is a flow that can be directed at will by those in power.
Is it possible at least to salvage this name of the Mother Goddess? An alternative acronym already exists. It is ISIL, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Or there is also the simpler IS, Islamic State. There too, I would hesitate. Will we be fighting IS? Being?, the Great I Am? It sounds like we are on the edge of final destruction. By playing with these holy words, we are playing with fire.
Genevieve Vaughan is an American expatriate semiotician, peace activist, feminist, and philanthropist, whose ideas and work have been influential in the intellectual movements around the Gift Economy and Matriarchal Studies.