From this moment on, each death, each birth, each animal that gave its life to feed them, each season of life-giving rain, each gathering of the earth's bounty, must be remembered and blessed. That was the Mothers way, and she would honor it.
This past weekend I began finished reading another fiction novel. It is the most wonderful book. I was unable to put it down and completed it by Monday. Now, I am reading the second book of the series, 'Circles in the Sky'. You will usually see me read books that take place during the Celtic times, especially those times of the Roman takeover and struggles of the Druids and the priestesses. This book also takes place in the past, but it begins on the African Savannah more than a million years ago. 'Circle of Stones (The Mother People Series)' by Joan Dahr Lambert tells the story of three wise woman, each named Zena, each born thousands of generations apart. The book has been around for awhile so some of you may have read it.
The first Zena lives in a matriarchal society of late Homo Habilis, early Homo Erectus on the African Savannah during prehistoric times. It was a time when women, peace and stability reigned under the rule of the tribal Mother, the healer. While still a child Zena loses her mom in a flash flood, and what follows is her incredible story of survival. She is still very young when she finds herself leading a small tribe and performing one of the first rituals in the 'sacred circle of stones' to bring rain to the scorched earth. The hair on my arms actually stood up as I read about the birth of the 'Great Mother', and when I took a moment and closed my eyes, I was there right along with them.
Images drifted into her mind, of her mother, of the grandmother she barely remembered, of Rune. Over and over, their faces floated past her. It seemed to Zena that they were here with her, comforting her with their presence. Strangely, though, they were not separate. They were all in one, as if they had somehow merged into one mother, a mother who was much bigger, much wiser and stronger than any of them alone. But even that was not enough to describe the mother they had become. She seemed to hold within her all the females who had ever struggled to help those who depended on them, as Zena was doing now. They understood; they could guide her, as her mother and Rune had once guided her.'
The second Zena lived on the fertile shores of the Red Sea somewhere between 500 and 200 thousand years ago. She was late homo erectus, early homo sapien and lived side by side with the Neanderthals. This story begins at the time of 'the change' when humans are growing taller with larger heads and brains. Women whose body's have not yet adapted are dying in childbirth because these genetic changes are making birth difficult; children are literally too large to be born. Zena is one of the first of the new breed to survive, and from the start she is different from the others in many ways including intelligence and the ability to experience mystical visions of the future. In this story, the author convincingly finds ways to incorporate memories of the first Zena.
'The name suited the child, she reflected, glad now that she had chosen it. Zena meant remarkable woman, one who would lead, and Kalar was certain that would one day be true. It was an old word, and no once could remember its origin, but her grandmother had told her she thought it came from a long-ago ancestor who had served the Mother well.'
The third Zena lives 50000 years ago in the Pyrenees. This Zena was an early homo sapien. She lived during the period when the patriarchal raiders from the North were decimating the peaceful tribes of the Mother People. She lived during the time when the world was changing drastically and the 'Great Mother' was being replaced by 'the Great Hunter' and the world began to change into one of fear, violence, and the victimization of women by the men who now ruled society.
'Year after year when you are shunned and persecuted and killed, you must pass the knowledge from mother to daughter, over and over again. Sometimes you will not even know that that the one you worship is called Mother. You will only know that a deep and fervent love for something you cannot name lies within you, that it is wrong to despoil the land, the waters, to take from those are weak and watch some starve while others feast.'
The 'Great Mother' is returning. We see it all around us. People are tired of the violence, of the cruelty. Our future will come from the past. The tide is turning, and it is an amazing time to be alive.