Monday, September 21, 2015

domestication of a goddess (Malleus maleficarum)

She had a live, small person exploding out of her swollen body. She had two full vessels that poured ambrosia and fed this small person who grew bigger and stronger by the day. She created a new life while giving pleasure to a ripe one. She took care of her small persons, like all mothers do, and made food out of plants to feed her larger family. She got to recognize all the vegetation of the area, studied every leaf, every root, all fruits and flowers and learned how to make medicinal mixes that cured fever and healed infected wounds. She embraced the desperate and gave advice for their desperation. She earned the title of the witch-goddess and was loved and worshipped in the womb of a cave by the clan for her benign magic. She exposed her bare breasts as a song to creation, the life-bearing deity of peace and prosperity.
One day came the warriors, with their erect weapons to conquer the lands and impose their male power to her clan. There was war and death. The male god took over the female goddess's sanctuary. He was the one to be worshipped instead, as the powerful bull, Baal. He posed for the first letter of the alphabet. The witch had to obey the new rule of man-kind. Her past fame became her present problem. She was then called Lillith, the dark one and Circe, the destroyer of men. Her magic could not be her weapon, her life-bearing gift could not be worshipped anymore, it became her weakness, her punishment. Now, her sole duty was to produce people. She became Eve, responsible for the Fall, and the serpent -her fertility symbol- became her enemy, the root of all evil. The apple she fed her people, became her weakness. The sanctuary of the womb was sealed and the penis-like menirs filled the sites. The witch was hunted down. Her beauty turned into ugliness. She developed a crooked nose with warts. Her knowledge became a sin, it was a threat to men. Her recipes for healing potions were by then widely known, and her cookbooks were taken away from her. It was babies and more babies, in a society that had to provide more and more warriors. The witch became a property, a subject, an object of desire and a vessel of reproduction. The ones who did not subject to the new order were slaughtered, burnt alive, hanged in the middle of the settlement for the rest of the women to see and accept their subjugated fate.
Then, she was confined into four walls and forced to wear clothes hiding her body and face, for reasons of domination and exclusive ownership. The once upon a time called witch, like the pigs, the goats, the chickens and the cows of the farm, became fully domesticated. She was fed, controlled and milked.
Never call me a kitten, a bunny, a puppy or any kind of pet. Even if you mean well.

Shirin Neshat, rapture

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