In the 1985 August/September issue of Utne Reader, in an article entitled “Revamping the World,” Deena Metzger puts forth a challenging concept to consider in a post-feminist context. She challenges both men and women to consider the body and eros as a vehicle of communion, restoration, and redemption instead of merely recreation or anesthetization.
Metzger decries the limits of the last wave of Western feminism, stating it negates women's inherent power in its disavowal of female body itself, its inherent receptivity. She is disturbed by what she views as the attempts of women to refashion themselves using traditional male, Western models of power and achievement. She believes that women, trying to access a kind of power based in patriarchy, are losing their inherent strength. It is a strength of intuition and connectivity, a strength that Metzger herself struggled to embrace.
This is not a new belief. Spirituality, pre-Christianity, is rife with images of cosmic coupling. It is spirituality based on cyclic wisdom, linked to eternal regeneration contained in bodies of our dioses y diosas, and within ourselves.
Metzger's idea of female power is one that is frankly, clearly sexual. It is not ashamed of the body and its uses, but rather uses that body as the primary vehicle for reconnection and redemption - a very different notion from the traditional ideas of female sexuality I encountered through a Catholic upbringing. Metzger finds it ironic, and somewhat dangerous, that women are trying to fashion themselves into men, rather than men and women reconnecting with a holistic view of the body, the spirit, and the planet.
According to Metzger, what is necessary is a vision that re-sanctifies the body of woman, both literally and figuratively. I was deeply moved and challenged by Metzger's assertion that a return to the body and its rhythms will have a global impact on consciousness and society; that once reconnected, we must be charged with nurturing and protecting our communities and the larger world beyond.
In describing a meditation in which she encountered an image that forever altered her life, Metzger writes that she was irrevocably altered by an image that appeared in a guided meditation. In it, she confronts her own dread in encountering a large, luminous, all-encompassing image of a goddess figure.