I recently came back from Crete to find everyone talking about Russell Brand. The leftish New Statesman had him editing a special issue in October. While many reactions focussed on his unwillingmess to vote, it was the bringing together of spirituality and (non party)politics that was music to my ears. ‘For me the solution has to be primarily spiritual and secondly political’ he wrote. Millions of mainly young people watched the YouTube videos of his interviews combining an egalitarian, anti corporate stance with an emphasis on spiritual transformation. What is the spiritual/political transformation needed? Firstly, radicals don’t want anyone else telling them what to believe or do, even the very articulate Russell Brand. But that can include the Gurus of consciousness raising too. Many of us don’t want hierarchical and/or corporate spirituality either. Is it perhaps more about attuning to a ‘current’ that is getting stronger, the current that inspired Occupy, an equalising current? As part of that, is it possible to develop a spiritual system that is centred on equality AND our interconnected ness with nature?
This is where Crete comes in. You might think ‘what is the link’? Well this is my belief, backed up by loads of scientific archaelogy…. The early so called Minoan civilisation around 2,000BC may have been the last largely egalitarian one before the patriarchal, hierarchical systems completely took over. Egypt, Sumer and other ‘advanced’societies had already changed by then. And we have only to look at the Minoans depiction of nature on their murals to sense an all pervading sense of interconnection. Is there a link between their political system and an understanding of the sacredness of nature? There were many places, for example in Old Europe, Africa and the Near East that seem to have had this combination for thousands of years before. And of course some small hunter gatherer cultures had/have similar connections. But women are not always as honoured in these, as they seem to have been in early Minoan Crete. There, the Keftui as they were called then, created a highy complex, technologically advanced civilisation that stayed more equal and less patriarchal for longer than anywhere else. Human cultural evolution could have been very different if it had not been destroyed. But now there might be stuff to learn from them and to bring into the 21st Century.
We can only guess the details of Early Minoan religion/spirituality from the murals and artefacts. The most famous image comes from a later period but still speaks to me powerfully. That is the statue of the so called snake goddess/priestess (see the painting above). She has never been definitively named. But as I meditated on her and lost myself in the painting, a name just came to me out of the blue. That name was EQUALIA. She is holding two snakes, symbols for me of the equalising flow of life, she is wild and bare breasted yet contained and in deep meditation. If the abstract balancing force in nature had to be personified I think for me it would have to be her.
I then Googled the name Equalia and found that it appeared in the Simpsons as an imaginary land where all the citizens are equal but Lisa and her friend Juliet were in charge!!!!! Still I invoked her at a ritual last week and felt some of her very real power. For me she is ‘a long lost, future goddess/archetype/principle of nature, the Tao and the Da, Ma-at and Rhea, an equalising force, super symetry in physics, the equal sign in mathematics, and a disolver of ALL inner and outer hierarchies. Ho Equalia!
You could use the painting above or your own image of Equalia to meditate on and just see where ‘she’ takes you.