The Story Behind . The Amazon Series
Penthesilea, Queen Of The Amazons
Oil on canvas, 2017
Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time.
During childhood I loved listening to audio fairy tales while drawing. I also loved spending hours looking at the illustrations. Around the age of 14, I started writing and illustrating my own magical stories, which intuitively always ended in 'restored harmony'. There and then, and much later in my adult life, fairy tales and especially the Greek classical myths, became my biggest source for personal growth. Once I dove into them I quickly learned about archetypes, and how they live within us on a deeper, psychological level.
However, it is important to mention that most classical fairy tales and myths were (re)written from a patriarchal point of view, not to be used for the good and welfare of the people — which was the matriarchal way, but in order to oppress, enslave, control and keep small. This I found out later when, as a female, the innate urge to reacquaint myself with the hidden feminine side of the Divine revealed herself to me. The Great Mother, the Divine Feminine, the Golden Mean or Wisdom, better known as Sophia representing consciousness coming from within. This feminine face of Source was known and honoured in matriarchy, the egalitarian motherland, or the most female-friendly HerStory period of our times on earth.
Studying HerStory felt like a home coming. It explained why women do what they do and look for awareness and healing, and why they have the special talent for building, creating, birthing and handling things 'magicaly'. Women don't 'float', they are merely grounded and rooted in their own past.
Also, in these pre-cultures, women and the feminine, and men and the masculine, were completely equal and they worked well together. Their gods sometimes had a very feminine side and their goddesses were often depicted fierce and combative — androgynous deities were the norm. But the masculine (Yang) always supported and respected the feminine (Yin) because it gave life and this life-giving power was experienced as exceptionally sacred. The now still widespread worship cult of the ancient Egyptian divine twin pair Isis and Osiris, which originated as early as 15.000 BC, testifies to this, along with the still practice-oriented Veda's from ancient Indian culture from around 7200 BC, that indicate men and women can be human and divine at the same time. Yet, as soon as one starts to rule over the other, the non-dual Golden Mean disappears. Which is what clearly happened with the first egalitarian forms of coexistence and matriarchy. However, there is no right or wrong here. In the cosmos nothing is ever out of control or not meant to happen.
After humanity became aware of their sacral feminine side, like a child first experiencing the mother, a period began where the masculine side needed development: ratio, will, action, materialization and orientation towards the outside world. This was a positive thing. Yet, on the negative side a great distance arose between spirit and matter. The image of Source as well as the image of humans and the world became male-oriented. In this fatherland cosmic consciousness lost its sacral ground. People began to feel lonely, especially in times of scarcity due to climate change and the stress it caused to fight for survival. It is fair to say it was a combination of several external and internal factors that caused the historical defeat of the Divine Feminine and the female sex in general, which ensured that worldwide a patriarchal period gradually dawned from as early as 4500 BC. Its turning point is set around 1000 BC, the beginning of the Iron Age — when the hearts of the people turned from stone into steel.
From then on, male literates started writing HisStory (since women were not allowed to study), additionaly arranging our laws, politics, literature, religions and practising philosophy, the love for Wisdom, in such a way that its true Divine Feminine origin, or Sophia, was reduced to a poetic figure of speech, a fantasy, and therefore no longer discussed or valued. Meanwhile, dysfunctional habits like the veil, circumcision, cultivating virginity, staying indoors, not being educated nor having a voice,... were being developed. Needless to say, patriarchy leaves its bloody traces through all times and cultures. Which now still seems as if this has always been the case. Fortunately, our most ancient, pristine myths from the motherland tell us otherwise. They show us that wise women, whom were later given the negatively construed name 'witches', were part of a universal Wisdom tradition long before the fatherland emerged.
In fact, exploring and restoring HerStory next to HisStory, is what our education should be about, in order to gain insight and solve both our collective and personal trauma caused by patriarchy. To eventually find the balance that is urgently needed to reimpose Our Story, a time where spirit and matter is again seen as inseparable, a time in which humankind is no longer reduced to gender, duality, separation... but orientates from a masculine-feminine point of view, through wich we can truly become human in purest form.
Are we willing to be transformed by our myths?
While studying the patriarchal mythology of the Greeks more closely I somehow fell under the spell of the mysterious Amazons. The female warriors who lived beside the River Thermodon around the Black Sea, who fought their own battles and founded a society with their own laws and customs distinguished by revolutionary gender equality, which was clearly very matriarchal inspired. Even though the Amazon warrior woman gave birth to children — whom she protected and raised with great devotion, she doesn't depict a traditional mother figure. From a pshychological point of view the Amazon women are known for representing an ancient, archetypal image of the practical and independent decisiveness of the feminine principle — which Jung calls the Animus, or the masculine side of the feminine psyche. Yet, they weren't portrayed as male or asexual women either, nor did they fit the description of having traditional marital values like Athenian women, who were relegated to the house and to having children. Despite the subordinate role of the Athenian women, the Greeks were in fact the first known culture to consider, question and document the role of women in society. However, only from a social-economic point of view, which clearly has had a huge unfortunate impact on modern society and culture for women and femininity worldwide. On the other hand, Greek poets like Hesiod and Homer or historians like Herodotus somehow contributed to revealing and spreading a deeper truth about women in HisStory by also referring to the innate divine, mystical and spiritual aspects of priestesses, goddesses and female warriors in their writings. Yet, they themselves were already quite infected with an aversion to the feminine, since they generally characterized these women as shameful, deceitful, unworthy and second-rate — which still has left a huge stain on women in society today, building up immense collective trauma within the feminine, and thus within men too. On top of that, the Greek orators used these stories as leverage against their own women to keep them obedient, making it seem that Amazonian warrior women were always doomed to be killed by the great Greek heroes.
Thankfully, the Amazon female warrior cult is now still everywhere to be found, including Africa, Asia, Europe, South America (the Amazon River was named after them), and North America, mid 20th century, with the comic book hero, Wonder Woman — who gives a fair picture of the innate nature of the Amazons in the eponymous movie of 2017.
Besides the importance of these, however one-sided, written stories, recent amazing archaeological discoveries and excavations point out that these ancient Greek Amazon warriors did exist, along with so many other warrior women from different mythologies. Clearly today, they are still pretty alive and kicking, especially from an archetypical and psychological point of view, considering they have been well preserved in our DNA since the pre-cultures. They now give us a clearer insight into how the negative image of women and the feminine in general was being established throughout HisStory.
Undoubtedly, these Greek female warriors were the first sisterhood group that fought for equality in Western patriarchal society as early as approximately 700 BC. To me, these women appear as being raw, insatiable, fierce, consistent but honorable, vulnerable and divine, and therefore I find they seem the closest to embodying an explicit primal image of balance between the feminine and the masculine principle. A vision that clearly originated from egalitarian matriarchy.
It is fair to say that Amazons, both in reality and in a vision of gender equality, have always been with us. Yet, their fiery spirit still lays hidden and surpressed within many women (and men), or if women do stand up for themselves they don't usually get the credit they deserve. Therefore it is up to us now to restore the long lost divine image of women and the feminine energy in all of us, in that it re-establishes the Golden Mean with Unity Consciousness, so that the world and its people can heal again as a Whole. That is why I like to honour the Greek Amazon female warriors in particularly, for being the first, raw primal image of the embodiment of Wholeness in European HisStory.
So where could I be holding myself apart from Wholeness? Where might my inner polarity energies be in conflict?
Self-examination lead me to understand that this ancient archetype of the Amazon woman was pushing me to become acquainted with my own Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energy. To heal, forgive, accept and integrate both polarities since, throughout HisStory, they both had been out of balance for so long. To let go of any dual perceptions of right and wrong, of blame and conflict, and old rigid traditional self-fulfilling prophecies of what it means to be a man or a woman. To let go of judgements and beliefs from the old paradigms around age, gender, race, social background, cultural belonging. And to begin opening to new identities and more conscious attitudes to assist me into becoming Whole again.
You are the ancestor that changes everything for your bloodline. You are the golden light in human form brought to earth with a higher purpose.
Going on this challenging and ambitious Quest for Wholeness, trying to combine the best from Her & His Story into Our Story, I learned that within me, there was this dynamic and strong Amazon archetype alive of a woman as an active Builder and Creator, and on the shadow side the mystical Shaman in me was yearning to come out with an innate sensitivity to embrace, defeat and transmute her deepest wounds into Love, Equality and Unity for all.
I was asked to be aware of these polarities within me, to recognize and accept them, to weave and unite them together, re-balancing them into Wholeness, in order to create a unified field of my full authentic presence. Since it is in the recognition and mastering of one's Wholeness that our fullest potential and most tremendous power is found. Yet, to strive for a certain balance between them, the most fundamental thing that has to happen first, is to open to the idea that it's possible.
Then, the Quest to Our Story can begin.
Art Gallery The Amazon Series