Mystical writer Marabai Star was invited to contribute her answer to the question, “What might a new, inclusive, spiritual order contribute to our world?” and we share a portion of her essay here.
I had a significant dream when I was endeavoring to write this essay and asked my Beloved for guidance. I dreamed that I was being forced to sleep with a man’s dead body in my loft bed. Three days had gone by and it was starting to stink. A young woman lived with me, but she was not strong enough to help me remove the cadaver. I managed to roll the body off the bed and lift it into my arms.
I lurched out of the house with the putrid face pressed against my face, and was swept up in a line of people walking down the road. A young man walking ahead of me must have noticed my struggle and turned to ask if I needed any help. My eyes filled with tears and I nodded. He lifted the corpse from my arms and easily carried it for me.
When I woke I realized that the man’s dead body represented the religious patriarchy I have inherited, which is devoid of life. But my younger sisters and I cannot dismantle this system by ourselves. We need the emerging family of men—who also know that the existing religious institutions are obsolete and toxic—to lend their strength and assist us in shifting the paradigm toward the feminine model of cooperation, compassion, and creativity. It is, of course, the balance of the Sacred Feminine and the Holy Masculine that will restore wholeness to the soul of the world. We may hope to strike this harmonious chord by placing special emphasis for now on the feminine attributes that emanate from the goddesses and women mystics of all spiritual traditions.
It is with great joy that I discover this vision of an Order of the Sacred Earth, flowering from Matthew Fox’s decades of spiritual activism and groundbreaking theology, nourished by the fresh insight and extraordinary dedication of the youth who are drawn into his sphere. Everywhere I go now, as I travel and teach, I am seeing these seeds bursting through the ravaged landscape. The youth I meet are hungry for meaningful spiritual practice and are wary of organized religion. They embody a beautiful blend of intellectual rigor and openhearted vulnerability that fills me with hope. I want to be part of this revolutionary effort to build a holy container in which to access and express the deepest truths of love echoing from the heart of the world’s wisdom communities in honor of “Our Sister, Mother Earth,” who sustains us.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action, pp. 122f.
See also, Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: A screengrab of Mirabai Starr and Matthew Fox introducing their course, Julian of Norwich: A Bold, Gentle Visionary on Living in a Time of Pandemic, offered previously through The Shift Network.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you agree with Mirabai Star that moving beyond the reality of patriarchy is integral to saving “Our Sister, Mother Earth,” and that men as well as women must make that move beyond patriarchy?
Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug
In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.” ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.
The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God