(Special Post Isis 3) Why the Color of Isis Matters by Mago Circle Members

[Editor’s note: The discussion took place in Mago Circle during the month of July, 2013. Our heartfelt thanks go to the members who participated in this discussion with openness and courage.]

Part 3 Isis, Arab Women Revolution, and Black Goddesses

Naa Ayele Kumari Going back to the original topic of the post…. Some quotes ” Women are in half the society… How come there are only 7 in the Assembly… and they are all Islamist! ” I can’t beat up my wife and almost kill her and call it discipline… this is not discipline… this is abuse and insanity”


12-Year Old Explains Egyptian Revolution in Under 3 Minutes


Max Dashu It is tremendously heartening to see these insights being expressed, and spread. The Salafis have made such inroads, and now the pushback is happening.

Harita Meenee Dear Naa Ayele Kumari, thank you actually reading my post and commenting something relevant to it. It’s refreshing when someone does hear what we have to say instead of projecting their own notions. Building a solidarity movement with those who are oppressed but fighting is very important during these critical times!

Harita Meenee See also:


The uprising of women in the Arab world انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي

حرية الفكر ، حرية

التعبير ، حرية الاعتقاد ، حرية التنقل ، حرية الجسد ، حرية اللب…See More

Glenys Livingstone … as you say Max …” way too much of it going on” – amongst people who should know better (I would have thought): “Dark goddess as terrifying, challenging, white goddess as benign; “black magic” as harmful; I see way, way too much of this going on out there.” And related to that in my mind is all the “love and light” business that is so common: the Ground of Being is Dark … it seems to me that mystics have always understood the quintessential darkness of Love/Deity.

Max Dashu Sure. I would just like to add that the critique raised here addressed issues much broader than the substance of the article, which made some good points. But once the choice of graphics flagged the issue of representation, people had much more to say about that old yet still very fresh wound which is constantly reopened by the cultural habit of whitening Egypt, or interpreting Africa through a eurocentric lens. It is not on any one person to carry the weight of that; we all have a responsibility to address the issues, but especially those of us of European heritage need to familiarize ourselves with how this plays out over and over. Just as men have a responsibility to speak up in support of women when patriarchal assumptions are on board. We all can learn something from each other, along all the various axes of domination, and overthrow them in coalition.

Naa Ayele Kumari I have often considered where the roots of this psychology comes from. It is dualistic thinking that causes us to compare and contrast, then sum up judgement of good or bad and place a value on each. It extends into competition and justification for war. It also doesn’t escape me that often this came with certain civilizations who systematically destroyed others. It didn’t just happen with blacks in Africa… but blacks in Asia and the Indus Valley as well.

With the Aryan invasions of India, came the eventual introduction to lighter divinities and more emphasis on male divinities. Southern Indians, Sri Lankans are very dark… even more so than many African Blacks. The caste systems implemented by the Aryan invaders did the same thing to them casting them as “untouchables”. With that came the marginalization of their black female divinities such as Kali. Kali actually has 10-16 forms… from compassionate mother, the fountain of wisdom, to she of great beauty but she is minimized as just destructive and terrifying… especially as Brhaman, Vishnuu, and Shiva grow in popularity. One of Kali’s statues has her black self standing on top of Shiva because she conquered him. Later there is a discussion in on of the Hindu text explaining Kali (as Parvati) after being subdued by Shiva she becomes lighter. Further they have stories about him rejecting her and calling her blackie which made her do austerities to rid herself of her black skin.

Naa Ayele Kumari It should not be overlooked that in the Story of Alice in Wonderland… a story intended to keep Goddess elements for future generations, has the Elder sister ( the Queen of Hearts) portrayed as man, ego, and power driven who cuts off heads and has a fierce dragon…a clear reference to Kali. The White goddess as the younger sister is her opponent… and her mission is to usurp the throne of the Queen of Hearts even though she was the rightful heir as the oldest … or primordial. Stories like these also reinforce the stereotypes and negative iconography.

Max Dashu Yes, it is pervasive in many cultures of domination. Demons are portrayed as black not only in Europe, which we know well, but also in China and in a lot of Buddhist iconography. In modern India, the sweet goddesses are shown as pink, the wrathful as black; and Krishna (name means “dark”) is turned powder blue. (Another of his titles, s’yam, also meaning dark, is the word translated as “green” in Green Tara.) The countercurrents (Black Mazu, loving Kali – esp in Bengal and south India, Black Madonna) bubbled up from the common people, who knew and longed for something other than the dominant racialized hierarchy.

5Naa Ayele Kumari I am just discovering Mazu ( Matzu/LuShui) in China today! Never knew about her. This discussion has led me to look deeper for black goddesses in Asia.

Max Dashu Taoist spiritual tradition often refers to Xüan Nü, which can be translated in several ways. You’ll usually see it rendered as “the Mysterious Female,” a phrase that occurs in the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), and this is a valid translation; but what is less emphasized is that it also means “the Dark Woman.” In this usage she is an initiator into the Mysteries. Ultimately of course these meanings can’t be separated.

Rick Williams This thread was awesome. I intended to awaken diverse versions of TRUTH. Received much more, thank you all. Want add that SPECTRUM color variations coincide with empowerment of vibrational imagery. To see this REALM with one VISION goes against all that I REmember, as IM taught NOthing in this REALM. When any political CONflict lacks a reVIEW of SPIRITUAL imBALANCE nothing in relationship to that LIFE circumstance will be resolved. To continualy HOPE that WE may ONEDAY see TRUTH without AFFIRMING TRUTH in the SPIRIT of MER MA’AT conflicting ENERGY will reMAIN to RULE the DAY by NIGHT. HTP, LOVE and PEACE.

(End of the Discussion. Read Part 1 and Part 2)

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