My niece, Sandy Naimou, is a yoga instructor, speaker and one of the board members at the Theosophical Society in Detroit. She invited me to speak in December about a topic that I dearly love; the roles of powerful women in ancient Mesopotamia.
I’m not a historian, but I studied this topic thoroughly when I wrote my four-part memoir series Healing Wisdom for a Wounded World: My Life-Changing Journey Through a Shamanic School. So, I’m aware of my rich lineage and of the fact that priestesses and princesses thrived in ancient Mesopotamia and made great contributions to the cradle of civilization including poetry, peaceful governance, and beer! Female freedom sharply diminished in that region when secular males acquired more power and religious beliefs evolved leading to the habitual pattern of, in Scarlet O’Hara words, “War! War! War!”
That region has suffered nonstop violence because of many factors, especially the exclusion of women in its political and social arena. Their leaders continue to aim for a peaceful existence through fighting and wars, and although that strategy has not worked for a dozen millennia, they won’t try a new technique. They’d allow their egos to destroy the entire planet before they stop, reflect, and admit that “Folks, this isn’t working.”
It would seem logical that if half the world’s population is women, then half of our leaders should be women. The case is not rocket science but as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. This is after all the 21st century and if we were to study history, not for mere pleasure or to solely boast of our accomplishments but to learn a lesson or two, we would find the necessity of having more women leaders to create a balanced society.
My teacher Lynn Andrews once told us to observe how far the Middle East will go without women. Not very far, I presume, and without their counterparts they will keep going backwards, further and further into the Stone Age. The indigenous people of Iraq, my ancestors, now make up only one percent of the population in Iraq, and most of them are living in dire unpredictable conditions.
Lynn had also echoed what the Dalai Lama once said, that “The world will be saved by Western women.” His words were a call to action to women throughout the west.
Well, reading the headlines in the last several weeks has proven that women are finally awakening. A few weeks ago in Detroit, about 4,000 people, mostly women, gathered for the Women’s Convention at Cobo Hall. Over 11,000 women have run for office, with a majority of women winning the elections last week.
One thing I’ve learned from reading about how my ancestors’ land went from being the Garden of Eden to a hell on earth is that when teams are diverse, they perform better. When they perform better, we all benefit.