For the opening of The Open Table KC’s series on the Sacred Feminine, Eve and Mary, and the mythos around them became the focus. We discussed the harmful ways Eve is portrayed as a vixen and Mary as a virgin. To help folks unpack these archetypes, various images and icons of both women were distributed on each table, and people were encouraged to pick one that stood out to them. The story of Eve from Genesis and Mary’s Magnificat were read as the congregation pondered over the images. Folks were then invited to share their thoughts and reflections on the following questions:
- Does the image you chose have any connection with a woman you’ve known? If so, how?
- What is her reputation? What were you taught about her?
- How have Christian interpretations of her affected your understanding of women (for example, their roles, sexuality, relationships)?
- How might she write her own story?
These questions brought forth some great insights from the community.
- Studying the sacred feminine can bring us together and make us whole.
- The supposed fall of man blames women for their womanhood.
- The mythology around Eve has led to governing women’s body.
- Mary’s strength as mother and refugee are overshadowed by the beliefs around her virginity.
For further reflection: Who are the people impacted in this conversation? How does understanding of the narrative change when we see both Eve and Mary as young women of color?
The evening closed with a prayer inspired by the evening’s discussion:
Giver of Life, Teach us to dance at the sound of your word.* Tell us the story we need to hear to liberate us Of the limitations that we place on you. Enliven in us the reconciliation So we can experience you completely and fully Remind us that you said “Let us create humankind in Our image.” So that we can be part of Your Divine lineage and image- Both sacred and feminine. Mother God, Invoke in us the wisdom of the sacred feminine That all of us need to follow the call You have for each of us. Amen
*The opening line from this prayer quotes Dan Forrest’s song “The Music of Living”