This Feminine Nature

Sacred Space

Last Saturday, we had our monthly book club meeting where one member quoted from a book of local farmer lore: about how the earth was not farmed for a certain period of time when it was considered to be menstruating! I immediately remembered a piece of lore of the Kerala fisher-folk I had heard years back.

In Kerala, we have Saturday something called “chaakara”, when fish come to the surface in great numbers and the fishermen have a fine time just scooping up the fish in large numbers. The interesting thing is that for some days before this, the sea turns red: and the fishermen don’t venture out. Kadalamma (“Mother Sea”) is supposed to be having her periods.

What we are seeing here is a variant of the almost universal mythical theme of equating nature – prakruthi – with Woman. And since myth is almost always written by men, the…

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