Deborah Anapol’s “Gender Queering Mother Earth”
The traditions I’ve studied and taught for many years in my seminars on Tantra and Pelvic Heart Integration all agree that feminine energy is breathed up from the Earth and into the feet and the pelvis, while masculine energy is breathed down from above, into the heart or the crown of the head. Pelvic Heart Integration includes a specialized form of breathwork that is designed to harmonize masculine and feminine energies. One day while I was engaged in this breathwork practice, I suddenly realized that I was instinctively breathing masculine, rather than feminine, energy into my feet and pelvis. It felt so right! I couldn’t imagine why hadn’t I done this before. In that moment the thought struck me like a thunderbolt: What if Earth, what if Nature hirself,* was not mother, not even female, but male, or more likely both? What if Mother Earth and Father Earth were queer polyamorous lovers engaged in Hieros Gamos, Sacred Union, not only with mythological gods and goddesses, but within themselves and with each other?
While the queer deconstruction of gender informs us that we can find both feminine and masculine qualities almost anywhere we look, in terms of both our personal identities and our cultural predispositions, gender plays a significant role. Gender tends to be one of the earliest identities we assume. Most cultures have clear, although cross culturally inconsistent, expectations for gender roles and have seen certain natural formations as possessing special powers, either phallic or womb-like. For me, what’s important is not the argument about the validity of gender as a concept, but rather becoming aware of the assumptions our culture has made about the gender of our planet and noticing the implications of this worldview. Perhaps gender queering Mother Earth is a key not only to our eco-psychological health, but to our very survival!