Land is held by the female clans and inequalities are erased by a wide-spread practice of gift-giving. Those who have more hold parties and feasts where what they have is shared rather than hoarded. In matriarchal societies the earth is generally understood to be a Great and Giving Mother and her generous gift of Life is celebrated in rituals that celebrate her as the Source of Life.
Over the years I have been struck many times by the generosity of the Cretan people, especially those who live in rural areas. Could it be, I wondered, that the idea that the earth is a Great and Giving Mother is connected to the “teaching” still alive today in Crete that nothing is more important than to give and to receive in the circle of life?
In Crete I learned a different lesson. I met people who love to give and who consider giving to others on a daily basis to be a part of life. The people I met also enjoyed receiving. For them life is a circle that includes self and other. Self-denial was not a part of it. To give is to live. But so is to receive. Recognizing the two together is, I believe, the essence of the matriarchal worldview. ((Take me back to Irakelion...ed)) (More)