Before I was an Italian major in college, I was a sociology major. I was fascinated by how culture shapes our lives, and how we shape culture. I took classes like "Social Control and Criminal Justice," "Contemporary American Society," "Women, Food, and Culture," and my favorite, "Laughter, Garbage, and Collective Identity." (Yes). Much of this was fueled by moving to the East Coast from the Midwest. People looked different than me, talked different than me, spent money differently than me. I had to change my accent so people took me seriously. Even in the same country.
(Side note: Embodied faeries and elementals often feel this way. MUST UNDERSTAND HUMANS).
I began to notice how human beings shaped culture, and culture shaped our experiences. And culture is just collective consciousness.
Every country has a different collective consciousness, which is why we often feel more creative or get new ideas when we travel (depending on where we go). The consciousness shifts, and we do, too.
In any type of healing work, the lens of a sociologist is useful. Understanding collective consciousness is useful.
Many women I know experience shame speaking up, not because they were burnt at the stake (although sometimes that IS relevant), but because it is threatening to collective consciousness. Women are taught to sit still, be quiet, and look pretty. Look at Hillary Clinton publishing a book recently! So many people have said she should be quiet. Is it because she was burned at the stake in a past life? Or because people in modern America just don't want to hear from smart women, especially older women? And it is infinitely harder and more complex if you're black, latina, trans, and, and.
Yeah, it might be sexier to focus our healing work on past lives and fancy plants. But that's not the whole picture.
Unless we acknowledge the nitty gritty hard stuff about how culture is affecting our human experience, we have no power to change it.
Because culture can shift. Culture can change. And right now, that's what we need.
(Photo from my college days, when I cut my hair and became a feminist 😉)