I’ve been referring to this same set of “guidelines” with just about every project I’ve initiated or opted to work on since college. I’m finding myself considering their implications once again as we are preparing the first public reading of Avenging Arachne: a Nemesister Fable for May 18.

Nine Principles of a Matriarchal Aesthetic by Heide Gottner-Abendroth*

1. The attempt to change psychic and social reality through the use of modern magic

2. A predetermined framework based upon the structure of matriarchal mythology – in other words, “diversity in unity”

3. Transcendence of the traditional mode of communicating — through collective participation all are simultaneously authors and spectators

4. Total commitment of all participants in this welding together of thinking and feeling and doing in the form of concrete mythological image

5. It cannot be evaluated by and interpreted by outsiders nor sold as a commodity in the art market and later stored away or exhibited in a museum

6. It cannot be subdivided into genres because it cannot be objectified. It breaks down the barriers between art and life and is a complex process of social interaction

7. It adheres to matriarchal rather than patriarchal values; the erotic is the dominant force and not work, discipline renunciation, rebirth is favored over war, a sense of community and sisterly love are preferred to authority, dominance and egotism

8. Social changes brought about will aestheticize all of society and return art to its original role, allowing it to emerge as the most important social activity

9. Matriarchal art is not “art,” rather it is the ability to shape life and thus change it; it is an energy and drive toward the aestheticization of society; it is the center of complex social action

dervied from The Dancing Goddess, 1991.

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