This is the second part of an interview with Ava Park, founder of the Museum of Woman in Irvine, Calif. The museum is dedicated to helping women find, regain and experience their power and ability to set boundaries and to create balance, peace and harmony in their lives, their society and beyond. Part I appeared in Radiance Magazine, April-May 2018, and can be found on our newly redesigned and easy-to-use website at radiancemagazine.org. —Editor
Ava Park speaks about Women’s crucial role in our society
Although women’s role in society is progressing in many ways, we also now get 24 hour news reports from every corner of the world about challenges women are still facing. Does it seem daunting sometimes? I have great hope for humanity. I wouldn’t be putting my money, time, effort and love into this museum if I didn’t think that we had a hope for change. I believe that some of the tremendous challenges that women are faced with now – an avowed “pussy grabber” as our president, and many such shocking things, are part of the to-be-expected “backlash” as women begin to assert their rights.
You’re not angry? I am over it! What some call “sacred rage” is useful for motivating a person to action, but once you are so motivated, ongoing rage is just enervating and exhausting. Better to just focus all one’s energy, not on raging against “what is,” but rather on creating “what’s next.” Like many women, I was at one time very angry.
We talk about the four archetypes of women in my original teachings called The Queen Teachings©: The Maiden, The Mother, The Queen, and The Wisewoman. The Mother is “The Giving One.” That’s natural and normal. But what happens in a patriarchy is that The Mother archetype gives and gives and gives—and eventually, inevitably, burns out. She has exhausted her resources because She does not receive. The Queen is “The Receiver,” but most women are disconnected from the powers of The Queen.
This is why women are so angry, because they’ve been in their Overgiving Mother far too long without having the benefit of their receiving Queen, so they are literally “spent”—like a burned-out match. The element of The Mother is Fire; fire is associated with the belly—with digestion, with transformation, with birthing. Woman is the original shaman. She brings that which is in Spirit to the physical. Every time a woman has a baby, she is performing a sacred act of shamanism for her family, her tribe, for humanity itself.
The Queen archetype holds the power of receiving, vision, boundaries and gratitude. When Woman leads humanity with Her vision, things go well. When men lead without Woman’s vision, things go … well, you see what happens. The Queen is also responsible for self-care. The Mother is not about self-care, She’s about caring for others. That’s Her essential power. But if you don’t have a balance in your life, Mother and Queen, if you have little ability to receive, then you will tip over into the imbalanced archetype. The imbalanced mother, the Overgiving Mother, is, well, just pissed off! Raging. Resentful. She’s angry … and a lot of the time, she doesn’t even know why. And what is that reason? She lives in a crazy culture that denies her powers of Queen, a culture that none of us was ever meant to live in.
Do you advocate women with trapped trauma to seek out holistic healers? Women should seek any kind of help that feels good to them. But in this time of New Age “we create our own reality,” it is also important to understand we are living in a culture specifically set up to exploit people, to limit resources, and create “broken people.” Broken people are easier to control and easier to sell stuff to … the perfect consumers for the machine. So while it is important to take responsibility for one’s life, it is also important to recognize that “it’s not you, it’s patriarchy!” This is, by any definition, an insane world that men have created. The culture humans were meant to live in is what is called an “egalitarian matriarchy,” a much more peaceful, prosperous and joyful place for both women and men.
And the insane world created the traumas. The way they were treated growing up. Yes. Here at The Museum we have on the first Sunday of every month a spiritual service at 1 pm that focuses on exposing the insanity that is patriarchy, and helping women, men, and families understand the wonderful system of human interaction that can replace it. That service is for everyone. For women only, there is The Goddess Temple of Orange County, which is a spiritual women’s group that meets here at The Museum every Sunday. That group helps women “gather their Divine Powers to bring peace, prosperity and joy” to women’s lives—in spite of patriarchy. We help women process and overcome the trauma that they inevitably experience in this dominator model culture. Even driving by a Hooters, for example, is a subtle form of abuse, because, you have to ask, “what does a woman take from seeing that?” That she is an object.
So trauma for a woman is the norm? Well said. It is the water we swim in, the air we breathe. Women say, “I’m not traumatized. I’m okay. I’ve never been raped.” Really, emotionally, we are raped in so many ways every single day. Just reading magazines that objectify us, that make us know that we are a sex object. Men are traumatized in patriarchy, too. Terribly. Even though it looks like “the perpetrator” is “doing it” to “the victim,” the victim is participating in many subtle, brainwashed ways. The victim was raised to participate. They are conditioned to do so.
People will complain when I say that. Some women will say I’m “victim blaming!” No, I’m simply pointing out that we’re all complicit, especially in our ignorance, because when you get clear on what’s going on in society, then you can start holding some boundaries, which is a power of The Queen,–and which most women –up until now!—don’t do very well. The Mother in Woman has no boundaries. How could She? She’s unconditional love. You have no boundaries in unconditional love. That’s why a woman cannot remain in her Mother archetype all the time. She has to have some boundaries.
I love that distinction. Yes. Love is unconditional, but relationship is not. You must love unconditionally as a principle, but, in your human interactions, you cannot just let everybody walk all over you. You must have boundaries in order to be healthy. No thinking woman would let another person spit on an altar. A woman’s body is an altar. If she lets herself be abused, she is letting a person spit on an altar. Women must “include themselves in” to Life. Thinking women do not permit violence to be done to others … we must include ourselves in “that which we protect” against violence.
The greatest challenge that the average woman in America has today, and perhaps all over the world, is that she does not know how to have proper boundaries to take care of herself and her children.
I think men too are crying out for women to get some damn boundaries. Men are going to just do, do, do, do, do what they do—until women stop them. I don’t think men are happy abusing, mistreating, oppressing women. How could they be?
And themselves. Therefore- Yes. It’s all abuse. Abuse of Life. Women must teach men to stop abusing Life, and we women must teach ourselves that we are part of Life, and so abusing us is also not permitted. And I’m not talking about a man beating his wife only … I’m talking all abuse. Getting paid less. Having our bodies controlled by men. All of it.
You said we’re all complicit, so would the flip of that mean we’re all empowered? Exactly. Once you get clear, and that’s what we want to do here, is help everybody get clear. But we start with women because the so-called victim is the one who has to see first what’s happening; the so-called perpetrator will not. People enslaving others never suddenly just wake up one day, and say “Oh my gosh, what I’m doing is wrong.” No, it has always been this way: the so-called victim must rise up and empower themselves and say, “I’m no longer going to be this victim. I’m no longer going to participate in this. Come what may, even if it means my death. No more.” That’s what we must all do—women and men. We must decide we are no longer going to participate in this death-dealing culture.
Is #metoo part of that? Yes, the #metoo movement is a very good start—bringing to light for examination what has been happening all along. But we cannot stop with “metoo.” Because “metoo” is saying, “I’m a victim of abuse, too.” We cannot label ourselves as this. We all know: “that which we focus on tends to expand.” So if you focus on yourself as a victim, what the hell? That’s just going to expand. And #timesup is the same thing—because what is the focal point of Time’s Up? “Time is up for you, the oppressor.” We’re still focusing on the oppressor instead of focusing on our own empowerment.
We do need the next stage- And the next stage is for women everywhere to see themselves as Queens. The Queen is the opposite of The Victim. She’s the Empowered One. No one abuses The Queen, and She leads the people to justice to goodness, to peace, to prosperity. I believe in focusing on the solution, not the problem. The stage after that is for men to see that when women are respected and honoring for the Life they bring, for what they give to Life, men themselves are much more happy, free and fulfilled. That’s what I’m working on!
For more information on Museum of Woman call 714-392-0558 or go to [email protected].