The internets have been buzzing about whether or not fans and theorists are correct in supporting and/or challenging Queen B’s feminism.
Is she really doing the work that it takes to push feminist thought forward or did her marketing team insert the term to create a buzz and broaden her commercial appeal?
Before I get into my thoughts, let me first say:
My perspective on feminism is rooted in my personal spiritual practice and my work to promote ideas that support a return to Goddess traditions. Politics aside, I believe that building a true feminist world view begins when women and male allies fully (re)claim the goddess within ourselves and each other. That said; I look at Beyoncé’s work through an archetypical / spiritual paradigm, not a political, social or theoretical one.
No, she may not be on the ground, lobbying for policies that support women, she may not have a track record that supports a fully feminist agenda, and yes… her husband seems to be a bit of a misogynist and his language is a bit problematic, but let’s remember he’s an artist and his medium is the beautiful and violent pallet that is black culture, a place where metaphors about “beating the pussy up,” can lead to fulfillment and enjoyment for both parties …
What’s more important to me than any of the above are the spiritual undertones and cues found in Beyoncé’s latest release and her overall image. From my perspective Beyoncé is a direct reflection of the goddess Oshun, an African archetype that originated within the spiritual myths of the Yourba of Nigeria, West Africa. These myths traveled to the New World via enslaved field workers in Brazil, Cuba and the Southern United States. In a more European construct Oshun aligns with Venus, Virgo - which is also Beyonce’s birth sign.
In the metaphysical realm, Oshun, Venus, Virgo, and their counterparts in other cultures, represent the ultimate expression of femininity and feminism.
I AM that I AM
When we take Beyoncé, the person out of the equation, and view her and her work as a spiritual performance of goddess myths through a pop-culture lens she becomes a conduit for the divine; a woman, beautiful, flawless and whole, just like you. When you recite her songs with yourself in mind, they become mantra, confessions and the random thoughts that you may not be able to articulate.
Is Beyoncé Omo Oshun?
Let’s explore some of the attributes of Oshun and how they align with Beyoncé.
Oshun is the orisha or deity of love and happiness. She is known for her aide in maternity and although she’s an African deity, in the New World she’s depicted as a fair skin, bronzed color woman with a very feminine shape and a bright smile. Some say her racial ambiguity helped her myth and principals attract a bi-racial congregation dedicated to the goddess … similar to what you’ve seen at a Beyoncé concert.
She represents creativity and abundance through wealth and children. She teaches us to appreciate the wonderful things in life that bring a smile to our faces. She’s a romantic, a flirt and seductress.
Not only does Beyoncé’s physical appearance align with New World depictions of Oshun, her seemingly strong focus on being mother, wife and seductress are directly connected to the deity’s myth. While the mother, wife, seductress paradigm can be oppressive in some cases, the also supply women with a great sense of power.
Did I mention that Oshun’s feast day is September 8th when the sun is in Virgo, four days after Beyoncé Knowles’ born day.
Oshun is one of the happiest archetypes in the Orisha pantheon, she’s usually depicted in ceremony laughing loudly, throwing her head back in ecstasy. She represents our ability to find true happiness and bliss on this earthly plane.
Pretty Hurts, the first track on Beyoncé’s latest self-titled release opens with a fictional beauty pageant.
Judge: “Miss 3rd Ward your first question… what is your aspiration in life?
Beyoncé: “(sigh…) my aspiration in life would be … to be happy.”
Oshun loves the finest things in life and sometimes she is never satisfied. But her myths warn us that getting too caught up in chasing the material leads to sadness.
" … try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see … it’s your soul that needs surgery.” - Beyonce’
Oshun loves the babies, although she’s busy and loves her independence, she has many children and her children are well protected under her power.
Oshun teaches us that you can be a loving mother and still remain focused and committed to your own well-being
Oshun cries a lot … her tears represent the flow of emotions; her tears wash away the energies that get stuck in our bodies and release us into forgiveness, which allows us to progress. In her myth, she cries for humanity, broken hearted mothers and lost daughters
Oshun is the ultimate seductress; her sexuality is her power, not her oppressor. In her mythology she’s prostituted her body to support her household. She has full control of her body and is sovereign unto herself. She teaches us to enjoy and love our sexual selves without shame.
Oshun is very young and she loves to dance. She is said to be where ever the Aña (sacred drum) is playing. She dances all day and all night until the Aña drum stops playing.
Beyoncé is one of the only performers who dances consistently during performances, in heels, while singing.
Oshun is one of Shango’s queens, and rules capriciously through him.
Even though Beyoncé made more than her husband last year, she’s still dedicated to his kingdom, evident by her constant references to “THE ROC”
Her main attribute is honey, she loves gold and she dominates everything in her path.
Oshun is a fierce defender of women
Whether she’s reminding us that we wake up FLAWLESS or reminding us to tell our haters (male and female) to bow down Beyoncé has always taken a pro-Woman stance. At the end of the day, let’s shift the focus from what she’s not doing, to what she is doing and how her underlying message is one of empowerment… If Oshun were an actual person, some would call her hypersexual, flirtatious; she may even be deeply capitalist. So, if the mythology of our ancestors recognizes that even when we’re “flawed” we’re perfect why can’t we look at Beyoncé for what she is … an outpouring of the divine feminine?