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Women's Demons
The Feminine Shadow
The Negative Feminine - panel discussion, Friday, July 5

by Azzah Manukova

School was over for the day. My friends and I were walking out onto the street. Then terror struck. My mother, standing across the street screaming “Aaaazzzaaah” with what seemed like the loudest voice in the world. There she stood, crossed arms holding up her bra-less tits, a dirty t-shirt, my father's shorts, dirty gumboots and some sort of rag thing tied up on her head. A big strong loud Russian woman in a nice quiet conservative country town in the outback of Australia.

I went into shock instantly and quickly hid behind a tree. At 13 years old it's important to fit in with your classmates. “Is that your mother,” Sheryl asked? (She at least had a normal Ausi name.)  “No,” I lied with sweat already surfacing. I waited for a few minutes till my friends left all the while hearing my mother practically choking with laughter. I ran across the road and started flipping out: “Don't come here! Don't dress like that! Don't scream! Don't laugh like that!” “She dismissively responded, “I've been on the farm all day. What does it matter?”

Just then Fatty Foster, a classmate, walks by eating an ice cream with his nice neat polite well coiffure "normal" mother. “Don't talk to those foreigners,” she said, “They are wild violent dangerous people, you don't know what they could do to you.”

Once again I started sweating with shame. “Did you hear that Mum? Now I have to fight with Fatty Foster tomorrow because he's going to laugh at me in front of my friends.”

Mum says, “Azzah if others opinion is going to dictate your life you better kill yourself now, because that is not a life worthy of living. And by the way that woman pays rent to me.” Shock, another lesson I'll never forget. That's when I started seeing life differently. All is not what it appears to be. “Never allow your wild spirit to be colonized,” Mum used to say, “It's a force that pushes you beyond yourself into your future. It's a gift from creation.” What did my mother, having survived the horrors of the Second World War as a child, care of the opinions of others? Seeing my mother in a different light I started to respect her strength and dropped my shame.

As I now know, it's very hard to stand alone and go against the social norm. A Jewish man that was in a concentration camp under Hitler said that when Hitler drove past and hundreds of people were screaming “Heil Hitler,” it was all that he could do to not lift his hand and join the hysteria.

Years later I came across Terence McKenna, who said, "Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness. Nature creates unique individuals whereas culture has invented a single mold which all must conform to. It's grotesque.”

We live in a patriarchal culture? How does its influence create my reality? After all, it is a made up system. How does it distort the feminine? How does it distort the masculine? 70% of suicides are male. What part of patriarchy is creating that phenomenon? Or rather what part of the distorted feminine is creating that, because it's the feminine that raises the boy? The Dali Lama said, "Our world will change with the wisdom of women breaking apart the mold of patriarchy.” But first we women need to honestly look at our own demon. Otherwise we will be ineffective, screaming for change with no potency or wisdom behind it.

Mum said in war the devil comes to earth and everyone becomes insane. Carl Jung said if we don't acknowledge our shadow it will take control of us and create an inner war and that then destiny will step in and expose externally our inner insanity.

Patriarchy teaches men to fear their vulnerability and teaches women that pretending is an art form. Each of these lessons create inner monsters. It's time for an evolution revolution.

Read about the event


Azzah Manukova grew up on a ranch in the Australian countryside. As a child her first teachers were Australian Aboriginal shamans

She left Australia and moved to Bangkok to study Buddhism. There (and also in the Philippines) she counseled young girls and boys, rescuing them from sexual slavery, setting up communities and creating a cottage industry for them to be self-sustaining.

Azzah has worked in 12 countries, including: at Saikojy temple in Kyoto with Buddhist monks; conducting seminars in Nairobi, Kenya educating young girls about the dangers of female circumcision; in Crown Heights, N.Y. with the Jewish community.

Azzah has studied Acupuncture. Gestalt Therapy, Tao Diagnosis, Thai massage, Theosophy, Buddhism, Enneagram, Psychodrama, Saitai, Dance Therapy.

She has been practicing Vipassana meditation for 25 years. Contact her:

See Azzah's Youtube channel.

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