Monday, September 19, 2011

Journey into the Sacred Feminine: the Beginning

Every story has its beginning.  Every path begins with a single step, every painting with one solitary brushstroke...

Well, you get the idea.  My story of my journey began in college a few years ago, when I first met people who revered the Sacred Feminine - the Goddess (cue gasps of surprise and horror) - and began to learn what it meant to them.  I wrote a couple pieces on Goddess, after doing some research on my own and reading a bit here and there.  In fact, it really started with a book called Goddess, which delved into the archetypal imagery behind the major Greek goddesses.  (I don't remember the authors' names at the moment).  I read some of that book, and some of Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, as well as a bit of Z Budapest's Dianic works.  And as I read, it became not only a class project, a grade, but also something that lodged in my heart and became harder and harder to define, no matter how much I read about it or tried to mull it over in my head and heart.  Now, a couple of years later, I still can't readily define it. I also wrote an essay for a different class, called Maiden to Mother - if you're at all familiar with Goddess concepts, you'll understand.  For those of you who don't, let me elaborate. The essay was about a transition I'd gone through, realizing that I had grown from Maiden into Mother, an archetypal growth from the childlike wide-eyed innocent into the... well, the Mother. I guess when you think about it, it's rather self-explanatory.  I have three children, though at the time I had only just had my second, and I was realizing how very much I loved being a mother...

But I digress. As I was reading these books for this research paper, I began to realize the deep truth these authors were speaking of.  Sue Monk Kidd calls it the "feminine wound" in our society, culture, and within our own hearts.  It is a wound that causes hurts all across the board, man, woman, and child, because of its destruction of the inner self of women, what Estes calls the Wild Woman soul.  It has occurred through the patriarchal focus of religion, which gave rise and power to the patriarchal focus of society and culture.  Whether you realize it or not, it is still alive and well today in churches, in schools, playgrounds, workplaces... anywhere men and women interact. Pay attention next time you have any kind of interaction, or watch any kind of interaction, between a man and woman.  Unless both are quite well enlightened, the clues are all there... body language, tone of voice, sometimes outright in the words exchanged.  Pay attention, notice it, and then see how it makes you feel.  Curious, isn't it?

When was the last time you heard a young boy and girl arguing, and the boy gets the last word simply because he -is- a boy?  Why is that, do you think?  What kind of thing is that little girl learning about her Self, her worth, her being?

Well, these are the thoughts and questions - some few of them - that were sparked in me by reading these books.  I began to move into my own feminine awakening without realizing it.  And before you think it - I'm not talking about some madly belligerent, arrogant, combative feminist with a chip on her shoulder, I mean a simple awakening to the knowledge, the TRUTH, that there is a problem, and that I have, am, contribute to, this problem in our society, by virtue of the fact that I had not realized it, or taken steps to resolve it, to heal the feminine wound within me and reclaim my inner self, my Wild Woman soul, and to re-learn my Self from the perspective that the Feminine can be Divine, too; that the Feminine is just as Sacred as the masculine.  Sue Monk Kidd wrote about her search for Divine Feminine symbolism, not to replace the masculine, but to place alongside it.  She suggests in her writing that once a woman regains her sense of the Sacred within herself, the Goddess within herself, that it can co-exist and co-create with the masculine divine - that in fact it is the two working together that balance the world.

Amazing thought, isn't it?  that God and Goddess together, working in us and through us, can bring about what nothing yet has been able to?

A lot of people will never open their eyes to the idea of Goddess being possible or acceptable.  But She is necessary to heal the women and thus the world.

I am again minded of the Crow: Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.

How does that statement relate to reclaiming of the Divine, Sacred Feminine?  What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thoughts on the Inner Life

There is a life that no one lives
There is a song that no one can sing
A painted picture down inside, that no hand has ever touched
Things deep within that nobody can see

Lonliness and love are two sides of the same coin, as are hatred and companionship.  One cannot love without first knowing hate.  One cannot be fulfilled without first knowing emptiness. One cannot be faithful until learning of betrayal.

So what of the life that no one lives?

It is the soul's life that never dies, the life inside that resides in darkness and shadow, shining its light for all to see whose eyes are open; for without Darkness there can be no Light.

What of the song that no one sings?

It is the soul's emotions that are its melody.  Love and Hate, Joy and Sorrow, Happiness and Grief, Hope and Despair are its lyrics.  When felt, they make a sound or speak a moment, and together they weave a song.

What of the picture no hand has drawn?

It is the soul itself, a grand tapestry of song and life that surpasses in beauty all things.  It is the masterpiece of creation; it is what makes a person who and what they are.  Its colors are the qualities that form a human heart.  Its shapes are the balances and actions that proceed from the makeup of the soul.  It is, above all things, unique, and a treasure.

Sorrow and loss create a tapestry of dark colors and forbidding shapes; love and happiness paint a picture of light and joyful things.  those who know only happiness cannot know it in full without having tasted the bitterness of betrayal and anguish; those who hate know nothing of love and yet they know what it is not,  Therefore they will love deeper and wiser than those who have known only brightness.  This is a love that takes its victims unawares, without mercy or pity, that cares not whom it may touch.  It cares not what hearts it may destroy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Journey into the Sacred Feminine: Prologue

Sacred Feminine.

Bringing a sense of the divine to women's inner souls and spirits, creating an open road to our inner lives and empowerment through Goddess archetypes and symbolism.

What comes to mind for you when you read those two words?  For a lot of people, they are amazing, powerful, life-changing bringers of epiphany and growth.  For some, they evoke negative connotations, such as those associated with overzealous feminists or crazy dirt-worshipping tree huggers.  An image equally powerful, less well known, and possibly both positive and negative is the image of the Dianic religious tradition a la Z Budapest.  For me, these words are are a journey I'm still walking.   I've been reading books (with others on my future reading list) that have introduced the sacred feminine in different manners that are equally poignant to me.  I also haven't actually finished any of these books yet.

 The first book I started reading is Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It brings the sacred feminine into the realm of Jungian psychology via the medium of folk tales meant to teach.  The second book I started reading is Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd.

This is the story of my journey, still being written...