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The Divine Feminine

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Lightkeeper, May 1, 2006.

  1. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    THE DIVINE FEMININE


    In the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras humans worshipped the Great Mother. There came a shift from Goddess to God, a split between spirit and nature. Women were associated with nature. With the split there was a focus on the opposites, such as good-evil, man-woman, light-dark, etc. There was an emphasis on power and conquest. This caused a split within us. There is a difference between what is taught in a patriarchal religion and what is actually in our souls. The Divine Feminine is deeply embedded in us.

    Our evolving caring for our planet, our emerging caring for beauty, harmony, justice, and unity of life are signs that the Divine Feminine is returning to our consciousness. We are reconnecting to the instinctual, trust, nurturing and unity of the opposites. The Divine Mother heals, comforts and consoles. She has the power to destroy the old and the love to transform our unbalanced patriarchal culture. The Divine Feminine also has the ability to abandon. She is the virgin, prostitute, nurturer, pain, the holy grail and the Holy Spirit. She is adored worshipped, and feared.


    In Native Traditions there is Mother Earth. She surrounds and instructs. We can learn from them to respect the laws of nature. The following are the three laws of the Divine Feminine according to native traditions:

    • The law of unity of life – There is one energy, one power. Everything is interconnected.
    • The law of rhythm – This is an awareness and reverence for cycles, i.e. seasons, our bodily rhythm cycles. We survive by attuning ourselves to life’s rhythms.
    • The law of the love of the dance – This is living in intimacy with the pain, wildness and passion of Mother Nature. There is a unity of the opposites.

    Gaia of ancient Greece was the Earth, the mother of all life and Gods. She was the consciousness that guided and structured the order of creation. She was the life and law of creation. She inspired the Greek poets in their love of beauty and harmony.

    The Goddesses made people aware that they walked on sacred ground. Aphrodite for the Greeks was their love of beauty and their response to it. Christianity banished Aphrodite. She stood for everything it feared. Such as, the delight in the body, sensuality, sexual desire, etc. These all meant temptation and sin to the Christians. If Aphrodite is not allowed to live in our souls, we are likely to experience depression and despair. The Christians have devalued women and have repressed a delight in life. When Aphrodite
    and what she signifies is repressed, she returns in negative ways, such as pornography and sadism.

    In Judaism the Shekinah is the Talmudic concept of God’s presence on Earth. In the Kabbalah the Shekinah is the return of the Bronze Age Great Goddess. She is the intermediary between the godhead and life and is the cosmic soul. She brings heaven and earth, the human and divine together. In the Shekinah we find the image of a sacred marriage, a divine father-mother. The Shekinah is mother, daughter, sister, holy spirit, a giving woman. She is the Cosmic Womb. She is the creative powers of both male and female. She is radiance, wisdom, compassion, mercy and justice. She also has the power to destroy. She has a deep devotion to what she has brought into being.

    Gnostic tradition speaks of Sophia, the Divine Mother, but this has been taken out of Christian teaching. Today we might see the Shekinah as the energy that manifested as matter. Matter originates from the Latin word: mater, which means mother.

    In Christianity, Mary, like older goddesses is the Light of the World, Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Sea, she presides over fertility and childbirth. She stands for the feminine principle that connects all things to each other. She speaks as though she were the voice of the Holy Spirit. She offers wisdom and warning and does not ask for belief. She asks


    for transformation. Many of Mary’s traits were transferred to her from the Old Testament Shekinah. The Latin word for sea is mare, from which Mary’s name is derived. Mary is the Womb of Creation, the great sea of being. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary having been born with no Original Sin. This made her perfect for receiving the Lord.

    Mary asks that we love with God’s love, not with human love. Love begets healing. Mary sees even the smallest of goodness in people and is happy about it. She wants us to focus on what we have and not on what we do not have. Mary does not make life smooth she is a hand holder. Mary is the conduit between God and humans. Mary sometimes appears in visions at Fatima and Medjugorje. Her appearance is preceded by the scent of roses.

    We feel closer to Mary, the nurturer than to the Patriarchal God who is seen as the stern judge. In Mexico Mary is worshipped more than Jesus.

    Mary appears more times in the Koran than in the Gospels. However any experience of the Divine Feminine by Muhammed has been excised or muffled in “official” Islam. Muhammed borrowed the Shekinah from Judaism and called it the Sakina. The Sakina is a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The Muslims do not accept the feminine role for the Shekinah. Even though Sakina is a word of feminine gender, it is seen as neuter in Islam. Allah is masculine. To Muslims Sakina is an object of sexless Divine presence.
    However, the power and radiance of the Divine Feminine is present in Sufi poetry and philosophy. They extol love of all human life and passion.

    At one time in China The Garden of Paradise belonged to Hsi Wang Mu, Goddess of Eternal Life. She was the Cosmic Womb and Taoism emerged from this foundation. The Tao is the mother of all things. Taoists have kept the Divine Feminine alive if their religion. They were able to develop the mind and stay in touch with the soul. Their images of yin and yang show that opposites complement each other. The opposites contain parts of each other.

    The I Ching helps the individual balance the yin and yang energies. It teaches us to look for the deeper meaning of the One that is both. The way of Tao is to reconnect with the source, which is the root of heaven and earth.

    In the Tao Teh Ching we learn the feminine trait of bowing to the other. Feminine quietness and stooping conquers the masculine. The sage is humble and does not put himself higher than anyone, he helps all creatures find their own nature. Mercy and non-striving are feminine traits which help the individual find heaven.

    The following poem expresses what we are missing when we repress the Divine Feminine and what we gain when we embrace her.


    When the moon rises in the
    Heart of Heaven
    And a light breeze touches the
    mirror-like face of the lake.
    That indeed is a moment of pure joy.
    But few they are who are aware of it.

    Anonymous
    From Creativity and Taoism
    By Chang Chung-Yuan



    BIBLIOGRAHPY

    Harvey, Andrew & Baring, Anne The Divine Feminine, Godsfield Press, Berkeley, 1996
    Cleary, Thomas I Ching, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1992
    Donofrio, Beverly Looking For Mary, Penguin Group, New York, 2000
    Patai, Raphail The Seed of Abraham, Scribners, New York, 1987
    Wu, John C.H. Tao Teh Ching by Lao Tzu, Shambhala, Boston & London 1990










     
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