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Feminine power has long been associated with the power of seduction to get whatever it is a woman wants…a man, a job, money, power, etc. But true feminine power goes far beyond using our beauty, charm, and our sexuality in the art of manipulation. Feminine power encompasses the totality of who we are the gifts we possess. It is a deep and innate power that can be accessed at anytime once we realize it is there. To understand the fullness of our feminine power, we must take a look back to a time when we knew who we were and were celebrated because of our unique gifts. We must go back to a time beyond history to herstory… the beginning.
I love learning and studying herstory. My studies of the goddess and the divine feminine has taken me back to a time when women were viewed much differently than we are today. When we were celebrated merely for being a woman. Celebrated and not objectified. I've learned about the many feminine centered cultures long before the suppression of patriarchy. Cultures where women were revered for her abilities as a great creatrix, giver of life, and producer. Her blood was not unclean, it was supernatural, magical. When she bled, it was a time of heightened wisdom and insight. How was it that she could bleed and not die. How is it that she could birth from inside her womb, a being that is both fully human and fully spirit. How is it that she could feed her babies from her breast?
Her womb and her gifts were compared to the womb of the Great Mother Earth. In these times, the Earth was viewed as female and so was the view of the divine. The Goddess was present in mother-centered cultures that understood the importance the feminine had in everyday life both in the sacred and in the natural.
Women were culture creators. They were pioneers in early agriculture as food gatherers. They worked with plants, and learned of their medicinal properties to heal. They were midwives and the first doctors and pharmacologist. Anthropological studies have proved that women first discovered how to use and produce fire. They were the first potters creating pots for daily life and for ceremonial purposes. Women built the first graineries and food storehouses. Women were leather makers and developed techniques of weaving and cording of bark and grass fibers into baskets, creating the earliest textile work.
Women were developers of early language. I love what Authors Monica Sjoo and Barbar Mor write in The Great Cosmic Mother, about women and language. They state, “It makes sense that we women, who give birth to human life through our sexual, or vaginal mouths, would also give birth to human language through our social, or facial mouths."
Women possessed an inner knowing and passed this gift down to their daughters. They were receptive and had keen spiritual insight. One of the rites of passage activities of Aboriginal girls focused on heightening their intuition. They would take her outside and blindfold her. This taught her how to be in tuned with the environment and rely on her inner and outer senses for information and survival.
Intuition was not only a woman’s gift it was her weapon and her armor. It kept her family and community safe.
Women were healers, alchemists, and midwives. They were held in high regard and this was depicted in the art. Ancient sculptures and pictures on cave walls and ceilings of women with large pendulous breast and a rotund protruding abdomen, were not objectifying women, rather they reveal how women were celebrated for the gift of fertility as well for her other forms of creativity.
Later as patriarchal cultures emerged, women went from being celebrated to subjugated. Her feminine mystery and prowess became a threat to these societies. While once reverenced, she became feared because of her power to birth, bleed, nurse, heal, create and her connection to the spirit world. Patriarchy and colonization happened and eventually put an end to all matrifocal, matrilineal and matriarchal societies.
With the repression of women, came a disconnection and destruction of the Mother Earth. (Some Quote)Greed, War, Classism, Sexism, and Racism are all products of a patriarchal system that sought to control. Motivated by fear, these systems destroyed anything and everything that could thwart their power. Women were burned. Men were castrated and babies killed to prevent the patriarchal reigns from being overthrown. But the patriarchy and religion blamed the woman for the woes of society.
Learning about women in early cultures was more than gaining information. There was an immediate resonance and remembering. Something in me began to wake up.
The more open and receptive I became in this process of expansion, the more I began to remember, the more I connected with my own feminine power, mysticism and magic. I celebrated what I once hated. I learned to stop despising my menstrual cycle and surrender to it. I started to view it as clean and would as much as possible turn my attention within to listen to the wisdom of my very wise and intelligent womb and its creative power.
I began to celebrate my own innate feminine gifts, nothing I never really did before. Living in a modern day patriarchal system, the masculine way is favored. And we struggle as women when we adopt this way of thinking and living where we are celebrated for what we have, our accomplishments, how busy we are, how much have going on in our lives, and how much we are able to multitask. The busier you are, the better you are. Resting is often viewed as weakness in our culture. Women are constantly running around as if they are going to run out of time and our bodies, relationships, and our environment suffer as a result.
We have forgotten how to be and we are getting by in the world using masculine strengths and we are exhausted because of it. We all have masculine and feminine energy but the feminine principle is rarely celebrated. In the workplace the feminine gifts are viewed as “soft skills”. I believed these so called soft skills are strong skills. They are collaboration, intuition, active listening, appreciation, praise, creativity etc. And when we don’t show up with these qualities and strengths, we find ourselves imbalanced.
The woman in harmony with herself recognizes she is cyclical like the moon and relishes in her season of rest as much as she does her hustle. I took an entire year off of my healing, mentoring, speaking and writing work to honor my season of rest. I needed to heal. I needed to work on me. I took a job working at a spa that year. I called it, “my year of sacred self-care.” If I had previously had a speaking booking I would honor that commitment, but I canceled my plans of writing, touring and pouring out into others. I desperately needed this time for me.
My father transitioned from this life that year before and no matter how much I tried, I could not continue on with life as usual. So much had happened. I was a different person at the core. There was trauma and drama in my family and it seemed wrong to go back to working like nothing happened. There were lessons to be learned, feelings to process, places to heal.
On the outside, it appeared as though I was stagnant. Not much was going on. There may not have been much activity, but I knew roots were growing that were not visible on the outside.
I’m so over people’s perceptions, so it didn’t bother me when I heard the occasional question of why was I not in the same place in my life and business as before.
My wake up call has taught me to honor the feminine principle and my feminine gifts. As a result, I live more of a life of flow in harmony with myself and in alignment with my values and internal guidance.
I tried it the other way. I followed formulas for success, did what consultants and coaches told me to do. I burned myself out with all my activities, goals and networking, only to be left bankrupt in every area.
My activities were not always fruitful. I wasn’t in tuned my intuition and I ignored my needs. There is so much wisdom that we posses if we would stop, listen and honor the gifts in us that we neglect and ignore.
Waking up the divine feminine doesn’t mean we diminish the masculine, it just means we bring back balance and harmony to our lives. One of the most recurring questions I get when I travel or speak to women’s groups is how to live in balance, and if there is such a thing. I believe there is and it is seen in our embracing our feminine gifts and honoring those feminine attributes of the divine as well as in ourselves--the gifts like nurturing, receptivity, listening, protecting, and creativity,
Will your rise and remember?