In today’s society, it seems to me that we have collectively reached a point where femininity denotes weakness, irrelevance, and lack of power. Although the masculine and feminine aspects of creation exist inherently within all people of either gender, the female body is a physical representation of the divine feminine. Since our bodies are literal embodiments of this principle, women are particularly affected by the subversion of the sacred feminine. To fully comprehend modern women’s response to this suppression, we must understand that this is being done deliberately, and that women have been deceived. In response to the mass deception and confusion, women have developed convoluted ideas about how they are able to assert power in this world. This is a call to action to my fellow women; it is time that we reclaim the true power embodied within the female aspect of creation, and within ourselves!
The divine feminine principle has been revered throughout history and celebrated in many ancient societies through the worship of goddesses and female deities. The goddess Isis was worshiped in ancient Egypt and embodied the characteristics of motherhood, nature, and creation. The Hindu goddess Kali is another example, she was worshiped as the embodiment of time, change, and the cycle of creation. Other nature based, and pagan societies have also recognized the sacred feminine as embodied in the concept of Mother Earth. In her book “The Divine Feminine, exploring the feminine face of god throughout the world”, Anne Baring describes the feminine force as such:
“the fertile womb which eternally regenerates plants, animals, human beings; the life-force which attracts the male to the female; the power which creates, destroys and transforms all forms of itself. The goddess speaks as the source and embodiment of all instinctive processes. She is the life force which is nurturing, compassionate,, beneficent and also the terrifying and implacable force of destruction which can nevertheless regenerate what it has destroyed.”
In exploring the celebration of the Sacred Feminine expressed within these and many other philosophies, it is clear that the female expression of consciousness and creation holds amazing power! Balancing the masculine and feminine aspects of the human psyche is paramount to experiencing reality in a holistic way.
In order to balance both sides of the mind, and therefore operate from a holistic attitude, we must understand the nature of the duality of human consciousness. The masculine characteristics embodied within the human psyche include focused consciousness, strength, assertion, and demonstrate the principle of self defence. The feminine characteristics embodied within each of us can be described as awareness, receptivity, authority, creativity, the life force/cycle, and demonstrate the principle of non aggression. The physical bodies of men and women are the outward expressions of these psychological attributes. The male characteristics and expression in both the spiritual and physical can be interpreted as upward and outward. Conversely, the female essence in both the spiritual and the physical sense can be understood as downward and inside. While our physical bodies determine our outward expression, it is important to realize that regardless of gender, our spiritual selves are embodiments of the whole of creation. There are three aspects to creation, the duality of masculine and feminine being two parts, and the third being the essence of spirit itself, the all encompassing power of creation. In his essay “The Masculine and Feminine Principles”, Jeff Foster, an accomplished author and speaker explains this intricate concept wonderfully :
“How does a tree survive and flourish in life’s storm? The tree’s masculine (and some may say feminine) strength is its unyielding, firm, solid strength, like its trunk, unwilling to give way, standing its absolute ground, untouched by anything. “Storm, you cannot touch me! I am invincible!” it cries. The tree’s feminine (and some may say masculine) strength is in its yielding, soft, gentle way, like its branches, effortlessly giving way, intelligently bending in line with the movement of life, so that they never get broken. “Storm, come to me! Do not be afraid!” is its loving invocation. A tree needs both kinds of strength to be fully itself.”
Just as a tree relies on both aspects of the duality of it’s survival, so must we come into balance with the true and full basis of our consciousness in order to realize our full potential in the here and now. How then are women expected to function in a holistic and balanced way when the very core of our essence, the divine feminine principles, have been subverted? Looking around at the images and philosophies being encouraged and promoted to women, it is clear to me that the feminine ideal has been severely defiled. From media indoctrination into patriarchy, clothing popularized for women, perverted sexuality, the still prevalent (though much better concealed) inequality of women in the workforce, it is no wonder that women have misplaced their notion of power. To be powerful in our present world, one must be youthful, physically powerful, financially successful, and dominating. Is it any wonder then, that we as women are abdicating our inherent feminine powers in favour of adopting these perverted, and some might argue more masculine traits? What it really comes down to is that we seek to regain our control. Because our inherent worth has been hidden from us, we seek out control in order to regain a sense of strength, misplaced over time through programming though it may be! I have seen this manifest in myself, and in other women that I know in a myriad of ways.
Some women seek to control their own bodies, through diet, exercise, eating disorders, or general over-emphasis on their appearance. I’m not trying to say that your body is not important, or that you shouldn’t take pride in your appearance. But where I see this issue creating problems in the lives of the women around me is when the appearance starts to become who and what they identify with, as opposed to their internal qualities. We must learn to take pride in ourselves, as women who’s bodies are living representations of the female aspect of creation! To seek to impose control on our bodies is to misuse our will in order to impose control on the beautiful force of Creation itself! The key to this, of course, is holistic balance; we must give homage to our beautiful and amazing bodies, take care of ourselves physically, do whatever we can to ensure our health, but not become a slave to our physical forms! It is also insane to expect to create any kind of meaningful outward change when the only focus of work is done to, and on one’s physical body! We are so much more than our bodies, therefore we must utilize all of our capacities to fully realize our wonderful potential.
Other women attempt to gain control using the degradation of their sexuality. The media is becoming more and more explicit in the kinds of sexual acts that it displays, and the lack of respect displayed to sexuality in general is fast becoming just a normal aspect of everyday life. “Sex sells” is a slogan that everyone is aware of, and that I’m sure no one can deny is true in our society. We are even subjected to sexually explicit advertising in relation to non sexual items! (I’m sure you’ve all seen the Reebok commercial for their “glute-toning” shoes that showed countless images of women’s legs and butts, and very few images of the actual shoes being sold.) It is almost a natural reaction for women to respond to their feelings of inadequacy, and attempt to “climb the social ladder” by using the only means that they see at their disposal: their sexuality. This pervasive ideology that has largely been purported by the mainstream media very quickly and easily indoctrinates girls and women into a culture that views sex as a means to “get what you need”. The rampant and disgusting increase in pornography that is flooding all distribution markets is now seeing a heavy increase in progressively more perverse professional, and, even increasingly popular, amateur productions. Women are walking around with fewer and smaller articles of clothing, and if it is suggested that they might cover up, that they are perhaps being disrespectful of their own bodies, they have been fooled into believing that those making these suggestions are “anti-feminist”, or being labelled as a “Prude.” My challenge to that belief is that our bodies are to be cherished and respected, that there is a time and to celebrate our body’s sexuality, and to express that through clothing. My belief is that we must learn to know when and how to express the full nature of our femininity through the proper application of sexuality in all aspects of our lives, including dress and comportment. When I see news stories and internet videos of young ladies in high school and college doing “twerk-offs”, it generates a feeling of such immense sadness in me. It hurts me to the very core of my being to see so many young girls and women who have been so programmed that they now accept this as normal, even alluring activity. It is true that women, being living embodiments of the divine female principle, have bodies that symbolize fertility, creation, and the beautiful cycle of life. However, the intense and inescapable programming that we are subjected to in our culture has reduced the beauty and glory of the sacred feminine to simple and perverse sexuality.
Having read this far, some might ascertain that I might hold some rather old fashioned values. To set the record straight, I am a 27 year old young woman, and I consider the values that I hold to be a reflection on the morality that I have found within myself. I do not want to be misunderstood; in writing this article, my intentions are to express my ever developing ideas surrounding what it truly means to be female, and how our sexuality affects our lives in today’s world. While I do not agree with the current situation that women are faced with, I am certainly no advocate for the radical opposite lifestyle being portrayed in our media, the subservient woman who bows to her male superior and who’s only worth is calculated in the number of children she bears, and how well she keeps a home. While it is true that women are inherently nurturing in nature (due to their unique relationship with the sacred feminine as expressed through their bodies,) and therefore generally are better disposed to keeping a home and raising children, women are still whole human beings. Even if our bodies express the feminine, we are still a living manifestation of the most beautiful and awesome force, the force of divine creation! Since Creation encompasses both aspects of the duality, we must come into balance with, and develop a respect for the true core of our beings.