Monday, August 28, 2006

sacred feminine

Ok - I just googled the Sacred Feminine and came across all kinds of debates about whether Mary Magdalene should be seen as Jesus' wife, a sacred harlot, inferior to the Virgin Mother Mary, and lots of Christian sites that react to Brown's book DaVinci Code, etc for even bringing up the subject of a divine feminine who is other than Mary the Mother of God.

I have read a lot of the literature recently, and have come up with my own idea of what is sacred - and what is feminine. (The question of whether we have a sacred masculine has never even crossed my mind, probably because we are all supposedly made in "god's image" and he was a Father. But Marion Woodman has called it the creative masculine or imagination.)

Here's my take: women have something divinely natural about their bodies that makes them co-creators with the Universe - they have a reproductive cycle that brings forth new life (yes, sperm is part of it too). But women have a monthly cycle that follows the moon in its waxing and waning - two weeks of building creative energy, two weeks slowing down towards the period of rest or bleeding time. Lots of people have written about how intuitive we are at this time, so I won't go on about it here. But that is the female body's link with the Universal Energy, through getting to know our bodies. And if we could link the sexual, creative aspects of our bodies with the divine aspects of universal energy....voila, Sacred Feminine. (Many other cultures have already imagined this by the way: Isis, Ishtar, Shakti, Demeter, Cybele).

To my early Christianized child's mind, it was comforting to hear stories about a Divine Father - but the Divine Mother was a virgin who had never had sex! So for all the people who resist the idea of making Mary Magdalene a spouse or consort of the son of God, just imagine for a moment that the sexual and the spiritual have been divided for so long, it is refreshing and liberating to imagine a beloved in the arms of God (and by her own choice, not as a child sold/given away to a temple to service men sexually, as someone spuriously suggested could be part of the Sacred Feminine).

Perhaps the Sufi's have it right (Rumi) when they say we are all the beloved of god. But I like the idea of seeing breastfeeding, menstruating, childbirth and other aspects of physical humanity manifest in the female form as having a Divine function as well. And thank god/s for birth control and freedom of choice so that women do not feel enslaved by pregnancy and childbirth, at least in part of the world.

What I do to balance out my 'language' problem with using the term God or Lord, is now I pray to Our Lord and Lady. It's not perfect, I know the universal energy of life has no gender, but I do this to balance the programming I received as a Catholic. It links me to the ancient mythology of the Sacred Marriage, that perfect balance found in the union of opposites, of male and female (see The Hebrew Goddess for a discussion of how the holy of holies in Yahweh's sacred tabernacle relates to the sacred marriage ritual).

Sacred feminine - is the yin as opposed to the yang, the receptive, moist, creative, inward, intuitive side that is in both males and females, and seemingly since it's less active, it's seen as less essential in our busy world. Yet millions of Chinese are dying this year due to overwork (they call it the mattress culture - they sleep under their desks!). Connection? We are so outward focused, so work and success oriented, so Yang and masculine in our culture of work, that there is little value placed on the yin, the receptive center, the place where we rest. Sabbath has been lost, the sabbatu or heart's rest, the sacred day off of Ishtar, Queen of Heaven at the full moon, when she was menstruating.

Anyway, getting off topic a bit - Kundalini energy is inside of all of us too, men and women, and it's not yin, although it could be visualized as the fiery hot flashes that menopausal women experience, and therefore connected to the sacred feminine.

Just thought I'd add to the mish-mash of ideas on the topic of Sacred Feminine, a topic close to my feminine (father's daughter) heart.


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