The divine feminine: practical and visionary, studied and embodied, strategic and intuitive

Courtney Martin is a writer, speaker, and activist living in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, as well as four other books. You can read more about her on her website and/or follow her at @courtwrites.

One thing I know for sure after the Women of Spirit and Faith retreat is…

…in order for women to fully inhabit our rightful place as spiritual and religious leaders, we have to do a difficult mix of thinking strategically about the current power structures and how we can disrupt, critique, mold, and dismantle them AND we have to continue to create transformations within ourselves and our communities so we can bring about a truly new force for justice and love in the world. I’ve often heard these two things described as if they are one, but I actually think they take different parts of our brains and hearts. The one requires an acknowledgment and savvy about what is, the other requires a faith and delight in what could be.

I see that there are many women within this growing movement who believe in the inevitability of change for the good. I wish I had more of that sense. Instead, I have a keen awareness of the power of gender justice to unlock all of our potential, and the difficulty of seeing it manifest in a world that is still clinging so desperately to fear, division, and the bottom line as a measure of wellbeing.

The beauty of this realization, for me personally, was that I realized that the exact paradox that we are charged with–being practical and visionary, studied and embodied, strategic and intuitive–is something I happen to be really adept at creating. Sometimes it’s made me feel divided–why do I love poetry and strategic plans? Why do I feel like an artist and a journalist? But in this case, it turns out my strange intersection is part of what the world so desperately needs. Now my continual work and play is to figure out and feel my way into how to be of best service…


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