Activating the Divine Feminine: Making Good on the Promise

Activating the Divine Feminine: Making Good on the Promise January 5, 2016


Even though the promise of the Divine Feminine is reflected to us moment by moment in the extraordinary beauty and complexity of Nature, the cosmos and our Mother Gaia, it is largely undervalued or taken for granted in the workings of our world. We see it, but we don’t see it. And we find ourselves, not surprisingly, in a world dominated by greed, competition, violence, and isolation. This world stands in stark contrast to the one promised by the Divine Feminine. That world is joyous, generous, heart-centered, and interconnected. How do we re-claim what has been lost?

The promise of the Divine Feminine is characterized by an “all-embracing energy,” a potential energy flowing in each one of us, one which opens its arms literally and mystically to incarnation, to creation, and to all that it entails: a world of abundance vs. scarcity; creativity which embraces paradox; and, compassion for all sentient beings. The Divine Feminine is both an interior and an exterior phenomenon that renders sacred nuance to life. And we lose heart when we lose the ability to perceive that nuance.

The accessing, cultivating, and internalizing of the admirable qualities we associate with the Divine Feminine – compassion, wisdom, unconditional love, gentleness, patience, healing, nurturing, forgiveness, and the list goes on – are difficult tasks, and carry with them deeply transformative lessons that rarely leave the person as he or she was found.

There are common misconceptions about the Divine Feminine. The Divine Feminine does not mean The Divine Female. It is not a gender designation. Popular culture has come to associate and assign these qualities with and to women almost exclusively – but this is too narrow, even erroneous a view, taking us rapidly off track. This separation of the masculine and the feminine is akin to hopping about on one foot, instead of walking about on two feet. This separation coupled with a largely patriarchal power structure, deprives the Divine Feminine of its creative spirit, rendering the demise of the power and the promise of the Divine Feminine inevitable.

Neither are the qualities we associate with the Divine Feminine all “soft and fuzzy,” when taken to their ultimate, transformative end. Cultivating the Divine Feminine within and manifesting the Divine Feminine without requires that we shift toward seeing from the heart. This is not something accomplished by naively saying to ourselves, “I’m just going to love people more.” It’s not an extra scoop of one’s favorite flavor of ice cream. It requires a fundamental shifting of consciousness and aligning with an understanding of who we really are and how we can most consciously engage with others and with the complex reality of life. Seeing from the heart, that is, learning to love, is the hard work of incarnation.

The Divine Feminine is the child-bearer, the life giver, the nurturer, the healer, the anointer, and the mourner. The Divine Feminine accompanies us through all the stages of our lives, using each to say, “This, too, is life. This, too, is incarnation. And, you have each other. For, sometimes, there is only the holding that one can do.” I am reminded here of the silence of Mother Mary holding her dead Son – the subject of Michelangelo’s magnificent Pietà.

So, how do we activate the promise of the Divine Feminine in ourselves and in our world?

Recognize that we live in a world of abundance, not scarcity.
Our Earth provides us with more than enough to go around, if only we could see it and share it that way. We labor under the notion that, “If I give something away, I will have less.” On the contrary, our “like attracting like” universe responds to generosity with generosity. And, the universe is in a position to be far more creatively generous than we are. This idea that there isn’t enough to go around leads to jealousy, grasping, an emphasis on personal survival, destruction of “the other,” and all manner of rationalized violence. But, there are those who live among us who through silent observation (often of Nature) are humbled by the diversity and complexity of ourselves and our world. A shift occurs within them and they align with the belief in the abundance of the Divine Feminine. Humility opens for them the door to awe. Awe opens their hearts to wonder and joy and divine presence.

Embrace the creativity and the paradox of the Divine Feminine.
There is no end to Nature’s creativity. Life is such a persistent force that Nature continually switches gears to nurture and support whatever is trying to come into being. Her toolbox of possibilities knows no bounds, for she uses whatever is already available to create. Simply put, when no light is available, she creates an ecosystem supported by darkness.

As our awareness grows, we quickly learn that the workings of the world are far more complex than we can comprehend using just our minds. We are often confounded by the paradox we perceive in life. How can something be both this and that? But, life can be both this and that, depending on whose shoes we are standing in. And, sometimes we have to wait for the “that” to manifest, in order to comprehend the fullness of the equation. The Divine Feminine can be at times “nurturing” and at times “destructive,” as it pushes and molds us into our higher soul selves. And, if we could only see with fresh eyes, we could see each new experience which lands on “the plate of life,” as something more nuanced than, “Here we go again.”

Over-trusting our minds, we limit infinite possibilities, when we insist on solving problems from the hopelessly small set of options we have gained from our limited experiences and associated expectations. Every experience is given to us as an opportunity to be mined for its lessons, for its ability to expand our consciousness by shifting our awareness to the heart.

Practice compassion for all sentient beings. The Divine Feminine is the mistress of radical love. It guides us to learn to love who and what is “actually” in front of us, not what we wish were there, but to love what is. Nature is very good at being “real.” Being willing to “truly see” whom we love, and to really listen to them and be there for them is the deepest and most demanding of all commitments. There is wisdom in compassion, in its inherent push toward connectedness and oneness with all creatures. Compassion teaches us that no one, no being deserves less. In the exercise of compassion, our souls are healed.

We share a world and a multi-verse with creatures of all kinds. On this planet, Mother Earth seeks to shelter and feed us all – none of us more important than any other. Each of us is a unique manifestation of God and a wonder unto ourselves. We are all interlocking threads in the weaving of God’s creation and to that tapestry we each bring our own gifts. Just knowing that we are all on the same trajectory toward awareness and love makes us kindred spirits on the common pilgrim road we all share on our journey back to God. The lesson of the Divine Feminine is that life is a flowing, multi-faceted reality, to be consciously experienced and the promise is a joyous, heart-centered world, interconnected and refreshed moment by moment.

The trajectory of our lives and of our world is toward wholeness. We create wholeness when we unify and balance the so-called “opposites” of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine within ourselves. The exercise of power by the patriarchy which we see so much of in our world today is not an expression of the Divine Masculine, but rather its shadow. It distorts the strength, intellect, focus and action orientation of the Divine Masculine in order to accumulate wealth, consolidate power, glorify competition, and pillage our planet. God created each and every one of us in the image of her/his own divinity, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1: 28). The intrinsic nature of this image of divinity is the union and balance of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. Only through union and balance will we find the wholeness our souls yearn for and our world so desperately needs.

"How I admire your clarity, ty Fr. Seàn"

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