Monday, June 9, 2008

Connection to the feminine

Some books speak to me more than others. Marianne Williamson's The Age of Miracles, Embracing the new Mid-life, for instance, was a total dud in my opinion. Two of my women circle friends agreed. No meat in it, nothing new to mull over, no real useful information or inspiration.

Other books reach out and grab me on a visceral level: The Heroine's Journey by Maureen Murdock ( is one such book. She describes the urgent yearning women have to reconnect with our own wisdom, with our bodies and souls, not just our minds. The desire to find our own power, to cherish our female bodies and embody the 'feminine' through 'conscious nutrition, exercise, bathing, resting, healing, lovemaking, birthing and dying."

There's a clue there to what the connection to the feminine is, and I feel some part of it resides in the female body, and our care of it:

"The female vulva was once an emblem of beauty and holiness and transcendence. All humans come into the world through the gateway of our body."

Compare that to the discomfort a lot of women feel with their bodies, if not outright self-hatred. All our bodily changes at puberty, pregnancy and menopause leave us feeling out of control. We celebrate it, yet are embarrassed by the exuberance and abundance evident in our female bodies.

What if we blessed our body parts instead of cursing them? Why do we have such a love-hate relationship with our breasts/thighs/hips/bums/arms/legs/feet?

What is the connection to the feminine and how do we regain it?

Some women seek it in ancient goddess mythology: " Because female history has been so shattered, women are reaching back to prehistory to find elements of the woman's mythology that existed before the Greek division of power into mulitiple gods." The Heroine's Journey.

Some of those images can be found across many cultures: the Virgin, the Mother, the Crone, the spider, snake and bird. The grail, cave, mountain, water, ocean, vessel. Images of the feminine have been used to evoke much more than sexual attraction and fertility: as creator (Tiamat), destroyer (Kali), as giver of compassion and mercy (Kwan Yin).

But it's not all in the ancient past. Our modern mythic women are embodying the feminine as they build networks, join women's circles, create healthy communities to live in, work to protect the weak, the young, and the elderly. The Tend and Befriend impulse in times of stress is an aspect of the feminine. The environmentalists seeking to protect green spaces and preserve forests and streams and wildlife are connecting to the feminine.

Wherever there is moistness, new green life, flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, in the creative impulse that springs forth on its own. In the desire for peace.

Nourishing, feeding, caring for babies, building hospices for the dying, acting as agents of change and transformation, architects of the compassionate cities of the future, engineers of safe, non-pollutant forms of transportation, conscious bio-dynamic farmers, astronomers studying the stars, computer programmers unveiling the web of connection between human beings all around the planet......

What is the feminine for you?


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