The Feminine Divine
“If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For I have been with you from the beginning.”
–Starhawk, The Spiral Dance
“God is coming, and is She pissed.”
Last night, I was thinking a lot about what is “sacred.” I couldn’t sleep because of menstrual cramps, and I’m having night sweats and hormonal mood swings (which makes me think about menopause). And all these things in women that allow for birth and creation of new life, we don’t want to talk about in public. Occasionally, my teenage daughters tell me when they are having their period. But more often than not, I’m left to guess. Meanwhile, we all go about our days: taking pain pills, grumbling, and trying to push down any physical or emotional discomfort. We are not given the time to simply be, to comfort ourselves with a bath, hot tea, extra sleep, a good book, or heating pad. The world does not say to young girls or women: This time is sacred. Your body is sacred. Care for yourself and allow us to care for you. The world does not say to women: You are sacred.
What if our spiritual practices changed so that women’s periods became a holy time, a time for respite and reflection? What if each month that sacred life-giving force was treated with reverence? What would we teach our daughters? What would we teach our sons? How might men treat the women in their lives if women’s bodies were honored? And if sexual intimacy was understood to be sacred? How would our families, movies, culture, and media change? How might religions be transformed if women were given equal voice in defining the “sacred.”
Are menstruation and menopause a “spiritual” topic? Is the personal spiritual? Can we have books and discussions about our bodies, about the sacredness of sexual intimacy, and about all things sacred? Do we have meaningful rituals for our daughters as they become women? What type of world do we want for them? Do we have rituals for women as they leave the child-rearing or maiden roles and enter the sage wisdom stage of life? Do we honor these feminine contributions in the world? Do we see the connections between birth of children, nature, and creation of all?
I want my daughters to understand that women were burned as “witches” for knowledge and wisdom and spiritual practices that preceded Christianity. An estimated Nine Million women were executed during the Burning Times. I do not believe Jesus ever would have imagined such dire consequences in his name. I believe Jesus loved women, because love is what he taught.
With spring plantings, new beginnings, and life brimming forth with hope and possibilities, let’s give thanks to the daughters, mothers, and women in our lives. Let’s give thanks to the Goddess.
In joy and gratitude,