The sacred feminine is a dimension within the human psyche that has been suppressed by many religious institutions, most notably perhaps, by the Holy Inquisition which lasted for several hundred years, from roughly the 12th through the 18th centuries.
Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth, explains the suppression of the feminine principle in some cultures, but not others (like Sumerian, Egyptian, and Celtic) as a result of the evolving ego and its attached pain-body. Our egos love to sideline others in whatever ways possible to win the exquisite worldly feeling of “being first/best/superior/right.”
Tolle suggests that the ego takes root much more easily in the male form than the female, though after so much suppression of the sacred feminine, many women have lost touch with their inner guidance via connection to the earth, their bodies, and each other, as well.
On this Mother’s Day, how might we honor the sacred feminine rather than just sentimentalize for another year the role of women as simply helpmates and caregivers in the world? Surely our mothers, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers would find it more honoring to them to see you using feminine wisdom more explicitly in the world rather than just buying them one more Hallmark card with a pot of pansies for their yard.
++One way might be to celebrate our relationship with our bodies by hopping off the diet-culture bandwagon once and for all, and looking into better ways of befriending ourselves through books or podcasts like Intuitive Eating by Elyse Tresch and Evelyn Tribole.
++Another may be by tending to the girl-child who still lives inside you, asking her each day what she needs to be well. Does she need you to listen to her childhood fears in a way that they weren’t listened to when they first injured her spirit? Give her that time. Maybe in your journal sometime today, have a conversation with her. She needs to feel your compassionate care (and don’t be surprised if it brings healing to your adult self, too).
++Or maybe your girl-child needs you to do something playful and engaging and creative with her? Go to the hobby shop or hardware store with her and see what piques her curiosity and let her buy the things she needs to create something new and beautiful in the world.
++Perhaps there is a painful life situation that has been at a crossroads for some time, which requires you to respond with an act of creative non-violence which is unlike any thing you have ever tried before, but to which you feel deeply called now.
++Maybe your feminine spirit is longing for something yet unnameable within you. However you gender identify, everyone has a dimension of the sacred feminine within them. In the book of Proverbs, this spirit is called Sophia or Lady Wisdom. Here She is in chapter 8:
“Does not Wisdom call out?
Does not Understanding raise Her Voice?
On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, She takes Her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, She cries aloud:
‘To you, O men, I call out; I raise My Voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.
Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open My Lips to speak what is right. My Mouth speaks what is true, for My Lips detest wickedness.”
Tomorrow, for the 15th year, an international group of peace activists of all gender identities will be honoring the sacred feminine within themselves and the world by standing in solidarity with one another for just five minutes at 1pm local time, all over the planet. Together the groups read The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering and the Standing Women’s invitation found here http://interspirit.net/sw/index.cfm, before leaning into prayer with one another for those precious five minutes.
Listening with our intuitions, below the noisy chatter of our egos, about what we need to be well in order to help the world be well is the most important sacred work on the planet, now more than ever.
Usually we might find ourselves feeling shy to initiate a new tradition during the casual Mother’s Day Luncheon with the family. But during a pandemic, all kinds of new paths are being forged by courageous souls like you. Whether you gather with a couple friends via Zoom, or just stop your car on the highway wherever you are at 1pm tomorrow, consider how you might live out these often overlooked words from scripture: “On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, She takes Her stand.”
Honor Lady Wisdom within yourself—and the many beautiful women who have touched your life. This is a Mother’s Day ritual worth celebrating.