About The Sacred Feminine
“How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you? A place for you to go…a place of women, to help you learn the ways of woman…a place where you were nurtured from an ancient flow sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself. A place of women to help you find and trust the ancient flow already there within yourself…waiting to be released…
A place of women…
How might your life be different?”
-Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk
When I first read this passage seven years ago, it moved me to tears, and to paint this painting, and dream this dream of a sacred space for the feminine. That is when this name, “Moon Sanctuary” came to me, and I imagined a place where women could go, day or night, to be safe, nurtured, supported.
What is the Sacred Feminine? Is it only for women? For Cis women?
The Sacred Feminine is for everyone. It lives within everyone and everything. It is simply an energy polarity that contrasts with, and balances the masculine pole. This polarity had been recognized in ancient and modern cultures as Yin and Yang, Shakti and Shiva, anima and animus, the left and right hemispheres of the brain, etc. We all have both inside of us, in different proportions, which can shift over time.
Often, women have a predominance of feminine energy, but certainly not always, and a man can carry predominantly feminine energy, as well. People of any gender can have a unique constitution of sacred energies within themselves, and everyone who wants to strengthen and heal the Sacred Feminine within themselves is welcome here.
Cultures all over the world have been imbalanced toward the masculine for a very long time now, and this has caused a lot of damage to people and the earth. This imbalance shows itself in our politics, in our economic structures, in our media, in our personal relationships.
Feminism is a political movement intended to balance out the political, social, and economic power between men, women, and people outside the gender binary. Often, the spiritual side of life gets left out.
What does feminism mean when it is applied to the spiritual life?
Our major religions and holy texts were all founded by, ministered by, and tailored toward, men. Most of the texts use only “he” pronouns to refer to participants and to God. Images of God are mostly masculine. Religious leadership and full participation has often been denied to women. It goes on.
And as devoted as a woman might be to her spiritual path, when she is operating within the structure of these patriarchal religions, she might find herself feeling inadequate, misunderstood, marginalized, and aspects of her inner life might feel ignored, devalued, or even cut off, in order to fit within these systems.
She might feel as if she can’t ever seem to “do it right”, that there is something wrong with her, and that something is connected to her femininity.
Or she might have rejected the realm of Spirit a long time ago, because she felt resistance toward organized religion’s top-down structure; she knew intutively that it did not make room for her as a feminine being with wisdom of her own inside her body and her mind.
This is where the Sacred Feminine comes in.
Exploring, reviving, and empowering the Sacred Feminine involves asking the questions: How might spiritual practice and evolution look, feel, and taste differently, if it were framed by, guided by, and in service to, women and the feminine? How do women and feminine people experience and express their spiritual selves when they are left to their own devices? What does God the Mother look like? Feel like? What does she have to say to us?
Often, when the feminine within is allowed to unfold freely, She expresses herself through a focus on interconnectedness, relationship, and the absence of hierarchy. Often, She is intimately connected with the cycles, yearnings, and tremblings of the body. Often, She sees nature and the Earth as the most holy. Often, She is expressed through artwork, dance, song, poetry. Often, she is spontaneous, nonlinear, yielding, making space for the unknown.
This is all of our birthright. Women, men, and everyone in between benefit and thrive from forging a deeper, more respectful connection with the Sacred Feminine within and without. Women, especially, because this is often our primary mode of operation, have a lot to gain from honoring this part of ourselves. The Goddess is concerned with healing the wounds of oppression, sexual assault, self-hatred, and degradation of the Earth that are inflicted under patriarchy. She whispers through our gut feelings and our aches and pains and our menstrual problems. But she whispers to all of us, menstrual cycle or no.