May is the month we celebrate the Mothers around the world. A day to celebrate that which brings life and nourishment to the world around us. We celebrate our own mothers, our sisters, our aunties, our friends, and our grandmothers as mothers, we shower them with offerings of flowers, sweets, and cards with loving words of devotion. On Mother’s Day, we honor the mother. We honor the Divine Feminine of life.
I often hear the words Divine Feminine interchanged with what culture has defined as feminine qualities or the archetypal aspects of femininity such as being beautiful, nurturing, loving, caring, and tender-hearted. But in the Vedic traditions, and in the creative process, the Divine Feminine is far from demure, it is recognized as the power, energy, and dynamism, that takes the unformed into form. It is the aspect of the Divine that is the catalyst for manifestation. In Ernest Holmes’s illustration of the creative process of life, it is the ‘Law’, immutable, unwavering, and ‘subject’ to the recognition of consciousness, it is how thoughts become things, as our Mind, the Divine Masculine, recognizes itself as this or that, the ‘Law’ the Divine Feminine demonstrates this as our reality. It reflects back in form what the Mind believes is true. And here is the kicker, the Divine Feminine is Prakriti, the divine energy that permeates and expresses as all matter, so everything created, is then, by its nature, Divine Feminine. You can’t ‘get in touch with your feminine side’, you are by your nature, in this expression, divinely feminine.
This is one of the concepts when teaching the creative process to new students, that raises eyebrows. Thought, the absolute, as pure consciousness is Divine Masculine, and form, as the many expressions and manifestations of Mind are Feminine. This is so beautifully illustrated in Ardhanarishavara, the depiction of life itself being both Divinely Masculine and Divinely Feminine, they are always in a union, always one, the two are always one. The spiritual terms masculine and feminine are never about gender, never about maleness or femaleness, never about being 'masculine' or 'feminine' in our appearance or actions, they are the expression of consciousness and the energy of matter in union.
If you have ever read the Devi Mahatmyam, the Hindu epic tale of good prevailing over evil which depicts the goddess, the Mother, Durga, as numerous manifestations and forms that ultimately slay the ego, the demons of false beliefs, and conquer the evils of ignorance on a gruesome battlefield, the Divine Feminine in powerful and diversified forms are fanged, wild, fearsome warriors that will do anything to defend spiritual awareness, growth, and liberation. Often shown in their iconology as standing on Shiva’s lifeless body, Shiva as consciousness, as Mind, is brought to life through Shakti, the law, the energy of life. Without it, Shiva remains still and quiet, with it he comes into life in a multiplicity of forms.
In this month of celebrating our Mother, consider celebrating Shri, the Divine Feminine, as Shakti, in all of her wondrous and magnificent expressions. She is the body of God, she is the thunder, the fragrance, the bee, and the flower, she is all things we can see, hear, smell, and touch. She is the manifested recognition of the Absolute, the one Mind, She is Beauty.
“When we walk on the earth with reverence, Beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and the arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace, Beauty is mysterious, a slow presence who waits for the ready, expectant heart.” -John O'Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher
- Find a quiet place in nature. Soften your gaze. Notice colors, movement, varied forms, and expressions all around you, notice everything in detail. Take a pause to appreciate the diversity of life made manifest all around you. Say gently to yourself, “All that I see is the reflected thought of the Divine Mind” and “All that I see was created first by a seed of thought, in the creative process, and is now made manifest by the Divine Feminine, the Law of life”.
- How do you relate to the terms Divine Masculine, Divine Feminine, Masculine, Feminine, Male, and Female? How have your upbringing and cultural influences shaped you in relation to these terms?
- When we see the Divine Feminine as fearsome, fanged, and wild, as a fierce warrior for our spiritual growth how does that land in your heart? Your bones? Is there a part of you that is challenging an old paradigm?
OM & Blessings, Kate