On the Need for Balance, and Embracing the Goddess

Last week I went and saw an intuitive healer - a kind of tune up, if you will. In a two hour session, we talk (therapeutic in itself) and she casts runes and uses reiki to clear energies and intuit blockages and clear them. It's an extraordinary experience which leaves me with a sense of clarity, direction and reassurance. Sometimes I just like to see her to talk to someone about intense spiritual matters - there are not a lot of people in my physical circles I can do this with. We talked about the goddess Kali, and of Durga. She spoke of her concerns about mental health in a post COVID world, and how fear is cracking us all open - all of us. From that, she posits, we will find courage - our worst fears have been faced, in a very loud, fast and immediate way, so what will we have to lose? She also suggested that any community venture would be well recieved because people will be looking for something to fill the gap in their lives, and give them meaning. I felt strengthend - that Durga part of me wanting to be a mother of the world and get things done to bring that about felt a little stronger.

One of the things that resonated with me was something she brought up about a past life. I'm not even entirely sure that I believe in past lives, but I understand what she is trying to say. In a past life, I keep quiet and toed the social line. There was great risk to me and my children if I didn't, such was the age. This had happened through many lifetimes, even though I felt so deeply that things could be done differently, or were inherently unjust. Whether or not this was part of a life I once lived, to me it recalls how many woman's lives across the ages have been dominated by the masculine in a very patriachal world. Woman had to remain silent and submissive to survive. Poor goddesses, all. All that beautiful energy just swirling around, unheard, and frightened to see the light of day.

Now, things are shifting. In some cultures, of course, woman are still powerless, but there are many woman who break social rules and empower themselves. No longer are they the weaker gender. I've never thought we were - I was raised by a fierce mother who refused to comply to any thought that suggested woman were in any way inferior - it infuriated her. Still, there's been so many times I've felt the male gaze impact me - from sexual assault to derogatory comments, dismissiveness or even just offhand jokes (Australia is terribly for these - and if we don't find it funny, we're called 'snowflakes' as if we can't handle a bit of banter). I don't understand woman who think we're entirely equal in society and I don't believe 'feminism' is dead or unneeded. Just look at pay inequity in the workforce or the lack of woman's sport on television or worse, human trafficking, domestic violence, violent pornography and the million other ways woman bear the brunt of overly masculine energy.

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I think about who I've been across time and how I've survived in a man's world. I learnt to channel my masculine energy to feel power - I surfed and climbed and rode horses and used my physical prowess to compete and gain respect. I related more to boys that girls - girls I didn't quite understand, with their fickleness and competitiveness, and bitchiness. It was easier for me to align myself with male energy than it was to embrace my true womanliness, because I don't think I truly understood what it was. I didn't know that's what I was doing, or even why I was doing it, but I certainly wasn't harvesting my feminine power, my shakti. Had I truly listened, I would have sought out other woman, other men. But when you're young, this is how it is, when you're learning who you are. The cultural narrative growing up is pretty powerful - it was as good as a man, not as equal to a man - and I think that's true for many woman, and it's a very fine line between the two comparisions.

And of course, we can argue for non-duality or non-binary all we like, hoping for true oneness, but we're a long way off from that.

It's why woman's circles are so important. Yes, we could argue men should be there too - but for many woman, having experienced the oppressiveness of being a woman in a man's world, men simply change the dynamic of those spaces because they make them feel unsafe. You can't have a man leading a woman's circle - men leading woman's lives is what made them long for the sanctity of the sisterhood in the first place. Within the safety of the woman cave, we can truly connect to this part of ourselves. And sometimes, that cave is on our own - it's largely been that way for me, bar a couple of special friends. I commune with the goddess part of myself better alone - it's less complicated for me, and more fruitful.

And I like dancing with both masculine and feminine energies. Too much 'woman' never felt right for me either.

The fact is, we live in a binary world, however you dream it. Sun, moon, dark, light, black, white. It's not duality that's the problem - it's our judgement that one is better than the other.

Everything contains yin and yang. Even the sun has it's yin side - it softens at dusk at it goes down. The moon too has it's yang - it pulls at the tides and keeps us awake in it's fullness. Yet the rising and falling, rising and falling of these huge orbs gives us balance, and surety.

Just as we struggle to exist in either moonlight or in sunlight, we can't exist in one state, all of the time.

We know where too much masculine energy has got the world. I know it hasn't served me, as for a long time it came at the expense of me fully stepping into my goddess nature - not the shadowy side, but the fully realised, powerful, compassionate, intuitive, strong goddess side that nourishes, nurtures and creates. I wouldn't welcome a masculine energy into the room if it wasn't willing to go down when the moon was rising, and I'd certainly feel unsafe there.

Looking back, the goddess was always there, and I was always conscious of her, proud of her, in love with her. She was always there, like the blood in my veins, like the moon rising after the sun walked it's path across the sky. I felt her, always - I just hadn't embraced her fully, not the way I could have all along. Not the way I do now, seeking her out, listening, intuiting, embracing, manifesting.

That's the benefit of being a bit older I guess, where the crone part of me walks more powerfully.

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Ah, to go back and tell my younger self how powerful that goddess was. She was there all along - she was there in my unashamed nakedness on the beach, proud of my body not as a sexual object, but as a human being. She was there when I free bled into the earth, alive in my moon time. She was there when I gave birth, screaming and full of love. She was there when I raised my beautiful boy, for many years all on my own. She was there when I raised other teenagers as an educator. She was there when I was raped, and defied him, and held him accountable, standing before him and the friends that brought him to me as I calmly told him exactly how I felt, and how it affected me, and how I was a strong woman and would bear this but if I heard he had done it to any other woman, because I would hear, I would go to the police. She was there even to bring him forth, when I demanded that his friends do something, even though I was ashamed for being in that situation in the first place. She was there when I tended my garden and listened to the soil. She was there when I stood up against those who bullied me. She was there when I crumbled and she was there when I rose up stronger. She was there when I bore grief and heartache. She was there when I needed the most help, holding my hair back to allow the fresh air on my face and the world fill my lungs back up again. She was there on the dancefloor when I shook my hips and she was there as I surfed endless waves. She was there, she was there, she is here, she is is here.

She is here.

She's here right now teaching me over and over about the ego, about suffering, about impermanence. She's here when I need to be strong and rise up and she's here when I need humility. She's here when I need to break down and cry and she's here when I need to get shit done.

I think about how this feminine energy needs to be loved in men as well as woman. So many boys grow up to be a particular version of manhood that oppresses that tender, nourishing, intuitive, compassion side. They aren't taught the value of tears, or the validity of sadness. To survive, to look after family, to be powerful necessitates one kind of energy - action, brutality, firmness, suppression of true nature, love that is conditional, and being this at all costs, because to be anything but is to be ashamed of who they are. And it's not a father's fault, nor is it really a mothers - it's the fault of our society, and how we fail to celebrate the feminine parts of our nature that are essentially just as much who we are as the masculine parts are. Both are valid, both are neccessary, both are beautiful. How manhood could be so much richer and fulfilling, and how the world might change, should we all embrace the sacred feminine.

And so, we must continue to celebrate the feminine, the power of shakti. There's no writing over of masculine energy here - it too is loved - just a balancing.

With Love,

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What a beautiful post. I’m actually experiencing the power of sisterhood for the first time. My coach training is only for women and that community feel so powerful and safe. I haven’t felt safe with women before. And I’m
late to the party, I discovered the true power of Shakti a couple of years ago and nowadays she’s very alive in me.

Thanks for sharing so vulnerably ❤️

Oh that's awesome. How nice for you - it's beautiful when it's fully experienced as it should be. When I did my yoga teacher training it was all woman, and it was THAT special. It felt really, really safe for the first time ever for me, so I know what this 'late to the party' is all about. have you read Sally Kempton's book 'Awakening Shakti'? I love it. One to dip in and out of.

This beautiful post made me a bit emotional, thank you for sharing your past, a past that has carved you into the amazing goddess that we know and love. So many woman have gone through so much oppression and it continues to happen, but we rise up, our suffering and pain only fuels the passion we have inside to seek for justice and to help our sisters be heard. Much love to you my friend xxx

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Well said, it's great to hear how you feel. It may be quite different for a man to write about the sacred feminine compared to a woman. Though respect for all life is non-negotiable, regardless of gender. Women have had the bad deal for centuries in our patriarchal society, and so ideally now the balanced is being redressed.

Thanks so much. I absolutely agree - gender is irrelevant. The sacred feminine moves beyond gender in many ways too, though its moniker suggests otherwise - it's just a name for a particular kind of energy. I guess we attach archetypes to particular ways of being. A few men have written on this topic here - would love to hear more. Thanks for commenting!!!! 💙

:<) ❤️

Thanks sweetheart.

Wow @riverflows , your story is so powerful, painful and beautiful at the same time. And I know it's a story many women have experienced, one that hurts all of humanity because it keeps us mistrusting each other, always alert to where the male predators who refuse to embrace Femenine energy are.

Its inspiring to read how it helped you grow and connect with the Goddess. I'm grateful for meeting you here and all the interactions we've had, I'm still learning much from you. Sending much Love.

Aw that's the kindest thing to say. Being human is a beautiful thing, even for what we suffer in a lifetime, and the vast majority of my life has been great. So grateful for the divine seeing me through the shadows..