The Divine Feminine
She is personified in the Orient as Quanyin. Eastern Indians know her as Parvati or Sita or Saraswati. And let's not forget the Virgin Mary, the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Greek goddess Aphrodite, or the spider woman of the North American Indians. Her names and forms go on and on, across the globe and throughout history. It is nothing new, this notion of the divine feminine as a paramount force our lives. Indeed, goddess and nature worship were at the center of most early cultures. It is only in relatively recent times that things have changed. These days, we needn't look far to see the damage caused by losing touch with this benevolent force. There is war, environmental abuse, and a failure to see the interdependence of life. On a personal level, the effects show up as selfishness, egotism, a ruthless competitive spirit, even apathy and laziness. Do these sound like the personality traits of goddesses? Not remotely! So, before we discuss how to re-connect with the goddess inherent in all of us, let's take a look at what some well-known goddesses are actually like.
Aphrodite came out of the sea, and is thus associated with its life-giving powers. She had immense influence in the divine realm, yet her purpose was simple: to bring love and beauty into the world. Despite her many affairs with both mortals and gods, she represents more than just physical intimacy. The overwhelming force of love is her true message to the world.
Saraswati is about learning, language, music and enlightenment. She originated as a river goddess, again symbolising the creative power of the earth. The white lotus on which she is often seated represents the search for cosmic knowledge. In many portraits there is a peacock depicted at her feet, symbolising the subjugation of pride through knowledge and beauty.
Known as the embodiment of mercy and compassion, Quanyin has many names throughout Asia. She is sometimes depicted as androgynous or even male, indicating the oneness of all things. But her usual form is that of a radiant goddess who is willing to sacrifice everything for the benefit of others. This selfless desire to relieve suffering is associated with the highest vibrations of feminine energy.
Spider Grandmother, a deity in several American Indian tribes, is a creator goddess who brought the world into existence by dreaming. Changing Woman is another important goddess from this culture. She can transform from an old woman to a young girl at will, and thus represents the transformative power of nature. Changing Woman teaches people how to live in harmony.
There are thousands of examples, but from these four alone, the characteristics of the divine feminine are obvious. Compassion, creativity, beauty, power. There are also many wrathful goddesses, such as the Indian goddess Kali, but her wrath is always purposeful, to restore balance. At the heart of every goddess is a compassionate, gentle, yet immense power that is based in cooperation and harmony. In a word, love. . .
As with all divine energy, the true home of the goddess is within nature, and within each one of us. Besides bringing about a better world, awakening the divine feminine within is a powerful way to manifest abundance and beauty in your own life. All it takes is a little focus and intention. Here is an easy way to get started:
Create a small altar to the goddess. It doesn't have to be anything special, just a dedicated space. You can dedicate it a particular goddess, or simply to the divine feminine. Burn some incense, oil or candles in her honour as you close your eyes and begin to visualise her, focusing on the radiant details. Ask her to empower you with her beauty and knowledge, and to help you manifest the things you seek, so long as they serve your highest self. Be sure to thank and revere this sacred force. Repeat often for a stronger connection!