The Wounded Feminine: Heart Opening
Last month I asked you to try to vibrate at the frequency of Love or Above. How are you doing staying open hearted and filled with gratitude? Has it been easy or difficult? It is really important that we all be a big bubble of love and light to assist in the raising of Cosmic Consciousness at this pivotal point in history. Many people on the planet are having a difficult time surviving and staying balanced and centered than others. One of our major purposes in this lifetime is to awaken to who we are as divine beings and to take back our power. In doing so, we will also help to free the rest of humanity who do not have a clue as to why they are constantly struggling to survive. There has been a lot of transition, divorce, loss, displacement, moving…it is the change that leads to a future of new opportunities, new possibilities. 2020 is about having perfect vision. It’s also a double dose of 2’s and 0’s – the feminine and manifestation. 2020 is delivering hindsight on how to create new vision. Manifesting the Feminine Both men and women are born with masculine and feminine energies, and this is reflected in several ancient cultural traditions. Ayurvedic medicine refers to these energies as ida and pingala, while in Chinese medicine they’re referred to as yin and yang. Feminine energy is found within and all around us, and Mother Nature is the most prominent source. Nature, and the sacred feminine energy, are both fundamental to the existence of the human race. However, life on this planet was inverted into a place of hierarchy, domination, and control. The stories of the foundations of all the world’s major religions are patriarchal and have been suppressing women and the feminine for centuries. (Really…Adam shares no responsibility for eating the fruit?) Christianity established a hostile relationship with the feminine and created a God and mythology that persecutes women. “If God is a man, where does that leave women? If all the power rests with a man, women are left to find their power by attracting the right man. That puts girls and women in competition with each other rather than supporting one another for mutual empowerment. In fact, when viewed in terms of human development, patriarchy serves no one. It limits men, while it cripples girls and women.” – Anea Bogue from Women Speak Radio. The Dark ages took something away from us: the Feminine (creation), Animals (nature) and Magic (our connection to the Divine). This beautiful trilogy has been persecuted for eons. In addition, we forgot our elders and put them in homes. We have large numbers of people homeless, incarcerated, etc. Much of our current environment started with colonialism – the seed for supremacy. We still live in a predominantly masculine dominated society, where everything feminine is seen as less worthy than its masculine counterpart. The feminine has been disrespected, dishonored and dominated by the wounded masculine and the patriarchy. The world has gotten out of natural balance. From government to business to domestic spheres, masculine ideals such as assertiveness, competitiveness, and a preference for facts over feelings are praised and prioritized. Western culture prioritizes and privileges strength, rationality, thinking, abstraction, striving and forcefulness (the masculine) over softness, tenderness, vulnerability, receptivity, and whole-body feeling (the feminine). Being, feeling and flow, have been deemed inferior to logical thinking, taking action, and control. It's not that any of these qualities are bad, just that valuing the first group over the latter creates imbalance. Sameness and equality are not the same. Society has been devaluing feminine qualities in BOTH genders. This means men are deprived of the receptivity necessary to be a decent, feeling human and women carry the burden of being second-class citizens, the object to man's subject. This patriarchal social conditioning and toxic masculinity has made us disconnected from life itself. Vicki Noble, in Shakti Woman, a manifesto on our past 4,000 years of patriarchal society, which has served to suppress our deep power of feminine intuition and connection to the natural world, states: “Western psychology separated the mind from the body and treats them as if they also had almost no relation to each other, holding that their ideal relationship is mind over matter. Western thinking in general, supported by Western religion, describes human beings as separate and distinct from Nature and the rest of the animals on earth, with permission to dominate.” This has nothing to do with our genders as men or women. It’s about our inner feminine and masculine energies. Feminine (or yin) energy is represented by all that is formless, expansive, and magnetic. The moon, water, and nighttime all encompass this energy. This energy relates to our sixth sense of intuition, to our ability to nurture. A shaman friend shared that masculine energy was based in the act of giving and feminine energy was based in the act of receiving. My yoga teacher calls this strength-receiving. Our identity as women is that of overextending ourselves – over giving. Women often assume the position of caregivers as if it’s an innate call from within to care for and offer healing energy to others. This wounding to the feminine shows up so often in the lack of self-care and nurturing we show ourselves and our bodies. We have rejected so many aspects of the divine feminine. We try to suppress our feminine energy, thinking if we think like a man, we will get ahead in life. A lot of us are stuck in the heart of a little girl who may have been molested, raped, raised in an invalidating and strict household or one of neglect, etc. and it shows. Many people are starting to realize how hurt the feminine is. In shamanic cultures, soul loss is a condition that occurs when a person has a traumatic experience, leaving one feeling disconnected, fragmented, and lost. While the path of resolving trauma is complex, shamanic healing addresses the situation at an energetic level, which in turn supports the process of healing mind and body. Through the process of soul retrieval, it is possible to recover lost and fragmented parts of oneself, restoring a sense of wholeness. (This is one of the services I offer and it is not only a beautiful experience, for many is has been life changing.) While soul retrieval is a potent way of initiating personal healing, the collective pain we share is much more challenging to address. In our modern world, we have immense material abundance and comfort, but in many ways, we have lost our connection with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Caught in the trap of constant busyness, we are exhausted and struggling, striving toward an elusive and distant goal. From the shamanic perspective, this is indeed soul loss on a cultural level, and tremendous healing is needed to restore us to balance.
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break, and all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”
-L.R. Knost, Author and Social Justice Activist
Some say we are in the dark night of the soul as a global community - what shamanic cultures call an initiation. Collectively and individually, we are transitioning from one way of life to ensure meaningful and lasting change. We are being asked to face the darkness – our shadow self. This planetary pause is asking us to remember that we are so much more than a physical being. Every person on this planet has a responsibility to raise their consciousness and evolve to a place where we walk on the Earth with honor and respect. Urging women to step into their power and heal the trauma they have carried for generations, the Rite of the Womb was brought forth from the female shamans of the Shipibo Nation in the Amazon. Also called the 13th Rite of the Munay-Ki, the Rite of the Womb is for all those committed to healing of fear, pain, sorrow, grief, shame, guilt, and all other burdens that women have carried from their life experiences and those of their ancestors, as well as their relationship with the feminine, and Pachamama, Mother Earth. The Rite empowers women to reclaim their place in the world as wise leaders, teachers, and healers. Healing the feminine requires the healing of the masculine as well. What we need is a world soul retrieval. This isn’t about gender, it’s about energy. It’s not about women. It’s about that deeper listening to spirit and staying in truth & authenticity, God/Goddess. It’s not just a physical wall in the shift of those in power to EMpower.
When everything is uncertain, everything that is important becomes clear.
No matter what gender you identify as, it’s important to do your shadow work. When we become aware of our unhealthy patterns (a samskara in yoga), of our wounded self, we can stop re-creating them. People are out of touch with themselves, with their darkness and their light. When we shine light on these aspects of ourselves, we can heal and transform this into healthy and divine energy. This means recognizing that EVERYTHING is connected. It means reconnecting with our Divine self. It means honoring intuition, our hearts and listening to them. Doing both male and female energy work ensures you are in dual harmony within your own energy field. This is duality, you have to heal BOTH aspects of yourself. Without the energy of the divine feminine, and our sacred connection to nature, the divine masculine will fail. Today we are a world of technology, travel & trade but missing consciousness of the Feminine, Nature & Magic. Luckily, we are shedding the nightmare of this world view right now with a return of the feminine, integrative, wholistic way of life. We cannot live in balance without these. We’re shifting perception within ourselves. Gender roles are falling away so we can do a sacred dance of give & take as needed. Authority is being challenged when it does not provide for equality, peace and a conscious, sustainable future. This is an opportunity to re-balance ourselves. The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers call this the Quantum Yin. Seeing everything in perfect balance & health.
"When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a human but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." ~ Viktor Frankl
This is an opportunity to open to the interconnection of all humanity. So how do we bridge the myth of separation (duality) and use this time to become more open and learn from our differences? It’s helpful for men and women to engage in yin activities right now that move energy inward - introspection, reflection, and meditation - in order to maintain balance in mind, body, and spirit. Yoga brings the masculine and feminine into perfect harmony, which already exists in nature – from within an atom to a flower. Equilibrium can also be created by performing balancing breathing exercises, such as alternate nostril breathing. Balancing poses such as tree pose, which requires you to balance on one foot at a time, are another great way to heal imbalances and to find a healthy equilibrium between the masculine (sun, yang) and feminine (moon, yin) energies within you. Yin & yang represent true balance in life. When the world is in this balance, the feminine is integrated harmoniously with the masculine, allowing both to be equal but unique in their strengths. This is part of the duality. And…Yoga unites everything. Front-Back. Left-Right. Up-Down. Inhale-Exhale. Within-Without. Inner-Outer. Masculine-Feminine. Strength-Receiving. Ha, Solar Energy-Tha, Lunar Energy. Ha-Tha yoga. We need to bring closure to patterns of hurting ourselves, self-sabotage, and "I Can’t" – where we become powerless by choice. Feeling guilt, shame, blaming ourselves…those are heavy energies (hoocha) that don’t serve us so we need to bring a closing to those cycles, those patterns where we have done that ourselves – consciously or unconsciously. Love yourself unconditionally. That’s when powerful medicine comes in. Where you are no longer conditioned by anything nor limited by self-judgement. You love yourself because you are the divine mystery despite anything you’ve done or said. Because you are yet to be, make yourself a miracle. Make this commitment to loving and honoring yourself more with a Light Contract. This is a powerful call to rediscover our connection to nature, our own bodies, and our creative and healing powers. There is a lot of grief being unearthed on so many levels, so let’s be gentle with ourselves as we allow the necessary healing to unfold.
Jai (joy), Munay (unconditional love) and Horpichai (with love and light always). ~ Karen