They are many reasons why honoring the Goddess might be the most needed and fruitful spiritual path, especially in the Western world and especially at our time in history. First and foremost, what is honoring? A concept that might seem vague and dogmatic for our individualistic minds. Honoring means acknowledging, paying attention to. When we do that, we send energy to that which we are noticing with our awareness: “energy flows, where attention goes”. But it’s also more than that. Honoring meaning to look upon with reverence. That is the part that gets trickier for our minds. Although we can understand this concept intellectually, reverence is something that we practice and feel as oppose to say or think. How does one feel a sense of reverence? This isn’t a given. It is an experience that happens to us as an overwhelming sense of admiration and awe. This experience ultimately makes us feel more humble. Honoring and reverence is about humility. One needs to feel humble in this moment. Again, this isn’t something that we can force ourselves into. However, we can practice honoring others, honoring our food, honoring the water, nature. It does take time. Time is actually key here. To honor something or someone, we need to pause. Our Ego mind fights this process. One, because the humility is directly working against the Ego (unless one shows off a false sense of honoring, in this case, check yourself and do it when you are alone and do not tell anyone in order to cultivate this practice for yourself). Two, because our culture has built much judgment about people who worship and do woo-woo things with their food. The mainstream scientism sees it as cultish and weak, something that only the ones who are easily manipulated do. Well, the truth is that we are always manipulated or influenced. Whether it is by the movies that we watch, the advertisement, our friends’ opinion, etc. When someone decides to take on the devotional path and starts to consciously worship and honor something (not from membership to a cult or a religion but because it comes naturally to them), this person is going against the social norm and is reclaiming their social programming to engage in an activity that they feel is right for them. Honoring is, therefore, going against the norms, reclaiming power over our programmed mind and working to lessen our Ego self. It is spiritual social activism and personal empowerment.
Now, what is the Goddess? The Goddess is the representation of the Divine Feminine energy. According to many spiritual bodies, including Tantra, everything is made of Feminine and Masculine energies. You can think of them as primordial forces of creation. It is easy to see how we all came from a woman and a man coming together in a sexual union. Well, think of it on the micro and macro level as well: “as above, so below”. The Goddess is therefore this Feminine force of creation, called Shakti in Sanskrit. It is the energy that animates and gives life, while the masculine is the force through which Shakti manifests itself. I like to think of the masculine as the container and the feminine as the life force energy that animates this container to give it life. This isn’t quite exact at the Masculine is actually better understood as Consciousness. Also, everything has both, consciousness and energy -- respectively, Masculine and Feminine. But let’s not get caught in some philosophical intricacies here. Why should we worship or honor the force or creation (the Feminine) as opposed to consciousness (the Masculine)? Well, because the Masculine has been, for over 3 millennia, put on a pedestal over the Feminine. In almost all of the institutionalized religions of the world, we have seen the Masculine, often represented as a male deity, worshiped over the Feminine. Moreover, masculine qualities and approaches to spirituality and life are valued to the detriment of Feminine qualities and approaches: the goal oriented, transcending, light focused, hierarchical approach to living and achieving, for example, are encouraged by the capitalistic and individualistic aspects of our society and culture. On the other hand, the patient, compassionate, emotional, body focused and sexuality empowered path to spirituality and life style have been devalued and repressed. As a result, we are suffering from the lack of expression of this Feminine potential within and without. To compensate from this lack of Feminine energy in our culture and psyche, many people (mostly men) suffer from pornography addiction; the female body and our sexuality being the most obvious expressions of the Goddess. The planet is suffering from this lack of consideration for and connection to the Feminine. Other human beings, animals, plants, insects are all suffering from it. We have seen emotions being shamed, many men being emotionally inept, many women being called crazy for their emotions and not knowing how to express them and see them as valuable for their personal development and for their spiritual path. Most culture have shown, for a long time, the spiritual path being spent in monasteries, up in the mountain and cut off from society and modern life issues. The Feminine path urges us now, to descend from our mountain tops and come out of the monasteries to practice a spirituality rooted in our relationships, in our bodies, in our families, in our emotions, in the darkest expressions of our personality and in communion with the Earth.
I believe Tantra is coming back to us humans, and strongly in the West, at this time in our evolution because it offers a Feminine path to spirituality and as a lifestyle. While Classical Tantra evolved to worshiping the Goddess in Its abstract form through deities and worship rituals, neo-Tantra offers the most direct path to deconditioning the mind from its limited beliefs and feminine practices to connecting to this Feminine path such as dynamic, sexual and sensual meditation with or without a partner. I truth, I strongly believe that both, neo-Tantra and Classical Tantra, are needed to practice and understand the Feminine spiritual path. One, in honoring the mystical and spiritual realm and worshiping the Goddess within everyone and everything; in the form of a deity, nature or a person or everyone and everything. Two, in becoming more connected to our bodies and our nature as human being, including our sexual nature.
To be clear, I don’t believe that Tantra is focused on the Feminine. Tantra, like Yoga, means union and weaving of the lower self (the Ego) with the Higher Self (the Divine). It includes both aspect of our nature, the divine and the profane, and aims to see at the human experience in a whole and undivided way. Why make such strong distinction between the Feminine and the Masculine when both are needed and one does not exist without the other? I believe that this process of distinguishing and clarifying between the Feminine and Masculine is needed now in our consciousness. Think of it as Alchemy: you discern what is what, you distill what is needed from what isn’t and you obtain seemingly separate substance before combining them together again, in a conscious way, in order to obtain a form that is greater in value from what it was in the beginning. This is where we are now. The gender rhetoric has blurred our understanding of the Feminine and the Masculine qualities. Everyone and everything is suffering from the imbalance between both energies on the planet and we are, almost all of us, reproducing and, therefore, perpetuating this imbalance in our behaviors, thoughts and speech. The one way to start restoring the imbalance is to become aware of it and then, start cultivating these rebellious practices to help restore the balance -- honoring the Feminine is one of them. Tantra doesn’t focus on the Feminine. Tantra is a wave of consciousness that shines light wherever the shadow is. Right now, the shadow is upon the Feminine. Its expression is lacking while the Masculine is also in its shadow from being in excess. To restore the balance, the Feminine needs to come into power first because it will help to direct and re-balance the Masculine force. The Masculine is meant to protect and serve the Feminine force. By pointing to the ways that the Feminine is repressed and left unexpressed in ourselves and in our cultures, our Masculine qualities that allow us to take actions and flight for what we hold dear will be awakened again to follow this transformation, the lead of the Feminine. Truthfully, we won’t have the choice to do so. Masculine and Feminine work in tandem, therefore, one cannot change without the other changing and becoming a vibrational match to the other.
So how does one assists in this re-balance that is taking place on the collective level by taking on a Feminine approach to spirituality in honoring the Goddess and the Feminine qualities of life? Take a moment everyday to honor life. Give thanks for your food, for the Earth and all of the elements. Honor your own body in all of its expression. Have compassion for yourself and others for everyone is on a spiritual path. See the female body as the expression of the Goddess and honor the beauty of the Goddess by finding healthy ways to worship the female body. See the male body as an expression of the Goddess and find healthy ways to worship the male body. See all bodies as an expression of the Goddess and find healthy ways to worship and appreciate all bodies. See your sexuality as sacred and therefore worth spending time connecting to in a way that is healthy and serves your own spiritual growth as opposed to your Ego and immediate gratification. To honor, send your prayers of blessings, bless everything you consume and everything that your wear. See all as relevant and connected to the sacred, to the Divine. All informs your energetic body and spiritual presence on Earth. At last, train yourself to surrender more. Surrender to the sense of gravity by relaxing completely, surrender to your own feelings and emotions by finding means to express in a healthy way (art, conscious communication, movement). Surrender to your Path and know that you are guided on your Spiritual journey. Life doesn’t happen by chance. And then, trust that the Masculine will rise within you -- within everyone and everything -- to protect this inner balance and alchemy of Life. We are not perfect. Not one is and I certainly am not. By becoming more conscious of our experience and inner process, by sharing our lessons with others, we help this world become a better space. We hope that future Generations will benefit from a better understanding of how to honor all aspect of creation and themselves in the process. At last, open yourself to see how you are perpetuating the current imbalance of our consciousness by devaluing the Feminine within yourself and through others and take actions to change that. Everyone has the power to affect the collective state of consciousness. You are doing it right now with your thoughts and reaction to this article. Instead of thinking about it, send a prayer now and feel the effect in your heart. The Feminine is a Flower forever unfolding. Here is a prayer for you:
“I embody the Goddess. In all my grace and beauty. She unravels Herself inside of me. She teaches me to think and to be more kindly. I listen. I listen to others and my Self. I open my heart to the Divine nectar of Her union with the Father and Masculine. My Soul is nourished by their Bliss. I surrender to my whole Being. I surrender to Nature and Life. I give thanks for this moment and I bless all and everything with this prayer. And so it is.”
Thank you for reading. Know that everytime your bless the Goddess, she blesses you back with Her energy.
I honor the Light and the Darkness within you.
With this article I am hoping to foster an understand of the existence of a 5th wave of Feminism: a spiritual and energetic movement that goes beyond genders. A movement toward Unity and Harmony that truly empowers the Feminine within us all <3
Our world is in a state of imbalance: the Masculine is dominating over the Feminine that is lacking. As a result, men and women both are disconnected from their Feminine powers. Indeed, we are all victims of this imbalance that is present in our psyche, culture and collective vibration. We all have internalized (at least partially) this dominance of the Masculine. What this means is that Masculine traits are valued to the detriment of Feminine qualities. For example: doing vs. being, controlling vs. surrendering, sensitivity vs. physical strength. We need both energies of course. Both are valuable and our very survival depends on our ability to channel them.
I am writing this article to bring clarity around this dynamics. The imbalance isn’t to be understood as a battle between the genders; it is an imbalanced due to an excessive Masculine energy and a lack of Feminine energy. I have been on a journey to understanding what is the Feminine and what is the Masculine. I have done much research through Tantra and Feminine and Masculine Archetypal psychology but mostly by observing our society, our culture, our psyche, people’s behaviours, their trauma, their pain, their shadow, etc. At last, I have been receiving much psychic guidance around the Feminine and Masculine energies in our collective and I believe that it is part of my service to the world to bring clarity around this topic. This journey led me to understand many societal, political and cultural issues that we are facing today as an imbalance of the Feminine and Masculine energies rather than a conscious dominance and control by an elite of men who created patriarchal rules, beliefs, values, psychic and energetic patterns to dominate women. The current ill of our society is then not an issue between genders, but an energetic imbalance of the Feminine and Masculine that oppresses all and everyone. This was a huge realization for me as a feminist and Women’s empowerment leader; although it seems obvious to me now.
And, perhaps, as you read this, it might seem obvious to you as well. It is simple! Our intuition, inner knowing agrees. So why is our culture and the mainstream dialogue still obsessed with genders? Well, to understand that, we need to understand that the Masculine (the dominant energy in our psyche, culture and collective frequency) is limited to understand reality on the material level (e.i. genders). Without an understanding of subtle energies (the realm of the Feminine, the energetic, mystical, the unseen -- therefore, hard to scientifically prove, especially with our current technology) one cannot comprehend the fullness of our experience and our potential as human beings.
Furthermore, as our culture values Masculine qualities over Feminine qualities, it naturally defines strength and power accordingly: physical strength, ability to control and influence, to protect and win over. Many women who are as much influenced by this rhetoric as men, buy into this definition of strength as well. Feminist around the world (men and women) acclaim the coming into power of female politicians, athletes, “strong female roles” and “female empowerment stories” in the media. But these do NOT represent what Feminine strength is about. Instead, they embrace a Masculine view of strength and applies it to women leaders and other models to manipulate our collective understanding of the Feminine power. The Feminine is very powerful indeed. Its power in fact radically challenges the current mainstream and patriarchal paradigm. As a result many, many means -- especially cultural -- are meant to draw our attention away from what it is and are meant to DISTRACT US from finding and exercising Its power. Hold on to your device because I’m about to tell you what it is:
1) The Feminine is our ability to be emotionally aware
To observe our emotions and understand them, label them without identifying with them. This is called ‘shadow work’ and it is immensely healing. The Feminine initiates us into experiencing pain and sensations in general in our body (the example of this phenomenon into physical manifestation through the Female body being menstrual pain and childbirth). When we are able to do this, we stop reacting to situations when they bring up emotions (a shadow side of the emotional realm due to a lack of emotional awareness), instead, we are able to respond to situations.
2) The Feminine is our ability to tap into our subconscious
The conscious mind is the Masculine, the one we are aware of (like the material reality), the obvious, the one we can control. The subconscious is the Feminine, the symbolic, the mystical, the subliminal. Someone with the ability to tap into their subconscious mind to reprogram themselves has this Feminine power. E.g. hypnotists need to relax (Feminine state) the body to access the subconscious and reprogram it. Other ways to tap into our subconscious is by dream analysis, meditation, visualization, creative imagination and accessing altered state of consciousness (e.g. through psychedelics, orgasmic state).
3) The Feminine is the Power of the Heart
Love, Compassion and Unity. The Feminine is inherently inclusive, it is the whole, the all encompassing, the relational. In Tantra, women’s positive pole is their heart center. This is where they send energy from. To feed a child, women use their breasts. This is where the power of the Feminine lays: the heart. This nurturing power is able to melt any tension in our body (oxytocin, hugs, orgasm) and can heal any “evil” on the planet (darkness is due to lack of Love frequency).
4) The Feminine is our Sensual & Sexual Power
Our sexual energy is our most precious energy. It is our prana, our life force energy. Conventional sex is Masculine in a way that it is goal oriented towards orgasm. Couples use each other to relax through a process that uses much friction and creates tension in the body. Tantra is a Feminine form of love making. It is relaxed, embodied, uses subtle energies to create orgasmic states. It is about the journey of presence and embodiment that brings natural pleasure. The reason why many people (especially men) are addicted to pornography is to compensate from their lack of Feminine energy. They consume the Feminine through pornography (the female body, the sensual) instead of finding it and cultivating it within. Someone in touch with their sensual and sexual power would be able to channel their sexual energy for healing and creativity.
5) The Feminine is our appreciation for beauty
When we are empowered in our Feminine, we are able to see beauty everywhere. We become resensitized to beauty as opposed to tapping into our mind-conditioned way in which beauty is defined by the media. Once someone is resensitized to beauty, they can’t help but seeing it in themselves as well. If this Feminine quality was fully active in our psyche, we would not need cosmetics!
6) The Feminine is our intuition
Our ability to tap into our intuition, psychic guidance, our sense of inner knowing. Some people experience it as visions, messages, dreams, feelings, etc. I personally find that the most useful way to explain how to follow your intuition is by telling someone to focus on their heart center and practice describing how they feel. At first, this might be difficult. Someone might not even know what to look for -- look for sensations. Sometimes, we feel our chest congested, tense, closed-off. This is when we might be stressed, anxious. Sometimes we pick-up on other people’s state. Sometimes this is your heart telling you that you need to make a situation better. Other times, discomfort comes from releasing blockages. By turning our attention inwards, we are able to decode our heart’s guidance. When our heart feels open, this is a ‘yes’!
7) The Feminine is the Body
As opposed to the Masculine: the mind, reasoning; the Feminine is the embodied experience. Someone in touch with their Feminine power of embodiment is able to take care of their health because they value the body and listen it. For example, I started to practice intuitive eating. Meat doesn’t feel good for me to eat (energetically and in my body) but it might be different for someone else’s body. Body awareness leads you to know what and when to eat. It also guides to to have a better posture for example (very important to be able to channel energy). At last, by taking care of our physical body, we raise our vibration which makes us feel better, happier, healthier and it attracts more positive experiences into our field.
8) The Feminine is the internal world
In a way, this concept is similar to valuing the body and the home (Feminine qualities). But it is important to understand that the internal world holds an enormous power as, when someone understands how to tune inwards and influence their internal world (e.g. breath, thought, energy, etc.), they are able to affect their experience of life, their body and their external environment. Another way to understand this is by understanding that the Masculine way to initiation is by going out in the world and conquering external forces. The Feminine initiation, on the other hand, is achieved by conquering (by loving) our inner demons (emotions, pain, trauma, etc.). A common way to experience the Feminine initiation is by going through depression.
9) The Feminine is receptive and open
Much of the current debates, especially political debates, are the expression of two Masculine energies coming together: confrontation, violence, competition and aggression. Without the Feminine -- the receptivity, the openness, flexibility -- no party will ever change their mind. In order for change, growth and evolution to take place, we need a healthy amount of both Masculine (assertive, committed, decisive) and Feminine energies.
10) The Feminine is our creative power
Part of our our imagination, our sexual energy and our intuition. Creation is a fundamental power of human beings. In today’s society, many people are deprived from this potential as they spend their entire day and energy working for a money-focused entity or bureaucratic organization and are not allowed (or to a minimal extent) to express themselves creatively. The syndrome of the struggling artist is an expression of our society’s lack of value for art and creativity. In addition, by indulging in conventional sex or ejaculation, one release their precious sexual energy (same as creative energy) instead of channelling it for creativity.
Please note that this list isn’t exhaustive. There is much more to say about the power of the Feminine and I am currently working on a book about it. This list isn’t about diminishing the power and importance of the Masculine either.
Both Feminine and Masculine energies are currently in their shadow: the Masculine is in excess and the Feminine is in its lack form -- it has gone underground (e.g. occult groups, black magic, our inability to tap into our subconscious, etc.). The solution is for everyone to cultivate their Feminine energy (unless you have too much of it which is rare). By asking ourselves questions such as: Where in my life could I cultivate more compassion? How can I find beauty in the things that would otherwise repel me? How can I observe my emotions and sensations in my body without identifying with them? How to I tap into subtle energies to heal myself and raise my frequency? How can I channel my sexual energy for healing? Of course, at the end of the day, the process isn’t intellectual but experiential. And to experience the Feminine and cultivate this awareness, its energy and powers, nothing is better than mediation. Indeed, meditation is the most Feminine ‘activity’ that one can do: being vs. doing, observing vs. trying to control. Meditation also resensitize us to subtle energies and turn our attention inwards (e.g. body-scan meditation).
To be clear, I am not spitting on the generations of Feminists who fought for women’s rights. I am not denying the right that all individuals have to identify with one gender or another or both, or none. I think that all of the political and cultural movements (feminism first wave, second and third, transgender rights movement, homosexual movement, etc.) served a purpose in our history and for our evolution. However, during my studies of these movements (I am a sociology, political science major and philosophy minor) and my forever on-going research, I have observed the way in which some of the rhetoric, tactics and dynamics of these movements use Masculine energies, traits, values, beliefs and, therefore, perpetuate dominance, division and oppression. It is about time to switch gears and unplug from this paradigm of Masculine dominance. It is time to embrace our full power of creation and birth a new paradigm (political, cultural, philosophical, relational, spiritual and vibrational) that honors the Feminine along with the Masculine. It is time to focus on creating alternatives that allow the Feminine to be equally valued and expressed.
Indeed, we have entered a point in our evolution where we are awakening to and embracing an even greater movement and spiritual cause, beyond the genders: awakening to and anchoring the Feminine in our psyche, culture and collective vibration in order to reestablish balance and harmony within ourselves and with the Planet (the ultimate Mother, Goddess and Feminine energy). Many have received this call and many are actively working to anchor the Divine Feminine. The fullness and full potential of both Masculine and Feminine energies will only be experienced once we have achieve this balance. Then, a powerful alchemy can take place, one that will transmute duality: both energies becoming one and creating this new paradigm, a new creation, a baby and a bright future for future generations, one of Unity, one of Creativity and Harmony.
Here is a place for me to share some of my downloads, realisations, insights, lessons and experiences - all filled with deep spiritual teachings. I hope some of this will resonate with you.
Clarity Barton is a Women's Empowerment Leader, a Healer and a Tantric & Shamanic Yoga Teacher. She provides her Toronto-based and growing International community with heart-felt, transformative and healing experiences.
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