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  • Jayne

A reflection on the divine feminine

One of the problems with a religion that is made in the image of humankind is that it tends to reflect the cultural and societal thinking of its time but struggles to reflect the depth dimension of the mystery. Judeo Christian religion does precisely this, reflecting a patriarchal culture which views with suspicion the feminine qualities of, mothering, nurturing, healing, intuition and creativity; qualities which are deemed right to be censored and subdued under such a perspective.

We are taught to think about God in terms of the masculine principle only. Most would struggle to imagine God as anything other than male and any inclinations towards thinking of the divine feminine as an aspect of the Godhead would seem quite outrageous. Even the female role models in scripture have been misrepresented so that we are presented with Mary the mother of God as a weak and somewhat submissive character whilst the other key female in Jesus’s life is portrayed as a prostitute even though there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that she was.

Yet we are told in Genesis 1:27 ‘So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them’

When we do eventually take the brave step of removing the blinkers of patriarchy we begin to see that God indeed has a wonderfully feminine side that balances equally and perfectly so that neither gender dominates. And in this perfect balance a union is found so that a more wholesome rounded, gender neutral God is discovered, yet even this must be understood as mere human construct in that God cannot ever be fully known.

It is precisely now, at springtime, that the divine feminine is more apparent to us than ever. God the birther and nurturer of life, bursting through as new life springs forth from the dark womb of the earth. Firstly tender snowdrops venture out though hardy enough to break through frosted ground; and shortly after crocus’, daffodils and primroses clothed in their finest yellows and purples of the most delicate materials such that they bring joy to all who set their gaze upon them.

Next come the tiny buds beginning to form on tree branches, gently and slowly unfurling as they begin the journey through vibrant, pinky blossoms towards the fullness of leafy summer when they will provide shelter and nurturing for a variety of creatures; not to mention the environmental protection they provide for the planet itself.

And who of us isn’t delighted to see the newborn lambs suckling proud ewes or gamboling in verdant pastures.

Unlike the linearity of the masculine principle the divine feminine is cyclical as she moves through creation. Through cycles of dark and light, summer and winter, day and night, ebb and flow, birth and death and rebirth, ripening and declining - all of which are designed to nurture and sustain a perpetual unfolding of life. Through this cyclical activity it is as if a deep mystery is moving towards a fulfilment which we intuit in the depth of our soul but have no language to describe.

All of this is the divine feminine at work, constantly giving generously of herself that all might be nurtured and sustained. This is the great mothering aspect of God that under a purely patriarchal religion we have failed to appreciate and reciprocate the love and generosity that is ever flowing from this most sacred principle.

Instead we have thought of nature as a commodity, as a resource to be plundered for selfish gain and we have brought ourselves to the brink of disaster in the process.

But in the same way that mother bear will fight fiercely to protect her Cubs so this same nurturing and protective principle plays out in the whole of nature. Beware the power and force of this principle when it is riled for then we will truly understand our place on this earth as our selfish arrogance will not withstand its unleashing.

We simply cannot go on with this imbalance. If we are ascribing a gender at all to God then God must be both mother and father.

So as we think of mothering at this time of year try reading that first book of God, the book of nature, with soft eyes and a compassionate heart. See how generous this great mother flows to you through this book, to sustain all that she has given birth to. Discover how even every tiny insect has its place on this planet, her truly awesome creation. Tread on her surface gently and receive her gifts humbly.

Developing a relationship with this sacred feminine principle will not only transform our relationship with nature but is perhaps the critical dimension in the healing of creation at this time. Blessings, Jayne

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