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Belly dancers

Rise

Indian Classical Dance

Divine Feminine Nature

The Divine Feminine is the spiritual concept that there exists a feminine counterpart to the patriarchal and masculine worship structures that have long-dominated organized religions. The divine feminine extends well beyond one belief system, and instead can be used as a spiritual lens to balance one's perspective. It is important to research the sacred feminine within one's own cultural, spiritual, and ancestral traditions. Ultimately, the Divine Feminine is concept of self-exploration that restores a balance to our worship and spiritual practices: it’s the ease that balances out the control, the moon that pulls the tides while the sun warms the earth.

Feminine energy is connected with fertility, but is not limited to reproduction: growth, whether it’s spiritual, physical, or emotional, celebrates new life and rebirth. Archetypes of femininity and fertility from around the world and throughout history are abundant, and exploration of the Divine Feminine takes on many historical, anthropological, spiritual, and cultural forms.

 

Divine Feminine Archetypes

There are 7 Divine Feminine archetypes that prevail in contemporary society—the mother, the maiden, the queen, the warrior, the sage, the priestess/mystic, and the lover. A woman may embody one or all the aspects.

 

Some historical Goddesses, deities, and spirits include:

  • Oshun, Orisha of the Yoruba people in East Africa

  • Shakti, Indian Divine Feminine Principle

  • Aphrodite, ancient Greek Goddess of Love

  • Venus, ancient Roman Goddess of Love

  • Isis, ancient Egyptian Goddess

  • Inanna, ancient Sumerian Goddess

  • Durga, Indian Goddess of Family

  • Kali, Indian Goddess of Creation/Destruction

  • Laxmi, Indian Goddess of Abundance

  • Freyja, ancient Norse Goddess

  • Sophia, a representation of Divine Feminine wisdom in Gnostic Mysticism

War on the Feminine

 

Due to the negative forces which have been prevalent on planet Earth for many millennia, there has been a war on consciousness (mainly, a war on the feminine and a war on the family). The masculine forces were disconnected from nature, and began vying for power from the feminine. They sought to dominate, control, and oppress her, forcing her into submission, which was unnatural to her. Due to sociopolitical reasons, patriarchal religions such as Christianity (and later Islam) arose approximately 2,000 years ago, and sought to forcibly convert subjects through conquest and war. While some conquests were successful, many remembered who they really were (by connecting with their ancestral wisdom, seeking to educate themselves, and understanding historical events on planet Earth), and thus refused to be indoctrinated by patriarchal dogmas. Those who had awakened then helped the others awaken. The feminines built communities to expand knowledge and wisdom, and break free from patriarchal grasp. Many masculines allied with the feminines, as they had no desire to oppress them, and wanted to co-exist with them in harmony. Such masculines are the heroes of today, supporting and assisting in paving the path to feminine liberation and reclamation.

Deprogramming and Decolonizing

Divine Feminine principles must be approached with awareness of the tremendous damages of cultural erasure which have taken place as a result of colonialism. Patriarchal monotheism, conventionally understood as the worship of a single male deity, has undergone extensive exploration; however, a remarkable and transformative narrative has been often overlooked - the era of matriarchal Goddess Worship. Patriarchal monotheism was introduced to people of color through colonialism, erasing their ancestral traditions, beliefs, and cultural aspects. Many feminine deities and those who embody them have been vilified as witches by colonial religions and cultures.  It is every individual's great responsibility to decolonize their own patriarchal perspectives, as well as to assist others in decolonizing theirs. Deprogramming habitual colonization means deprogramming patriarchal monotheism and reclaiming the feminine divinity. It requires the reevaluation of one's ancestral history, identification of any patterns of coercive persuasion (religious, sociocultural, etc.) which were imposed through colonialism, and replacement of such patterns/programs with new knowledge which is more authentic and aligned with the soul's truth.

Decolonization is about cultural, psychological, and economic freedom, and can be understood as “taking away the colonial."  Colonization involves one group taking control of the lands, resources, languages, cultures, and relationships of another group. Colonialism is a historical and ongoing global endeavor, where settlers have occupied native land, dictated social, political, and economic systems, and exploited native people and their resources.  In Canada and the US, where habitation on these lands began with Indigenous peoples and continued with European migrants who arrived with the intent to claim the lands as their own, colonial usually means Eurocentric. This means that Western European-derived ways of being, believing, knowing, and doing are implicitly or explicitly presented as the standard or norm, and other ways of being, knowing, and doing have been implicitly or explicitly presented as “other,” alternative, or even less worthy.

Healing the Witch Wound

Many women throughout history were persecuted for standing up to the patriarchy. In the United States,  Salem Witch Trials took place in 17th-century Massachusetts, and 19 people were executed on charges of witchcraft.  Prior to Salem, most witchcraft trials in New England resulted in imprisonment. Under strict religious rules of Christianity, when women stepped outside their prescribed roles, they became targets: too much wealth may have reflected sinful gains, while too-little money demonstrated bad character. Having too many children was suspicious, and having too few was also frowned upon. Women who spoke out were negatively described as "willful, confident, and determined, ready to express their opinions and to stand their ground when crossed.” Even today, many cultures with oppressive structures which have glorified the patriarchy, have silenced women and punished them if their spirituality was conflicting with locally-accepted religious dogmas. As a result of historical religious persecution, many feminines have developed a "witch wound," or a deep sense of shame associated with spirituality. In countries with oppressive structures, women practice spirituality in secrecy. Healing the Witch Wound means allowing the feminines to express themselves openly, and cultivate safe and inclusive spaces for feminine spirituality.

Historical Perspectives of Goddess (Cultural Preservation of Goddess)

Many cultures have recognized the Divine Feminine principle long before the patriarchal religions have sought to erase her. Indian culture is an excellent example of this: the earliest archaeological evidence of an Upper Paleolithic shrine for Shakti (Divine Feminine) worship were discovered in the terminal upper paleolithic site of Baghor I in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, India. The excavations dated the Baghor formation to between 9000 B.C and 8000 B.C.

 

Shaktism (Sanskrit: शाक्त, lit. 'doctrine of energy, power, the eternal goddess') is one of the several major Hindu denominations wherein the metaphysical reality, or the Godhead, is considered metaphorically to be a woman. Shaktism involves a galaxy of goddesses, all being regarded as different aspects, manifestations, or personifications of the same supreme goddess Shakti. It includes various modes of worship, ranging from those focused on the most worshipped Durga, to gracious Parvati, and the fierce Kali. After the decline of Buddhism in India, various Hindu and Buddhist goddesses were combined to form the Mahavidya, a pantheon of ten goddesses. The most common forms of the Mahadevi (Great Goddesses) worshipped in Shaktism include: Durga, Kali, SaraswatiLakshmi, Parvati and Tripurasundari. The Indus Valley Civilization (a Bronze Age civilization in the northwestern regions of South Asia) lasted from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, and was heavily marked by Goddess worship.

The Triple Goddess

In mythology, the Goddess is sometimes aspected through the cycles of time, as the Triple Goddess: maiden, mother, crone.

Maiden: By word association we can go by - youth, enchantment, excitement, sensuality.  The Maiden Goddess in several mythologies is Persephone - a representation of purity and new beginnings.

Mother: She is the caregiver, nurturer, loving, ripeness, fertility, fulfillment, stability, and power.  The Mother Goddess in Greek mythology is Demeter, representing wellspring of life, giving and compassion.

Crone:  Wisdom, clarity, insight, repose, compassion and knowledge.  The Crone Goddess in Greek mythology is Hecate - wise, knowing, a culmination of a lifetime of experience.

Beauty
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