She stands gracefully within a large seashell as though offered up from the depths of the waters that lap beside her. Her hair cascades over her breasts as if to embrace the swells that hold the sweetness of life. Her graceful body is uncovered and her belly is slightly rounded as if to hint of the life born of her life – birthing the entire universe. At once she appears soft, graceful, serene – which belies another image of her as the fire goddess birthing the new land while at the same time clearing away all that is in her path. The image changes again to a squat figure with pointed, erect breast and huge belly and thighs – the quintessential Ma – immediately recognizable.
I look in the mirror. I see the reflection – white hair, sagging breasts skin loose around what was once a tiny waist. I look into my own eyes and see the evolution of a life – from child to adolescent to woman and mother to crone. I see the wounds, the tears, the heartbreaks, and I see the triumphs, the joys and the wide open loving that finally broke open my heart. The belly sags from the carting of new life within it. But this body, as all the bodies of all women everywhere carries so much more than what is seen in the mirror.
How does one describe the Divine Feminine? I am the Divine Feminine, just as all women everywhere are the expressions of the creatrix, mother, lover, nurturer and warrior that we are.
And this essence indwells the male manifestation as it does the female.
I always knew she was within me, but growing up I was shown a caricature of “feminine” which I tried to emulate. Soft spoken, submissive, perfect housekeeper, immaculately coiffed, ready for dinner guests at a moment’s notice. Behind the sweet smile there was a rage and weeping that took place in the dungeon where the prisoner lived in darkness chained to an expectation that could never be met.
The mystery was too terrifying, to difficult to understand, too wild and it had to be contained. How could the “feminine” be Divine? Was that not the realm of the patriarchs?
On a soft, moonlit night in the midst of winter, the tides rise high and cover the marshes over with the cool waters of the sea – the mighty ocean is tamed by the pull of the moon, and even on a wild night when the seas are tossing their waves so high as to topple ships, the moon has her pull – her waxing and her waning.
There is a power there. It is a deep ancestral pulsing that calls with a siren song, or a lullaby or the ecstatic expression of the orgasmic moment. It is the soft whisper and the rage filled scream, the ancient call of the indigenous, and the aria of Carmen.
It is a Spirit- it is felt and cannot be adequately named. It plants star seeds and harvests great love. It has the power to tear it all apart and to plant again. It is the tenderness that caresses the infant suckling and the power to protect her own when threatened.
She is the whirling, twirling dervish in a fluffy pink tutu, the quiet women who walks consciously across the planet for peace, and the one who defends her nation to be burned at the stake.
She is the keeper of mysteries, which she holds in her depths and only shares with those who deserve to know. She is the provider of warmth and nourishment when there seems to be only a crust of old moldy bread in the house. She is the wise one, and she is the naïve one. She is the vulnerable one who allows the sacred wound, and as her heart is pierced, she is the one to cry out her forgiveness.
She sits in circles and knits mantles of peace as she weaves her spell of light and grace around the children dancing at her feet.
How do we describe this life force we call the Divine Feminine? She expresses through the heart. She cannot be measured. She has many names, she moves fluidly in gossamer ribbons of mist through our souls. We cannot capture her nor can we contain all of her – she is the mystery, the essence, the warmth and the bringer of life. She has always been and will ever be. She is Love, she is Life, she is Divine.
Rev. Dr. Peggy Price
Written in Keauhou, Kona, Hawaii
October 21, 2011