The Divine Feminine is not a new or unfamiliar concept to many of us, but the call for the reemergence of the divine has become more prominent in recent history. 2020 has been a significant year in many aspects; factors such as health, economy, education, socialization, politics, and human rights have been changed in irreversible ways. However, this is not the cause of any one incident, but a culmination of choices and practices over time that led to the hardships we’ve experienced as a global community. This illustrates that part of the solution is something that has been lacking from humanity as a whole, for a long time.
This assumes a world out of balance – one that has been dominated by the divine masculine. While the divine masculine is equally as important as the divine feminine, they must be acknowledged together, as they exist within each other – working together. This requires a balance, where no one divine energy dominates the other. In traditional Chinese medicine, the belief is that all things – substances, processes, people – have both yin and yang qualities. In this instance, yin refers to the divine feminine, while yang refers to the divine masculine. According to this school of thought, there is nothing in this world that is absolutely yin or absolutely yang; each is relative to the other, and everything contains components of both. If you picture a yin-yang, there is a circle of white within the black, and a circle of black within the white; this symbolizes the seed of yin that is within yang, and vice versa.
After centuries of patriarchal-dominated societies, many individuals, communities, religions, and cultures have laid grave importance, almost exclusively, onto the divine masculine. Emphasizing the importance of one divine energy over the other – whichever one it is – has implications. For the divine masculine, results of imbalance include; controlling and overbearing behaviours, corruption, egotistical, materialistic, greed, and abuse of power. These specific issues have become clearer now more than ever, and shows us the solution requires a change in system – political, personal, communal, etc. There is no demand for the rise of the divine feminine alone but as an equal part of power with the divine masculine, the emphasis on the divine feminine comes from the need to bring it back to an equal level of importance as the divine masculine. We seek reemergence, “a movement necessary for balance of the masculine and feminine, to bring the world back to order.”
To understand why it’s more prominent now than ever, we must discuss how we got here, and what caused us to abandon this duality within us. Throughout history, there have been a number of instances where we can see the divine feminine being suppressed, distorted, or even overthrown. For example, over the past few thousand years, God has been depicted as a masculine form, due to the influence of the three major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam); when for approximately 20,000 years prior, God was assumed to be feminine –a Goddess. She was believed to be a supreme ruler, and was worshipped throughout history by a number of names including Isis, Astarte, Ishtar, Cybele, Demeter, Artemis, Hera, Tara, Kali, and Athena. She was a fertility symbol, and held a wide-ranging societal influence on both men and women. Throughout her reign, women had the ability to buy and sell property, own their own businesses, and inherit lands and titles from their mothers. Then came along the establishment of the patriarchy, and women became the property of their fathers and husbands – men who controlled their fates.
According to scientist Dr. Gerda Lerner, the establishment of the patriarchy was a historical process that developed from 3100 BC to 600 BC. During this period, the original ideas of the patriarchy likely arose from the practice of intertribal exchanges of women for marriage. At this time, women would have agreed to the practice due to its practicality to the tribe, and its necessity for the tribe’s continued survival. However, these exchanges uprooted young women from their homes and families – giving early peoples the notion that men held rights that women did not.
Over time, the ways of the patriarchy became the norm – leaving both men and women striving to be the perfect examples of their genders – forcing them to suppress their opposing divine energies. Women were considered to be inherently sinful and desirable beings, who required control by their male counterparts. This idea was further solidified by one of the oldest forms of the patriarchy, the Church, in a number of Bible passages in which women are depicted as inherently evil and sinful, luring men into sin. For example, in the story of Adam and Eve – Eve was depicted as inferior to Adam in many ways; Eve was created second, and many stories say that Eve is literally made from Adam’s rib, automatically making her lesser than, and she only managed to “touch the divine” through Adam. She was more likely to be tempted because she was seen as morally weak, less rational, less disciplined, vain, greedy, cunning, more instinctive, and a sexual being. While we personally are most definitely sexual beings, this was a time when sex was considered a “gateway for the devil to enter”. So, essentially, the patriarchy overthrew the age of the Goddess, and replaced it with centuries of suppressing the divine qualities within both masculine and feminine beings, making it taboo to exhibit divine qualities of the opposite sex.
Even in these understandings of male dominated history; we see the emphasis on balance between the masculine and feminine intertwined with the guided perception of favouring the male. The importance of Eve being “unable to touch the divine” without Adam shows the favouritism towards male power, but Eve’s existence comes exclusively from the fact that God required Adam to have a female counterpart. Without Eve, the story of creation wouldn’t be possible. The importance of the balance between feminine and masculine energies is still present in one of the most classic, and significant patriarchal stories in history.
It has only been within the past few decades that the idea of the divine feminine has reemerged. As a society, we have been living in a very masculine-driven world for centuries. Due to this, it can be difficult for women to identify with it, because the separation of masculine and feminine energy is almost as clear as the separation of genders. Alternatively, for centuries, men have been pressured to meet the expectations that come with being a man. This reemergence is significant for the spiritual, psychological, and evolutionary growth of humanity, as men can connect with their feminine side without losing their masculinity, and women now have alternatives to either becoming more aggressive like a man, or staying home and having babies, as the patriarchal view would suggest. As of September 2020, 21 of 193 heads of states/governments are being led by a female. In the last 20 years, the number of businesses owned by women in the United States has increased by 114%. Women have had more opportunities for career advancement and leadership than ever before, but even still, this progress has been slow, with 127 of 193 countries having only male heads of state/government since 1946. While the Divine Feminine and the feminist movement are not the same, the number of women in leadership is important as studies have proven that female leaders promote bipartisanship, equality, and stability. This indicates the improvement and importance of embracing and including the feminine perspective and energy in decision-making. Known characteristics of the divine feminine include: Sensitive, intuition-based decision making, stresses importance of relationships (not exclusive to romantic), right brain dominant, creative, vulnerability, emotional strength, open, receives, and a high focus towards the inner being.
Lack of harmony, connection, acknowledgement, and peace with these characteristics from centuries of focusing towards one dominant power is what has thrown us off. Although people are naturally scared of changing the way things have been, what harm could come from exploring and accepting traits that we naturally possess?
This lack of balance has negatively affected all aspects of life, from personal relationships to irreversible harm of the planet. Luckily, this reemergence does not require privilege, or any other external factors, it starts with acceptance & acknowledgment. The divine feminine is something that exists within us all, despite gender. It is an aspect of self association; not something we find, it is something we discover within ourselves and carry out into the world. Allowing ourselves and others to feel through the natural characteristics of their feminine AND masculine energy as they experience them is vital to creating and maintaining harmony. The divine feminine differs from the divine masculine, yet is of equal importance, so careful not to eliminate the divine masculine within us, just find balance. In their purest forms, when the divines are working together in harmony we see; beautiful nurturing relationships, new possibilities and creative ideas, protective yet kind and loving energy, generosity, spirituality, hard work, promotion of unconditional love, and the creation of safe spaces.
This sets the foundation for every relationship we have; romantic, business, friendship, familial, even the relationship we have with our planet. We can spew all the relationship, love, and sex advice that has ever existed throughout any time of history, within every culture, in all the galaxies – but it means nothing if we do not fix and understand the relationships within ourselves.