when my mother was pregnant
with her second child I was four
i pointed at her swollen belly confused at how
my mother had gotten so big in such little time
my father scooped me in his tree trunk arms and
said the closest thing to god on this earth
is a woman’s body it’s where life comes from
and to have a grown man tell me something
so powerful at such a young age
changed me to see the entire universe
rested at my mother’s feet
–Rupi Kaur, milk and honey
I first read this poem about a year and a half ago while sitting outside in the sun. At the time, I had become almost obsessed with the concept of the Divine Feminine, which kind of just revealed itself to me out of nowhere. I hadn’t even heard of the Divine or Sacred Feminine before, but all of a sudden, there I was, reading anything and everything I could get my hands on that would tell me about it. It started with The DaVinci Code and the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, and before I knew it, I was onto Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey, Renee Star’s You Are Woman, You Are Divine, and many others. I created a sacred space of worship, cleaned some crystals in the moonlight, and prayed to Lakshmi. It was a fun and empowering time, and lots of growth took place.
Anyway. When I first read this particular poem by Rupi Kaur, I just remember being moved to inexplicable tears. I wasn’t even sure why, but for some reason, reading about the divinity of women in this poem really moved me emotionally.
If you are not familiar with the concept of the Divine Feminine, it essentially refers to the creative, sacred feminine energy that coexists with the masculine energy in making up the world we live in. This definition is mostly spiritual; however, the divine feminine penetrates a variety of realms in our lives. In the realm of religion, it reminds us to honor the feminine face of God/Creator (i.e. Mother God) as equal and complementary to the masculine face of it, and it calls us to recognize archetypes of the Goddess throughout history and various cultural traditions. In the physical realm, it reminds us to cherish and respect Mother Earth. Culturally, it celebrates creative expression, community, and interconnection. It calls us to reclaim “feminine” qualities and view them as equal to “masculine” qualities, to honor and respect women, and to practice compassion with ourselves and those around us—plus so much more.
I should stress the idea that “feminine” qualities are not reserved for girls and women, nor are “masculine” qualities reserved for boys and men. Everyone has feminine and masculine aspects within their being—possessing and honoring both is one of the things that makes us whole and keeps us balanced.
So what qualities are considered to embody the Divine Feminine?
Traditionally, the Divine Feminine is associated with ideas such as unconditional love, wisdom, compassion, gentleness, patience, acceptance, forgiveness, intuition, the ability to heal, the ability to nurture, community, connection, kindness, creation, quietude, flexibility, and harmony. There is certainly a sacred power that comes with embodying these traits.
For example, to go back to Rupi Kaur’s poem, it’s written that “the closest thing to god on this earth/is a woman’s body it’s where life comes from.” Since creation is such a prominent aspect of the Divine Feminine, this statement makes sense. It baffles me sometimes to think about the creative, intuitive energy of women.
We literally bleed in tune with the moon. There is a sacred force that connects us to this beautiful celestial body, and we live our lives in harmony with it. When there is a new moon, our energy moves inward as we take time for introspection and menstruate. As it waxes and moves toward the full moon, our energy projects outward, and we come alive. Unfortunately, newer aspects of our society—such as a push toward constant activity, among other things—may have caused the rhythms of some women to vary a bit, but overall, it’s absolutely amazing to think of our connection to the moon. Especially since the cycle that connects us to the moon also gives us the power to create new life. Honestly, what gift, power, or ability is more awe-inspiring than this? The entire universe rests at our feet and in our wombs.
The Divine Feminine calls us to celebrate and honor this.
Over the years, patriarchal society has led us to forget and even demean aspects of the Divine Feminine. It has overemphasized the importance of more traditionally masculine qualities, such as logic, confidence, authority, activity, and strength to a point of being imbalanced, overbearing, and—at times—toxic. It has shamed the beautiful, powerful bodies of women, as well as sexuality. It has ignored intuition, shown women they are unworthy of holding positions of religious authority, and–in many traditions–completely eradicated the idea that there is any aspect of femininity in creation (i.e. Mother/Father God). Even today, in the twenty-first century, women (and feminine qualities in men) are generally not held in high esteem. I would venture to say that we are actually way under-valued, which is supported by various stereotypes, prejudices, and actions that are demeaning to women.
Thankfully, despite it being stifled by a variety of circumstances over time, the Divine Feminine is on the rise again as feminine energy is becoming more highly valued in the collective consciousness of humankind. Perhaps—like I did last summer, when I read milk and honey—you will begin to feel an awakening to the feminine, as well.
We all possess this beautiful, creative, sacred feminine energy within us. It’s possible that during our lives, it has been shamed and stifled, but it never dies. It’s time for us to step into our power, to honor the divinity that we are, and to unleash the sacred energy within us.
What can you do to step into your divine feminine power?
Read books about the topic. I highly recommend You Are Woman, You Are Divine by Renee Star. Of course, milk and honey by Rupi Kaur is also amazing, and it talks about it in a more indirect (but very powerful) way.
Do some work to clear any blockages that might exist in your sacral chakra (you can read all about how to do that here). Your sacral chakra is your body’s center of creativity and sexuality, and its energy is feminine. Clearing this chakra will certainly help you claim your feminine power.
Meditate. Silence and stillness are important qualities of the Divine Feminine. Spending time each day in silence will help you connect with that aspect of yourself, as well as with your intuition.
Trust your intuition. You are blessed with a connection to the divine, and throughout your life time, a variety of messages, feelings, and impulses will come to you that need to be trusted. This is something that our society tends to stifle–for example, my grandma is one of the most intuitive people I have ever met. She has a very strong connection to the divine feminine energy; however, throughout her life, she has been shut down, dismissed, and called crazy by quite a few people who don’t understand her. Thankfully, she’s also one of the strongest people I’ve ever met, and it seems like she’s been able to overcome the negativity of the naysayers for the most part. I hope you can overcome it, too, and that you will always trust your gut feelings.
Create something! Whether you enjoy painting, writing, drawing, cooking, decorating, woodworking, singing, dancing, or a variety of other things, do something that makes your creativity come alive. When you create new things, you are using the divine feminine energy within you—nurturing it, growing it.
Practice compassion for yourself and others. Kindness, compassion, and empathy live within most of us, and they are traits of the Divine Feminine.
Own your power. I know that sometimes, it can be scary to show the world who we are, especially when it comes to femininity. How do we know we won’t be body-shamed? How do we know we won’t be dismissed by someone who is, in reality, afraid of the power we possess? How do we know we won’t be under-valued or get hurt? Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell. I know it can be scary sometimes to wield this energy after it has been squashed and stifled for centuries, but we need to. It is the most beautiful, powerful, creative, awe-inspiring energy that exists, and it needs to be elevated so that it can once again be valued as equal and opposite to the masculine energy that permeates our society. It certainly is just as important, as there is no yin without yang.
We are absolutely divine. It’s time for us to unleash the goddesses within us.