Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sacred Feminine


Finding The Balance, Honoring The Feminine

The goddess is the female divine being, the Mother, the Amazon, the healer, the lover and the Queen. To speak of the Sacred Feminine is to speak of the innate divine qualities of women throughout the ages. It harks back to all times when power manifests as a positive attribute, not associated with control or supremacy, but rather potential and strength and the earthly powers of sun and moon and nature.

Examples of suppression, even unintentional, of natural feminine instincts abound. Women can be ticketed for breast feeding in shopping malls. The fact that twenty-eight days in the lunar calendar and twenty-eight days in a woman's cycle is treated as hardly more than a coincidence. The rich and hugely interesting pantheon of female mythological characters and deities are not practiced with great regularity.

But to a well-tuned eye and ear, signs of the archetype of the Goddess are apparent and abundant. The concept of the Sacred Feminine entered mainstream consciousness with the bestselling book The DaVinci Code. Pilgrimage tours to sacred sites for women featuring ancient ceremonies are gaining in popularity. Curiosity and a good library will unveil many intriguing tales and traditions from which to cull.

The Hopi Indians tell of Ha Hai-i Wuhti, the mother who nourishes all beings be they kachinas, humans, sentient or insentient placing a female at the center of all creation. The Hindu's have the great Mother Durga who, though beautiful transforms into her wrathful form. Quan Yin is the familiar Chinese goddess of compassion. In Africa, the Orishas are honored as both Gods and Goddesses.

All animals, humans included, are born from the union of male and female. Appreciating our feminine side in the spiritual sense means valuing the feminine principle, along with the masculine principle, as equal and fundamental aspects of the Divine. The yin yang symbol is a reminder of this perfect balance within us. And now is the perfect time to find that balance by honoring the feminine.

Who are the women in your life? Pay attention to the contribution of women to our society. Lift the glass to them, sing their praises, honor them in whatever way, small or large. Paying this respect reaffirms our connection to the divine, the Goddess, the Earth and each other.

For more information visit Sacred-feminine.org

3 comments:

Stacie Ku said...

Quan (or Kwan) Yin is the one I worship and pray to. In the FWIW category, Kwan Yin happens to be one of the most popular Chinese Dieties. Considered to be the Goddess of Mercy or compasion, many believe that she is the female representation of Avalokitesvara, who is the Tibetan and Nepalese God of Compassion. In Asia, statues of Kuan Yin can be found in front of, or on the grounds of, many Buddhist temples and in practically everyone's homes.

She is like a Buddhist Madonna with universal appeal, but specifically as the protectress of women, sailors, merchants, craftsmen, crimnals and those wishing for children.

Being Chinese, you might say I grew up with her. My parents and all their friends always had an statue or image of her around the house. She was just everywhere and was the main deity I prayed to. Today, I probably have at least a dozen or more images of her in my home. Funny thing is though, it was not until I developed a deeping interest in Buddishism and spirtualism that I discovered that Kwan Yin was also transgendered.

Scholars believe that the Buddhist monk and translator Kumarajiva was the first to refer to the female form of Kuan Yin in his Chinese translation of the Lotus Sutra in 406 A.D. Of the thirty-three appearances of the bodhisattva referred to in his translation, seven are female. (Devoted Chinese and Japanese Buddhists have since come to associate the number thirty-three with Kuan Yin.)

Although Kuan Yin was still being portrayed as a male as late as the tenth century, with the introduction of Tantric Buddhism into China in the eighth century during the T'ang dynasty, the image of the celestial bodhisattva as a beautiful white-robed goddess was predominant and the devotional cult surrounding her became increasingly popular.

Though most often protrayed as a female, Kwan Yin has has the capablity to appear in any form - male or female; adult or child; an ordinary human being or royalty. As nee3ded she transforms herself into persons like those that she deals with so regardless of your status in life, you can be comfortable with her.

This is not inconsistent with Buddhist doctrine. The scriptures explain that a bodhisattva has the power to embody in any form--male, female, child, even animal depending on the type of being he is seeking to save. It is just that Kwan Yin is most often portrayed as female. Which if you think about it, is pretty reasonable since women are generally more compassionate than men.

Kwan Yin is here for all of us because although she had attained enlightment and could have left this world, she chose to stay in this world to help the rest of us reach enlightment.

So, even if I didn't grow up worshiping her, one I found out she was transgenered, she would have made my list of favorite deities anyway.

Stacie

Michele Angelique said...

Wow! Stacie, thanks so much for your comment about the Chinese Goddess of Compassion, Quan/Kwan Yin. I find your spirital perspectives to be most compelling, and it always perks me up to get a comment from you on one of my postings. Very rarely does anyone comment on my more "estoteric" type postings, and I sometimes wonder if anyone has a clue, or any interest, in the subject material I have written. Then you pop by and deliver some splendid feedback based on your own parallel thoughts, and it always expands my horizons. It really helps to know that at least one person "gets" what I'm saying enough to comment. I am sure we would have many fascinating conversations given the chance.

I was totally unaware that Quan/Kwan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Compassion, is considered transgendered! That is very significant to me! Do you feel this has influenced the overall perception of the Chinese culture toward transgenderism? Fancy that, a primary Chinese diety, the Goddess of Compassion, is Transgendered! It seems natural this should lend support for acceptance of transgendered among those millions of people who revere Quan Yin. What do you think Stacie?

I also find it fascinating that the Buddhist doctrine specifically puts divinity above the physical gender, as their dieties can shapeshift into whichever form. It makes sense to me that God/Divinity would not be encombered by any physical gender or form. God/dess certainly transcends gender as we know it.

Stacie, you are a wealth of spiritual information, and I do look forward to hearing more of your delightful wisdom any time.

Thank you so much for sharing,

Love & Light,
Michele

Jeremy said...

Hi there!!!I am a 21 year old male doing some research for a project for my girlfriend. Its of course on the sacred feminine. I Read over your website and found it to be very interesting. As you read it you begin to see the different feminine aspects through out the world. Many people view god as a strong man with a white beard. I wonder what keeps people from viewing god as a women. Women are strong in other ways that men aren't necessarily as strong. Thanks for the great reading. It helps open your eyes from a guys perspective.
~JB~