“As part of awakening to the presence of the Divine Feminine, it is surely time for women of every nation, religion and ethnic group to say: Enough is enough! There must be an end to this slaughter, rape and interminable suffering.”
Once upon a time, the feeling for the sacredness of life and relationship with the Cosmos was a deep instinct, shared by the whole of humanity. Then, almost imperceptibly, it was lost. During the millennia of the patriarchal era, a tremendous problem has been constellated. It is this: in a civilization which has been structured by religions which split nature from spirit and by a male image of God presiding over religions and institutions created entirely by men and by a polarizing mythology which glorifies power, conquest and the mastery of nature, how can the long-silenced voice of the Divine Feminine – the voice of the Soul of the Cosmos – be heard? How can a different concept of deity develop — one which embraces the Feminine dimension of the Divine and the realm of nature and would never condone, let alone encourage and promote blood sacrifice?
How can we begin to recognize once again the sacredness of Earth, the sacredness of the Cosmos and the role we might play in a great cosmic drama if we were once again able to align ourselves in a harmonious relationship with them?
Throughout this era, woman’s voice has been silenced. We can only imagine her grief and despair through the centuries of slaughter, when she lost her husband and sons in endless wars, her daughters to rape and slavery; when no-one listened to her impotent grief and rage that the life she had given birth to and loved and cherished should be so casually destroyed by men armed with the weapons of war. As part of awakening to the presence of the Divine Feminine, it is surely time for women of every nation, religion and ethnic group to say: “Enough is enough! There must be an end to this slaughter, rape and interminable suffering.”
The voice of the long-silenced Feminine is needed to heal the Wasteland—the current state of the planet and the lives of the billions of men, women and above all, children that are blighted or destroyed by human cruelty, greed and ignorance. Centuries of conflict between nations, religions and ethnic groups have brought us to the present time when we must find a way of transcending this archaic pattern of behavior or risk destroying ourselves as a species. Will we choose to imitate the patterns of the past, or can we embrace the truly immense transformation of consciousness we will need to make if we wish to forge a different future for coming generations?
The Desecration of the Anima Mundi or World Soul
The effects on the world of the loss of the Divine Feminine, the loss of Soul, are incalculable. Women are degraded by having their bodies exploited to sell every kind of commodity.
Instinctive knowledge of the holy unity of things, reverence for the interconnection of all aspects of life, trust in the power of the imagination and the faculty of the intuition — all this as a way of relating to life through participation rather than through dominance and control, has almost been lost. We can see the effects of this loss of soul everywhere today, not only in the devastation and pollution of vast swathes of the earth, but in the unhappy, impoverished and hopeless existence that people endure in the hideous and ever-expanding suburbs of our cities, in the increase of diseases like cancer, diabetes and mental illness — particularly depression. The old are neglected and even ill-treated in a culture more interested in achieving targets than caring for people.
The human heart cries out for the return of beauty, for a place of sanctuary, for community and relationship, where the inner life is seen to be as important as the outer and where a unifying sacred order to life on this planet is recognized and honored.
In the wider context of the planet, forests are not cherished as sacred places but are cut down to supply paper and packaging or to establish cattle farms or crops to provide biofuels for energy; mountains are hollowed out to extract the elements needed to construct nuclear reactors, computers and mobile phones. The Arctic is viewed as a potential source of oil and gas. Vast tracts of Africa are bought up to provide land for biofuel crops or food for states whose own land cannot supply it in sufficient quantity for their growing populations. Animals are viewed in terms of the amount of food we need to feed our ever-increasing numbers, not in terms of their well being: the indiscriminate daily slaughter of African elephants and rhinoceros and of whales and dolphins in Earth’s oceans continues.
Defining the Feminine
In its deepest sense, what does the word ‘Feminine’ mean?
The word ‘Feminine’ stands for the Soul which is a word which describes this unseen cosmic Web of Life that connects each one of us to all others as well as to the life of the planet and the greater life of the Cosmos. It stands for the recognition that we live within a Sacred Order and that we have a responsibility to protect the life of the planet and all the variety of species it embraces.
Like the fiery magma of the earth’s core, the long repressed feminine principle is rising to meet the masculine one in response to a deep cosmic soul impulse to balance and marry these archetypal energies within ourselves and within our world.
The ‘Feminine’ does not refer to the female sexual attractiveness that is so promoted in today’s world, nor to the qualities of caring and gentleness usually, though not exclusively identified with women, nor to the feminist agenda of the empowerment of women in a man’s world.
Awakening to the influence of the Divine Feminine means becoming protective of the whole of creation; dying to all the divisive ways of looking at life and each other; being born into an utterly different vision of reality.
The influence of the Feminine is responsible for the growth of the ecological movement; for the determination to free women in every culture from their long oppression and subservience and encourage their increased participation in society. The Feminine principle is responsible for the interest in the so-called non-rational; for many new approaches to healing both psyche and body.
The resurgence of the Feminine invites a new planetary consciousness where the deepest instincts of the heart in both men and women: compassion, informed intelligence and a longing to protect, heal and make whole are able to find expression in ways that can best be described as devotion to planetary and cosmic life.
Only through recovering our individual feminine, Baring suggests, can we begin to heal the heart and wounds of the world. She writes:
The recovery of the Divine Feminine may be the key to the transformation of our world culture from regression into mass uniformity, banality and brutality into something longed for and extraordinary.