Posts tagged ‘Feminine’

Drawing Strength from the Goddess Archetype: Part 1 of 2 – Monica Myers

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International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated around the world since the early 1900s, was this past Sunday. In honor of the occasion, I dedicate this reflection to the Goddess archetype and/or the divine feminine, which has provided hope, strength, identity, and inspiration to me personally on my journey.

Many would agree with me in arguing that our patriarchal culture in the west has relegated conscious femininity to a subservient position at best, and further limits it to the realm of women.

But, the divine feminine resides in all of us. To deny her is analogous to cutting off a limb.

Let me explain.

It is a myth that only females suffer under a patriarchy.  Suffering happens at a cultural level as well as an individual level for both women and men.  Our western culture’s over-identification with the masculine has led to a neurotic drive for power.  We see obvious manifestations of this today in civil and international wars and we also see it in a culture that emphasizes competition and materialism over family nurturing and community connection.  We see it in our dominance over other life forms and in the systematic destruction of the environment that sustains us.

Loss of community is pervasive today.  Marion Woodman, a Jungian analyst, relates the feminine to a loss of soul and consequently to a diminishing capacity for connection. According to Woodman, individuals who lack a concept and understanding of conscious femininity are “cut off from their connection to their own soul values…where the heart is no longer recognized.” 

Without a connection to soul, we can’t have meaningful connection to one another or compassion for the human condition and this “reverberates right through our culture.” 

Now, if I’ve thoroughly depressed you in considering this historical moment, you are not alone. I have depressed myself. I have struggled with the question: how do we deflect the nightmare of self-destruction and find hope today when the larger state of affairs often feels overwhelming and hopeless? For me, this is precisely where the image of the Goddess enters and works her healing magic. She helps me to dream life forward with love.

It’s no secret that images have enormous and often unconscious influence on us, as evidenced by the mass of visual media and advertising in our culture. Marion Woodman reminds us, “Through a physical image, metaphor reveals a spiritual truth or condition…” In this sense, the image of the Great Goddess has enormous power to heal and free our psyches.

Above all, the Goddess symbol embodies the remembrance and possibility of a beneficent universe and a reawakening of our hearts.  She helps me to imagine a universe full of abundance, the possibility of living in harmony with one another as brothers and sisters and in an intimate relationship with our life-sustaining planet. She has given me a dream, grounded in my long ago ancestors, of the opportunity to realize a deep communication with all of creation.

As Michael Meade states, “The real problem is a loss of faith in the dream of life and the immediacy of the spirit that animates the world.”

 

Stay tuned for part two of this blog, in which the specific qualities of the Goddess archetype are explored in greater detail.

 

Monica Myers, MPH, MA, LPCC is a teacher and therapist currently accepting new clients. She has offices in Boulder, Denver, and Golden. She invites your comments, questions, and responses at monimyers69@gmail.com or 720-378-6603.

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth