THE SACRED READINGS ARCHIVE
TOPIC: The Divine Feminine
Our theme for today is the Divine Feminine. There appears to be great and growing interest feminine spirituality. This manifests in the movements to integrate the feminine spirit within the major western religious traditions (including movements toward women's participation in the priesthoods...) It also appears in renewed interest in the ancient Goddess traditions.
Psychology has shown us the difficulties caused when the masculine and feminine (animus and anima) are out of balance in the psyche. It may be that we are now learning the importance of balancing the feminine/masculine in the area of spirituality. The patriarchal religions with their emphasis on male images of the Divine, are looking for renewal in our time from the feminine side.
This emphasis is coming not only from women. Women have been trying to find their strength in participating in spiritual matters as well as in business, politics.... Women have also been trying to find a place for their femininity in their spirituality. But also, this emphasis is coming from men want to contact and develop the feminine side of their natures as well.
As you may know, students
in the Sufi Order have been exploring feminine spirituality. Pir
Vilayat has sanctioned the addition of a candle for the Divine Feminine
in the Universal Worship Service. Today, and often now, we have such
a candle on our altar.
Today's service will focus
on the divine feminine and on exploring how it can bring balance into our
spiritual journeying. It is meant to be a celebration. It may
also be an opportunity for healing.
FROM THE SPIRIT OF THE
Beloved Gaia, Mother Earth, I bow to your mystery. You who have conceived and created all life, I drink your cool water and eat your nourishing plants as communion. You who destroy and stand by the dying, I accept your pruning with thankfulness. Gaia, teach me your compassion, patience, and forgiveness. Clothe me in your bright beauty, sprinkle sun and moonshine in my eyes. Infuse me with your power so I can work with you. Show me harmonious ways. Teach me to live fully each season in turn, diving into the bounty and the dearth. Remind me to turn deep within the wilderness for your guidance. Let each moment of work, play, rest, loving, creating, dying, be in remembrance to you.
(Dance to Robbie Glass' tape
"We All Come from the Goddess"
FROM THE HINDU TRADITION;
Alas, I do not know either Thy Mantra or Yantra (mystical word-symbol or diagram), or songs of praise to Thee, or how to welcome Thee or meditate upon Thee; neither do I know words of praise to Thee, nor Thy Mudra (mystical hand gesture), nor how to inform Thee of my distress; but this much I know, O Mother, that to take refuge in Thee is to destroy all my miseries.
Pashupati, the Lord of creatures who is besmeared with the ashes of the funeral pyre, . . . . . is dubbed the Lord of the universe, because of His marriage with Thee, O Mother Bhavani.
O Mother of the universe, there is nothing to be wondered at if Thou shouldst be full of compassion for me, for a mother does not forsake her son even if he has innumerable faults.
FROM THE BUDDHIST TRADITION
Even as a mother at the risk
of her life
(Practice: do the Walk of Quan Yin: Participants hold arms as if they were carrying an infant, imagine looking into the eyes of the infant. As walk, move hand from heart outward, as if bestowing blessings of the heart on earth)
FROM THE ZOROASTRIAN TRADITION
(Note: The Avesta identifies three aspects in the human being, each having a heavenly counterpart who is a feminine angel. There is celestial Thought, who is called Spenta Armaiti. She gives birth to a Word, Asi Vanuhi, and to a second daughter named Daena who is identified as a realized Action. Spenta Armaiti is the Angel of the Earth, who has special kinship with the human soul. She is the soul-power that gives birth through human choice to the whole spectrum of the physical plane.)
O Ahura Mazda, Thine has
FROM THE TAOIST TRADITION
All things under heaven had
a common beginning, and that beginning could be considered the Mother of
FROM THE JEWISH RELIGION
Happy is the one that findeth
FROM THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
Then said Mary unto the angel,
"How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth,
she hath also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth
month with her, who was called barren.
And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her.
(Read: "Annunciation" by Denise Levertov, as a meditation)
FROM THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
Heaven lieth at the feet
Then the Rasul said, "Put
them down." And when he did so, their mother joined them, and Muhammad
said, "Do you wonder at the affection of the mother towards her young?
I swear by Him who hath sent me, verily God is more loving to His creatures
than the mother to these young birds. Return them to the place from
which ye took them, and let their mother be with them."
FROM THE GAYAN of Hazrat Inayat Khan
Love is the Divine Mother's arms; and when those arms are outspread, every soul falls into them.
(Repeat 3 times, with gestures)