The Divine Feminine

As a Tribe at Inner Alchemy, West Seattle hub of high vibe, we are celebrating the theme of the Divine Feminine within the month of May.  The energies of the archetype are woven into our space in various ways ranging from the installation of artwork we’re exhibiting for the Art Walk to the exercises led by our Kundalini Yoga instructors. 

Working as a Psychospiritual Counselor I am mindful of, honor, and facilitate engagement with and integration of the archetypal energies of the Divine Feminine into my own life and also those of my clients.  The following excerpt is from an article I wrote for my website in August of 2017.

…I love these details from two of my favorite artworks depicting primordial earth mother goddesses.  The bottom left is The Empress, conceptualized by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris circa 1939-41 for the Thoth Tarot. Below to the right is from artist Mark Ryden’s work entitled The Creatrix, completed and first exhibited in 2005.  

Although the images have stylistic differences, I see they share some distinct correspondences as well, and both conjure the lovely, intelligent, creative and powerful energies of this archetype.  The divine feminine is seen in the narratives and illustrations of goddesses from different cultures including yet not limited to, Demeter and Gaia of Greek mythology, Papatuanaku of the Maori, Shakti and Lakshmi of Hinduism, Venus of the Romans and our Solar System, and also as the Anima of Jungian psychology.  

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This archetype is also correlated with the root chakra, known as Muladhara, located at the base of the spine.  The foundation of our functioning stems from said root, where we hold beliefs and emotions about our environment and safety, as well as our right to exist and to have our physical needs met.  The pervasiveness of the primordial mother archetype though undeniable, seems to frequently be obscured amongst the fast-paced technology-focused lives in which so many of us find ourselves enmeshed.  

Functioning within such a framework often leads to thought and feelings of there being; scarcity of and competition for resources, frequent potential threats to physical and/or mental health, and the need to be in control, flawless, and always “onstage” and productive as individuals.  While there may be some truth to those experiences, there are also ways of living from a belief system distinguished by abundance, clarity, confidence, spontaneity, vulnerability, and trust. 

A potential remedy for symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and other conditions is to click into a more centered and pleasurable mindset, in which we may recognize and connect with the earth mother archetype, which is the birthright of all individuals. A swift survey of our surroundings should be a positive place to begin, and most likely will reveal the multitude of resources available and in near proximity to us.  

Some ways to start shifting to an abundance and self-love operating system and to communicate with our mind, body, emotional intelligence, and spirit are; cleaning, organizing, and decorating living spaces, cooking food for ourselves, wearing comfortable clothing and favorite scents, spending time in nature, tending to plants, and listening to music we find soothing and/or energizing. By cultivating an environment and foundation which communicates to all of the senses that we love and can care for ourselves, we may begin to experience and know these truths at a cellular level, clearing the way for a fulfilling existence and increased talent to manifest our visions. 

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I continue to find such information helpful and various activities to be effective ways of affecting relationships with the sacred feminine.  I recently moved into a new living space and a few evenings ago I brought focus to blessing and charging my home with the divine feminine energy via an altar, seen in the picture above, with images of The Empress, illustrated in Black Power Tarot with the potent figure of musician Nina Simone, and also with statues of Hindu goddesses Saraswati and Tara, my friend and collaborator artist Esther Loopstra brought back for me from a visit to India.

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Saraswati, pictured above, is the Hindu goddess representing the spheres of nature, wisdom, music, and art.  Soon after I received the figure of Saraswati, I began to experience a deeper engagement with the divine feminine via relationships, and to re-recognize the importance of movement, specifically sacred dancing, as a want and need I have and that I benefit from meeting in specific ways.  I now begin each day with some form of dancing, even before I meditate and do yoga, and find the movement to highly improve the quality of work I do with my clients as well as my mood, energy level, and ability to be fully present and psychologically, emotionally, relationally,  and creatively expressive.

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A significant area of my collaboration with my clients is Shadow Integration.  The shadow represents aspects of ourselves that it may be necessary for us to increase awareness of, acknowledge, engage, honor, and express.  We may be avoiding these qualities, out of ignorance, fear, or aversion, though they are expressed nonetheless, so it behooves us to choose consciously how we wish these energies to manifest in our lives.  The shirt I’m wearing in the picture above is an image of Sumerian goddess Inanna, illustrated by art duo Tin Can Forest for the book, What is a Witch, by author Pam Grossman.  The book explores the archetype of the witch, light and dark, and the narrative of Inanna is associated with the loving qualities of the planet Venus, yet also corresponds with a spectrum of characteristics including; sex, war, desire, justice, and beauty.  As the divine in human form experiencing the material plane we also embody these seemingly incoherent polarities.  In the Shadow Integration process we can have dialogue with all of these various aspects of self, discovering that most likely they have shared wants and needs.  Once all the splits of self are heard, seen, and loved they may all be unified toward ideas, decisions, and actions that represent the collective for the highest good of all.  The result is often one of liberation from symptoms and blocks, a sense of confidence and empowerment, and an experience of expansion and enlightenment.  I love engaging in these processes myself and also with those with whom I work. Contact me if beginning a journey of this sort resonates with you, as I find these collaborations to be an honor and pleasure.

Mark F. Barone, MA, LMHC ~ May 10, 2019

Inner Alchemy Tribe Member

Learn More About Mark


References

Arrien, Angeles (1997) The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin 

Brown, Brene (2012) Daring Greatly.  New York, NY: Gotham Book 

Duquette, Lon M. (2003) Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot. San Francisco, CA: Weiser Books

Grossman, Pam & Tin Can Forest. (2016) What is a Witch. Ontario, Canada. Tin Can Forest Press

Inanna. (n.d.) In WIkipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inann

Judith, Anodea (2004) Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self.  New York, NY: Celestial Arts

Jung, Carl G. (1961) Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York, NY: Vintage Books

Ryden, Mark  (2013) Pinxit, Cologne, Germany: Taschen 

Saraswati. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati