Friday, July 6, 2012
THE REALMS OF FEMININE CONSCIOUSNESS
Charge of the Star Goddess1
I who am the beauty of the green earth
and the white moon among the stars
and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come
For I am the soul of nature that gives
life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed and unto Me
they must return.
Let My worship be in the heart that
rejoices, for behold-
all acts of love and pleasure are
Let there be beauty and strength,
power and compassion,
honor and humility, mirth and
reverence within you.
And you who seek to know Me,
know that your
seeking and yearning will avail you
you know the Mystery:
for if that which you seek, you find
not within yourself,
you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with you
beginning, and I am that which
is attained at the end of desire.
The Goddess of Wisdom is speaking to women everywhere. She calls women out of the Father's House and into our individual lives. The task she sets us is to learn her language and then become her follower. The image of the Woman Clothed with the Sun gives us our archetypal instructions for accessing Wisdom. We have to learn to stand in the creative imagination (the Moon) with insight and clarity (the Sun) while maintaining a sense of our spiritual destiny (the Stars). We Father’s Daughters have to learn symbolic language, the language of the creative imagination, but we also have to be clothed with the sun so we can discern the truth of what we discover there. The stars of spiritual awakening will be our guide. Then we have to integrate this wisdom in our daily lives, in our bodies and in the world.
The wise woman is sorely needed in our culture. Women everywhere are stepping forward and sharing their wisdom with their children, their men, their friends, their co-workers and with strangers. We are sharing our wisdom in public service and in corporations, in our religious institutions and outside them.
Feminine Wisdom is rooted in life - in the life of the body, in instinctual nature, in natural rhythms, and in natural phenomena. We find wisdom by understanding the moment and distilling its’ essence. Like Allerleirauh, we have to live in our mantle of furs and pay attention to how our bodies respond to the Earth's natural rhythms. But Feminine Wisdom is also rooted in the heavens, the place of beginnings, when Wisdom birthed the cosmos.
Western civilization has been slowly killing off our relationship to the natural world and to the cosmos. How many of us go out to see the beauty of the full moon raising? Or sit up in the dark of night to watch the planets and the changing star patterns dance across the sky? How many of us know the names of trees and flowers we love? Or know the songs of the birds that fly overhead?
We have to understand the natural laws of life here on Earth if we are going to change the way we live. We have to change our basic assumptions about life, and understand what we gave up when we lost our place in the ecology of the Earth. We are out of balance and it shows.
Life and death, growth and decay, joy and sorrow are made meaningful only when looked at through the balance of the two eyes of masculine and feminine consciousness. We have been cut off for too long from the wisdom of this left, feminine eye, which shows us the world through symbolic language, though images and dreams, feelings and intuitions, natural rhythms and body knowledge. Having lost our connection with this wise Goddess, our culture has ignored the forces of life She represents and which She bestows upon us. But images of the Divine Feminine Spirit remain from the past, in the form of myths and stories, and it is still possible for us to re-discover her wisdom, for She is still alive in the natural world around us and in the sky overhead.
The image of the Woman Clothed with the Sun is an image that the whole world shared on a day in July 1969. On that day, when the first men walked on the moon, we saw a picture they sent back to earth: the Earth, clothed in sunlight, rising over the moon, hanging like a jewel in the starry universe. What else is this but a celestial image of the Woman Clothed with the Sun, who stands on the Moon, and is crowned with the Stars? Since that day, we have begun to remember that we are indeed Earth’s children and that She is our Mother.
Throughout the ages, the Earth, Moon and the Stars have been associated with feminine deities, just as the three dresses of the Sun, Moon and Stars appear in fairy tales about discovering feminine wisdom. The Great Earth Mother, the triple Moon Goddess, and the Great Queens of Heaven who are crowned with stars, are all images of feminine power, wisdom and consciousness. The archetypal Feminine Spirit symbolizes
"the origin of life; all phases of cosmic life, uniting all the elements, both the celestial and chthonic; the Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, opener of the way; the keeper of the keys of fertility and the gates of birth, death, and rebirth. As the Moon Goddess she is perpetual renewal, the measure of time, the weaver of fate. As Queen of Heaven, she is archetypal wholeness, the mother of all wisdom, self-mastery and redemption through illumination and transformation."2
Western civilization, a product of an unbalanced masculine imagination, has produced the degradation of our environment, the possibility of nuclear holocaust, the poisoning of our food, air and water and widespread war, hunger and disease. It is crazy to keep on doing what we’ve been doing and expect things to change. The missing ingredient for change is feminine wisdom and consciousness.
Because women have had to develop masculine consciousness on top of our inborn feminine brain to compete in a man's world, we have developed a new feminine brain that balances right and left brain consciousness. But the cost has been high as we work out the kinks, and women oftentimes sink into 'moodiness, depression, nervousness, anxiety, inattention and problems with learning and memory.. . . as well as tensions and an inability to make clear decisions.' 3 But once a woman has brought her brain and her consciousness into balance, she truly becomes a wise woman.
This balanced consciousness needs to be taught in schools and valued in our public life of politics and economics, so that each individual is capable of living everyday with consciousness, creativity and choice. Our masculine-oriented approach to life issues needs the life and creativity of Feminine Wisdom, for this energy holds the keys to the ‘gates of birth, death and rebirth’. By renewing our feminine consciousness and rediscovering its wisdom, we regenerate our masculine consciousness. In the following chapters, we will look at the realms of Feminine Wisdom, as exemplified by Allerleirauh’s three cosmic dresses and her mantle of furs, so that we can understand how to be clothed with the sun, to stand on the moon and to be crowned with stars.