Calling in the Divine Feminine
Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Earth is out of balance, and has been for some time now. We've become the "wobbly wheel" of the Solar system, and I can't be the only one who feels like that wheel is about to fly right off its axle.
The polarities of hot sun/cool moon, yang and yin, fire and water, rajas and tamas -- masculine and feminine -- are failing to moderate each other in a healthy way, which we can see quite dramatically in the Earth's rapid warming. Too much fiery masculine energy has been pumped into our system over centuries, resulting in great progress and mastery of the physical realm, but also burning up and destroying energetic resources that have not been allowed to renew themselves. We smolder along with their ashes, instead.
Humans tend to be impatient, and we have become so mesmerized by our (masculine) ability to exert control over our circumstances that we have nearly lost sight of the universal requirement to balance that sense of control with the (feminine) energies of care and renewal.
It's not just the world's ecosystem that's been distorted, but its social and governmental structures as well, which have tilted too far in favor of our most masculine impulses: those which tend toward action, competition, separation and conquest. This masculine stance -- rooted in our very need to survive -- has been over expressed in the way we do our business and the ways some of our leaders conduct our international relations.
In some quarters, the masculine drive for conquest now actively resists the call of its natural partner energies: feminine dynamics which tend toward inclusion, cooperation, nurturance and a mutual respect that is rooted in awareness of our shared Divinity and interdependence -- rather than our fearsome ability to destroy one another.
It's no overstatement to say that this battle for masculine/feminine balance is as critical to our development a species as the ongoing skirmishes between good and evil, and we seem to have come to a critical point that requires us to extinguish at least some of that destructive masculine heat before it incinerates us entirely.
I should note that I did not come here to bash men, per se; it should be evident that masculine and feminine energies are not exclusive to their associated genders. We all contain the full spectrum of both energies, because we are embodied as Divine reflections of Creation itself. The power inherent to masculine/yang/rajasic expression is necessary to things like self-defense, righteous undertakings or summoning the power to overcome blocks to our development. Without them we could not evolve as a species. When I say the masculine has been "over expressed," I mean that it has been unwisely allowed to dominate our thinking and our collective discourse, while wiser, more temperate feminine influences have been diminished or ignored.
Who decided that a life of striving for material conquests is desirable, anyway? Who first uttered the idea that things like appropriate rest, cooperation and nurturing are somehow evidence of weakness? No doubt those ideas linger from the days when daily action -- whether hunting for food, cultivating crops, hauling water or building shelters and tools -- was absolutely required for physical survival. But even in those days, the feminine was necessary as well. Getting along with one's neighbors was a good thing, since we would inevitably need their cooperation for our mutual safety and projects to benefit the whole. Although females have been historically disempowered in most societies, feminine energies were nonetheless required if one wanted to live a harmonious life.
But the explosion of technology changed us -- by leveraging our traditionally normal, necessary "masculine" effort so that it now has an outsized impact on the world and her resources. When certain people can manipulate reality in such a way as to convert and amplify the physical efforts of many into hoards of riches for a few, something's off. The moderating, inclusive dynamic of the feminine has been disallowed. Destruction begins to outpace creation. More conflict and war become inevitable because the system has begun to require them to stoke the increasingly voracious fires of conquest, whether those fires involve physical, geopolitical or economic concerns.
It's time to douse this scorched Earth so she can begin to heal, and as is necessarily the case when systems wobble wildly out of balance, a counterbalancing agent has been spurred into action. That counterbalance is evident in the new generation of leaders who are disenchanted by the masculine way of accomplishment that brought us here, and who offer cooling, wise, nurturing messages of inclusion, holism and love. Female politicians and activists such as Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Greta Thunberg model what can be, when the thirst for fierce (masculine) justice meets deep (feminine) wisdom and concern for the collective good.
But it's not just those who identify as female who are rising to the call for a feminine rebalancing -- males publicly and privately have integrated the feminine aspect of their Being and found it neither weakened nor erased them. Pete Buttigieg comes to mind, as well as Billy Porter and the improbably cuddly Jason Momoa. To the contrary, humans at every point on the gender spectrum have begun to recognize the activation of feminine energies not as a weakness, but as the absolutely necessary, icy-cool, sublime allowing of Divine creativity, out of which will eventually emerge a world transformed.
Is there a way to speed up this rebalancing? Of course: For our part as yogis, regardless of path, the first step is always to rebalance ourselves. If nothing else, we transform our share of humanity, however tiny it appears. Inevitably, possibly in ways we can never know, our transformation ripples outward, where it resonates with and amplifies like energies and begins to influence those still out of phase. On this International Women's Day 2020, you can commit yourself to/recognize any action, idea, practice, creative work, mantra, god/goddess or movement that upholds the Divine feminine in your world. The magnitude of that expression doesn't matter; maybe you spend two hours meditating on Saraswati, or maybe you befriend someone who's being left out. Maybe you adopt and nurture a stray. Maybe you impart a potent piece of wisdom to a child.
Those things ripple outward, always, in ways we'll never know. It is a truth that in the web of Creation that connects us, no utterance goes unheard, no ThoughtForm unfelt, no act of compassion unnoticed; they resonate to the farthest reaches of all that is.
As an aside, the ancient Vedic texts describe the Universe as having a lifespan of four ages, or Yugas, that cycle much the way the earth does through its four seasons. Many sources consider us to be experiencing the start of Kali Yuga -- the most unenlightened, dark, and destructive age -- during which humans are least connected to their Divinity and most devoted to material conquest. But Sri Yukteswar, who was the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda ("Autobiography of a Yogi"), recalculated the calendars based on some overlooked factors and determined that we are actually in ascending Dwapara Yuga, the age of Energy. According to Yukteswar, Kali Yuga actually ended around 1700, as we emerged from the aptly named "Dark Ages."
At any rate, regardless of whether we're enduring Kali Yuga or undergoing an energetic rebirth in Dwapara Yuga, it would be hard for anyone to argue that a rebalancing isn't just needed but already underway. The masculine needs the feminine as much as night needs the day, and in equal proportion to its over exuberant denial of her, has in fact summoned her into action. We can act as midwives to this rebirth by upholding her through any gesture, however insignificant.
Finally, it is worth noting that the goddess Kali, in her manifestation as the Divine Mother, is the very emblem of nurturance, compassion and Divine Love. But when provoked by an army of rampaging demons, she summoned her (masculine) warrior energy and cut them down by the thousands, until finally none were left. Unfortunately, even such a good idea as justice can go too far, and just as with humankind's victories over the physical world, Kali's triumph went unnoticed, and instead generated even more destruction.
Still driven by the bloodlust that had consumed her, she continued her rampage, killing innocents, until her husband Shiva caught wind of it. Shiva hurriedly invoked his own feminine wisdom -- not by physically restraining her but instead by lying passively in her path until she accidentally stepped on him. When she looked down and realized she stood upon her beloved, her Divine masculine counterpart, she was so horrified she stopped and dropped her weapons. Deeply ashamed, she then stuck out her long tongue, which she had been using to lick the demons' blood so they could not regenerate, and it stayed that way ever after.
The moral being this: We can help right this wobbly world. The practice is to keep all of our energies in awareness, and to keep them in balance, so that we can easily and automatically use those most appropriate to our circumstances. We can stop before we cause too much harm, but only if we have the right opposing energies in our arsenal. We ignore the feminine at our collective peril. In order for the yin to rebalance the yang, human civilization must answer the call with every last drop of Divine Love and compassion we have at our disposal. ~Rishika