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Exploring The Sacred Feminine: My Journey of Empowerment and Liberation

I recently attended a workshop about body image, and it sparked a desire for me to share what I have learned about the Sacred Feminine (Divine Mother Principle), how they are connected, and why it is so important to be learning about and reclaiming Her in our lives.

When I was 35 I walked into a 12 step meeting for compulsive overeaters after too many years of torturing and shaming myself over my weight. I felt exhausted and in despair, and at my core knew that obsessing about and hating my body was keeping me from having any real usefulness in this life. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the beginning of a series of teachings into the mysteries of the Sacred Feminine.

As I began to heal my relationship to food and my body, I noticed a more gentle and loving inner voice. This wasn't something I had to work for (aside from the willingness to work a 12 step program), it just happened. It sounded a lot like the voice I used with my own children, but now I was using it with myself. So my first teaching was I can give myself the same nurture, love and respect I give my children and others.

Two years later I was invited to Kauai by a dear friend. It was Dec 2012, and after an intensely hard year, I arrived in Kauai ready to let go and steep in her beauty. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. My friends and I drove as far north as we could our first night there to catch the sunset and we stopped at a beach that had a huge cave off the side of the road. We pulled over and my friends got out and ran towards the water, and as I got out of the car I looked back at the cave and the beautiful stone wall with lush plants dripping out of it, and I was struck with a memory of knowing this place. My body felt frozen, and I sensed a presence so loving it moved me to tears. In that instant, I met the Goddess. She lives in the land and in all things, and she KNOWS me. This was my second teaching.

I became a little obsessed with Kauai. I traveled there at least six times in the following six years, and spent time also on Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. I love all the Hawaiian Islands, but Kauai has my heart. She still calls to me sometimes, but I haven't been back since 2018, mostly because my awareness of the impact of tourism on the locals and the island itself upsets me. The time I spent on Kauai and the other islands helped me learn how to listen to local populations, and think of how my actions may impact them. This was my third teaching- people, land, and language are woven in connection to one another, and hold a specific wisdom and knowledge for all of the earth. It is so arrogant to assume we know more than the locals, or what is good for them. So, until the local people welcome me back, I will go to Kauai in my heart. My connection to her lives there anyway.

In 2015 I felt this strong urge to pursue the priestess path. What is the priestess path? To be totally honest, I didn't really know. I just felt a strong calling to be one. Three months in I began to wonder if I joined a coven, which at the time scared the you-know-what out of me. I asked my mentor if I had, in fact, joined a coven and she said "no way!". Phew!, but then I asked her to explain the required books on witchcraft. She asked me if I knew the origin of the word witch, and I didn't. She explained that witch originally meant wise woman and was made into a negative word over time (this is an oversimplified paraphrase). Ok, so I slightly accepted this but remained skeptical. We had our first gathering a month later, and seriously I was scared I was going to show up to some sort of sex ritual. I promised myself if that was the case I'd be out of there as fast as I got there. To my pleasant surprise, it was a gathering of amazing women and we shared in ceremony with each other all the ways we wanted to be of service in the world. At the end of this gathering we made an anointing oil together and I hung back because we were blending essential oils and I didn't want to look like a know-it-all. After the oil was passed around a few times and there was a lot of a particularly strong oil added, I intervened. I swirled the concoction and smelled and the adjusted with some other oils, swirled again and then passed it around for the others to smell. They were happy! My mentor walked up to me and smiled like a sly cat as she said to me "You're one of the witchiest people I've ever met." There it was- a truth I felt in my core. Yes, I was, and have ALWAYS been. I was brewing things in my pretend cauldron since I was three. Teaching number four- I am a witch, and witches are wise women. They know the Earth and Her medicines. They love and heal Her peoples. They are the embodiments of the Sacred Feminine. We have known them by several names over time- Isis, Hathor, Athena, Ishtar, Inanna, Diana, Danu, Quan Yin, Ale, Asase Ya, Pele, Selu, Anna, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mother Theresa, and so on.

So you may be wondering why a body image workshop sparked a desire to write about my journey back to the Sacred Feminine? In this workshop, I listened to many people share their stories of pain around their body image, and all the ways a negative way of seeing their body has prevented them from fully living their lives, and it reminded me of what I learned 15 years ago when I started embodying more of the sacred feminine: our bodies come from the Earth, and we all call her Mother. The deliberate maligning of feminine energy has kept us disconnected from the earth, our bodies, from one another, and from knowing the fullness of God. God without Goddess doesn't work. We can see the disease and distress this is causing in our current state. It's time to start bringing awareness of Her back into our bodies, hearts and minds.

Feminine energy is receptive, still and soft. It rules our emotions (water element) and our physical bodies (earth element). It is circular, non-linear, creative, nourishing, healing, forgiving and accepting. It is also protective, wise, patient and nurturing. In our modern culture, especially in the West, we have forgotten how to receive and rest. We have been conditioned to achieve success at any cost, and have pushed ourselves and others to the point of depletion and disease. To me this directly correlates to our denial of feminine energy. Honestly, this is why I love the Millennials and Gen Z's. I like to tease about them, but I am truly grateful to them for bringing consciousness to how out of alignment our current culture is with LIFE! They are naturally honoring the Sacred Feminine, and give me hope for the future of the Earth and Her peoples.

If you're curious about nurturing the Sacred Feminine within you, start with your own body. Love it with healthy food, water, balanced exercise, and most importantly KIND words and feelings towards it. Your body and your breath are your constant companions in this life, witnesses to everything you experience. Try to remember that the next time you catch yourself saying something mean or negative about the way you look, and follow that up with an apology and a do over. Mother Earth is also our constant companion and witness. Everywhere we go, there she is. Always holding us, and always offering wisdom. She will teach you to embody more of your feminine energy when you are ready. All you need to do is ask.

What is interesting is that I now feel blessed I suffered so intensely with my body image. It brought me back to myself, and back to the Sacred Feminine. The more I began to embody the Sacred Feminine, the more I embodied my authenticity. For me, this is a deep acceptance and appreciation of my body and all she has done for me. It is a gentle and loving inner voice that encourages rather than breaks down. I know how to rest. I know how to nourish myself. I know how to forgive myself and others. I worry much less, and I know what to do with worry when I experience it. I listen to my intuition and trust myself, but my most favorite embodied feminine aspect- I know joy.

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