The Divine Feminine has many faces and shows up in many different ways in each of our lives—whether we are embodied as women or an men. I have found it helpful to explore these aspects through thirteen different faces of the divine feminine—or archetypes—as laid out in the work of Ariel Spilsbury, author of the 13 Moon Oracle and co-author of the Mayan Oracle. Below is everyday wisdom that I have gleaned from working with these thirteen archetypes over the past years.
1. Wisdom from the Great Mother: Feed the Feminine First! BEGIN each day doing something that deeply nurtures your feminine side. If you wait to do it later in the day, it will likely not happen. For me, feeding the feminine first means waking up without an alarm clock, allowing myself to take time to note my dreams before getting out of bed. It means making a slow cup of tea to start my day and spending a little time out in the garden—before I open my computer for the day. Feeding the feminine first means starting my day with JOY!
2. Wisdom from Compassion: Cultivate self love. Many of us spend much of our life attempting to gain love from those around us. We wonder why our partner doesn’t love us in exactly the way we want to be loved, or why our boss doesn’t appreciate us more. At the root of these symptoms is often a certain lack of self love. Here’s an exercise I suggest to cultivate deeper self love. It’s called the Mirror Exercise. I am providing a slightly modified version from the one taught to me by Jack Canfield. Stand in front of a mirror each night before bed, look into your own eyes, and tell yourself all the reasons why you are wonderful, loveable, and worthy of appreciation. Use specific examples from the day. Spend a few minutes on this exercise, and at the end, look yourself in the eye and say “I love you!” For more details on this exercise, see http://tinyurl.com/jmirror and scroll down to the section called Mirror Exercise.
3. Wisdom from the Priestess: Schedule unstructured time. Our Western culture tends to be ruled by the clock. We have a tendency to have very full, busy lives, with insufficient “down time.” It’s common to be holding down a worldly job while also attending to the needs of our partner, family and home. A good dose of unstructured time is a needed antidote to this fast-paced, highly-planned lifestyle. And we often need to put this unstructured time into our calendar or it will never materialize. In this time, we give ourselves permission to listen to that still small voice inside us. Ask yourself, “what would be most enjoyable or nurturing way to spend this time? What am I needing right NOW?” You may want to simply sit in your room and listen to music. Or play with your child or your pet. Or take a bath. Or read a book. Whatever will bring you joy in the moment is the RIGHT answer for you. So stop. Ask. Listen. And when you get a soulful answer, act on it! You’ll find that you feel much more spacious and joyful in your life.
4. Wisdom from the Creator/Destroyer: Set clear intentions. As human beings, we have the potential to be incredibly powerful creators. But it’s quite common that we are actually NOT living the life of our dreams or fulfilling our aspirations. One of the root causes we don’t end-up creating our desired future is that we don’t set clear intentions for what we want to create. So ask yourself what you truly want to create in your life, and write down the answer in great detail. I especially recommend doing this exercise each month during the new moon phase, and then working with each phase of the moon for full cycle (28 days) to incubate the dream and move it towards manifestation.
5. Wisdom from the Lady of Communion: Connect with nature. Nature is the living, breathing, Great Mother or Gaia herself. As we spend time in nature we attune with Her rhythms, Her sounds, her organic pace for unfolding in the Universe. I find that my worries seem quite insignificant when standing among the ancient trees—merely blips on the radar screen of life. In nature, I imagine how many children have been born, beloveds have died, wars have been fought, and kisses exchanged—and the trees just keep on growing, unruffled by it all. Spend time in nature, and allow her to teach you through her infinite, timeless wisdom. The is full of answers if we are willing to humbly ask for her guidance.
6. Wisdom from the Muse: Create play dates. We humans can be such serious creatures! And part of the incredible joy and magic of children is that they bring a sense of wonder, jubilance and magic back into our lives. But our own inner children need to come out and play more often! We need to create safe spaces where we can put on our fairy wings and take a ride on the back of laughter. So find a friend or two who might be willing to explore for a day and see the world through the eyes of a child! The only limitations are your own imagination!
7. Wisdom from the Goddess of Love: Presence beauty Delight the senses. Have you ever noticed the way that your heart opens when faced with something of extreme beauty? Whether it be an incredible sunset, a gorgeous piece of music, or an ornately decorated building, we all seem to be captivated by deep beauty. The age old act of giving a bouquet of flowers is a simple way we can share beauty with another—and it’s almost always appreciated. But while we often do experience beauty through our sight, we often forget to titillate our other senses in a deep way. Yet all of the senses are a profound portal to access the Divine. As you activate the senses, you can access deep & limitless ecstasy if you allow your being to fully open and expand.
Here’s an exercise you can try. It’s ideal to do with a partner, but you can do it alone as well. Close your eyes (or use a blindfold), and invite your partner to give you a tour through the sensate realm. If you are alone, do the honors yourself. Deeply open to the scent of a flower wafted before your nose. Taste the burst of flavor of a perfectly ripened berry or chocolate delight. Surrender into the tickle of a feather on your skin. Listen deeply to the tinkle of a bell at your ears. Fully give yourself permission to ENJOY these divine gifts! And return the favor to your partner later.
8. Wisdom from the Initiator: Use your POWER. In the social circles I frequent, there’s a lot of talk about women’s empowerment. In contrast, I attended a recent lecture by Marianne Williamson, in honor of July 4, where she asserted that the issue is NOT empowerment. “We’re empowered!” she says. The issue is that women are often afraid to use their power—fearing it will be seen as unfeminine or bitchy. Whether or not you agree with Marianne, many folks (both women and men alike) are not comfortable wielding a lot of power. And for good reason. Power has been mis-used over and over again through the centuries. And power that is not wielded in a clean way can cause deep and often unnecessary destruction.
But this truism does not mean we should avoid wielding power altogether. Instead, we need to cultivate our own consciousness to be clean and clear so that we can wield power in a way that liberates and serves the greater good. One of the most important ways we can use our power is by speaking our truth. This can be especially uncomfortable in situations where one feels more vulnerable than others in a given dynamic. But if we are truly coming from a clear place, then speaking our truth can be an act of reclaiming our power and liberating energy for all.
9. Wisdom from the Primal Face: Be wild, instinctual, and free! We are all animals at the core. Yet the primal nature has been severely tamed in most of the folks I encounter. I used to be quite tame myself too, until I realized the deep passion & vitality that is unleashed when allowing my primal nature to lead. So why do these primal instincts can seem scary? I would guess that it’s an issue of control. When the instincts lead, we are NOT in control of everything that happens, and life’s experiences cannot be packaged in a neat little box with a clean label. Primal energy is free flowing, moves of its own accord, and doesn’t play by the rules of morality. It can be messy, driven by libido, seeking adventure, sex and pleasure. The primal often stays out late and runs with the moon. And while it may not be appropriate to give way to this energy all of the time, I recommend allowing it some of the time—lest your life become flat and passionless.
It seems that certain cultures have found a way to be in a healthy balance with this energy. I spend a year living in Brazil, where a week of Bacchanalian Carnival is a celebrated part of every year. In general, it seems that the whole country has a free pass for the week, and otherwise scandalous behavior is fully allowed. Kisses flow freely on the streets, as does the hip shaking Samba dancing—complete with scantily clad dancers. While I didn’t personally love every minute of Carnival (I was too uptight back then), it did seem to provide a needed release valve for a lot of primal energy that might otherwise have been released in less desirable ways.
10. Wisdom from the Wise Elder: Follow your heart-knowing. We all have the ability to tap into the wisdom of our heart and know what is true for us. Whether it is knowing if a relationship or job is right for us, knowing who we can or cannot trust, knowing if we are meant to go in a certain direction, etc., if we really follow our heart, we will not go astray. However, many of us are out of practice in following our hearts. We have developed habit patterns of relying primarily on our thinking minds and many of us only look to our heart wisdom secondarily. As a result, we may wake up one day and realize that we have made choices that are out of alignment with our highest knowing and our truth. But it’s never to late to begin to start listening to your heart and following it!
11. Wisdom from the Weaver/Dreamer: Dream. Believe. Weave. In order to manifest your dreams, you first need to create space for these dreams to be imagined and articulated! If you were not constrained by time or money, what would be the big dream for your life? Who have you been inspired to be and/or what have you always felt called to do in this lifetime? Once you have allowed the big dreams to come forward, you need to believe that it is possible for you to live your dream. And this is not an easy task. Most of us have many self-sabotaging belief systems that smother our dreams before we even attempt to breathe life into them. So this is a place for a level of deep inner work to heal the “not good enough” syndrome that plagues so many people. And once you are clear about your dream and are confident in your ability to manifest it, then it is time to weave it into action! This weaving happens through taking small steps each day to move the dream into manifestation. And then sharing your dream with others so they can be a part of it’s unfolding. This process may sound too simple, but it represents the core principals of manifestation. And it may also be useful to have a coach to help you take the steps needed to make your dreams a reality.
12. Wisdom from the Queen of Death: Let go and surrender! There are those times in life when wisdom guides us to release and let go—let go a beloved who has died, let go of a situation no longer serving us, let go of possessions or titles that have run their course, let go of old beliefs that are no longer aligned with our truth, etc. And while our Western culture tends to largely fear and avert death processes, it can often be a release that serves as a pre-requisite for a re-birth waiting to happen to happen on the other side. As the seasons naturally cycle from Spring to Winter, so our own lives cycle through births and deaths. Learning to get comfortable with the death processes that require surrender can allow us to much more easily flow with the natural cycles of life, instead of fighting them. In turn, our life force becomes available for the next birth awaiting us.
13. Wisdom from the Alchemical Face: Radiate your essence! No two people are alike. With more than 8 billion people on the planet, we each have a unique fingerprint and sound pattern. And there is a unique and beautiful calling that your soul came here to planet Earth to manifest. This soul calling is connected to the essence of your being—that incredible radiance that is the light of your divine self. And while your bright light may be a bit covered by painful experiences in life that have caused you to cover up your light—it is still there, burning brightly! And if you need a little help to bring out your shiny self, there are many beings (including ME) whose soul purpose is to help others connect to their essence and live from that place. So find a few of these helper/healer types to be a part of your soul manifestation team. And let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!