I had promised a friend of mine that I would join her first thing this morning at a mixed martial arts class which promised to explore the sacred feminine energy in the context of “warrior” and “goddess” archetypes.
A number of years ago, I read one of Sue Monk Kidd’s books called “Dance of the Dissident Daughter”, about her search for the divine feminine in history, through mythology, art, and architecture. I went on a reading spree; one book leading to the next; devouring women’s stories of their journeys in claiming this ancient paradigm and incorporating it into their modern lives.
I made a pair of earrings as a commission for an older woman who seemed to me as much of an “earth mother” as I’ve known. Out of silver, I made a form that was an ancient symbol for the Mother Goddess and hung long strands of beads off of it. That pair became the model for many more. Some had long strands of beads, some short, some a single stone. A whole series of earrings evolved, called “Goddess earrings”. I’ve sold every pair. I think that shape triggers something in a collective feminine unconscious. It appeals on a cellular level. I’ve had women tell me that they are their favorite earrings more than once.
I’ve been captivated ever since by the remnants of this energy that still exist in our culture. I’m not sure that I keyed into it clearly this morning. It was fun and l liked the idea of it being divine feminine energy “kicking some ass”, but I’m not sure that it was what I was thinking of as far as archetypal sacred feminine. I felt a little dangerous, but I didn’t quite feel like a Goddess!
This afternoon, Gillian and her friends were getting ready to go to a sleep over 13th birthday party at a friend’s house up the block. The two girls have known each other since before they could talk, and I’ve been friends with her mother just as long. Earlier this week, she had invited me to come by for a glass of wine at the beginning of the party because she had a “surprise” for the girls and wanted me to be there for it. I was out shooting this afternoon, and was a little later than I thought getting there.
It was actually just in time! As I walked into the house, the music started, and a green blur swirled out of the dining room into the living room among the girls. There were a few small squeals as the girls peeled out of the center of the space leaving it to the belly-dancer. They formed an arc naturally, with no direction, and stood there rapt. They seemed mesmerized by the movement and music, but were soon trying out the moves and giggling. At the end of her performance, the belly dancer got the birthday girl out on the floor with her and tied a scarf around her waist, shimmying and twirling, encouraging her to dance. Soon all of the girls were shaking their hips and twisting their bodies, little cymbals over heads, spinning and laughing as they bumped into each other. I worked my way around the perimeter of the room, in and out of doorways, doing my own dance, trying to capture the scene in front of me with my camera.The belly dancer was gracious and appropriate, guiding the girls and enjoying their laughter. She exuded a delightful and fearlessly feminine energy. She didn’t “feel” dangerous, but she did feel powerful. I think, “at the end of the day”, both literally and figuratively, I found my sacred feminine.
Maybe next time, I’ll try belly-dancing…
As I finish up writing, it occurs to me that Monday is International Women’s Day, “a day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” There must be a divine feminine energy afoot.