A Meditation on The Feminine Divine

The week before Mother’s Day we did this meditation at Monkfish Abbey. I’m interested in trying to capture images that speak to the feminine aspects of God, and this was our attempt at retrieving our foremother’s knowledge, lost to us when only men became the scribes. (Read a little more about that here.) The really interesting visualization phrases are about two-thirds of the way down, so scroll down if you only have time to read that bit.

This led us to have a very interesting conversation about gender, and God, and self-identity. I wish I could have recorded it all and just podcast it here. My dear monkity monks are stunningly insightful. I feel privlidged to be exploring with them.

Much Shalom!

I bind unto myself today, the strong cords of the trinity
By invocation of the same, the three in one and one in three.

The Meditation
Get in a comfortable seated position with your arms loosely at your sides. Let your eyes be soft in their sockets and invite the skin at the top of your nose, between your eyebrows unfurough and relax. Let the skin under your eyes and on either side of your nose slip gently down into a more relaxed position. Imagine your scalp at the median line on the bridge of your skull relaxing and sending a relaxing sensation down along the sides and back of your head, past your ears on the sides and down to the small of your neck on the back.

With your thumb and forefingers gently massage the outer edge of your ear beginning at the top of your ear and moving down to your earlobe. Repeat that a couple of times. Create a little space between your upper and lower molars and let your jaw hang gently. Swallow to relax your throat.

Now let your shoulders drop away from your ears, rolling them slightly back and creating some separation between your shoulder blades. Let your arms find a comfortable position with your hands resting on your knees, if that is comfortable.

To align your spine adjust your sitting position so that your sitting bones can sink into the ground and your back is supported at a natural angle. Invite your joints to soften at the hips, releasing any strain in the hip joint or hip flexor. Bring your head back slightly in line with the rest of your spine, drawing you chin in slightly so that it’s not thrust forward and the muscles at the base of your skull aren’t straining.

Draw your attention to your breath, noticing the length of the inhale and the exhale. Follow your breath coming in through your nose and traveling down your spin. As you exhale, follow the breath as it moved through your abdomen and lungs and out your mouth. Follow your breath for several more cycles, allowing the length of your inhale and exhale to grow slightly every one or two breath cycles.

If your attention wanders, that’s okay, just gently bring it back to your breath. It can help to envision your breath as a cooling wave coming in on the inhale, and as a warm breeze coming out on the exhale. On your next breath count the number of beats that go by as you inhale. Exhale. On the next inhale breathe in for that number of beats. On the next exhale, breathe out two or more extra beats to fully empty the lungs of stagnant air and allow more fresh air to enter your body. Repeat that slightly longer exhale cycle for three or four more breaths.

Now bringing your awareness back to your body, notice how your sitting bones are connected to the earth. Let your body sink slightly deeper into this connection, inviting your sitting bones to ground firming into the earth. If you wish, place your hands palm down on the earth’s surface and absorb some of her pulsing energy. The first thing we know about God is that God created. Our creation narrative, our truth bearing myth is that God gives birth. The waters, the birth waters, divided and the earth came forth. When we are connected to the earth, we are connected and endless, feminine, creative energy. When we connect to the earth we connect to the feminine, birthing aspect of God.

From this grounded place, make an invitation in your body-mind-spirit to receive any images that God might want to gift to you of herself. You might imagine your heart opening up like a blossoming flower to receive these images. Or, you might imagine the crown of your head sending out a ray of light, opening your mind to new ideas and metaphors for the feminine aspects of God. It can also be helpful to place your hands on your knees with the palms up in an open, receiving position.

With your body as an anchor and your breath as a landing place, ask God to speak to you of herself and wait with expectancy.

(3-5 breath cycles each)
I am godmother, bearer of good gifts in time of need.
I am sister, who entwines my hands and my hair, my tears and my laughter with your own.
I am mother who baptizes the birth of new things in water and blood.
I am lover who bears within her body the power to bond and to break.
I am warrior, ready to defend her young and protect her brooding place.
I am wisdom who carries great truths in the lines of her face.
I am she who holds you under her wings.

Bringing your attention back to your breath, place your hands on your abdomen. Feel you abdomen rise and fall with each breath. Now, with your mind’s eye pluck one image of the feminine face of God which came to you during this time, and retain it in abdomen, in your gut, creating a place for it to germinate and grow. Breathe into that space knowing that you, made in the image of God, have all that you need to allow that image to grow—and that God, the great Creator being is partnered with you in the growing.
On your next inhale, baptize that image with your breath. On your exhale release hope for its growth and continuation.

Bringing your hands together in front of your heart offer an internal word of thanksgiving for what has been given to you during this time. Let your last breath be your amen.

5 Responses to “A Meditation on The Feminine Divine”

  1. Stacey Says:

    Thanks for sharing this meditation. It was particularly timely for me. Your birdsong post from a few years ago strikes a deep chord within me too. I have just finished reading Dissident Daughter and I completely loved it.

  2. aola Says:

    Rachelle, Thank you for this. We have recently gone back into a “church” setting at our 13 year old son’s request. It has been so hard for me. I take what I have been reading on your blog and Susan’s blog @ Visual Voice and meditate on them while at church. Maybe, some day I might even actually get to share some of this with the other women there. (I will be very careful so as not to get stoned :)

  3. Goddess of Leonie Says:

    this is radiantly good…

    i am deeply passionate about bringing back the feminine energy into our understanding of the divine, to make it a beautiful swinging dance of balance.

    blessed be,

  4. Goddess of Leonie Says:

    P.S. Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott has a wonderful discourse on the loss of women’s involvement in spirituality…

  5. Magpie Girl » Blog Archive » The Urban Abbess and the Feminine Divine Says:

    […] A Guided Meditation on the Feminine Divine. […]