The Divine Feminine
This card gets to the heart of something that’s pretty much the central question in my spiritual life at the moment: how do I explore the Divine Feminine in a whole-hearted way on what is fundamentally a Christian spiritual path?
As I’ve mentioned here before, after having been brought up an atheist I had a dramatic conversion experience aged 19 and then became completely absorbed in a conservative evangelical christian church for several years. Over the last 25 years I have pretty much extricated myself from that very narrow way of seeing God, the world, and myself, and have developed an eclectic spiritual practice that I find far more whole and life-giving. Having been able at 20 to state with complete conviction what I believed and knew to be true about everything, I now find myself less and less sure by the day what I believe about anything. There are very few doctrinal statements I could say with complete conviction. Rather there are very deep, but very general things I know, but would struggle to articulate: things to do with love, compassion, beauty, pain, growth, authenticity, creativity, and self-expression.
On the surface there may appear to be very little left of what originally drew me to Christianity, but I still see myself as being on a Christian path, despite the fact that many of the people I knew at 20 would think that I have turned my back on the whole thing and am going to burn in the fiery pits of hell. Even using the phrase ‘the Divine Feminine’ would be proof to them that I am no longer a Christian.
I have come from a place where God is a trio of two men and a third neutral, gender-free spirit who was definitely in third place. I have come from a place where men have written the scriptures and are the ones who interpret them week by week in church. I have come from a place where it is said that men and women are created equal, but where the differences between male and female still mean that he is the ‘head’. I have come from a place where the women choose for themselves to be quiet and meek and subservient, as well as having that laid upon them.
My involvement in a church like this was a very long time ago and I do not believe that it represents what Christianity is truly about. Being on a Christian path now means that I come from a place where God is in relationship, where there is love, vulnerability and compassion at the very centre of Being itself. I come from a place where one can rest and open oneself to God by letting go of all attachments, including attachments to beliefs in church, society or the deeper parts of myself about what is the ‘role’ of a woman. I come from a place where God is generative, nurturing, loving, compassionate, creative, strong, vibrant and all sorts of other things that are seen in women (and men) the world over. And yet…. and yet I often still choose for myself to be quiet and meek and subservient…
There is still this tiny part of me that finds it very hard to let go of my old picture of God and of myself. I still limit God by having a narrow, constricted, clearly defined, carefully labeled image of what He is like. This in turn limits how I see myself.
This card represents my desire to be open to God in all Her/His/Their fullness, a fullness that also enables me to live fully and not be constricted in my view of who I am and am becoming. Having the Divine Feminine represented by the moon, by water, and by darkness, and yet also having the cross in the picture, represents my desire to continue to find a way forward that holds onto the central message of Christianity whilst also being open to a much bigger and more whole God than I was ever told about, or knew, at 19.