Mystique is the first word that comes to mind, along with a smattering of emotions, one of the more interesting, is fear. One might wonder why such an emotion would be aroused at the idea of the feminine. More introspective men might know why, but to put it extremely simply, it is selection pressure. Women select. The crushing power of nature upon your insufficiency and nakedness. The Medusa is the perfect symbol of this, the snakes for hair representing the deceptive nature and to gaze upon her turns you to stone. The feminine is what makes men self-conscious and to be in the presence of a beautiful women can quite literally turn men to stone. To come before her is to come before the great judge. Will you be selected, or not. Are you worthy, or are damned to join the near majority of men in history who’s line has ended with them. Destined to live out their day in the crushing punishment of rejection from the feminine. All the while, his work and often his life will be sacrificed for the feminine.
I chose the word mystique because of the mysteriousness of the power of the feminine. In our modern society the narrative suggests that women are incapable and weak, needing of society to boost them up. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Modern society has come to define what is valuable as masculine traits, which is idiotic, short-sighted, sexist and egomaniacal. If one has an appreciation of symbols and imagery, one can see the feminine in a very different light.
To understand the feminine one must understand the human psyche, or better put, the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is a shared set of ideas, actions, journeys, roles which are represented in archetypes. We generally don’t know we know them, but we know we know do when we set them, we all know the hero archetype and the heroes journey. The Feminine is a powerful symbol and set of archetypes which influences us from the very core of our beings. To really conceptualise this, you have to think about mankind as an evolving being, not just what we are and how we live in modernity. Man has not always lived in the way he does now. There were times when we lived in trees, feared snakes above all, and roamed in small packs. The psychological effects of these times still affects our minds, as much so as the dawning of consciousness.
The coming of light, as it is often conceptualised, is common in almost all mythology, from the Bible to the Maori creation myths. This symbolises the dawn of consciousness. Part of the development from this stage was the influence of the feminine, a selection power which continues and ends blood lines with totality and without magnanimity. I don’t intend to speak of the Darwinian process, but of the effects this selection had on the psyche of man and woman.
The Earth, the Sun and the Moon are recognised as symbols of the Feminine and The Great Mother. The Earth is the mother of us all, she nourishes and protects, provides for us and houses us in her womb. The moon represents the mother, nurturing, childhood, home, roots, belonging, sharing, caring, soul, emotion, compassion and empathy. While the Sun is warmth, energy; it is the light and the way, the mother of mothers. These traits we have found, embodied and recognised in these celestial beings are ones we draw from the women we see before us. Our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters. Their humble beings before us hold all this greatness. Many societies recognised and worshipped the Feminine, they saw the importance, the meaning, the purpose. They saw this is where life was created and they respected that by offering the highest praise they could, by deifying it.
I find it hard to really describe what I have in my mind on this topic, it just doesn’t translate well into words. What is in my mind is a mixture images, feelings, and symbols? I believe to truly share what I think of the Feminine, I must do that with images.
We must give our honour and respect to the Feminine for man is always brought into this world by the feminine, the masculine is preceded by the feminine. Man is nurtured by, as well as born of the feminine and the Great Mother. The feminine is an instrument of the Great Mother, a servant who enacts the her will. Inside we know The Great Mother, we know Medusa, we know Demeter, Isis, Gaia and Cybele. We are born with the knowledge of these Archetypes within us, many of us embody them.
Today in our Western societies we have lost the value of the Feminine, the Mother, Motherhood and the Great Mother. We have abandoned all of this in the name of progress, equality and equity. Society once cherished the beauty of the mother, but now it directs women away for motherhood. There was a time when society knew the value of the Feminine and its pivotal role in society, now it directs women toward masculine roles, it teaches our young women that what they are naturally is unimportant or a symptom of a patriarchal and oppressive system. Their nature is to be repressed, pushed down and ignored. They’re driven to compete with men instead of looking inside, finding their inner feminine and offering all the beautiful, powerful and import roles they can, including the most important role society has, motherhood. Without mothers, we are lost, without mothers, we do not exist. The problem of existence is an existential threat in Western society such is the extremity of the problem. Birth rates among westerns are so low in many countries they are even well below replacement.
So why have we have we led our men and women astray from the beauty and power of the feminine? Why have women lost the desire to be mothers, and why do we not see this as negative? Answering these questions goes outside the scope of this topic but I plan to follow this with a piece that approaches those questions in the future.
What I did want to address here is the question of why we should value the Feminine, the Mother and Motherhood itself. What are we without mothers (and fathers), what is our world if we do not cherish that which gives birth to us, nurtures us, and feeds us. The Feminine is not beautiful, it defines beauty, it defines love. Worship what (the) God(s) gave us, appreciate the radiance of the expecting mother, appreciate the pureness and beauty of a young woman, give thanks to those ageing mothers in your life. Above all, worship the Feminine. In the end, I’m afraid my words fall short, they do not capture what I feel, see or experience. They fall short in measure, in grace, in presence, in beauty and in prose. So I leave you with one final image, I hope you see what I see.