We are relearning what it means to be ‘Feminine’.
I like to differentiate between ‘the Feminine’ and the social construct of ‘femininity’. Femininity is often about shrinking ourselves into a more pleasing and pliable shape for those who find the true feminine in all her chthonic, wild and raw glory too much.
The Dark Feminine teaches us how to bring the true feminine to the fore. She of blood and earth and moon and womb. She of roaring birth and orgasm.
For women who have felt the need to shrink themselves to fit the narrow confines of femininity, the Dark Feminine is the ultimate ally.
What is the Dark Feminine?
I describe her as a field of consciousness. By this, I mean that is beyond a person or an object. She is not really a she. Her consciousness imbues the material world with a specific and visceral energy.
We find the Dark Feminine in the dark goddesses: in Kali, Lilith, Hekate and the Black Madonna… We find her in weather: storms, lightning, thunder… We find her in the living world: in animals (wolves), insects (spiders) and plants (poison berries)…. We meet her in the cosmos: the void of deep space, black holes, the moon. And we have her in human behaviours: grief, lust, rage, compassion.
If you know, you know. By that I mean: there is no scientific formula for detecting the presence of the dark feminine. She lives beyond rules, logic and code. But you’ll know when you meet her… you’ll know when you feel her.
Who is the Dark Feminine?
It’s very likely that you have already met her and either you were not aware, or you knew but you didn’t quite have the language to parse your experience. Remember that most Western cultures have desecrated the true feminine. She has been robbed, raped and hidden in plain sight. We have been actively encouraged to dismiss her… especially when she arises in her darker manifestations. Therefore, many of us lack the language to name her.
Very often meeting the Dark Feminine is an initiatory experience for women. I, for one, met her in childhood as the Witch and Wild Woman to whom I felt a magnetic pull and recognition. But it wasn’t until I worked with the Amazonian Plant Teacher Ayahuasca that I had an embodied experience of a dark, ancient, primordial presence. This was the whisper. Then releasing my first pregnancy at 4 weeks gently, empowered and at home took the experience deeper into my body. It made her real. And it was where I connected the sacred Her of the dark feminine to the dark void of potentiality that lives within the bodies of woman: the womb space.
The Dark Feminine as woman’s ally
Women’s spiritual gifts have been downplayed by much of Abrahamic religion. One of the most important and obvious examples of this is in the first story of the bible, ‘Gensis’, where Eve is Adam’s “help meet”. We see the way that women’s spiritual and creative gifts are inverted in the way that Eve’s ability to create life and birth the children of G-d are taken from her and passed onto Adam who creates her from his own body.
The Dark Feminine is experiencing a resurgence over the last few years. She is coming back again to remind women of their power. She brings women to the sacred dark of the womb space, to the life-giving powers of fertile darkness in sleep, in rest, in the menstrual phase and the dark moon.
She invites us to get close to our own disowned aspects (the shadow). And in doing so we begin to reclaim parts of ourselves which had been siphoned off and discarded… exiled.
She offers us a taste of the true Feminine – not fluffy princess, but feral mother. Fierce love. Deep awareness. Rooted being.
If you’d like to work with the Dark Feminine this winter, you might like to join me for Dark Feminine Medicine, a 7-week underworld journey for women, beginning with Winter Solstice on December 21st.
Gates open November 8th.
Find more information here.