Awakening to the Divine Feminine in Spiritual Direction
Please meet my colleague Kathleen Joan. Kathleen is a spiritual director who specializes in accompanying those who would like to integrate the Divine Feminine into their understanding of God, or who are walking a path of healing from patriarchal religion. She is committed to holding contemplative space for people of all genders to claim their sacred dignity in the Divine image and listen to how Spirit is moving in hearts and lives.
“During the season of Spring, it seems as if the whole Earth is rising from sleep! As the Earth awakens, Christians remember and celebrate the eternal story of death and resurrection. The story of Jesus invites us into the Paschal Mystery – the eternal promise that God will use the “deaths” we experience to move us into ever-larger, resurrected life.
Like the frozen earth in winter, the tomb becomes a womb out of which new life emerges.
One “resurrection” that is happening in today’s world is the return of the Divine Feminine. Christians of all genders are longing for ways to relate to God as a loving Mother as well as Father. In recent decades, feminist and womanist theologies have helped us understand that exclusively masculine images of God are not required in Christianity. Furthermore, using male-only images of God may be deeply damaging to the human psyche, and it can provide religious justification for sinful social systems like patriarchy and sexism.
When we allow ourselves to imagine God as She, new possibilities may unfold – both for ourselves and for the world! Relating to God as Mother can help us accept and love the feminine energies that we all have within us. It can help us come to terms with how we have internalized patriarchy and sexism and begin to heal from the harm they may have caused. And as our societies struggle to become free from patriarchy, white supremacy, and abuse of the Earth, feminine images of God can help us turn hierarchies of power into relationships of mutuality and love – the true Kin-dom of God that Jesus preached and lived.
How can spiritual direction help you in your journey with the Divine Feminine? Wherever you are with relating to God as She, talking with a spiritual director can help you deepen that relationship in several ways.
Safe and sacred space: A spiritual director can hold safe, sacred space for you to process your experiences with the Divine Mother. How is She awakening in your life? What attraction and/or resistance to Her do you discover in your heart or mind? In supporting this exploration, spiritual direction provides what is sometimes the only safe space to talk about Her that Christians have experienced. Your spiritual director will ideally be comfortable naming the Divine however you do, honoring all the ways God is emerging in your life.
Integration: Spiritual direction can help you use feminine images of God to deepen your awareness of who you are: a sacred being created in God’s own image! Male, female, or nonbinary, we all are invited to accept and honor the feminine aspects of ourselves as sacred and good. What parts of yourself are awakening at Her call, asking for freedom and love, asking to take their place in the sacred wholeness that She desires for you? By witnessing and accompanying this sacred integration, spiritual direction can help you grow into greater self-acceptance, freedom, and joy.
Healing: People of all genders have suffered personal or family harm from the systems of patriarchy and sexism. Sometimes a feminine image of God can open a door to a Paschal Mystery – a death and resurrection journey in your life – that may not feel safe to explore before a God imagined as Father, Lord, or King. The “tomb” of violence and oppression can indeed become a womb of new life, when we allow ourselves to acknowledge the hurt we have suffered from patriarchy and begin to welcome in the Divine Mother’s love and healing. Spiritual direction can hold space for these profound transformations by accompanying them with loving presence, as Mary Magdalene accompanied Jesus through the cross to the Resurrection.
Discernment: What is She calling you to do? How is She inviting you to live? Sometimes our awakening to the Divine Feminine requires “new wineskins” to hold the powerful “new wine” of life and freedom that She offers! Spiritual directors are trained to help you listen to how God’s Spirit is calling you forward into the next steps on your journey. The sacred space of spiritual direction can help you explore the question, Who am I called to be, and what might that look like in my life? and listen for the answers She whispers to your heart.
This spring, I pray you may experience the blessing of witnessing Resurrection everywhere you look – in nature, in your relationships, and within your heart. If God can be She, who can YOU be? How is She inviting you into the fullness of your life, as a sacred being created in Her image?
I wish you the blessing of sacred spiritual companionship on your Resurrection journey of awakening to the Divine Feminine.”
Please contact Kathleen through her website and FaceBook page at www.brigidsflame.org,