the sword of the feminine

A few years ago, during my first Ayahuasca journey, I was shown the image of a sword. I’d never seen anything like it before. It was a work of art, beautifully silver and encrusted with jewels and crystals. I understood that this was not a weapon of destruction; it was the sword of love, cutting through all illusion. The sword of the Feminine.

I think about this sword often. Sometimes I feel it as an etheric presence behind or above me. The image was/is so pristine and powerful, merely remembering it brings me comfort and relief. The sword itself is a remembrance of something I intuitively understand but can’t quite articulate.

It’s interesting to think about the sword now, because my perceptions of the Divine Feminine and Masculine are shifting. I’m realizing that I don’t actually know what the Divine Feminine and Masculine are. It’s kind of humorous and humbling to admit that, because I’ve written about these concepts numerous times on my blog.

shakti's garden by sonja picard

shakti’s garden by sonja picard

For several years, I took part in women’s circles and gatherings. And during my Kundalini Yoga teacher training, I had many ideas for women’s workshops. But something happened earlier this summer. I went off most social media and entered major hermit mode. I had no desire to participate in or facilitate women’s gatherings. I actually felt hostile to the idea. I found myself going within to what seemed like a very frustrated, depressed place. Was this self-sabotage? Fear of change? Remnants of ancient patterns? Addiction to familiar emotions?

I realized that despite all the work, at my core I didn’t feel anything ‘Divine Feminine’ about myself.  How could I then encourage the divine in others, or see the divine in men? It’s not that I felt like a fraud…but ‘Divine Feminine’ and ‘Divine Masculine’ had become concepts I’d used and heard so many times that they no longer held meaning for me. I had thought that these spiritual principles, and others, transcended duality – but perhaps they just reinforced it.

I do believe in a Divine Feminine and Masculine essence within each one of us, which we project outward to co-create reality. But experiencing our essence is a deep and personal journey that goes beyond ‘spiritual’ or new age concepts (e.g., idealized depictions of gods and goddesses). And it takes time. Humanity has run on certain archetypes and beliefs for eons; some are loving and some are not. Can we create new archetypes, and are we ready to?

There is tremendous power in women’s circles, and I know these will re-emerge in my life, in some form, when the timing feels right. I know I don’t have to have all the answers, because I never will (and that’s so not the point). I also think more men’s groups and retreats would be very helpful. The men I know who’ve participated in such groups embody something that is truly…well, ‘divine’ is the word that comes to mind.

I believe the sword of the Feminine is guiding me to her truth and essence, which is in harmony with the Masculine. That harmony creates something new, beyond the labels and categories of duality.

We have seen so much of humanity’s darkness coming to the surface this year. I have my thoughts on the force of patriarchy, but I don’t want that to keep the ‘us against them’ dynamic alive in my psyche. I have observed the darkness within myself and, as uncomfortable as it’s been, it does feel like my process is creating more space within.

The challenge for me is to remain open and trusting in this space, not wanting to immediately fill it with anything, even ‘love’ or ‘light’ (which can be further conceptualizations of the mind). The space itself is highly intelligent, and from this place we can create relationships beyond what we’ve ever known.

30 thoughts on “the sword of the feminine

  1. Loved these lines: “to remain open and trusting in this space, not wanting to immediately fill it with anything”.
    It is like seeing what IS, not what SHOULD BE or COULD BE.
    It is like stepping into an invisible lake and waiting patiently, with stillness, seeking nothing, trusting so completely, until you feel wet.

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    • Thank you, Priya. I love the metaphor of the invisible lake. We’re so often impatient and want to make things happen before they’re ready. I find meditation helps immensely – but that means having the discipline to do it! 🙂 Namaste, Aleya

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  2. Wonderful post, thank you for sharing so much of yourself! I particularly loved your relationship with the sword – it is beautiful to read someone else who see beyond its classical western symbolism as something harmful.

    With regards to the Divine Feminine/Masculine…what we perceive as feminine or masculine depends a great deal on our upbringing and surroundings. Like you, I’ve gone through periods where I struggled with an understanding of what these terms/concepts meant to me. I suppose where I landed is that when I am praying to the Goddess, I am praying to the collective energetic being of Her, and what She is to me. Since everyone views/feels/believes different things as to what the Feminine is, in a broader sense I suppose that I am praying to the living energy She embodies to me personally. I do not pray to the Divine Masculine at this time. But I take a view borrowed from Shaktism in that to me the duality of the two is meaningless. All to me are Her.

    This is just my thoughts, feel free to ignore, and either way thank you again for sharing do much of yourself here, it is beautiful. 🙂
    Love to you on your path

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  3. Hey Aleya 🙂

    Perhaps it is far better to accept and celebrate ones uniqueness rather than operate without discernment and feed off the ideas of others. Whilst most of us are born into prescribed traditions and contrived societies, we remain a distinct individual with the ability to structure our relationship to the world around us, both seen and unseen, known and intuited, as befits our choosing. Ones experience of all life (wholeness if you like) can never be delineated or expressed using mere words alone, for unless another is identical to us in every facet of our being, our unique experience will never be fully understood or appreciated by them. The struggle for an individual may therefore be a struggle to be free from convention, tradition, and perhaps obligation, for which the ‘sword of truth’ becomes a powerful ‘weapon’ if wielded with courage, determination and an honest heart. Truth is of neither ‘sex’ but a commodity deeply intuited and vigorously overwhelming.

    Concepts, as Michael suggests are guiding at best and limiting at worst, but offer the hint of a direction for one to travel in search of our own unique path. Mercury’s Caduceus, a sword of truth and discernment is said to have had the power to raise and elevate the mind or induce sleep and apathy to the common man. With a little thought one can appreciate the deeper symbolism of such a device, and understand that that device is ever-present, ever-working, and constantly at our disposal for it exists in the mind of us all. I recall your courage in ‘breaking’ with certain aspects of your tradition and applauded you for doing so. I think perhaps you found your sword way back then 🙂

    Thank you for your honesty here, for delineating your thoughts, expressing your vulnerability, and demonstrating your uniqueness and individuality. I get the feeling Aleya, you are all but the very next breath away from celebration and victory 🙂

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday over the festive period and sincere best wishes for 2017. I trust it will be a great year 🙂

    Namaste

    DN – 26/12/2016

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    • Dewin, thank you for your very thoughtful comment, including your insights on the sword. The sword was also a prominent symbol in my yoga teacher training, with many mantras/chants referring to the sword of truth. Indeed it is ultimate truth (freedom from convention) that is my guiding force. It is wonderful to connect with others who are on their own individual journeys and understand the challenges of this path. Because the more I notice tradition, obligation, authority structures, etc…the more I see them everywhere…a collective trance. It is a very interesting world we live in and I’m so curious as to how it’ll unfold in the next year. Thanks again and I wish you all the best for 2017! 🙂 Namaste, Aleya

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      • Thank you for showing such determination to succeed in your path, and whilst doing so, inspiring others (I hope!) to consider their own unique world view and spiritual perspective. Ever brave and resolute, you are a shining example for others to emulate and push ahead with change 🙂

        Thank you for the best wishes for 2017. I have fingers crossed (for one and all) for a year of peace and prosperity.

        Namaste

        DN – 28/12/2016

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  4. Lovely and kindred! Thank you for your honesty and story. I have explored similar things on and with my land, and have come to understand “divine” as something to aspire too as I become more and more ME. What is important for me is to hold space, create safety, observe without judgment and be present. If I am in that last space, then the others tend to take care of themselves. I honor your stepping away from “ceremony and circles.” I’ve done the same, I believe because I am exploring how to truly do them in my own way. peace and gratitude for stepping more fully into yourself. paul

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your insightful comment. Sounds like we are on a similar path of discovering our own inner voice, and understanding that living from our truth enables others to live theirs. I enjoyed reading your blog! All the best for 2017. Aleya

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      • Yes, as I was reading your blog, I sensed a very kindred spirit. Thank you for articulating it so well! It is a gift to be able to talk about these things, and for others to resonate! Very glad to connect with you here. peace and harmony to you! paul

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  5. Enjoyed this post very much, Aleya. Concepts in general can be limited can’t they? Also helpful at times, but when I am feeling most profoundly in tune with life, there are almost no attributes to it whatsoever. It has this vibrant, luminous purity that I can connect with the masculine and the feminine, the up and the down, the hot and the cold. But there is also something really beautiful about these attributes we acquire and embody as we come into being. I think at some level when our starting point is the one heart, one mind, one universal body that we share, then these attributes are rightly understood as means of expressing that content which is the same in all of us. It is exciting that we are discovering these words and concepts can no longer hold us!

    Peace!
    Michael

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    • So beautifully expressed Michael, thank you! I especially love this: “these attributes are rightly understood as means of expressing that content which is the same in all of us”. Indeed it feels exciting to discover these new words and perspectives. I wish you a very happy holiday and all the best for 2017 and beyond. Namaste, Aleya

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  6. Wonderful post! I was just reading about men and women, and men coming in to their “spiritual” power, so what you have said has really resonated with me. Patriarchy is a challenge but men are actually beautiful beings too. I am starting to get passed this us vs them mentality too and I feel like a cloud is lifting in my mind.

    I always love reading your posts! 💖

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    • That’s so wonderful to read! Seems a lot of us are wanting to move past this duality of labels, while still honouring that we live on planet earth where there is this duality of masculine and feminine. We have so much to offer each other but it means healing and forgiving what we’ve judged in the ‘other’…and in ourselves too. Thank you Alexandra for your lovely comment! ❤ Aleya

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  7. I too have been in hermit mode for quite some time and 2016 was and is a tough one…I have been fighting the “should” for most of my life and finally in the last few weeks am working to shed that. I too was raised with certain beliefs/patterns that would not be self loving to continue, and although I was raised with them and the person I am developed as a result, they do no necessarily reflect my true personal beliefs..yes, I too am wiping the board clean…I hope!

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    • To me it sounds like you are definitely wiping the board clean. I know how relentless and bullying those ‘shoulds’ can be…even though we know they’re not self-loving, they’re quite stubborn! But thankfully I think many of us are just so tired of living that way that we’re really, truly ready to let them go, whatever it takes, however long they’ve been in our life or ancestry or the collective! Easier said than done but I think 2016 was a powerful year for unearthing these patterns that have been running the show for so long. Thank you so much. ❤ Aleya

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  8. I understand Aleya, it feels like more duality when what we need is more unity. Our essence is in truth neither male nor female, and refuses to be categorised as such. But we are faced in our human lives with the male and female dichotomy, or as I recently learned, spectrum. I think…don’t worry. something new is forming.

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    • Hi Sara, well said (written)! I’ve been reading several blogs/comments lately where people just aren’t connecting with the spiritual info/concepts they were once very drawn to. I’m feeling glimmers of excitement at this new we are creating. ❤ Thank you for your always insightful comments, Aleya

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    • Thank you so much, it seems that this past year has been one of ending delusions on so many fronts, including spiritual. Some beliefs have been with me a very long time and I see how powerfully my life has been shaped by them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s been very sobering to see how certain beliefs/patterns have played out in my life (though I can understand why), and it wouldn’t be self-loving to continue them. Thank you for the reminder that this is wiping the board clean, and that truly is a gift. Namaste, Aleya

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  9. This is a wonderful post with great insight as you move from duality to unity. I value the discussion also…..I struggle constantly trying to own my projections and accept the differences in journeys…not so much in how far we have gotten, but in where we started in the circle of our process of becoming whole.

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    • Thank you, Eileen. I also struggle with owing my projections and I often feel more in a state of separation than unity or oneness. But then, ‘oneness’ is another term I’ve heard for so long that I developed ideas about how it should feel, i.e., it should feel good and loving. I guess there’s no one way something ‘should’ feel! It takes courage and diligence to own our projections and maintain awareness. ❤ I agree with your above comment too and it's a good reminder for me. This has been a difficult year for me as it has for many others, and I'm hoping I/we've planted some seeds. Thank you for being part of this discussion. Aleya

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  10. I love your honesty and vulnerability Aleya. I’ve had similar challenges with not feeling “divine or spiritual” until I stopped trying to be some label, or perfect. I’m no longer trying to be spiritual, simply awake to what is going on within and around me. And when I stop, pause and breath, I often open an inner expansiveness that can feel peaceful, alive and dare I say it “divine”. 🙂

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  11. 🙂 I, too, found myself in ‘hermit’ mode this year, especially in social media spheres, simply because, profound realizations and ‘hmmm.. interesting…wonder what it really means?’ moments of insight meant I didn’t really feel I had anything to say – just yet… 🙂 From my perspective? “What a big year for you and Congrats! Even if it doesn’t always feel productive or great….” (Which is, of course, projection on my experience of this year – – LOL)

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    • Thank you Tamrah Jo! Projection or not, that was my feeling…that 2016 was not the greatest or most productive of years…but then, maybe it was, on some level – lol. I think it was a challenging year for a lot of people – everyone I know at least! The social media break has been good for me overall and I have a better idea of where my energies were going and where I want them to go. I think blogging’s a keeper. 😉 Have a wonderful holiday season and all the best to you for 2017! Aleya

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      • My deep hermitude this year has me viewing my daily interactions with the filter of “What’s Mine, What’s Theirs, What’s Ours?” – LOL – So….Always ready to see the similarities, admit I might be projecting, instead of saying, “I know just how you feel….” then insert something that completely missed the point….LOL – As always, any inner-journey opens doorways and windows you might not have noticed before, or been aware of, BUT after the open? Hard to discount or ignore, anymore! 🙂 The lifelong journey of anyone who looks within as well as without – 🙂 Best to you in 2017 too! 🙂

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