Divine feminine - Where are you?

Hope all of you are having a great week where you are able to take actions that help you to get one step closer to your destiny. This week instead of going into Mythology, why don't we again come back to the topic of Divine Feminine? She is an archetype.

What are meant by archetypes? As discussed before each of us are a mishmash of archetypes or the historical and mythological stories we tell ourselves as a human race. Many times these archetypes are not visible, but deeply embedded in the human psyche or the human subconscious. Two of the major archetypes are the 'Divine masculine' and the 'Divine feminine'. Divine masculine is the leadership, ambition and the go-getter attitude every human being has, as part of their personality and the divine feminine is the compassionate, nurturer who is embedded in every human being. We can also name these archetypes as the 'Sacred masculine' and the 'Sacred feminine'.

In a Self-realized or an enlightened person, this divine masculine and the divine feminine are situated in perfect balance. The Yin-Yang symbol in the Chinese Philosophy signifies this exact balance to capture the whole. To become whole both sides should exist in harmony. The same principle of 'Ardhanariswara'. He/She has come to terms with his/her masculine as well as the feminine nature. But normal human beings many times have not come into this balance with these archetypes. Now, why am I putting this post for this week? As most of us have observed in the last 15-20 years the world has become more violent. (Or may be due to the internet, media, and TV, we as people have become more aware of it.) Only today in the news saw that a van mowed through a sidewalk injuring numerous people in Toronto. As this blog is not a discussion on news topics, here are the links to some very disturbing news that is happening nowadays very much in the world.

Yin, Yang, Taichi, Chinese, symbol
Yin-Yang Symbol or 'Taichi' symbol
By Gregory Maxwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Divine Masculine: It is great to have a thriving 'divine masculine', which helps us to have leadership, vision, go-getter attitude, ambition, and strength. But can't it also be the quiet strength that protects a lady who has to walk alone to her house at night, or protects a girl who is going back to her house after the tuition class or a taking care of a fellow human being in their time of need. Who is the person who has true strength and power?

Ask any martial arts teacher or practitioner. They give much importance to respect for Self and respect for others. Martial arts is always used for self-defense. So a black-belt master in a martial arts class knows that he has the power of his martial arts when he needs it. But it is a big rule that never in their life as a martial arts teacher or instructor they will go and attack somebody. They will be the last person to initiate a fight, but they will be the first person to defend themselves or defend a weaker person who is not able to defend themselves.

Divine masculine gives us the power. But the true power is to know not to fight unnecessarily, not to bully or harass somebody to get one's wishes and desires. A truly powerful person knows his/her power and keeps it under wraps and takes it only when it is really needed for Self or another person's defense. Here in all the news links provided above, it is not really the true power that is at play, instead, it is the divine masculine at full play as the 'ego'. I have also heard another full form of EGO- Egging (discarding) God Out.

So if a person who has unbalanced and exaggerated Ego or the 'divine masculine on Testosterones', who is under the influence of raging hormones to do whatever his mind feels like, are they really balanced? They are nowhere near balanced and the divine masculine has taken the form of Rudra. In Hindu mythology, who is Rudra? Rudra was the divine being that was created by the God Shiva, to take revenge on his dear wife Sathi. Rudra, even though a form of the divine masculine, has exaggerated power, ego and the destructive power of nature. Here in every incident mentioned above the 'divine masculine' has taken the form of terror and is not concerned about the well being of the other persons. Now let us move on to the aspect called 'Divine feminine'.

Shiva, Parvathi, Ardhanariswara, bull, lion
Ardhanariswara -The Divine archetypes in perfect balance
Image courtesy- Wikimedia Commons, from Public Domain

Divine Feminine: Who is she? Another important question, 'Where is She'? In every single human being, whether a male or a female there is a part, hidden in the sub-conscious psyche that is the nurturer, kind and compassionate mother archetype. This is the divine feminine. In Sanatana Dharma (nowadays popularly known as Hinduism), she can be the Mother Goddess in the form of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi or Kali. In Christianity, she can be considered the Mother Mary, while in Islam or the Sikh religion, the divine is more considered at the level of 'Adwaita' in Hinduism or the formless state. But even in these religions take any family, there would be strong Matriarchs of the family who guide, help and nurture the men as well as the women, so that the family thrives and functions well as a unit of the greater society. 

Every single human being in this world is born out of a mother. In Mythology, there are cases where Gods are born without birth called 'Swayambhu' (self-formed), but in the realm of human existence as of now, there is no concept of self-formation. (Who knows maybe it will happen in the future. But as this blog is more tailored to present day living, let us concentrate on that.) As a baby in a family or even anywhere, the first emotion we have faced from another person is kindness and compassion, whether it is our mother, father, grandparents, uncles or aunts. Even the most masculine person in a family, observe when taking a few hours old baby is holding the baby as gentle as holding a flower.

So every single one of us (except babies who are very unfortunate to be born in the streets and nobody to take care of, which is truly sad) has come across the emotion of the divine feminine or the 'Great Mother', who is kind, compassionate and nurturing. But the same Mother Goddess, also acts as the 'protectress', in the form of Durga or Kali, in the Hindu pantheon. She is the Mother Grizzly Bear who will bite our heads off, if we go near her baby. That is the true 'Divine Feminine', who will be caring, compassionate and nurturing to the ones she cares for and will not hesitate to put up a huge fight in case a need arises. 

Now in all the above news pieces, Where is the Divine Feminine? First of all, every single culprit in the News, don't they have their own mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who have shown care and compassion towards them? If they have such loving female members at home, how can they show such terrible acts towards other women of the world and in one news, to own sister? Also, these men also have very much a divine feminine archetype in them. What happened to that part? Has the religion, fundamentalist and the cultural ideas overtaken them so much that they don't see the humanity in another person?

Which God or divine asks to kill in the name of God or do atrocious acts? Most of the religions depict the divine as 'the all-compassionate one'. If the divine itself is so compassionate, how can we humans behave so horribly towards another person? Is it the 'Divine masculine' has gone so rogue that the 'divine feminine' has no place in the World? As previously mentioned in another post, if a human has taken birth on this planet, even if she is a female, she has every right to live, thrive and survive in this world. Now let us not finish this post just like that. How can we bring in more of the 'divine feminine' into this world, culture, and society? How can we capture her emotions more so that humanity can recapture its kindness, compassion and the sympathy towards another being?

Leadership and leaders: This is where the world needs leaders and leadership, who can guide the humanity in its values and ethics. But more specifically women leaders, who can help other women to become leaders of the future generations. There are a lot of great leaders among men. But then always the leadership is viewed from the perspective of a man. According to the world statistics for every 107 or 101 (sometimes the values are debated) males, there are 100 females. That is half the world's population. It is high time, the women are safe, protected, have a voice and also show the world, how leadership looks from a female perspective. So both male, as well as the women leaders, are needed and necessary for the world.

Women should get into the top tier of leadership like Lady Presidents, lady Prime ministers, lady CEOs, lady entrepreneurs and lady humanitarians. If the ladies can be matriarchs of the family, they can also run a company, entrepreneurship or an organization. Even in today's twenty-first century, there are only a few handfuls of lady CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (32 out of 500?). In Indian mythology itself, there were strong ladies like Draupadi, Seetha, and Kannagi. So why not such ladies who can guide the world in the 'divine feminine' values of compassion, kindness and a quiet form of authority in today's world? The world very much needs such awesome lady leaders. Here let us take the example of a lady who at very orthodox times and in a male-dominated era held the helm of a powerful newspaper organization.

Katharine Graham: Washington Post is the powerful newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the U.S.A. In the 1970's, when journalism and newspaper was a male-dominated domain, at that time due to some unusual circumstances, the wife of the publisher and CEO Philip Graham, Katharine Graham had to take the helm of  'The Post'. Before taking the role as the CEO of the newspaper company she was a self-proclaimed 'doormat wife', as in those times it was unusual for a lady to be in leadership positions that too as the CEO of a newspaper organization. 

Katherine Graham, news, paper, Washington Post
Katharine Graham - Icon in the publishing business
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ms.Graham's dad, who was a multi-millionaire bought the paper at an auction. Even though Katharine was his daughter, according to the norms of those times, the son-in-law Philip Graham was appointed the publisher. But his suicide thrust Katharine into the C-suite and she had to take the helm of the organization. Even though she didn't have any journalism or publishing experience, she grew into that position. We have to remember, she was forced into that position at her mid-40s, in the 1970s when half her life she was the wife of her husband and mother of their lovely kids. She had absolutely no experience, how to run a newspaper organization. 

As she had no experience, the expectations about her leadership were very low. Because the society as such considered women inferior to men, in her mind as well, she was ready to help 'all the strong men' in her organization to reach their goals. It seems she used to practice endless hours to talk to her staff at holiday parties and functions. Also at that time, there were almost no women leaders in the news or other organizations from whom she could get guidance or support. Many times in board meetings, only the men were acknowledged and she was simply ignored or men behaved as if she didn't exist.

Pentagon Papers: Around this time 'The Post' received the leaked 'Pentagon Papers' that showed the difference in the position of the U.S. government and the reality in Vietnam happening during the war. There were many of her male colleagues who were against publishing the papers. The Nixon government was threatening with legal ramifications and the Supreme court was in the process of reviewing, 'The first amendment rights' (Freedom of free speech). The final decision to publish or not sat squarely on the shoulders of Ms.Graham. Even though she had been already at the helm of the newspaper for eight years, still she had not taken any major, earth changing decisions. If her decision to publish the papers turned out to be wrong, the whole newspaper organization will be wiped out. Poof, gone!

Now, remember, the newspaper is 'the bread and butter' of many people who work there. If by any chance the decision she takes becomes ineffective, the whole blame will rest with her. As mentioned before she had no female peers to turn to as well. The male colleagues were strong-arming her not to publish the papers for weeks on end. Let us put ourselves in her shoes. Nobody to give her advice, totally isolated with a huge decision in her hands. At this point in time, what did she do?

Under such an intense mental pressure, 'She found her own voice'. Even though she was terribly apprehensive, she decided to publish the papers. She announced, "Let's go, let's publish". That decision to publish made her one of the most powerful women in the industry of publishing business. It even changed the course of the United States. Today she is considered an 'icon' among lady journalists. Many times courage is not taking decisions when the choices are simple, but courage is the decision to stand up for what you feel is right when the whole world stands against you. The exact way Abraham Lincoln did 'The Emancipation Proclamation' when half the country was against that decision.

In her later life, Katharine Graham was considered a very powerful business leader, journalist, publisher and a gifted storyteller. She got a Pulitzer Prize for her autobiography, 'Personal history'. From this, we can imagine how she transformed her life from an ordinary housewife to a powerful business leader who became an icon for the female leaders of the next generations.

So here we can get two lessons. One. stand up always for what is correct, and two, have the courage to stand up and do the virtuous action. Catherine Graham was bold enough to stand up against a government that was abusing its power. Now let us come back to the news articles we have links for. As a society, it is our duty to stand up against atrocious acts and prevent it from happening. Laws should be so tough that no one even imagines breaking the laws. Also at the individual level, we need to take the most virtuous action for ourselves, our society, our country and the greater world.

Now to the ladies: We are half the population of this Earth. We also have the exact same rights as the other half of the population. So it is imperative that among us also there are awesome and bold leaders, who bring out the female perspective or the divine feminine aspect more. We should be CEOs of companies, brand ambassadors, Presidents, Prime-ministers, and entrepreneurs. We should become the voice and model for the next generation of women leaders. As the world needs male leaders, so does it needs powerful lady icons and leaders. So, become a leader yourself and later help your daughter, mother, sister or niece to become a leader in her own way. 

We very much need both the divine masculine as well as the divine feminine, to have a balance of power in this world. In the individual level as well, each of us should have a balance of both archetypes so that we are able to take the best and most virtuous decisions for our life. So let us recapture the 'Divine Feminine' who is getting lost in the overcompensation of 'Divine Masculine' and bring her back amongst us and into the greater world.

Let us finish with a quote from Katharine Graham, "What I essentially did was to put one foot in front of the other, shut my eyes and step off the ledge. The surprise was that I landed on my feet."

I wish you a good weekend and I'll see you next Friday! 😉

Next week: Kanyakumari -Goddess in waiting!

Note: Images from Wikimedia Commons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance ; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried".  


 
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