Thank you to iPinion Syndicate for this great post:
Thank you to iPinion Syndicate for this great post:
by Suzanne Mathis McQueen
Monday, November 18, 2013, I’ll be speaking at the Southern Oregon University Fem Fest at 4:45 pm. The title of my talk with be: The Missing Link: The Lost Language of the Female Way, based on the work I do with 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks and evolving, sacred feminism.
At 7 pm, Melissa McEwan will deliver the keynote. She is the author of this outstanding essay on Rape Culture. It’s difficult to find any better description anywhere and I encourage you to read this piece.
This day long, interactive event involving workshops, presentations and performances delivered by campus and community members, will celebrate and explore intersectional feminist practice, research, activism and creativity. The intention is to create a space where people of diverse identities, with a wide range of interests and passions will be able to explore how feminisms connect to their personal, academic or professional lives.
It was super, super hot and dusty at the Peace Village Festival in my hometown of Ashland, Oregon where I had a vendor booth, selling and signing 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks. It’s August, after all, and we’ve had horrible fires that created horrible, socked-in smoky air. But the powers-that-be gave me a terrific space close enough to a huge willow that I received lovely and regular breezes from and a bit of shade. Under this beautiful tree I set up the ancient healing bowl that I am the Keeper of, with water from the hot springs of the land, and instructions for individuals who walked up to the bowl to do their own private water ritual. I loved that. It was all perfect.
Because this was a music festival with a ton of vendor booths, I couldn’t just kick back in the booth and wait for people to come to me. I took my infamous clipboard to the dirt path to gather email addresses of interested parties and ask women this: “Do you track your cycle and do you have any interest in knowing more about the wisdom of its blueprint?”, For the guys, “Are you in a relationship and would you like to know more about how a woman’s sex drive works by knowing more about her cycle?”
You’d think those questions (and me with a clipboard) would make people run. I was shocked at how quickly these mostly-young people engaged. The topic was right there in the forefront of the women’s minds and they had no problem launching right into their cycle woes. I heard the same story over and over again, only with different details. I discovered that the biggest problem the women face these days is the irregularity of their cycle due to former birth control pill usage, yet we all agreed that reliable contraception is crucial for preventing unwanted pregnancy. My answer is always the same: Try getting the physical cycle on track by first getting it on track mentally. Hence, the 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks approach. With the banners I had encircled the inside of the canopy with, I would visually show them the way to wrap their minds around their cycles in a more positive, enlightened, and cohesive way.
I showed them how the guidance of the female cycle blueprint would not only tell them when they had to rest well (or communicate, connect, lead, or process) in order to have a smoother experience, but it would ask them to look at the choices they are making in regard to romantic partners or bringing forth their authentic gifts. It has them looking at the sacredness of their being and the importance of valuing themselves. The female cycle blueprint helps a woman align with her core power, which ultimately, is the medicine the female gender must offer to heal the planet’s challenges. It’s big stuff.
Talking to people one-on-one over holding a workshop for many was a challenge. However, I enjoyed the general vibe of the festival and this casual setting lent itself to intimate and real discussions with so many people. Hanging-out time allows individuals to have the space to speak from his or her heart more clearly about their vulnerabilities and challenges. I enjoyed the fact that people felt comfortable enough to grab a chair. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time. They seemed hungry to talk with someone about this topic.
The wisdom of the female cycle blueprint is new information for most, even for those who have been tracking their fertility for a long time, as well as the beauties who follow the Goddess traditions and do the Red Tent events and all that. One thing is clear: Women need it and so do the men who love them. The female cycle blueprint is an internal navigation system for more than just fertility. It’s a sacred and ancient feminine compass for living life fully, optimally, powerfully, and in harmony with the men in our lives and our planet.
Honoring the Sacred Feminine is not something you can learn to do in order to be politically correct around women who are exploring this nature within themselves. Typically, a man treasures a woman’s decision to discover more about her sacredness, when he has, at some point in his life, committed to uncovering his own sacred nature. While there are tremendous intersections between Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine, and ultimately it is all One, there are distinctions between these two Divine energies. Becoming aware of the nature of these two energies helps us in understanding ourselves—our own inclinations and impulses.
Women enter the depth of their presence with the Sacred Feminine through their wombs—something that obviously, men don’t have. While men can still access the Sacred Feminine energetically within them, the direct physical doorway does not exist. When women explore the depths of the Sacred Feminine through their bodies, they relate to the sacred through the experience of being pregnant, giving birth, mothering, having miscarriages, their cyclic emotions, shedding blood for their people through their monthly cycles, and eventually experiencing a new power as their ability to have children ceases. These are aspects of a woman’s daily reality and spiritual opening that a man can only experience vicariously. Women’s bodies and cyclic emotions are doorways to spiritual awakening unique to women.
In the Sacred Feminine, women’s bodies and emotions carry them into the vast and dark unknown, where all of life is held lovingly in its potential. This is the sacred in which all possibilities of life are honored without judgment. Imagine this womb of all life’s potential as the vast and dark night sky—an endless, cool, and wondrous place in which life explores itself through repeated acts of new creation. This dark and beautiful aspect of the Sacred Feminine is best depicted today in the statues of the Black Madonna. The mystery of these statues found throughout Europe is not a mystery at all when a woman remembers, through her own body and emotions, that the Sacred Feminine is the birthplace of creation.
On the other hand, men who choose to encounter the Sacred Masculine through their bodies have very different experiences. The Sacred Masculine principle is that of light bursting through the darkness—life longing to become and know itself. This light is hot, fast, explosive and blissful in nature. I believe most men can relate to this principle energetically as it pulses through their bodies. To know how to be with this energy is as vital for a man as it is for a woman to know how to be with her cycles.
Can a man experience the depths of the Sacred Feminine, or can a woman discover the passion of the Sacred Masculine? Certainly. In fact, in spiritual practice, this is part of the journey. Ultimately, especially if we age consciously, we embody the full expression of both sacred natures seamlessly. We become the Oneness. We become present to the One by first fully experiencing both.
One reason women like me have looked for men that could honor the exploration of the Sacred Feminine is that this sacred nature has nearly been forgotten on our planet. For thousands of years, we have recognized and held the masculine sacred principle as holy, while minimizing the very nature of the Sacred Feminine. That is perhaps why statues of the Madonna were painted black—to gently remind us that there is another aspect of the Divine nature to be remembered—the forgotten one—the Sacred Feminine.
In order for humanity to once again fully accept both the masculine and the feminine principles as sacred, many women today recognize that we must know and remember this Divine essence within ourselves. Only then will we give birth to sons and daughters from our deepest sacred awareness. Because we are remembering, we look to other women to help us rediscover the ancient practices that teach us how to be fully present to this vastness of loving space we can access through our bodies and emotions.
Men that honor the Sacred Feminine seem to somehow sense or know the significance of this exploration that their women are drawn to experience. They become our great supporters and protectors, perhaps because they have had the courage to explore the power of their own sacred natures.
When the women come to my home to experience ceremony in the Sacred Feminine, my husband has helped me get ready by honoring my need for extra meditation time, assisting me in putting the house in order, and adjusting our meal time to accommodate ceremony. He likes to be there when the women arrive to warmly greet them at the door. Then he quietly slips away, giving us complete and private space. If there is any outside activity that might disturb our space, he handles it. And when ceremony is complete, we call him to join us to share food. He never asks about our experiences out of respect for our privacy, but will gladly receive blessings from the women if it is appropriate.
The women often comment on how wonderful he is when they arrive, and how blessed I am to have such respectful support. I smile, knowing that he is embodying the powerful and loving energy of the Sacred Masculine. To every man that embodies the sacredness within him, I give thanks. Because in your love, support and protection, we are truly free to remember our most sacred selves as women.