Personification of wisdom (in Greek, "Σοφ...
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The feminine is not woman, but a way of being. It is individualized instinct, feeling, intuition, and emotion. It’s irrational, unexplainable by scientific data, and unwilling to be measured. A quality of the human consciousness, an implicit part of the Universe, it manifests in symptoms, synchronicities, dreams, symbols and instinctual feelings.

The feminine is brought to consciousness by making space for the unknown, the gray area and gaps between life’s events. We get in touch with the intuitive part of ourselves by feeling our emotions and bodily sensations, rather than thinking and rationalizing. We tap into our inherent wisdom by trusting the inner voice, no matter how faint, and allowing it expression through voice, writing, music, arts and movement

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Carl Jung used the terms anima (feminine aspect within a man) and animus (masculine aspect within a woman) to refer to the same inner duality.  When they’re not balanced, we feel incomplete, not just individually, but collectively.  When we favor one over the other, we seek a partner that carries that which is underdeveloped within ourselves. A woman without a true identity, besides a role of mother and wife, gains her self-worth from a masculine power outside of herself, usually in the form of a controlling and powerful husband with an over worked intellect. A man with a fear of the irrational and emotional will find a wife who may appear as oversensitive, indecisive and needy.

In Weaving woman: Essays in feminine psychology from the notebooks of a Jungian analyst, Dr. Barbara Koltuv writes:
“At some point the animus-ridden wife or the anima-led husband revolts. There is an accumulation of bitter disillusionment because the mate does not live up to the idealized projected contra-sexual element. And there is a crisis in the marriage, or as we have seen culturally, in the patriarchal form of marriage altogether. ”

Perhaps in search of filling the inner void we never truly see another in reality. If we await our prince to rescue us, seek the perfect mother or father to parent our children, or fantasize about a passionate sexual partner to make us feel whole, how can we ever develop these qualities within ourselves? If we buy into the Hollywood love story of “you complete me”, when do we allow our inner seed of individuation to germinate? When do we truly become comfortable in our own skins?

For the feminine to come through authentically, we must be aware of what we are feeling without regard to whether it is nice, appropriate, or acceptable. The feminine is what is real in the moment, not a thought of how it should be.  Our willingness to be open to our humanity has to do with our capacity to feel the parts of ourselves that have been denied. To experience life fully, we must be willing to love completely, to suffer consciously, and to desire wholeheartedly.

I believe my body is the only true container of love, passion and safety that is anchored in reality. Only when I am willing to sit with the knowledge that I am accountable for all the beautiful, tender and painful moments in my life, will I be a responsible and authentic partner. Only when I’m strong enough to claim my own voice, will the feminine wisdom manifest in my life.

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4 Responses to “The Return of the Feminine”

  1. Diana says:

    "The feminine is not woman, but a way of being." Thank you for exploring something that has confused me. I have always wondered why some men are emotionally available and some are not available at all, and why I have had to shift between those two options in my own life (I am 55 and a product of the "things are changing for the better, except that they didn't" 60s). If the sexes are wired differently, as we are to believe, then men shouldn't have the capacity to intuit, care for, sacrifice self for others, etc., that women have been doing forever. But many men do have this capacity and more. (I should point out that not all women display these traits.)

    I like the not-new advice to develop the counterpart to your sex within yourself (Gloria Steinem's become the man you wanted to marry, for example). I lived on both sides of the seesaw as wife and mother, and independent career woman. I was never fully able to integrate the two. At work I had to remain "impenetrable," like the men around me, never letting my guard down. Women who did that were dismissed as subordinates, expected to "feed" the men not just cookies, but feed their egos as well. I was alienated from my natural self, necessarily—in survival mode. When mothering my babies, I felt a deep connection to life and its meaning. This was its meaning, procreation and creation. I was mother earth.

    Now that I am out of the cubicle, working at my own craft and still available to my adult children, wife to my husband, I have yet to integrate the two sides. I miss the money and power of my job. But I revel in the natural feeling of a day that progresses via my instincts and art rather than duty.

    "Perhaps in search of filling the inner void we never truly see another in reality." Does this mean I have not given up the quest for the prince? I think so, I was the prince for a while, supporting my children, and I never felt myself in the role, unable to show my feminine side, yet I miss it. So I dabble, equate the masculine with strength, the feminine with nurturing but also softness. And softness in this culture is undervalued and exploited. If "The feminine is not woman, but a way of being," I want to know where in this country such behaviors are valued, accepted and rewarded (!) because I want to move there.

  2. rashin says:

    Thank you for such a detailed and personal comment. I like the way you've described your challenge of integrating your two sides. It seems to be a common theme for independent and successful women. It is almost as if we live two lives. Unfortunately, our culture is yet to recognize the power of the feminine. But I believe we as women hold up the status quo and mostly blame the men for it. In order to integrate the duality within, we need to make space for both in our daily lives. The feminine often attempts to become known via dreams and creativity, so perhaps it's about creating a daily ritual to bring that to life.

  3. Vivienne says:

    Relaxed awareness. The Return of the Feminine. It is ordinary people through whom will be accomplished the healing of Earth and the miraculous balance of male and female energies. Perhaps this will be reflected in more 'true love' relationships between self-actualised people. Then, in the words of Baptiste (Enfants du Paradis) "the Earth would shine like the sun".

  4. Rashin says:

    I love the idea of "relaxed awareness". I do hope this will be reflected in all relationships, especially those of the romantic nature. Thank you for commenting!

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