- You Are Woman, You Are Divine; the modern woman’s journey back to The Goddess
- Paperback:352 pages
- Publisher:Over and Above Creative (September 23, 2015)
- Available on Amazon & http://www.BackToTheGoddess.com
I did not receive knowledge of The Divine Feminine from my mother. She did not receive it from her mother. Being a female was not special in the home of my childhood and I did not think of myself as sacred.
I remember how, as a young girl, I loved reading the stories of women who were special in some way. Without yet realizing that I was searching for The Divine Feminine, I read goddess mythology, biblical stories and even faery tales that depicted women as magical and intuitive, as having special powers of prophecy, healing, and knowing. I daydreamed that I, too, was special at my core—that as a woman, I am a special being. I have been in search of confirming this feeling my entire life.
As I grew into adulthood, my longing for a deeper sense of Self led me to explore many different paths, hoping to move myself closer to the Truth, the Absolute, to God—especially to the Feminine aspect of God. My journey in search of spirituality has taken me through many traditions, introducing me to many rituals and ways of connecting with Spirit, feeling at one with the Universe, and especially experiencing The Divine Feminine essence.
I practiced Buddhism where I read about the hand of Siddhartha reaching for Mother Earth to witness him, to show him the truth beyond illusion while the demon Mara tempted him with fear and desire. I browsed through the ancient texts of Gnostic Christianity and found The Sophia, the abstract concept of absolute truth and wisdom. Deeply attracted to ancient Egypt’s pantheon of goddesses, I found myself seeking answers at the feet of Isis and Hathor, eventually visiting their temples in Egypt, com- pletely in awe. The royal path of Yoga inspired me to call upon Kali, Lakshmi and Shakti, chanting their names over and over in devotion to Ma, the Divine Mother. In Hawai’i I called upon Pele; in Greece, Aphrodite, and in the south of France, the Magdalene. My search meandered into the realms of Wicca where the earth, the moon, and all of nature is The Goddess, and women are intrinsically connected to Her. Within Wicca, I recon- nected to the natural rhythms of the seasons of nature, reinforcing my relationship with the moon and the lunar cycles that affect my female body, my emotions, and my life.
My search eventually led me back to my Jewish roots and to the Kabbalah—the mystic teachings of Judaism. Here, among the ancient rituals of my ancestors, I was inspired to begin the practice of lighting the Sabbath candles. For years on Fridays before sundown, I would clean my apartment from top to bottom, prepare an elaborate meal, bathe with scented soaps, and anoint myself with special oils as I called into my home the Shekhinah, who is the Queen of Heaven, the Bride of The Divine Masculine and also the Feminine aspect of God.
As I lit candles for Her at the precise moment of sunset, I helped light Her way in the darkness towards Her Beloved. I prayed to Her for understanding, for peace, and for my own true beloved to find me. I prayed for Her to light my way in this life as a woman.
I treasured those Fridays and kept them for my own. While the Jewish Shabbat is traditionally a time for family, friends, and company, for me it was a reverent, pri- vate space to be alone with The Shekhinah. Often during my prayers, tears would stream from my eyes, and my heart would break open as I expressed all of my worries, fears, and hopes to Her with the light of the candles flickering behind my closed eyes. Eventually a sense of profound gratitude for having been built in Her image, for hav- ing been made a woman, came into my life. And always, my prayers brought forth a weighty longing to know and experience Her and to become more and more like Her.
I eventually had a deeply transformational, personal experience with The Divine Feminine several years ago. On a crisp, California winter night, in a meditation class with many other seekers, She came to me, touched my core—and I was forever changed. Her visit was so intimate, Her energy touched me so profoundly that it immediately moved me to tears. Shaking with excitement and awe, I shared my experience with the others in the class.
The Divine Feminine came to me first as a profound stillness, so quiet that Her presence caused an unusually calm motionlessness to pass over me as if time had stopped, as if my heart and breath had stopped, too.
As She made Her way into and through me, I felt a soulful yearning for Her, a keen desire that was saturated with a love unlike any I have ever known. She sent waves of insight and knowing coursing through me. It was as if I suddenly grasped the meaning of and understood the sacredness of my womanhood and the purpose of my being a woman here on earth. All sensation of the physical world around me slipped away except for one thing—the delicious and intoxicating taste of honey in my mouth. And then She left.
It is said in Kabbalah that the Feminine aspect of God, The Shekhinah, will taste like honey in your mouth when She appears. I now know this to be true.
The essence of The Divine Feminine presented Herself to me on that day. She gave me the momentary experience of pure feminine energy that has left me entranced by the mystery of Her ever since. In my many meditations that have followed, I have learned that there is no end to this mystery. She is, much like life itself, unknowable, enigmatic and will never fully reveal Herself to me.
How can you experience The Divine Feminine? How do you bring Her essence into your life? The mystical poet Rumi said once: There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. This quote reminds me that there are literally hundreds of ways to seek Her, and hundreds of ways to experience Her.
In this book, I have chosen my favorite ways to guide you towards your own rela- tionship with The Divine Feminine as you bring Her into your life. In these chapters, I offer myths, rituals, invocations, meditations and more. Each of these methods serves as an invitation for you to move closer to Her, sensing Her with you as you step over the threshold from the ordinary into the extraordinary. This book will guide you through the portal that leads you to experience Her as I did—with the taste of honey in your mouth.
Opening yourself up to experiencing The Divine Feminine and to knowing your- self as a goddess may feel strange at first. For some women, it may seem too religious or too spiritual, perhaps repelling, intimidating or awkward. It may conflict with your personal beliefs—or it may challenge them.
It is not intended to do any of these. Allowing The Divine Feminine into your life is purely an invitation to empower yourself as a woman—to own your feminine essence, to be the goddess that you were created to be. Reading the myths and performing the rituals in this book can be as spiritual or religious as you want them to be. It is up to you to embrace them in the ways in which you are most comfortable.
I invite you to open your heart to learn more about Her, to allow yourself to become curious enough, interested enough to continue on and experience how She can reveal your true self to you and bring divine sweetness into your life. Once you have experi- enced this, even if it is for the briefest of moments or in the smallest of ways, you will be forever changed. For once you know of your own sacredness, your own divine purpose and design—you can never undo this knowing. You will look upon yourself in new ways, forever aware of who you truly are as a woman . . . and as a goddess.
Today, my journey with The Divine Feminine is not over, but my search to find Her is. I have discovered that She is everywhere that I go and everything that I am. I am naturally designed to know Her, be Her, and express Her. You are, too.
- Author Bio: Renée Starr is a mythologist, sacred storyteller, life coach, and artist. A seeker of ancient Goddess and lunar wisdom for the modern woman, she offers classes, workshops, and Goddess Circles, as well as a variety of women’s retreats through her branded movement, Back to The Goddess. Her passion is to assist women everywhere to awaken to their sacredness, their inner goddess-self and rekindle a relationship with The Divine Feminine. She has her own line of herbal, ritual and Goddess products. See http://www.BackToTheGoddess.com.for more information.
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