Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unleashing your deepest, strongest power

This is a time when the feminine is increasingly being called and welcomed back into the world.

Women are occupying ever greater positions of power. Little girls in our society generally have no conception that there is something they can’t do. Men are opening up to previous taboos like: childrearing, doing housework, showing emotion, eschewing violence. The earth – the ultimate feminine energy – is crying so loudly for our attention that Her voice is in the news daily – and all around the world people are calling out that we must pay attention to her. We must pay attention to the feminine.

The rise of feminine power has everything to do with old women

Today I got my hair cut and thought again about my decision to go grey two years ago. “If I dye it brown again, I will look much younger, “ I thought. It feels weird to look in the mirror and see a “grey-haired lady”.

The story we are told is: get older, lose power. We’re silently told: “Fear getting older, girls! Fear becoming invisible, unimportant, cast off, a bag lady! The worst thing that can happen to you is to lose your looks, remember that every time you look in the mirror after 35!”

But what actually happened when I let my hair go grey? People whom I didn’t know started treating me with respect, as though I had something valuable to say and as if I was powerful. Men started giving me appreciative glances (which had been pretty rare before, let me tell you!). People I did know started saying how fabulous I look. I had a sense of myself as a powerful, capable woman.

In essence, I gained status by going grey. The paradigm is changing.

The change is happening very quickly

My Lebanese grandmother was forced into an arranged marriage to a man she hated who was twenty years her senior.

My mother, unlike her mother, was free to marry whom she chose. Her boss however told her that she was never going to rise at work because she was female. 

(That's my mom on the right)

I, on the other hand, was raised with the knowledge that I could be anything I want to be and can marry whomever I choose.

Women have feared getting older because it has meant losing that little power we had – our sexual power. But things are changing. Women are more powerful in the western world than ever before. Maybe we don’t need to fear getting older as women. Maybe we can look forward to it!

For the first time in thousands of years, some of the leaders in our society are also grandmothers. Leaders who have borne babies in their wombs, and watched those babies bear babies. Leaders who will be very concerned, not just for the current generations, but for the ones to come.

When I think of it, grandmothers are the perfect leaders: they have lived a long time, they have left their hormonal motivations largely behind, they know the value of life because they have nurtured it with their breasts and with their hands.

All of which leads me to these questions:

What if the inner struggle with our bodies -  that all woman share in different ways - is in fact a symptom of the suppression of the divine feminine? And what if it is more specifically the suppression of the divine elder feminine? The feminine energy that has nothing to do with our sexual appeal, and everything to do with our wisdom and loving kindness?

What if I lived in a culture that honoured elder women? What would it feel like to know I was now entering into their esteemed company?

What if I unleashed that crone power in me? A power that has been chained up, devalued and mocked for centuries?

Can I fearlessly claim my fullest, deepest power? Can I be that powerful, and loving and kind?

An unleashing the inner goddess ceremony
You need: a long ribbon and some scissors.

Bind the ribbon around your hands

As you tie the knot in the ribbon, say:
            This ribbon and this knot
            are the chains upon my divine feminine spirit
            as all men and women have had this spirit bound

            Today I cut these bonds
            and allow my feminine divinity free
            may she be powerful
            may she be strong
            may she be kind
            may she be abundant
            may she always act for the benefit of seven generations to come
            may she be free

Now cut the ribbon and say:

            As the divine feminine rises up in me
            May I see her divinity
            honour her
            bow to her
            allow her her freedom
            I allow her her freedom

Warning: your inner female divinity may be a little cranky for having been bound so long. Be patient. J

mandala by Erin Dragonsong (psst she has a cool make-your-own mandala e-book.)


  1. Vanessa I am your #1 fan! You articulate the stirrings and rumblings that move me! I have been developing a film about this very subject for a few years...I look forward to talking to you about that with you!

    Keep sharing your voice Vanessa. It satisfies a deep hunger...

  2. Mandy, thank you again. This blog is very important to me, even though I can't figure out a work-related benefit (which my left brain really really wants in something I spend so much time on!). Every week I feel drawn to write something that I have discovered or know, and release it into the world here, free, for no reason other than I want to share what I know. So to read comments, that it has been received, that it has touched someone as it has with you - or others who have posted here - means everything to me. That's what it's for. Otherwise I'd be just sending out into the void. So your comments and encouragement are likewise satisfying a deep need in me, and impel me to continue, and to trust. Thank you (all).

  3. This is BEAUTIFUL!! Every woman should read this!

    (I've Stumbled it for just that purpose.)

    : )

    I too believe that our resistance to the Feminine is largely what makes menstruation a problem for so many women. When we take back the power of being women -- the power of being mini-Goddesses -- our whole cycle becomes a joy rather than the curse patriarchy has made it out to be.

  4. Very inspiring to read on my birthday. Thanks for expressing what you are learning.

  5. Vanessa, you are definitely a conduit, a "hollow reed" for divine inspiration! I'm SO glad you're doing this. I'll have to see if Mandy and I can be co-#1 fans!