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The Sacred Feminine

The emphasis on the feminine as I experienced it growing up, was in appearance.  Looking gentle not hard. Being dressed well. Ornamenting my appearance with make-up and jewellery. Being soft and yielding.  I internalized these values, admired the beauty of women and strove to be that myself.

My sense of the sacred feminine was uncomfortable with this self-absorption and vanity. My obsession with appearance meant I was creating tension for my growing children. 

Because of the sacrifices my mother and father made,  I grew up believing I had a responsibility to be successful, whatever that meant.

I looked for examples of women who I thought were successful, and questioned what made them successes? Were they honest about their own feelings? Did they listen to others?  Did they emphasize the  value of the group above their own ego?

How is the sacred feminine different from the sacred masculine?  Women and men have different expectations imposed on them, and therefore different challenges. But every individual needs to examine their innate nature too. What do they value? How will we move to the next decade in beauty and strength? How can we support the development of a nurturing community and protect nature from our baser instincts?

This is more complex than laying out rules of right and wrong. Feminine and masculine natures are evolving. Social responsibility for a woman and for a man is built on our individual conscience arising out of our social conscience and our relationship to nature.


The sacred feminine appears in the work and character of women who contributed to our world, such as those listed below:

 Julian of Norwich (14th century) a Christian mystic, and theologian. Her Revelations of Divine Love was the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman.

Hannah Arendt (1906 – 1975) was a German-born Jewish American political theorist whose phrase 'the banality of evil' has influenced our thinking on power and its abuses. 

Naomi Klein  an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism has inspired movements of resistance against neoliberal capitalism. 

Shelagh RogersOC, is the host, and a producer, of CBC Radio One's The Next Chapter and Chancellor of the University of Victoria. Her dedication to Canadian literature has given our country insight into our often overlooked culture, including our First Nations.

Leah Hokanson is a pianist, choir director and teacher emphasizing the spiritual container for creative expression and health. She has developed choirs, accepting singers of all capabilities, and encouraged us to get in touch with the music within us for the sake of our own peace and happiness.

These women are warriors that enable rather than conquer and they embody what the sacred feminine means to our culture and the worth of women and men everywhere.

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