[Note:  The following article was originally published in the June 2014 issue of Natural Presence magazine, serving the Ottawa, Ontario area.]

Why the Empowered Feminine is Necessary for Spiritual Integration

There are two fundamental—and opposite—directions of desire built into every human being:  the desire to reunite with Source and the desire to create from Source.

Both of these polarities are naturally present in us as human beings and throughout creation as well.  The Taoists call the polarities “yang” and “yin,” associated with the “masculine” and “feminine” energies, respectively.  The energy of the Spirit (yang, masculine) tends to rise, seeking greater expansion, increased subtlety, and ultimate reunion with Source--Pure Consciousness, Unbounded Being, the Eternal Absolute.  The energy of the Soul (yin, feminine) tends in the “downward” direction, desiring to express the Divine in form, taking us in the direction of denser, outwardly expressed Creation, reaching its culmination in the Wholeness of the Cosmos.

Our human body is designed for vertical posture.  This, metaphorically, relates to our ability to connect “heaven”—the more abstract, “higher,” refined, inner, levels of experience—and “earth”—the more embodied, dense, outwardly expressed, “lower” levels of creation.  These opposite values are brought together through the unifying power of the Heart—love.

Most of our spiritual traditions and religions have focused on the “upward” direction, sometimes even demonizing “the world,” physical incarnation, and the sexual energy that leads to embodiment.  Perhaps this focus was needed at earlier stages of cultural development.  In our time, however, it is clear that the consequences of this imbalance have become unsustainable.  We see this in everything from the pedophile priest scandal in the Catholic Church to disastrous degradation of the environment to heartless greed, exploiting the earth and other human beings for the sake of concentrated material wealth in the hands of the few.  When the feminine values of embodiment and reverence for Life are devalued and cut off from the masculine values of progress and transcendence, human suffering is enormous on both sides.

For many of us on a spiritual path—and certainly in the larger culture—the relegation of sexuality to shadow status remains a major block to the kind of integration we need.  We MUST integrate our spirituality and our sexuality and bring the masculine and feminine into a balance so that they can support each other.

This DOES NOT mean that we must all be partnered and sexually active.  This is a highly individual lifestyle issue.  It DOES mean that we need to be fully connected and at home with every cell and every organ of our physical body.  It DOES mean that we need to be at home with and honor our sexual energy expressed as Life Force—the same Life Force that makes it possible for even a few blades of grass to push their way up and break through a concrete sidewalk!

When our sexual energy is not integrated into the wholeness of our human life, we do not have full access to the energy and the relentless application that it takes to make our full contribution in life.

I have developed a workshop retreat program for women that addresses this issue.  The first day Whole Body Goddess workshop initiates participants into an experiential process for integrating the higher levels of spiritual and imaginal awareness, through the heart, into the physical female reproductive system—while teaching very practical, holistic self-care practices for each of the female organs.  Building on this, the optional second day retreat focuses more on the Inner Marriage, strengthening and integrating the feminine and masculine polarities within our own systems and experiencing how spiritual teachings such as the Lord’s Prayer and others map into our human body.

Incarnation in a human body is an immeasurable gift.  The human physiology is so flexible, complex, and “neuroplastic” that we all have the potential to not only experience the full range of creation in our spiritual practices, but also to live that experience in the richness of our daily lives.

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