“When did you first learn about the Sacred Feminine?”
I love this question…mostly because it doesn’t have a simple answer…like most things in life.
As a child, I was exposed to many Judaic ideas through the lens of a conservative, Sabbath-keeping, evangelical, Christian denomination. As a result, my concept of Divinity was that it was singular (yet comprised of three), and that it was male. The idea of Jesus being the one and only Son of God was hard for me to fathom, because I couldn’t understand how life could be created without a feminine. When I voiced this, I was told that God had attributes of both male and female. I responded by asking why God was called “He” rather than “It.” I was then told to be quiet and stop asking such silly questions.
A few years later, in high school, I overheard a conversation between two men in which one was teasing the other about the nature of God.
“Well,” the teasing man said, “some people believe that the name ‘El Shaddai‘ is feminine.”
“Oh, what hogwash,” the other man said. “I bet some feminist broad made that up.”
I stopped, sat down…stunned and in shock. What if God was in fact a woman?! What if, all these years I’d been singing Amy Grant‘s song, I was singing to a woman rather than a man? That changed everything! Didn’t it? I had no idea. What would it mean to have a feminine deity rather than a masculine one? Were they different? If so…how?
Twenty years later, I sat in an outdoor amphitheatre, surrounded by willow trees, lush greenery, wildflowers, a pond with blooming lotus and a fountain…and several other people. I had finally connected with the Jewish community, and ventured out for my first Friday night service. As the sun drifted to the horizon, the rabbi invited us to sing a song, welcoming Shechinah, the Sabbath Bride…the Queen of Heaven. The Shechinah, the rabbi explained, is the feminine aspect of Divinity.
Again, I sat stunned. It’s true! I thought…astonished…then ecstatic. There really is a feminine god…or goddess. AND, if Shabbat is feminine, THAT would explain why the Jewish women light the candles on Friday night in “Fiddler on the Roof!” AND, if Shechinah is feminine, THAT means that the divinity in the tabernacle in the desert for forty years was feminine!
I still had no idea what it meant to have a feminine deity…but I knew it was important. I knew that at the very least, I, a woman, finally had a place in religion…and I didn’t have to pretend to be a man in order to access God…or live in society. All of a sudden, my value changed. I was equal to men…because my deities were equal.
- Wet, Dark & Tangled: The Unthwarted Feminine. ~ Karen Chrappa (elephantjournal.com)
- On the Road: Lessons of the Heart (cosmiccowgirlsmagazine.wordpress.com)