“The feminine mystery lives in the Now. Its energies are concentrated on what is happening in this moment—a forget-me-not sparkling with dew, the scent of wet pine, a hesitant hand—all uniquely coming together Now. It relaxes into total concentration and *is*. The feminine does not save itself for some glorious moment in the future, nor grieve over some lost moment in the past. It holds nothing back. Now is all there is.” ~ Marion Woodman
It is so very easy to remember the resonance of this feminine mystery when I recall my time on the Island of Crete…
I’ve often struggled with how to adequately define my understanding of detachment. The definition given by Marion Woodman in her audio “Crown of Age” comes pretty close. She is talking about how many indigenous peoples had a council of women who made decisions about the men’s decisions thereby providing a balance of wisdom inserted into the ego-power situation. She says that:
“Crone consciousness is much, much wider [than ego-power]. It is more detached. And there is the move from the ego-power to the open heart. Detachment is not indifference. Detachment is: not having a personal agenda; that you can look at this [situation] without judgment, without blame.”
I will be spending the year immersed in the work of Marion Woodman and Emily Dickinson. They are calling me to them as I continue my journey On the Gaia Path. So they will share space with my contemplative and creative writing, and, I’m sure, infuse all my writing adventures with distinctive feminine energy. And an awareness of how the feminine has been subsumed by the masculine in ways I had never even realized.
With that in mind, below is an essay I wrote for an assignment on rhetorical analysis in my University of Arizona English class. The piece is, of course, an academic paper constructed within the masculine formatting that drives a college education in today’s world. My intent in sharing it is, however, a way of sharing–and showing–how I am doing my best to retain the feminine principle even within the patriarchal constructs and overwhelming masculine precepts around me.
Before reading, please watch the three-minute video clip of the hour-long speech being analyzed: HERE. You won’t regret making the time to do so! Ms. Woodman is fabulous! A transcript of the entire speech is available HERE.
The Way of the Feminine Principle
Governments and corporations continue using a masculine, domination model to control people. However, there is a growing movement in various cultural circles toward the realization that we need a conscious re-emergence of the feminine principle if our world is to survive. Marion Woodman, an author and “groundbreaking [Jungian] analyst with a rare understanding of the role of the feminine in bringing about personal and cultural transformation,” spoke with a passionate grace about this very shift in ideology at the 3rd Annual Women & Power Conference in 2004 (Feminist.com). Through the use of personal representation, shared cultural experiences, terminology perception, and the flow of her presentation, Ms. Woodman both defines the feminine principle and points out how it is absent in our culture. Ms. Woodman’s speech makes it clear that fixing the imbalance in our societies using masculine energy as the primary force—the same energy that has created most of our problems—is not going to be possible; feminine energy must be an equal partner for a healing transformation to occur. Continue reading