Connection: it's something that we have all had cause to think about in recent times. Connection to ourselves, to our family, friends, community, society, ideology, politics, humanity and Mother Earth.
We exist in these multiple energy ecologies simultaneously, but much of the connection we see in the spiritual online world is concerned with our connection to self and self-mastery of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. But surely spirituality is also about connecting to something much bigger than ourselves?
Spiritual practices are a way of accessing our untapped potential, our inner power and purpose. Of course, we need to do the inner work. Spiritual and religious practices engender self-mastery. We examine our thoughts, feelings and actions, we look at our motives and our actions. We hold ourselves accountable.
But self only exists in relation to 'other'. We define ourselves by our similarities and our differences. Spiritual practices are NOT solely about self-management, it is about connecting to something far greater and bigger than we are.
Spiritual practices enable us to connect with forms of consciousness beyond the human level. I believe that women's reconnection to the more-than-human levels of consciousness is a hugely important shift that the universal energies are inviting us to make.
So, what do we mean by more-than-human, a phrase introduced by cultural ecologist David Abram in the 1990’s? We are a part of Nature and we wouldn’t exist without the earth, our sun and moon, galaxy, in fact the whole Universe! It’s a simple fact that there is far more non-human Nature in the cosmos than there is human.
Unfortunately the human race has an entrenched view of the rest of Nature an less than human, and that’s not really working out to well for us and planet. We need a huge shift in awareness and I believe women, just like you and me, will be at the spearhead of that change.
Women are undervalued, underrepresented (and underpaid) in a way that cannot continue. But it's not about competing and pushing for our place, by aping masculine energy. It is about us embracing the Divine Feminine in its deepest sense.
Divine Feminine energy is based upon attraction and enchantment. Sometimes caring and nurturing, sometimes wild and free. Women live in a world of sensation, we live in our bodies in a way that men do not. We seek connection to the flow of elements and natural forces.
This energy is immortalised in myth and legend from many cultures. The enchantress, the wise women, the seductress, the witch. These are tales that grapple with our connection, our energy , which is hard to capture and articulate. Feeling, sensation and words are not always easy companions.
Mythology and folklore carry this message through tales of enchantment, magic, spells and potions. The world around the enchantress is alive: the animals and plants, the earth, the heavens, the rivers, seas, mountains, wind and weather. Much of this ancient mythology emphasises the interconnectedness of life, a discourse and exchange between humans and non-humans.
It is time for women to open themselves up to the more-than-human realms as it nurtures in our mental, physical and spiritual health. It is time for us to embrace the consciousness of our fellow companions within all layers of nature, from water, trees and rocks to nature spirits and deva.
Modern spirituality, which concentrates of self mastery so we can be more productive, earn more, we need to go deeper than the kinds of statements that are made into pretty motivational posters to be sold online. ‘I may not be there yet but I am closer than I was yesterday.’ ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.’ ‘Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.’ We come across these schmaltzy affirmations so frequently it is hardly unreasonable to assume wisdom and life experience can be summed up in the right motivational quote. I feel into this trap myself in talking about my own work. I thought it was what people expect to see, it would make it understandable and accessible. Who needs to read literature or study philosophy if a snappy quotation will set us on the right track?
Writing in Ars Vitae, Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn explores what happens when we ‘allow our modern therapeutic culture, with its elevation of personal desires into a secular religion of the self, to set the terms for how we make sense of life’. One consequence, she suggests, is the degradation of philosophy into soundbites for self-improvement.
I think we sense this in so much in our search for deep spiritual meaning. Time and time again Goole searches come up with content that panders to the rise of spiritual teaching from corporate America culture that wants us to perform better, be grateful for what we have (and by implication not challenge socio-political inequality and injustice), and above all, be a more productive human so the company can earn more profit.
I’m not saying wealth isn’t important, of course it is. But its personal wealth in the hands of women that will create a more equal and egalitarian society. Personal wealth comes from personal power and this is why we need, as women, to embrace our true Nature through connection with the wild Divine Feminine.
It’s not my job to convince you of the reality of subtle energy or the more-than-human realms of consciousness, but I hope upon reading these words your heart expanded, your spirit lifted and you said “ahhh…” as you recognised home.