The Primordial Feminine
Five Week Series: Spiral Goddess, Dakini, Shakti, Sophia, and Shekinah
The Sacred Feminine exists in all and is all. The Sacred Feminine exists beyond time and space. She was never born and she will never die. She is an ancient and timeless energy, a cosmogonic feminine principle. She IS primordial. She changes, and appears in an endless array of forms. Sometimes she appears with her consort or counterpart, but still, She is always sovereign.
Our inaugural Sacred She Aspects series will begin with the celebration of the Sacred Feminine in her eternal, primordial nature. While we perceive her manifestations as infinite, we offer a glimpse into Her sacred matrix. We hope that these images and quotes inspire you to dive into Her depths.
Week One: The SPIRAL GODDESS from the Neolithic Civilizations
Additional Resources on the Spiral Goddess:
Judy Chicago’s magnum opus, “The Dinner Party” is a multi-year, multi-artistic medium art installation featuring 39 important female figures from history as immortalized on 39 plates. The floor of the installation re-members 999 additional names of women, many of whom have nearly been lost to HIS-tory.
Week Two: DAKINI from the Luminous Void & Buddhist Tradition
Additional Resources on Dakini:
Dakina Embodiments by Kalista
She is Love co-founder, Kalista, Dakina embodiment pieces offers a contemporary and fresh expression of Dakini. In her work, Dakini is transformed into Dakina, a sovereign expression of this timeless, boundless and primordial feminine energy.
Judith Simmer-Brown is a Buddhist practitioner and scholar within the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Her talk at the Sivananda Ashram introduces some core facets of the traditional understandings of Dakini. In addition, her published works, such as Dakini’s Warm Breath, offers a unique view of the ancient and primoridal Dakini for the modern seeker.
Week Three: SHAKTI from the Hindu Traditions
Additional Resources for Shakti
“Sita Sings the Blues” is a contemporary interpretation of the Hindu sacred text, “The Ramayana.” The filmaker utilizes a variety of artforms from blues music, animation, shadow puppetry, and storytelling to reimagine the devotion, heartbreak, and summoning of one’s inner power—her sakti, to bring about healing for herself and the archetypal feminine.
Online feature of Women in Contemporary Indian Art hosted by Bangladesh based, Depart. This particular feature showcases five Indian artists who blend mixed media art methods to engage, dialogue with, critique, and upend traditional gender roles and cultural expectations from the point of view of women’s lived experiences.
There are a number of well known female mystics from India whose poetry pulsates devotional bhakti for their beloveds, Krishna and Shiva, respectively. These women defied the traditional customs and duties expected of a woman and wife while fulfilling their spiritual aims and calling to express their love in song, poetry, and pilgrimage. Ultimately, they embodied Shakti both as archetypal lovers and consorts of Krishna and Shiva, but also, in their ability and courage to align with their own innate sakti— their inner power—to live as a full expression of the sacred feminine, Shakti. These poets include Akkamahadevi and Andal, as well as Mirabai.
Week Four: SOPHIA from the Gnostic Christian Traditions
“I am the first and the last
I am she who is honored and she who is mocked
I am the whore and the holy woman
I am the wife and the virgin
I am the mother and the daughter
I am the limbs of my mother
I am the sterile woman and she has many children...
I am humiliation and pride
I am without shame
I am ashamed
I am security and fear
I am war and peace
Pay attention to me
I am she who is disgraced and she who is important
Pay attention to me, to my impoverishment and to my extravagance
Do not be arrogant to me when I am thrown to the ground...
Do not laugh at me in the lowest places
Do not throw me down among those slaughtered viciously...
I am she who exists in all fears and in trembling boldness...
I am being
I am she who is nothing...
Hear me, audience, and learn from my words, you who know me
I am what everyone can hear and no one can say
I am the name of the sound and the sound of the name...
Uncontrollable and condemning passions
And passing pleasures that people have
Until they become sober and go up to their resting place,
And they will find me in that place
They will live and they will not die again”
Excerpt from “The Thunder, Perfect Mind,” c 2nd CE text. Translated by: Hal Taussig, Jared Calaway, Maia Kotrosits, Celene Lillie, and Justin Lasser
Aditional Resources for Sophia
This is an audio recording of G. R. S. Mead’s translation of this 3rd or 4th century AD Gnostic text. While the meaning and understanding of Sophia varied from Gnostic storyteller to storyteller, this text goes into great detail as to the Gnostic world view and Sophia’s place as within the divine cosmic drama.
Week Five: SHEKHINAH from the Mystical Jewish and Kabbalah Traditions
“I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the Elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of powers divine, Queen of heaven! The principal of the Gods celestial, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the air, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be disposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customs and in many names”
― Excerpt from The Cosmic Shekinah by Sorita D'este
Additional Resources for Shekhinah
Coming this DECEMBER 2018:
We at She is Love are committed to presenting the full spectrum of the Primordial Feminine as She appears in a variety of forms and names across cultures. In doing so, we will debut even more aspects of the Primordial Feminine in the next few weeks!
Featuring: Iyami Aje from the West African Yoruban tradition and the White Buffalo woman from the Lakota Native American tradition and Spider Woman from the Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi Native American traditions.
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