Spiritual lifestyle advice and guidance for modern women from bestselling author Alice Grist.
An excerpt from The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living...
So many people think that feminism is a moot point. For some reason it seems that us Women think we have equality, that we have won that particular battle. I am afraid that this is not the case. We are in a man made cage, a pretty and gilded one with the semblance of freedom about it, but a cage nonetheless. This is why having a female deity, or a female energy as part of my spiritual belief is essential.
Sadly feminism is viewed by many as a nasty and negative stereotype. People pigeon hole feminists as short haired, butch dykes. Yeah... and... so what if they are? Why the hell does that scare women so much? The reason we see this as a negative thing, is because we are trying to appeal to our male counterparts in the manner to which they have grown used to. That manner often means breasts, arse, pouts, giggles and ultra girly giddiness. Many of us play into the, ‘I’m not a feminist because I’m straight, or high heeled, or girly, or am married’ but no my sister, that does not wash. Detaching ourselves from feminism due to negative discrimination against lesbians has done nobody any favors.
What we have been left with is a society full of females who are “empowered” through the gratuitous sexualization of their selves. Little girls want to be wives and girlfriends of sporting legends and grow up wanting to look like somebody, rather than actually being somebody in their own right. On a more serious note women are still frequently victims of domestic violence, domestic murder, rape, sex trafficking and the list goes one. It is true that many women have good jobs, wages and multiple choices. But when you look across the board at the poor amongst us, or the ones with a tragic secret of abuse or victimization, it is not a pretty picture.
So how does goddess spirituality come into feminism or vice versa? I believe that spirituality is a huge empowerment tool for women. It takes us out of our cultural frame of reference and forces us to look inside. In getting to know ourselves we meet up with our souls and our higher selves. With spirituality at our back we can begin to see this life as temporary and the facets of it to be fake. Women are currently living under a false economy; we truly believe that what we look like, our perceived achievements and our possessions are what make us unique. Wrong. What makes us unique is deeper than the flesh, the fabulous shoes and the quirky pink lipstick. What makes us ourselves is ancient, wise, feminine and divine.
That is right ladies. You are divine. The men are too, of course, but they have lost their way as much as we have. Women have grown used to embracing male energy, we have had to to help us to get anywhere in the past fifty years. Yet it is still quite taboo for men to grasp hold of their female sides. It is changing of course, but the legacy of a male dominated past still resides in our cultural commentary.
We have divided and split, it is a war and no-one is winning. I think that perhaps right now both sides have given up exhausted! I believe that spirituality and inner soul seeking can help mend this split. I believe that embracing a divine female energy, as well as the traditional male energy is the way forward. We have been skewed for too long, focusing on god like achievements and god like goals. The goddess and the feminine in our society has become lost to us. Female energy has been denigrated as primal, irksome and pagan. But the female is fertility, life and rebirth. She is creation from the inside instead of from the out, she is nurture and nature and she is at one with the winds of this planet.
The female is naturally environmental because her body echoes nature. In male dominated society the environment has been dashed and deserted. Nature was a dirty word, which means females were akin to that lower less civilized perception. Yet we are being forced to embrace female qualities because without them we as a society were becoming lost and desperate. Canny business people are catching onto this and you can see the evidence apparent in the new eco businesses and caring capitalists cropping up.
There is much damage yet to be resolved, but in bringing back a love of the sisters, and all things female related, we are rebalancing the planet. In turn I believe this will help to free us all. Women will be freed from the cage that says they are not good enough, and men will be free to explore the natural parts of themselves that they have locked away and repressed for fear of criticism. The Goddess is finding her way back into our lives, so if she knocks at tour door let her in!
Having rejected formal religion I was not keen on the idea of deities. But today it dawned on me just how important deities are to our understanding of our own spirituality. Indeed it occurred to me how important female deities are to society as a whole.
For centuries and centuries the human belief in spirituality has been based upon a ‘higher power’ which is intrinsically male. Prior to that pagan religions embraced a pantheon of gods and goddesses each representing a host of different themes, traits and specialities. But since then God has been a bachelor, a single father, a manager of us all down here on earth. However you view this ‘god’ of the west, he has invariably been a bloke.
We have been living in a world whose social and cultural roots stem from a patriarchal religion, wherein male traits are worshipped and viewed as the most important. We have had male dominated society and that society has emulated ‘god traits’ by effectively copying God. We have dissected god’s creations and now not even he has a place because we have taken it from him. Mankind has become the new god, but the true god status is reserved for the rich and successful only. We no longer look to our souls for leadership, we look to celebrities, newspapers, advertising, politicians and news readers. We blindly play follow the leader and exert no trust in our own senses. Life is dictated to us by these powerful people, and we often forget that their agenda, is to become more powerful, more godlike. This is messed up and crazy. What we all need right now is the love of a good woman. That and the dissolution of the mediocrity that we all adhere to under the belief that nine to five, debt and constant television use is normal and acceptable.
The myth of a higher power being male only has led to much destruction and oppression of anything feminine. Females have had to embrace god energy, to pull themselves up to a level where men have seen us as equals. Even now we still struggle to bring a feminine perspective to old school male institutions. I believe it is time for the feminine to be appreciated in it’s own right and for our own innate goddess to come out to play.
Women are stepping up now. We are breaking out of our backseat role and taking a major part in society. A feminine influence is being brought into the workplace and into society and that feminine influence is being valued, respected and listened to. Motherhood too is taking a central place in society. It is no longer a ‘behind closed doors’ necessity. Women are talking about it, newspapers are talking about it. The world at large is open to women and to our distinct nature. It is fascinating stuff. But we are still mid flux. On one page we have a girl baring her breasts the next page hosts a piece on maternity leave, we are not there yet. We are, however, on our way. At the same time Mother Earth herself is playing up no end, wreaking her havoc and reminding all those powerful male energy people, that she, always, has the final say.
IT IS TIME. It is time for women to step out of the shadows of a too masculine based society and to become total equals. It is so time. Any society that swings too far in one direction will always lose its balance, become unstrung and generally fall foul of itself. I see that happening to us now. I see it in our power structures, in our big man politics presiding over all us little people. I see it in the propaganda of other countries. I see it in a nanny state that is not nurturing, but that is becoming manipulative, materialistic and hugely controlling. I learn more and more about conspiracy theory and I start to see it as conspiracy fact. The male energy of this planet has us all in his grasp. We are pawns in a very big game and it is my belief that to counteract this we need to usher the feminine back in. The feminine will free us from the need to play power games, it will allow us to sit happy in compassion and love rather than yearning for more dollars, contracts, sales and oil.
Nature and femininity has been denigrated and locked away. The balance has tipped too far. Forget about the tipping point of global warming, instead worry about the tipping point of yin and yang. Worry about the over stimulation of testosterone in our planets cultures, because this has brought a lot of misery to a lot of people. It has destroyed the environment and made us all wage slaves. I believe there is another way. I believe that power is an optical illusions and that much of the structures of your life are pretend. Money does not really exist, but in buying in to it, we make some people very, very powerfully happy. To make more people happy then we ought to start believing in something other than the creation of wealth and success.
Male and female are two aspects of a higher spiritual power. Do I believe there is actually a god and a goddess up in the sky? No I do not but I do believe that divinity, energy, mysticism, spirituality is both male and female in equal parts. Both these parts must be embraced, not just one. Embracing just one causes misery to the other part. This cannot happen any longer.
I believe that our world is becoming more evolved, more spiritual, more conscious. Within that consciousness we must acknowledge what we have previously failed to acknowledge. We must worship and revere it, as we do it’s other half. The female divine is in us all, and part of everything. It is not lesser. It is the same, but different. She needs ushering in to balance out the damage done by an off-kilter world only concerned with manly ways.
The goddess, is hugely important to me. She is a symbol of feminine freedom but also of male and female empowerment. The majority of people on this planet are enslaved to the financial systems that rule over every detail of our lives. We are all captured by a belief that things cannot be any different. Sadly those at the top of this big money pile are so afraid of losing their power and money that they are willing to do anything they need to do to keep us under their control. By embracing our female energy, then the whole money thing loses it’s importance. We need not have an uprising, we can slowly slip out from under that control and seek out another way of life for ourselves. We can refocus our lives around the things that matter, people, children, animals, creativity, compassion, the planet and love for one another. We can stop pillaging each other’s pockets and work together in communion.
We all need each other, we are part of each other. Without one another there would be nothing. The goddess energy will help show us how to live with each other, rather than living off of each other. Embrace your inner goddess; embrace the goddess in your brother, husband or your dad. Embrace too your inner god, it is not his fault that his energy has been abused and blown out of all proportion! Know that now is a time of great changes and that knowing your femininity is precious and to be celebrated is the starting point of a spiritual and conscious revolution.
Feminine divinity is powerful beyond measure. We have, up until this point not known it existed or not cared. We have certainly not given it much thought. But I have today, and in one day I see why it is vital to my future existence. I always knew Women were special, I always knew God was a girl, now I see how this can transform everything!
After writing this small section I felt a deep urge to channel the goddess. For those who are not familiar with channelling it means that I allowed the goddess to speak through me. I sat still with a blank page on my computer and I allowed my hands to type the words that flowed out. I believe that what I wrote is a spiritual message from a feminine divinity, or from the feminine side of spirit. Her message is beautiful and I share it with you now…
“I am the goddess and the goddess is god and god is the goddess. It is all the same. As an energy as a deity as a being and as you. We are all the same. We are part of each other.
Your faiths have seen my only one aspect for too long. In that aspect you created great things but you forgot your own creation. You forgot that my and your nature is an equal to what you had made. Your God head made you self righteous in your abilities. But you did do so well. You really did. Look what you have! But your God head made you more callous. You became accepting of destruction and misused the god energy, claiming it your own, structuring it, justifying your decisions through it. What an interesting lesson for you all.
The Goddess mind is coming in now. I never left, I just watched you play and you could barely see me. You have been like teenagers for some time, so full of your own answers! I was always here. I am in your mother and in your own baby soul, in nature and even in your merciful god. For as I say we are all the same.
Reclaim me now. Not over and above your God, but as him and her too. As together we make all that is. Neither superior or inferior. We are accompanying each other as loving escorts. But really I and he are a he/she. I know you laugh, it is not all so serious you know! We are perfection and we love you as you love us. We are us. All of us.
As a constructive way to understand me I hope you will look inside and realise your own Goddessness. See that too in the men, women and children all around you, your animals and plants. I am more powerful than all your human made creations which of course means that you are more powerful than all that too. I wish you to remember that I am your child and your mother. I wish you peace. Find me and you will find peace. I love you and you love me. We are one. Welcome to our world babychild.”
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