Many people hearing the term ‘Divine Feminine’ think that it is either about promoting feminism or else alluding to the mythological Goddesses of ancient story-telling.
My understanding of the term is that it describes one of the dual polarities that make up our known phenomenal world: the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine or otherwise expressed in Eastern terminology as Yin and Yang.
Traditional Chinese philosophy best articulates the relational aspects of these two polarities as being the two opposite but complementary forces that underpin Life. They go on to express it thus:
Night (Yin) and day (Yang), quiescence (Yin) and activity (Yang), Moon (Yin) and Sun (Yang), Earth (yin) and Heaven(Yang), cold (Yin) and hot (Yang), flexible (Yin) and rigid (Yang), dark (Yin) and light (Yang), feminine (Yin) and masculine (Yang) and so on. As you will have recognised each polarity within the set describes one aspect of a whole, while the two sub-sets make up the whole set. So if we take the first complementary pair, Night and Day, they are both opposite expressions of the 24-hour diurnal cycle – that is, it takes both of the polar opposites to make up the whole 24-hour cycle. Similarly, feminine and masculine are bi-polar expressions of human beings – one entity, with two complementary, but opposite aspects to complete it. A traditional Chinese maxim says: ‘You can’t have one without the other’. So in the context of human beings, you can’t define humans without taking into account both aspects, feminine and masculine.
Furthermore, there is another saying concerning these relational opposites that goes like this: ‘Within the Yin is the Yang and within the Yang is the Yin’. That means that you have to be able to know and experience one polarity to know and experience the other, e.g. to describe something as flexible (Yin) you need something to compare it to. So flexible can only exist in the presence of rigidity (Yang), and vice versa. Each contains a little of the other within its description.
You have done well to hang in thus far. I’m going to stretch your thinking a little further. When we identify polarities, we can never speak in absolutes, only relative terms. This is apparent because, in the process of comparing one to another, we must allow the existence of a continuum between them. Let us take the notion of temperature. In between the two polarities there exists stages or increments eg. taking a section of the continuum of temperature as it exists within the capacity of our human experience: boiling -> hot -> warm -> tepid -> cool -> cold -> freezing. Depending on which aspects of the continuum you compare, you can describe polarities. So if I compare boiling to freezing, boiling is my Yang polarity and freezing is my Yin polarity. And if I compare warm to cool, warm is Yang and cool is Yin. But if I compare boiling to warm, then boiling is Yang and warm is Yin. You can try this simple exercise yourself and you will see that everything is relative to everything else. That is the underlying principe of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – a concept well accepted in science now and over a hundred and five years since it was first espoused.
So with all polarities in this phenomenal world there are shades of grey between. We can see this quite clearly with femininity, masculinity and sexuality. There are many shades of grey between and Nature throws up all possibilities. Therefore the continuum between the polarities of gender contains all possible expressions of masculinity and femininity that exist along the spectrum. Hence there is a diversity of gender expression that occurs in the natural world. To discriminate between any of the expressions demonstrates an incomplete understanding of the natural world.
In describing the Divine Feminine then, we can only explore its characteristics in the light of the Divine Masculine. Together they make up the whole. The basic tenet of Chinese Medicine is based in the notion that the body can also be defined in terms of Yin and Yang with Yin being the front of the body and the lower aspects (i.e.. below the waist), while the Yang represents the back of the body and upper aspects (above the waist). The main principle of treatment in Chinese Medicine is to balance Yin and Yang so that, in this state of harmony, the body becomes well.
So after all this preamble, let’s begin a conversation about the Divine Feminine, which is where we started out. As an intrinsic aspect of life the Divine Feminine could be classified along with Yin-ness in terms of how it manifests life: night, quiescence (another word for stillness), Moon, cool, flexible, dark, Earth and feminine. If we extrapolate out from here, we could add some more qualities that might be considered as being classified under the Divine Feminine: relaxation and being chilled as distinct from activity and tension, being of the body rather than the Mind, coming from the heart rather than the head, collaborating rather than competing, contained (relating to one’s inner world) rather than expanded (relating to the outer world), being on the bottom rather than on the top, peace rather than war and passivity rather than aggression. We could also move on to explore notions of conservation (contracting) rather than expenditure (expanding), and as the Divine Feminine relates more to the Earth than the Heavens then perhaps we can make some philosophical leaps, such as the Divine Feminine seeks to conserve planetary resources rather than plunder and expend them. That the Divine Feminine seeks peace rather than war, a more common spread of wealth (a commonwealth) than only for those on the top of the pile (capitalism).
In essence if we explore the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine in regard to world affairs, then we can see that the Divine Masculine has been in ascendancy for the past three thousand years (at least) and is known as the patriarchy. During this time, the Divine Feminine has been subsumed and devalued as the Divine Masculine principles that include expansion, competition, warring, conquering, pillaging and plundering, hierarchical systems of government, greed and prestige/ego-building have been paramount. That is not to undervalue the Divine Masculine – it is simply a recognition that when one polarity has been in ascendency for too long, it outlives its time and becomes corrupted. The emerging, evolving world needed the exploratory, expansive energy of the Divine Masculine to further development of the human species.
However the time has come for the tables to turn. One of the obvious signs is the fact that the most prominent leader of the world Donald Trump is a parody of the sacredness of the Divine Masculine, distorting all the finer qualities of that polarity and expressing its lowest vibration energy expression, such as sexism, flaunting greed and power and total lack of statesmanship. His counterpart Kim Jong Un North Korea’s Head of State, displays a similar immaturity and over-weaning need for ego-strokes. These ego-players put themselves first, trashing the honour and trust placed in them by the people they are purported to lead. Here is the Divine Masculine at its worst: greed, ego-centric, power-hungry and ill-befitted to hold office and lead by example and tolerance.
Other signs that the DM has played itself out and needs a rest is the climate change issue, forced by poor decisions for fuelling our world based on greed and competition, the ever-growing gap between the rich and poor where the top echelons of power and influence take the prizes and leave the poor to struggle and survive and the chaotic expansion of technology, which is no longer tied to moral and ethical considerations, but rather underpinned by sexual gratification, greed and political subterfuge in the interests of power-grabbing. One of the examples here is the undue political influence by Russia, crossing national boundaries with the deliberate use of media to unsettle other nation’s political systems in a bid to cause unrest and political chaos.
This is the Divine Masculine gone mad. In traditional Chinese Medicine when one polarity is over-assertive and ascendant we support the opposite polarity to bring them back into harmony. So now is the time for the Divine Feminine to come into play. This means that we focus on the greater good not just the few at the top. Politically we work collaboratively not in fierce bi-partisanship which breeds hostility. Instead of continual growth we can be happy with what we have and enjoy quality of life rather than struggling to keep up financially with others.