Body of Wisdom – Women’s Spiritual Power and How it Serves

Nov 5th, 2017 | By | Category: Extract

By Hilary Hart

Women’s spiritual power is a missing piece in a world out of balance. Human health, the vitality and regeneration of the earth, the earthregenmaturity of our worldly systems so they can serve the needs of the whole and not just the few, and our collective spiritual evolution all depend on women living their power as women. Women are not, collectively, doing this yet. In part because so many of us simply don’t understand how our power works – how it’s different from men’s power, how it’s activated and strengthened, and how it serves life.

And women who do have a sense of it still often don’t trust it. Women’s power is so at odds with the workings of our patriarchal world that to live it means going against almost everything that is modeled and expressed and valued outwardly, and internalized as ‘good,’ ‘important’ and even ‘spiritual.’ Many women feel hesitant to live as we are. But there are times when forces are in our favor – like now – to help us discover and create an entirely new territory of power and possibilities.

To enter this new territory, women will need to reclaim aspects of our own nature that lie hidden in our psyches and bodies, which have been denied and desecrated by the society most of us live in. These ‘powers’ include longing, beauty, our synchronization with the earth, and our capacities to receive, nourish, purify, recognize life’s sacredness, know all life as community, and work with the mystery of creative space. These aspects of women’s nature may not seem like powers, but the more we live them consciously the more we come to know that they are tremendous forces of sustenance and change. And we will come to see how the world we live in now, which denies these powers, is like a shrinking shadow of what is possible.

How do we reclaim and honor what is natural to us in a world that continually throws up distractions and substitutes? We can trust that just as life needs us to contribute to life as we are, it will show us how. For many women, it is happening already. We feel an unrest and unease with life around us and with how we, as individuals, are living. We feel an emerging and undeniable longing for something radically different. We long for lives that feel more natural.

Women’s longing itself is tremendously powerful and will draw to each woman her own opportunities to wake up to what is real and shed what is false. Often, this happens through dreams with their capacity for revelation beyond the restrictions of the intellect or cultural conditioning. And many women are drawn to meet with other women – in circle and in ceremony – where they can feel something deep and true reflected back into their being.

Regardless of how it is happening, this surge of remembrance in women forces an honest reckoning and a removal from the structures – social, spiritual, psychological – that have restricted us from living as ourselves. It includes recognizing that we are part of a dominant cultural paradigm that enshrines primarily masculine values like will power and self-focus as means of achievement, and fails to honor the tremendously powerful aspects of our collective female, like our attunement to relationships, longing, honoring the earth, and a natural capacity to nourish, all of which serve the community of life more than our personal goals. It shines light on the patriarchal aspects of our spiritual heritage and how our major world religions have been designed by and for men’s spiritual development. This heritage includes an emphasis on effort, ascension beyond the earth, mastering of the body and its needs, and exaltation of physical suffering. This approach is generally antithetical to women’s natural spirituality, as women do not need to master our bodies, but to explore and honor our bodies and how they serve the whole of life. Women focusing on ascending to transcendent realms risk abandoning the perhaps more important descent into the creative darkness of earth. One of women’s greatest spiritual gifts is how we sustain in an ongoing way – not gain knowledge about – the sanctity of life. We do this through love, care and attention, and even sacrifice, not through knowledge or effort.

It takes so much courage to live true to one’s nature when one has been denigrated by society for so many centuries. Even when we catch a glimpse, usually in the simplest of moments, we look around and see no place for our experience, no reflection of it and no reverence for it. For women, life so often seems at odds with life – with survival, success, and simply being seen. It’s so easy to forget and to compromise ourselves. And at the same time, it’s so heartbreaking and destructive.

Contemporary spiritual teachings have emphasized that our ‘beingness’ is where women’s power is. But how can we value our being when the world continuously directs our attention elsewhere? And how do we come to understand that women’s being is transformative and creative, not sedentary, constricting, or homebound as patriarchal images might suggest? We need to find the power of our being and honor it as a force of change in our modern world. This takes courage and perseverance – and wisdom.

It is not just the patriarchal structures of our world that keep us veiled; so much of women’s nature is essentially hidden. Our light has its roots in the darkness of the unknown. But women can recognize the small glimmers of ourselves that are flashing out of the mystery like fireflies in the night, here one moment and gone the next. And we can do so without losing the darkness that is home – not just a backdrop – to that light. This is a paradox we have to live with as we emerge more and more into the outer world that tends to rely on clarity and direct light to function. It is our challenge to honor a hidden depth that is central to our nature as we step into a spotlight of the currently patriarchal world.

This book is a way for women to gain support and confidence in what we see and know. It includes information from spiritual teachers, visionaries, and healers about women’s esoteric bodies that has not generally been available before, but the heart of this book is women’s experiences and dreams. Here we depend most on what rings true in our hearts and our bodies, regardless of any ‘information’ we glean. This book hopes to be like a circle of women, reflecting and affirming what is real within us.

There is something very powerful in women coming together to honor our nature. Just as when we use our power against ourselves and each other we feel a special violation, so too when we use our power to support each other we create a special harmony. As Sobonfu Somé, elder in the Dagara tribe of West Africa, says: ‘The best support for another woman is another woman. But the enemy of a woman is another woman when she doesn’t know the value of sisterhood.’


bodyofwisdomHilary Hart writes and teaches about women’s spirituality. Body of Wisdom is her third book. She lives in New Mexico, USA.

Body of Wisdom – Women’s Spiritual Power and How it Serves
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A chakra in our breasts that emits spiritual nourishment into life… a secret substance in our bodies to heal the earth… a direct connection from our wombs to the creative center of the universe…

In Body of Wisdom, Hilary Hart identifies nine hidden powers alive in women’s bodies and instincts, waiting to be used in contemporary challenges such as the creation of community, healing of the earth, and the restoration of life’s spiritual nature. Based on interviews with the world’s most visionary spiritual teachers and women’s dreams and experiences, Body of Wisdom ushers in a new spirituality in which the body and the shared body of the earth are known as a seat of mystical power and women take responsibility for spiritual work that only they can do.

With: Dorothy Atalla, Elizabeth Frediani, Sandra Ingerman, Larry Merculieff, Sobonfu Somè, Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, and Pamela Wilson
At last, the ancient esoteric teachings are made available and accessible, our deepest shadow revealed to be our most radiant gift. This book is an act of peacemaking, a healing tincture for repairing the world. Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Call your women friends together and study this book with them. It is a genuine gift, and a living prayer.  Regina Sara Ryan, author, The Woman Awake: Feminine Wisdom for Spiritual Life.

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