Women’s Spirituality: Earth

Mar 19th, 2014 | By | Category: Articles

Women’s Spirituality: Earth

‘Women’s heart communicates with the heart of the earth,’ says Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, ‘which is our planet’s seat of consciousness.’ How many of us understand that our hearts are connected to the earth’s heart? And that through this connection women speak to the earth in a special language with special meaning?

There are so many ways people describe women’s connection to the earth. Dr. Sun’s perceptions come from a lifelong Chi Gong practice, which started when he was nine years old in China, and his more than thirty years’ experience working with energy and healing in men and women both.

Dr. Sun’s observations about women echo what has been expressed throughout the centuries. Sky gods, transcendent gods, deities from ‘above’ are more often than not masculine and imaged by male names as in the Judeo-Christian tradition (God the Father, who art in Heaven…) or the Lakota (Grandfather Sky); whereas earth deities tend to be goddesses – goddesses of fertility, nature, and earth (Greek Goddess Gaia, and Grandmother Earth, in Lakota). From the early Sumerian Goddess Inanna to the Zulu Mbaba Mwana Waresa, civilizations throughout the millennia have indicated that the earth resonates more closely with the female form than the male.

Perhaps nothing more clearly indicates our intuitive understanding of the feminine nature of our planet than our tendency to call her ‘Mother Nature’ or ‘Mother Earth.’ And the Latin root for ‘matter’ is the same as for ‘mother’: mater.

motherearth

These generalities about earth and gender are not absolute.

Some men identify more with earth elements, while some women might orient toward the heavenly realms. And yet at the root of many generalities about women’s connection to the earth we find specific realities related to our physical and spiritual bodies. Our bodies are in sync with the physical world in ways that men’s are not. For example, men do not menstruate. For a woman, menstruation is an undeniable attunement with the planet, which has specific cycles related to a universe of other forces. As we menstruate monthly, women are earth in relation to the moon; we are tidal with other earth-elements, like water. How conscious a woman becomes of this attunement, and whether or not she finds meaning in it, does not change the fact of it.

Similarly, while it is not true that every woman is a mother or homemaker, it is the case that women – not men – give birth and are created with physical and esoteric systems designed to feed and attend to children. We not only create a home for children, like the earth; we are that home in our bodies and our being. Like the earth, we do not only provide nourishment; we are that nourishment. Men cannot breastfeed. There is a deep spiritual and psychological dimension to the physical relevance of this embodied reality.

Women’s bodies and esoteric systems profoundly and inexorably tie us into this physical plane in ways men’s don’t. Dr. Sun’s observations, for example, that ‘women’s blood has more iron in it than men’s, and the core of the earth is iron,’ reflects a connection between women and the physical earth that reverberates through our whole being, both physical and spiritual, for iron is not just a mineral, but a mineral with its own energy and purpose influencing our hidden realm of spirit.

The challenge is to honor the unique features of women’s bodies that mimic, accentuate, or create intimate relationships to the body of earth and be curious about their meaning.

Historically, most cultures have yet to even look at the material world with the kind of attention needed for this to happen. But some spiritual traditions – including the Taoist tradition of Dr. Sun – hold the mystery of the body in such a way as to reveal the spiritual meaning that is also present.

Women’s deep attunement with earth – the synchronization referred to by Dr. Sun – is a potential source of great power in all women. Women’s closeness with earth gives us a unique advantage in working with all the energies that come from and are generated by the earth. Witches, who work with the spiritual nature of plants and animals, are traditionally women. ‘Women are by nature shamans’ is a proverb from the Chuckee people of northeast Asia, reflecting this earth-based power available to women. And in his community, Larry Merculieff, Aleut elder, says ‘all the shamans were trained by women.’

In order for women to discover our power, we must honor the earth and our own bodies, which are the earth. The earth’s forces come through our bodies. If we fail to see and know that our own bodies are the microcosm of the entire earth, we cut our consciousness off from this vaster power. To work with the earth, we work with our bodies, and working with our bodies is the same as working with earth. This inseparability, this incredibly beautiful oneness, is right here with us. So close, it is in our cells and in our blood.

This living power of earth, flowing through our veins, is described by a group of beings called the ‘Grandmothers,’ whose wisdom reminds us of women’s natural intimacy with the magic of earth.

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coverBody of Wisdom – Women’s Spiritual Power and How it Serves, brings together the dreams and experiences of women across the world with today’s most visionary spiritual teachers.

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 on 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. In this new spirituality women take responsibility for the spiritual work that only they can do.

 

With: Dorothy Atalla, Elizabeth Frediani, Sandra Ingerman, Larry Merculieff, Sobonfu Somé, Guan-Cheng Sun, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, and Pamela Wilson.

  • eBook £6.99 || $9.99
  • Apr 26, 2013. 978-1-78099-695-0.
  • BUY | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
  • Paperback £11.99 || $20.95
  • Apr 26, 2013. 978-1-78099-696-7.
  • BUY | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
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