What is Female Healing Wisdom?
Hyperactivity, brutal competition and pervasive aggressiveness. These propensities reflect typically masculine negative traits which permeate every area of today’s highly polarised world.
With global systemic breakdown now being viewed as a calamity unfolding, never before has the need for the archetypal qualities of the Feminine been so sorely needed in the collective, as in the individual. These can be considered as:
- The Lover — the primal urge to create and connect.
- The Maiden — youthfulness and vulnerability.
- The Mother — caretaker instincts, nurturing and compassionate.
- The Queen — female leadership and loyalty.
- The Huntress — independence, self-reliance and courageousness.
- The Sage — Intelligence, emotional objectivity and worldliness.
- The Mystic — Inner harmony, self-confidence and introspective.
Since time immemorial these qualities have been woven into the matrix of our human evolutionary biology. These are the emotional pillars upon which the human species has evolved and thrived. This deep source of nurturance that women hold within, will continue to be so. An infinite source of wisdom that the Feminine has access to and must learn to reconnect with if we are to transcend to a more humane level of co-existence.
This inner truth is what bridges women from all paths of life; from Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg to the Mazatec Shaman María Sabina and countless others in between. It is now time to integrate this empathy, with an individual and collective commitment to move beyond negative unconscious drives into the light of consciousness raising. This makes women eminently as a force to ignite transformation and progress.
As linguists tell us, in ancient times this appreciation of women as healers was natural. For women to be shamans took myriad avenues of expression across cultures. From 8th-century Tibet, to ancient Egypt, Mongolia, and to Paleolithic and Neolithic (6000 BC) Europe. Leveraging nature to work in tandem for a holistic integration of the personality, the role of shamans was to guide, heal and disperse wisdom to their tribe.
Indeed, the name shaman stems from ‘Earth Goddess’ and ‘bear’. It was believed that women were vessels for the divine feminine, a source for nourishment, renewal and life.
Through the centuries, and the rise of patriarchy and colonialism, women were shunned from their innate power; were placated behind men. Simply put, women’s disempowered servitude was neither serving the collective as it is not now.
In today’s female empowerment movement now evidenced throughout popular culture, we are taking our place parallel to men — albeit without the same level of agency, as yet.
After centuries of collective female hurt expressed in insidious levels of subjugation, we are marching towards a greater trust in the female healing wisdom. By doing so, we heal and empower the collective divine feminine. The Me-Too movement would not have been possible 20 years ago. It is an exciting time because today, the feminine is collectively returning and coming into her own.
How can we Access our Female Healing Wisdom?
How better to understand this aspect in ourselves, than by looking at the ultimate archetype of the divine feminine energy ― our planet, mother Earth. As shaman Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer outlines, in many Native American languages, the word for plant roughly translates to “those who take care of us.” Science has only demonstrated how they have an incredible capacity to learn, have memory and are truly sentient. Dr. Robin shares that she has taught her daughters how to garden, as a way to ensure that they know they “always have a mother to love them”, even after she has passed on.
To be aware of how the Earth loves us, how unconditionally she shares with us, how all our nourishment comes from her ― is to radically change. We begin to celebrate, protect and give back to mother Earth. In time, we can feel the love that the earth supplies. This incredible exchange of love, nourishing and vulnerability creates a sacred bond with the Earth; rather than a one-way street. The reciprocal nature between ourselves and our world follows that as we heal mother Earth, we heal ourselves. To hear the female healing wisdom within ourselves, we need to embrace our reciprocal relationship with mother Earth. By healing mother Earth, we literally and figuratively heal ourselves.
When we enter a conscious, and loving exchange with the Earth, we begin to take notice. We see how the movement of waves can shape a coastline, and we incorporate its lull into our movement meditations, and kriyas in Kundalini yoga. We admire the splattering of plants in a forest square, and we are inspired to utilize our own creative expression. Like all other beings on the planet, as we move through the seasons we are encouraged to adapt and embrace each season in its fullness. The Earth teaches us, paradoxically, that we achieve wholeness when we accept all aspects of ourselves. In one year we live through all four seasons; even the tough ones like the blistering hot here in the UAE, or the numbing cold in Switzerland. This is the essence of treating trauma, embracing all of life in its entirety, the “good” and the “bad”.
Wholeness means living in a natural stream of love, which is an entirely holistic and personal experience as women embrace their own seasons. No matter where we stand in the world, all women hold this innate feminine wisdom of life and death, creation and destruction, birthing and letting go; love in its fullest form. We are living embodiments of our planet.
A rite of passage most women encounter embraces this. Every month, for most years of our life we shed the linings of our uterus. As discussed in Body Psychotherapy, most women have an intimate relationship with the cycle of life, as evidenced by the blood that we shed.
How can we Incorporate Female Healing Wisdom into our Every Day?
To love unconditionally in any relationship is to embrace many beginnings, and many endings even within that relationship. Reflect back to when you were a child. So much has changed; you have suffered losses, and gained wonderful connections.
You are a total of your holistic experience, it has shaped you into the incredibly dynamic person you are today. Reaching our female healing wisdom is about living in two worlds at once; perceiving the world around us, and being in love with being alive ― in its entirety.
Planet Earth is constantly teaching, healing, loving and holding us. We just need to listen to the guidance to lead ourselves towards our very own healing wisdom, a higher level of consciousness, and simply our personal development. Whether it be the movement of the dunes, the shape of the cliffs or powerful surrender of waterfalls; here are three examples that have led me on my quest for self-improvement.
- When you feel creatively-stuck: Be like a river, wild, constantly moving, ebbing and flowing. In such a manner, we clear out pollution and things that do not belong to us. Remember, a river does not dry up if you keep watering it. Actualize it by letting yourself flow, let loose and let anything come about.
- When you feel out of balance: Channel a mountain. Steady, unmoving and completely grounded. Your peak above the clouds, gaze reaching all around you.
- When you feel insecure: Feel the sun’s rays on you, warm. The sun does not ask if it should shine, it does not question whether it is too much or too little. It simply shines as bright as it can, radiates all its rays and happens to be a powerful source of energy for many beings on this planet.
How Can We Listen for Healing Wisdom?
Begin with pleasure. As revolutionary Jalaja Bonheim has explained, pleasure is how nature signals to us that we are on the right path. It is a natural green light, a big YES from our bodies to our hearts. Pleasure comes from all aspects of life, starting from the beauty in our planet, the feel of cradling someone’s head in your lap, to the heart-opening moments of kindness. We just have to be grounded in the moment and open to receive pleasure, because it is infinitely offering itself. When we feel pleasure, our bodies understand that it is safe; which is when inner child healing happens, and our mental and emotional wellness can blossom. Although historically women have been deterred to do so, it is our birthright to feel pleasure. It is in the moments of being open to receiving when we are fertile to hearing messages, we can conceive ideas, and are ready to bear our individual and collective truths.
How do we transform fear into ‘Aha’ moments? How do we remain courageous in the midst of a challenging time? The answer as an emotional release therapist is simple. We ebb and flow with the changes life naturally presents us with, and meet our own resistances with curious, loving awareness. We ground ourselves to the moment and we marvel at the beautiful planet earth around us. I find it ironic how it is in the situations that we fear will hurt us the most, that we remember our innate-power and we tap into our timeless female healing wisdom ― the grounds upon which our personal development happens.
Art of Being’s Reading List for Female Spiritual Wisdom
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
- Jalaja Bonheim – Aphrodite’s Daughters
- Elizabeth Lesser – Cassandra Speaks, Broken Open
- Robin Wall Kimmerer – of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants