The Dark Goddess

There is a sound that a woman produces when she is birthing a child. The sound is not often heard outside of a birthing room. The word “deep” does not touch the profound richness and strength of this sound. The sound goes beyond the depths of the woman’s pelvis, beyond the expectant stillness in the air around her, beyond her lifetime and the lifetime of her mother and grandmothers. The sound, when it emerges, leaks a potency of feminine strength and wisdom that transcends time, space, and humanity, and reminds us of the power of life itself.

After I birthed my son- a birth that, in spite of training as a midwife and feeling deeply passionate about and connected to the birthing process, did not go as anticipated- I began to hear the roar of the feminine far off in the distance of my soul. My daily worries about earning a living and becoming a famous naturopathic doctor simply fell away. A call deeper than any economic or social structure I knew of began to tug at me, begging me to be different in the world. The word “feminism” came to mind, but it wasn’t feminism at all. I quickly realized that for me, the feminist political movement seemed to convey that I, too, can be a man. And that is not at all what this deep, dark call I was hearing was urging of me.

My son is now 5 ½. The years have been tumultuous as I found myself a single mother, efforting to make ends meet and cultivate the feminine energy within me while parenting a young boy. Eventually, my work pulled me back to the part of the human body I have so long felt fascinated with: the female pelvis. I finally answered the call to explicitly work with the female reproductive system, the pelvic bowl, and all that the organs and structures bring to light. And what has happened since then has been a watershed of information about, fascination with, and reformation from the Divine (or “dark”) Feminine.

This spring, when the news of the Brock Turner case broke in California, women all over North America became enraged. Our anger lashed out, our feminist publications screeched in dismay and disbelief and frustration. We yelled in the ways we knew how, with rage, with force, and with, what I experienced to be a very masculine energy. We screamed, quietly and not so quietly, at men, dying to be heard, dying to be seen.

This fall, I am feeling a change; the screech has become a low, potent roar. Here on the coast of British Columbia, on day 2 of severe winter storms, the skies are dark at 10am, the winds are ominously stirring the leaves outside my window promising to pummel us as we head into the weekend; the rains have been drenching us off and on for 36 hours: Mother Nature. The forces of nature are the forces of the feminine, of Mother Earth. They intimidate us, bringing about fear and questions of ‘just how much upheaval will she bring this time?’ The movement is happening, out there and within us.

This fall, Donald Trump’s true nature is being seen by all. With the revelations of this last week regarding his attitude towards women, I have felt that roar growing louder. The feminine is pissed, rightfully so. It is there, in all of us, especially women. But the power is deepening and it is calling on a timeless wisdom to help do the work. Sink into your chair for a moment, feel the weight of your own body held in your pelvis. If you have ever grown a baby or defended a child from a threat, you know how much power is in there. You know how deep that power is. Even if you have never let loose the guttural, eternal roar of moving a child from the womb, with enough patience, I am confident you will feel this energy moving.

The Dark Feminine is stirring, and the well of wisdom is cracking open. She will not move in haste., but will move slowly, deliberately, and with grace. The Dark Feminine is the Black Madonna. Is Tara. Is Kali, Lilith, Maria Lionza. As Chandra Alexandre wrote, “Darkness, indeed, is a metaphor for a deeper truth. Life, we know, is filled with beauty and pain, ecstasy and horror.” The Dark Feminine is the energy of transformation, of composting, of breaking down so that balance can return.

As we witness Donald Trump and all that he represents, it is tempting to fight against all that he is and the half-truths he espouses. In response to his rhetoric, lately I have felt that energy stirring deep within me once again, realizing that he is simply inviting, from all of us, a more powerful rising of the Dark Feminine. But, to transform one of us requires transformation within all of us. Trump's total disconnection from the feminine within himself is part of his pathology of womanizing. And I think that similar patterns might be true for many of us: disconnections from various parts of ourselves result in our own disregard or lack of vision for certain people/ situations in life. The energy of transformation calls to us from deep within and it can be scary, and it can be tempting to run the other way. 

As I sit with women and help them to release trauma, pain, and mystery from the tissues in their pelvises, I feel the stirring of the Dark Feminine. Space opens up inside of our bodies for the potency of this transformative energy, which goes far beyond the flailing, screaming behaviours of an angry person on a picket line. Another choice people make is to fully turn the other way and make the perpetrator bad/wrong/evil. While it is tempting to cast aside all the energies Trump so painfully and obnoxiously displays, I urge you to allow it to work on you and within you, allow yourself to transform that energy. Open yourself to the wisdom of The Dark Goddess and invite that roar to move through you. It is deeper and more powerful than anything we, in our modern world, can possibly conceive of. We all need to allow this energy to work in and through us. And our earth needs it now.