A Place In The World For The Female Mystic
Jodi Shams PRINZIVALLI
The first feminist in my life was my
Dad. He always encouraged me to make my own way in the
world and to stand courageously for my beliefs. This advice
has faired me well. But upon my arrival on the scene as
an adult, I made some interesting discoveries. The most
potent was that despite the so-called enlightenment and
progressiveness of our culture, there was a marked gap
in female leadership in the world of religious and spiritual
teachers. Yes, there was an occasional female guru or
buddhist nun, an occasional courageous feminist rabbi
or shaykha, but in general the world of spiritual and
religious knowledge was filled with male teachers and
female students. This remains the case even to this day.
Ironically, I would not call myself a
feminist. The reason is that the image I carry in my mind
of a feminist is not a positive one in any way…an
angry, man-hating woman carrying a grudge like weapon.
I do not believe that this is the way we will find
a place for the Divine Feminine in the psyche of humanity.
I love men. All of them. They are as much a victim of
the societal patriarchy as the women in our world. Most
of them are just doing what they have been taught. Rather,
I would prefer to nourish powerful women who love men,
women who can stand in their essence with strength and
softness, being gentle and mighty at the same time; not
budging on the important issues; not bashing those who
disagree; allowing a place at the table for everyone to
be who they are, what they are, right now, right here;
not separating themselves from men in order be insulated
from the inevitable
protest. And not giving up their soul for the sake of
someone else’s belief about what is right or for
the sake of ‘peace’ at the expense of truth.
The inevitable protest can usually be
traced back to a lie about power or women or what God
wants or feeling safe in the world. The inevitable protest
must be withstood long enough for the truth to emerge.
It is the hardest and yet most necessary challenge of
the men and women who are awake in the world. All the
great ones did it. Martin Luther King did it for the African
American community. Susan B Anthony did it in the political
community. Now we must do it in the spiritual community.
For the awake men in the world, the challenge
is great….to confront the lie within, to allow and
call forward the women of the world to be a partner, a
cocreator, a sharer of power. And to rejoice in that partnership,
knowing that the true power of the Divine Feminine is
not a power that will annihilate, it is one that will
nourish and fortify and uplift everything around it.
When I look around for this model, I
am hard pressed to find it. The female mystic is a rare
and uncommon species.
Perhaps it is just that she has been hidden. The
male rabbis I know often speak of the hidden female behind
the prophets. But again, I ask, what good does that do?
The lack of written history or documentaiotn about female
leadership reflects the prevailing psyche, the unconscious
wish to let the female mystic be invisible, hidden, mysteriously
It is time for the Divine Feminine to
come out of the closet. We must not be ashamed and we
must not be angry or aggressive. Or rather I would say
we must do our consciousness work with the parts that
are ashamed and the parts that are angry and aggressive,
carrying them as a friend but not letting them dictate
our actions. We must become women who just know we are
powerful, with no need to proove it. We must be able to
weave into the community and at the same time speak with
gentleness and might when the time is right. We must forgive
the men of the world for having been taught a lie. And
we must teach them a new story, a new truth. That women
can be powerful and still love their men. That they can
be strong and sexy and brave and autonomous….and
still remain in relationship. That they have no need to
reign over anything, but they have the capacity to know
and teach and lead in very very different way.
The Kabbalah teaches that there is an
underlying blueprint of the world called the Tree of Life.
On this tree, there are ten foundational emanations that
lie beneath the fabric of the world. The last of these
emanations is called Malkut, or the kingdom. It is considered
to be the feminine aspect of God, and in this way perhaps
it should have been called the Queendom. Nevertheless,
this aspect is the final piece that finishes the creation
of the world. It is feminine. It represents the physical,
the tangible, the earth, the womb, the raw material of
the world, the blood, the dirt, the components of the
world that have often been given a less than holy definition.
Yet it is the required element for the completion of anything.
It is the holy last step in the process of manifestation.
Without malkut, nothing is manifested, nothing is finished,
nothing has an existence. Without malkut, the world would
not exist. Without the Mother, the child would not exist.
Without the female mystic, the path of
God is unfinished.
I hear the call for the female Kabbalist
to take her place, for the Divine Christian, and Buddhist
and Sufi mystic to stand up and come out of the darkness
and let her voice, gentle and mighty, be heard. Not at
the expense of all the beautiful men in the world. Not in a rebellious or angry manner. But with grace and poise and dignity,
with juiciness and delight, eternally cherishing the men of the world, taking nothing from
them, robbing them of nothing. But standing fully next
to them and not behind them or under them. Being fully
present, knowing and holding this place Divine Power.
And when the thunder of opposition rises up, to
remain clear and calm and steadfast and gentle and mighty.
Because without the female mystic, the
path of God is unfinished.
_ . _
of Dr. Shams Jodi Prinzivalli