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Making A Place In The World For The Female Mystic



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 unknown.

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.

_ . _

Profile of Dr. Shams Jodi Prinzivalli

This issue is dedicated to Global Awareness: All The Shah's Men & "Strategy of Preemptive Strive"

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