Discover Your Inner Divine Feminine
Though I grew up Catholic, experiencing three heartbreaking miscarriages, the shocking death of my forty-four-year-old mentor and reading Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd in my thirties killed my Catholicism while simultaneously awakening a yearning to connect with the energy of the Divine Feminine.
My S Factor pole dance and feminine movement practice, several travel experiences, and Goddess art, books and oracle cards connected me to my feminine soul—what Kidd defined as a woman’s inner Divine Feminine: “her inner deep source, her natural instinct, guiding wisdom, and power.”
My tridevi or Goddess holy trinity includes Saraswati, Pele and Venus. Here’s how I found mine and you can discover yours too.
Saraswati: Goddess of Knowledge
I visited Bali hoping to experience the Divine Feminine as a palpable presence because goddesses like Sri, Kali, and Saraswati are a part of the rhythm of daily life. I felt a kinship with this goddess of knowledge because of my curiosity and love of learning. She captivated me from the moment I saw her hanging on the wall of our inn. Saraswati is one of the most beloved and honored goddesses in Bali. Her name means “the one that flows as a river of knowledge,” which will give wealth and enlightenment to those who are willing to learn or study.
I came home with a special painting of Saraswati that embodies the soul of nature from Ubud, where I discovered her. She hangs in the center of our home above our dining room table. It become my favorite writing and playlist making spot. She is my muse. This isn’t surprising because Saraswait inspires creative expression through music, writing and dancing. She is also revered in India, Nepal, Japan, Vietnam as a Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Her most famous symbol is the wina, the musical instrument she holds in two of her four hands. This represents a number of ideas including that knowledge is as beautiful as music and that music can remind us of our limitlessness.
Pele: Goddess of Fire
My fascination with Pele began in junior high school art class when I painted a picture inspired by a photograph of lava flowing down Mount Kilauea. Though I’d never successfully painted or drawn before, I earned an A on that project, crediting Pele’s magic.
When I took up pole dancing, I experienced her fiery and passionate power within me during many dances. One time, we were asked to dance inspired by our favorite rock star. Since we’d had several similar assignments and I’d already danced to Joan Jett and P!nk, I chose to channel Pele that day. I churned up so much heat I stripped down to my bra and panties during the warm-up (something I’d never done before) because it was too hot! By the end I felt light-headed and dizzy from the heat and had to step outside to cool off. Another time, when we explored the four elements in our dances I connected with fire, earth and flow in such a dramatic way, I felt like a volcano: earth containing lava coursing through my veins.
A few weeks after that volcanic dance, we traveled to the Big Island of Hawai’i and heard many “chicken-skin” inducing stories about Pele and felt her presence on the island. I had my own chicken-skin and hairs-standing-up moment while browsing in an art gallery. One drawing of Pele illustrated the same balance between grounded earthiness, fiery passion and watery flow. The most spine-tingling part was the artist’s note explaining that the image originated with a friend’s vision of Pele, who revealed herself fully to the artist after six months of prayer to the goddess. Of course I brought her home. Her fiery passion fuels me.
Venus: Goddess of Love and Sensuality
While traveling with a friend through Florence when I was twenty-eight, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus bewitched me. I didn’t want to leave the room to explore the rest of the Uffizi gallery; though I eventually did, the only memory I have of our hours in the museum is the precious time I spent with that painting. It tapped into a longing I was unaware of until the crises in my thirties awakened a desire to connect with the Divine Feminine. And I didn’t fully understand its message until becoming embodied in my forties and discovering that sensuality is the key
I’ve never been a pole monkey and as I age, my body can do less and less on the pole. Still I dance with the pole and practice sensual feminine movement inspired by S Factor because it connects me to the Divine Feminine like no other dancing I’ve tried. I remember the first time I witnessed an advanced class demo in the LA studio, as women’s bodies slithered, undulated,
swirled, writhed, and strutted on the floor, up, down and around the poles and along walls and columns, I felt transported me to an ancient goddess temple. When I was an advanced student myself, after one of my blissful dances, a friend told me I reminded her of the Aphrodite statue at the Met. In that moment, I realized I’d become the goddess I’d yearned for all those years before at the Uffizi. to beingness and presence.
And one day I even got to become Venus Rising … in a photo shoot.
Discover Your Inner Divine Feminine
Mine Your Goddess History.
What myths resonate with you?
What art do you admire and collect?
Where have you traveled or do you long to go?
How do you feel when you dance? What energy do you conjure? Are you a warrior, a queen, a creatrix or … something else? How do you adorn your body?
Read Goddess Books.
Though it’s unlikely any book will cover all the goddesses you’ll want in the depth you desire here a few I recommend:
Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives by Jean Shinoda Bolen: Particularly good for Greek Goddesses
Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty by Jean Shinoda Bolen: Revisits the Greek goddesses from a “juicy crone” perspective and explores several interesting and relevant non-Greek goddesses.
The Book of Goddesses and Heroines or The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patrician Monaghan: Good reference, a place to start and learn about many goddesses from different cultures, though because of its breadth often lacking in depth.
To learn more about a particular goddess, search for books devoted to that deity. For example, last year my goddess of the year was Brigit, so I read Tending Brigid’s Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone.
Use Goddess-Themed Oracle and Tarot.
Use oracle or tarot cards (or apps) to work with goddess energy on a daily basis by drawing a card for the day or month, to inspire a dance, or a playlist or as a council for the year.
Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue: Though some criticize the messages in these forty-four cards as too positive, there is a breadth and depth to the images and the information that I still enjoy engaging with years after purchase.
The Goddess Oracle Deck by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and Hrana Janto: A popular 52-card deck that includes a poem, meaning, mythology and a ritual for each goddess.
Mythical Goddess Tarot by Sage Holloway and Katherine Skaggs: A unique tarot deck designed to help women explore their divine feminine essence. The major arcana are represented by goddesses. The minor arcane suits are renamed fire, seas, wind and earth. The deck can be used by those without prior tarot knowledge or experience.
The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr: A popular deck. The major arcana are represented by goddesses. The minor arcana of staves, cups, swords, and pentacles are more reminiscent of Rider-Waite-Smith symbolism, though each suit is associated with a goddess: Freyja, Venus, Isis, and Lakshmi respectively.
Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince: Well-reviewed deck and respected by tarot enthusiasts, authors and experts. Beloved for shadow work and providing strength and guidance during challenging times. According to its creator the deck includes “female figures of magic and mystery, sex and death, sovereignty and shadow.
Take a Goddess Archetype Quiz.
Download this archetypal resonance quiz based on the 13 Moon Oracle Cards. When I took the quiz, I was surprised and delighted that my three dominant archetypes were The Muse (Saraswati), The Primal Goddess (Pele) and the Goddess of Love (Aphrodite/Venus). All thirteen archetypes include several representative goddesses. The other ten archetypes are:
- Great Mother
- Goddess of Compassion
- The Priestess
- Lady of Communion
- Wise Woman
- The Queen of Death
What Goddesses do you embody? What Goddess archetypes live within you?
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