Each February I take about ten days away to go on spiritual retreat. It is a time when I step away from the daily routine to listen more deeply. I never go with an agenda; I allow whatever wants to arise to do so. I have been doing this annually for almost twenty years, and I am always amazed at what unfolds. Often my time is guided by dreams, and always by intuition.
This year I had been immersing myself in a book I had just received, Mirari: The Way of the Marys, which recounts a prolonged dialogue between Mother Mary and Mari Perron, who also channeled A Course of Love.
As soon as I began reading Mirari in the days before leaving on retreat I felt a deep sense of relief, and of homecoming. Having grown up in mainstream Protestantism, in which the Divine Feminine is completely absent, it was like arriving at a spring of life-giving water. My thirsty spirit was being quenched.
Decades ago, when I was in seminary, I had to grapple with how the Feminine had not only been suppressed, but demonized in the religious tradition that formed me. This exile and vilification of the Feminine had profound implications for how I saw myself and my worth as a woman.
This is a struggle that I know many, if not most, women have had to deal with, and, because all of us, no matter our gender identity or biological sex, have both the Feminine and Masculine within us, the repression of the Feminine has had devastating effects on men as well.
Thankfully, that is beginning to change. The patriarchal beliefs of the past are crumbling, the Feminine is rising, and the balance between the Masculine and Feminine is being restored.
In this moment of return and re-balancing, we are coming back into the awareness of our intrinsic, reverent relationship with all Life, including ourselves. This understanding of the inherent truth of relationship is at the core of the Feminine, and it holds the key to the healing of our species and our planet.
While I was on my retreat, I felt Mary’s presence profoundly, which was a new experience for me. I felt her guiding me, encouraging me, holding me in the gentle embrace of the Mother. Since I was already experiencing her presence so keenly, it isn’t surprising that she was also referenced in a dream I had.
I’m riding on horseback with a few other people through an open, expansive landscape of scrub brush and rolling hills when we come to a place overlooking a village. Down in the village, the people, who are also on horseback, are riding out in a procession to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. One of the riders is carrying a large banner of her on a tall, upright pole. As I watch the processional, my own horse drops her head, and when she does her bridle falls off.
One of the most intriguing things about this dream for me is the horse dropping her head, causing her bridle to fall off.
A horse’s bridle is the means by which a horse is placed in service to a human, directed by something besides her own will. As a friend of mine noted, Horse, in the I Ching, is a feminine symbol, and bridle sounds exactly like bridal (my dreams often use word plays). In traditional patriarchal culture, bridal indicates the ownership of a woman by her husband.
Mother Mary, by contrast, is often referred to as Virgin Mary, and the deeper meaning of virgin is a woman unto herself, a woman who is her own person, not owned or controlled by another.
As I listen to this dream I see that it is depicting a movement underway in which the Feminine is being honored (the processional) and released from the legacy of patriarchal control (the falling away of the bridle/bridal).
But the symbolism of the horse dropping her head goes deeper still. To drop the head is to be released not only from being controlled, but from the need to control.
For so long, western civilization has exalted the head, has sought to control the world through the intellect: dissecting, categorizing, compartmentalizing, seeking certainty and dominance over all things. In the process, we have alienated ourselves from Mystery, and from the direct knowing of the Heart and unmediated wisdom of the Intuition.
Yet, as Mary says in Mirari, The New that is now arising emerges from the Unknown. It is not something the intellect can plan, or strategize for, or make happen. The New gestates within us, is nurtured by us, is birthed through us. It is an act of creation, not fabrication.
As we return to Feminine ways of knowing and of being, we drop the head. We release our need for certainty; the old thought patterns of domination and control fall away; we experience our reverent relationship with All That Is; we bow before Mystery.
This is Women’s History Month, a time when we acknowledge the countless contributions women have made throughout history. But at this moment of global transformation, what interests me even more than women’s history is the contribution the Feminine is bringing, even now, to our future and our mutual survival on this beautiful planet.
Such a beautiful dream and awareness, Patricia. Thank you so much for always sharing how your dreams transform your perceptions, and therefore enticing each of us to listen to our own dreams as well. This is indeed such a pivotal time in our history and the growing pains of releasing the age-old, heavy oppression of an innately patriarchal culture is being felt throughout the world.
So, let’s keep our arms up in the air as we ride this roller coaster ride to stay in touch with joy and the Divine. Especially welcoming and embracing the Divine Feminine in EACH of us!
Patricia Pearce says
Donna Mosher says
Patricia, are you aware of Lucia Rene? She has been doing some powerful work for many years. Here is what she said a year ago:
“…the Experiment in Consciousness is reclaimed and on track. The Divine Feminine energy dominates the planet and her clean-up will occur over the coming years. Her energy is present on the planet as it has not been for thousands of years. In short, all systems are go, for the first time in a very long time.”
You and your readers may enjoy this from her on how the Divine Mother’s energy has been anchored on the planet:
I also highly recommend her book, “Unplugging the Patriarchy” and Riane Eiser’s book “The Chalice and the Blade.”
Patricia Pearce says
Hi Donna. I haven’t known of Lucia Rene. Thanks for bring her and her work to my attention. I have read Eiser’s book, and found it to be deeply transformative.
Amy Kietzman says
thank you! your last 3 blogs have been very insightful, helpful, transformational. I have only one critique, which is that we have not seen the true masculine in millennia, so how can the the feminine and the masculine becoming in balance? Patriarchy is not the true masculine- it is a form of empire, where a few male persons control the wealth, the story, and the direction of so called civilization. But most men are also oppressed, and the true masculine energy has been warped and manipulated, as to be unrecognizable. It has been so wiped that I’m not even sure it’s true essence can be defined. One last thought, I have been using a phrase that I want to share with you; Move from the empire of your mind to the garden of your heart. I wrote it down a few years back and have no idea who said it, or where I heard it.
Patricia Pearce says
Thanks for your comment, Amy. You raise such an important point about how the patriarchal age brought about a tremendous distortion of the Masculine. I know that many men suffer deeply, trying to live within the false depictions and expectations of what masculinity is, and I would guess that a lot of what we are witnessing in the culture with right-wing violence is a consequence.
I know that there have been movements in the past, such as the Men’s Movement of the 60’s and 70’s, that sought to restore a healthy understanding of the Masculine. I trust that, as the Feminine is restored, the way will open for that crucial work to continue.
Mari Perron says
Thank you for highlighting “Mirari: The Way of the Marys” in such a beautiful way. I absolutely loved your dream and the manner in which you interpreted it. Also, your revisioning of the word “virgin.” That was an opening for me, and I’m truly grateful. I also love the way you captured the feeling of The New:
“The New gestates within us, is nurtured by us, is birthed through us. It is an act of creation, not fabrication.
As we return to Feminine ways of knowing and of being, we drop the head. We release our need for certainty; the old thought patterns of domination and control fall away; we experience our reverent relationship with All That Is; we bow before Mystery.”