Poll : The Goddess

As a church, we believe that She exists, but that we can neither talk to her directly, nor discuss Her at length without running the risk of blasphemy. How does this sit with you? Does it make sense? Do you believe this is what She wants? If gender is truly essential, then wouldn’t it be logical for us as women to have an example of what we are to become?

Hinduism is brimming with goddesses and examples of feminine divinity. As archetypes of human experience, they serve not only to project various aspects of what we all perceive as reality (men need their feminine side represented too!), but also to give us someone to relate to on a higher level. God is all encompassing, but as limited as we are, can we relate to that wholeness? Or could we find more comfort in identifying with the pieces of the Divine that we may currently represent? Maiden, mother, wisdom or love, is it possible we are missing a value in the equation?

Corktree

Corktree is exploring life and spirituality in new ways and new environments while studying midwifery, reiki, yoga, homeopathy, herbology and evolutionary nutrition. She has 3 daughters and one son, which add up to what now feels like an enormous family of 6.

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13 Responses

  1. proud daughter of eve says:

    The poll is too simplified. I’d be perfectly happy pursuing a relationship with the divine feminine if it were introduced through what for lack of a better phrase I’m going to call “the proper channels.”

    Anything else is just talking about Her behind Her back and in the end, it helpful to no one. Look at it this way: you know that, in theory, someone nmed “Proud Daughter of Eve” exists. However, none of you know me in real life. You could talk about me amongst yourselves all you like but it wouldn’t bring you any closer to actually knowing me. Also, without even one person authorized to speak for me all you would get is division as this person insists on this view of me and that person insists on that view.

    I don’t know why we don’t know more about Her but the older I get, the more I realize that knowing isn’t the point as much as it is trusting. We know a lot in this church that others don’t but that doesn’t mean we know everything. We believe He (They?) will yet reveal many things. In the meantime, I wait and trust.

    • Maureen says:

      How is direct correspondence to someone and receiving direct correspondence back talking about them behind their back? That certainly seems to me as one means to “exploring a relationship with the Divine Feminine” that is not just “talking about Her behind Her back”. Or is it that you think doing this is part of going through “the proper channels”? (Note how my asking you this, assuming you respond, is a means for me to learn more about you from a sure, not second-hand source.)

  2. Janna says:

    The reason that we are not encouraged to explore a relationship with Heavenly Mother is because the men who run the church worry that doing so would deflate the power of the patriarchy.

    p.s. I like the simplified version of this poll. Bring on more like it! If we need to qualify our responses, we can do so in the comments.

  3. CatherineWO says:

    I do not absolutely know that there is a Mother in Heaven any more than I absolutely know there is a Father in Heaven. However, I have felt Her presence in my life as surely as I have felt His. Opening up my heart and mind to the Divine Feminine has done more for my personal spirituality than anything else I have done or learned over the course of my almost sixty years on earth.

  4. Chyla says:

    Proud Daughter of Eve, I wonder if talking TO the divine feminine qualifies as “talking behind her back” to you. I feel that my relationship with the divine is completely my own business, and that no one has the authority to tell me what I can or cannot do, say, or believe. I’m not saying that everyone needs to feel comfortable in creating a relationship with the divine feminine, but I am saying that your approach of waiting for the men to figure it out for us (the “proper channels”) isn’t necessarily the right answer.

    Over at http://daughtersofmormonism.blogspot.com/ there’s a really great two part podcast about the divine feminine. They talk about church policy concerning Her and also about how they have cultivated relationships with Her. It is definitely worth a listen for any woman who wants more Heavenly Mother in her life.

  5. Kate says:

    I’m not Mormon anymore, but have since come to the conclusion that all gods are One God and all goddesses One Goddess, regardless of how They are worshipped. I never felt comfortable exploring the Divine Feminine as a Mormon. I wish I had.

  6. TopHat says:

    I’m definitely for connecting with the Feminine Divine. I started a blog for that reason. 😉

    I’ve also put things in my home so I can see them and think of Heavenly Mother: for example, I knit a finger labyrinth that I’m going to get framed and hung on the wall. And tree motifs.

  7. Carol says:

    Or could we find more comfort in identifying with the pieces of the Divine that we may currently represent?

    This is an area of theology in our Church that is weak. The Brethren talk about loving others, serving others, and loving God, but they not teach members how to love themselves. (A search of conference talks under “loving ourselves” or any derivation of that phrase results in zero hits!)

    Until the Brethren start to teach women (men, youth, and children) that that have not only the right but the obligation to love and care for themselves, we will continue to see high rates of depression, suicide, and burn out among active LDS women. Self-compassion in our Church is often labeled as selfish and ego-driven, whereas it actually provides us with the strength and the wisdom to love others well.

  8. Maureen says:

    To the first three questions in the post, I don’t know. To the poll question, yes and no. I have asked Heavenly Father for permission to speak with Heavenly Mother. I have asked Heavenly Mother to speak with me directly. I have asked what She wants. I have asked what Her role in this life is. I have asked Her what specifically it is to be a good mother apart from being a good person (something Heavenly Father has specifically told me He can’t answer). And I haven’t understood the answers, of the ones that were given.

    I find discomfort in that I think I don’t know and surely cannot define what the essential feminine is. If it is a nurturing spirit or nurturing is an essential component to the spirit, I don’t have it. If it is a focus on relationships and community, then I find myself lacking there as well. I believe in the essential feminine. I believe I am essentially female. But to some extent I think I reject the feminine because of all the abuse I have received at the hands of women. I don’t know if I am rejecting the adversary’s replica of the feminine (which many seem to adopt) or the divine feminine. I also believe that I tend to be very different from the women I know, and don’t know what purely feminine qualities we share in common so as to be able to define what the essential feminine is. So I worry that I will not recognize Heavenly Mother’s voice should I ever hear it because what else will differentiate Her voice from Father’s if not the feminine qualities?

    I do believe it is logical for us as women to have an example of what we are to become, which is why I keep plugging away at trying to figure out the answers and appreciate the help I receive here and in other Mormon feminist spheres.

  9. I am not only comfortable exploring my relationship with the Divine Mother, I have no trouble seeking truths abouts Her from nonLDS sources such as Hinduism. Joseph Smtih said Mormons should seek truth from all sources and add it to Mormonism.

  10. Jenna says:

    I am kind of glad that the church does not talk about her. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic I feel like discussion of her at church would just be another stick to beat me with. The feminine attributes that the mainstream culture of the church emphasizes motherhood, homemaking, being soft and sweet for your husband, already make me have a hard time with my roles as a woman. I have children, and while I obviously love them more than life, I find motherhood to be extremely challenging. I have realized that I cannot be a stay at home mom, and I fully intend to have a career once my children are in school full time. I feel like the church would try to over-simplify the divine feminine and make it very one-dimensional, not because the church is evil, but because that is the understanding of womanhood now in our culture.

  11. Laurie says:

    Great post!

    I had the amazing experience of taking my elementary age kids to the MA center, a Hindu based spiritual center – to give puja to Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts to receive a blessing before starting school last year.

    I was touched when the leader of the ceremony called to Saraswati, saying, “Please come, you are my mother – I will not settle for anything else!” I thought, “Me, either!”

    We need to see ourselves as divine and powerful, in the spiritual sense. How can we expect ourselves or our children to do that when we give them the example of a female deity?

    I’m more and more convinced that equality will never exist until we give proper birth to a Mother in Heaven, a female deity – and weave her into our western culture.

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