The Great Mother


“How might your life have been different, if, deep within,

you carried an image of the Great Mother?

And, when things seemed very, very bad,

you could imagine that you were sitting in the lap of the Goddess,

held tightly…

embraced, at last

And, that you could hear her saying to you,

“I love you…I love you and I need you to bring forth your self.”

~Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones


The Great Mother is here. Her way is not the way of visibility. Her way is dark and deep, down in the darkness where life gestates, where life springs forth from the primal belly.

I first became conscious of Her presence a number of years ago. It felt as if someone was pulling me down, way down into my body, into the depths of the darkness that the descent illuminates. I could feel Her pull, and I knew, instinctively, I was being called to feel, in their most raw elements, all the dark emotions I had been avoiding all my life.

I can’t say I was excited by her invitation. Quite the opposite. All of my spiritual learnings had taught me about transcendence, guiding me to find the Light of Spirit, the masculine aspect of God. This invitation was not about Light, at least that’s what I first thought. It was about darkness, and Her pull was relentless, yet also loving.

It’s easy to want to avoid this dance with the dark. The mind thinks of so many logical reasons why I should’t follow her down. I can’t see Her. And, where is down? Where is this darkness? There is nothing on the outside that would indicate She is calling. It is inside that I hear Her call. It is in the interior of my own experience, that I know it is Her. It is in my body that I know what I know. It is in my heart that I feel Her love for all of life.

I’ve come to know this rich inner life quite well. I’m the only one that knows this interiority; and, you are the only one that can know your own interiority. But, there’s something we have in common. If we are to bring forth ourselves, we women must leave the known outer life, the conditioning that has taught us well how not to trust our own knowing, the conditioning that has caused us to know ourselves only in relationship to others.

If we are to find our own voice, our own inner authority, we must turn inward and begin to listen to our own self. Of course, we are always at choice. That is, until we aren’t, because at some point, it may become more painful to ignore Her call than to heed it.

One of the most important things we can offer each other, as women, is a reverence and respect for this inward journey of women. Perhaps, as we become aware of our own inner life, and all the tugs and pulls and longings we feel to know who we truly are, we can begin to realize that other women we know are also feeling a similar calling. Perhaps, when we each treat the other with reverence, knowing the Great Mother is calling her, too, then a bond of strength and power will begin to nourish our connection to each other, supporting us all in bringing the sacred feminine forth into consciousness.

I can’t say I know for sure why She is asking this of us (although I have my own ideas); yet, she is asking. Don’t take my word for it – or Judith Duerk’s word. Get quiet and take a moment to ask yourself if you hear, in your own world within, Her calling to you.

I do know one thing. As I become more at home in these beautiful depths, I fall more deeply in love with women and all they offer to this world.  We are the gestators of life. Whether or not a woman gives birth to babies, she is always a mother, designed in the image of the Great Mother. As Rumi says, “Woman is the radiance of God; she is not your beloved. She is the Creator —you could say that she is not created.” It is time we come to know our own radiant feminine selves, and see it reflected in all of life.

And, you?

What have you experienced in your inner life? What do you know of the sacred feminine in your own experience? How have you shared this interiority with others? How might you begin to trust this knowing even more deeply? I’d love to know what you’ve experienced.

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20 Replies to “The Great Mother”

  1. The sacred feminine is showing up in my life this way: I’m understanding more and more that the masculine mold I’ve been forced into does not work for me at all. The Feminine is asking me to become a gatherer again. A woman how follows her heart and lets it take her in many directions. Time for pause and time for action. Not at all linear anymore.
    Thanks for your post!

  2. Maryse, Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this here, how the sacred feminine shows up for you. Judith Duerk speaks to this in her book…how woman will come to know that the mold she was forced into is not her way. It doesn’t work for us. So grateful to know you.

  3. i think at times – perhaps most of my life – i’ve kept incredibly busy to avoid this quiet. and at the same time, i’ve railed against the cultural and contextual imprints on my life that demanded i become invisible and live solely to serve others, to rely on others to take care of me and my needs, to look to others (mostly men and religious leaders) for answers and guidance. when i first read judith durek’s poem, i cried – then i read it again and again and again till instead of ripping, it galvanized. and now, eventually, i crave this still – it doesn’t scare me anymore, this quiet that is the well from which i call forth my self.

  4. Jeanne, your words are so beautiful. It seems part of the way, when we realize there is another way, to cry, to feel sadness and tearing, until we come to see it is our way in to the life that has been calling to us. Love you.

  5. Julie – this is beautiful!

    And this: “I do know one thing. As I become more at home in these beautiful depths, I fall more deeply in love with women and all they offer to this world.”

    so true for me. I never “got” women friends when I was younger. Was more comfortable with men. It’s only been in maybe the last 10-15 yrs that I’ve realized how wonderful women are. And that I’m one. Go figure!

    thanks for this!!

  6. I’m currently reading “Traveling with Pomegranates” by Sue Monk Kidd, and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor, which talks a lot about the divine feminine, so I have this on my mind. And yet, when you ask how I’ve experienced this in my own life I’m at a loss. I’m sitting here thinking that I’ve done plenty of reading about the sacred feminine, but haven’t yet paused to open myself up to her depths. I think, perhaps, it is time.

  7. Wow, Julie, what a powerful question. Of the sacred feminine in my own experience, I know she has been mostly quiet. Or maybe I’ve been deaf to her call. I have, in the past couple of years, begun to dig deep into my authentic self, and now maybe it’s time to delve into my Sacred Feminine Self. She’s been so patient…

  8. Karen- Thank you. I completely understand. Had a similar experience. I think that’s one thing the Great Mother is asking of us…to open to the love that exists between women, a love this culture does not encourage or respect. Thanks for your comment. xo

    Charlotte – Big smiles. Big, big smiles over here. “haven’t yet paused to open myself up to her depths. I think, perhaps, it is time.” Exactly my ulterior plan in writing this blog: to encourage women to open to Her depths. I would love to know what you experience, if you’re willing to share. Blessings.

    Dian – Again, Big smiles. Love that you feel “maybe it’s time to delve into my Sacred Feminine Self. She’s been so patient…”. Love that you may open to Her. She can be patient, until She isn’t. Love.

  9. So much of what everyone has said above resonates with me. Most recently, I have felt the intense, deep reservoir of emotion that is being female as I start to grapple with the possibility of not being able to have children (I only have one kidney and my body may not be able to physically withstand a pregnancy).
    Julie, what you said above about about “whether or not a woman gives birth to babies, she is always a mother,” really hit home. It is the responsibility of all women–whether mothers or not–to nurture each other and those around them. I am both scared and excited to continue to seek ways to do so, as a daughter, as a friend, as a mother and most importantly, as a woman.

  10. So beautiful, Julie. What I think I’m most grateful for in this post – and its truth – is the expression of naming our ability to find life, healing, hope, and wholeness in the darkness; that down-deep, inner place within. As you so eloquently state, we have been trained to seek toward light. That ethereal, outside-ourselves radiance is lovely in and of itself, but women carry even more radiance and powerful, provocative loveliness in what we know of darkness – those germinating, alive, seed-nurturing, underground, oft’ hidden places. So redemptive! Thank you.

  11. This is glorious and just what I need to hear right now. I’ve been so confused by the advisory voices, who I now know have both good and bad intentions, that I’ve lost sight of the fact that only I can know my inner knowing, as you say … I am hearing that in a roaring, rising way, and these words join in that chorus. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

  12. Wonderful read, it did my heart good. I was called by the Great Mother about four years ago through a series of dreams and visions. It was time to own the lifetime I had spent repudiating my own femininity. I knew how to embody masculine energy, had to learn to get by in the world. Already in my crone years there was no refusing that call. Basically She made it clear to me that I needed to join with women in circles and that I should also facilitate these circles myself. I had been studying for years, had been yearning to do just that, yet when that call came I still didn’t feel ready. No matter She said…and I did.

    I can’t to describe the steps of the journey, way too many words. Today I facilitate a weekly womens dance circle and continue to deepen in relationship with She of A Thousand Names. I share in a monthly New Moon intention teleconference and Satsang teleconference with Mary MacNab. And yes, She is calling me again during this Dark season to burrow deeper into Her Arms and listen as She says .“I love you…I love you and I need you to bring forth your self.”
    Blessings of Peace

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