"If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to His face
If you were faced with Him in all His glory"
Singer and song writer Joan Osborne released this popular American song in 1995. As this song title implies the audience is asked to contemplate what it would be like if God was “one of us. " The question remains, what if God is just an average person, would this God necessarily be male. And does having a male dominated religion affected society and its people's sense of trust and belonging? This question surfaces in an age where faith is being lost and loneliness prevails.
Contemporary Christian beliefs dictate that the face of God is of a man. But religious beliefs that pre-date Christianity bring forth the female image of the great goddess or the divine feminine. The feminine presence can be found in some form in all religions just as her male counterpart. Another universal element is that the feminine presence generally encompasses all that is natural and earthy as well as instinctual. When it comes to wounds that strike the soul we need a mother for guidance and when nature has taken its course it is mother to whom we return.
The Divine Feminine goes by many names including the Great Goddess of Western Paganism, the Blessed Mother in Christianity and Mother Earth. The image of this Great Mother or Divine Feminine has been revered for centuries before Christianity as the fertile womb which gave birth to everything. Today that womb is still considered to be the place of intuition, revelation and communication with the unseen.
According to Anne Baring's book “The Divine Feminine", the Great Mother was the embodiment of the sky, earth and underworld. “She was the great pulse of life reflected in the rhythm of the moon, the sun, the plants, trees, animals and human beings, " she states. “All these were her children and she was the numinous presence within her manifest forms, continually regenerating them in a cyclical process that was without beginning and without end. " From this description it becomes clear that the Divine Feminine is symbolic of the natural courses of life as well as the intuition and divine presence associated with faith.
The Divine Feminine is resurfacing in our culture as the bearer of faith and solace. In a increasingly terrifying world it is the soothing grace of a mother that we seek. “With the love of the mother and trust in her presence, the child grows in strength and confidence and delight in itself and in life, " Baring said. “Its primary response is trust. " And as we learn to trust our instincts we regain the relationship with a consciousness that has been largely ignored.
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