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Feminism and spirituality are seemingly poles apart. I was always very spiritual, at a very young age I would meditate and do yoga, but then I became a feminist. Or rather realized I was one. The act of awakening to the struggles of patriarchy and the plights of womanhood was called in the 1970’s second wave of feminism, Conciousness raising. No accident that there is a spiritual accent on many feminist activities, most women are, by one degree or another, spiritual beings by nature. The art of conciousness raising involved groups of women, getting together and sharing knowledge in a supportive environment. I immediately began to be consumed by feminist literature, seeing myself being reflected back in the words and feelings of sisters who went long before me, or walked very different paths. The comfort in solidarity was amazing. Spirituality, however, took a backseat in my life as I was consumed by the exclusion of women in so many of my spiritual paths. That is, until I found feminist spirituality. Why do we need a feminist spirituality, I asked myself? I was immediately turned off by the exclusionary nature of women-only covens and goddess worship. But slowly I began to be taken by the idea, or rather, the goddess began to be taken with me. Everywhere I turned, she seems to follow me. Her image gazed back at me in everything I did. I could no longer avoid her presence in my life, so I turned to face her one night in a shamanic journey. The revelation I experienced was life-altering and profound. The silver women who arose from a lake and presented herself to me appeared to be the embodiment of the Tao, the ineffable energy that permeates every living being. She was the embodiment of life itself. It was not some God-head who simply took on female form. This was one reason I had previously rejected goddess worship – I felt a castrated male God taking on female form would do no more to empower women spiritually that her male counterpart. I heard the delicate whisperings of Bridgid, Ariadne, Diana… and felt a strong overwhelmingly liminal comfort - a comfort I had never before felt. A part of me awakened.
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