Earlier this week, I began the journey to become a Womb Keeper after participating in a Munay-Ki Shamanic Rite. This powerful rite for women allows for generations of misaligned energy stored in the womb to be released and cleared, benefiting her personally and the collective of women. If you are a woman interested in healing the divine feminine energies, you can most likely find a practitioner in your area at this link.
Ceremony and Rituals: Personally, I love ceremony and rituals. Though I was raised in evangelical churches, I enjoyed attending mass with my grandmother. I loved kneeling, chanting, and playing with her rosaries. I loved reading about all the different saints, and I especially loved Mother Mary. I was born a feminist and hungered for a deity or saint who resembled me as a female. I longed for holiness and sacredness to be seen in women, not simply because women could be wives and of service to their husbands and sacrifice themselves for their children. I longed to see women’s power, strength, and intuitive abilities celebrated openly.
Feminism: I hoped to see women’s ideas and creativity openly greeted and supported by men in loving, affirming ways. I didn’t want to experience a relationship as a basic exchange of “I work long hours to pay for this house so you can stay home with the kids.” That idea bored the crap out of me the first time I heard it, and I felt lucky to be born in the 70’s and to come of age during the third wave of feminism. I was born to work, and equal pay for equal work made complete sense to me. I didn’t want a traditional life, and when I was teenager I thought the world outside of my small town would soon be my oyster.
I entered college as an agnostic, mainly because I was disgusted by the political and judgmental views of churches. My life as an agnostic only lasted a few years because a near-death experience my senior year of college profoundly changed my spiritual set-point. Soon after my NDE, I incorporated prayer rituals, meditation rituals, shamanic rituals, lucid dreaming rituals, and drumming rituals into my life. Though I went to some church events and gatherings, largely I was buoyed by my own private sense of worship which incorporated various traditions.
By the time I turned thirty, I had several battle scars from being a woman in my culture. I encountered sexist professors, sexist customers, sexist bosses, sexist police officers, sexist therapists, sexist social workers, and sexist co-workers. I dealt with a stalker, a harasser, a rapist, and an abusive ex-husband. With experiences like this, I fit in perfectly in the world of third wave feminism. I am by no means male bashing. I am telling the truth of my life. These are men I encountered in society. I also experienced a range of guy friends from cool work buddies to very dear friends who were deep thinkers, sensitive, supportive, and dependable. I had bosses who treated me with respect, and one boss from California who was incredibly fair and treated me with the same respect he treated male employees. However, by the end of my twenties, I viewed feminism differently than I viewed it as a teenager, and I felt exhausted by what I’d encountered in the world.
Teaching: I’m grateful for experiences I’ve had as a teacher and as a professor. As soon as the classroom door closes, I am in control of the flow of information and the focus of our time together. Though teachers and professors might complain about the lack of respect students have for authority figures, there is still a great deal of respect that students give teachers and professors. For the most part, students listen politely and ask questions. Most students want good grades, and many are more than willing to open their minds and hearts to new ideas simply for the joy of learning. Some students may disagree with a professor’s views, but even these students must learn how to find valid sources and learn the etiquette of creating rational appeals and grounded arguments free of logical fallacies and hateful rhetoric.
A few older, non-traditional male college students let me know at the end of certain semesters that I turned them into feminists. I wanted to chuckle because these students were far from becoming feminists. However, I congratulated them for opening their minds to new perspectives and becoming better at potentially leading a diverse work-force made up of a lot of women. For a while, I’ve lived in a bubble of academia, and I didn’t realize until this election how much hatred for women still flows through society. This hatred is found in both men and women, and the election showed us how much work we must do as a society to heal the divide between masculine and feminine power and how each energy should be viewed as equal and important. Certainly, the toxic elements of masculinity need to be reeducated in society and taught tolerance, connection to others, and equanimity. Otherwise, jails will continue to grow, and I would rather see college campuses expand.
However, traditional academia is losing some of its luster for me. I am longing for more ritual and more of a connection to nature. Some tie to the ancient past always seemed to flow through me and nature solidifies this bond. I would love to teach classes in open fields without technology. Any time I bring students to nature, their faces light up and the learning experience becomes more of a memorable experience. I have always needed the beauty, wisdom, strength, and common sense of nature as a teacher. I still need nature as my teacher, and many others do as well. Even if they do not know this about themselves, they might be over-medicated, bored, angry, sad, and deeply unaware that time in nature is a better prescription than many actual prescriptions.
The Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine: It is now more important than ever that women and men no longer look at each other as less than or more than the other. The energies of the divine masculine and divine feminine are within each of us, and we must learn how to balance these energies within ourselves with love, respect, and honor. The Munay-Ki Shamanic Rite is not the only way for women to honor their creativity and power and come together in solidarity, but it a beautiful, healing way to release negativity and reside in a beautiful world of your creation.
I hope that all women might heal and find healing in ways that make sense to them personally. I hope that all men might heal in ways that make sense to them. May we all, male and female, create more grounded ways for the divine masculine and divine feminine energies to balance within us and in the world. May our expressions be ones of balance, love, and honor.