What Are Women Really Longing For?
There is a point when the voice of longing becomes distinctly feminine, a siren song from a woman's soul that quickens in her heart, moves her to seek out other women, find a woman therapist or a women's group, or buy some books on women’s spirituality.
She may feel that there is something to remember, something she cannot name but knows she knows deep within her being, something distinctly feminine, found only in dark and secret places. Maria, a 40-year-old woman with a healing practice, described her longing to me as "a real, sweet ache inside, something more than simply wanting to fill an emptiness. Like the ocean, it comes in waves, pulls at me, goes back to the Source, and comes again and again." She said that it has to do with coming Home and remembering. A trip to the sacred sites of Glastonbury, England, awakened something in her that felt familiar, distinctly feminine, and very powerful. She said that she didn't have a frame in which to understand her spiritual experiences until she joined one of our women's groups. She had had a cognitive awareness of women's spirituality, but now she knows, deep in her body, what it is.
Freud, and probably every other man who has walked the earth, wondered what women really want. In the tales of King Arthur, it was discovered that women want sovereignty over their lives. Sovereignty emerges naturally as we become increasingly conscious, no longer at the mercy of the unconscious pull of our shadow, our unlived lives and unfelt feelings.
Following are actual quotes from the women who come to the School for Women Healers, written on their applications. You may resonate with some of them. If you haven’t realized it already, you will see that you are not crazy because you have longing. This longing, felt by women since Eve, is the longing of the Divine Feminine, the Ma Herself.
She is longing for incarnation, longing to be recognized in women, as women--as you! We can name it many different ways, yet the source of this longing is the same Self.
“I am longing to deepen, to discover what it really means to be woman, in the purest, earthiest, most spiritual ways. I want to feel empowered as a woman, empowered because I am a woman. I want to be able to empower other women and young girls. I want my daughter to have what I didn't have: a knowledge of her true lineage - her spiritual roots - a lineage that honors her femaleness and makes her feel welcome in the world. I want to heal what needs to be healed so my daughters can celebrate their womanhood, and come forth as their true selves. I want to come out - as my true self. I want to stop living in fear."
“I long for spiritual knowledge. I want to explore other dimensions of reality. I want to understand these strange psychic experiences I have been having. I want to have more of them. I want to know about kundalini.”
Women of the Temple of the Sacred Feminine
November 2004 by Sheila Foster
“I am yearning to know the secrets of ancient women, the secrets that aligned them with the moon, the animals, and the earth. I want this kind of connection to nature and wildness. I want to howl and dance wildly with other women. I want to rejoice in my blood, celebrate the mysteries of the first blood with young women, groan with birthing women. I want to honor the older women, the crones. I want to become a crone, and take my place in the community of women, and in my community in the larger world. I want to fulfill my karmic responsibility as a woman - whatever that is.”
“I want to honor my grandmothers, do the work that they, and my mother, couldn't do. I want freedom, for me, for all women, including those in my lineage, who are no longer in bodies.”
“I want to be part of a community of women who are on the path, women who love the Holy Mother. I want to be with other women who won't think I am crazy. I am tired of feeling weird. I don't want to hide anymore. I want to use my voice, speak out, speak my Truth, sing my song. I want to find Home. I want to be with my tribe.”
“I am longing to be part of a sacred circle on a regular basis so that I can heal and deepen my relationships with other women. I want to learn to trust women. I want to create and participate in rituals of all kinds.”
“I am yearning to recover my sensuality. I want to re-sacralize my sexuality. I want to open up my creativity. I want to give expression to the creative energy that is rising in me. I want to act on my ideas. I want to make art, art that is filled with the juice and blood of the feminine. I want permission to paint with my menstrual blood. I want to dance and write and sing and play music.”
“I am asking to remember my connection to the ancient ways of priestesses and shamanesses.”
“I know that there are many paths to spiritual awakening, and I have explored others. I will continue to explore. I want to expand, and dive inward, and have no barriers to my Higher Power, to the Light, to all of the love and Shakti and power that is life. Right now, this is what is calling to me. I feel it in my bones. I had a dream.... this is what I am to do now. I feel excited. I feel scared. I feel unworthy. I feel open, ready. Yes!”
“I thought I was coming here for one reason, but when I felt the energy, the feminine presence, I knew why I had really come... I got the flier two years ago, and my longing has sprouted like a seed in soil ever since... I want to serve the Holy Mother... I don't have a choice - and this is my only choice..."
“I want to shed the limiting, patriarchal skins that have suppressed and confined my true feminine nature, and disconnected me from my deep wisdom. I seek a paradigm shift. I am ready to let go of a deeply conditioned, egoic, masculine orientation to life. I want to root out and examine any patriarchal values that I hold, and choose what fits, or doesn't fit, based upon my spiritual values. I want to find the feminine in my feminist views and values. I want to recover what is natural, innate to me as a woman. I want to be me. I want to examine my beliefs, look at the ways in which I am not in alignment with the deepest Truth. I want healthy partnerships with men, but first I have to be a whole woman.”
“I want to know my purpose as a woman healer. I want to discover how I am to use my unique healing and creative gifts to incarnate the Sacred Feminine - in my family, community, work, and in the world. I want and need to develop and enhance my healing skills. I want to serve.”
“I long to open my heart completely. I want to deepen my compassion. I want to be a vehicle for love. I want to offer spiritual healing to many.”
“I want to face my shadow. I want to clear out everything that obstructs the Truth. I want my lessons to come at regular intervals, consistently. I want the fire, and I want it to be hot. I want to burn away what is not real, not true. I want more lessons, new lessons. I am longing for deep experiences.”
“I want to be grounded and steady.”
“I hope to learn to face and embrace death. I want to embrace life. I want to just be. I want to give up wanting and do the will of the Mother.”
“I am ready to have the veils lifted. I want to listen to the deep voice within me, and trust it.”
“I want to live in the state of grace."
“I want to see the Truth - of my own life, of everything. I am ready to dissolve the limited and limiting ego that has run my life, and find out who I really am. I am ready to stop searching. I am ready to find. I want to experience the Divine Mother, not as separate from me, as other, but, in me, as me.”
Take ten minutes with pen and paper, and begin with: “I am longing for...” Keep writing for ten minutes, without putting your pen down, without censoring or thinking, and see what shows up. Then, with each one, feel the longing and drop your attention from the object of longing, and take it back into feeling the longing itself, in your heart. Feel into your longing, rest there…