• Sheila Foster

Sacred Feminine Initiation: A Dream

There is no one way to describe Sacred Feminine Initiation. It is a very individualized yet archetypal, universal experience. What I say here is a finger pointing to the moon. In my nearly 40 years of working with it, I can never adequately name or describe it with a thousand left brain linear sentences.

Women are often asking me this question and it came to me to simply share a dream that conveys what Sacred Feminine initiation is — or at least, part of it — by way of a dream I had in 1981 in the very early days of my exploration of the Feminine while I was in Jungian analysis. It was not long after this dream that I experienced my first volcanic Kundalini awakening. I had entered Jungian analysis with an agonizing longing to experience what I named then as my creativity, and I see now that this was the Kundalini Shakti throbbing in my heart, letting me know something beyond imagining was imminent. I was desperate to experience and express my authentic Self then, and had no knowledge of Kundalini Shakti, which is the Sacred Feminine spiritual energy that purifies, heals, and awakens us.

Here is the dream that alerted me to the nature of the descent into the dark realms of Sacred Feminine, which is where initiation will take us first. Our archetypal dreams are timeless in terms of the wisdom and guidance they offer and they are gifts not only to the dreamer, but to all who hear or read it. This dream is as fresh today as it was when I had it. You can take this dream as your own and find out what it has to tell you about your life, about the nature of Sacred Feminine Initiation. You could write down any messages that come through to you, put it away until some time after you have become aware of, or been through, some of your own initiations into the Sacred Feminine mysteries and see what you can glean from it then.

My young son, Tim, five years old, runs ahead of me and leads me to the dark, rocky mouth of a cave in the side of a hillside rock formation just ahead. It is partially hidden by bushes but my adventurous little boy sees it and gets excited and curious to find out what is inside. I feel some trepidation about what could be in that cave but he fearlessly runs right in and I follow in after him, feeling like a protective mother bear.

I enter the dark gaping mouth of the cave and soon my boy disappears and I keep walking deep into the cold, damp darkness alone. Oddly, I don’t feel concerned about him, I am more interested in the fact that I can see clearly despite the absence of any light source. The snakey passageway winds around and I suddenly see a horrific stie: along the right, damp and moldy wall there are decomposing corpses, dirt-covered skeletons, their bones probably eaten by animals, putrid, decomposing bodies that cause me to gag and wretch, and almost-dead people chained to the wall of the cave. I cannot discern whether they are men or women but sense both. The stench of decay and the gurgling sounds the dying are making are so horrible that I run as fast as I can, deeper into the cave. It never occurs to me to turn and run back out the way I came in.

I run and my breathing is fast and my chest hurts. When I realize that I am past the charnel grounds far enough so I am no longer smelling the stench, I slow down, try to catch my breath, and I see a niche in the cave wall up ahead to my left. There are a number of small, flickering, candles in the recesses of the stone walls around Her, and I walk over and step in front of the eye-level niche carved into the stone. I see it is a small shrine. I immediately notice a significant shift in the energy around this shrine and I notice that my fear is gone and I am now curious. What is this doing here and who created it? I notice that my body is calmer and I am beginning to feel peaceful and an odd sense of relief. There in the niche is an old, hand-carved wooden statue of the Mother Mary!

She is mysteriously, supernaturally, emanating a soft light from within. She has a very old and tattered brocade cloak around her shoulders. I can see where the tops of her blackened feet are worn down to raw wood covered in grime, and sense that many people have touched her feet in supplication and reverence. She is no more than a foot tall and looks like so many statues of the Blessed Mother with her arms and hands extended out from her body, palms open and up, in a mudra of giving, receiving, welcoming. Her hand-carved face is youthful and she is slightly smiling. I love her, I feel the presence of the Holy Mother as I did in childhood and begin to weep at the miracle of finding her in this dark and horrible underworld of death. I re-member and feel in my body and heart my long-forgotten childhood love of the Blessed Mother Mary. How could I have forgotten about her as I moved from teens into my twenties and all these last years? A wave of humility, and gratitude sweeps through me, and I fall to my knees before her, sobbing.

Sacred Questions & Self Inquiry:

  • What image or part of the dream has the most energy for you?

  • What do you associate with this?

  • How did you feel when you read the part about the corpses and the dying?

  • What was your experience when you read the part about finding the incandescent statue of the Diving Mother in the niche?

  • What are you longing for?

  • What happens if you just feel your longing, in your heart, without the object of it?

#templeofthesacredfeminine #initiation #sacredfeminine