Exploring Sacred Feminine Archetypes: The Medial
It is the Medial within that sends us on a search for knowledge of all kinds: spiritual, metaphysical, gnostic, mystical, psychological, intellectual, scientific, genealogical, and technical. Paradoxically, the Medial wants and seeks to know, yet ultimately, through Life’s initiations, falls in love with not knowing.
As Medial women, we are drawn toward the unknown, the outer edges of conventionality and the familiar—or it draws us. We may be terrified, excited, compelled, and enchanted, all at once. Medial women are seekers and keepers of esoteric knowledge and wisdom, and value gnosis: direct mystical experience. Our Medial dimension helps us to realize eventually that we are that which we have been seeking. We all have this energy available to us in some form, at its most basic level it is our intuition.
The woman with strong Medial energy is highly intuitive and loves to learn and understand how things work. Taking her computer apart and knowing how to fix the car may be just as compelling as making visionary art or working on a dream. She may be a healer, shaman, ritual maker, mystic, teacher, researcher, visionary, artist, song writer, musician, poet, priestess, or police detective. She may also use her Medial gifts in business or the world of high technology, such as computers, science, forensics, medical research, photography, filmmaking, and digital arts. Having a deep desire, a calling, or a true vocation to serve others with her gifts, her soul’s purpose may become evident to her when she is a child, or it may not show up until later in life. Many women see glimmers of its presence when they look back at what they were interested in as little girls.
We can recognize the Medial as Hagia Sophia, goddess of wisdom, Cassandra who warned of the Trojans but was not believed, Hecate, the wise crone at the crossroads. She is the Oracle of Delphi, the Chanting Priestess of Mexico, and the Dreaming Goddess carved into the cave wall in France. In shadow, she can also show up as the Wicked Witch of the West, the dark sorceress who casts spells and lays curses upon others, the psychotic woman who carries the family craziness, the promiscuous teenager who acts out her mother’s repressed sexuality, or the vicious woman who instinctively goes for the jugular.
The Medial woman serves truth and assists others by helping them find meaning in their life experiences, especially the difficult ones. She holds sacred space for them while they make their way and may offer silence, healing, dream work, ritual, art, poetry, music, song, dance, ecstatic trance, guided inner journeys, astrological readings, channeled material, or teachings. She can be evocative, provocative, and inspiring, as well as a disturbing bringer of chaos when she is not self-aware. She can also intoxicate and entrance others, take them into sublime experiences, whether it is through a painting, a song, dance, writing, or trance, and she can lead them into harm’s way if her intentions are power-driven. It all depends on how conscious she is and where her devotion lies.
The Medial is the High Priestess of liminal space, the chaotic, uncomfortable territory between ‘here’ and ‘there’, the pupa stage we must pass through in any initiation. She is the wise woman who greets and guides seekers and pilgrims as they cross thresholds and make their passages. Her primary mode of being in the world is to bring new ideas, images, and information in from the vast realms of collective consciousness, as well as from stillness. She lives on the border between realities, mediating the depths of the collective unconscious to those around her, and dives deeply into her own unconscious, willing to experience and explore the unknown contents, whatever they are. She has courage and a healthy respect for the power of the unconscious and what emerges from it, whether it is bright or dark.
A strongly Medial woman needs to develop the focused awareness and boundaries of the Amazon woman, as she may be an empath, a psychic sponge, absorbing the feelings, energies, and unconscious contents from those around her. She must learn to distinguish what belongs to her, and what belongs to others, what is personal and what is impersonal.
The Medial may be more inclined than women with other archetypal strengths to lose her boundaries and sense of self and become unable to know what she herself needs. This can easily happen to some when they are with other people, groups, or in relation to ideologies. She is so highly attuned to what others think, feel, want, and need—even if they don’t know it themselves—that she can end up living someone else’s life or agenda. If she herself is not well-grounded in her own sense of herself, holding her boundaries well, and does not know how her gift is to be used, the gift can become her curse. The inner Amazon can help a Medial woman learn how to define and sustain their own boundaries.
It is essential for a Medial woman who is developing her gifts to have a mentor and work with teachers and elders. Not only for learning skills and techniques, it is wise for a Medial to be in the field of other Medial women or men because much of the education of a Medial woman comes through non-verbal transmissions and direct experience. It is all too easy to become identified with the powerful energies and the power of accessing the other dimensions. She can become inflated, grandiose, even dangerous, if not conscious of her limits and other people’s boundaries.
The core shadow of the Medial archetype is a strong drive for power and addiction to power. The power-driven shadow of the Medial can compromise her integrity to manipulate, control, or violate others. There is ample evidence of this happening with clergy, healers, educators, and mental health professionals. No one is invulnerable to the seduction of power.
The darkest shadow expression of the Medial is a woman who uses black magic, satanic ritual, sorcery, mind control, curses and spells cast to control, manipulate, hurt or even kill others. Evil exists in the world of duality, and many horrific things happen that are beyond what our minds and hearts can believe or take in, but they do exist. It’s not all on TV or in other people’s worlds. We must not be naïve, attached only to seeing what is light. We must be scrupulous and willing to look for the truth, no matter what it is. Many Medial Women are called to witness Wetiko, the Cree world for shadow, evil, and darkness in the world, and become very sensitive and aware of its subtle and overt presence in herself, her life, and in others—especially when she is working with a person or a project that carries a lot of Light. Wetiko is drawn to our Light and can hinder projects or distract us from our own inner life.
It is highly arrogant and dangerous to think that we could never fall into unconsciousness with our Medial gifts, cross the line into anything inappropriate. We all have blind spots and vulnerabilities and, as a Medial, we are emotionally, psychically, and energetically open to all kinds of energies and dimensions and their intrusion into our field of consciousness. This is the reason it is so vital to have a good sense of self, strong, clear boundaries, an ongoing spiritual practice, a peer community, and elders. It is also essential for a Medial woman to be very grounded and embodied, and willing to see the truth, no matter what it is. The inner Amazon is essential to the life of a Medial woman.
When our Medial energy is active, we are open to receiving insight, guidance, ‘downloads’, and information in countless forms from many dimensions, including dreams, visions, art, music, writing, poetry, healing work, mediumship, nature, and the world at large. We must be able to discern our sources, as well as the personal from the impersonal. When our Medial gifts or vocation are denied or refused, as when any aspect of us is refused expression, a very painful journey can ensue. In the shamanic world, a person who is called to be a shaman and refuses the call suffers physical, mental, or spiritual illness, and a sense of soul loss, until they agree to serve and use their gifts appropriately. This could be true of an artist who isn’t making art, a healer who isn’t doing healing work. Medial energy is powerful and needs to flow and be integrated in us and into our lives in some way. We don’t have to know how to do it, or what to do, we are always guided if we are willing. Helpers and teachers show up at the right time and it is important to ask for this help and guidance.
When developing our Medial gifts, we must learn to trust our awareness and not let our thinking minds or other people engender self-doubt. Self-doubt can be demonic and completely undermine any woman’s gifts. Learning to sit in silence, live from the heart, and rest as awareness without thought, brings discernment and recognition of what is pointing to Truth and what is story made up by the mind. Our Medial skills grow over time if we tend that garden and are around people who support this.
A Medial woman can go into overload if she doesn’t know how to take care of herself, by tuning out energies, distractions, and irrelevant thoughts, or know what her limits are. As we learn what works to support us, and what does not, we may find that we cannot tolerate certain vibrations, television, people, crowds, or shopping malls for long without our nervous system feeling over-stimulated and raw. We may find that we must be outside with our feet on the earth every day so we stay grounded and balanced. Medial Crones may be called to mentor, teach, or midwife younger women into their Medial gifts and work. Medial energies often burst into full flowering as we move into and through our second Saturn return, around our late fifties and onward into Crone-hood. For some, this next opening may happen at menopause, in which case it could happen sooner than the late fifties for some women.
Medial women must take extra effort to be embodied, grounded, and take very good care of their health. Our bodies absorb and feel the energies of what we are picking up in the field. We process things on the emotional and spiritual levels much faster than our bodies can because the body is third dimensional. The energies that come through can be damaging to our health if our bodies are clogged with unconscious emotions, unhealed wounds, and lack of consciousness. The body may be unable to titrate the input. While a Medial woman may prefer being disembodied and traveling in other dimensions, being in her body, having a sturdy physical container, will be her greatest asset. Her Medial work with others will also be better. Medial women must pay deep attention to what their body is telling them. It is useful to say daily something like, “I release all energies that do not belong to me and send them back to wherever they belong.”
To some degree, all children are Medial up to a certain age. We may have felt and been aware of everything going on in our family of origin, as well as with others around us, and been confused, overwhelmed, and frightened by it all. We may have known things we didn’t want to know, and been confused because we didn’t know how we knew these things. Sometimes Medial kids think they are the cause of bad things happening simply because they were aware of them at some level, sometimes before they happened. Medial children absorb everything around them, even in the womb, and are often the carriers of, and act out, the unconscious family shadow, and sometimes get punished, scapegoated, or banished in some way. The worst thing for a Medial child is to be told that she is crazy when she sees and names things that family members, especially parents or authority figures, deny. This is an insidious form of abuse and can cause dissociation, deep self-hate, and self-doubt. The child’s Medial may also go completely underground, into the shadows.
In some families, when the four-year-old says she sees fairies and hears angels singing, that is well received and encouraged, while in other families, she may be told to stop making things up or be punished for acting weird. As with all the archetypes, our conditioning has a lot to do with how well we embrace our Medial dimension, or not. In many dysfunctional families, there is usually at least one child who is extremely Medial naturally or becomes that way out of the need to know for self-protection and survival. Early on, it may have become very clear that we must hide what we see and know, that we cannot speak the obvious without punishment, so we decide, consciously or unconsciously, that the seer and knower in us is dangerous or bad and we cut it off or at least stop speaking these things.
The shadow Medial can appear as one who is run by fear, hyper-vigilant, paranoid, psychotic, lacking trust in the world and/or her own experiences. Here’s where the importance of support comes in when our Medial energies are coming out of the shadows. It is vital to become aware of this old conditioning and to heal these wounds or damage can be done to self and others.
Medial initiations call us to realize the legitimacy of an inner feminine spiritual authority in a patriarchal world that has denied and denigrated the Medial woman for thousands of years. We may be called to a place of visibility in the world with our Medial gifts. Coming out as a Medial woman can be very scary if we don’t have support. The collective memory of the Inquisition, a time in history when anyone who was overtly Medial, like an herbalist, healer, or midwife, was tortured and killed. In my experience, many if not all Medial women, carry this memory in their unconscious and during a Medial initiation it can surface to be cleared as she develops her gifts.
Most often, they show up when she steps out into the world for the first time to start a practice, or when she becomes visible in some new way, like offering a workshop or publishing a book about her work. It is part of the Medial woman’s initiation to face that collective memory and meet the fear directly. Self-doubt can always interfere, and so can the people in a woman’s life who fear the Medial world and feel threatened by what she is doing.
The Medial woman tends to evoke archetypal awareness in those around her, especially certain men. It is essential that we realize that this is not personal, though the man may think it is, and we must not identify with any of it. This would be to go unconscious of the power at hand and wreak havoc, create chaos, and potentially cause harm. Good, clear boundaries are essential when working with men. We need to be aware that we are a vehicle of the Sacred Feminine for grace, healing, and awakening, as well as support for a man’s integration of his own inner feminine.
As Medial women, we must not receive the man’s projections as personal, as they are not about us, even if the man thinks they are—and he probably will. Holding a tight container with strong energetic and emotional boundaries is vital to the safety and protection of the man’s trust in us as helper. We must be impeccable and scrupulous in our own self-awareness and inner work. When we are not clear about what is happening, we absolutely must get help for ourselves.
Sacred Question: What speaks to you here about yourself? What do you recognize or relate to?
© Sheila Foster 2017 An excerpt from my book about Sacred Feminine Initiation that is currently in process