Maybe you were luckier than I, but my biological mother wasn't easy. Alcoholic and bi-polar in an era before her symptoms could really be diagnosed, she was to me a figure beautiful and lovable on one hand, and unpredictable and impossible to love on the other. So on my journey through life, my relationship with women has been a crucial one.
By the time I began training in shamanism, I was blessed with many solid, reliable relationships with women. But my relationship to the Divine Feminine was just beginning.
Shamanism is a feminine path, because indigenous people all over the globe throughout time have based their practices on devotion to the earth as Mother. It is the earth who is the fertile One who produces all the plant life. It is She who holds us gently yet firmly on Her belly. She nurtures life here, making it possible for animals and humans to exist. She is our island home, and when we die, we return to her, our bodies becoming stardust again, residing here.
I recently enjoyed devouring Martin Prechtel's book, Long Life, Honey in the Heart, in which he describes his life as a shaman in a Guatemalan village I visited years ago. On my tour of the church there, I missed the grate still present in the floor, covering a hole in the ground. It was there before the church, which was (as was the custom of the Spanish) built on top of an indigenous shrine. The hole was (and still is, by Mayans) worshipped as the womb of the Mother.
Our religions today have lost this ancient and global connection to the Divine Feminine. She is first and foremost the Divine Mother. And the way we experience our relationship with her through our senses is by honoring the Earth as Her embodiment.
If it appeals to you to restore our right relationship with this Mother who never leaves us, the Mother who is literally the ground beneath our feet, there are some simple ways to begin or continue. Here are three:
1. When you wake up every morning, look outside and give thanks to the Mother for whatever beauty you see.
2. Before you eat, take a bit of food outside and give it to Pachamama, one name for Mother Earth. This is a custom in many indigenous communities.
3. When there is something you wish to release or transform in your life, write it down and put the piece of paper in the earth. Give it to the Mother. Ask her to digest it and to transform the energy into something that will nourish life.
What I predict will happen if you try these practices is that the Divine Mother within your own heart will strengthen and grow more apparent to you. And that's a good thing. Depending on the Feminine is after all, a saving grace for us and for our planet as well.