Is there a Feminine Face of God?

Have you ever questioned the image of God as male?

For most of my life I never did.

Over the past year I started to wonder how always hearing “he” and “him” in reference to God creates the idea that some, who are male, are more like God, and those who are “she” and “her” are less like God.

Now I know for some who are reading this you might want to stop right here or you are super skeptical of what I am saying. I get that. And others, you may be open to listening and maybe have had similar wonderings. So I will continue…

Recently I attended a slide show presentation about Goddess artifacts from around the world. The presentation was given by Karen Tate, author, speaker, scholar, and radio show host, who specializes in the awakening to the Divine Feminine, or as she terms it “the feminine face of God.” Karen has written a book, Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, which takes both the armchair traveler and the get-up-and-go traveler around the world to learn about the ancient sites that carry the archaeological, mythological and spiritual history of the Goddess.

What I found so impacting from her presentation and her book is the breadth of Goddess artifacts around the world that give clear evidence to the longtime role of the Goddess before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were established. In fact, it is evidenced that for nearly 30,000 years the Goddess represented the supreme deity. For me, seeing these ancient goddess images and artifacts carries great meaning today.

Since many of us never question the image of God as a male (at least I didn’t for most of my life), I wonder how this gender bias has influenced women’s self-image and status in the world. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Karen poses the question so well, “If you call God a ‘he’ and ‘him’ all the time, then how can women feel divinity inside themselves when they know they are not a he?”

And for me, I question, “Could both women and men be taking this message in on a subconscious level and creating a lower self-image for women and impression that female power can never be fully legitimate?” If this is the case, I believe there is a shift happening.

In the last blog I talked about traditional feminine values such as compassion, relationship, tenderness, and unconditional love coming to play a respected role on the world stage which some are attributing to the re-awakening of the Divine Feminine. I wanted to clarify that I am not suggesting that if all women were in power and men were out of power and leadership positions that this would be the solution to creating a greater world. This would, I believe, lop-side our world culture once again!

What I am actually suggesting is that as feminine values (or what have been traditionally known as feminine) are gaining respect and appreciation, women may be able to appreciate and respect themselves in greater depth and men may be able to appreciate the feminine aspects of themselves that may never have been honored. I believe that as we work toward more of a balance between the feminine and masculine, there may be a greater way to live that we have not seen yet!

Have you ever considered what life would look like with female and male power in balance?

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

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6 thoughts on “Is there a Feminine Face of God?

  1. Another good posting, and though-provoking.
    I tend to like to refer to GOD as HE, SHE, IT, ALL THAT THERE IS…all encompassing.
    All sexes, and no sex at the same time.
    more like energy and light…
    It used to bother me to always hear “He” in reference to God…when somewhere in my conscious/subconscious, I have suspected that “he” is too limiting, in that respect “she” would be too, no? I like to think of God as the Universe, Energy, and Light…ALL of everything…so no gender really seems to be “right”. GOD is within us and also all around us…

  2. I agree w/ Greg’s comment above and also, I think God is all these nouns energy, light, etc… and also a state of being. God is love, which is both verb and noun so it’s being and doing – this way of conceiving the idea of God helps me to get away from the gender-identification of certain human qualities as masculine or feminine, which can lead to imbalances either way, and an oversimplification of certain qualities — for instance, sometimes, aggression can be a good thing (as in the case of self-defense) and sometimes being receptive is a bad thing (like when a woman allows herself to be a doormat).

    Thanks for letting me share, Tabby.

    Lydia
    http://www.blissdanceandwellnesscenter.com

  3. Hey there Tabby,

    I bet you might have wondered if someone like myself was really reading your Goddess Diaries. Maybe not, but I have indeed taken a glance at them despite all of the emails that we all receive constantly.
    This one I do feel a desire to comment on briefly, even though I’m anxious for a swim on this very hot and humid afternoon. It’s funny that I opened your email up immediately after reading my brother’s monthly newsletter. He’s a priest, and of course, refers to God in the masculine.
    Although an Episcopalian, religion was relatively non-existant in my house growing up. But maybe it was going to a Catholic school for a short time (Jr. High, out of need for a local alternative to public), that developed my skepticism about “organized” religion. Also, I always felt I was very much in touch with nature.
    Anyway, I did come to learn, as you touched on, that before mass religion evolved, the creator, supreme being, or however each culture identified its20God; virtually across the globe, God was considered feminine.
    Living out West for a time, I spent short visits at some of the reservations attending pow wow’s, sundance ceremonies, and sweats. Most Native Americans believe in an omni-present God (which gets a bit complex and varies), and commonly refer to their Gods as “Great Spirit,” “Grandmother” and/or “Grandfather,” the latter being more contemporary, I would not doubt. However, I also have come to find out that “sweats” were traditionally conducted only by the women. Nowadays, men seem to maneuver into this role much more frequently. I know women who will forego participation in this case.
    Well, this topic is something I’d like to further research and refresh my knowledge thereof. Glad you brought it to our attention. I’d like to write more right now, but really need to get going on some other things.
    Thanks again!

    Peace to you,

    Peter

  4. Pingback: Poetry of the Goddess « The Goddess Diaries

  5. I see the face of God as both feminie and masculine in balance. Before patriarchy God was worshipped in “his” female form. I definitely believe that the feminine is coming through strongly these days in a quest for balance so that we can value noth men and women equally and find true respect for our diversity. Bring on the fire.

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