It’s a curious thing.
Biologically, females are designed to create – literally. Yet, the conventional culture, what Riane Eisler describes as a dominator culture, emphasizes the masculinity of creating. The Feminine, I am told, is quiet, receptive and passive. This never felt quite right to me and I have spent a significant amount of time exploring how it is I can recover my own Feminine Creative Principle. As a storyteller, I look to the traditional tales as mirrors in which I can see truth and wisdom reflected to me.
A Tale of Sacrifice
One of the most powerful folktales I have worked with is The Girl Without Hands, also known as The Handless Maiden, from the collection of the brothers Grimm.
Initially, the Handless Maiden tells women that their creative, manifesting lives are not a priority. When the dominant cultural paradigm says they have to pay a price in order for others to flourish or survive, this story shows them how to succumb. The Handless Maiden illustrates the manner in which women and girls are expected to give up control over their own destinies in order to appease others and to prevent the destruction of the cultural framework. It also instructs men in how to sacrifice their own Feminine Creative Principle.
A Tale of Self-Sufficiency
Fortunately, this story also gives us the map for recovering our creative, manifesting feminine principle. The Handless Maiden chooses to set out into the world, alone, unable to grasp even food to eat. Despite her significant disability she is willing to learn what awaits her, away from the misguided and insufficient protection of her culture.
As we encounter our culture’s pressure to subsume our feminine creative energy in the interest of propping up a social framework that depends upon this sacrifice, we find ourselves at the effect of the flawed security it provides. At least two choices become available to us.
We can remain or we can leave. To remain is to accept the lie of powerlessness and to enable the continuation of the dominator culture. To leave is to risk everything in order to unearth the truth of the potency of the Feminine Creative Principle.
Get Your Hands Dirty
What we learn from this story is that the path to recovering the feminine aspect of ‘hands on’ creation lies in time spent in the natural world without attachment to the rules and false protection of the dominator culture. This is a time of solitude and introspection as well as a time of partnering with Nature.
It is here that the Handless Maiden forsakes any concern for her external appearance. She places her trust in the forest and its inhabitants. It is here that the white spirit partners with her. Although mute, the white spirit has complete knowledge and understanding of both the Maiden’s and Nature’s conditions and requirements.
The Deep Within
Within each of us, our own deeply wise aspect – the white spirit – holds the full understanding of our situation, the challenges and the gifts that lie therein, and the course we are being invited to follow. This wisdom is wordless, speaking in symbols, feelings and intuitions. It requires a willingness to enter solitude, silence, and the natural world.
Once we do, this wise element of our consciousness is ever willing to walk beside us, making it possible for us to reach nourishment and safe haven. It falls to us to accept the responsibility for taking the steps and when we do, this companion is unfailingly at our side.
There are a number of ways to open ourselves to this wisdom-consciousness. Meditation practices offer one path – some that take years to cultivate, others, like Transcendental Meditation, that open the door within a single session. Another approach is to spend time living in harmony with Nature’s rhythms, such as learning Bird Language, Tracking or Plant Medicine.
The Good Juju Workshop is another framework that creates access to our wisdom-consciousness. In this experiential workshop traditional, archetypal tales serve as reflecting pools and as mirrors. Nature-based activities stimulate and restore our intrinsic wealth. The enriched introspection and supported exploration offer ease and a sense of friendliness which nourish our relationships with our inner wisdom.
Head out into your own forest. Allow your inner wisdom to guide and nourish you. Your Feminine Creative Principle is waiting.