Monday, January 7, 2013

Sacred Feminine Conclusions

One of my New Year's resolutions is to produce a manuscript on the topics covered in this blog, using these writings as a springboard for a book. I have overloaded myself with the theology of the sacred feminine written by others. Now it is time for deep contemplation and a focus on personal experience. The time draws near for me to enter fully into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, and so will end this first phase of the journey. But it is far from over, I am sure.

What can I conclude for you at this point? Jesus revealed that we should call God our Abba, Father. And we should call Mary our Mother. The Word of God and the Church's Tradition also reveal a divine nature that is feminine, one in perfect union with the masculine nature of God with which Christians are most familiar. The Word (Logos) and Wisdom (Sophia in Greek) are one. Jesus is both Word and Wisdom. At the heart of the Trinity is Holy Wisdom, the feminine nature of God, held in the bosom of the Father.

 La Paloma by Holly Sierra

The Holy Spirit, in the "Cosmic Dance", is the Person who proceeds from the Father as eternal Bride and from the Son as eternal Mother in the mystical sense, though all members of the Trinity are the perfect union of masculine and feminine. And since Mary is the focus of our image of spiritual Motherhood, it is she who leads us to her Son, our Savior, and to the Divine Sophia. The Blessed Mother works in a unique union with the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to intercede for us, to be our Advocate and Mediatrix of All Grace; indeed, as Co-redemptrix. In my devotions, I call the Holy Spirit by the Hebrew names, Ruah Ha Kodesh and Ruah Elohim, and sometimes use the Greek appellation for Wisdom, Sophia, keeping in my heart the knowledge of the feminine nature united with the masculine in our Creator.

What is needed then, from my perspective, is a deep, sapiential Marian devotion. A Sophian Marian devotion takes us profoundly into the mystery that links the divine with all of creation. It is the ability to see God in all of nature and in the human soul. It is to value equally God's male and female images in humanity, and to fully embrace stewardship of our Earth. It does not deny the goodness of the body, but rather honors the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, exemplified and supremely manifested in the Virgin Mary. Under the protection of her mantle, we too may become holy--sacred vessels of the divine.

 Madre Natura by Holly Sierra

Thank you, dear readers, for following me on this journey to the heart of the sacred feminine. I may be back from time to time to update you on new developments and the progress of my book. In the meantime, go to Mass, pray the Rosary daily, and contemplate the meaning of what has been here revealed. To Jesus, Word and Wisdom, through our Holy Mary, Mother of God!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Deification of the Virgin

I found the following excerpt from a blog which illuminates the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary:

"It was a class in Anatomy and Physiology, and the lesson on microchimerism, that concretely illustrated for me those two dogmas. Learning that every child leaves within his mother a microscopic bit of himself—and that it remains within her forever—the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was instantly illuminated.

Mary, then, was indeed a tabernacle for the divinity—not for a limited time, but for all of her life. Thus the Immaculate Conception made and makes perfect sense: God, who is all-good is also completely pure; the vessel in which he resides, then, must also be pure, or it would not be able to sustain all of that light.

And this relates directly to the Assumption of Mary as well. In the psalms we read 'you will not suffer your beloved to undergo corruption.' Christ’s divine body did not undergo corruption, but ascended into heaven; it follows that his mother’s body, which contained a cellular component of that divinity—and a particle of God is God, entire—would not be permitted to undergo corruption, as well.

It could not be otherwise. The God particle, commingled with humanity, necessarily preserves humanity, and calls it to himself. This is incarnational. It is eucharistic, from the beginning. It is our life, conceived in light" (

Next is an excerpt given in explanation of the difference between being divine by nature and deification by participation:

To sum up simply, Mary is a goddess by participating in divinity, through grace, to a higher extent than most humans can or will. However, all saints (that is, all who arrive in heaven) do and so Mary with all the saints could rightly be called gods and goddesses. But this in no way compromises monotheism of the one triune God, whose divinity is through itself (found in comments on the blog, Mary and Mariology: Divinizing Mary?).

These both struck me as interesting because the Catholic Church has often been accused of divinizing Mary and elevating her to the level of a goddess. In the case of the first excerpt, the only disagreement I might have is the argument that a particle of God is God entire. But a particle of God is certainly divine, and modern science sheds light on and validates Catholic teaching regarding Mary. As I have discussed before, Charlene Spretnak posed the question in Missing Mary as to whether the Blessed Mother would have been ontologically changed into a quasi-divine (or semi-divine) being by virtue of carrying Jesus in her womb, and the author implied that she would have.

The second excerpt reflects the theology of early Church Fathers who said that "God became man so that man might become gods." This means that people are not divine by nature but have the potential to be deified through participation in the divine nature. Rather than referring to Mary as semi-divine, I believe she should be understood as a divinized human being, with her deification being utterly unique by virtue of her Immaculate Conception and her physical motherhood of God the Son. I agree with Spretnak that modern science gives evidence that the traditional, cosmological, biblicalplus veneration of Mary and her full spiritual presence needs to be returned to the Church. Mary is officially honored with the unique status of hyperdulia by the Church, and so she cannot be relegated to being merely another in the communion of saints or just a model of discipleship.

The Church does not call the saints gods and goddesses, so I would discourage that practice. But I do think there is too much stigma attached to the word goddess. The name "God" typically implies a male deity. In polytheistic religions, there were multiple gods and goddesses with varying ranks of power. In Catholicism, there is one God in three persons, and this God is neither male nor female, but pure spirit. "Goddess" simply means a female deity. If the masculine version can be used to describe the one, true Creator, then why is there such repulsion in the idea of the Almighty being called Goddess? The argument is that "goddess" implies a polytheistic, pagan religion, but the same could be argued that pagans also used the word "god".  In fact, there was a monotheistic religion pre-dating the Judeo-Christian tradition which believed in an entirely feminine trinity (the maiden, mother, and crone). One interpretation of history is that the patriarchal conquerors of the people who worshipped the Great Mother created an all-male version of this trinity. The idea of God in three persons is correct, but both variations are incomplete.

This is why devotion to Mary is so important, as well as the revival of the ancient Wisdom tradition of the Old Testament that was also practiced by the early Church, in which God was understood to have a feminine dimension. We need religion that honors the sacred feminine and the bridal-maternal aspects of divinity. We need to see the hidden Sophia, who is part and parcel of Christ, and who is manifested in His human Mother.