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Engaging the Renewing Feminine Within

By Kristina Dryža

Many of us long for resurrection, to be called to arise and shepherd the totality of ourselves, including our inner world, out into the external realm. And while the banished and ignored shadow parts of our being may yearn for the light of renewal, it’s only when we orient ourselves to the mysteries of the world of spirit, and to all that speaks to the eternal, that we may find the wisdom, beauty, strength, and rebirth we seek. Symbolically, these soul attributes may be pictured as the eternal feminine within us awaiting our attention and foster. As Goethe says in Faust: “Das Ewig-Weibliche / Zieht uns hinan.” The eternal feminine / Draws us on.

As a Lithuanian, I’ve always been fascinated by how one of the country’s most famous exports, Marija Gimbutas, inspired Campbell. It was her studies of the Great Goddess of the Neolithic world of Old Europe that assisted him in perceiving the goddesses’ roots in later mythologies, rituals and traditions. Campbell quotes Gimbutas:

The human legs of the vulture ... imply that it is not simply a bird but rather the Goddess in the guise of a vulture. She is Death—She Who Takes Away Life, maleficent twin of She Who Gives Life—ominous in flight on great, outspread wings. Despite the incarnate presence of Death, the vulture scenes of Çatal Hüyük do not convey death’s mournful triumph over life. Rather, they symbolize that death and resurrection are inseparably linked.

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