Jesus and the divine feminine intersect often.  Here are just a few examples :

  • Jesus derives from the Wisdom tradition of Israel that is nature-based (and creation-centered) and therefore akin to the goddess tradition since the goddess is all about our relationship to nature.
  • Jesus frequently invokes nature in his parables and also Wisdom (who as we have pointed out is feminine) as this: Luke 7: 31-35—“…yet Wisdom has been proven right by all her children.” (Cf. 12.49-51)
“Christ in the House of Martha and Mary” by
Johannes Vermeer
  • He invokes Judaism’s teachings about shekinah (which is feminine) and the presence of the Divine, for example, “where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18.2.
  • According to Aramaic expert Neil Douglas Klotz, the word we translate as “Father” (Abwoon” in Aramaic) “points beyond our changing concepts of ‘male’ and ‘female’ to a cosmic birthing process” that proceeds from the ultimate “Oneness” or Source of all things. Thus Klotz chooses to translate the opening line of the “Our Father” prayer this way: “O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos, you create all that moves in light.” *
  • Many of his earliest disciples were women who sensed in his message among other things a liberation path for all peoples including of course women and the poor. Of course Mary Magdalene was prominent among these women and in the earliest days of the church many leaders were women.
Women of the early church: mosaic at San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna
  • The song in Luke’s Gospel we call the “Magnificat” and attributed to Mary, Jesus’ mother, in many ways carries the basic message of the entire Gospel proclaiming fierce justice and compassion. “He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly,” etc. (see Luke 1.44-50)
  •  Jesus often invoked “spirit” or “ruah” in Hebrew.  This word is feminine in Hebrew.
  • Wisdom is “a friend of the prophets” and Jesus was clearly a prophet who offered an alternative vision and wisdom to his culture.

*Neil Douglas Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990), 13, 12.

Banner: “The Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women” by modern Russian iconographer Hieromonk Andrei (Erastov)

Query for Contemplation

Be with any one of these teachings from and about Jesus invoking the Divine Feminine.  What are they saying to your heart?  To your mind?

Related Reading

The 365 writings in Christian Mystics represent a wide-ranging sampling of these readings for modern-day seekers of all faiths — or no faith. The visionaries quoted range from Julian of Norwich to Martin Luther King, Jr., from Thomas Merton to Dorothee Soelle and Thomas Berry.

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5 thoughts on “Jesus and the Divine Feminine”

  1. Avatar
    Nthaniel Batchelder

    The latest edition of the ATLANTIC MONTHLY cover story is why the Catholic Church should get rid of the priesthood (celibate and male-only)

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear Nathaniel, Thank you for mentioning this article. It is one example of many articles and conversations in which we are seriously questioning the basic assumptions of our belief structures and religious institutions. Similar conversations are being held within other religions as well. This is a time of re-evaluation and change. Hopefully, more just, balanced, and positive processes will result

  2. Avatar
    Absolution maker

    Something that isn’t founded in theology yet is something that isn’t exactly called what it should be in terms known today, and it is Theotokos the Mother of God.

    1. Gail Ransom

      Rebecca, Thank you for bringing the Greek name for Mary, Theotokos, the Christian name for the mother of God, into the conversation. The stories about her represent the deep longing Christians have felt for the divine feminine for 2000 years. In this new millennium, that longing, shared in spirit with many religious, will be key to bringing us into a healthy balance between masculine and feminine.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Team

  3. Avatar
    Michael Callahan

    Matthew 3
    16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    The Spirit of God descending like a dove.

    The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit a Dove and whats missing from this trinity? I never see anyone mention this but doves have ALWAYS been symbols of the MOTHER goddess. The Father, Son and Mother (Holy Spirit).

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