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)
- 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.
- 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?
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.