Hildegard on the Divine Feminine beside the Sacred Masculine

We have been discussing the sacred masculine at least since the trial and acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse and the subsequent exploiting of that teenager’s story by the far-right wing in this country. These are people who see nothing wrong in vigilantes and self-appointed militia-men (boys?) invading the space of legitimate protesters exercising their first amendment rights emboldened by their exaggerated second amendment “privileges” like carrying AR 15’s into public space at 17 years of age.

Texas legislators who voted for the “Heartbeat Act” – 80 men and 11 women. Photo from the Texas House of Representatives; on Wikimedia Commons.

Toxic masculinity is everywhere—in the killing of mother earth and the denial of climate change; in  shouting without listening, which seems to dominate our political discourse these days; in the return of authoritarianism and therefore fascism in politics and religion.  And in the passion of men and male-driven institutions to control women’s bodies (forbidding women the right to choose).  And in bloated military budgets and imperial ambitions.

One way to combat toxic masculinity is to offer alternatives to a sick masculinity that is killing the earth, one another, and future generations of humans and other creatures.  We will be entering more fully into that pathway soon.

“The Cosmic Egg,” Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias.

Another dimension to the battle is to bring forward the divine feminine.  We saw yesterday how Hildegard of Bingen, doctor of the church, speaks about virtue as the authentic masculine—identifying virtue as valor, as “manly warriorhood,” as strength of character and living out of values and how women as well as men are to practice it.  Below are some of her teachings on the divine feminine summarized.  Of course, healthy men welcome these dimensions into their souls and consciousness. 

The “God within” of the mystics
God as mother, God as circle
Wisdom
Compassion
Mary as Ground of being
“Lady Love” who “made everything” in creation
“Mother Earth”
“You are encircled by the arms of the mystery of God.”


Adapted from Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power for the 21st Century, pp. 31, 111-124, 128f. 

For the video, see Matthew Fox, “Psychotherapy and the ‘Unio Mystica’: Meister Eckhart Meets Otto Rank”, in Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, pp. 139-156.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Balancing the genders within the sacred natural world: “Forest of Life.” Sand painting on canvas by David Paladin

Queries for Contemplation

Are you in search of the “healthier masculine” and standing up to the toxic masculinity of our time and politics and media?  Are you integrating the sacred masculine and divine feminine in the way you see and act in the world?

Recommended Reading

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time

While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward

A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity

A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography


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4 thoughts on “Hildegard on the Divine Feminine beside the Sacred Masculine”

  1. Avatar

    What I hear in today’s DM, is that there is value in mystery. I personally resonate with this, through relationship with the Divine Feminine. This mystery desires to be known, as you say, in a nonrational way. This nonrational way, is another kind of sensing, which as Mathew has said, is introspective, intuitive, insightfull, imaginative, bearing forth and birthing creative wisdom, that stems from this sixth sense.

    We’ve all experienced this kind of sensing, this sixth sense, in those moments when we know that we know, that we know… but not necessarily how we came about this inner knowing. There’s something magical that unfolds within mystery, and as Mathew has said, you are struck with a sense of wonder and awe about the synchronistice connections and revelations that bring value, meaning and purpose to our life experiences.

    That’s the beauty of the value of mystery… it reveals our connections to something Divine, which is not only present in its presence, but that is also inherently Oned With the all and the everything of creation, in which we are all apart of. The value of mystery is that it entices you to step out into the unknown, encouraging you to trust in the various expressions and manifestations of this sixth sense.

    Unfortunately this sixth sense has often, throughout patriarchal history been oppressed and suppressed by an over-inflated imbalanced masculine identity and an over-emphasis on rational and reasoned thought alone. This masculine domination resulted in an inability to understand nor accept the value of mystery, and it’s nonrational, nonlinear movements. What the masculine feared they deemed and labeled as heretical or cultish witchery, a kind of demented evil which was then projected onto the feminine.

    Not only have women in large part, but also the feminine aspect within men, suffered greatly on a deep soul level, as a result of all of this. It’s appalling how still in this day and age, that not only within most religions, cultures, societies and institutions, this suffering still plays itself out, in horrendous and horrifying ways.

    And yet, despite and in the midst of all this tragedy the value of this mystery and all that She is, was and ever shall be, has never died. That in itself is a mystery! The mystics, the prophets, the poets, the artists have been maintained and sustained by the value, beauty and wisdom of Her enduring and everlasting essence and presence… the mystery of Her eternal beingness and it is this reality that not only gives me hope, but more importantly deepens my trust in Her benevolent friendship and life long companionship offered.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, As you know mystery and mysticism is very important to Creation Spirituality for you say, “mystery desires to be known, as you say, in a nonrational way. This nonrational way, is another kind of sensing, which as Mathew has said, is introspective, intuitive, insightful, imaginative, bearing forth and birthing creative wisdom, that stems from this sixth sense.” And in words that recall the Via Positiva you say, “you are struck with a sense of wonder and awe about the synchronistic connections and revelations that bring value, meaning and purpose to our life experiences.” I have also found that while science and the new cosmology have contributed to our sense of awe and wonder, “scientism” trivializes mystical experience because they are not bases on demonstrateable facts, they are judged as being purely subjective experience, offering no real truth. And yet the gifts of those who make use of their intuition and mystery are the “mystics, the prophets, the poets, the artists have been maintained and sustained by the value, beauty and wisdom of Her enduring and everlasting essence and presence…”

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