Adrienne Rich on the Healthy Masculine & Divine Feminine

Recently, we have held Thich Nhat Hanh up for admiration and respect that he deserves in bringing the sacred masculine and divine feminine together.  As we have previously with Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and others.

“God, Guns & Trump.” Photo by Marc Nozell on Wikimedia Commons.

Why is this discussion so important in our times?  Because much of the destruction of Mother Earth (including denying the destruction) and of democracy itself is happening in the wake of pushing an alternative reality and alternative value system than that of justice, compassion and joy: Patriarchy teaches that might makes right and exalts authoritarianism, white supremacy, fascism dressed up in flags and bibles, and pseudo-religion.

Where is the joy in fascism?  Where is the joy in conquering?  Where is the joy when a punitive Father God reigns?

Another rich resource for waking ourselves up comes from the feminist poet and philosopher, Adrienne Rich.  I chose to put her side by side with Meister Eckhart in a chapter in my recent book on him called “The Divine Feminine: Meister Eckhart Meets Adrienne Rich.”  Her voice deserves to be heard especially in this time of patriarchal and authoritarian excess.  It is a voice on behalf of women and the Earth but also on behalf of men coming to their senses.  Hear her out.

“Legend of Aataentsic…Mother Earth” Photo by Dennis Jarvis from the MosaiCulture Gatineau on Flickr

Prepatriarchal religion acknowledged the female presence in every part of the cosmos. The moon is generally held to have been the first object of nature-worship, and the moon, to whose phases the menstrual cycle corresponds, is anciently associated with women.

The lunar deity was first and foremost related to the Virgin-Mother-Goddess, who is ‘for-herself’ [that is, virgin] and whose power radiates out from her maternal aspect to the fertilization of the whole earth, the planting and harvesting of crops the cycle of seasons, the dialogue of humankind and nature. 

Have we lost this “dialogue with nature?”  Is that why climate change is raging?  Can we bring it back?  Can we bring it back without a new relationship of the sacred masculine and divine feminine?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, pp. 58f.

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

Banner image: Ripe harvest by moonlight. Photo by Luca on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

Can we bring back this “dialogue with nature” without a new relationship of the masculine and the feminine?  How do you see that relationship improving today?

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

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “Adrienne Rich on the Healthy Masculine & Divine Feminine”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you ask, “Can we bring back this ‘dialogue with nature’ without a new relationship of the masculine and the feminine?” I saw the new relationship changing during the time of the Goddess movement in the 80s and 90s with writers like Rosemary Radford Ruether and Starhawk. I was very much involved with a group of feminist Goddess worshipers, and they allowed me, and a couple of other “safe” men to join in with their rituals. l also participated in rituals with Starhawk connected with UCS as well as in other settings. All of this made me very hopeful that the Divine Feminine would finally get equal time, after thousands of years of the reign of patriarchy. My own personal feelings are that the Goddess movement needs another serious boost because patriarchy has stolen the stage again. And that’s the direction I see things moving in today?

  2. Avatar

    Perhaps it is the return to Mother Earth Herself, that will be what reconnects humanity with a more balanced expression and manifestation of the feminine and masculine within. During this pandemic, through lockdowns and solitude.. many people were not only given an opportunity for self-reflection… but many also engaged, perhaps for the first time in a long time, with some deep soul searching. Through this feminine movement of the Spirit there was an awakening for some, that led to becoming much more attentive to what really matters. As a result of this, many made some serious life changes, engaging with their masculine… following through on what spoke to them during these moments of slowing down and being still… listening and responding to that voice of Spirit… that offered them comfort, consolation and wise council.

    Also during this time, many found themselves returning to Mother Earth, for refuge… to help them deal with the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual stresses that came with pandemic life. For some, there was a deep return of reverence and gratitude for Mother Earth and all of creation. Many people’s, hearts, minds and souls were consciously opened to the Spirit of solidarity, compassion and love. This resulted in dramatic changes in the ways in which some people were relating to one another. Not only were many people healing, but the Earth itself, and all the creatures too were healing. There has been a rebalancing for some, within this necessary and new movement within the feminine and masculine on a collective conscious level. This is the hope of the new beginning for those whom have chosen to acknowledge and respond to the blessings offered all, amidst these pandemic times.

  3. Avatar

    I’m puzzled by the series of questions at the bottom of the meditation, that call for mothering in a framework of combat. When I feel like I’m doing a fair job of mothering my children, I find that when the children’s energy is going in a direction I don’t think is right, I’m redirecting it into more positive channels. Usually when I find myself relying on direct opposition to something one of my children has done, I find myself in situations I regret, where I did not work with my children with love, where I caused harm to the relationship or said or did something that wasn’t my best self. I suspect this to be true if applying mothering to others in our world besides our own children as well. I don’t think it’s possible to lead someone to compassion through combat. We are so programmed in our culture to think and talk in language of war and confrontation. We easily use it and don’t even know we’ve done it. One thing that each of us can change right now to make our world more mothered is to try to choose our words more carefully so that we don’t use the language of war and confrontation in our advocacy as if it’s part of what we represent. We can try to choose instead to use language that directs people’s energy into positive, visionary, creative channels.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: