There has been a conscious move within the last six, or so, thousand years, to stamp out women's power on every front - including women as healers. The group soul loss experienced by many women, either consciously or unconsciously, has stayed with them. A cellular memory of almost nine million wise and spirited women being tortured and murdered during the inquisition, is something that many women re-experience at their moon time. When depression hits during a woman's period, this is often the ancestral soul/power loss surfacing from the light body - that part that holds all of our history and emotional blueprint.
The most destructive divide that exists on the planet today is that between the feminine and masculine aspects. Until the world acknowledges this, it can't fix it. Around six thousand years ago and prior to that, nearly all societies were matriarchal. Healing and shamanism was considered to be 'woman's work'. The ancients understood that women were better equipped to transcend the world of form. Today, science has backed this up: women, scientists have discovered, have more nerve endings in their brains. They are therefore predisposed to using both hemispheres of the brain equally. The logical and intuitive aspects within them are equally accessed. This alone is confirmation of the power that women have to leave the denser, three dimensional world and fly to fourth and fifth dimensional reality. It was recognized by the ancients, as it is today, that men do have the gifts of 'spiritual flight' that women do, but they have it to a lesser degree. Men have equal spiritual ability only if they are able to conquer ego; men are far more ego-bound than women, so reaching spiritual heights is a far greater challenge to them.
Male shamans throughout history have resorted to murdering female shamans in order to steal their power. Patriarchy has committed atrocities against women throughout 'his-tory' in order to somehow 'steal' power that was not ordinarily available to them. War is a good example of this: it is an exercise in male insecurity. Men have feared a woman's power of blood to such an extent, that going to war and getting wounded was/is, perhaps, their only route to inheriting the sacred feminine's power of birth and regeneration. Men have marginalized women and punished them for a power that they secretely wanted for themselves.
Male shamans have also tried to render female shaman's obvious power invisible by barring them from joining sacred ceremony if they were on their moon time. When male shamans are giving shamanic workshops, they are sometimes just as fearful of the feminine power of blood as other men are, and have even refused to let females participate during these times. They fear that, somehow, their own power will be compromized in some way. The fact that this still happens at all is a sad reminder that the feminine aspect still needs to be healed.
There are some indiginous tribal cultures that only allow shamans to be men. This is another way that the male aspect has tried to make the female aspect invisible. No culture, or society can be spiritually complete or whole unless there is no divide between both aspects. To 'divide' is a phenomenon that is part of the male experience - the divine feminine aspect is inclusive, all embracing and non-judgemental. If you want to get some measure as to whether a culture - ancient or current - is balanced across the gender divide, then notice whether there are men, as well as women, leading that particular culture. Any gender split is a clear indication that the male and female aspects are out of balance.
Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice that we know about. The oldest skeleton found is that of a woman - she was almost certainly a shaman. The earliest shamans were probably mostly women. Women are generally more gifted when it comes to 'spiritual fight'. They are less 'attached' to form and are therefore less locked into the physical. During a shamanic soul retrieval session, men and women shamans often have a very different approach: while male shamans journey, on behalf of a client, to the spirit world to do battle with intrusive energies, female shamans often involve the client in that process. This is a fundamental difference and one which is significant: for long-term healing, it is so much more powerful to allow a client to do some of the work themselves. If they are able to, they develop a knowledge of what to do the next time an intrusive energy latches onto them. Doing things the male way often doesn't teach the client anything; they just leave feeling much better, but often have to return to the male shaman again so that he can repeat what was previously done. The male approach forces a client into relying on the male shaman. Because the female shaman has often taught a client to self heal, they will not always feel the need to return again. Female shamans understand that everyone has the abillity to heal. Because they are less ego-bound, they are not bothered about being 'needed', and are therefore less susceptible to 'self-importance'.
In spite of enduring an enormous collective wounding, the feminine spirit has survived. Today, we have almost reached a critical mass where Goddess is returning. Women are beginning to wake up to the fact that 'surviving' is not enough. It is not enough for women, be they Mothers, healers, wisdom keepers, teachers, elders, mystics, or all these, to simply 'be here' on an individual basis. Women are now opening to a need to be a powerful presence in the world where the feminine voice can be heard and reveered. We are seeing the birth of a spiritual 'sisterhood' that was banished long ago. Goddess is being rekindled. She is about to upset the patriarchal apple cart - if she hasn't done so already. Goddess will ruffle a lot of male, as well as female feathers - and so she should. She will remind everyone that God came out of Goddess. She will help women assume their rightful place at the top of the trinity and to take back the power that men stole from them so long ago. And when they have retrieved that power, and the collective feminine spirit has healed, they will know that 'feminine' and 'power' are one and the same.
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