Everything You Need To Know About The “Divine Feminine”

It's more than a new age buzzword.

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If you’ve found yourself scrolling through witchy or mystical accounts on Instagram, you’ve probably come across someone talking about the “divine feminine” alongside imagery of a voluptuous goddess with flowing locks of hair, emerging from the sea on a giant scalloped shell. But the concept of divine feminine energy is so much more than a Goop-esque new age buzzword — it’s a sacred spiritual energy that’s believed to exist within all of us, and embracing it is about finding strength in our own softness and challenging society’s idea of what it means to empowered.

While definitions will vary among spiritualists, the divine feminine is generally thought to represent the part of our consciousness that connects us to qualities like intuition, feeling, nurturing, receptivity, and interconnectedness. It’s a type of energy that everyone can access and tap into — not something tangible nor a secret club that you need a membership to access. “The Divine Feminine refers to a face of the divine spirit that is connected with the body, with nature, and with the cycles of creation and transformation,” Gabriela Herstik, witch and author of upcoming book Goddess Energy, tells Bustle. “It is generally understood and felt through the subtle intuitive wisdom of the body.” You can think of tapping into divine feminine energy as embracing your inner Goddess.

We live in a patriarchal society that often appears to value thinking over intuition; taking action over being receptive; and focusing our energy outward rather than inward — but sacred femininity allows us to challenge that status quo. “Divine feminine energy is about uplifting that which has been denigrated in our society,” healer and artist Edgar Fabián Frías, co-editor of Divine Feminine Consciousness Zine, tells Bustle. “It is about questioning, rebuking, reclaiming, and transmuting the hierarchies that have shaped our experiences and re-centering those who have been cast out from the conversation.” By embracing only certain parts of ourselves (as dictated in part by our societal values), we can create an imbalance — but embracing divine femininity can help to heal that inequality.

“The more you’re able to think of divine femininity as something that you have already experienced, the more easily you’ll be able to see it as something beyond gender that you have inherent access to,” Herstik says. “Sometimes it’s just about knowing how to dial into this energy.” Here’s what to know about divine feminine energy and how to align yourself with its empowering message, according to actual witches and healers.

Divine Femininity Has Existed Through History

The concept of a divine feminine force is a fixture within different mystical practices, both now and throughout history — but this multifaceted energy can’t be represented by one single definition. “There are many examples of the sacred feminine in different traditions, and what’s beautiful about them is that they’re vast and expansive in their definitions of femininity and deification,” Frías says.

In fact, if you were raised with religion or have explored various spiritual practices on your own, it’s likely that you’ve likely already encountered manifestations of the divine feminine without realizing it. “The Divine Feminine is found in every culture around the world, but different traditions place this energy in different roles,” Herstik says. “The Goddess is seen in Christianity disguised as the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen; in Judaism as the Shekinah; in Hinduism as Goddesses like Kali and Durga; in Buddhism as Tara and the Dakinis; in Santeria as Yemaya; in the Greek pantheons as Aphrodite and Demeter; in Egypt as Isis and Hathor; in Celtic tradition as Brigid and Morrigan — to name only a few.”

Divine Feminine Energy Is Not About Gender

When we hear the word “feminine,” we may inherently think of the gender binary. However, divine femininity isn't at all about gender but rather about energy. “We all have a polarity within us — that of the masculine (active/force) and the feminine (receptive/form) — and we experience these through periods of action and periods of rest and integration,” Herstik says. “The Divine Feminine is the creative and life-giving energy within all of us that gives form to that which we care about and put our energy into.”

The concept of “masculine” and “feminine” energy has been used in many different mystical practices through history to describe two synergistic forces that exist within every person, regardless of gender expression. We see this represented in practices ranging from the dualities in astrology to the god and goddess archetypes in various religions. While many practitioners are moving away from using gendered language to describe energy, “masculine” energy is often thought of as being active and outward-oriented, and “feminine” energy as receptive and inward-focused.

That said, it’s important to clarify that divine femininity is available to (and part of) all of us. “There is no one way to describe what’s feminine, as it means vastly different things to different people of different cultures and identities — and it’s harmful to see the sacred feminine as only residing with people who were assigned female at birth or as only encompassing specific traits,” Frías says.

So while saying that divine feminine energy is “life-giving,” for example, may evoke thoughts of fertility and the female reproductive system, know that it transcends far beyond that. “This is not biological and not something attached to motherhood,” Herstik adds. “The divine feminine is a way of aligning with the vibrant love of the universe and channeling that through your body into creating, connecting, or loving — and it’s accessible to everyone, because no matter what, we all have a body.”

How To Embrace Divine Feminine Energy In Your Life

Now that you have an idea of divine feminine energy and its power, you might be inspired to consciously bring more of this energy into your life. Here are a few simple things to focus on in order to make that happen.

Lean Into Feeling Vs. Thinking

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While being logical and focusing on facts is a necessary part of navigating life and making decisions, it’s important that we don’t totally neglect things like our feelings and intuitions just because our society places less value on them. “The Divine Feminine is an energy of potent creation, inherently connected to the sexual mysteries that give and sustain life,” Herstik says. “Goddess is the moon, the earth, the sea, the desert, poetry, art, love — it represents that which is felt and not thought.” These parts of ourselves (which are related to divine feminine energy) can offer us useful information that helps to guide us spiritually, so be sure you’re taking the time to connect with your gut feelings.

Embrace Care & Community

The divine feminine reminds us that there’s more power in collaborating and helping one another than there is in rugged individualism, so embracing care and community in your daily life can help you align with this energy. “The divine feminine can help us tap into, cultivate, and forge new forms of power — and to envision power as something that you cultivate within, and not as something you hold over others,” Frias says. “It can help us see care and collaboration as power and learn how to embrace the vulnerability, joy, and empowerment that comes with asking others for support.”

Incorporate The Divine Feminine Into Your Mystical Practice

Regardless of your spiritual affiliations, there are plenty of ways to bring divine feminine energy into your practice and align with its magic. “Pray to a Goddess you feel connected with, wear something that makes you feel beautiful and connected to your spirit, spend time in the brilliance of nature, or set up an altar dedicated to the Divine Feminine within you,” Herstik suggests. “More than anything, connect with your heart as you move through your day — notice when something touches your spirit or inspires your soul, take moments to appreciate beauty, and see yourself as a potent manifestation of the Feminine Divine.”

There’s no right or wrong way to connect with this sacred part of your consciousness, so start exploring and see what power opens up within you.

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