The Shekinah: Image of the Divine Feminine


The Divine Feminine by Andrew Harvey & Anne Baring
"The Kabbalistic tradition describes the feminine image of the godhead as Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Holy Spirit, giving woman what she has lacked throughout the last two and a half thousand years in Judeo-Christian culture - an image of the Divine Feminine in the godhead that is reflected at the human level in herself. The Shekinah is Divine Motherhood, Mother of All Living.”

The Divine Feminine:

“The Shekinah is the image of the Divine Feminine or the feminine face of God as it was conceived in the mystical tradition of Judaism, originating perhaps in the rabbinic schools of Babylon and transmitted orally for a thousand years until it flowered in the writings of the Jewish Kabbalists of medieval Spain and southwestern France. In Kabbalah, religion ceases to be a matter of worship and collective belief. It becomes a direct path of communion between the individual and the Divine. In the imagery of the Shekinah, Kabbalah gives us the cosmology of the soul and the relationship between the two aspects of the godhead that has been lost or hidden for millennia. The mythology of the Kabbalah is so gloriously rich, so broad in its imaginative and revelatory reach, and so intensely nourishing to a world that lacks any awareness of the Divine Feminine, that to discover this tradition is immensely exciting. The Shekinah reveals the missing imagery of God-as-Mother that has been lost or obscured in both Judaism and Christianity.

Whereas the Old Testament is the written tradition of Judaism, Kabbalah offers the hidden oral tradition, wonderfully named as"The Voice of the Turtle" (turtledove). This mystic knowledge or mystic tradition of the direct path to God was described as the Jewels of the Heavenly Bride. The Bronze Age imagery of the Great Goddess returns to life in the extraordinary beauty of the Kabbalistic description of the Shekinah and in the gender endings of nouns that describe the feminine dimension of the godhead. But the Divine Feminine is now understood as cosmic soul, the intermediary between the godhead and life in this dimension who, as the Shekinah brings together heaven and earth, the divine and the human in a resplendent vision of their essential relationship.

The mythology of this tradition restores the image of the sacred marriage in the union of the Divine Father-Mother in the ground of being. There is not a Mother and a Father but a Mother-Father who are one in their eternal embrace: one in their ground, one in their emanation, one in their ecstatic and continuous act of creation through all the invisible dimensions they bring into being and sustain. No other tradition offers the same breathtaking vision, in such exquisite poetic imagery, of the union of male and female energies in the One that is both. The Song of Songs was the text most used by Kabbalists for their contemplation of the mystery of this divine union. Yet one has the feeling that this way to union with the Divine may descend from some unknown source that nourished Egypt, Sumer, and India.

The Kabbalistic tradition describes the feminine image of the godhead as Mother, Daughter, Sister, and Holy Spirit, giving woman what she has lacked throughout the last two and a half thousand years in Judeo-Christian culture - an image of the Divine Feminine in the godhead that is reflected at the human level in herself. The Shekinah is Divine Motherhood, Mother of All Living. Women can know themselves, in their role as mothers, in their care and concern for the well-being of their loved ones, as the instinctive custodians of her creation.

The thirteenth-century"Zohar, The Book of Radiance or Splendor"that was the principal text of Kabbalah, contemplates the mystery of the relationship between the female and male aspects of the godhead expressed as Mother and Father, and their emanation through all levels of creation as Daughter and Son. The essential conception of this mystical tradition expresses itself as an image of worlds within worlds. Divine Spirit (Ain Soph or Ein Sof) beyond form or conception is the light at the center, the heart, and moves outward as creative sound (word), thought and energy, bringing into being successive spheres, realms, veils, or dimensions imagined as veils or robes that clothe and hide the hidden source yet at the same time transmit its radiant light.

The transmission of light from source to the outer, manifest level is also imagined as an inverted tree, the Tree of Life, whose branches grow from its root in the divine ground and extend through the worlds of emanation. The primal center or root is the innermost light, of an unimaginable luminosity and translucence. The inner point expands or is sown as a ray of light into a dimension described in some texts as a sea of glory, in others as a palace that acts as an enclosure for the light; from this womb it emanates as a radiant cascade, a fountain of living water, pouring forth light to sustain and permeate all the worlds or dimensions it brings into being. All life on earth, all consciousness, is that light and is therefore utterly sacred. The Zohar [principal text of Kabbalah] describes nature as the garment of God.”

Andrew Harvey & Anne Baring, The Divine Feminine
Conari Press Berkeley, CA




The fulfillment of eschatological instruction promised by Jesus
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2)
An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
“An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apokalypsis ... literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, "A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities". Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology obtained through dreams or spiritual visions.” Wikipedia 2021-01-09

Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
Total number of recorded talks 3058: Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651, and other (private conversations) 1249

“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation,
Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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