• Parabola 41:1 The Divine Feminine

Parabola 41:1 Spring 2016

The Divine Feminine

Everybody has to be the hero of their own journey, wrote P.L. Travers in the first issue of Parabola, “The Hero,” published in 1976. The curious name of the magazine was meant to echo “parable,” but also to describe the dynamic arc of a hand-held fishing net when it is flung—the soaring shape of a journey out and home again, enlarged by what it found. The mission was to gather food for seekers—everyday heroes on a journey to discover the meaning and purpose of their lives.

With this Spring 2016 issue, the journey taken by Parabola’s readers and editors has continued for forty years. The world has changed and the challenges have grown steeper, yet the magazine endures, sustained by the conviction that the deep truth we seek is more crucial than ever, and always news.

In recent years, it has become clear that the qualities of a hero have expanded to include the feminine. The Divine Feminine is not strictly related to gender, as Jungian author Marion Woodman and others explain in these pages. This wisdom requires that we learn to ­consciously hold the truth, respecting even difficult or seemingly opposing aspects without fighting—or fleeing or fixing—in a traditionally masculine mode. Sometimes this wisdom is expressed in ­literal holding, as in the case of Amma, the “hugging saint” of India, profiled here. But as Amma explains, wisdom always involves the subtle actions of patience, compassion, and love.

“The feminine is the matrix of creation,” writes Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in this issue. Far from the inert partner of the active masculine, it is “the mystery of the renewal of life,” according to J.M. White, who offers here the earliest images of the Mother. Collectively and individually, we are learning that just as consciousness is not “mine”—not an achievement won in isolation, but shared from a greater source—so the planet itself must be received as a gift, held with compassion, and shared. We must all help. The good news is that the wisdom of the Divine Feminine is here to help us, waiting like water under the earth, an oracle to guide us home.
—Tracy Cochran


Table of Contents

ESSAYS AND CONVERSATIONS

Richard Wagner, Waken, Valkyrie: A call to ancient goddesses

Lillian Firestone, Amma: Ebracing the "hugging saint"

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Reclaiming the Feminine Mystery of Creation: Honoring our sacred connection to life

Holly Bellebuono, Darkness and the Divine Feminine: Caving, the pineal gland, and the Great Mother

Jenny Koralek, Ave Maria: The arising of Our Lady

Laura Dunn, In the Eye of the Beholder: Contemplating a Tantric goddess

Tamam Kahn, Mothers of Islam: Who were the wives of Muhammad?

Patty de Llosa, Marion Woodman and the Search for the Conscious Feminine: Guidance from an esteemed Jungian teacher

Joan Chittister, OSB, Dorothy Day: A look at the activist nun honored by Pope Francis

Betsy Cornwell, Sister God: There is a way through the woods

Lillian Firestone, A Death on the Rez: A return to Mother Earth

J.M. White, The Stamp of Eternity: The earliest images of the Divine Feminine

Sojourner Truth, A Servant of the Living God: How she quieted an unruly mob

EPICYCLES

Anonymous, Neasa the Ungentle | Irish Mythology: The (medieval) Ulster Cycle. Retold by Betsy Cornwell

Anonymous, The Story of Fish-Basket Kuan-yin | Buddhist. Retold by Margo McLoughlin

POEMS 

Clementine Burnley, Tears at night

Eliot Fintushel (translator), Adoration of the Goddess (Song of Songs, 4)

Carole Frome, How Morning Are

TANGENT

Trebbe Johnson, How Do We Reclaim the Heart of Humanity?: A report on the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions

BOOK REVIEW

George Addie and Joseph Azize, George Adie: A Gurdjieff Student in Australia: reviewed by Jeff Zaleski

ENDPOINT

Parabola

Parabola 41:1 The Divine Feminine

  • ISBN: 03721596411
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