African American Women and the Divine Feminine

Healing individuals, families, and communitiesOshun by Brigid Aswood
Warning: I’m about to get all Afrikka Bambatta on you. I lovingly invite African American women everywhere to gather around this sacred fire. Boomshakalackaboom *waves fragrant incense around*  Ok, silliness aside . . .I see that we have important, restorative work to do. There needs to be a women’s movement to re-establish balance in our families and in our communities at-large. The movement is powered by our ability to tap the divine feminine or sensual spirituality.  Black women in particular are needed to lead our own charge.

Shared Struggles
Our collective history has blessed us with strength, fortitude, and resilience. But it has also cursed us with identity struggles, health issues, social and economic challenges, as well as attacks from all sides by the mainstream American culture.  And how does this affect our families and our communities?

  • Historic racial and gender injustices. Lately, turn on the news, or log onto social media and what we see about what is going on today is enough to make us scream. We desperately need our divine feminine power to help us raise strong children in a society that continuously depicts or girls as inherently unattractive, hyper-sexual, and unworthy; and our boys as dangerous, criminal, unintelligent, and less than human.  ENOUGH!
  • Man problems. Buying into the tired myth that there are not enough eligible men?  Forget about it, he is out there!  In order to attract the right man, we need to be sure we reflect the right woman. Living in fear of being without a man and “settling” for the wrong one (not because of some arbitrary physical or unreasonable financial requirements, but wrong because he is not compatible with our values and aspirations) out of perceived necessity is damaging our families.  Being happy as a couple first requires our happiness as one.
  • Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Despite recent studies and media coverage of confident, overweight black women these diseases are running rampant and threatening the very foundation of our physical selves. The old habits of the past need to be replaced with new habits for the future, if we are to thrive as a people. This is more than an issue of vanity. We may be living longer, but what can be said of the quality of life?  What about the burden we place on our young ones when we suffer from bad health?

Historically, African American women have surmounted some of the steepest barriers ever. We are survivors, the daughters of survivors from the worst times. It is a willingness to embrace the spiritual aspect of our very DNA that can make each of us better. Better for our families, our communities, and the world.   As women of the African Diaspora, this is our birthright, and it needs reclaiming.

African American Women: The Feminine Archetypes
You may have some concept of your inner feminine power. It’s but one part of our complex source of energy. It’s the spirit that’s represented by different aspects of the divine Goddess.
I’ve compiled some general characteristics into archetypes to highlight the nature of our specific feminine strengths and weaknesses. To which “archetype(s)” do you self-subscribe? How do others view you?  Note: these could be construed as stereotypes, but please put that idea aside for our purposes here.

  • The African Queen:  Elegant and regal, the African queen’s head is lifted. She’s always looking up, and looking out. She identifies with her often lost or unknown motherland heritage; she wears battles past deep in her heart. She is the protector of civil rights and humanity, and the arts. She commands respect. The African Queen struggles to bring her level of consciousness to the masses, in order to bring positive change to communities at large. She seems all-powerful but often needs more self-nurturing to sustain herself long-term.
  • The Diva:  Being a Diva is about looking good and feeling fierce. A Diva has attitude and raw, exuberant confidence. A proud African American woman, she is confident about her life choices, particularly when swathed in the latest designer brands. She is sharp, talented, and insightful. She’s on a mission to take the world by storm. She lives the lights, cameras, action life. Yet, there’s always something still missing. There is more to her, something deeper,  that needs to be revealed.
  • The BBW:  Some African American women are big and beautiful. But don’t get it twisted! She does not lack high self-esteem because of her size and shape. Unlike women in other cultures our BBWs often bask in the sexual attention their thick, curvy bodies draw. BMI be damned, she is just not that pressed about losing weight. Nor does her generous frame typically prevent her from enjoying a vibrant social life. There’s just more of her to love.  It would benefit her to embrace a healthy lifestyle they way she embraces her voluptuous curves for a better and longer life.
  • The Momma:  The matriarch and nurturer, and the protector of everyone and everything.  She is demanding but she doesn’t always take time to care for herself.  She can be hell on wheels at times but we all know that inside she is tender and loving.
  • The Sista-girl:  The sista girl is like the girl next door.  She operates well within the American mainstream.  She is driven, independent, successful, and very smart.  But despite all of her successes she can still become caught up in society’s (other people’s) ideas of what her ideal life should be like. She is often health conscious, but vulnerable to poor body image.

No matter our types – or archetypes – there is still a need for transformation. Every one of us could use a measure of balancing, to bring us to the level of a Goddess. The balance and true beauty happens when we embrace and expand on the divine feminine within us.

Call to Action

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. ~Marian Wright Edelman, American Activist, Families in Peril

Take small steps, very small steps. Flash one extra smile today. Open one door faster to heal an issue with a friend or family member. Say a little prayer for peace with your nemesis. From there, it is a small distance to travel to accomplish bigger, better things for yourself.
Consider these among your first steps:

Feel Powerful and Self-complete:  If you’re not “whole” when that special someone arrives, you make it tough for them to stay. When shopping, no one buys that which is broken. Increase your value by “fixing” your neediness, jealousy, and possessiveness. Nobody can “complete” you. You have everything you will ever need to be the best you can be.

Balance your Masculine Power:  Tone down negative masculine attributes we all possess–the aggressiveness, greed, and materialism–by releasing the scarcity myth. Soften those calloused, calculating edges with more feminine attributes. If you’ve been told you’re too self-absorbed, that is masculine energy overkill. When you embrace your true power from within, new and magical things begin to occur.

Banish Fear of the Unknown: Get past the doubts and old wives’ tales that keep you from discovering your own unique happiness and success. What works for one sista may not work for you. And trust me, the answers are not found in those low-level girl-mags on the newsstand or the latest celebrity talk shows. The answers are within you, but you have to be open to receiving them.

Deal with Health and Stress-related Issues: Become a stronger version of yourself. Shed excess pounds and your protect health overall. Improve your life by becoming physically fit. Expose yourself to more positive vibrations. Come on out of your boring old comfort zone and try practicing dance, yoga, art, or something completely new and exciting.

Want to go Deeper? Discover Tantra to Uncover Your Bliss
Roughly translated from Hindi, the term tantra means “to weave” the mind, body, and spirit. It literally means you can expand your entire being through acceptance. Specifically, it will increase awareness of your intuition, your senses, and energy. When you have awareness of your powerful energies, you have the ability to balance them with tantric meditation and chakra work. Tantra balances your feminine and masculine energies. It will give you the impetus to seek better health and relaxation. Tantra also gives you a focused sense of purpose. Through tantra, you’ll learn to be open to receiving your gifts when they appear.  Don’t be skeptical. Tantra is not that hot mess you saw on HBO Real Sex. It’s a scientific method, a world view, and a way of life.  Curious? Here’s how you can explore tantra with me – from where you’re sitting right now.

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Comments

  1. Lately, I have become quite disenchanted with almost exclusive Caucasian focus of spirituality addressing such issues as the Divine Feminine, spiritual sexuality, and sundry other such matters.

    I came across your site when I decided to do a search for “Divine Feminine Black”.

    I read a few of your articles.

    I applaud you.

    I subscribed to your materials.

    I also referred your site to my daughter who is enmeshed in an Afro-Centric mentality; and, has recently started to crank up her spirituality.

    Quick note about me.
    Mature black male, vegetarian @25 years, most of that time vegan and raw fooder {now not vegan – readily consumes ghee {which I make myself}, and baked goods – from some phenomenal elderly black ladies for whom I do ‘honey do’ type work – that contains dairy and {oh my god!!!} eggs.

    I won’t consume eggs otherwise, except at Easter and then when I succumb to nostalgia yearning. I do not eat dead animal parts.

    I have been on my spiritual path longer than I have been a vegetarian. Actually, it was the learning of the impregnation of negative dynamics into the carcasses during the slaughtering process that quickly drove me to become a vegetarian.

    Well, I think that is sufficient as way of an introduction.

    I hope your project blossoms as you would have it to do.

    Peace & bliss
    robert

    • Hi Robert,

      It’s nice to meet you and I am so happy that you found what you were looking for on this site. The topics of the Divine Feminine and tantra have been something I’ve been wanting for a long time to share with my sisters of color in a language that is culturally familiar. I plan to post much more of this kind of thing in the near future because they are such vast topics and so much material to cover. I am also having fun with food videos so I hope you will enjoy some of my vegan and vegetarian recipes here as well. Take care and stay in touch.

      Lisa

  2. Hello LifeBliss Lisa:

    I found your website after I googled feminine Black women, which I have embarked on for some time now. I’m currently creating a website and blog that will focus on why most Black Men like a certain type of Black Woman and will pass up a Black woman that although she may not have the physical characteristics he desires, she may indeed be the girl of his dreams. You know, why most Black men tend to gravitate toward short Black women–5 feet 5 inches and shorter?

    What interested me about your website was the fact I could identify with more than one archetype of Black woman you described. You are also a professional belly dancer. Don’t you just love the costumes? I’m currently training to be a belly dancer and I love it. I also noticed you are spiritual and you work with tantras. Self acceptance is essential and without it healing is not possible, nor will doors open for you. I practiced Buddhism for 19 years. However, I found that self love was far more powerful than any religion. My self love empowered me to lose more than 100 pounds and counting! I started loving and accepting myself in the moment before starting any weight loss regime. I also study Astrology and I’m doing quite well with it, reading charts and counseling. It will not long before I’m a certified Astrologer. I meditate, actually I do several kinds–like Transcendental Meditation, Tapping, and Affirmations. I do affirmations, but with implied psychology and much suggestion followed by my own personal rituals. I study ancient Egyptian Stellar religion also. I have other interests in metaphysics, Tai Chi, Yoga and healing. I find great pleasure making jewelry, bead looming, gardening, sewing, embroidery and teaching. There’s more I can say.

    I find what you are doing is fascinating and I believe celebrating yourself is extremely powerful because of the innate gifts we are endowed with that we have forgotten over the centuries. I wish more Black people would read your website. Please keep up the wonderful work you do. I believe Black women hold what is sacred within her and unfortunately, where/who has been holding her in captivity has done a good job at beating her down and ultimately making her beat herself down and tricking her into forgetting who she is. The same for Black men. It is so obvious.

    I saw Orion in the night sky,
    Oracle

    • Hi Oracle,

      Thank you so much! It’s very interesting that you are exploring how (black) men bypass women who don’t fit a narrow set of physical characteristics. I’ve always questioned my single women friends about the same issue! They want tall men and they skip over so many smart, fun, fantastic (and handsome) men. So they remain single and unhappy. My theory is that this is a problem of people honoring societal (external) values and not their own (internal) ones. But I would love to read your take on this, is your website online yet?

      You do so many wonderful things! How do you make time for them all?

      Lisa

  3. Hello Lisa, thank you for responding, unfortunately my website is not established yet. I’m still doing an empirical study due to the fact that many will be disgusted at the truth of what I have to say. One of the things my website will cover is the prejudice and discriminatory physical criteria Black men imposed on Black women, but do not impose on other races. Yet White women who look the total opposite of the short Black woman tend to have children by Black men indicating that they have/had some relationship with a Black man. These White women are often large in weight, somewhere around 40-100 pounds over weight and far above 5’5″ tall. Now why is this? I find this utterly amazing when so many Black women who are tall with model figures like Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones, Veronica Webb and Beverly Johnson who are considerably slim and beautiful AND Black women who like myself are curvaceous and voluptuous, thick and above 5’5″ tall–my exact height 5’8″ tall are single more often and longer than our shorter Black female counterparts. Moreover, and have to date or marry outside our race. We tall Black women, not all, but most, however had/have sexual encounters with Black men, but not necessarily a relationship. Many tall Black women marry or date outside their race or nationality, just look at the tall Black women I just named and who they married or dated. It will not be many Black American men, whereas short, petite Black women usually marry or date Black men native to America. Many tall Black women HAVE to date or marry outside their race or nationality while some Black men WANT to date or marry outside their race or nationality.

    This does not mean the Black woman is taller necessarily than the Black man, but taller than 5’5″. Although most Black men will say they love Black women, the truth is, some Black men are shallow and superficial, and they love or desire only a certain type of Black woman. Just pay close attention to African-American people and who they are with when they are with their own kind. See what I mean? It is far worse in places like Texas and Louisiana. Unfortunately only the tall Black woman sees this because she is the only person in the world affected by it. This is something Black men do unconsciously or subconsciously. They are not aware that they are doing this or simply do not want to deal with their inferiority complexes that they take out on their women and ultimately deny themselves of a wonderful and fulfilling, loving relationship with a Black woman. Notice, I said with a Black woman. It is sad because, many of them do not believe they deserve a woman like me, or any other happy Black woman although she is what they truly want. He doesn’t have the courage to deal with his own issues of being inferior and his power-dominance complex. Black men generally chooses a woman who can help him escape his true feelings or reality. Rather than truly wanting to love someone. In other words, just because it is night, doesn’t mean the sun in not shining. Some Black men, you know, cannot deal with a woman unless he is looking down at her, yet he believes, this gives him power and dominance. This is so false. Power and dominance is an innate quality from within. You either have it or you’re a coward. There is so much more I can say on this point.

    Black men can be simply fascinating, amazing, sweet, kind, lovable, and truly wonderful. They will give you their heart and soul and go through the fire with you. There is nothing in this world they won’t do for you. Black men are so cool! This I have learned from my own experience with my current boyfriend. They are also the easiest men in the world to fall in love, believe it or not! This is not necessarily a bad thing! :)

    Yes, I do many things. I’m so in love with life right now and I have a deep appreciation and reverence for it. I’m rejoicing more each day as I learn more amazing things about myself. I’m experiencing my own personal renaissance right now and life is just wonderful! I thank life and of course, my own life every single day! That is why I honor what you are doing Lisa. Thank you so very much and keep up the good work.

    Loving yourself has its perks and pluses!

    I saw Orion in the night sky,
    Oracle

  4. I agree with your theory.

    I saw Orion in the night sky,

    Oracle

  5. This was an excellent post! I am tagging this post in a an article I am posting now. You would be surprised by the lack of articles online about African American tapping into their feminine energy. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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