Pain, Patriarchy,
and the Divine Feminine

By Mary Reed

Recently I co-hosted an online series called the “Mystics’ Front Porch,” during which a participant asked a question about grief, rage, and patriarchy. She said that she found it difficult not to be overcome by rage when thinking about the dominance of men in both public and private affairs. She asked, “Can my own inner knowing be trusted about the feminine and its place in healing our world?” 

I share my response because I am often asked various versions of this question.

I grew up devoutly agnostic, but 21 years ago I began to involuntarily experience humanity’s entire evolution from stunning mystical vantage points. In my first metaphysical event, I found myself in the body and being of Jesus on the cross, and experienced how humanity has been stuck in the cycle of suffering: we react to pain with pain. Therefore we never get to heal the source of pain. 

We try to make pain go away because we think having the power to conquer is what keeps us safe. In other words, our pain-based reaction is one of domination and rejection. In the crucifixion scene I experienced clearly that mankind wanted a Christ that conquered, not a Christ that healed. Consequently Christianity became a conflict-centric religion of domination aiming to conquer all “evil.” Through other mystical events I experienced this same lesson on how we perpetuate the cycle of pain from within Buddha, within the cosmos, within international government systems, and within various other scenarios large and small.

If we can attend to our own pain with deep honesty and compassion before we react, we can observe that our reactions either perpetuate or break the cycle of pain. When we are able to turn inward and take the time to embrace the truth of our pain, letting it cry and rage and flow through us unabated until its foundations are revealed, then we reach the point where we are compelled to love our pain with great intention.

That’s what it takes to heal the source of pain.

That’s how we finally begin to realize and heal all the pain we have inherited through myriad forms of oppression, including patriarchy. We no longer perpetuate the pain of oppression because we ourselves are no longer trying to conquer our oppressors. Our contribution to the collective becomes healing rather than additional wounding.

This is a fundamental shift.  It recognizes that “non-acceptance in any form is separating.” (ACOL D:Day8.25) Separation causes additional wounding. It is separation from truth. Separation from the truth of who you are.

When we remember that being the oppressor comes from inherited conditioning, we realize that the compassionate healing process of which I speak has never been fostered within those who inherited it, including those in the patriarchy. Men have been stuck in societal, governmental, cultural, and religious systems that for eons required them to act as protector—to dominate and conquer—and then rewarded them for being heroes and leaders, keeping us safe by being strong and in control. In today’s terminology, this is our collective story of toxic masculinity. We are collectively, men and women, called now to respond differently—in the way of the Divine Feminine. 

The Divine Feminine is interested in healing the true source of pain. Period. 

An ancient model of this intention was represented by the goddess Kali, a female warrior figure that aimed to destroy all evil to protect the innocence of truth. Images like this were created in a conquering consciousness and used the war strategy of wounding our way to victory. In a conflict-centric consciousness with no other perceived options, this could be useful to an extent. But it still perpetuated the cycle of pain.

For those of us who, like the questioner above, rail at injustice and oppression, and question whether a feminine response can be trusted to heal, I encourage you to let your tears and rage flow unabated until you realize what is at the foundation of this pain within you.

A Course of Love makes a particularly memorable statement: Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love. (C:5.11)

The Divine Feminine within you will be that which allows that process to happen compassionately, tenderly, to ensure healing can happen at the source—not just for you but for others as well. As A Course in Miracles instructs, “look upon each other with perfect faith and love and tenderness.” (T19:D.i.11)

If you want to know for sure it’s Divine Feminine energies at play in any given reaction, simply check your motivation. If you’re seeking the cathartic satisfaction of conquering or dominating or rejecting others, you’re in a perpetuating-the-cycle-of-pain consciousness. If you’re truly in the healing-for-all mode, you’re in the Divine Feminine. And the latter will lead to very different, and often surprising, reactions than the former. 

My friend and poet Chelan Harkin cogently encapsulates the Divine Feminine this way in her new book, Let Us Dance! The Stumble and Whirl With the Beloved:

The Feminine is here
to crack open your body,
women AND men
and finally release the poison
of every ancient, uncleaned wound.

The Feminine is here
to crack open your old ideologies
and shoot new life through you
like a seed
hard and closed for so many years
and suddenly kissed into transformation
by the great destruction
of light.

The Feminine is here to pull you
from the measured, surveyed land
at the edge
of the wild forest
of your dreams
and finally toss you
into the mapless territory
of your heart.

The Feminine is here
to lay your impressive
certificates of learning
at the feet of inner knowing,
to pluck you from the discipleship
of an outward master
and lay you at the altar
of your inner truth,
o activate this inner truth,
that has long been waiting latent
and so eager to erupt
from your soul.

The Feminine is here
to remind you that God
can live in the earth, in the hips,
in the deepest shadows
that She is planted
like a wild rose
in the darkest
of your pain
to reteach you
to mother your frailties
rather than dominate them
and bring the wound from exile
into embrace.

The Feminine is here to bring you home
just as you are now,
to undo conditions
around enoughness,
to undo every patriarchal corset
cinched around your voice and spirit
and return you to the full belly
of your sacred breath.

The Feminine is here to reunite
tenderness with power,
to help you source this
from the great, hidden sea within,
and for you to feel the intimacy of God
pulsing Her embodied song
through the rivers of your blood
and back to the holy ocean
of your heart.

The Feminine is here to tell us
in no uncertain terms
we are carrying new wisdom,
a gestation of God
in the womb of our consciousness,
and a great, never before seen beauty
is soon due
to be born.

Embodiment of the Divine Feminine is a key to dealing with the escalating worldwide upheaval around us. It is a key to reconciling the atrocities we see around us in a supposedly “awakening” world.

The Divine Feminine is a path of relentless love. In my twenty-one years of mystical experiences, again and again I have embodied the truth that all we ever have to do, ever have to BE, is love, no matter what. And I can attest that it really does make life not only easier but more deeply beautiful.

Mary Reed is author of “Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love.” To find out more about her Mystics’ Front Porch series as well as her mystic wisdom courses and events see:







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Longing Slips Away

By MaryBeth Scalice

He says he hears me.
Thoroughly, truly, completely.
He knows me intimately.
Yet I feel as if I am deaf and mute,
groaning and grunting in an attempt
to express,
an emphatic need
to communicate,
to create just a word or phrase
to assuage the desire of this
heaving wanting-ness.

My heart as if paralyzed
cannot convey but in spasm,
the pain of trying to say…
that makes sense,
that connects,
that pours the melted butter
of my heart
into the hollows of his bread.

He knows.
He understands.
He too longs.
He too loves.

And with one arm,
pulls my head to his breast
as if I am a little child.
I rest there, my eyes closed
and breathe His scent.

The longing slips away
into oneness.

MaryBeth Scalice, M.A., Ed.D., views her life as a living-breathing poem of God. Many years ago, her heart opened, her listening deepened, the breath fell away, and divine union was realized. MaryBeth is a counselor, writer, and teacher trained in humanistic and transpersonal psychology. Her work integrates psychology with spirituality, offering transformational heart-centered therapies for health and self-realization. She created the Foundation of Open Hearts, and in 2019 published Write, Beloved, Write