Report from the Parliament: The Feminine is Rising!
(submitted Saturday, December 5, 2009)
Three days into the Parliament of the World's Religions ... and I am happy to report that the Sacred Feminine is rising at this Parliament in the most spectacular ways. Here is a quick peek at some of the highlights in the past days:
~Our event on Friday afternoon 'A Creative Exploration of the Sacred Feminine' was a wonderful gathering. We had been assigned one of the larger breakout rooms at the Convention Center, and as people approached our space, they were welcomed by a semi-circle of wonderful volunteers holding large color posters of the Sacred Feminine from many faith traditions. (Special thanks to China Galland who shared with us beautiful high resolution images that we could have printed here in Melbourne.) Other volunteers handed out poems honoring Mother from many traditions. As soft music played and the images flowed on the large screen in the front, our room filled with more than 125 women and men. After tuning in with all of you in a Global Moment of Connection, we were blessed by offerings of poems, songs, music and dance from diverse traditions including Celtic, Sihk, Urantia, Muslim, Jewish and Catholic. It was sacred space.
~The next morning featured a panel on The Divine Feminine where women from various traditions -- Pagan, Catholic, Hindu and Buddist -- spoke to room packed with passionate delegates and a large crowd stood in the open doorway. Phyllis Courot spoke about how when she had offered a workshop on the Sacred Feminine at the Parliament in 1993, she had difficulty finding anyone who would join her panel and very few attended. She observed that things certainly seem to have changed with this Parliament and the Feminine was clearly rising! Sister Joan Chittister spoke in her usual clear and strong voice about imperative to bring gender balance to our view of God and to our world. She stressed our humanity is 'seeing with one eye, hearing with one ear, thinking with one half of our brain... and it shows.' The response was loud and loving.
~Next I attended a session called 'Men Who Love the Goddess' and listened deeply as four articulate and intelligent men described how they know and love the Sacred Feminine.
~Later that afternoon, Sister Joan was scheduled for a small open space event, an intimate opportunity for conversation with her. The room quickly filled with over 100 people and hundreds more crowded the hall outside. The staff scrambled to move us into one of the large ballrooms which was filled with more than 500 people as Joan began to take questions. The first question came from a Russian Orthodox priest dressed in black robes: Please help me understand: What can men do to help heal this imbalance and bring an end to patriarchy? The whole room exhaled and Joan lovingly asked all the men in the room to raise their hands. It brought me to tears to look around and see that more than 1/3 of of the group was men opening their hearts and joining fully in this passionate moment.
A delegate sitting next to me said "Sister Joan is clearly the rock star of this Parliament." (The good news is that this humble, honest and very effective woman of Spirit is on her way to Copenhagen tomorrow!)
And I think the real rock star of this Parliament is the Sacred Feminine who is here with joy and grace and an incredible Divine Plan.