What Does It Mean to Be a Woman in the Modern Era?

There’s no doubt that with gender being at the forefront of many conversations today we are still left with many questions. In an attempt to soothe these newly public and specific identifications could it be that we end up loosing powerful traits that are part of both male and female archetypal energies? Let’s take a deeper look.

What is an archetypal energy? It is a reoccurring universal pattern that has a direct relationship with a particular type of energy associated with embodied imagery. What power these psychological and spiritual attributes contain exists outside of specific people, places and things. Therefore they are more of a blueprint, the energy of that which exists in the whole, not just the individual. For example, many people find fairytails hard to deceiver since the characters actually represent different internal states or ‘archetypes’ of energy (both those that may work for, or against us) that are then simply well executed into the externalized drama. The prince and the princess. The parent and the child. The hero and the monster. All these potentials, challenges, and resolves live simultaneously within us. Take into consideration these two books: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim and The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (or simply google “The Heros Journey”).

What does this mean now that we have so much pressure on choosing and guarding a solidified archetypal image for ourselves? What if your energy changes by day? What if you don’t know how to describe your unique experience of up and downs, highs and lows, preferences and apprehensions? In other words attempting to be “more of something” can leave you out of balance with other energetic areas in your life. It’s okay to live outside a definition. Often we see the modern pressures for women cultivate a drive to be more seen, more heard, more attractive, more desirable but this often leads to unnecessary competition and heightened insecurities. We spend so much time focusing on the outside and referencing others, but inside there are countless untapped abilities to be so much more confident and capable. Though, this includes the necessity of becoming grounded, resilient, and self-trusting with the willingness to get your hands dirty.

Look to other cultures and you will see what being a woman means. Yes, I understand innately there are differences in environments and lifestyle, but western culture has unknowing glorified the overarching superficiality of one of the most deeply Earth connected archetypes in the world; the woman. The grandmother, the mother, the maiden, the child. All these contain different specialties of wisdom, but we have assumed that attractiveness and desirability are at the top of the list in just about every phase of womanhood. This is untrue. What we are intended to experience and what roles we play shape us in such an internally significant way. If we were only to faithfully and gracefully ride the disrupting waves of change. Instead of looking to the world for approval we should instead be deep within the quality of our direct experiences. Whether that’s being in play, in love, in raising a family, in nurturing a passion, in raising plants, in devising a career, or in simply leaning into the abundant qualities that are innate to the female energy.

Celebrate your womanhood outside of status, economic sustenance, spiritual fulfillment, the presence of a parter (or lack there of), meeting the needs of others, the need to control, or the need to be validated and remember; there are still women far, far away in the jungle digging, building, working, giving birth, loving their communities, praying, chanting, painting, healing, resting and occupying their own power in whichever way it is choosing to show up. So no matter what you have or what you don’t, remember that you have the permission to channel whatever energy you need to at whatever moment you need it. We are not one dimensional. We are more capable, powerful, and assured then we have been led to believe. Or at times, that we are willing to apply or practice. We have endless amounts of strengths and weakness, but the point is to be kind to ourselves. To grow into how we can feel more settled, and sensual, and primal. Not just on the outside, but within our hearts, our spirits, and in the optimism of our thoughts. We are the warrior and the warred, we are the king and the queen, we are the flower and the seed, we are the sun and the moon, we are both ice and fire. Once we understand this, we can embrace ourselves so fully in such a deeply untouchably way that our peace will eradicate the need to call it anything. For we are human, and that means we are immeasurably capable of handling anything demanding our current need for action.