There’s a movement brewing…like witch’s stew. A rising up of divine feminine energy that is equal parts peace and take no prisoners action. It is feminism with a spiritual purpose. A reclaiming of those sacred feminine aspects that have been overshadowed by the patriarchal pulse that has ruled for millennia. It is a response to the Dalai Lama’s prophecy that “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”
And what is the Western woman doing about all this? She is shedding the testosteronic energies she has willingly stepped into in order to be seen and heard and witnessed. There is no more need to be eclipsed by the masculine, and more and more of us are deepening our feminine natures.
We are embodying Lakshmi so to speak. Lakshmi is the Indian Goddess of Abundance and Good Fortune. She personifies refinement, elegance, and beauty. At its best, Lakshmi energy is contentment, sufficiency, and gratitude. At its worst, it’s an over-attachment to material goods and an extreme focus on outer aesthetics at the expense of inner beauty.
Lakshmi is certainly a bridge to the divine feminine, but as we step more into her energy of abundance and luxury, are we falling too far away from the Divine, and too far into a victimizing feminine?
Amethyst. Rose Quartz. Emerald. I soaked in the healing energy of these Goddess crystals, awakening to purpose, pleasure, and possibility. Because that’s one of the ways Western women awaken to the divine feminine, by attending crystal gong baths and feeling beautiful, Lakshmi at her essence.
My friend and I shared the same thought while immersed in crystals and singing bowls…to some day host a crystal gong bath for our nearest and dearest.
“We’ll do that one day,” my friend affirmed. “With our husbands’ money.
“No…what? No,” I said, confused. “With our money.”
“With our husbands’ money.” She was adamant.
A few weeks before, I was hiking with another friend and she proudly admitted that when she dated a man she never paid…for anything…EVER. She refused to go Dutch, wouldn’t pitch in for vacations, never treated him to anything, and wouldn’t be doing so for her future husband either.
“But what about his birthday? Or Christmas? Don’t you buy him presents?”
“Sure,” she said. “With his money.”
Rewind to a few months before that. I met a woman at the gym. She came over to chat me up because, “I was gorgeous, had style, and maybe we could meet men together.”
She needed to meet a man fast because she had just split from one who’d pretty much supported her for the past 10 years—bought her a condo, paid for her gym membership. She was used to a certain lifestyle and being a hairstylist wasn’t going to “cut it.”
She had a temporary solution—a man from the gym who paid her ridiculously expensive monthly fee, took her out to dinner on Friday nights, and bought her fancy gadgets, like watches.
“So, you’re dating him…like sleeping with him?” I asked.
“No, I’m not attracted to him. We’re just friends. He likes my company. And so he pays for it.”
Apparently, I am naïve, and this is not an unusual arrangement.
I met another woman in the hot tub of the same gym. She told me about a “friend” of hers. A bit geeky, married, and utterly crushing on her, undeterred (or perhaps ignited) by the knowledge that she’s a lesbian. Whenever they hang out, he gives her a couple hundred. Her time is valuable, she has lots of friends, so if she’s going to spend it with him, he needs to make it worth her while…with money. On a teacher’s salary, she’ll take what she can get.
Are these women owning their inner Lakshmi fully…does their beauty, their intelligence, their companionship entitle them to a man’s money and “care”…or are we falling so completely from our masculine energies and our true feminine power that the Suffragettes themselves might rise from their graves and behead us all?
I am curious not in condemnation of these women, but in concern that my own inner Lakshmi might be so buried that I am unable to fully receive the gifts of the universe…and of men…unless I have worked diligently and personally for them. I can accept gifts graciously, because I likewise give them with grace—and my own money. But to be taken care of completely and financially by a man is an arrangement that in contemplation I find nauseating. It attacks my feelings of self-worth, my extreme comfort with independence, and my integrity, to the point where, yes(!), I admit it…I feel a tinge of judgment when a woman expresses her desire for financial liberation via men.
I want to protect men from these women…because why should they get a man’s hard-earned money when they are perfectly capable of making money for themselves? And then I realize: Men enjoy taking care of women. A man doesn’t mind spending money on his beauty, because it is in a man’s nature to be caretaker in that fashion. Man as benefactor isn’t an arrangement that men typically have a problem with I suppose. So shouldn’t it be a woman’s divine right to be a gracious recipient of this generosity?
The key word here is gracious. Many women mistakenly think that the amount of money a man spends on them is the degree to which he loves them. Case in point: My friend started dating a man just a few weeks before Christmas. He was a wealthy ad exec and had just bought a multimillion-dollar house in Malibu. At our Christmas party they exchanged gifts, and each gift he bought her was touchingly well thought out. Jewelry made not of diamonds, but of stones with personal and unique meaning. Even the wrapping was made of sustainable material because she had told him that the environment was one of her causes. I was impressed. She was not. She felt that if she really meant something to him, he would have spent more on her, gone with precious rather than semi-precious stones. Even after a mere three weeks of dating.
Money is indeed an essential part of the equation, but it has nothing to do with love, and certainly nothing to do with a man’s capacity to love. Money = control, and we’ve fought hard for the ability to make money—and are still fighting for equal opportunity and pay—and yet it seems that some of us want to send women back to the kitchen to make pies and spend a weekly salary as determined by our men. Scratch that. These women don’t even want to make pies. They just want to spend the man’s money on things like crystal gong baths.
To be clear: Women who have made the choice to be mothers and not work while raising their kids, I am NOT talking about you. Please channel the Great Mother and make pies and beautiful babies and raise them well while your man brings home the green bacon. Likewise a woman who is pursuing an education or her own business and being supported by a man while she manifests, I bow to you in sisterhood. You are pure Lakshmi energy. But a woman who feels entitled to a man’s money just because she is…well, a woman…stirs stuff up in me, which is never a bad thing, and if this is you, then I love and appreciate you for shaking me up and making me muse.
Perhaps it is a matter of celebrating choice…that we have one. A woman can choose to be “kept” or a woman can choose to carve her own castle.
I do wonder, though: do these uber-Lakshmi women want love in the form of a benefactor because deep down they just want to be “saved,” or are their feelings of self worth so strong that just being their fabulous, glorious, Goddess selves is enough to warrant abundance, whether it comes from their own hard work, the luck of the universe, or a man?
The answer, of course, is found on a case-by-case basis, and a willingness to look with scrutiny on our ambitions, or lack thereof. If we truly want to delve deeper into the divine feminine—a desire I believe resides in every woman to varying degrees (some experience it as a violent whirlpool of longing, others feel it as a slight nag that gets mistaken for emotional indigestion)—if we truly want to wield the spiritual sword of the feminine, then we must make sure our Lakshmi love is pure.
There are women who, without a doubt, are living with “Cinderella syndrome.” Overwhelmed by the realities of life as an independent woman they crave security…a respite from hard work, and overdue rents, and un-manifested dreams. Calgon might not be able to take them away, but surely a man could, right? The desire for Prince Charming is certainly understandable. Imagine a life where your only “stress” is deciding what flooring to put in the entryway—marble or wood…or porcelain! It makes me want to sign up for a millionaire matchmaking site and snag me a cash cow right now.
But if you’re looking for a caretaker, understand you will come upon other stresses. The stress of keeping your benefactor interested, engaged, satisfied with keeping you financially afloat, but, more important, the stress of keeping yourself interested and engaged with life. Because that divine feminine ember inside you can’t stay aglow unless you stoke its fires and fuel it with an ambition that goes beyond comfort and security. We never did get a glimpse into Cinderella’s happily ever after, after all. Perhaps she spent the rest of her days shining her prince’s boots? And we all know, Cinderella wasn’t just content to clean…
And then there are women who truly luck out with Lakshmi. But these women aren’t just enjoying Pilates and spa dates and lunch with the girls; these women are disseminating her energy into the world. They are raising children, they are writing poetry, they are volunteering, funding charities, and using their Lakshmi love to help change the world for the better.
Hopefully, the Dalai Lama’s prophecy is true and the Western woman will save the world. But first, we have to save ourselves…and sometimes, that’s from ourselves. So as we delve deeper into the divine feminine, let’s help each other keep it pure; and by that I mean, make sure it’s Lakshmi’s ambition for abundance and good fortune that’s motivating you, and not fear…fear of failure, or poverty, or separation, or hard fucking work. Use Lakshmi to help you luxuriate in the privilege of being an independent woman whose every ambition can be followed, whether it’s using her own money, or a man’s.