We are speaking of the feminine heroic—a narrative that winds through my stories and also plays a vital role as we face darkness in the world.
In brief, the feminine heroic is…
The feminine heroic is a path of hope lost and found, of misplaced faith and discovery of what is enduring. Above all, it is about facing darkness, the annihilation of ego, and our own inevitable death.
Makes you want to just jump right in, doesn’t it?
The benefits of walking this uncommon path are immense. If fear is running your life right now, it will keep you from doing what matters like loving fully, acting courageously, overcoming denial, feeling joy, and facing truth.
By walking the feminine heroic journey, the fear that strangleholds your life loosens its grip. As it does, you gain the ability to take action in spite of fear. It stops running your life. This is no small thing.
Ready or not, the journey awaits
As I mentioned in my first post about the feminine heroic, this is a journey you can take on purpose, or you can wait until life throws you a meteoric curve ball. The second option is much harder because you’re unprepared. Choose it and you’re better prepared for life’s fates.
Instead, it is better to practice so that you build endurance for real-life events (personal or global) that seem too scary to face. Instead, you feel stronger, more badass, and resourceful when you face darkness.
Seven sacred objects
The Sumerian myth of Inanna (goddess of heaven and earth) and Ereshkigal (goddess of the underworld) shows us the path of the feminine heroic. Before she descends to the Underworld, Inanna puts on her sacred regalia, a symbol of her status as a goddess.
The following is a description of the seven objects (or symbols) you need to prepare to walk the feminine heroic journey. At the end is a suggested activity.
You may want to have a journal or sketchbook handy as you proceed with this activity.
The dress of groundedness
Inanna’s first sacred item is a glorious dress.
Imagine a color that represents to you the abundant, nourishing earth—its abundant plant life, its nourishing soil, its fertile plains, fathomless ocean, and deepest caves. Think deep green, dark blue, blood red, chocolate brown, etc.
Choose a color that best represents to you this grounding, solid energy of mother earth.
Then imagine a long dress or tunic of that color, long enough to touch the earth. This garment represents your embodied form, the very matter of earth in your bones and veins that makes you human. Wearing this garment connects you to the earth through its color, its weight, and material. Wearing it helps you feel solid and grounded.
Imagine or sketch this garment on your own body. From what fabric is it made? Notice how long it is, and how the sleeves drape. Notice how it fits your skin, and how it is cut across your chest. Feel the earth energy woven through it.
The bowl of life
If you were to embellish your dress or tunic, what item or symbol would you wear at your lower abdomen to represent your fertility, creativity, and sexual energy? Is it a glowing, orange moon? A string of amber beads? A copper disc? A jewel-encrusted sword in a leather sheath?
In as much detail as possible, imagine or sketch an item or symbol that represents your creative and sexual drive—as you would like it to be.
Actualized power doesn’t harm, but rather protects, fights for good, and illuminates the dark places. Power resides in the upper abdomen and is represented with gold, yellows, bright light, warmth, and fire.
Imagine or sketch a symbol or item that represents your actualized power. It could be something like a spiral symbol cast in gold, a sun emitting beams of yellow light, a stealth lionness, an open sunflower, a glowing ember within a iron cage.
As you imagine this item, claim your power and strength, it is yours, and its energy comes up from your rootedness to earth and creative expression.
Imagine a color you associate with the chest and heart, with love, compassion, and gratitude. Tradition holds with greens and shades of pink, but trust what arises for you. Images of Jesus show beams of pink and white light radiating from his chest out into the world. White wings sprout from the backs of angels. Is your heart a spring green fern unfurling or a fuchsia rose opening to the light?
Imagine or sketch what you would wear on your chest or the symbol that represents your strong, loving, compassionate heart. Love flows through you from the earth and from above. What does it look like?
At her neck, Innana wears a necklace of blue lapis beads. Your throat and mouth are a channel for expressing and giving voice to the wisdom that resides in your body and heart. It is the way you express yourself with courage.
Imagine or sketch the channel that is your neck, throat and mouth. What symbol or object come to mind? Is it a silver flute or horn? A daisy opening, face lifted to the sky? Wind chimes? A sound or vibration?
If you were courageous with your truth, what would it look and sound like? Choose an inspiring image or item that represents this flowing, truth-telling aspect of yourself.
On your forehead is a center for clear sight. Usually represented by the color indigo, it is a place of knowing without thinking. It is seeing beyond what is into what is eternal.
What symbol or item represents this area on your own body? It might be an indigo bindi. Or a sapphire pendant. A clear crystal. A cobalt spotlight. A single pearl.
When you imagine your own clear sight, imagine or sketch the symbol that is most resonant for you.
At last, we come to the top of the head that connects us to the spiritual energy from above. Inanna wears a crown on her head as she approaches her journey to the underworld. The crown represents the role or accomplishment in our lives of which we are most proud: doctor, mother, teacher, survivor, seeker, pilgrim, graduate, explorer.
Of what role in your life are you most proud? It might be a combination of things, but no more than three.
Design or sketch a crown that symbolizes this role and the deep, satisfying feelings that come from its accomplishments. Imagine the materials this crown is made from: platinum, silver, diamonds, crystals, amethyst. Notice its weight. What symbols does it have?
Wearing this crown connects you to the Universal energy above, just as your dress or tunic connects you to the energy from below. The energy comes down through your crown, travels down your spine, and comes out of your heart.
Putting it together
As you are waking up in the morning over the next few days, take some time to imagine putting on each of these objects and symbols. It is important to use the order given, starting from the feet (dress or tunic) and up to the crown.
Doing this a few times will help each item or symbol become a conscious part of you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself modifying them in your mind as they become more a part of you.
What’s this for?
Next week, we will use these images as part of a feminine heroic journey. For now, just play with them and see how it feels to be “wearing” the regalia of an awakened goddess or god.
For deep down, that’s who you are.