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The Eternal Feminine

The Eternal Feminine

(We Publish Books)

Book Summary by VirDella Denwiddie

Atlantic University

     This book comprises a fascinating study of points of connection between the Cayce Readings emerging knowledge that addresses the feminine "face" of God.

Edgar Cayce, America's "sleeping prophet," gave over 14,000 discourses while in an altered state of consciousness, on a variety of subjects, from physical health through dreams, spiritual ideals, past lives, twin souls and Atlantis, to name a few.

The author suggests that the contents of these "Readings" were the result of various factors, including Universal forces as well as religious, cultural and psychological spirit of the times and the temporal mindsets of the petitioner, Edgar Cayce and other associates and influences.

Thus, there stands a variety of unconscious influences between the "sources" from which the Readings drew and the actual content of the same.

    Notwithstanding this acknowledgement, certain themes recur on specific subjects. The Creative Forces are synonymous with a Mother/Father God concept.

This expression, not easily found in traditional Judeo-Christian literature, states that one of the two co-creative forces comprising the Oneness is feminine, the Eternal Feminine, which manifests in the spiritual, psychological and cultural domains.

The Eternal feminine is at once the Divine co-creator and the immanent archetype. An archetype, according to Carl Jung, is an image that has existed since the remotest times, which transcends cultural and societal boundaries and is generally recognized as an eternal truth.

However, whether a society is matrifocal or patrifocal will influence how certain archetypes are revealed.

    The Eternal feminine, while not always acknowledged or recognized for her Divine self, is more commonly revealed in her immanent form, as the Universal Feminine.

The Cayce Readings state that male and female were at first one on a spiritual plane, and then one on the physical plane before they were divided into the two physical entities. Webster's dictionary describes masculine and feminine in terms of characteristics, not genders.

However, according to the author, characteristics are both defined and honed by the dominant culture; thus, women and men have been assigned their characteristics over many millenniums by the patrifocal society in which we live.

An evocative woman in a patrifocal society may be seen as a temptress or a whore, while in a matrifocal society that same woman may have been a healing priestess.

    It is important that one thoroughly grasps the distinction and relationship between the Eternal Feminine and the Goddess Tradition.

The Eternal Feminine concept goes well beyond the concept in the Cayce material that male and female were once one spiritually, then physically, prior to the separation of the androgynous Adam into Adam and Eve of in the second creation story in the Judeo-Christian Bible.

The Eternal Feminine is the feminine face of god, as hinted at in the first creation story, where the first human being is created in the image and likeness of God, "male and female."

The Eternal Feminine can be found in ideal expression underlying both matrifocal and patrifocal societies, although ours has so long been a patrifocal society that it is more difficult to find evidence of it Its attributes as similar to those attributed to the feminine across time and culture spans.

These include attunement with a holistic perspective regarding the life cycle; an appreciation of relatedness and connectivity (partnership model instead of a hierarchical model) and the ability to reconcile and unify seeming opposites or polarities.

   The Goddess tradition is the story, "her-story," combined with the theology of worshipping the "supreme" deity as Mother or the goddess.

Thus, the Goddess tradition is but the manner in which various societies at various times have come to express their perception of the Eternal Feminine, just as the more modern, patrifocal religious have various ways of expressing the male deity, now commonly called by its masculine attribute, God.

Let us now explore the Eternal Feminine and the Goddess tradition in the Cayce Readings and other esoteric literature and traditions.


   The Cayce Readings often refer to the Eternal Feminine as an equal focus of the God force. "Peace that passeth understanding can only come with the heart being (in) at-one-ment with the Father-Mother God." (4087).

Early Christian Gnostics also held beliefs about a masculine-feminine God, with some believing there to be a male-female power, while others believed that the terms were to be understood metaphorically, for God was neither male nor female; still others held that God could be described as either, dependent on which aspects of the Divine one wished to articulate.

Hippolytus, the Greek philosopher, described the Creator as, at once, the "Mind of the Universe, which manages all things, and is male, and a Great Intelligence, which is female and produces all things." Many creation myths talk about an androgynous being that becomes male and female at some later point.

The Cayce Readings speak of an androgynous soul, Amelius, one of five such beings, which split into male and female twin souls and were born simultaneously in five locations in the earth with the express purpose of leading fallen souls back to their original state of knowledge of their purpose as co-creators with God.

Adam (and Eve) became the material manifestation of this androgynous soul. Amelius continued its mission through many incarnations, with or without his companion soul. The last and greatest of these was as Jesus, son of his twin soul Mary.

    The Cayce Readings state that the purpose of the separation was to create one who "was to be the helpmeet, not just the companion of the body" (364-7)… so that the soul may "find self and its relationships with the Creative Forces." (5356-1)

The traditional patrifocal account of Adam and Eve, using a, skews that purpose by stating that Adam was created to have dominion over the earth and Eve simply to be his helpmate.

This, coupled with the later story of Eve's rebellion has helped to fuel male dominance and the suppression of Goddess theology.

Without the Cayce explanation of an androgynous Adam, it is difficult to see the redeeming features of this creation myth for women.

    Let's look at creation myths of peoples who descended from the five root races of the Cayce Readings. Among the Red race there are similar myths to the Judeo-Christian Great Flood, and to the Cayce Readings account of the destruction of Atlantis and most of the creation stories emphasize the importance of the Eternal Feminine in both the creation and the on-going sustenance of the earth.

In some myths of the Black race, Elegba, the Chief Magician (the author believes that the Chief Magician is the Nubian Hermes which the Cayce sources said was one of Jesus' incarnations), is a self-impregnating female who gave birth to twins, who later mated and birthed the rest of humanity.

The yellow root race generally presents the Divine feminine as one of a pair, recognizing the value of opposites and the need to work these into balance, or wholeness. The yin/yang symbol is a visual expression of complimentary masculine and feminine principles and how one is always present, even if the other dominates.

In the White race, early Jewish culture believed that Adam was androgynous. The Upanishads say that Brahm was a large being, encompassing man and wife, who later separated into a husband and a wife.

In the Brown race the Eternal Feminine or an androgynous being is often seen as the Creator. An ancient Mexican tablet discovered in 1584 states that the Creator created human beings with a dual masculine/feminine principle, then caused a deep sleep to come over the entity and severed it into man and woman by cosmic forces.

    Before leaving the creation stories, let's peek once more at the concept of twin souls. Taking Adam and Eve as the pattern for twin souls, must twin souls should always position themselves as romantic counterparts? That is not the case over many lifetimes.

Twin souls are eternal partners who come together to provide opportunities for growth, for balance, for increased progress towards the ultimate of the soul.

In any given lifetime they may be sister and brother, parent and child or mere co-sojourners on mirrored paths, like St. Francis and St. Clare, or Edgar Cayce and Gladys Davis.

Jessica Madigan, an early and crucial pioneer in the ARE, indicates that twin souls may be recognized by some of the following traits:

  • The physical attraction is overwhelming for it is the same body;

  • The two view life in much the same manner

  • The spiritual work is the same;

  • The two souls have the same soul purpose throughout the earth;

  • The feeling of oneness prevails throughout the lifetime, even when one partner precedes the other in death by many years.

  • You click-this is the best friend, lover, parent, child. You respond to each other-you are Answers, one to the other. (Madigan, 1965, p. 42)

The Way of the Mother

   Most significant of all twin souls mentioned in the Readings were Jesus and Mary. The Readings state that these two had many other incarnations, including those as Adam and Eve.

Jessica Madigan, in Past Lives of Jesus and Mary (1970), reiterates that the Nubian Hermes, whom Ra Ta met during his exile there, was one of Jesus' previous incarnations.

Madigan speculates that Hermes' mother Mara, known by tradition as the Black Madonna, was likely his twin soul.

She died when he was very young and he later married Seshat, a young Egyptian who Madigan suggests may have been Mara, returned.

    Why is this awareness of twin souls, especially that of Jesus and Mary, so important to the study of the Goddess tradition and the Eternal Feminine? Perhaps it is as Carl Jung states, archetypes point to eternal truths.

Sacred literature and traditions of modern and ancient religions reveal that there has been both a matrifocal and a patrifocal view to culture and its pursuit of the Divine nature of things.

There is archeological, historical and mythological evidence that early Greek, Sumerian, Chinese, Indian and Hebrew cultures openly worshipped one or several goddesses, for more than 25,000 years.

    The earliest of these traditions saw the Goddess as androgynous, both in gender and in the traits often assigned to each gender; thus, the Goddess created the world, nurtured the world and brought death to all beings.

The Goddess could be both kind and cruel. The One might wonder why these early concepts did not just speak of a male/female deity. Well, according to mythologist Robert Graves, at the time of the development of the Goddess tradition, the concept of fatherhood was not fully understood.

"The human female was revered as the giver of life, (for) only women could produce their own kind." (Stone, 1976, p.11) In ancient Mediterranean societies, women knowledgeable about conception passed these secrets down to women only under a binding oath.

Despite goddess worship, most of these societies stressed equality of the sexes and cooperative and complimentary roles. There were some, however, where female dominance was all too keenly felt, with matrilineal inheritance and other excesses.

It is perhaps the excesses in either focal dominance that precipitates a pendulum swing in the other direction in an effort to achieve greater balance.

    It is important to note that at any given time both matrifocussed and patrifocussed traditions may have flourished in different locations. Where they met, they often clashed, as demonstrated in the Jeremiah, Chapter 44, of the Bible:

"But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by famine."

In many cases, the male-dominated, hierarchical cultures defeated the Goddess worshipping cultures, either outright or by degrees. By 1500 B.C., these cultures were firmly established in the Mediterranean and Near East areas.

As a result, Goddess worship either faced eradication or took a back seat, camouflaged in myth and disguise. The Goddess culture survives in the East through many of the Hindu gods/goddesses and many of the teachings from those lands.

In the west, the Catholic tradition, though steeped in male hierarchy and symbolism, brings us closest to our androgynous heritage by maintaining the belief that Mary conceived her child without a human father and that she was assumed into heaven without bodily corruption.

While the underlying intent was to lend greater credence to deifying the man, Jesus, it is perhaps the spiritual intent that we are reminded in this way of the uniquely great significance of the Mother, responding to humanity's need for assurance that the Eternal Feminine continues.

Future Horizons

   The Eternal Feminine is reemerging in both direct and indirect patterns. Increased attention to and integration of spirit and nature, greater appreciation for the cyclical patterns of life and increased personal honor and respect for other beings are tangible symptoms associated with the Goddess culture.

Additionally, mainstream religions are cracking at the seams, with signs of the Mother bubbling through. In 1983, the conservative Catholic Digest reprinted an article by Anne Bowne Follis entitled, "The Mother Love of God," which stated that the Mother love of God and the Father Love of God are really the same love.

In commenting on the cyclical patterns of male or female ascendancy over time, Jessica Madigan stated "Whatever is repressed within the consciousness-individual or collective, must one day rise up again.

    Mary has exceeded the boundaries of religious sectarianism, becoming a world-wide symbol of peace and hope. Jungian analyst Marion Woodman suggested that the Black Madonna is the new myth for the coming age at a Common Boundaries seminar held in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1989.

Both male and female participants in that seminar acknowledged that the Black Madonna has been appearing with greater frequency in their dreams.

The American Shakers, who believe that God is androgynous, postulate that Jesus as Redeemer is incomplete; the female side of the "redemptive" God has not yet disclosed itself.

That female "redeemer" is yet to appear, or has appeared already in the body of Mary, Jesus' twin soul. And Mary, although absent from the body, is today more alive than ever.

Mary has appeared in Lourdes, in Fatima, in Medjugorge. There have been several Mary sightings and weeping Mary statues in the United States. Invariably the message is a plea for peace, for the coming together of mankind as one. In August of 1984, Mary is said to have stated:

"In God there are no divisions and there are no religions. You in the world have made the divisions. The one mediator is Christ."

Was Mary speaking only of Jesus, who the Cayce Readings stated became the Christ? Did she mean instead the androgynous being of which she was the twin soul and mother to the Jesus?

The Cayce Readings predicted that, in our time Christ's light would again be seen in the heavens, in the periods from'58 to '98.

Mary has been witnessed in globes of brilliant white and colored lights; as twin souls on the selfsame mission is not their "light" one and the same?

    In August of 1987, the author, walking with her E.S.P. students, passed the historic statue of Mary in Silicon Valley. Five of the group experienced similar visions of an androgynous Mary, as though both Mary and Jesus shared the body of the statue.

The author suggests that, just as Jesus embodied "feminine" characteristics of gentleness, compassion and nurturing, so the emerging Mary will embody qualities of empowerment, vitality and creativity, traits that are now considered in the province of masculinity but once considered the hallmark of the Goddess culture.

It is the author's personal, psychic experience that Mary is manifesting both in her more traditional nurturing, motherly role as well as her Sophia-like wisdom, spurring in women self-sufficiency and fulfillment, and spawning a new age of reconciliation and integration among both genders.

    Our old myths and traditions are exploding as people reckon with the shortcomings of doctrines they once venerated. In the times of our greatest divisions and darkest hours, many are reaching back to the ancient Goddess archetype.

Do we know what we need to survive into the future? Rollo May suggests three new myths, the green myth (a more balanced relationship with nature), women's liberation (representative of assuring the rights and drawing upon the talents of all people) and planetism (which circumscribes one world, one people and transcends political boundaries).

As early as 1970, one member of a dream group sponsored by Dr Henry Reed reported a dream in which a woman who appeared to be the Virgin Mary was holding a plant while piloting a UFO.

This brief description has all the elements of Mays new myth, respect for the earth, woman's liberation and planetism. The author states that Mary's presence is unmistakably the reemergence of the Eternal Feminine.

    Critical to awareness of the reemergence of the Eternal Feminine, is our greater understanding and integration of what is means to be masculine or feminine.

The demoralization that results from usurping the better perceived qualities to the dominant group is often what has helped doomed prior cultures.

Prior gender stereotypes should be examined in light of new information. Edward Whitmont, a Jungian analyst states:

'We are discovering that many gender patterns, which even thirty years ago were considered a priori genetically or archetypally prefigured, have been the result of cultural repressive limitations."

Madigan reinforces this perception:"The twin soul is not a half-soul…The blending of the heart, mind and spirit is shared by each…as if each drinks from the same cup of life… each chooses that portion which it wants as its own…"

Thus, the attributes which man has called masculine and feminine attributes, a priori, are not carved in stone.

    The author suggests that we study the healthier Goddess tradition for vibrant, healthy characteristics that honor women of all ages to ensure that women are not dominated, abused or thrown away when they can no longer tout their sexual natures, or are ignored as the weaker, less useful gender.

In the ancient cultures of Atlantis, Egypt and other Goddess-centered cultures, the feminine manifests in three ways, as Maiden, as Mother and as Crone.

Each of those aspects is mutually respected and is reflected in the various phases of the moon, as new, as full or as dark.

With each comes an aspect of growth or creativity, or of development and nurturing or of wisdom. The emphasis in the reemerging Goddess culture is respect, both personal and of others.

There is no concept of sin where honor and respect are so highly held. The possibility for evil is not ignored, but must be addressed from within the deepest self, not just as a matter of breaking man-made laws.

From the time of Atlantis through the Goddess-worshipping times it was associated with "life-giving powers, renewal, rebirth, transformation and the mystery of death."

The submergence of honor for the Goddess over the last 3,500 years has contributed to a worldview of human dominance over nature, of hierarchical structure and control and of pollution and war.

A Cayce Reading that would sum up why we need the Eternal Feminine to reemerge states: "Spirit that uses matter, that uses every influence in the earths environ for the glory of the Creative Forces, partakes of and is a part of universal consciousness. (3508-1 or page 12)"

The Eternal Feminine calls upon all humanity to live a higher standard that promotes a mature and interdependent way of life infused with love and unbiased justice.

The Circle of Light/Moon Cycle Process

   New religious forms are developing to reflect and highlight this reemerging Goddess culture, in order that those excluded from the present patrifocal culture fully recognize and are recognized as an intricate part of a new and integrated partnership.

In the mid 1980's the author determined that she would use her transpersonal background, well grounded in over twenty years of working with the Cayce material and other transpersonal traditions to develop an experiential form to train the intuition in a gender-balanced way.

After extensive research and many trials, working with both men and women three times a month for two years, a new religious form emerged from the process.

The form draws on ideas from previous Goddess tradition sources as well as newer psychological concepts such as scrying, concepts from the Cayce Readings on training the intuition, and other esoteric sources to include the Medicine Wheel, the Kabala and other mystical forms from Eastern and Western traditions. The center fold of the process involves honoring nature, especially the cycles of the moon, the inner self, and one another in the circle as intuitive seeds are planted, developed, and transmuted during corresponding cycles of the waxing, full and waning moon. Two primary results of the two-year study are: increased awareness of and connection with the Eternal Feminine energy, and a substantial sense of oneness.

Women in the Work

   The author believed that a study of the Eternal Feminine in the Cayce Readings would be incomplete without elucidating the lives and thoughts of individual women who took part in the Work surrounding the Edgar Cayce material from the beginning and as it continues today.

She included 25 women, representative of each generation since the Work began, and of various educational and socio-economic backgrounds.

She asked four questions: about the Work, its challenges, their own contribution and the role of tomorrow's women in the Work.

Findings as well as some verbatim transcripts of the interviews are included in the book. Positive themes that abound in the response to the last question include those of co-partnering, healing and developing confidence in inner guidance.

Themes of disconnect were the masculine language in the Readings, feelings that women in the Work were underutilized and underpaid and that non-conforming women were ostracized.

Generational comparisons indicated that older generations were more focused on the uniqueness and challenges of helping the man, Cayce, to disseminate this awesome body of material itself, while later generations saw the larger implications of the Work and developed more unique ways of incorporating it into their own lives.

The youngest of the generations had the strongest sense of individuality. Sensing that many in the older generations see Edgar Cayce as a "guru," they are skeptical of any emphasis on the man, as opposed to the Work itself.

Some of these prefer not to be joiners but prefer to mainstream the material and make it available to everyone.

    This latter focus takes us back to the author's intent in heightening our awareness of the Eternal Feminine. It is not to glorify the female instead of the male, for previous excesses in both cultures show that this is not the answer.

It rather shows that greater understanding of the existence of Eternal Feminine will promote greater balance, mutual respect and wholeness as both men and women recognize who we really are. The final Cayce Reading expresses this well:

With… respecting that union of influences or forces that are divided in the earth in sex… As He gave in answer to the question, 'Whose wife will she be?' In the heavenly kingdom ye are neither married nor given in marriage; neither is there any such thing as sex; ye become as one-in the union of that from which, of which, ye have been the portion from the beginning." (262-86 or page 153)

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