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5 Ways To Know You Are Balancing Your Divine Feminine Energy – A Love Letter To Black Women

Written by: Kiara Norwood, M.A., Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Women of color are often expected to be “strong.” Culturally speaking, being strong often looks like showing no emotion, being able to “handle” whatever stress or trauma gets thrown your way, and being present to support family, friends, or community members whenever your care or expertise is needed. This definition and depiction of strength is an attribute that is often applauded and seen as “admirable” for Black women.

woman wearing beige off-shoulder top

However, this attribute can feel like a double-edged sword. The energy behind this idea of “strength” may be expected but may also be dismissed as being “too masculine” by their counterparts. Additionally, when there is not a (un)spoken expectation of being “strong,” then the expectation is often to be “submissive,” “malleable,” and “agreeable.” This ideal of womanhood is often seen as more acceptable and desirable. It is also seen as being rooted in “femininity” and feminine principles. Because of these conflicting expectations, Black women can often struggle with societal, institutional, and cultural expectations and feel frustrated as they try to determine what it looks for them to balance their divine feminine energy in a way that feels healthy, genuine, and authentic.


What are the implications of these expectations?


As a Black woman, former mental health therapist, and current alternative wellness therapist, coach, and trauma specialist, I have seen and experienced the impact of these expectations firsthand. Because of the expectation to be “strong,” there is now a health concern labeled “Strong Black Woman Syndrome” that is negatively impacting the holistic wellness of Black women (Evans et al., 2017). It is causing mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health concerns that are impacting us and generations to come. Additionally, the ideals of “submissiveness” and “agreeability” often come at the expense of Black women’s individuality, gifts, and calling; and lead to concerns such as anxiety, depression, and abusive experiences. We often wonder where these syndromes and societal notions originate. While we can delve further into macro-level systems causing the concerns, it can also be beneficial to look at these concerns on a micro-spiritual level to help empower us to make changes in our lives that will also create positive change around us. One way to look at these concerns is through the lens of masculine and feminine energies.


What are masculine and feminine energies?


Masculine and feminine energies are elements that have been discussed in African and Indigenous cultures for thousands of years. From an elemental and indigenous perspective, masculine energy is often associated with the element of “above” and the energies of heaven, fire, hunting, and planting. Masculine energy can also be associated with “functionality.” Feminine energy is often associated with the element of “below” and the energies of Earth, water, harvesting, and gathering. Feminine energy can also be associated with “creation.” (Good Feather, 2021). The core idea of these cosmological discussions is that we all embody masculine and feminine characteristics. It is part of what creates balance in ourselves and in our world. From an indigenous and African spirituality perspective, these energies coexist and co-create.


However, masculinity is not exclusive to male-identifying persons nor is femininity exclusive to female-identifying persons. Almost no concept or being is fully masculine or feminine all the time (Good Feather, 2021). We are sometimes acting within our feminine energy and sometimes acting within our masculine energy. Each of us has a unique and individual point of balance on the femininity and masculinity scale (Good Feather, 2021). According to Shaman Malidoma, Somé of the Dagaaba, (Collins, 2017), gender “is not dependent upon sexual anatomy. It is purely energetic. In that context, one who is physically male can vibrate female energy, and vice versa.” When we try to exclusively embody one singular energy, we become out of balance with our true selves.


To many scholars and practitioners of African spirituality, it is known that depictions of Divine feminine energy simultaneously represent elemental powers and natural forces that can be deemed masculine and/or feminine (Razak, 2016). Additionally, from an African spirituality standpoint, divine feminine attributes have always included aspects of what is deemed “masculine.” There are numerous examples of this in the Goddesses, Orishas, Queens, and Legends of African and Indigenous spirituality practices across the diaspora. For example, the great healing mother Sekhmet is known as the healer of healers and a life-giving force while simultaneously being known as the Egyptian Goddess of War. Just as she is life giving, she can be a force of destruction and death (Abrams, 2021). In the Yoruba tradition, the great protective mother force Oya can bring a storm to clear a village and fight ahead of her husband in battle. In the same vein, Goddess Oya can be a gentle and balanced mother to those who need her and usher in positive swift change to those who seek her (Abram, 2021). Great Goddess Ma‘at is known for her ability to bring balance and life, but also the aspects of Ma’at that seemed “aggressive” or “destructive” were used to protect and maintain control (Abrams, 2021). Queen Nzinga Mbande Ngola is a legendary Angolan leader known for being a warrior and being skilled with weaponry. Simultaneously, she was known as a respected protector who cared deeply for her people and worked hard to save them from chattel slavery occurring due to Portuguese colonization (Dorsey, 2020). These goddesses and queens exhibit an innate knowledge about the balancing of Divine feminine energy.


What are some ways to balance your Divine Feminine Energy?


You see, divine feminine energy is not about embodying a one-sided and unbalanced version of “strength.” It is also not about being “submissive” or minimizing your power to make others comfortable. It is about harmony, peace, balance, and love. Divine feminine energy for Black women embodies warrior and lover, and laughter and tears. It involves advocating for ourselves and our community, and being open and willing to be supported by your community and loved ones. It is about being your healthiest self so you can tap into your internal power. When you are balanced, healthy, and aligned with your own power, you can then help those around you tap into their power and healthiest version of themselves as well. Therefore, it can be beneficial to determine what it looks and feels like for you to healthily balance, embody, and experience your Divine feminine energy. Here are 5 checkpoints to help you reflect:


1. What is your definition of strength?


a. Does it help you give support AND feel supported? How can you adapt your definition to allow yourself to give and receive support?


2. Does your current embodiment and experience with your understanding of divine feminine energy help you to feel safe and at home in your body?


a. If it does not, what are some achievable changes you can make to help you experience your feminine energy in a way that feels more authentic?


3. In what ways is your understanding of your feminine energy impacting your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health?


a. In what ways is it helping your health?

b. In what ways is it harming your health?


4. In what ways is your understanding of your feminine energy influencing your understanding of and connection to your purpose?


a. In what is it helping your connection to your purpose?

b. In what ways is it hindering your connection to your purpose?


5. What sources are your greatest influence in understanding your Divine feminine energy?


a. Are these sources helping you to move in the direction you want your life to go?

b. What additional mentors, books, and writers can you add to your resource list to help you flourish in your feminine energy? (You can utilize the books and articles provided in the reference list for additional resources as well.)


What is the importance of balancing your Divine Feminine Energy?


Divine feminine energy is a force that is powered by ase’, universal life force energy. It is unstoppable. It is powerful. It heals. It corrects. It connects. It restores. It repairs. By tapping into your Divine feminine energy, you are tapping into the Source. You are tapping into the power of your Ancestors. You are working to heal the traumas in your bloodline. You are creating the life you desire and know you deserve. You are helping to heal your community. You are honoring your Ancestors.


By balancing your Divine feminine energy, you are helping yourself to achieve and maintain optimal and holistic wellness. You are then helping to shape the health and wellness of future generations. Love, light, and wellness to you. Ase’.


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Kiara Norwood, M.A., Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kiara Norwood is a healer specializing in helping women of color heal trauma and live the lives they deserve using ancestral remedies and alternative wellness therapies. Her passion stems from her traumatic upbringing and young adulthood. As a child and young adult, she experienced severe abuse, lack, and disappointment. However, she fought through her hardships to achieve holistic wellness. By the age of 24, Kiara had graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and started her first business. She is currently running her second business, and living the life she dreamed of as a child. She wants to help other women of color do the same. As an alternative wellness therapist and trauma specialist, she offers coaching, reiki, herbalism, and tarot/oracle card readings to help women of color create lives filled with success, joy, abundance, and love.

 

References:

  • Abrams, A. (2021). African Goddess Initiation. Hay House, Inc.

  • Collins, S. (2017, October 10). The Splendor of Gender Non-Conformity in Africa. Medium; Medium. https://medium.com/@janelane_62637/the-splendor-of-gender-non-conformity-in-africa-f894ff5706e1

  • Dorsey, L. (2020). Orishas, goddesses, and voodoo queens: the divine feminine in the African religious traditions. Weiser Books.

  • Doug Good Feather. (2021). Think Indigenous: Native American Spirituality for a Modern World. Hay House, Incorporated.

  • Evans, S. Y., Bell, K., & Burton, N. K. (2017). Black women’s mental health: balancing strength and vulnerability. State University Of New York Press.

  • Razak, A. (2016). Sacred women of Africa and the African diaspora: A womanist vision of Black women’s bodies and the African sacred feminine. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 35(1), 129-147. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 35 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.24972/ ijts.2016.35.1.129

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