"There is a waterfall that drops off a shelf of sandstone like the long blonde hair of a young woman. If you go there she will sing to you."
"Another Country: Encounters with the Redrock Desert"
Whenever I come upon a waterfall while hiking in the backcountry, I immediately sense powerfully the presence of the Sacred Feminine - Mother Earth, the Goddess, Gaia, Sophia Wisdom, Prajnaparamita, Tara, Changing Woman, etc. - both in the landscape and within my heart. Waterfalls are especially skilled at combining both beauty and power, which are two of the sacred qualities I associate experientially - as a man - with the Sacred Feminine.
I originally came into contact with the Goddess through a quest to situate my experience of female power within a wider context. For most of my adolescent and early adult life, I felt strongly the almost overwhelming power of women in my life. I could not imagine anything I could possibly offer of equal worth to a woman's radiance, wisdom, intelligence or heartful presence. Accordingly, in junior high, I turned red every time I tried talking with a girl I found attractive. Indeed, most males feel this kind of inferiority at an early age on a subconscious level, but are able to compensate by denying it, making it unconscious, and putting on a macho act that serves as a cheap substitute for true relating with the women in their lives. Unhealthy males project their own feelings of weakness and inferiority outward onto women. We are all well aware of the abuse and oppression that are the sad result of this projection. However, being an overly-sensitive person, I was never inclined or able to form these sorts of substitutes. Ironically, however, it was this very sensitivity that made me unattractive to many - and perhaps most - women, all of whom seemed at the time to be more interested in the aloof, macho, "bad boy" type.
I therefore went on a search for a more-than-human Goddess figure who would love me, feel an attraction for me, and help me get in touch with my own male power. I discovered this sacred presence early in life within the landscape - especially within the stunning ecosystems of the Rocky Mountain West. I found, in fact, that Mother Earth needed MY creative imagination as the activating force in manifesting her personal, Goddess qualities in the midst of a seemingly impersonal geological, biological and ecological reality. In terms of the Dineh (Navajo) philosophy which understands that any given landscape possesses an outer form (found in the features that science can study), an inner form (which shamans and Native Peoples engaged in a Vision Quest know how to contact), and a secret form (experienced as the ways in which the landscape expresses herself within our own human imagination and emotions), I realized that the Goddess needed ME and MY imagination to manifest herself in the second and third ways, and especially in the third way.
Once I began to develop a relationship and union with this Cosmic Feminine Presence, I found that I then had a greater sense of empowerment in my relationships with HUMAN embodiments of the Goddess. Amplifying this sense of empowerment, the Creator (and Mother Earth) eventually saw fit that I would find a wonderful wife and have two amazing daughters, both now in their thirties :) Indeed, most of my friends, it now turns out, are actually WOMEN!
Photo: Falls on Cow Creek above Bridal Veil Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, October 10, 2015
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I am available for one-on-one spiritual direction / mentoring via phone or Skype. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. The rate is $65 per hour-long session. You might also want to check out my Spiritual Direction with Stephen Hatch Facebook page.
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.