For me as a man, one of the most important facets of my life is the fact that the Sacred Feminine indwells my personality. I discovered this energy early in life when the tears would flow freely at every meaningful movie I watched. I remember one particular experience in grade school, going to a theater and seeing a movie entitled "Born Free," about the raising of three orphaned lion cubs in Africa. When I returned home, I continued crying for several hours because the movie touched me so much. My mother grew exasperated and scolded me repeatedly, telling me - as she did throughout all of my growing-up years - that "boys don't cry."
For much of my life, this part of my personality embarrassed me, and I was made fun of mercilessly for it. But now I am actually quite proud of this aspect of the indwelling Feminine. In fact, I am firmly convinced that a man is dangerous unless he learns to get in touch with his sensitivity and have a love affair with the indwelling presence of the Sacred Feminine. For me, it isn't so much the crying itself that manifests a feminine quality, but the FLOW of energy it represents - a participation in the feminine River of Life that draws all things into a single, relational web - and the profound sensitivity it embodies. Without this kind of sensitivity to the wonder of life, a man remains unbalanced and, quite frankly, cannot be trusted. Native American cultures are quite adamant about this point. To this day, I cry at most movies, and my wife tells me she can gauge the spiritual quality of a National Park Visitor Center movie by whether or not it brings tears to my eyes.
Indeed, despite the chiding of some feminists, I consider my sensitivity to beauty - including female beauty, both physical and intellectual - as one of the most important aspects of my inner life. It is that love which animates all of my photography and inspires the depth of my spiritual reflections. In that love, I sense the Sacred Feminine celebrating HER OWN grandeur right within my body, thus making me a vehicle of her cosmic self-expression and self-appreciation.
Most importantly, perhaps, I experience the Sacred Feminine within every aha! experience of insight that animates my body, mind and emotions. In the Christian tradition, this is called "Sophianic Wisdom," and it is, I must admit, the chief delight of my life. What would I be without the enlivening presence of Sophia, dwelling within my body-mind? All of life would seem like cardboard. It is this feminine dimension of wisdom which - as a complement to the distinguishing capacity of Logos or Masculine Wisdom - draws all of the aspects of life together into a single weblike Net, and which gives birth within the imagination to fresh, innovative theologies. What would I be without Sophia in my life? And what would I be without the flow of the Sacred Feminine animating my body, soul, heart and intellect?
Photos: Various scenes near Moab, UT, April 23-25, 2016
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.