From a very early age I knew myself to be a Feminist. In the 1970's my love of nature, mud, climbing trees and playing with my Evel Knievel race car set and Tonka Trucks branded me as a Tom Boy. What I knew to be true was that I could do anything a boy could do and I bristled at the limitation placed on me at an early age simply because I was a girl. And the thing is, I loved being a girl! What I wanted was for boys and girls to be given free rein to determine their own interests and gifts so that we can all show up in this world in our authentic selves, honoured and acknowledged for who we are, who we came here to be and how we wish to be seen.
Healing is an art; it's the creative expression of your need to be healthy and whole. An Intuitive Healer is one who speaks the language of the metaphysical with an open awareness of dimensions and frameworks other than their own. As you explore and strengthen your own ability to heal others, you must also heal yourself. Each of us carry Feminine and Masculine Wounds, Healer Wounds and Sexual Wounds. Most cultures have done a huge disservice to both women and men by denying, suppressing and vilifying the Divine Feminine in all things and limiting the full expression of Woman.
There's a commonly taught history which states that women have always been subservient to men, in every culture and across all time. I wish to disagree – vehemently! There's a significant body of archeological and anecdotal evidence to show this simply isn't true.
Many early archeologists were men and viewed their discoveries of ancient civilizations through the lenses of their time and prejudges. As more women entered this burgeoning field of study, they brought with them a different perspective of the thousands of images and figures of women found throughout the world from sites of early civilizations. Instead of fertility cults or temple dancers, these women saw representations of the Goddess, in her many forms, and of women actively participating in not only the day-to-day activities of life, but of government and leadership as well.
How would your life be different if you grew up surrounded by strong, successful and empowered images of women and the feminine? Both women and men would have a very different relationship with the feminine, externally and internally. If every book you read as a child didn't refer to all people as "he" and used only the masculine to describe everyone, would you have a different sense of belonging?
There was a time in the past when women were the healers, either without men or alongside them. Certainly, women were taught, by their mothers, grandmothers and priestesses, how to use herbs and minerals as medicine, understand and aid during pregnancy and childbirth and how to help others die when it was their time. There are records of celebrated women surgeons, medical specialists and scientists, although you need to search to find them. Books such as "Woman as Healer" by Jeanne Achterberg, "The Once and Future Goddess" by Elinor W. Gadon and "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" by Barbara G. Walker are just a few of the resources published which, when read and studied, could change your understanding of women's "Herstory", a history re-written to include women's contributions and experiences equally to men's. There are also records of men, threatened by intelligent women, taking credit for their works, putting their names on women's discoveries and writings.
Religious dogma and cultural expectations continue to limit the abilities of women, even to the point of arguing whether women have souls, or have the intelligence to learn. The Inquisition in Europe went so far as to create a handbook, "The Malleus Maleficarum", or "The Hammer of Witches", in 1486, for determining if a woman was a witch, and the various ways to torture her to make this discovery. Millions of women were brutally murdered during the 300 years of the "official" Inquisition. I believe both men and women are still feeling the pain of this war on women in our present world.
I know that many women are fearful of acknowledging and developing their healing abilities and gifts. The Inquisition specifically targeted the Wise Women (the root of the term Witches) of the times: women healers and surgeons, any woman who owned property or stepped out of the Church's dictates for women's roles in society. This fear lingers today and permeates our culture with, for example, the continued expectation that women will be nurses and men will be doctors; that women are inferior to men. As women step away from these limitations imposed on them and challenge the accepted dogma as to what is possible for them, this fear can heal.
I'm not male bashing here, nor am I laying blame at the feet of men. It's my belief that men are as deeply wounded by this divide which has been propagated between men and women, as women are. When a man feels it's his right to strike a woman, or a child, or to be cruel in any way, because he is a Man, he has become so divorced from his own sense of self that he is to be acknowledged for the pain he is in – not excused, but seen in the light of his wounding and then made accountable for his own necessary healing.
Only when women and men can see and know themselves as persons first and men and women second, will these deep wounds we're all carrying within us be healed. Many women, around the world, are stepping out of the limiting roles which have been handed to them and are challenging the status quo. As more and more women do this, more and more men can question the beliefs they've adopted from their culture about what it means to be a Man. This is where the healing can begin.
I bring up the Inquisition and the Witch hunts because there's an echo that's reverberating from that time, which effects all of us, male or female. As each of us heals our feminine and masculine wounds, we become stronger as a species, opening to the possibility of living lives of love, compassion and mutual respect.
We can make room for each person to discover for themselves their authentic self and encourage and celebrate the unique gifts we each bring to the world. As more women become doctors, engineers and astronauts and more men become figure skaters, secretaries and nurses, the walls come down between us and we can truly grow and heal as a species.