‘5 Goddesses to Channel for Sensuality, Power and Confidence’ is written for MaddyMoon.com from a guest writer.
Goddesses (and their archetypes) are inspiring figures that can help us step into our fullest selves. In your meditations, embodiment practices, journaling, and daily life, consider connecting with these five goddesses for guidance and strength.
You may recognize images of Hindu goddess Kali: wild eyes, an outstretched tongue, a severed head in one of her four hands, and a knife in another. Kali Ma is often referred to as the Divine Mother, the Goddess of Time, Creation, Destruction, and Power. Kali Ma represents transformation— an essential ingredient to manifest the fierce, divine feminine. Sometimes transformation can be scary, which is why Kali can look so fearful in her depictions. Kali is a reminder that evolution means releasing the ego and “destroying” the image you once had of yourself. She is often associated with cremation grounds *think of the phoenix rising from the ashes!) Her warrior energy will clear the way for you to evolve and grow. When you feel afraid of change, attached to your image, or obsessed with the past, Kali is the perfect goddess to spend time with. You might consider practicing “Lion’s Breath” (Simha Pranayama) in the mirror, which is powerful, energizing, and awakening. It also mimics Kali’s fierce gaze and outstretched tongue. Try hanging a small picture of Kali up on your mirror, practicing lion’s breath, and imagining a powerful flame running down your body that destroys all you want to let go of.
“… Artemis, the archer, roves over the mountains, along the ridges of lofty Taygetus or Erymanthus, joying in the pursuit of boars and swift deer,” wrote Homer in the Odyssey about this powerful Greek / Roman goddess. You might have also heard Artemis referred to as Diana, which is her name in Roman mythology. Artemis is known as “the queen of the witches, the goddess of the moon, the herbalist, the midwife, the birthing woman, bringer of disease, death and the hunter… an untamed wild woman who runs free with the deer, the hounds and the wolves. She is Mother of all Creatures,” writes the Berkeley Herbal Center.
Artemis is a powerful goddess to help channel and connect with your wildness— she cannot be captured or tamed. The word ‘sovereignty’ is often associated with Artemis, as she belongs completely to herself. She decides who to share herself with. Although Artemis is often labeled as “an eternal virgin,” this term can be seen as symbolic of her control over her sexual energy, which she uses to birth projects and ideas. Because Artemis is associated with the moon, you might choose to spend time with her on a full or new moon (which are both powerful energies to work with). Try spending time in the bath with some epsom salts, a little vanilla, and some candles– imagine your most wild, powerful self.
Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman, who according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus and was the first to witness his resurrection. The story that she was a prostitute was later proven untrue, but the mythology surrounding Mary Magdalene— and the reclaiming of that mythology— can serve as guidance for our forceful feminine selves. As Gael Chiarella Alba writes, “Perhaps if we see Mary Magdalene as the symbol of all that is feminine that has been misunderstood, demeaned and forced into the background throughout time, we can recognize a symbol of enduring strength relating to power-with rather than power-over.”
Mary Magdalene was a strong and gentle leader, yet was labeled as a “bad girl” and written out of many stories because she was a woman. She is representative of the resurrection of the divine feminine amidst a primarily patriarchal system— her strength, compassion, tenderness, and love are all beacons for a powerful partnership with the masculine.
Red is often associated with Mary Magdalene, and to connect with her, you might choose to dress in this color. Even if you aren’t religious, reading passages from the Bible that mention Mary Magdalene might be an exciting jumping off point for journaling, meditation, or daydreaming of her compassionate power.
Sekhmet is the Egyptian goddess of the sun and war, destruction, plages, and healing. Like Mary Magdalene, she is often portrayed wearing red. Instead of a woman’s face, she has the face of a lion, with a sun disk encircled by a cobra on her head. She is often depicted with the Egyptian symbol for life, the ankh. Both Sekhmet and Kali are creators and destroyers— guardians of the life cycle that is so closely associated with feminine power. Like Artemis, Sekhmet is a hunter and fierce warrior, and is known as “the first goddess” in Egypt.
This goddess is a meaningful figure to connect with when you feel disconnected from your own power. In Robert Master’s book The Goddess Sekhmet: The Way of the Five Bodies, he recommends the mantra Sa Sekhem Sahu to connect with her. As Anne Key summarizes, “Sa means the Breath of Life. It is the life force that comes into the human body at conception. The word sekhem is associated with power. This word has also been associated with energy, particularly the energy of Kundalini. Sekhem is the power that animates the Sahu; it is the power that leads one to spiritual consciousness.”
To connect with Sekhmet, you might say this mantra to yourself and seeing if any thoughts, images, or guidance arises. Lioness imagery is also a channel to Sekhmet— you might also spend time on your mat practicing ‘feline movement.’
Papatūānuku is a figure in Māori tradition representing the land and Mother Earth’s wisdom. According to the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, “Papatūānuku… gives birth to all things, including people. Trees, birds and people are born from the land, which then nourishes them. Some traditions say that the land first emerged from under water.” She is a reminder of the ways a woman’s body is connected to the land. In Māori tradition, when a baby is born, the whenua (placenta) is buried in a sacred site. The choice to have children is a personal once, but the power of the feminine body and the connection to our earth is undeniable. To connect with Papatūānuku, Open Spaces suggests, “We must engage our bodies and our hearts – as well as our minds – in a specific place. Intellectual knowledge needs a foundation of sensual awareness and for very young children, sensual awareness is the beginning of most, if not all, learning. Feel the breeze, the wind and rain, smell the flowers and brush past the leaves…” In other words, connecting with the pleasure of the earth is a wonderful way to bring Papatūānuku’s goddess essence into your life.
When you spend time with these 5 goddesses, let them serve as reminders that their sensuality, power, and immeasurable strength are qualities that also exist within you.