The Black Madonna in Monserrat, Spain

When I got the invitation to present on the rise of the Divine Feminine at the Religion and Spirituality conference in Granada, Spain, I jumped at the chance. I’d been wanting to share more about this, and this was the perfect match. 

What I didn’t know was that I would nearly lose my mind. And little did I know that the Divine would be there to support me in the most surprising way. 

Melanie Richardson, DOM, agreed to present with me on the challenge of patriarchy’s impact on the Divine Feminine. We wanted to share our perspective that matters to me because we both have seen the impact of the disconnect of our culture with the Divine Feminine. In our personal lives as well in our professional lives as clinicians. The proposal was accepted on my birthday, which we both saw a good omen. We were celebrating my special day so it made it extra special. We decided to fly into Barcelona, then head to Granada. 

First we would see La Sagrada Familia, the basilica that features Gaudi’s still-in-progress gothic vision, then we decided to see the Black Madonna in Montserrat, a sacred site in the mountains an hour from Barcelona.

The Black Madonna is placed in very ornate, beautiful chapel behind the altar. Touching her was magical and moving for me. I deeply felt her strength as Mother. I felt very blessed in that moment. I felt quite elevated, on a natural high. I was in a place beyond words. As we left the chapel to retrace our steps out, suddenly the church organ came to life. We both went and sat in the back of the church to hear the music as it echoed in the sacristy. Then I was drawn to light a candle and found an outside area dedicated to lighting the candles for special prayers. As I lit one for my family as well as for the passing of my mother, I felt the gentle, loving presence of the Black Madonna. The Divine Feminine came to life for me here as so many levels. I still carry her in my heart, connecting with her in my daily meditation. 

Shaking it up in Granada

But Granada was to be a different story. When Melanie and I arrived at the presentation room, it was clearly right away that the space would not hold five presentations going on at once. 

The night before, we had learned the format had changed. Our time had been reduced from an hour and half to 50 minutes. The night before we’d modified our presentation to accommodate that change. We’d had to scramble, but I’d felt pretty good about the whittled-down version. 

The day of, the moderator arrived a few minutes late. In the space before he arrived, one of the speakers wondered out loud about what would happen. All of us were confused, and a few were perturbed. I was a bit of both. Melanie appeared unfazed. 

When the moderator did arrive, he informed us that we would not be presenting separately but rather we would all sit together in a circle and share for ten minutes about our presentations, then allow five minutes for comments. With four presenters, this allowed enough time for a larger discussion, he explained. Other than sorting the lineup of presenters, he made no introductions to the audience. 

At this point, I gripped my laptop, whispering to Melanie, “This is an impossible situation.” Even then, I was hopeful that could share some of our slides. And I was grateful the first presenter was not me. In that moment, I felt like fleeing. I might have if Melanie had not been with me. 

The first presenter was a tall, attractive elderly woman with long, flowing white hair. Dressed in pastels, she had an etheric quality to her. Though she had voiced her anxiety earlier about the program, she was fully present in the moment. She led us into a beautiful meditation based on intuition. She led us through a deep breathing practice and encouraged us to visualize colors of each chakra. This grounded me as I connected to the energy of my first chakra, with Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. 

And then I lost my mind…

I let go of the ego chatter in my mind and the need to have the computer with the PowerPoint slides. I went to that place of my third chakra to connect with my will, allowing intuition to flow, to share from this place that is all knowing. This place where the Divine lives in each of us is what I accessed. 

I became present from this place of intuition she reminded me to access. I finally noticed that I still was clinging to my laptop. I mindfully placed it under my seat. As I focused on her summary with the essence of the Divine being woven into it, I understood in an unspoken way that all of what was being presented was flowing into what we were seeking to share. She spoke of our need for the Divine Feminine to be present in our lives. The intuition we were accessing with her teaching was available to all of us. I could not agree more with her. 

Next, I learned of the Jesuit priest from the U.S. who spoke of the need for the Catholic church to begin to truly begin the process of deep soul searching and cleaning up the system that allowed for the abuse of so many vulnerable within their current system. He saw the lack of connection to the Divine Feminine contributing to the challenges facing the church.  

Then, it was our turn. Melanie and I both took turns to share how the current form of the patriarchy in most of the cultures of the world created a disconnect from the Divine Feminine. In the void created, there are acts of violence and abuse to the women and children of the world. Sharing that we each needed to connect with the Divine Feminine to begin the healing process for true healing to happen in the world today. Each of us, regardless of gender, could do so.  

I let go. I shared from this place of knowing. So did Melanie. In the end, we both felt we conveyed the essence of what needed to be shared: the Divine Feminine’s presence is needed during this time of change for all, not just for women. Healing is needed for each of us for this to be able to happen. 

The discussion with the questions that followed confirmed similar concerns or newer understandings/revelations we all had just shared.   Later the reaction of certain members of the audience was quite strong as they approached us and wanted to have a deeper discussion, even with the possibility of collaborating. Our group was small, maybe fifteen people in total yet the intensity of what we were sharing was welcomed.

I let go, I lost my mind. Instead, I went with my intuition. Connecting with my intuition guided by the Divine Feminine, I was aware that our presence there may have been sufficient as a transmission was possible with fewer words. What a gift this was.  Gratitude was present in my heart. 

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