Episode 72: BECOMING THE DIVINE POWER COUPLE: RECLAIMING SACRED FEMININE & DIVINE MASCULINE with Karen Tate
BECOMING THE DIVINE POWER COUPLE: RECLAIMING SACRED FEMININE & DIVINE MASCULINE with Karen Tate, mid-wife of the Divine Femine, radio host of "Voices of the Sacred Feminine," sacred tour leader, author of "Sacred Places of the Goddess: 108 Destinations," and "Walking an Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth," happily married for over 25 years.
In this episode, Karen beautifully illuminates the divine history of men and women on earth. Learn about the thousands of years of partnership, honoring, and celebration between the sexes that cherished the healing power of the feminine. Discover the holy traditions of the sacred couple within Judaism and Christianity. Walk the journey from submission and compliance to collaboration and compassion.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to sex Tantra and Kama Sutra. I’m your host Francesca Gentille and with me today is Karen Tate. Karen is a midwife of the divine feminine, the radio host of “the voices of the sacred feminine”, a sacred Turic leader who is also an author of “Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations” and also “Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth”. She has been happily married for 25 years and I’m delighted to have her here on the show. Welcome Karen.
Karen Tate: thank you so much Francesca it’s a pleasure.
Francesca Gentille: Karen the reason that I wanted to have you on the show is because of your life and your background you have a unique body of information for those of us wanting to have a richer deeper more understanding relationship between men and women, and that body of knowledge that you hold is around the divine feminine. How it was originally how it was lost and how it might come back again. Could you tell me first, tell all of us how a little bit about your journey. Now you started out as a catholic in New Orleans, what got you from there to a California girl that is the priestess of a temple?
Karen Tate: well I guess nobody is more surprised than me. That is true I did start out in New Orleans. I grew up a catholic and went to catholic school for most of my life, but I have to tell you, if I’m honest Catholicism didn’t ever really click with me. The things that I found interesting in Catholicism if I’m candid, is the images of Mary. My grandmother had altars to Mary in her house and a little grotto in the back yard and I don’t think there was anybody that could have told my grandma that Mary wasn’t equal to god because Mary was her go-to person when she prayed. I was also really intrigued by the sisterhood of the nuns. They were the nurturers they were the caregivers. They were the ones that interacted with the kids at school when we made projects together. They made it feel like a community, and so those were the high points I guess of Catholicism. But you know I never really could get into the iconography and some of the theology. So I guess as a result religion didn’t really seem an important part of my life, it was something that I was born into. But then when I moved to California by coincidence I guess (some people say there are none) I stumbled into a class about goddess spirituality and I have to tell you that after I learned about that, it was a slippery slope for me. I mean it was just a no brainer and it immediately took hold and shaped the nest 20 years of my life. It was so empowering as a woman to understand that there were feminine faces of god, which isn’t something that was really talked about form the pulpits of church on Sunday. This whole part of culture, history and spirituality had literally been swept under the rug and the thought that I would have gone my entire life never knowing about this is a pretty scary fact quite honestly.
Francesca Gentille: you know I just want to say a little something about that right there because what Karen is saying is so important for our men and our women who are listening. The feminine faces of god traditionally existed in so many cultures; I’m going to invite you to go deeper into that in a moment. When that is missing for both women and men there is something about our sacred bodies, something about our sacred sexuality that we can’t get to when the feminine face of god is missing. Thank you so much for pointing to that. So how did it get missing? I mean when was it there and how did it get lost and how do we bring it back again? That’s a lot so why don’t we just start with: how long was it there in the culture of humanity?
Karen: you know it may be a surprise, but there were feminine faces of god worshipped as long as 30,000 years ago and all that you need to do is go into a really good museum and you will see some of these ancient artifacts. Like for instance the Venus of Willendorf, interestingly the Austrian government just dedicated a stamp to her last year and actually put it out for distribution. But yes you look back at these ancient times and we believe that some societies were much more egalitarian. Women were looked upon as in association with the goddess who was the life giver, she could bleed without dying. I mean these were very powerful attributes of the female. The earth was looked upon as female, so everything that people needed to sustain life came from the female because in the early days they didn’t understand the importance that man played in procreation. So we believe that in some societies that women had a higher status and as time went on though things started to shift and change as the patriarchal monotheistic religions started to take hold and in some cases by force and in some cases just by assimilation they replaced these societies where the sacred feminine was the primary deity. But you know we are still left today with great archetypes for balance and harmony and equality between men and women which is so essential for a good relationship. I mean I’ve been married for more than 20 years to a great guy and one night you will find me rubbing his feet and the next night you will see him cooking dinner so that I can go upstairs and write another chapter for my next book. You know there is this dance, this interplay, this give and take that I think happens in a good relationship. Each partner compliments one another, they temper each other, it’s like the yin an yang symbol for instance. Some archetypes that we can use for instance are Isis and Osiris the Egyptian god and goddess. Some people have attributed them with teaching man and woman to love one another. They founded civilization and these are a great couple that people can look to as role models to sort of model their life after and their relationship. A lot of progressive Christians now are actually looking at Jesus and Mary Magdalene as this divine archetypical couple, the sacred bride and sacred bridegroom that together form this needed balance between the sacred feminine and divine masculine.
Francesca: Thank you so much for bringing that in, that there have been and still are archetypes, images and concepts that when we bring them into our life give us a sense of companionship and nurturing and equality. And although for thousands of years it was lost to us there became this force that sometimes they call it the dominator culture or a warrior culture that was as wounding to the life affirming force in men as it is to women. How does that happen? Do you have a sense of what was the turning point over, was that over several thousand years?
Karen: It didn’t happen overnight it happened differently in different places. In some places the warring on horseback came down and obliterated these societies. Like for instance we think that Çatalhöyük in turkey might have been one, these were societies that were advanced civilizations for their time. They didn’t have fortifications they didn’t have weapons. We believe that they were living in these egalitarian societies that were sophisticated and life affirming and you had these other warrior cultures that came in and in some cases just wiped them out. Or for instance a great book that showed how in some cases the goddess was jut slowly replaced by some of the husband’s male patriarchal gods is the book “The Red Tent”. You can see how the women jut started to adopt the god of their husband as opposed to continuing their relationship and their traditions with the feminine god that they might have been part of their life, or in some cases they continued to have both. Archeologists have shown today that in Israel for a very long time that the Jews there were actually worshipping Asherah alongside Yahweh. In fact when the men were in the temple worshipping Yahweh the women were baking cakes for the queen of heaven, so she is there but you just have to know to look. I know that growing up a catholic in New Orleans and even going to the University of New Orleans I didn’t even know to look. I think that’s what’s important, that we have to look at these goddesses and understand that in some cases they are shadows of their former selves the way they’ve come down to us. You look at some of the Greek goddesses for instance and under the misogyny of the Greeks unfortunately we have lost the full flavor of who they were. They were much more independent much more autonomous, but instead they have been recast for instance I’ll give you an example Hera. You see Hera to most people is this petulant wife chasing after her philandering husband, or you look at Aphrodite and she’s no more than just a boudoir babe. But there was so much more to these goddesses, there was a wholeness. They were protectors of cities they were mistress of the animals. We talk about how they were 3 phases from womb to tomb and they are incredible archetypes for women as they want to empower themselves and come into wholeness in our culture.
Francesca: And I want to talk more about how we empower ourselves with these archetypes both male and female, and how our listening audience the men can learn more about how to nurture their women to embrace them and reap the benefits of it. And our women listening can bring this in and find more resources as well more stories. Fabulous Karen I’m loving this.
Francesca: Welcome back to Sex Tantra and Kama Sutra bringing you the very soul of sex with the very wonderful and knowledgeable Karen Tate, host of “Voices of the Sacred Feminine”, midwife of the divine feminine here in the world. We were talking about the loss of the divine feminine, and how that is disempowering to both men and women and heading toward a journey of how this gets reclaimed back in our lives. I am remembering so much, a quote from Layne Redmond’s book “When the Women Were Drummers”, when she’s speaks of when the male god became asexual, so the male god was also disenfranchised from his richness as fertility god and the goddess was completely lost or denied. There could be no sacred marriage there was no sexuality. Sexuality was excluded from deity and the power of a woman to arouse a man was no longer considered divine it became original sin. The opportunity for scared communion between men and women was lost and the underworld shadowy cave and sacred womb of holy initiation became hell. And that’s the world that we have come down to and yet when we reclaim this ancient mythos, when we study them we actually start to see a pathway that leads from the past and into the future. Do you have a story or one of the tales that you have collected of the goddess and her relationship with men that gives us a ray of hope of both where we have been and where it is possible to go?
Karen: Well yeah I think so. Whether you look at the sacred feminine and the divine masculine as either a deity archetype or an ideal because I think it is important to embrace them on those 3 different levels. One of my favorite stories is the relationship between the Egyptian goddess Isis and her husband Osiris. They were this power couple, this is the way I like to think of them. They were the ultimate mother/father, husband/wife and unfortunately Osiris came against his brother who in jealousy and rage cut him up into a bunch of different pieces and the parts of his body were scattered to the wind. Isis took it upon herself to travel with her nephew and stepson Anubis to seek out Osiris’ parts and put him back together. So you see the power of the sacred feminine to actually restore the divine masculine and unfortunately the only part that she couldn’t find was the phallus, but she used her magic and her power to form a sacred phallus and impregnate herself. The result of that divine union and her magical sacred feminine power was her son Horus. So we can look at these ancient stories and see how the sacred feminine and divine masculine really work in concert, they really needed one another. And unfortunately today too many of the religions of the world the feminine has been denigrated to second class status and I really think that until women step up into their power using some of these sacred goddess archetypes as an example; I think that our culture is going to continue to be wounded because we really do need the sacred feminine and the divine masculine sitting side by side in equality on their throne for men and women to heal their wounds and come into wholeness again Just as Isis brought Osiris back into wholeness.
Francesca: I think that is so beautiful and it reminds me of a film in the 80’s called pretty woman where she starts out as the harlot with the heart of gold and eventually her partner who is a very high powered businessman , she brings life to him. He is just all business and she brings heart and life to him and at the very end of the film he comes to her as she is about to leave town and he says “I am here as your knight, I am here as your prince charming, I am here to save you, so what happens when the prince comes to save the princess” and she answers “she saves him right back”.
Karen: Well that’s exactly right, each side needs the other; the male needs the female and vice versa. Unfortunately in too many cultures today women aren’t seen as men’s equal. I think that until we can restore that equality to more of a caring culture which some people call feminism, we are going to continue to have these problems of inequality where women are seen as less than. The world is missing a lot because the nurturing of the female hasn’t been valued as it once was. these are cookie cutters like shadows of ourselves because when the feminine is honored in both men and women then men get to embrace the richness of their intuition, the depths of their emotion, the sense of their own powerful nurturing natures. And when women get to get to embrace their fullness and get to embrace the masculine in themselves then their deep protective nature their fierceness, their ability to stand for things arises. Then it really becomes that opportunity for true partnership and the [xx]
As women, as counselors as guides we often hear complaints from both men and women about what’s missing and those complaints can be erased when we allow a more complete fullness that starts with that goddess femininity that divine femininity.
Francesca: now for people who are listening that are Christian want to stay within the Christian culture. It’s lovely to look back at history and say “oh, other religions, other cultures had the divine feminine”. Is there a piece of information that you can give to them Karen that supports them within a Christian culture, A pathway for honoring the divine feminine?
Karen: absolutely. You know a friend of mine wrote a wonderful book “Tina Kerry” about the women of the bible as messengers of this empowering female energy. What seems to be really being embraced right now is the idea of looking at Mary Magdalene as the sacred feminine, the feminine face of god and Jesus her consort her husband her beloved as the divine masculine and their love for each other the divine bride and bridegroom allows women to embrace their wholeness because remember in Christianity sexuality had become taboo. It totally had been something that we had to look at with discernment or maybe even reject. But when you look at Mary Magdalene whose reputation has been restored finally now and an apology has been made for misrepresenting her for all of these years. People now have the permission to see these 2 together as the ultimate couple, the yin and yang, the divine feminine and sacred masculine side by side in equality. And you think about who Jesus really was. He was a supporter of women he talked about equality and he tried to uplift the downtrodden. What he does is allow men to embrace that nurturing within themselves. Matthew fox has a great book out now about men’s spirituality offering new archetypes for men that aren’t just about domination and aggression. He offers ideas for them to find other parts of themselves. Really what it does is allow the man to embrace the sacred feminine within themselves and women can use archetypes like the one that I like best is the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet for the empowerment of women. She allows women to learn to set boundaries and say no and understand that they don’t have to be submissive and compliant because you [don’t] want submissive and compliant if you are equal. You are submissive and compliant when there isn’t equality in a relationship. So those are just different ideas whether you use Mary Magdalene and Jesus or you go to some of the goddess archetypes. They are really all there if you just study the mythos and understand what they represent, their qualities their values. And that helps us to provide benchmarks and provide values; a new world view if you will for how women and men relate to one another in the world.
Francesca: I want to talk more about that pathway of this new paradigm that we want to bring in from the dominator and the dominated, the submissive and the compliant to the collaborative and compassionate.
Francesca: Welcome back to Sex Tantra and Kama Sutra bringing you the very soul of sex with the wonderful Karen Tate, who is a midwife of the divine feminine, happily married for 25 years, authoress and deep woman of knowledge. Karen thank you, I really appreciate that you are giving us a sense of our history on this planet. How things culturally and in terms of mythos and story and religion broke down between us and how we can reweave that from the past. As you are looking at this from the vantage point of your knowledge and experience are there resources or even steps that you would encourage our men and women to take as they bring back this sense of partnership and compassion and collaboration?
Karen: yeah I would actually. First I would like to suggest that goddess is the poster child or poster girl if you will for diversity, tolerance, equality and justice. Those are just 4 of the many things that she stands for and I would say that if you can live your life toward embracing just those four things, if you make your choices based on those 4 things that goes a long way toward embracing goddess ideals or sacred feminine ideals within our culture. Imagine if everyone really embraced those ideals that would make an incredible difference in our world. But there are some great books, first I would like to tell you about my 2. “Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations” that really tells you how to visit sacred sites of goddesses all around the world and how to get there. It really reflects the global presence of a feminine face of god across continents and cultures, from 30,000 years ago up until recently when new temples of goddess are being built here on planet earth. Then my other book “Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth”. I wrote that with the intention that anyone could pick up that book and start to understand what the ideals of the sacred feminine are. And if you believe the world would be a better place embracing these ideals how you can start to incorporate those in your life using guided meditation, prayers and rituals, how you walk your talk out in the world and those sorts of things. I do want to mention a few other books as well, ones that made a big impression on me when I was new to all of this. One of them is Reanne Eisler’s “Chalice and the Blade”. I really understood that this wasn’t just some feminist fantasy, that this is historic cultural history that’s been literally swept under the rug by the powers that be who would rather have us not know about this quite frankly. So “Chalice and the Blade” by Reanne Eisler also Marilyn Stone’s “When God Was A Woman”. Go on Amazon you can find any of these books and also look up Matthew Fox’s new book about men’s spirituality and new archetypes for man and I invite your listeners to also listen to my radio show on Wednesday nights “Voices of the sacred feminine”. Each we have women and men on the show talking about a all different aspects of the sacred feminine whether these ideas are planks of the goddess platform or whether they are ideas that run counter to ideas of the sacred feminine. I also invite your listeners to go to my website at WWW.karentate.com , you’ll find information about my tours, my lectures, classes that I’m giving ,my books, the radio show, my whole life is on the website Karentate.com.
Francesca: I want to thank you so much Karen. I also want to give a plug for Karen, if you are listening to my show I encourage you to listen to Karen’s to get more information and her books. I really want to thank our listeners for being with us on this show and being on a pathway to reweave wholeness, to reweave holiness into the relatedness and the sexuality between men and women. You can find out more about Karen Tate, but before we go I forgot that Karen wanted to give us a special offer. What was that special offer Karen?
Karen: Oh the special radio offer, just mention Francesca or Tantra or radio show and I’ll give you both of my books “Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations” and “Walking An Ancient Path: Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth” for $25 plus shipping and handling, that’s almost half price.
Francesca: I think I’ll do that
Karen: thank you
Francesca: Thank you Karen, and once again thank you to our listening audience. If you want to reach Karen’s beautiful blonde face and gorgeous blue eyes, see her bio, connect to her website or connect to this offer or see me or my website or connect to my services you can do that at www.personalifemedia.com. Sex Tantra and Kama sutra, bringing you the soul of sex.