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The Essence of Woman

Sacred Women's Business

How the Feminine Grows by David Deida  
An essential Feminine principle is that of opening as love …The Feminine nurtures, gives life, and dances in sensual joy, although sometimes Feminine energy is also wild, fierce, or chaotic”….David Deida.


The Feminine shines with radiance, or can appear dark and mysterious.

The Feminine is the force of life altogether: the healing force of nature, the life-giving force of earth, as well as the force of destruction which re-absorbs that to which it has given birth. The Feminine force is not goal-oriented and directional, so the Feminine heroine is not a warrior who cuts through obstacles. Rather, she is a goddess who opens doors with love. A Masculine warrior slices through impediments to freedom and truth; a Feminine goddess shines with love's radiance, opening passageways to the heart.

The Masculine is primarily struggling with Himself, moving beyond His own fears and learning to master the unknown terrain. The Feminine is primarily moved by her need for love. She is also yearning for a way to release the love in her heart. Her whole life is about opening and loving, giving love and receiving love. Her primary suffering, and her primary joy, is in love relationships, usually with an intimate partner, but also with her children, her friends, or with God. The Masculine is essentially alone, until He is dissolved in free consciousness. The Feminine is essentially in the play of relationship, until she is dissolved in free love. The Masculine warrior wields his sword of truth. The Feminine goddess dances in the garden of love.

Just as the first-stage man is always looking for a bigger sword, the first-stage woman is always hoping for more love--to give and to receive. When her intimate relationship is not working, she thinks it might be her fault. Maybe she isn't giving enough love. Maybe she is expecting too much. Maybe she needs to give it another chance. Love is her motive, and the first-stage woman will do anything for it. She will give up her own needs, her own power, and her own authority. She will give them up to her children, her husband, or her teacher, in her desire for what she thinks is love. If love brushes her life, she opens to it, and out flows her energy and attention to the object of her loving. She finds it difficult to own her own needs, her own power, her own identity, because she so readily opens her boundaries in the hope of love.

Abandoning her own center, the first-stage woman seeks to fill herself with an imitation of real love. To fill her vacant heart she eats ice-cream, chocolate, and cookies. Perhaps she watches soap operas or reads romance novels. True love seems always out of her reach: "Maybe I don't deserve love." She settles for anything that offers the potential for love: "Maybe in this relationship, there is a chance. Even though he abuses me, I think he could change. I just want him to say that he loves me." Eventually, her pain becomes too great. She will no longer do anything in exchange for the potential of love. She will not give up her personal identity and her personal needs. Even though she wants an intimate relationship, she is determined to stand her ground. This is the second-stage woman, the woman who, temporarily, focuses on loving herself.

The second-stage man is devoted to self-improvement rather than acquisition; the second-stage woman is devoted to loving herself rather than to giving up her own needs--supposedly for the sake of another--in the hope of receiving love. The second-stage woman is no longer dependent on the love of another, just as the second-stage man is no longer dependent on things and people outside of himself.

The second-stage woman stands whole, frequently in the company of other second-stage women. She is no longer needy of men. In order to free herself from a Dependence Relationship with a man, she cultivates her own internal Masculine energy. She learns to assert her needs clearly, to direct herself with her own guiding hand, to see herself through her own loving eyes instead of through the eyes of an external lover. She is her own person. She has taken responsibility for herself.

The Feminist voice is one voice of the second-stage woman, celebrating her free womanhood with her sisters. As a cultural shift, women who had been following men's directions have learned to depend on their own internal voice and sense of direction. They no longer merely follow a man's lead; they allow themselves to be leaders. Such women have not only liberated themselves from men but from their own self-doubt.

Just like their second-stage male counterparts, second-stage women are independent, self-responsible, and dedicated to internal and external transformation.


In fact, it is at the second-stage that men and women are most alike. They are both dedicated to self-responsibility. They are both interested in self-definition and respecting personal boundaries. They both, therefore, want to create a 50/50 Relationship.

The words "surrender" and "sacrifice" raise their hackles, second-stage women and men alike. The second-stage is all about personal power, self-authenticity, and making one's stand as an individual--worthy, strong, and not dependent. The second-stage woman and man speak loudly: …I follow no doctrine, I am my own woman/man/person. Because whole person-hood is so important to second-stage men and women, they often attempt to balance their internal sexual energies. The man cultivates his inner Feminine energies and the woman cultivates her inner Masculine energies. The man may grow his hair longer, wear an earring, speak softly, smile a lot, express his feelings, and is cautious not to assert his opinion too strongly: .."Whatever."….is his response. The woman may cut her hair, wear less sexy clothes, use less make-up, travel widely, and speak with confidence.

50/50 Relationships are often uniquely lukewarm between second-stage men and women.
Why? …Because although mutual self-responsibility is a lot more whole than mutual dependency, it is a lot less passionate than mutual abandon in love. Mutual self-responsibility, by itself, makes for a boring intimate relationship. It makes for a good friendship, which is a step up from a good slave-ship. Yet it does not allow for the full incarnation of the Masculine and Feminine forces as two magnetic poles.

Second-stage men are often afraid to love their women freely. For instance, a second-stage man often listens, becoming dull and inattentive, as his woman talks to him. He may have no real interest in what she is saying, but he feels he should listen, or at least try.

Yet, her real desire is for a deep connection in love, not for a passive audience. He can choose to give her love directly, passionately, with no hesitation: "Enough talk. I love you." Second-stage men are so devoted to their inner balance that they are afraid to sweep a woman off her feet with the kind of uncompromising love that could fill her deepest desire for intimacy.

A second-stage woman, on the other hand, is often so cautious of losing her center that she is afraid to love a man freely. She doesn't trust that he will honor and appreciate her openness. She is afraid to give a man the kind of devotional love that wants to overflow from her heart. Both the second-stage man and woman are cautious not to let go of their own boundaries or to trespass beyond the emotional boundaries of their partner. They are "safe" men and women.

A second-stage woman, on the other hand, is often so cautious of losing her center that she is afraid to love a man freely. She doesn't trust that he will honor and appreciate her openness. She is afraid to give a man the kind of devotional love that wants to overflow from her heart. Both the second-stage man and woman are cautious not to let go of their own boundaries or to trespass beyond the emotional boundaries of their partner. They are "safe" men and women.


How does a woman grow from the second to the third stage?

Just as a second-stage man may come to realize that he still feels incomplete and unfinished, a second-stage woman may come to realize she is still searching for love. Her heart is still yearning. She still feels a void, whether she is in a mutually self-responsible 50/50 Relationship or not. For most women, sisterhood is not enough, and a second-stage man is safe but not sufficient to pierce the deepest caverns of her heart.

Just as the second-stage man is reduced to zero in the abyss of absolute futility, the second-stage woman is reduced to zero in the black hole of her deep need. At the very center of her life something is missing. Her independent strength does not fill the emptiness inside her, nor does her 50/50 Relationship. What can she do, when neither relationship nor aloneness fills the need in her heart? She must let go of her relationship and her independent stance, both, and be sucked through the black hole of her need before she can emerge like a butterfly with wings of love. When the second-stage woman dies, the third-stage woman is born.


The third-stage woman no longer searches for love, but rather breathes love, relaxes in love, and radiates love.

The third-stage man lets go of everything for the sake of true freedom, and the third-stage woman lets go of everything for the sake of true love. She is no longer dependent on external love. She is no longer relying on her self-love. Rather, she is love incarnate. Her mood is not needy, nor proud, but devotional. Her hand is not clinging, nor holding off, but blessing. She does not love like a "wife" should. She does not love like a "person" should. She loves; she is not fearful, nor cautious, but abandoned in love.