By Shabad Kaur Khalsa, LCPC, LMFT, E-RYT 500 & Shiva Singh Khalsa, E-RYT 500
‘You think that it’s a secret, but it never has been one.’
(In a fortune cookie message.)
The strength of feminism has waxed and waned, perhaps like the lunar cycles. Yogi Bhajan told us that the women’s movement no longer truly empowered us, maintaining that it introduced unrealistic expectations. The message was, to be successful, women needed to compete, to think like a man, behave like a man, and essentially submit to the male model.
As the Ages transition we can see the potential to re-embrace the power of woman. In the Aquarian age, our focus is “Be to be” rather than “Do” which is more male. The key phrase of the astrological sign Aquarius is “I know.” This is the age of information available at our fingertips, and nothing is secret. Where the Piscean age was organized in a vertical structure of hierarchies, the Aquarian Age is organized in a horizontal network, relationship-based, opening the world up to more equanimity.
The archetypal symbol of woman is a circle. She is circular, vast, and giving in her projection and in her nature. Unlike men who are essentially one-pointed, women see everything, and are weavers, bringing in the principles of inclusion, cooperation and harmony.
Secret? Many history studies in the West have essentially erased the “herstory” of the world’s matriarchal cultures. In most of recorded history, the Divine was a feminine model. The Piscean Age was unique in many ways. God was male. Deep ways of women’s knowing were ignored, marginalized, and considered weak or emotional.
In contrast, divine feminine is the creative principle of life. We bear witness to each generation of women’s empowerment, like the contractions of labor—especially the pain and the challenges—as a deeper, richer consciousness emerges. Transition in birth always contains surprises!
Khalsa Women’s Training Camp (now continuing as International Women’s Camp) began in 1976, and was intended to deliver a deep celebration of the Shakti energy. The camp never failed to create lifelong friendships as women worked and played together and strengthened themselves in a spirit of support, mutuality, and cooperation. Our purity of innocence was acknowledged in the embrace of Mother Nature, and it brought out the best in us, which we carried forth in our daily lives.
Conscious women recognize that they are stronger than the men in their life. How could something greater come out of something less? Women embody life, they are vast, expansive, the Shakti!—the vastness of God in every way. They are empowered by their very nature: the Grace of God—dignity, strength, sacredness.
Want to test your power as a woman in relation to men? Here’s a very revealing little exercise. Stand facing a man with his arm out parallel to the floor. Firmly push down on his outstretched arm as he resists, in order to gauge his baseline strength, while he keeps his gaze away. Then look him straight into the eyes and re-test and see his arm weaken. Happens every time! It’s estimated that the direct gaze of a female can weaken a man up to 60%. Better to look at his third eye, to inspire him. In turn, he provides a feeling of relaxation and security for women. For men, also looking up at the third eye of the woman helps keep her neutral and strong.*
Infinite healing happens when feminine wisdom is combined with masculine consciousness. We recognize that wholeness in life can be achieved, bringing balance and hope.
There’s a special shabd called Bhand Jamiyai, by Guru Nanak, that celebrates women and clearly states that it makes no sense to consider women as being less than a man, as all men and woman are birthed by a woman, and that without woman, there’s only God!
“Without the principle of the female, the world would be just a barren world, extremely lonely and without any color. The colorfulness, the joy, the rhythm, the harmony, the music is the creation not of man, but of woman.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 6/28/93
* From the wisdom of applied kinesiology (muscle testing to reveal certain weaknesses and strengths in our system)
Shabad Kaur Khalsa, LCPC, LMFT, E-RYT 500, KRI Level 1 Lead Teacher Trainer, organizes and leads the Annual Midwest Women’s Yoga Retreat. She is co-founder and director of Spirit Rising Yoga Center and Spirit Rising Foundation. For 28 years she has taught Kundalini Yoga and as a psychotherapist, she integrates the teachings into treatment for adults and couples. She is honored to have served Yogi Bhajan directly and has transcribed, edited, and illustrated several books including his women’s camp lectures, Master’s Touch and Flow of Eternal Power. The health and empowerment of women through the teachings of Kundalini Yoga is a cause that is near and dear to her heart and also specializes in Humanology, marriage, conscious birth, self-care, health and wellness.