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The Primordial Feminine

image Bibbi Friman

guest blog by Dorothy Atalla

My book, Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power began on a  January day in 1981 in the depths of mid-western winter when I lay down on my living room carpet to relax with music.  Inexplicably, a vision of a radiant and beneficent female presence appeared to me.  This event was only the beginning of a journey I could never have imagined. That vision foreshadowed  the dialogue with deity which is the essence of my book.

My book swiftly evolves from personal story into a universal story in which a feminine Presence speaks about the role of the sacred Feminine in the future.  She also speaks of the past, revealing a panoramic view of a time in which the Goddess was revered not only at Petra but also throughout the ancient world.  Her story is a multiplicity of strands which she deftly weaves together, creating a tapestry that spans immense time frames in earth’s evolution.

Below is an excerpt from my book about the awakening power of female body wisdom:


One vivid picture which appeared and reappeared in my meditations was that of a reclining woman. Her body contours blended with the rock of Petra, so that she was one with it.    I decided to see whether I could capture the essence and meaning of this image of the rock woman.  The Presence had much to say about it.

You wonder, why an image of a reclining woman, why not an image of a sitting woman or a standing woman?  In your society, the image of a reclining woman is usually symbolic of sensual attraction of the female for the male.  This focus is prominent in your books and media–and it is, therefore, very prominent in the minds of women themselves.

But here the image of a reclining woman symbolizes the receptive nature of the primordial female. The symbolism of this older image implies elemental qualities of power in woman and in earth.  None of the qualities which your society holds up to women and men as very feminine can compare to those elemental qualities.

This image is also a symbol of the epiphany of myself in the age to come….

“This is reminiscent of something I read in Erich Neumann’s book The Great Mother.  He said that in prehistoric times the body of the goddess was perceived to be an epiphany of the divine and that she was often shown displaying her body parts.”

Yes….  You saw this reclining woman emerging from the rock of Petra.  She turned her head, stirring the stillness of her repose with her breath.  The woman’s curves, and the curves of rock of which she is a part, are expressive of the receptivity of the feminine as the meeting place for celestial and earth energies.  They are expressive of the power of the feminine which is now awakening from sleep in the consciousness of the human race.

At the same time that this image expresses the body’s power, it is a spiritual symbol, because it expresses the planetary matrix/vessel which is ever receptive, but never passive, having tremendous power of its own.  The image also symbolizes the human female’s body as an analogue of earth.  And it expresses woman’s awareness of her own beauty.

The curves of her body express the containing, but transformative, nature of the primal matrix. They also express the flow of that mysterious aspect of the Tao known as yin.

The image expresses the ease and certainty which earth has about her own power, and which the human female will have about her power as I rise in consciousness.

Above all, this image expresses female power which is not separable from the body.  This image intimates the primal spiritual power of both the female body and of matter.  It intimates the energetic quality, the consciousness that is present in all of earth’s manifestations.

The female body is my temple.  In the age now coming the female body will be revered.  For a time there will arise a spirituality of myself until humanity can then evolve into the next stage, where it can perceive, actually experience, the masculine and feminine energies in their rapturous embrace where the two become the One in the cosmos.  But until this occurs my ascendancy is necessary because my power is not yet known and must first be recognized.

© 2010 by Dorothy Atalla
www.conversationswiththegoddess.net