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View Full Version : Why women's spirituality? An idiot's answer.



RainInanna
July 4th, 2008, 01:33 PM
I love Idiots Guides; I know many don't, but I love the simple, humorous, light introductions to topics. I just borrowed The Complete Idiot's Guide to Women's Spirituality from the library. Within the first pages I realized why Women's Spirituality is so meaningful to me; why it feels so right when other spiritualities do not.


Women's spirituality values insight. It does this by asking questions such as: What are the things you hold sacred? Where do you feel most connected to God? Who or what is God for you? Where do you go for spiritual nourishment? How do you define 'spirituality'? What kind of work do you find meaningful? What feeds your spirit and still puts bread on the table? Again, these questions have been floating around since the beginning of time. The difference is that in women's spirituality, each woman contributes her truth based on how she experiences life, and most important, all answers are valid. This is how spiritual and religious 'truth' expands.

On the next page:


Women's spirituality begins with a feeling. It stems from the understanding that feelings contain good information and that if we 'sit' with them and talk about them with others, we learn something important. Those twinges are spiritual messages. Women's spirituality starts with a twinge, which leads to a question, which is followed by an answer - and something quite creative usually happens. A big difference between women's spirituality and any other form of inquiry is where you go for the answer. In women's spirituality, the answer comes from the same place as the twinge - within.

...Women tend to interpret their feelings as a sign that something is wrong with them. Yet their feelings refuse to away no matter how 'good' they are, no matter how well they perform, no matter how much they accomodate. They still feel 'wrong'.

One day one woman hears another woman talking about feeling that way, too. In that moment a veil lifts. Women's spirituality acts as a sounding board for feelings such as these and as a source of validation. As women begin to discover that the feelings they are having are actually leading them somewhere - and that many other women have the same feelings, too - they begin the process of finding their own spirituality.

alwaysfallingup
July 4th, 2008, 01:47 PM
Wow, that's wonderful! I had no idea there was such a book! It's immediately going onto the list for our circle library. I think it would be a great introduction for someone interested in joining but not sure what women's spirituality entails. Thanks for sharing!:thumbsup:

David19
July 4th, 2008, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the info, I might check it out one day :).

EvieLee
July 5th, 2008, 02:07 AM
Sounds good so far for an Idiot's Guide...

Must check it out.

Thanks Inanna.

Fiamma
July 5th, 2008, 05:33 AM
A big difference between women's spirituality and any other form of inquiry is where you go for the answer. In women's spirituality, the answer comes from the same place as the twinge - within.

So...wait...since when was this strictly a characteristic of "women's spirituality"?

Or does that mean that any spirituality where one looks within is "women's spirituality?" If a guy looks within, does that mean he's practicing women's spirituality too?

I look within in my spirituality, but I also worship male deities. Uh....does that make me all mixed up? Or does the looking within mean I am practicing women's spirituality because only women's spirituality looks within?

(For the record, I don't think I'm at all mixed up and I don't think I'm practicing women's spirituality...but I do feel the need to comment because, well, I think that it's a little presumptuous of the author to claim that only that one particular variety of spirituality involves looking inside oneself.)

Philosophia
July 5th, 2008, 05:59 AM
So...wait...since when was this strictly a characteristic of "women's spirituality"?

I don't think thats what that particular sentence means.

For me, that sentence is basically saying that, unlike conventional forms, their primary way of obtaining information is by looking within. I don't think its eliminating other paths who do that as well but simply distinguishing itself from other forms of inquiry that some other paths embrace.

RainInanna
July 5th, 2008, 10:55 AM
I don't think its eliminating other paths who do that as well but simply distinguishing itself from other forms of inquiry that some other paths embrace.

Yes. The sentence may be awkward perhaps but I wouldn't think it's claiming anything about any other kinds of spirituality. It's simply characterizing women's spirituality, and the style of inquiry used within. I would assume, if anything, the sentence means "the difference between the inquiry used in women's spirituality and other forms of inquiry...". But I wouldn't imagine it's a call for debate on spiritualities.

RainInanna
July 6th, 2008, 10:14 AM
It really made me realize one thing I value about this form of spirituality is the sacred space created by women who come together to share and support - I find a bit of it even when I sit down with my friend as we talk about our lives and watch our children play. Imagine setting aside time and space to ritualize events, recognize the Divine, and honour the Sacred in eachother. Imagine coming together solely to talk about our feelings without debate, argument, or striving to label and solve these things.

Mithrea
November 8th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Imagine coming together solely to talk about our feelings without debate, argument, or striving to label and solve these things.

I have always been able to imagine this, but I have never found that I can have it unless I sit and talk to myself. I use art and poetry to express these things too, but then if I want to leave it just for what it was meant to be, I have to hide it away from people who feel forced to analyze it.

I am surrounded by men in my everyday life that constantly need to challenge what I say, debate, dismiss, counter and analyze everything around them. My father will never let me say anything without pointing out why it might be wrong. He doesn't know how to share or conversate. He can only dissect and argue. In fact, he thinks that's what conversation is.

Rowan Darkmoon
November 8th, 2008, 01:47 PM
I think that this is really cool! I've been reading a lot lately for preparation for my thesis, and getting into the discussions of the impact of women's spirituality on Neo-Paganism has been very inspiring.

RainInanna
November 8th, 2008, 03:08 PM
I am surrounded by men in my everyday life that constantly need to challenge what I say, debate, dismiss, counter and analyze everything around them.

I know women who complain their male partners do that. I started telling my boyfriend, "I don't need you to solve this, I just need you to listen and say 'uhhuh' and 'I understand' and 'yeah I know what you mean' once in awhile". And he does pretty well. I also have female friends who get that and just respond intermittently with "oh yeah, I can imagine" and other answers that just say "I understand/sympathize/appreciate how you feel".

Sometimes I just want to rant and rave like a lunatic, knowing I'm being over the top, and I have friends who get that I'm just going to do that. They don't have to argue logic or sanity into me, I'm going to figure it out for myself, I just need to vent.


He doesn't know how to share or conversate. He can only dissect and argue.

I've known people like that, and am shocked when they can't figure out why people don't want to talk to them. I have a male friend who likes to dissect everything as well, and that's why I refused to talk spirituality with him for years. Although we talk about it sometimes now I still don't tend to tell him my feelings on these things. At some point, dissecting things is such a waste of time.

I have to be honest too though. I used to be the debater myself, and am disappointed in how many opportunities I lost to build relationships, see things from a new viewpoint, and gain new perspectives.

I ignore or avoid a lot of debates anymore, even here on the forums. I realize we're all free to talk about what we like, I just can't be bothered to rehash the same Pagan arguments. Dissecting who's a "real" this and who has the right to do that just doesn't do it for me anymore.

It's also why I get pissy when people attack women's spirituality or even other religions and paths - yes, I know it doesn't work for many people. Yes, I understand why. But do I want to waste time trying to defend it to people who are too busy dissecting and arguing rather than actually looking for the value? No, not really. Live and let live, ya know? It's all about accepting and understanding, not defending. I'm so tired of defending ideas and opinions. At the end of the day, it just isn't worth it half the time.

I get a lot more out of life if, instead of busily trying to come up with my next retort, I just listen to different opinions, consider them, and encourage people to draw them out. Less conflict, more learning.

teishabee
November 8th, 2008, 04:27 PM
It seems a shame to me but my faith and spirituality has for my own fault been on a back burner.

Im fed up of explaining and defending my own thoughts and feelings.

I like to be open and honest but mostly I just keep it to myself. Its not good in the fact you feel as if grow as much. Feeling like your in the closet.

I feel this is mostly the male influences in my life but alot of women are very cynical of my views as well. So I just guess its the individuals that I hang around and no so much a Male trait, as fell by others.

watersprite
November 8th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I have always been able to imagine this, but I have never found that I can have it unless I sit and talk to myself. I use art and poetry to express these things too, but then if I want to leave it just for what it was meant to be, I have to hide it away from people who feel forced to analyze it.

I am surrounded by men in my everyday life that constantly need to challenge what I say, debate, dismiss, counter and analyze everything around them. My father will never let me say anything without pointing out why it might be wrong. He doesn't know how to share or conversate. He can only dissect and argue. In fact, he thinks that's what conversation is.
We have guys in HERE like that!
I think that this book should be in every hotel, Right next to the Bible!

Lunacie
November 8th, 2008, 05:08 PM
It's awesome that you can get books like that at your local library. I've been very disappointed with the selection of alternative religion books in our library since we moved here 5 years ago.

They finally got moved into the new building and I was hoping the selection would expand and improve. I just did a card catalog search for Wicca/Wiccan and Pagan/ism and more than half the small number of books I found were from a Christian perspective on dealing with the "evil" of alternative religions. Bah!

RainInanna
November 8th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Oh, Lunacie, sorry to hear that. There's a very active, very public Pagan community in this area, and we're a big university city, so that's why we have such a wide selection of religious/spiritual/theosophical/Pagan/women's spirituality/mythology books.