Awaken Your Divine Feminine Creative Fire

The Divine Feminine Fire by Teri Degler Today's Creative Soul Spotlight is on Teri Degler, author and co-author of ten non-fiction books including The Divine Feminine Fire; Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Your Self.

Teri will be my guest in the Creative Soul Circle this month (September 2011) where she will be available to answer all your questions. The Circle is a women-only support group and social site that is free to join.

An Interview with Teri Degler

Web: teridegler.com Blog: blog.teridegler.com Fan Page:  Facebook

What fears did you break through to write this book?

The biggest fear was that – in spite of having had nine other books published -- I couldn’t do it. I simply would not be able to pull it off. And then – as I tell the story in the book – I completely collapsed in fear when the arrangement I had with my former publisher fell apart. I realize now that part of the reason I had so much trouble with this was that, in my mind, having I had a major publisher for the book validated it and validated me in some way. I didn’t have the inner faith in my self or in the book that I needed.

Do you have any advice for women struggling with fear?

In The Divine Feminine Fire I talk about the battle between divine love and fear and the fact that love is always capable of conquering fear. This love is the active power of the divine. St. Hildegard von Bingen called this fiery power Caritas or Sophia. The ancient yogis called it Shakti – the cosmic divine feminine. But the important thing for those of us who struggle with fear is that this inner power is accessible! It is embodied in each one of us. We simply have to tune into it – through prayer, meditation, creativity exercises like the ones that are in the book – and allow it to flow through us. Like any spiritual practice this requires practice!

(Unfortunately, trying to summarize this makes it all sound a bit glib! Fear is part of the “unenlightened” human condition; it is something we face continually and meet on different levels as we grow and progress. This is certainly true for me at any rate!)

How does it feel when you’re ‘in the flow’ of creation?

Although I imagine this experience is different for everyone, it is no coincidence that we use the word “flow” when we refer to these types of experiences! There really is a sense of something – call it a force, an energy, whatever you will – flowing through you. For me, when I am really writing at the deepest level, the world around me fades away and nothing exists but images conjured up by what I’m writing. It feels like I am floating in time and space. It is also very blissful. For me this is connecting to the divine feminine – the creatrix of the universe and the creative force within each one of us. But there is also a lot of work with writing – for me that’s when my inner divine masculine comes into play – a constructive critical side that edits, rewrites, and rearranges so the work is as clear as it can possibly be.

(I want to make it clear at some point that I believe the Divine – God, the Absolute, the Great Spirit, whatever you want to call it – is beyond gender. It is neither masculine nor feminine. However, I also believe the Divine exists in terms of an inner divine masculine and divine feminine and that the Divine expresses itself in this kind of polarity throughout the universe. Indeed we experience life itself in terms of polarity – male/female; light/dark; yin/yang; positive/negative electrical charges, and on and on…)

When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?

Nobody has ever asked me that before! I wanted to be a singer because my older half-sister had a wonderful voice and I idolized her. But after being demoralized by music teachers who told me I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket I gave up. Fortunately, I also love to draw and was quite good at it so I turned my sights to becoming an artist. A year of being an art major in university convinced me this wasn’t the right path for me. Now I realize that it was the yearning to express myself that was the important thing. According to interpretations of the age-old yogic texts, this deep-seated longing can be thought of as the voice of Shakti – the cosmic divine feminine – propelling us along the path of spiritual transformation…

How has writing The Divine Feminine Fire transformed your life?

Exactly in the way I describe in the answer above. The ancient yogis described Shakti as what today we could call an evolutionary force – we can also think of it as a sort of spiritual transformative “energy”. And there is only one spiritual transformative energy; it doesn’t matter whether we call it kundalini-shakti, jeng chi, dumo fire, or Holy Spirit – it is the fire of the spirit within that transforms us and brings us closer to the Divine. Writing a book about ancient women mystics and seemingly ordinary, everyday women today who are experiencing this transformative power in their lives gave me a chance to really focus on that very same force and to really feel and experience it in my own life.

Teri Degler

How can we, as women best contribute to this crucial time in human history and can you share some real life examples from your own life?

We simply need to express this force in our lives – whether it is in our creative expression, the creative thinking we bring to solving either our own problems or the world’s, or the hands-on work we do to make the world a better place. Mahadevi – a medieval yogini – described it as being filled with the “precious juice of grace”. Once filled with this grace she then poured it back into the world in the form of her writing and in the efforts she made to ease the suffering she saw around her.

In the book I talk about four steps involved in expressing this force. First, be able to recognize this power. This is why I describe the divine feminine from the Hindu, Christian, and Jewish traditions in the book – so we can know her and know how she works in our lives. Second, we need to practice sitting with/simply being with this power – we need to be comfortable with holding this power in our bodies. Third, we need to listen to what she is telling us – really hear the guidance that is being given to us. Then we can come to the last step, which is allowing this precious juice of grace to flow upwards, outwards, and onto the world which needs it so badly.

There are examples in the book of women who did this. Anya, for instance, came up with an extremely creative and exciting way to start a big environmental movement in her home town. And right now one of the other women whose earlier story I told in the book is in India working passionately with the Global Peace Initiative of Women to create an international, interfaith centre aimed at helping to bring the values and wisdom of the feminine into contemporary spirituality and society.

What is the most important message you would like to convey through your book?

This is directly linked to your question above. This transformative spiritual force – that is embodied within us! – is transforming us and we can use that power to transform the world. And I absolutely believe it is our responsibility as human beings – and especially as empowered women! – to do just that.

Who or what do you find yourself returning to over and over again to inspire your Divine Feminine creativity?

Personally I really love to keep reading the age-old yogic and Tantric texts that describe the transformative power of the divine feminine. But I get much of my day to day inspiration from the women I’ve met and continue to meet who are doing incredibly inspiring work in the world. I tell one these women’s stories in each issue of my newsletter: http://www.teridegler.com/newsletter.html. I’m also posting their pictures, a bit about why they are inspiring, and their websites on my new Face Book community page, and I’m in the process of starting an “Inspiring Women Inspiring Women” page on my website. So everyone can check them out and get inspired!

What is the most difficult part of following your creative passions?

Fear. It seems I have to keep coming back to this and facing new levels of self-doubt every time I face a new challenge.

What advice can you offer to women who are seeking to reignite their Divine Feminine fire?

The four steps above. Learn to recognize the divine feminine. Become ever more comfortable holding this great power in your body. Listen to what it is telling you. Express it. (And, remember, you can’t express it if you don’t create a certain amount of time and space in your life for doing so!)

When you look back on all the research, writing and interviewing you did for The Divine Feminine Fire, what one thing stands out the most, as if it’s been burned into your memory for all time?

That this divine feminine force is real – that the active power of divine love is real – that the “light within” is real – and that they are all the same thing!

What is your next project going to be about, can you give us a hint?

I am thinking about writing a book about the spiritual journey I’ve been on – it has had painful, heartbreaking moments and many really whacky, funny moments too… I would be very nervous if this were going to be a book about “me” – but I think it could be me as a writer being a sort of “lens” on the spiritual journey from the late 1960s on – and a way of sharing the absolutely amazing people I’ve met, things I’ve seen, and experiences I’ve been blessed – and, admittedly, sometimes tortured! – to have had. But there are about ten other books I’d like to write too!!

Teri Degler

 

About Teri

Award-winning writer Teri Degler is the author/co-author of ten books including The Fiery Muse: Creativity and the Spiritual Quest (Random House of Canada). A long-time student of yoga philosophy and mystical experience, Teri has taught workshops in the United States and Canada and made numerous media appearances. Her freelance writing has appeared in Family Circle, More Magazine, Today’s Parent, The Toronto Star and many other publications. Her latest book, The Divine Feminine Fire: Creativity and Your Yearning to Express Your Self, recently became a #10 Amazon.ca Bestseller in two spiritual categories. See www.teridegler.com

Join the Creative Soul Circle and chat with Teri personally.

Spotlight on Divine Feminine Moon Muser, Annalee Jackofsky

Annalee Jacofsky in the Home Grown String Band I recently interviewed the Divine Ms. Annalee Jackofsky about her experience in my Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eClass which I offer in my Creative Soul Circle ~ new classes start up every new moon.

What creative and intuitive goals (big or small) have you accomplished or made progress on because of, or related to this Divine Feminine eClass?

One of the biggest goals that I accomplished during this course was to be happier with myself and more confident in all areas of my life. I learned that if I trust in myself great things will happen. I don’t consider myself to be a creative person (art, drawing, etc.), so I was very proud that I didn’t just create one collage, but five. I’ve learned to trust in my gut instinct and not to question myself to the point were I never make a decision. I was never much of a journaling person; I always got bogged down in writing way too many details and facts as if I was writing a story that someone else was going to read, but during this course I discovered I didn’t need to do this. Even if I just wrote down key words and feelings with no explanation as to why I was feeling that way it made me feel a lot better. It allowed me to release things instead of dwelling on them and letting them eat way at me. I feel this was one of the most important discoveries I learned from this class. I’m also trying to not let my learning disabilities stop me from accomplishing things. To believe in Annalee Jackofskymyself and not compare myself to other people, especially my sister. All of these things have begun the process of freeing me from who I was in the past, letting me write the future in anyway I would like.

What’s your future vision for your Divine Feminine Moon Musing Self?

That’s hard to say. The future is not yet written. I would like to pursue a more creative, intuitive, and spiritual way of living. I would eventually like to help other people in this way, too. Either by being a life coach, a writer, or in some other way that has yet to be shown to me.

What advice do you have for other Divine Feminine Soul Sisters?

Believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. Live the life you want to be living, tomorrow is going to happen either way, so take the chances today that you need to take to live your dreams. Don’t be afraid of what may happen. Trust that everything will work out.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would just like to share my favorite quote: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” - Joseph Campbell

Read more eClass Testimonials here.

 

Links for Annalee:

Home Grown String Band
Annalee is featured in a billboard ad playing in Times Square in New York City 2011 as part of the  "I Will Not Kill" campaign.

Annalee Talks About the Creative Soul Circle

What do you enjoy most about the Creative Soul Circle?
Being able to talk to like minded women that I know won’t judge me.
What are your favorite activities, places to visit etc?
My favorite group is definitely the moon musing group.
How often do you check in and what brings you back?
Several times a day. I keep coming back to hear what other women are thinking.

What makes this Circle unique?

That fact that there are women of all ages coming together to discuss topics that matter.

Last month I added a Crone Moon Shared Focus Meditation to the mix. Is this something you’d like to see more often?

I think it would be nice to have it every month. I liked the shared meditations the best. It forces me to stop during my busy day and connect to the web of consciousness that forms between the soul SiStars during the meditations. Meaning I like there being three group meditations a month.

How does the Creative Soul Circle compare to other social network sites you belong to? Are there any I should check out? What do you like about this one especially?

The only other social network that I’m part of is facebook. I like the Creative Soul Circle better because the discussion topics are a lot more interesting and everyone in the circle is more on the same page as me. I don’t feel as out of place.

* The Creative Soul Circle ~ where Soul SiStars gather + grow their dreams *

Sign up here

Spotlight on Divine Feminine Moon Muser, Brenda Nickolaus

The Divine Brenda Nickolaus I recently interviewed the Divine Ms. Brenda Nickolaus about her experience in my Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eCourse which I teach at the Wise Woman University ~ new classes start up every new moon.

An Interview with Brenda Nickolaus Web: whitewingbn.com Blog: brenda-artinnature.blogspot.com

What did you like best about the Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eCourse?

I have been working with the moon and thinking of doing the collages when I found Kathy's course.  Kathy just gave me the right amount of encouragement to get started and to keep it up and to share the photos with the others.  I loved the chat room and meeting everyone from around the world and sharing our ups and downs with the moon energy.  This is a great way for me to take a class when time or distance is in the way of finding like-minded people!  It was great learning and seeing that we are in the same cycles and moving through them with encouragement from each other!

What creative & intuitive goals have you made accomplished or progress on in relation to this course?

My biggest challenge has always been my inability to let go of my fear and doubt.  I am naturally very shy but love being with people.  I have high expectations for myself and any new creative moves I make and I do have fear of failure (which showed up in my journaling). So working with the moon’s energy for 3 months helped me work through some of these issues and release them with the full and waning moon.  I did take some action steps toward my goals for teaching creative spiritual classes and it has happened! I now feel confident when I express myself to others about what I do at lunches and dinner meetings in the community.  My goals as an artist are also more filled with inspiration and I am starting to work on my children’s books again.   As a result of working with the moon phases it has helped me focus and coordinate my actions with the zodiac sign that the moon is  in.

Brenda & Iffy the red tailed hawk

I've learned that it is okay to do (not just try), to make mistakes, to forgive myself, and to keep moving toward my goals with action steps that move me forward using the moon as guidance (love it).  I've also learned that there is a time and place for everything and that there's no better way to make changes in your life than to move ahead one action step at a time. Once I realized this I was ready to start meeting my creative goals and things just started to fall into place for me.

What's your future vision for you Divine Feminine Moon Musing Self?

Since working with the moon on a more conscious level by doing the class assignments and the journaling  I've been able to accomplish so many things in such a short period of time and I am making the changes in my life that I know I want and deserve. I'm also open for new challenges that I was never ready for before.

Because of all these new experiences, I feel more confident about who I am, about all my abilities, and about what I'm worth. I have to realize I am a work in progress as we all are.

Brenda & Keri prepard to give a reading

What advice do you have for other Divine Feminine Soul Sisters?

Follow the moon and the natural time of the seasons of change and you too will find your path in the sun!  It is a grand adventure and full of ups and downs.  Being prepared is helpful so that when you are ready things will start happening for you too.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Working on my collages with the moon and sharing in the chat room with the other moon sisters has helped me open up more on a personal level. It's really allowed me to target a change in my life and it has also helped me understand what I want to create for my future.

Divine Feminine eclass ButtonMore about Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul

Kathy Crabbe is a mentor at the Wise Woman University where she teaches the popular course, Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul.  “Celebrating the lunar cycles is an important part of building a spiritual framework. Each month we can tune into her cycles to keep ourselves on track. At the new moon we plant our intentions for the month ahead, at the full moon we watch them flower, and at the waning moon we release and share our wisdom with the world. As women we are naturally able to resonate with these cycles in deep and meaningful ways.”

Learn more about Kathy's eCourse here: http://KathyCrabbe.com/ecourse

Spotlight on Divine Feminine Moon Muser Michelle

Divine Moon Muser Michelle Buckley Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul is a 4 week online eClass taught by Kathy Crabbe at Wise Woman University.

Divine Feminine Moon Muser Michelle Buckley is bursting with a multitude of creative and intuitive ideas. She is a self professed "Creative Soul and Down To Earth Skippy Chick Who likes to dust her wings off and fly often" and her delightful soul has brought much joy, inspiration and powerful presence to our Divine group of Soul siSTARS. She is the creatrix of Ashavera Designs, Shima Crystals, and MPress along with the upcoming Oshun inspired sensual Goddess Kit. Michelle is definitely a powerful Divine Feminine presence to watch out for.

Divine Moon Muser Michelle Buckley Website: SoulHolistics.com Pinjarra, Western Australia

Michelle had this to say about the Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eClass:

Kathy, quite simply is Divine!  Perfectly timed, I came across Kathy’s website as I stood at the edge of the next chapter in my life. Feeling disconnected from my true self I intuitively knew that to bring about the changes I sought, I needed to go within to find love for self and access the Divine Feminine that is all women.

Signing up for Kathy’s e-course to do just this has taken me on a transformational adventure tour.

Kathy is indeed a shining light, illuminating the way for you to find what you are seeking through creativity, art, moon musing, astrology, mid life transition …the list is long!

As a mentor she has the knack of, despite being in the northern hemisphere in Southern California, making you feel as if you are sitting next to her having a good ol’ chat!  She emanates a warmth that feels like a beckoning hand outstretched as she gently guides you to find your path and she also knows how to ask the deep questions! The ones that will make you go deep within, that will make you look at a seemingly small observation you have made and take it apart until you get what it is that you are intuitively being told!

Most importantly though – Kathy makes it FUN!

It is with much heartfelt gratitude that I thank you Kathy! Whether our paths crossed for a reason, a season or the journey I am blessed to have you in my life.

 

Full Moon in Aries Collage by Michelle

Have you ever taken an online course before and if so, how did this one compare? The other online courses I have taken did not have the wealth of interaction and feedback via their forum.  Thus, I felt isolated and much less inclined to rush to the forum to see what new info/feedback there was today and get started on the next lesson.  I quickly lost interest.

What did you like best about this course? Feeling safe enough to reveal the real me.

What could have made this course better for you? Nothing!  The course work inspired me, your gentle guidance and questions/prompts resulted in me getting in touch with an integral part of my being that I had almost forgotten!

Oil Pastel Interpretation of the Divine Feminine by Michelle

One of the wonderful aspects of this course is that has made me aware of the timing of occurrences each month (eg that I love to sit outside a bath in her glow for the days leading up to full moon, and that Kirra (husky) starts her twilight barking - well howling really and the other dogs in the neighbourhood all answer back! Luna was indeed a glory to behold.

The Forum: I like the forum, being able to get feedback from other Moon Sisters makes it more enriching.

Journaling: Quite simply I love it! I am creatively alive and it has made many positive and joyous changes for me.

Collaging: I have uploaded my New Moon Collage and indeed I found it to be a magickally creative meditative process. Each element holds many riches for me and I was wowed at the way it unfolded.

Divine Moon Muser and eClass student Michelle BuckleyWhat creative and intuitive goals (big or small) have you accomplished or made progress on because of or related to this course?

Your course has brought together a list of creative ideas that have been knocking around in my head for over 12 months. Ideas that I thought of as being separate from each other have been brought them together as combined creations. More to the point is that they are now something tangible ... for that I am eternally grateful.  And of course there are also some little artistic 'off shoots' that I never imagined I would be doing either - drawing, painting and collaging! What a divinely beautiful path my new life has taken.

What’s your future vision for your Divine Feminine Moon Musing Self?

To live from the heart as my authentic self, sharing my creative passions to bring love, joy, healing and empowerment though my work.

What advice do you have for other Divine Feminine Soul Sisters?

The changes we seek start with feeling the love within and respecting ourselves.  By connecting to the Divine Feminine within, we reconnect with our ability and Divine right to be the exquisite, empowered and sensual being we were created to be.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

One of my favourite quotes:

What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now! ~ Buddah

More info here: Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul -  “Celebrating the lunar cycles is an important part of building a spiritual framework. Each month we can tune into her cycles to keep ourselves on track. At the new moon we plant our intentions for the month ahead, at the full moon we watch them flower, and at the waning moon we release and share our wisdom with the world. As women we are naturally able to resonate with these cycles in deep and meaningful ways.”

More Student Spotlights can be found here..

Spotlight on Divine Feminine Moon Muser, Dawn Pinke Anderson

Divine Moon Muser, Dawn Pinke Anderson Divine Moon Muser Dawn attended Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul several times and had this to say about her experience:

Eighteen months ago I came to a turning point in that I could no longer suppress myself and my desires to explore and live my life my way. I always knew there was another plan for me, a path, and I'm happily exploring all the myriad of options available to me.

I found this course while looking at Susun Weed's site and her herbal courses (following some advice to get into nature, etc.)

I have come to the conclusion that I will never truly fit in the way I see so many women group together.  Half the time when I am inside the 'inner circle' of these groups, I am bored to tears with the ridiculous things (gossip, etc.) being discussed.  I don't need or want that!  I long for the deep, meaningful connections and conversations that feed my soul!  Like these discussions we're having online!!

Leo New Moon Collage by Dawn P. Anderson

I can't thank you enough for having this course and for it's wonderfully open and supportive atmosphere. It has been totally transformative for me and has given me so much direction, I just can't believe it.

But most importantly, taking this course and delving into astrology again, particularly learning about the nodes of the moon and reading Jan Spiller's book (Spiritual Astrology), OMG! it all came together...I get it now, what I'm supposed to be doing in this lifetime, etc., etc.

What did you like best about this course?

All of it!! Especially the online discussions. I especially liked the amount of frequent and expansive feedback from Kathy AND the networking, chats, and connections, etc. with the other students...my long lost moon sisters.

What could I have done to make this course better for you?

This course is so great that it's hard to imagine any improvement.  That said, I so enjoyed the student and instructor interactions that I wish (1) it were longer and (2) everyone involved were located in my city so that we could meet in person for discussions, art work sessions, perform moon rituals together, etc.  I feel a connection to each like they are my long lost sisters (Moon Sisters, yea!) and I want a family reunion!!

Has this course been of value to you and why?

Yes, extremely! This course has helped me uncover profound insights I wouldn't have gotten to in YEARS of talk therapy! It has given me such valuable insight into my soul purpose, my intended path, why I gravitate toward certain beliefs and practices...deepened my awareness and respect for the earth, the trees, the plants, the plants, the planets and the unseen world! I especially appreciate that it set me on a path of regular journaling, meditation and introspection AND gave me a family of sisters with whom to share my experiences.

Are you continuing to moon muse, journal and collage on your own?

Absolutely!!! I am even more aware of the moon, planets, the earth seasons, etc. and am following all the subtle (and not so subtle) signs and energies in all aspects of my life.

Have you ever taken an online course before, and if so how was this course in comparison?

The other online courses I have taken did not have the wealth of interaction and feedback via their forum. Feedback and interaction from the 'leader' was nearly non-existant.  The student forum was bleak and it was impossible to get any interaction going with other students.  I became bored after 3-4 weeks (It was a 3 month course) and quit.  In contrast, this course was fun, lively, tons of discussion and feedback!  It was hard to imagine we were spread out across the continent as the warm and friendly discussions and comments made it feel like I was chatting with my best friends.

Are you interested in taking this course again?

Yes!  This was actually my second time taking this course and it further deepened the insights from the first time, added more learning, and really opened up my creative juices!  Not to mention opening me up to noticing more messages from the earth, from nature.

To learn more about the Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eClass please click here.

More Student Spotlights can be found here.