Book: The Return of the Feminine & the World Soul

feminine_book_cover_lg

$14.95 US · 264 pages · paperback
ISBN: 978-1-890350-14-7
Contains Glossary, Index, Notes, and Bibliography

The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul

by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Foreword by Sandra Ingerman

“One of the most inspiring spiritual books of our day and a must read for all those seeking to understand the global transformation now underway.”
— Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener of The Global Peace Initiative for Women

“This beautiful book celebrates our interconnectedness in Her eternal web of life.”
—Meinrad Craighead, artist, scholar, and visionary
www.meinradcraighead.com

“Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee presents us with a clear picture of the Feminine which is now essential to building a new vision and value for our dear planet earth.”
—Marion Woodman, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst and Author
www.mwoodmanfoundation.org

“… the sort of book that offers its readers new eyes. Vaughan-Lee’s profound yet easily accessible exposition of the Divine Feminine will appeal to anyone who yearns for greater wholeness in life. A beautiful formula for the healing of a world which has developed masculine principle competency to the point of self extinction.”
— Rachel Naomi Remen, Ph.D., author Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings, Clinical Professor, Family and Community Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine and Founder & Director Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal
www.rachelremen.com

“For thousands of years it has been known that everything that exists in this world is
alive and has a spirit. We are connected to a web of life that is impacted by the behavior
of all that is alive. This ancient understanding of the divine feminine, the interconnected
oneness of all creation, is a central theme in Llewellyn’s writings…
everyone reading this book will be inspired.”

Sandra Ingerman, author of Medicine for the Earth,
from the Foreword

The feminine holds the mystery of creation. This simple and primordial truth is often overlooked, but at this time of global crisis, which also carries the seeds of a global transformation, we need to reawaken to the spiritual power and potential of the feminine. Feminine qualities belong to both men and women, and they draw us into the depths within us, into the mysteries of the soulwhose wisdom is called Sophia. Without the feminine nothing new can be born, nothing new can come into existence—we will remain caught in the materialistic images of life that are polluting our planet and desecrating our souls. We need to return to the core of our being, to where the sacred comes into existence. And the mystical feminine holds the key to this work of redemption and transformation.

Over the past two decades Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee has given different teachings on the feminine and the anima mundi, the World Soul. They are compiled here for the first time.

“We have to realize that when we deny the divine mystery of the feminine, we also deny something fundamental to life. We separate life from its sacred core, from the matrix that nourishes all creation. We cut ourselves from the source that alone can heal, nourish, and transform. The same sacred source that gave birth to each of us is needed to give meaning to our life, to nourish it with what is real and to reveal to us the mystery, the purpose of being alive. Because humanity has a central function in the whole of creation, what we deny ourselves we deny to all of life. In denying the feminine her sacred power and purpose, we have impoverished life on personal and global levels in ways we do not understand…. Yes, we see now the outer effects on the earth, but it is so much more difficult to recognize the inner effects, which have been devastating.”

—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

This book has been deliberately shared with men and women of all walks of life and different parts of the world. Here are some of their responses, kept in their entirety.

The endorsements are from: a baker, a farmer, a dancer, a poet, a painter, authors, a doctor, minister, Jungian analyst, healer, zen teacher, and more…

They belong to the story of life reclaiming its mystery.

embellishment

“Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee presents us with a clear picture of the Feminine which is now essential to building a new vision and value for our dear planet earth.”

—Marion WoodmanPh.D., Jungian Analyst and author
www.mwoodmanfoundation.org

“… taps into what may be the most important message of our time—the need for the re-emergence of the feminine. As he so beautifully recounts, only through the Divine Feminine can the world, now so desperately wounded and degraded, begin to heal and transform itself. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee explains what our role is in this process, how we can bring the masculine and feminine into greater balance and bridge the unreal divide between spirit and matter. It is a collective enterprise, and we all must be engaged in restoring the feminine to her rightful place. Llewellyn’s narrative explains so much of what we intuitively know but what so few can articulate as well…. One of the most inspiring spiritual books of our day and a must read for all those seeking to understand the global transformation now underway.”

Dena MerriamFounder and Convener of
The Global Peace Initiative for Women

“This book is the work of an alchemist—a vitally important contribution to the Great Work of rescuing the human soul from the darkness that currently shrouds it. In this dangerous transitional time, where ignorance, confusion and cruelty abound, its theme of the need for us to recover and comprehend the Feminine is of absolute and urgent relevance. Few people are able to define and evoke the Feminine in the way that Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee does; in poetic and beautiful prose, he speaks directly from his soul to ours, acting as advocate for the longing of the anima mundi, the World Soul, to be welcomed once again into our lives and our culture. He knows that this is the time of humanity’s awakening: each one of us participates in the mystery of the light hidden within us and within all nature that is being awakened. For exploring this mystery so directly and deeply and with such insight, he deserves our deepest gratitude. Women and men alike will welcome and treasure this book.”

Anne Baringco-author, The Myth of the Goddess:
Evolution of an Image
 and author of the forthcoming book,
The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul, 
www.annebaring.com

“… the sort of book that offers its readers new eyes. Vaughan-Lee’s profound yet easily accessible exposition of the Divine Feminine will appeal to anyone who yearns for greater wholeness in life. A beautiful formula for the healing of a world which has developed masculine principle competency to the point of self extinction.”

Rachel Naomi RemenM.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and
My Grandfather’s Blessings; Clinical Professor of Family and
Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and founder and director
of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, 
www.rachelremen.com

“I am fascinated by the realm of the soul and how many windows there are into it. I am also fascinated by the various forms of clay that our mother earth offers us through which we can commune with her. To me, the contemplation of how grains of wheat, ground into powder that are turned into clay and then, miraculously, transform into loaves of bread is a wondrous, iconic journey. For this reason, I grasp and appreciate this deeply thoughtful message of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. He calls us all, each in our own way, to contemplate the Divine Feminine, to encounter the realm of Sophia, and thus discover the nature of our souls and Knowledge of the Truth that passes all understanding.”

Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
and Brother Juniper’s Bread Book: Slow Rise as Method and Metaphor
peterreinhart.typepad.com

“This beautiful book celebrates our interconnectedness in Her eternal web of life.”

Meinrad Craighead, artist, scholar, and visionary
www.meinradcraighead.com

“This book is very perceptive, deeply moving and calling us all to attention! We have lived long in a world dominated by the role of the masculine consciousness—trenchant, linear, centered in acquisition…. The divine feminine is that ocean of a ‘transforming power’ that can turn into gold the mixed alloy of humanity, it is time to come forward into the arena of the world’s life—and play a part. Sri Aurobindo, the great visionary of modern India, rightly says, ‘It is only the woman who can link the new world with the old.’”

Aster Patel, Governing Board, Auroville, India
www.auroville.org

“This book contains an important message for our time. It is an inspirational text to awaken the reader to the alchemical mystery of the Soul of the World (Anima Mundi)—an important aspect of the Divine Feminine and the mysteries of Sophia. This alive and accessible work deserves a wide readership.”

Robert Powell, Ph.D., Co-Founder of the Sophia Foundation of North America,
author The Sophia Teachings (book and tapes) and
The Mystery, Biography, and Destiny of Mary Magdalene

“If being of service to Life—to our beloved, wounded planet and all creation—is the central task of our time, this book is a lighthouse on that journey. It is a luminous, wise, inspiring and generous book, magical and serene. An invitation into, and open door toward, a new way of being, lived in true collaboration and interconnectedness with the Oneness of all Life. Reading this gives an experience of remembrance, redemption, direction, and renewal—a kind of north star for our souls. I couldn’t recommend it more highly and will carry it as a compass, with gratitude, to help guide the way ahead.”

Jenepher Stowell, Director, Retreat Center, Commonweal


“… shares with us a key to our times. In this book he says that in order to return to balance we must reclaim ourselves and our relationship with the deep feminine. He reminds us that our First Nation Peoples have a way of life that is centered in the sacredness of life and the interconnectedness of it all. Our elders tell us that when the Mother of All Creation is fully present then all is in balance. It is time for us to call her home… and begin our dialogue with The First Grandmother that dreamed it all. As Grandmother Agnes, spokesperson for the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, says, ‘This is a time when we must take the most important journey of all—that fourteen inches from our head to our heart!!’”

Jyoti, Ambassador for the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers,
and Spiritual Director of the Center for Sacred Studies

“In this profound work, I experienced scintillating beacons of light which my heart recognizes as the spiral of Oneness…. This is a guidebook as well as a celebration of remembering…. a guide to the secrets that we will want to know in our hearts as we embrace and transform energies of the shifts to come that include the difficult as well as the sublime.”

Dr. Marj Britt, Senior Minister, Unity of Tustin, California

“… these writings touch the essential commitment needed now to heal the feminine and move beyond patriarchal wounding without rancor or bitterness. Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s voice calls to us both intimately and with forceful clarity to deeply engage in the nurturance of life. His message for women is a wake-up call…”

Myosho Virginia Matthews, Zen buddhist nun, mother, dancer

“Vaughan-Lee has listened deeply and transcribed for us so we can awaken to the true feminine, which so urgently needs to be understood and embodied at this time in human history.”

Lama Palden, Sukhasiddhi Foundation, www.sukhasiddhi.org

“This beautiful book brought tears to my eyes…. If only a fraction of the women on our planet were to realize and put into practice what Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee teaches here, what a different and better world we would inhabit. His words articulate so powerfully the journey unique to women, and the one women must take if our world is to heal into a new reality. I know the deep yearning in the feminine soul to live out its potential…. This is a book capable of changing not only lives, but the world we live in. I cannot imagine a more powerful and timely book.”

Roberta Guillory, founder of the Red Shoes, a center for personal and spiritual growth in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, devoted to the support
and empowerment of women since 1999
www.theredshoes.org

“As I surrendered to the compelling rhythm of The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, I felt something stirring deep within me. Within every kernel of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s wisdom there is a seed of new possibility… and another seed within and yet an-other. As a woman, I experienced a profound wave of relief to be finally seen and validated by the masculine for the ancient wisdom I have carried in my DNA. As one of the many beings of light called to service during this crucial time of global transformation, I found myself re-energized by this message of clarity and hope. And as a spiritual pilgrim on the path to oneness, I felt a deep relaxation as I glimpsed my place within an intricate yet profoundly simple sacred pattern. Yes! Now is the time to allow the healing energy of the divine feminine to lead humanity back into balance and wholeness.”

Kathlyn Schaaf, Co-Founder, Gather the Women
www.katheschaaf.com

The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul not only speaks of the feminine, but to the feminine. I found myself reading this book very slowly. Sometimes after only one or two lines, I would instinctively put the book down, be still and listen. The truth of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s words would resound in my body—a felt sense, which would vibrate down to my cells. I was taken to the essence of feminine knowing.”

Dale Genge, Faculty Member,
The Marion Woodman Foundation

“Attempting to express the beauty and magic of this book with words feels rather inauthentic and only skims the surface of what is a rich experience of the great warmth of connection. My words do not convey the deep feelings evoked—feelings that gently embraced me and opened up a dimension of receptivity, lightness and the very presence of the Feminine. I literally felt the sustaining nourishment of the energies of creation. All day I have been working in the masculine mode of getting things done and at the end of the day to melt my mind into the nurturing embrace of creation was nothing short of magical. I end up with nothing but gratefulness to Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.”

Nancy Roof, Founding Editor, Kosmos Journal

“… a powerful reminder of the deeper knowledge and wisdom that operates in the world…. beautifully articulates that which in so many ways is so difficult to articulate. Vaughan-Lee’s insight into the power of the feminine, the urgency of bringing her more firmly into the world, and the recognition of what is at stake if we do not embrace her, are powerful arguments for all of us to not only hear, but to assimilate into our work and daily practice…. The book yet again reminded me that it is only through a renewed understanding of life’s wholeness that we will we be able to heal our planet and our world…. A necessary and important reminder to us all to listen and be open to this reality.”

Ellen Friedman, Executive Vice President, Tides Foundation

“The idea that the world may be a ‘communion of subjects’ rather than a mechanical ‘collection of objects,’ is still difficult for many members of the scientific community to accept. Our science is still deeply rooted in the mechanistic philosophies of the 16th and 17th centuries. However a growing number of innovative scientists and philosophers have begun to make a case for a more feminine, ecological view…. I suspect everyone interested in exploring how we must now learn to live in our new world, a world in which we know that ‘everything is connected to everything else’ will find something inspiring and productive in this book.”

Frederick Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture,
and President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

“At this time, any healing will require accessing the creativity and the joy inherent in knowing that the birth of new images is possible. As Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee explains in The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, the masculine and feminine are beginning to understand how to hold the tension necessary to create the space needed for this to occur. This book nurtures our ability to listen from within our hearts and restores the dignity and value of feminine wisdom, and points to what is possible when imagination leads.”

Elizabeth Schreiber, M.A. and Sand-play Therapist

“This is a necessary book and a brave one. Rejecting the anger and blame that have marred so much feminist thought, Vaughan-Lee yet maintains that balance can only be restored in the world by the intervention of an active feminine spiritual energy…. Over and over, Vaughan-Lee has been forced to use words that once belonged to the sacred, but are now stained and degraded by their constant deployment in books written to help people to enhance their egos, bank balances, or their power over others. Yet its message is not diminished. Vaughan-Lee has set out to change the way we think.“

Kerry Hardie, author of four collections of poetry, including
The Silence Came Close, and two novels, including The Bird Woman
About

“Spiritual teachers are common, great ones are few, and visionaries are rare. Here, the reader journeys on Vaughan-Lee’s vision of the divine feminine principle, and the urgency for us to access the wisdom brought forth by it in order to bring healing to a world so deeply in need. Through his vision, we are able to access our own vision of how we, too, can participate in this healing…. Vaughan-Lee brings forth a perspective that is unique to someone who is both a scholar and mystic.”

Mariana Caplan, Ph.D., author of Eyes Wide Open:
Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path
 and Halfway Up
the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment,
www.realspirituality.com

Foreword by Sandra Ingerman

Introduction

1. Reclaiming the Feminine Mystery of Creation

2. The Contribution of the Feminine

3. Patriarchal Deities and the Repression of the Feminine

4. Feminine Consciousness and the Masculine Mind

5. The Sacred Feminine and Global Transformation

6. Women and Healing the Earth

7. The Energy of Matter

8. Anima Mundi: Awakening the Soul of the World

9. Invoking the World Soul

10. The Light of the Soul

Appendix I: The Inner Feminine and Her Dual Nature
Appendix II: Longing—the Feminine Side of Love
Appendix III: Two Wings to Fly
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

The following introduction is essential for the reader
to understand the reason for this compilation of materials,
and its contribution at this moment in time.


INTRODUCTION

The assembly is filled with fragrance
at the mention of her,
and every tongue utters her name.
— Ibn ‘Arabî(1)

The following chapters are a compilation of my writings on the feminine from 1991 until 2008. Over these years I have written, lectured, and given interviews on the subject of the feminine principle, the sacred feminine. My earliest writings concern my own experience of the feminine from a psychological perspective, the anima or soul figure within my own psyche as she expressed herself in dreams and images, her darkness and light, her power and beauty. From this inner reconnection with a feminine that has only too often been rejected, misunderstood and mistreated, I began to value and understand the role of the feminine on the spiritual quest, the importance of listening, receptivity, and sacred space that is needed for spiritual rebirth and living the longing of the soul.

These feminine qualities belong to both men and women, and they draw us into the depths within us, into the mysteries of the soul whose wisdom is called Sophia. They also reconnect us with the primal pain of the feminine that has been so abused by our masculine culture. We come to experience her tears and wounds, her pain which is also the pain of our own soul. In the realm of the feminine everything is connected, nothing is excluded. And working with people, especially women, listening to their dreams and stories, I began to see how this pain, this denial, is a wound in each of us that needs to be understood and forgiven if we are to reclaim our true spiritual heritage, the innate knowledge of the feminine and the wisdom of the earth.

My own journey took me beyond my individual quest into the drama of the whole, feeling the suffering of the earth and its longing to reawaken from this nightmare of exploitation and patriarchal greed. Here I experienced the pressing need to reclaim the wisdom and power of the Goddess, Her healing and transformative potential. And I glimpsed how this energy is especially present within women, and how women have a crucial role to play in redeeming the sacred feminine and learning once again how to work with her. Although the feminine is an important part of a man’s psyche, women carry her wisdom and power in every cell of their body, and they have a responsibility in reawakening her potential.

In the story of our relationship to the earth I was drawn further, back to the ancient understanding of the anima mundi, the soul of the world, the divine principle within creation. Throughout history, in different times and cultures, there has been a relationship with the anima mundi, and ways to work with her, to bring her into daily life, particularly through art and the imagination. This feminine consciousness within all of life needs our attention in order to redeem our civilization and our world. Her cry needs to be heard, her knowing brought into our consciousness.

My own spiritual journey has followed the Sufi path of love, whose mysteries of the heart have always had a central place for the feminine. For the Sufi wayfarer it is love’s feminine quality of longing that draws us back to our Beloved. The mystic lover waits in a deep space of feminine receptivity and unknowing for the Beloved to reveal Himself. This inner love affair of the soul with God has taught me much about the relationship with the feminine, and the Sufi tradition of images and mystical poetry has helped me to articulate some of her mystery. The fragrance of this tradition of lovers will be present in these pages.

Although this material comes from my own personal journey, I have stressed how the work of the feminine belongs to the healing and transformation of the whole. The book begins with chapters that focus on our need to revalue the feminine, to understand how she has a central part to play in the work of global healing and transformation. Her natural consciousness holds a deep understanding of the interconnections of life, how all the different parts relate together: how her awakening oneness can unfold. And every woman has in her spiritual centers the sacred substance of creation that is necessary for life’s regeneration. Without the full participation of the feminine nothing new can be born. The reader is then taken into the dimension of the anima mundi, whose ancient wisdom and understanding of life’s oneness is needed if the world is to be redeemed. I have included as an appendix a psychological and spiritual perspective on the feminine that began this exploration, how the journey to the soul of the world began with my own soul.

Part of the difficulty of understanding and describing the feminine is her very elusive nature, the veils that surround her, as well as our patriarchal repression and denial of her wisdom and power. Also the ancient feminine mysteries, her initiations and teachings, were never written down. She is not easily fixed and defined, but is mysterious in her continual movement and change. She belongs to the silvery light of the moon and its many reflections rather than the harsh glare of masculine sunshine and its rational constructs. She is more easily alluded to and hinted at, expressing the mystery and matrix of creation that is always a wonder rather than something to be explained. So these chapters do not attempt a rational, linear explanation of the feminine, but are more facets of a mirror reflecting different feminine qualities and ways of being. In this gathered material there are many repetitions, as each chapter treats a repeated theme from a slightly different perspective, and so over the whole book a more rounded and complete picture of the repeated theme subtly emerges. This is also part of the mystery of the feminine, whose creation is an eternal round of evolving repetition. Each moment the same divine wonder is expressed in a slightly different way.

Also repetition in itself has a value: after such a long time and such a deep conditioning of neglect and forgetting of the nature and quality and value of the feminine in our culture, there is a need to bring her back into consciousness. In a culture that is so steeped in masculine values as ours is, articulating these long-forgotten themes only once may not be enough. There is a need to emphasize her again and again until her qualities once again become part of our relationship to life. The more we are reminded of her, the better she will find a foothold again in our individual consciousness and in our collective culture.

The feminine belongs to the inner worlds as much as to the outer world of creation. She is part of the mystery of the soul, of the womb of the world. Our masculine culture has focused on an external, definable and measurable world, but the feminine knows a different dimension—what is hidden within, often in the darkness. Much of these writings belong to the inner worlds, which are traditionally the home of the mystic and shaman, the poet, the priestess, and the seer. These realms, often rich in symbols, feelings, and images, accessed through visions and the imagination, are not well known in our culture, and our language is ill equipped to describe them, just as our language itself belongs to a masculine, rational culture, one that likes things to be defined rather than just alluded to. In reading this book it is important to recognize the limitations of language, and allow what is beyond the words to speak to you.

Rather than explain the role of the feminine in a logical, linear manner, these chapters attempt to draw the reader into her wisdom and mystery. There is no single definition of the feminine, but there can be an awakening to her ways, to her qualities and powers. Sometimes I have called her “the divine,” or “the Goddess” or “the feminine principle” or the “anima mundi.” The feminine does not like to be caught in any single name or fixed explanation. She is a way of relating to life and to oneself and to the divine.

It is also important to remember that the divine feminine is not in any contrast or opposition to the masculine. Within her sacred wholeness everything is included. And when I refer to the unknowable aspect of the divine that is beyond all form or knowing as He, It has no gender: that “He” is not masculine as opposed to feminine. Although we may live in a culture dominated by separation, the divine is beyond any division. Yet the feminine has her own fragrance, her particular magic. Hopefully in these pages something of her true nature will come into consciousness. She will reveal some of her qualities, lift some of her veils.


Notes from Introduction:

(1) Quoted by Chittick, Imaginal Worlds, p. 80.

I met Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in 2005. Since then I have been following Llewellyn’s writing on the divine feminine, and as a woman and a practitioner of shamanism, I find that his work speaks to my heart. I have found that although we have ridden different waves we tend to land on the same shore.Indigenous teachings embrace the divine feminine in a way that is crucial for healing ourselves and the earth. For thousands of years it has been known that everything that exists in this world is alive and has a spirit. We are connected to a web of life that is impacted by the behavior of all that is alive. This ancient understanding of the divine feminine, the interconnected oneness of all creation, is a central theme in Llewellyn’s writings. As he writes, when we speak to the soul of the trees, rocks, rivers, etc., we speak to the divine within creation.

In shamanism there is a practice that comes from different traditions called deep listening. Through deep listening we know how to avoid destroying the world once again. The answers lie in nature—nature is always sharing her teachings with us. The answers also lie in our own internal nature/inner wisdom. We must move the energy from our heads to our hearts. We must remember what we love about life and what brings us to a place of awe and wonder, reigniting our passion. We must remember how to honor and respect life with each breath, step, word, and thought. What you bless blesses you in return.

We can use the practice of deep inner listening to go beyond what our ordinary ears can hear, back into the reaches of the invisible, the feminine light and knowing, and the love that connects us all. To be of ultimate service to the planet we must reconnect to that innate feminine knowing that teaches us of the power of change that comes from being rather than doing.

In The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul Llewellyn addresses all these principles and more in a unique way. Llewellyn’s gift in writing goes beyond a mere intellectual approach. His true gift is that he finds the words that go deep into your cells like a flower soaking up the life-giving light of the sun after a strong cleansing rain. In this way he creates the space beyond thinking, allowing you to come in contact with the forgotten and neglected place of that sacred knowing and to live the teachings.

I have read all of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s books and have been inspired by each one of them. In this book Llewellyn puts together his teachings on the feminine, which he stresses again and again is central in working with global healing and transformation and life’s regeneration. In these writings he reminds us of the primal secrets of creation that belong to the feminine. He emphasizes how this deep knowledge is by nature an inseparable part of the woman’s body and her inner knowing, and how it is especially needed in this time of great crisis to revitalize life as it is meant to be lived. He also reminds us of our ancient understanding of the anima mundi,
the soul of the world, and how vital her presence is at this time. It is time for us to bring back the soul of the world by once again honoring this life-giving force.

I know everyone reading this book will be inspired. So please read on.

SANDRA INGERMAN
author of Medicine for the Earth and How to Heal Toxic Thoughts
www.sandraingerman.com

“Because humanity has a central function in the whole of creation, what we deny to ourself we deny to all of life. In denying the feminine her sacred power and purpose we have impoverished life in ways we do not understand. We have denied life its sacred source of meaning and divine purpose, which was understood by the ancient priestesses.”

—Reclaiming the Feminine Mystery of Creation, Chapter 1

“The soul of the world is crying to be heard, and only those who have suffered can fully recognize it. If women can come to know the sacred dimension of their own and the earth’s suffering, if they can see that it is part of the mysterious destiny of the soul of our world, if they can look beyond their own personal pain and anger to accept their larger destiny, then the forces of life can flow in a new way.”

The Contribution of the Feminine, Chapter 2

“There are many different qualities of feminine wisdom, from the understanding of the healing power of herbs to the deep, lived knowledge of the feminine nature of the soul’s relationship with God, the soul’s true state of receptivity to the divine. So many of these qualities have been lost; so many priestesses have been killed, wise women burned. And yet the real wisdom remains, because it belongs to life itself. In the cells and in the soul of every woman this ancient knowing is waiting to be awakened, so that once again the sacred feminine can make her contribution, can help the world come alive with love and joy.”

The Sacred Feminine and Global Transformation, Chapter 5

“The World Soul is not just a psychological or philosophical concept. It is a living spiritual substance within us and around us. Just as the individual soul pervades the whole human being—our body, thoughts, and feelings—the nature of the World Soul is that it is present within everything. It pervades all of creation, and is a unifying principle within the world.”

Anima Mundi: Awakening the Soul of the World, Chapter 8

“… the first step is to acknowledge that the world is a spiritual being, just as you acknowledge for yourself that you are a spiritual being. And the next is to recognize the mysterious relationship between the individual and the world, known traditionally as microcosm and macrocosm, in which every human being is the microcosm of the whole.”

—Invoking the World Soul, Chapter 9

“… we have a problem now. The world is dying. It is not supposed to be like this. I am convinced that human beings are not meant to sit looking at a flickering screen ten hours a day pressing buttons. Human beings are so extraordinary! They are full of light; they have this divine intelligence. They are meant to live in a sacred way, not spend their life looking at a flickering television or computer screen. That is not what we were created for.”

—Invoking the World Soul, Chapter 9

The Role of the Feminine & The Reemergence of the World Soul

The feminine has a central part to play in the work of global healing and transformation. Her natural consciousness holds a deep understanding of the interconnections of life, how all the different parts relate together: how this awakening oneness can unfold. And every woman has in her spiritual centers the sacred substance of creation that is necessary for life’s regeneration. Without the full participation of the feminine nothing new can be born.

A relationship to the feminine is also necessary for the reemergence of the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world. Buried by masculine consciousness, the world’s soul is crying out for our attention. She has the ancient wisdom and understanding of life’s oneness that we need if the world is to be redeemed.

Over the past two decades Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee has been given different teachings on the feminine and the Anima Mundi. They are compiled here for the first time.