Amongst the many roles a woman needs to play in our times, only one is regarded as a traditional female role: right from early childhood each girl, in a way or another, is prepared for her future marriage, for making a family and becoming a mother. This is the main life program of a woman, and it is seen as her natural role.
Are there any other traditional female roles, other possibilities of self-realisation, in harmony with feminine nature?
In antiquity, a woman had three paths and, depending on what kind of targets she liked to direct her sexual energy towards, she could play any of the following three social roles.
The first role was well known, this was the role of wife, mother and family keeper. In this role, a woman directed her whole sexual energy to the family egregor often subordinated to ancestral and clan interests. Her purpose was then the continuation of the species, the upbringing of children, the managing of housework, the creation of cosiness and emotional comfort for the whole household. The attention of woman was, in this way, directed essentially towards the physical world and the maintenance of its stability and harmony. The role of wife and mother always enjoyed a huge respect in society.
If a woman directs her sexual energy to the development of her female individuality, to the unfolding of her talents, she would select the path of the Hetaera. A Woman-Hetaera enjoyed greater freedom could travel and select sexual partners. From a very early age, she used to direct her whole attention to her physical and spiritual development, to the improvement of the different types: for the poet, she was his Muse, for the sculptors his model, for the leaders and heroes their inspirer. The Hetaerae called themselves ‘the priestesses of love’, not of carnal or terrestrial love, but of Aphrodite Aurania or of Celestial Love. This was their primary task: that of carrying into the world beauty and high feelings.
In those times, it was believed that that man, by nature more rational and concerned with terrestrial matters, could open his heart to the highest emotions only through an excellent woman, embodying both beauty and perfection.
The ‘career’ of Hetaera was honourable, but required that a woman possessed not only innate abilities, but also great discipline and diligence.
Similar traditions existed in many countries: for example, the Japanese geishas, echoes a tradition that has been passed down to the present days.
In spite of this, this woman’s path has been forgotten many centuries ago.
The pathway of the Priestess is even more mysterious.
The mysteries of the ancient Tantra Temples can shed light on the meaning and purpose of this pathway. The woman, who selected the role of priestess, directed her sexual energy to the unfolding of her highest ‘I’ and to the service of God. By leading a special way of living in the temple, cultivating her femininity, enhancing hers spiritual qualities and participating in Tantra rituals, a woman transformed her sexual energy into its most subtle and highest form. She then became the embodiment of the great Cosmic Shakti. She unfolded in her own self magic, occult abilities and guided those around her to the highest knowledge and the energy of bliss.
The pathway of the priestess was thought of as the highest of all and it was meant only for the few. Although in antiquity the tradition of tantric existed in many countries, this was persecuted almost everywhere by different religious tendencies.
Gradually, the rational male archetype began to prevail on the Earth. For long centuries the only role of women was that of serving exclusively the continuation of the species and the consolidation of the family egregor. Women born with the manifest essence of Hetaera or Priestess, usually either met with censorship or even with persecution from society, and their destiny remained unrealized. All this did not bring any happiness to women.
The twentieth century with its technical progress and social turmoil radically changed the whole public structure. Even at the beginning of the century, the role of woman in society became much more active. As the feminist movement began to gather strength, women started to fight for their social rights and equality with men. Yet, the women protest proved to be very useful for a society, requiring new ‘working hands’. In the Western countries, the industry developed vigorously and women were very rapidly involved in the economic processes.
Feminism, which originally pursued the great purposes of helping woman to occupy a worthy position in society, unfortunately, lead her on a false pathway. De facto, women started competing with men and trying to prove that they were not worse then them and they that could manage traditional male roles, copying men in the clothing and behaviour, and manifest qualities of hardness, aggressiveness and domination. According to Osho: “The feminist movement turned women into another kind of men”. Finally, women themselves began to get tired of competition, realizing how much they had lost in this ‘war’. The need to express herself precisely as woman, to show her female individuality started to appear in women.
Now, at the beginning of the twenty first century, we can observe the onset of a new surprising process on the Earth. We are on the threshold of a new epoch, which undoubtedly can be called :
“The Epoch of spiritual revival”
Precisely now in women appears the possibility to realize her true destination: that of becoming a guide of spiritual energy and of playing a key role in the process of the spiritual rebirth of society.
Women, intuitive, open to the highest emotions and to the manifestations of the Spirit, loving, sensitive to beauty and to the feelings of others, precisely because of this, can now find their true role in society. Women, can now realize again their forgotten destiny of Hetaera and Priestess.
How will a woman express herself in these roles?
Very soon we shall see this!