SHAKTI IS THE LIVING POWER of the Goddess, the creative force that manifests. Her grace and ability to manifest anything draws people to her, as does her willingness to love and care for the human side of life. She is very much on Earth as an embodied Presence; she does not leave the creation nor is she seen as transcendent, separate from nature, or up in heaven somewhere. She is right here, in us, now. In the West, she is known as Shekinah.
Shakti is the essence of sexuality, which manifests and creates both form and life. She is also the passion for life and the engagement with life. As the creative force that births and regenerates, Shakti connects each of us to our essence, even as she weaves her way through the web of life and connects us all.
Shakti is sensual, rich, and overflowing. She is the Mother, Lover, Creator, and Destroyer. She manifests in order to play, and destroys in order to play; her dance is one of delight. When we are in delight, free- flowing, following our heart’s desires and living them fully in every way, we are in the flow of Shakti. This is your innate, original self, living who you are passionately, and accomplishing your soul’s purpose through the flow of Shakti.
Shakti is the complement of Shiva, pure consciousness that does not create or manifest. Shakti is the energy that puts into action. Shakti does not know what to manifest without the principles of Shiva guiding her. These principles of yin and yang are constantly working within us, and need each other in order for us to be in balance and harmony.
Shiva without Shakti is ideas without passion, thought without the ability to manifest or flow. Shakti without Shiva is life force with no direction or form to go into: chaos. In the living dance between the two, we (and our world) are created.
In recent times, the power of Shakti has been forgotten as more masculine ideas and structures have taken precedence. The main barriers to Shakti are our culture and upbringing, which include many expectations about how we are to act and behave. The straitjacketing of free expression, the distortion and manipulation around sexuality and love, and the definitions of what is considered acceptable in “polite” society or in politically and spiritually correct circles, is what keeps people’s Shakti under wraps.
To express Shakti is to freely be who you are, and all that you can be in your highest potential. The greatest achievements and greatest happiness come to those who are not stopped by what others think about them. Rather, they follow their hearts first and foremost, even if they feel judged for it.
In the past, women abused the power of Shakti, an abuse that lead to the domination, manipulation, and exclusion of men from the realms of power. Our current patriarchal age is a reaction against that separation and domination. Many powerful women from that time are still suffering from this experience, and lie partially disempowered in today’s age. Only by men and women coming together can Shakti resurrect in a new way for this age—a way that includes and understands both polarities.
Women are gathering together now to support truth and compassionate means to peace, joy, and equality, not to segregate or judge the masculine, or each other. Such sisterhoods are here to challenge our egos, and to nurture and support our soul’s flowering into nonduality, not reinforce the sense of separation from the masculine part of ourselves that we see in reflection in our partners, fathers, and lovers.
Sisterhoods are here to generate Shakti, and in this generation to transmute suffering in both women and men. They can bring forth a new paradigm of giving fully in relationship, of being whole in oneself, of having the soft enduring strength to be patient and deeply compassionate without hunger to get for oneself. Sisterhoods are here to support the flowering of a new consciousness based in equality, a new society based on loving wisdom and harmony between men and women.
This is what true and noble sisterhoods live for, and create. This is what the noblest and most dignified women have created in the past, from the priestesses of Isis to the European Orders of the Black Madonna, to the Tantric priestesses of Asia. This is women’s birthright, to reawaken the feminine spirit that is the same in all ages, bringing this spirit into the present and expressing it in joyful and appropriate ways, with power and sanctity.
Shakti is a transformative power that is much needed on the planet at this time, individually, collectively, and by Gaia herself. Shakti harnesses the intelligence and creative power of instinctual sexuality—the flow of vital dynamic life force—with love.
The nature of Shakti cannot be fully defined as it is ever-evolving, ever-expanding, and unique in the way that it flows through each person. For each person it will grow, develop, and deepen in unique ways according to your soul’s deepest desires. In this ever-expanding universe, change happens all the time.
Copyright Padma Aon. Excerpt from ''The Power of Shakti'' Book, Inner Traditions/Bear and Co Publishing.