The new modern female alchemists of change are no longer obscured into the mountainous caverns and secret society temples. They hold positions of CEO and Secretary of State. The future of our planet, the definition of womanhood and female fortitude is no longer played out in tales of mythology, movies and the stage, but the cover of Time and the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Both take the floor, waging mindful words turning said podium into a Shatki-style bully-pulpit of foreign policy and domestic issues.
Birthing Shakti from the Potomac, two women are bringing a new model power to the Capital, possibly transforming the Oval office. There’s Democrat and former first-lady Hillary Rodham-Clinton as Durga (the first woman molded by institutional American politics), and her offshoot Republican Carly Fiorina as Kali (from corporate scion of Silicon Valley and old school high tech and telecommunications); both are similar in feminine power, yet are mirror opposites in their policies and politics. Equally courting controversy at every turn, condemned and at times vilified, they are calculated and dead-set determined to poke the bear and raise their sabers. Is it time for the world to have a First Man and a Mrs. President? Are we ready for this next wave of Shakti rising?
These are not the sulfur-saturated oracles of Delphi or the curly-haired, velvet cloaked priestesses of Glastonbury in homage to Avalon. Both are legitimately viable candidates for their parties. And yet can these two women conjure up the boldness and courage to tackle these troubling times in a way that no man has been able to before?
The two Shakti goddesses of Kali and Durga were creative, cumulative solutions to large problems and great evils. Their very nature was to fix imbalance and wage war against evils that flummoxed the patriarchal cosmogony before all was lost. Like Eve, engineered from man’s yearning, both aspects of Shakti were ideated with the same bias of female coming second, an inferiority we see meted through the demonization of Lillith (Hebrew), the destruction of Isis (Egyptian goddess) and the underworld subjugation of Inanna (Sumerian).
For Carly and Hillary, both are bashed for their looks while the white guys around them chuckle and high five like a fraternity debate club. The glass ceiling of ego and opportunity seems almost impossible to chip, let alone crack, even with saber and skull in hand. It was almost silly to countenance someone like Sarah Palin as a serious VP candidate, and Elizabeth Dole seemed way past her prime and two decades too soon. The Geraldine Ferrero’s of the world and their second-in-line assembly has been documented, hypothesized and tucked neatly away like a cocktail napkin in a coat pocket. This is now a woman’s race - or stands to be anyway - unlike any of the second place VP-candidates of the past. Both have ten arms in intellect and articulation; both broads are tough enough to heave that gilded hammer so stoutly swung they stand to shatter all glass ceilings from this point on. Taking a page from the Frau Angela Merkel playbook, it would appear that perhaps, perchance, times, they are a changing. But are we ready?
Neither female candidate is perfect; both make men bristle, but what is the true nature of Shakti or female energy that is desperately needed to a higher level of transformational impulse for our country, planet, and comrades? Durga and Kali were not created in the images of Lakshmi or Saraswati, not eidolons of perfection, visages of pulchritude. These goddesses were brought forth to bear their swords, to preserve and protect with a feminine fortitude and ability to unravel the footholds of blighting ills and the evils in their midst.
Both party-nominee hopefuls have defied the odds by making it in a man’s world, oftentimes criticized for being too manly. What would it take for a woman to bring forth Shakti wisdom and take the leadership position with the wisdom of Joab and Baez, the two complementary pillars supporting the great Solomon’s temple?
The foundational tenets of the wars waged by Durga and Kali were to bring about desperately needed change, liberation and creation. For these two modern women, it’s a new world order (not the scary kind hopefully), liberating suffering and injustice around the world, and instigating a change in foreign policy, domestic concerns and in general the rights and roles of women in leadership through opportunity and example.
First, what if bringing order to the world happened in new and different ways - less on brokering resources, thinking linearly or hierarchically. Perhaps Shakti power would be about changing the vernacular by exposing and removing the maya around certain ideologies, terminology or classifications of human beings. Can a Shakti approach inspire and start converting our capitalistic reasoning into collective consciousness, rewarding individuals fairly for their hard work without instigating or perpetuating suffering on others? Could either of these women tap into the essence of Gaia through intuition, begin to apply skills of loving and nurturing to our planet and its people without measuring success in terms of Gallop poll ratings and press releases but in pure air, clean water, and sustainable means of feeding and healing everyone?
Aspects of Shakti continue to require optics of the very nature of feminine power and its essential role in the balance of the universe. Hearing these women speak, it is just as hard to be confident in either one of them bringing anything more than politics as usual as it is to be romantically hopeful, naively assuming that voting a woman into the Oval Office will somehow have a profound effect, a radical change of course, a super women saving the day literally on many fronts, and just in the nick of time. In reality, these women wear navy blue pant suits and Ferragamos, not a belt of severed limbs and a garland of skulls. They faintly wave hands and board private jets, not swing swords while riding tigers.
What they can do is call into frame the hidden realities of all things spoken in word that remain unspoken in action; no longer needing to traipse around the veils of illusion or spin around in them like Salome before St. John, in that highest level of position, the realities of equal opportunities and equal wages, women’s rights may actually have a chance to be improved. Can two women bring out the best in what it is to be a woman, a wife and a mother and bring a different, more creative way to solve environmental, humanitarian, and economic issues at the fore? Even if elected, single-handedly, I don’t think they can.
The true potential of these women in Presidential skins, embodying Kali and Durga aspects is the simple fact that if properly executed, they elevate and bring out the true Shakti in all women, creating a shift in perspective like the triumphant entry of millions of women with tigers, swords, sabers and skull-clad. They pave the way for a radically liberated way of being through impactful change. Perhaps this is a response to a cry from the universe, and summoned from our consciousness are these two women, born for the podium to make true warriors out of all of us.