Healing the Sister Wound

by Andrea Spacek

As a general rule, if someone is teaching something or leading something, it's not because it comes easily to them. It's because they are on a quest to understand how it works, what it is, and on a deeper level, how to have it in their life.

For the past 20 years, I have been seeking to unravel the mystery of Divine Feminine - first in books, then in trainings, then by leading women's circles, then women's retreats, and currently, women's group coaching and 1:1 coaching containers.

I'll let you in on a little secret: I've been terrified of women my whole life.

Sure, I've always had female friends who I absolutely adore, lots of women all around me, and have two big sisters of my own who I feel loved by, but I've always kept them all at a certain safe distance away from my heart. A part of me is always worried that I did something wrong, or that they secretly judging me or despise me just for existing.

The thing about cultural mythology is that it is insidious. It seeps into the bedrock of the soul when you aren't looking. It sneaks in under the auspices of religion or fairy tales, or comments from your mother or aunties, or in television shows.

And somewhere around middle school, when hormones start bubbling, and our identities start to shape, the poison becomes known - "women can't be trusted."

And then the inherent double-bind: since I AM a women, I also can't trust myself. And it muddies the natural feminine flow of love that wants to circulate among us, and infests it with jealousy, vitriol, shame, and even hatred.

Perhaps you don't resonate - perhaps you escaped the inescapable grip of Catholic guilt and body shame, and that whole Eve as being responsible for the downfall of humanity and Sin itself (small side note) thing. But most of us were raised to see other women as a threat, especially when it comes to matters of the opposite sex.

The thing about poison is that it often is without taste, odor, or color. In other words, you can't "prove" it's presence, you can only experience the harmful effects.

One of our super powers as women is our power of attraction and manipulation through our cleverness and intuitive nature. This is another aspect of women that has been demonized, and yet, when wielded with care, can be used as a sharp tool and a gift. In fact, all of nature uses this "gift" to create more life and diversity. In nature, it isn't made "wrong" or lascivious, it just IS how nature works.

While it is no secret that women are able to use these gifts to manipulate or enchant men, what is not as popular t