The new modern female alchemists are no longer tucked away 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 their words, turning their podiums into a Shatki-style bully-pulpit for foreign policy and domestic issues.
Birthing Shakti from the Potomac is tricky business. These two women are bringing a new model of power to the Capital, possibly transforming the face of the Oval office forever. There’s Democrat and former first-lady Hillary Rodham-Clinton as Durga (a calculating woman molded by institutional American politics), and her offshoot Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina as Kali (a controversial corporate scion of Silicon Valley and old school high tech and telecom executive). 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 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?
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 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 are tough enough to heave that gilded hammer 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 for a higher level of transformational impulse to benefit our country, planet, and humanity? 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 needed change in foreign policy, domestic concerns and in general the rights and roles of women in leadership through opportunity and example.
Neither of these goddesses were about playing it safe, or being sweet. It came down to simply this: how to best get the job done.
First, what if bringing order to the world happened in new and different ways – less on brokering resources, and eschewing 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, and 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 itself and its essential role in the balance of the universe. Key here is, this contemplation cannot revolve around media-driven ideation of women or perpetuated gender lines. 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 woman 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.
But 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. As a female president, 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? God, I hope so. However, even if elected, single-handedly, I don’t think they can.
The true potential of these women in their Presidential skins is the simple fact that if properly executed, they could elevate and bring out the true Shakti in all women, creating a tectonic shift in perspective like the triumphant entry of millions of women riding tigers, bearing sabers and skull-clad. They could pave the way for a radically liberated rearchitecture of Shakti power for modern times battling the demons of policies past and resuscitating our nation with impactful change. Perhaps this is a response to a cry from the universe, and summoned from our consciousness as women, that these two women, born for the podium, make true warriors of us all. Question is, could they? And if so, would they?
This article was originally published and featured in Five Tattvas Embodied Philosophy blog and can be found here: Carly & Hillary.