Freeing The Red River

My biggest initiation has been to let my red river flow.

To accept to lose friends, lovers, validation and safety in the process.

To let go of money, status, 'fitting in’, and of a secure path that society can recognize and praise.

We live in world where the true nature of the red river of the feminine has been forbidden, persecuted, raped, and banished.

To reclaim both our power and our innocence is a heroine’s journey.

I recently found this photo again and it brought up one of my favorite memories. I was staying at the ashram of a well-known female guru in India. I had gone there out of curiosity. I was early in my womb awakening journey and was way excited at the idea of pilgrimaging to the Motherland, and being in the presence of a feminine guru.

Yet when I arrived, I quickly realized, to my complete shock and bewilderment, that the true feminine had no place.

Sure, the ‘white’ river of the feminine was still present, and even revered. The pure, holy, untouchable mother; the virgin in all white; the divine, non-sexual, perfected feminine. Non-threatening, ever-giving, perfect. This aspect of the feminine had a place.

But the red river? The awakened, sexual, soulful, wild, enchanted, wise primal creature who throbs alive with the pulse of earth? The human woman who claims her inner divinity, who giggles, screams, cries, voices out loud, and is full of orgasmic life force? She had been lost. In fact, women policed each other to make sure she didn’t come out, and that any expression of her was quickly shut down and punished. The ashram was full of rules, both spoken and unspoken, carefully prohibiting any burst of Shakti to pierce through the fabric of a well-established spiritual system.

I was very lucky to meet amazing girl friends there, with whom I felt a soft and tender bond. There were also other young travelers, and one night, we broke all the ashram rules. We went to the ocean and danced in the moonlight. The water was lukewarm, the bright full moon was soaking the landscape in a mystical lunar glow. I felt ecstatic, twirling in the foamy swish of the waves lapping the sandy shore, under the moist summer air and starlit sky. High on life, I felt at one with the elements, with my own body, and with my friends laughing and playing around me.

Womb awakening

We snuck back into the ashram, hiding from the security guards, wet and covered in sand and laughter. I felt more alive than I had in my 2 weeks there.

Don’t get me wrong, I had beautiful, profound, sacred experiences at the ashram. They also touched me deeply. Yet I also felt constantly constrained, controlled, by a subtle energetic matrix that says a life-draining NO to Shakti as she lives within the human woman.

These are the same energies that will teach us to doubt ourselves, to shut up, to submit, and to abide to spiritual systems where we will be rewarded for being ‘ascended’ (disassociated), righteous and exemplary, and ultimately, completely disconnected from the power of our soulful, sexual essence.

While there is great value in exploring many spiritual traditions and environments, for me, any spiritual system that is missing or forbidding the true feminine, is perpetuating a world of disempowered human beings. Without the red river, we have no access to true beauty, true love, primordial pleasure and sacred relationship. We won’t know the full truth of what lives within us. Without the red river, we will never reunite with our Creator, the web of life, and each other.

This is the path to which I give my life, my fears, and my deepest longings. May we all be rebirthed through the wild loving flow of Shakti, so a greater life can be revealed.

Let your feminine power give you ‘permission’ to feel, see, and be everything that patriarchy said no to. Your inner womb authority is the law of life.
— Seren & Azra Bertrand

Jade Bertaud