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Worshipping The Divine Feminine

A green anthropomorphic depiction of Tara, a female buddha
Elisabeth Feldman
An anthropomorphic depiction of the green emanation of Tara.

The Pachamama, La Virgen, Parvati, Ala, Hera, the Cailleach, and the White Buffalo Calf Woman. Devotion to a masculine god was not always as widespread as in contemporary faith traditions, nor were feminine deities always relegated to gender roles we consider traditional today.

Dating back to 4000 BCE, Sumerians and other Mesopotamian cultures worshipped their supreme being Inanna, goddess of everything from sex to political power. While feminine deities and saints are still important figures in modern pantheons, many have been demoted from their original standing. From supreme mothers of creation — like the Pachamama — down to the Black Madonna. Author and psychologist Rachael Wooten explores these traditions of the divine feminine and their place in our world today. Host Frank Stasio talks to Wooten about how tragedy and revelation led her from a Methodist upbringing in Kinston, North Carolina to worshipping a Tibetan deity. Her book is“Tara: The Liberating Power of the Female Buddha” (Sounds True/2020).

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Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.