Feminine and Divine

Aug 24, 2020 | Spirituality, Sydney Banks, Wisdom

“Love (aloha) is an intuitive way of life, knowing what to do and when to do it, giving without thought of return or fear of need with great faith in the abundance of life.” – Mamma Lila, a.k.a., Sydney Banks


A waterfall tumbles into a crystal pool in front of her as she sits. She springs like a force of nature from the lush foliage of the sacred Iao Valley on the Island of Maui.

She is a quintessential image of the Aloha spirit of Hawaii. Her silver hair is swept into a braided bun and she wears a dark mu’u mu’u.  She is graceful, ageless. A lei fashioned from the glossy leaves of the maile plant drapes her shoulders.

She is Mamma Lila, a fictional character created by Sydney Banks to embody his spiritual teachings about the Three Principles — Mind, Consciousness and Thought — in the books, Second Chance and its sequel, In Quest of the Pearl.

A Glimpse of the Divine

Mamma Lila is a vision of the Divine Feminine, created of Syd’s insight, inspiration, and creativity. We can imagine her. She draws us in. We know her. She is who we are when our minds and hearts are clear and quiet, when Divine Thought streams, unhindered, into their silence.

As an archetype, Mamma Lila carries the energy of the Queen, Mother, Mystic, Lover, Crone, Healer, and Sustainer. As an allegory, she reveals a beauty way, a blessed way, a way of wisdom and love.

I’ll admit that I also relish other images of the Divine Feminine that come packaged with a bit more piss and vinegar.  But that probably says something about my ego and my quest to harness my rebellious and sassy energies.

Syd’s Mamma Lila

Mamma Lila is powerful.  She is “extraordinary”, “wise”, “mystical,” “charismatic,” “dignified” and has an “inspiring vision of the world.”

Mamma Lila reveals our power. It is love, “a living breathing essence,” that the wise can pluck from “the air at will and then like a master artist mold into something beautiful.” This power “must be absorbed in positive feeling.”

Mamma Lila is part witch. “Some see her as a fascinating philosopher, others see her as a mystic, some see her as just plain crazy…she has the gift of ‘ike papalua (second sight.)”  Her student, Richard, says of her, “she knew more about me than I knew about myself.” She shares the wisdom of the ages through mystical riddles.

Mamma Lila listens with empathy. Richard describes that she “sensed my emotional turmoil and turning…grasped both my hands and asked, ‘is there anything you would like to talk about.’”

Mamma Lila gets that life includes sorrow.  “I understand how you feel,” she said to Richard, who is grieving.  Of the death of her husband, she says, “At first, I was inconsolable, and my heart ached beyond anything I had experienced.”  But then, a shift happened naturally and “my thoughts [had] turned to ones of gratitude instead of loss. I knew my wisdom and power had returned.”

Mamma Lila sees beyond death.  “Death is nothing to fear…beyond life lies beauty…peace and tranquility.  At death…the full illumination of Mind is born…and allows you to see the true beauty of yourself.”

Mamma Lila embodies compassion and presence. She hugs her student, who says, “The power of her presence filled me with a feeling of peace more profound than I had ever known.”  She is, “the kind of person who would never harm a living soul.”

Mamma Lila sees human frailty through soft, gentle eyes. “Patience,” she said. “Knowledge is a gradual process.”

Mamma Lila is radiant with a mystical feeling. There was an “energy” about her that could, “almost be seen. My mind was so filled with beauty that there was no room for thoughts of anything else.”

I wonder if Syd knew that the name “Lila” is symbolic of beauty and night, the beauty of nothingness, the dark, the womb that births the light. The Divine Feminine.

She Rises

“We want to hear about the Divine Feminine,” the caller said when she called to invite me to speak to her coaching group. “You’re stepping outside of the Three Principles to talk about it and we’re fascinated.”

Women (and men) hunger to exert their embodied power.  They thirst to know a Divine energy who suckles her children, holding them close to her sacred heart.  A Divine energy with a dark womb where all life gestates from nothingness.  A Divine energy close to the earth. A Divine energy who heals. A Divine energy whose skin is multi-colored.

Our hunger for the Divine Feminine is ravenous. For far too long, and at great peril to the earth, any Feminine understanding of God has been murdered, savaged, and erased. We want to reclaim her, know her, understand her.  And we should. We must. Our survival on the planet depends on it. She is rising.

Hidden in Plain Sight

The Divine Feminine is hidden in plain sight in the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.  Sydney Banks, who first articulated the Principles, said they were a metaphor for Love. He said everything, every form, was created via Divine Thought, which has no gender but that creates all experiences of gender.

Our female and male bodies are created from Divine Thought.  Our bodies are the God and Goddess in radiant form. The metaphor of our bodies has MUCH to teach us about how to be fully human and fully divine. But for too long one form has been exalted and the other degraded.

I choose a portal to understanding the Divine that has hips and breasts and a womb like mine. She’s approachable. Wise men honor her. She fills out a love that can encompass the female body and all its functions, including and especially the mysteries of sex, menstruation, conception, childbirth, nursing, and menopause.

Mamma Lila drew me in the first time I met her.  I never tire of the beautiful feeling Syd awakens through her — the guide to the Divine Feminine form I look for. The proof that our understanding of the Three Principles is evolving.

“I was experiencing a beautiful feeling, like waves of peace washing over me,” Richard, her mentee said

Trust these aloha feelings, they are your guide,” said Mamma Lila.

All quotations from Second Chance (1983) and In Quest of the Pearl (1989) by Sydney Banks are shared with a grateful heart.

Copyright 2020, Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

Dr. Linda Sandel Pettit, a priestess-at-heart and retired counseling psychologist, can be found at www.thedrspettit.com. Linda loves putting her intuitive nature, spiritual understanding and clinical experience in service to others. She is available for both short and longer-term on-line consultations. For information about fees and packages, visit BOOK NOW. For more information or fee assistance, email her at linda@thedrspettit.com.