The Da Vinci Code, The Divine Feminine, and The Awakening

A friend gave me Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code about six months after it came out.

I was working long hours as an attorney at a law firm in the Sears Tower. Each morning I did my best to get to Starbucks around 7:15 so I could read for 10 minutes before clients and partners started calling and emailing me.

I discovered it was impossible to read The Da Vinci Code for only 10 minutes.

While I managed not to be late for anything, I read much more than I really had time for and sped through the book in a few days.

More Than A Page-Turner

My friend’s strongest reaction to the book wasn’t to its fast pace.

Rather, what she learned about the early Catholic Church fascinated her, especially how the roles of and for women had been downplayed and buried.

A devoted Catholic her whole life, she felt angry that part of the Church’s history had been hidden from her.

What Women Loved About The Da Vinci Code

I noticed that whenever I spoke to a woman about The Da Vinci Code, her eyes lit up. She always mentioned the book’s themes of divine femininity and a deeper, more significant role for women in Christianity’s early years.

It seemed to me that this spoke to the absence of leadership roles for, and divine images of, women in many major religions (particularly Judaism, Islam, and Christianity).

At the time, trying to answer my own questions about religion, I was reading a lot of books on the origins of monotheism. I also read about early goddess culture. (Many of those books are listed in the bibliography for The Awakening.)

The fascination so many women, including me, felt for a story that put femininity at the heart of the divine stayed with me.

The Seeds Of A Supernatural Thriller

A couple years later when I was ready to start a new novel, these things came together in my mind:

What if? I thought.

What if a young woman who has never had sex discovers she’s pregnant and a religious cult tells her the baby will be a messiah—until, that is, they find out the child will be a girl?

That’s how the idea for The Awakening was born.

That’s all for today.

Next Wednesday I’ll talk about questions regarding abortion that arose when I was planning and writing The Awakening Series.