A Woman’s Way of Knowing-Emotional Intelligence and How Women Can Reclaim the Relevance of Right Brain Thinking

The Moon Goddess

The Moon Card of the Tarot represents the emotional, intuitive and unconscious mind. She teaches us that emotional intelligence balanced by logical intelligence is a source of great internal and external power and gives us the ability to move between the mundane, relative world in front of our eyes and the absolute, infinite world behind our eyes.

We have arrived at a very crucial time in human history when our planet and the people on it are experiencing large-scale suffering from disease, starvation and ignorance. We have reached an important moment in our own evolution. Will we choose our own divine progression or more needless suffering?

If we are to choose the path of divine inspiration and wisdom, our evolution must develop the deep-rooted spiritual potential of our emotional right brain just as we have thought our way into developing our logical left brain. Even though each of us prefers one mode of thinking over the other, one of the main challenges for us individually and globally is to attain balance and integration between right brain and left brain thinking. We need whole-brain thinking.

Historically women and men are taught to develop left brain abilities in Western cultures. We have yet to evolve our sense of connectedness to a larger whole – to become in touch with our bodies and emotions and capable of relational sensitivity and intuitive awareness. In this time of global crisis, we can begin to find solutions and we can better understand universal mysteries by validating and learning more about right brain ways of knowing.

What Are the Differences Between Emotional Intelligence and Logical Intelligence?

Our psyches are informed by both emotion and logic. These two basic mental polarities are often referred to as the right brain and the left brain. The right brain’s mode of thinking is random, intuitive, subjective, holistic and it looks at wholes. The left brain’s mode of thinking is logical, sequential, objective, analytical and it looks at parts.

Emotion intelligence archetypal characteristics: right brain, feminine, moon, yin

Emotional intelligence preceded the evolution of logical thinking. It is older and more deeply embedded in our psyches. Emotional, instinctual, intuitive knowledge sits underneath our conscious awareness and influences everything we do. It informs our underlying psychological and emotional character and physical body. It is the relational matrix where familial and ancestral patterns were established deep in our past. It is receptive and spontaneous in nature and changeable and fluctuating in character. Emotional intelligence affects our behavior on many levels and is shared cross-culturally through archetypes.

The emotional right brain understands the language of archetypes and uses symbols and pictures, not words. It also receives information from inside and outside the body such as color, vibration and tone.

To become a good right brain thinker means to grasp concepts without words, feeling them, knowing them, letting the left brain logic wait until it has had the chance to become aware of the left brain information patterns, at which time they can be applied to action.

Logical intelligence archetypal characteristics: left brain, masculine, sun, yang

Logical thinking is given prominent relevance in Western cultures. Historically we have made great gains towards autonomous individuality through active achievement in the world and through consciousness of self-hood. The intellect (logic, reason, cognition) forms the center of our personal identities. It is usually visible and measurable. Logical intelligence gives us the ability to go out into the world and achieve and manifest ourselves through our personal identities and character.

Whole Brain Thinking

Most individuals have a preference for one of these styles of thinking while some people are more whole-brained and equally adept at both modes. Whole brain thinking is the ability to use both the left and right brain adeptly. This kind of thinking is facilitated by the corpus callosum – a large band of neural fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain. This connecting band of tissue in women is thicker than in men, raising the question, “How is a woman’s way of thinking going to be influenced by this thicker bridge between the two hemispheres?” One answer is that the thicker connection enhances a woman’s emotional, relational and intuitive abilities. Women tend to be stronger than men in empathy, verbal skills and social skills. Men tend to be stronger in independence, dominance, mathematical skills and three dimensional or spatial tasks.

What is normal for women is different then what is normal for men. A certain way of thinking is not better then the other. What the growing research suggests is that the mental divide between women and men is more complex and rooted in biology then we have previously understood. The more we know about how men and women think, the abler we are to provide the tools our teachers, mentors and leaders need to communicate and encourage others to develop whole brain thinking skills.

A Way Forward – Validating Right Brain Thinking

Right brain thinking is often misunderstood and feared because it is non-linear and difficult to measure. Since women have more innate ability in right brain thinking, women may have the most to offer in healing the split between the polarities of the mind and moving the collective towards more whole brain thinking. This is because emotional intelligence by its very nature instinctively wants to nurture connections between people and communities. If we were to collectively validate emotional intelligence, we would have more integral and balanced solutions for individual, community and global problems.

Women Leading the Way – From Right Brain Thinking to More Whole Brain Thinking

One of the challenges of accessing right brain knowledge is that it needs to be brought to our conscious awareness through our own efforts. The more we become accustomed to interpreting the archetypal language patterns of the right side of the brain, the more self-knowledge and awareness we develop to make the inner changes that empower us and those around us. Women have the knowledge to lead the way forward to more whole brain thinking. Here are some of the steps we can take to get there:

1. No longer doubt our inner knowledge. The first task for women is to empower our inner masculine with enough internal authority (self esteem and personal power) to move feeling, intuitive and visionary ideas out into the world. Once we empower ourselves, we can then teach others through our ideas, words and action.

Men must move towards greater relational awareness (right brain) by taking the journey down into their own inner feminine, integrate their emotions and intuitive awareness and then transform their inner knowledge into wise use of power and empathetic action in the world.

2. Rename and actively use emotional intelligence rather then waiting for the collective to validate right brain information and knowledge.

3. Reintroduce the importance of archetypal storytelling (a language rich in metaphor and symbolism) beyond popular culture (movies, music, videos, comic books, etc.) and move it into public institutions and boardrooms.

4. Encourage others to become more whole-brained in their orientation by: · Supporting schools that give equal weight to the arts, creativity and skills of imagination and synthesis and that teach inner awareness skills and interpretation and how to move right brain thinking into whole brain action and results. · Supporting teachers, mentors, and leaders who use instruction techniques that connect with both sides of the brain and incorporate patterning, archetypes, metaphors, role-playing, sound and movement as well as reading and analytical activities. · Developing new forms of assessment that honor right brain talent and skill.

It is important for women to honor and respect their feminine gifts. Women can find a powerful place inside where they can courageously express their knowledge. When women communicate their truth, we will begin to see it reflected in our world and others will begin to respect, honor and value the feminine way of knowing.

To learn more about the abilities of the right brain and left brain, see these YouTube videos or take the Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test by the Art Institute of Vancouver. Which one are you?

How it Feels to Have a Stroke by Jille Bolte Taylor, February 2008, Monterey, California (see html link)

Men’s Brain Women’s Brain, by Mark Gungor (see html link)

The Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test by the Art Institute of Vancouver. (see html link)


Pamela Wells has been working as a fine artist, commercial illustrator and graphic web designer for over 20 years and specializes in creative work that leads to greater understanding and awareness. Her goddess art incorporates her interest in the study of transpersonal psychology, integral transformative spiritual practice and the evolution of human consciousness. She cares deeply about both men and women and also about the ecological preservation of the planet which benefits all living things. To order a copy of Pamela’s most recent book and card set, Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess, www.ArtmagicPublishing.com

All articles may be republished or printed providing author credit (above) and a a link is provided back to http://www.ArtmagicPublishing.com. Please contact Pamela for permission to use her original artwork.