Divining the Masculine – Part 1 – The Disappearance of Masculine Ritual Processes

Shiva archetypeRecently, I have experienced friendly and intense discussions with clients and close friends about “divining the masculine” and what that might mean. With all the talk out there about women coming into their “divine feminine” power and sexuality which is so incredibly beautiful and crucial to the evolution of humanity and I want to support that evolution in anyway I can. At the same time I find it just as important to bring the conversation around the divine masculine more into the light.

The ideas which are so pertinent and relevant to this conversation are the philosophies and archetypical descriptions presented by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette in their book, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Moore and Gillette present a Jungian introduction to the evolving masculine. We need to remember that men have been responsible for the industrial revolution, the suppression and maltreatment of women, the rape of the land through agriculture and bio-engineering, and the feminine got disgusted enough to start the feminist movement because they were not happy how men were exercising their immature masculine power. Homo-phobia is also a big area that needs to get addressed which keeps us separated from each other in a hierarchical structure. It is my intention to help men take responsibility for the destructiveness of the immature masculine and help them evolve into the mature, divine masculine.

The evolution of the divine feminine has well taken off as we watch (and even hope for) Hillary Clinton decide to run for the US Presidency, Margaret C. Whitman as CEO of Hewlett Packard and even Drew Faust as President of Harvard. What does that mean to the mature, divine masculine and how does it play out for the men on the planet? How do men walk the path in their own mature divine masculine along side the women who are in their own divine feminine? What is that going to look like? This isn’t about superiority or suppression, patriarchy or matriarchy, feminism or competition. This is about finding balance and integration and polarity with the intent to best support each others’ growth with love and compassion, with the good of the whole as the goal. We need to become even more intimate with each others challenges and suffering to witness the goodness that pours out of all of the pain so we evolve together. Change is happening and it’s a new holy chapter in the human evolution. We all need to get on board!!

masculine feminine balanceSince the invention of agriculture, the expansion of capitalism and the industrial revolution men have been in engaged in high degrees of forward movement (a masculine trait) and competition with each other to gather more food, money, land and therefore prestige (or a false sense thereof) due to their presumed success. The good of the human collective (“inclusion” is a feminine trait) was hardly ever the main goal, mostly personal gain. Don’t get me wrong, this was and still is a vital part of our human evolution, even today. Since modern science and a technical world view has come onto the scene we have lost our contact with the great mystery of life and life’s circumstances in exchange for something more tangible. The fact still remains… our existence, life and death is the great mystery and there is no way around it.

As a result of all this forward technological movement, men have lost connection to ritual, ceremony and traditions. Men are no longer hunting together for food in their tribes with the inclusive intention of feeding the tribe through the winter. Right now men are sitting in their business circles with main objectives of making profit for themselves. All of this has left men with feelings of disconnection and isolation from their male counterparts. First, we have lost the sacred space component of initiating boys into manhood for joining the military. Second, wisdom from our elders have been lost because we are not hearing the stories from our forefathers being passed down to future generations of men in these sacred containers.

We have lost our connection with the land, with rituals and traditions that have been a long defining part of understanding what it means to be a man as nature, not separate from nature. Men need to expand their understanding to the divine relationship to power, to sexuality, while living in life’s mystery and all the while, supporting each other through this learning process.

Many of us seek the generative, affirming, and empowering father (though most of us don’t know it), the father who, for most of us never existed in our actual lives and won’t appear, no matter how hard we try to make him appear. We have lost connection with our ability to feel our deepest emotions of grief, sadness and shame along with the healthy ways of expressing them. Many boys are growing up with an absent father, not absent in the physical realm but, emotionally absent because we have not been taught to feel, only to suppress those feelings. “Stop your crying…big boys don’t cry”, is a common theme.

In order for a mature masculine to come into being there needs to be a death or a symbolic death and a re-birth, like the death of boyhood and a birth into manhood. Symbolic death is always a vital part of any initiatory ritual, the boy Ego must “die.” The old ways of being and doing and thinking and feeling must ritually “die” before the new mature man can emerge and be born. Effective, trans-formative initiation rituals/ceremonies does away with the Ego and its desires in its old form and resurrecting a new, subordinate relationship to a previously unknown and mysterious high divine power or God. The power of mature masculine energies always develops a new masculine personality that is marked by calm, compassion and clarity of vision.

We are right in the middle of a dilemma, lacking adequate role models of mature men, and in need of societal structures in conjunction with encouraging support systems for bringing about ritual processes. Instead, sadly, it’s ”every man for himself”, and it is not sustainable anymore. Most men will fall by the wayside, with no idea of what we are supposed to be doing as a man or what went wrong with our masculine desires. There is an underlying sense of anxiety, on the verge of feeling impotent, helpless, frustrated, put down, unloved and unappreciated, and often shame and insecurity of owning our strong, powerful, masculine energies. We can feel that our creativity is being attacked, that our initiative is met with hostility, that we are ignored, belittled, and not knowing how to transcend the past. So then we cave in to a brutally competitive world, making our work the highest priority while trying to keep our relationships afloat, always feeling like we are losing energy, or missing the mark and feeling isolated.

As I am a student of evolving human life’s process, I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s this good news for men (as well as women) that all we want to do is share the goodness for the benefit of everyone.