We started off by going around the circle sharing what characteristics we each had that were masculine and feminine. There was a bit of confusion in clarifying what was feminine and masculine.
One human mentioned physical strength as a masculine aspect, yet understood that strength could be considered feminine as well. Another human chimed in to say that the most dangerous of beings on the planet is the mother when defending her young. Determining the differences in the two types of strength will allow us to see how each polarity expresses the attribute.
One human used the sort of climbing to illustrate the different ways in which the masculine and the feminine overcome obstacles. Using brute strength to overcome a particular part of the path would be considered masculine. While the feminine uses balance and technique to overcome the obstacle.
Another way to understand the differences can be the internal strength of emotion being feminine and the external physical strength being masculine.
I contributed the idea of archetypes to the space that come from the Quechan medicine wheel from the Andes, South America.
The Serpent for the feminine and the eagle for the masculine. The serpent symbolically at the deepest part of the valley with her belly against Mother Earth, she cannot see very far in front of her but senses everything that is around her, she sheds her skin and lives solely within the infinite present moment navigated by her instincts. The Eagle symbolically set upon the top of a mountain peak surveying the Earth from above with objectivity and separateness able to envision the path ahead, plan and move rapidly through the world (1).
With a fair amount of confusion left in the space I offered the use of having a discussion around the polarities. The binary of masculine and feminine can be a useful lens in which to see the imbalance that is occurring and provide clues and tools on how to rebalance.
The imbalance can be seen between ideas versus reality made clear by Krishnamurti in his book ‘Freedom from the Known’ (2). The imbalance of order versus chaos or the current climate of external power and internal weakness, the economic system and science valuing only that in which can be measured; the quantitative over the qualitative. The loss of connection and relationship at the hand of progress, knowledge, science and convenience.
It can easily be seen as a massive imbalance towards valuing the masculine at the expense of the feminine.
Is there an evolutionary reason for this?
Perhaps the masculine attributes were brought into play due to a survival need, just as our feminine values of relationship, empathy and compassion are being called into action whilst we are confronted with an environmental crisis.
This period of focusing upon the masculine attributes of existence has lead to an oppressed and suppressed feminine within us all, as well as a long list of traumas in which the feminine has been dealt.
We have developed a level of complacency around the value of the feminine, blinded ourselves, even the females of our society are tormented by the living paradox in which they suffer; being a woman within a society hyper-valuing the masculine attributes of being.
This is not without evolutionary purpose. What skills have been brought into the field of play within this period of time?
Objectivity, intention and will. We have created technologies, built cities and continue to this day to strive toward our dreams actively and intentionally. In doing this we have created a separateness from everything, whether its nature, our next door neighbour, ourselves or the universe itself. We have created a mental reality bubble separate to but parallel to living nature, the senses and the present.
This distance has provided us a platform from which to view all that we have separated ourselves from and we are beginning to clearly see our irresponsible, infantile use of masculine attributes and the damage they have caused. Perhaps the tools we have learnt through this childish rampage are necessary as we intentionally move back toward nature, the senses and the present. Seeing all the suffering we have dealt upon our women by expecting them to be happy within a way of being that does not value their inherent essence.
The ignorance that has lead to ancient ecosystems being wiped out in a couple of years, weeks or days. Cultures that have learnt how to listen to nature, relied upon their internal power and the abundance of relationship with nature to survive and prosper being told they are primitive, dirty and uncivilised. Our undervalued artists that bring a quality to life that has no quantitative purpose other than beauty itself.
The impact of ignoring the feminine has developed a trauma that will continue to echo long into the future and we are only starting to hear the voice of suffering now.
Is this a sign that we have begun to create the space for the feminine to express itself?
Imagine a forest that we have cleared to then regenerate once again. The masculine has cleared the feminine only to realise the need for co-existence and now sets about intentionally creating a space for the feminine to return.
1. Villoldo. A. Website. https://thefourwinds.com/blog/shamanism/through-the-eyes-of-serpent/. Accessed: 25.02.20
2. Krishnamurti. J . Freedom from the known. 1969. HarperCollins. London