In mythology, we see the recurring theme of the sacred masculine searching for his lost feminine-or as I see it-the lost feminine aspect of his soul.
For example, in Arthurian Legends the King searches for the “holy grail”. We were taught this was a cup, in particular the cup of Christ’s blood after the crucifixion. But the cup really is the symbol of a woman’s womb. A symbol of life, creativity, and feminine power.
Now, we call this “holy grail” Mary Magdalene, who represents the rejected feminine.
Mary Magdalene represents feminine power which is connected to the creation of life, beauty (balance, harmony) and the capacity for unconditional love.
This is what the masculine is desperately wanting and seeking, and what does he do when he finds her? He rejects her, sends her away, or runs away from her.
Another example is Odysseus. Odysseus is a general who spends 20 years trying to find his way home after the Trojan war. He is longing for “home” (Ithika), and home is represented by his faithful wife Penelope. Penelope waits those 20 years and has an inner knowing that Odysseus will someday return.
We may look at her and think “Lordy, woman! Your husband is sailing around, shacking up with hot chicks along the way.” One is the seductress Calypso and the other is the sorceress Circe.
Calypso means “she that conceals.” She masquerades herself as his “wife” who is his feminine soul. Circe means “to hoop around,” “to secure with rings,” and “hawk” (hawks fly and make a circle). She is a powerful witch, transmuter and magician. It is with Circe that Odysseus finally comes to terms with feminine power and accepts it in the entire story. He does fall in love with Circe, however she is not his feminine soul — Penelope is. He asks Circe for permission to return to his wife and she gives him the instructions to find her.
The archetypes of the masculine are King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover. These are described in a book written by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.
Moore argues that masculinity is made up of four archetypal male energies which serve different purposes and that a man won’t feel complete until he has consciously worked through these energies.
Each of the four archetypes can be expressed as shadow/bi-polar split: The King’s shadows are The Weakling and The Tyrant.
There are also four boyhood (immature) archetypes that the masculine needs to explore to get to the mature archetypes. These are Divine Child, Hero, Precocious Child and Oedipal Child.
As feminines, we possess the masculine archetype within ourselves. It is equally important for us to integrate our own inner masculine and to bring him home within us.
Part of this integration between our inner masculine and feminine is learning to allow our OWN inner feminines to truly be FEMININE!
We live in a very masculinized world that rejects the feminine. I see myself and other women rejecting our own feminine power all the damn time.
We overwork ourselves and we try to prove our worth and value through competing with our own masculine values and that of the outer world.
It’s exhausting and it dries us up.
For over two years I have been working with a client that recovered from ovarian cancer.
She did some research that was shocking. She read that over 22,000 women this year in the US alone will be, or already have been, diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
To me, cancer of the ovaries represents our own rejection of our feminine power.
Also, there are so many countless women suffering with breast cancer. Rates of breast cancer are even rising in the male population!
These are both signs that the universal rejection of feminine power, values and qualities has led to such a deep and destructive need to cut away body parts MOST associated with the feminine.
As women, we need to consciously work to not reject, suppress or devalue our inner feminine. This is really difficult in the world we live in, but it is part of our task to do this in our own ways.
We do it through supporting feminine power, values and ways of being in our livelihoods. But, we also can’t suppress or reject our inner masculine either!
To create true healing, we need to create balance and the capacity to admit to ourselves when we are not integrated and in our power.
Here are some prompts to ponder for today (for both men and women):
1. How do you reject your own inner feminine power and why?
2. How can you reclaim the lost pieces of your inner feminine and love her unconditionally?
3. How can you connect more intimately with your inner masculine?