I have a question for you, what examples of the expression masculine and feminine behaviours did you grow up with?
What were your mom and dad like, or your primary care giver(s)?
Did you witness love being expressed in your home life, emotionally? physically? verbally? Often or not? Gently? Passionately?
Did you see it between a man and a woman? Between men? Between women? What is the strongest memory of intimate love you can remember growing up with? What is the scariest expression of pain, trauma, disconnect or violence that you can remember?
These reflections are important. Because somewhere in your early years (and even in your mother’s womb) you were collecting information about love. You were figuring out what it is, what is ok and what is not, how to get it, and how to avoid having it taken away. You were discovering and strategizing about ways that you could become more like your mom, or your dad or whoever you looked up to. And you were forming your associations with what it means to be both a male and a female in this physical world.
Ask yourself, what does it mean to be masculine? Try it. Write down whatever comes to mind. Now ask yourself, what does it mean to be feminine? Write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t try to filter any of the words. Draw pictures if you like. Write the names of songs or movies or characters that come to mind.
Finding this interesting yet? Has anything you wrote or remembered surprised you? I hope so, if it has that means you have learned something already.
Now let's try something just a bit different. I want you to ask your self what is the divine masculine? What does the divine masculine look like, feel like, sound like and act like in it’s most ‘perfect’ form. What is that to you?
Again write any words that come to your heart and mind, draw pictures, write song lyrics, list characters… go with whatever shows up. Don’t filter.
And you know what comes next. Consider what you think the divine feminine is. What does the divine feminine look like, feel like, sound like and act like in it’s most ‘perfect’ form. What is that to you?
Now I want you to compare the first lists of masculine and feminine traits with the second lists of divine masculine and feminine traits. Are there differences? Which list was easier to make? What jumps out at you after doing this exercise? Any ah-ha moments? Anything that surprised you most?
I did an exercise like this recently with a girlfriend of mine. We asked each other what the feminine was and listened to each other’s responses. Then we asked each other what the divine feminine was. I was shocked at how different my answers were based on the slight change in the wording of the question! What a shift. And I realized what had happened. I had tapped into first the idea of what feminine is in our very wounded culture and then I asked myself what it was in my heart, with out attachment to all the drama of the world. It was remarkable! I found I had in me an awareness of the wounded feminine I see and experience everyday in the world, but I also had in me an empowered divine feminine expression.
This kind of reflection on the divine nature of both masculine and feminine expression and the degree to which this divine expression is missing in the world around us has been an important part of my training and healing in the art of sacred sexuality and Tantra.
Each one of us has within us these two important aspects of the divine- masculine and feminine. These are energetic qualities, not physical forms and they exist in The Divine and nature and everything that lives and breathes. We embody one physical form or another which tends to lead us to identify more strongly with either male or female, but ultimately we are always both.
It’s important and healing to explore what both of these aspects are because the more we do, the more we can connect with our source and connection to the creative flow of life all around us. The more we can identify our divine masculine and feminine aspects the more we can express our creative life force in the world, in our relationships and in our purpose. We become powerful and whole, and more than whole, we become interconnected back with the fabric of existence! We become expansive.
However, achieving this kind of expansion requires us to do some detective work. We must discover where we have anchored into our mind and hearts false beliefs, unhealthy models of what it means to be masculine and feminine. These false beliefs often stem from the models we had when we were young, and from the media, from its songs, and stories which form a library of reference points in our consciousness.
As we identify the stories and references which are not healthy and not true to our ecstatic, empowered and loving creative nature, we can weed them out and stop nurturing them, stop growing them in our minds and our hearts. We can choose instead to start to focus on examples of the divine masculine and feminine we nurture the blissful life giving thoughts, attitudes and behaviors those archetypes offer us. We can get back to the flow of creation, we can start to live it and breathe and and bear its delicious fruits in our lives.
So here’s where you can start.
I have made a short list below of some traits for you to consider of the divine masculine and feminine. I have also outlined some of the unhealthy expressions we see in our world of the masculine and the wounded forms we see of the feminine. Take a look. Consider them. See how they line up (or don’t) with your own lists. And then start to notice the information you take in about these aspects of our existence. Notice the movies you watch, the relationships you see, the relationships you are in, and the memories and thoughts you carry. Seek out experiences, relationships and information which will help you realign with the divinity of masculine and feminine. Observe experiences and things which do not match those divine expressions with awareness. Cultivate your divinity.
Able to express her emotions in truth and love
Comfortable in her body
Able to be vulnerable
Able to surrender
Abundant- source of endless creativity and life
A servant of Peace
Ashamed of her body
There are also a couple GREAT books you can check out to dive deeper into Masculine and Feminine archetypes. These are from a psychological perspective not from a tantric perspective but the theories are complementary ;)
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover- Rediscovering the archetypes of the mature masculine- By Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette
Goddesses in Every Woman- Powerful Archetypes in Woman's Lives- By Jean Shinoda Bolen M.D
Women who Run with the Wolves
And a big nudge towards any of Jordan Peterson's Youtube Lectures on the subjects of masculinity!!