"Where are the men?"
There is a powerful emergence of women stepping into their authority, embracing their leadership in the world, breaking the patriarchal shackles, claiming their untamed wildness and it is freaking awesome! As women step into their authentic selves, embodying the divine goddess within them, the question arises, "Where are the men to meet these powerful feral women?" Indeed, where is the complimentary emergence of the sacred masculine? How can there be a divine union of beloveds when only one comes to the feast?
I believe the emergence of the sacred masculine is happening. Born out of the mytho-poetic men's movement, the resurgence of ancient wisdom traditions, the call from the divine feminine for her beloved and the bare necessity of "what now?" as we gaze upon the burning wreckage of wounded masculinity. Men must find a way out of our desecrated inheritance of power abuse, unbridled consumption and crippling insecurity. Men must find a way of power informed and guided by love, a way of compassion with balls. A sacred masculinity which protects, provides and loves deeply. A sacred masculinity integrated with the flow of nature, wise in the ways of connection and tools. A sacred masculinity which is neither apologetic nor arrogant of its muscles and grit. A sacred masculinity which can meet and claim his beloved, sweeping her up in his powerful arms and delight in her without compulsion to control or abandon. A sacred masculinity which is present - wholly.
The journey to sacred masculinity is not easy but absolutely necessary and so worth it! The tools are here, the teachers are emerging, the next steps becoming clearer.
Men, if they so chose for it is all choice, need to take a good look at all they are with deep self-compassion and the intention of healing their wounds or more specifically the stories and beliefs crafted around their wounds. We also need to take a critical look at everything we have been taught about what it means to be a man because most of our societal lessons are shit.
Looking at our interior psychology and questioning our conditioning is a start. Reclaiming the lost parts of our psyche cast into the shadows, forming community, learning how to communicate honestly and from the heart are all part of the journey from wounded masculinity to sacred masculinity.
Sacred masculinity means being connected to a larger world including and beyond our awesome incarnate world of the five senses. Sacred masculinity embraces reverent relationship with all beings. A deep reverence for all. We fall madly in love with our selves and all other beings. The emergence of the sacred comes when we step into the vast expanse of the "other" while simultaneously realizing we are inseparable from the "other". The "other" is us, our friends, our enemies, the spirit beings of nature, the beings of other realms, the beings of the universe. Men walk very differently when they experience the seen and unseen world as living beings to be in relationship with rather than objects to be used.
The wounded masculine can take a few different personas. One, which I am most familiar with, is the collapsed male, another is the abusive male. Both the collapsed and abusive male have deep insecurities which drive strategies and manipulations to control women and cover up their internal shame. (Please humor me here, I realize we are far more complex than two simple models of wounded masculinity, I am presenting a few concepts to ponder.)
The collapsed male or good boy or pseudo-enlightened castrated man has shamefully absorbed the accurate feminist critique, girlfriend's and wive's stories of past sexual and psychological abuse and awareness of objectification, misogyny and patriarchy. The collapsed male vows to never bring harm to womankind by effectively castrating himself, distancing himself from all those "bad men." The collapsed male denies his sexual urges, buying into puritanical restrictions, denying his anger or fire or wildness. He becomes flaccid and apologetic. Sacred masculinity, brought to the collapsed male, acknowledges the harm done to women, but claims his fire, his strength, his balls infused with deep love, respect, kindness and a zeal for justice and repair. The collapsed male who claims his sacred masculinity rises to meet the world which so needs him.
The abusive male goes on the attack, misusing male power sexually and emotionally. The abusive male asserts power to control verses the collapsed male who withdraws power to engender pity or rescue. The abusive male is overtly sexual, drives a big loud car or truck, or works out to pump up his muscles as a show of force. When sacred masculinity emerges within the abusive male, compassion floods throughout him and the desperate need to cover up insecurities through force gives way to strength infused with love and kindness. Opening to sacred masculinity, the abusive male steps down and brings authentic listening while the collapsed male steps up and brings loving forcefulness. Both with the grace of sacred masculinity bring compassion, power and authentic presence. The journey from wounded to sacred masculinity yields worthy beloveds and partners of the divine feminine.
When men, with feet firmly on the earth, with heads held high, with muscles flexed with feral power flowing, enter into relationship, a reverent, sacred relationship with the people and world around them, then the gods and goddesses, and all of creation smile saying, "yes, we know this one!"
Doing "our work", healing our wounds, shedding the lies we were taught are important and the sacred must also be courted. The sacred masculine must arise. Then, the emerging divine feminine within all these gorgeous awakening women will no longer bemoan, "Where are all the men?". Then we may all meet as allies, partners, beloveds set to heal our world.
Blessed Be, Blessings, May it be so,
The world is in great peril largely at the hands of a very broken collective male psyche. This is not hyperbole, the wake up calls around us are resounding. We live in a world of destructive power struggles, unsustainable consumption, mass injustice, poisoning of our environment at a global level, endemic isolation and loneliness, and harm to the most vulnerable be it marginalized people, the poor, the weak or creatures of the earth. I submit this catastrophic situation exists largely as a result of men suffering huge losses to their wholeness and integrity. This broken state of men is presented as normal, as the way a man is, as what masculinity looks like. Masculinity is defined as being strong, free from emotions, competitive with a mandate to win, competency with no tolerance for weakness. Masculinity is defined as a preferred, superior state over being feminine. Masculinity is defined as dominance, control, and order.
The current model of masculinity shuns vast aspects of men's sacred humanness. Boys are taught to not cry. Boys are told creativity, art and flowers are what "girls do." Boys are taught they are better than girls. These shunned parts and destructive stories get tossed into a dungeon of sorts creating a destructive male shadow. The shadow of our psyche, either individual or collective, is a place where split off parts of ourselves exist unknown to our waking awareness, but certainly not dormant. These outcasts in the shadow will insist on recognition in one form or another. The unhealthy expression of these outcasts leaks out as insecurity perhaps masked as bullying, sexual predation, addictions, lack of empathy and many other harmful ways. The resulting unconscious, walking wounded boys in men's bodies seek control and start consuming to feed deep seated hungers and emptiness. Men operate in a "zero sum" game, your gain is my loss. A sense of connection, relationship to each other, relationship to the earth and interdependence does not exist in this current model of masculinity as these are "woman things" and are weak.
We, men and women, have been ripped off. The man blueprint we have been taught is a shockingly hollow shell of what men were intended to be. Men are emotionally and spiritually crippled, metaphorically hopping around on one leg, lashing out or pathetically retreating for reasons they don't even know.
We have a desperate need to redefine what it means to be a man, to redefine masculinity. A great grief cry is emerging from the sustained harm and a response to that cry is also blessedly emerging, A new masculinity is emerging which will replace the deformed and damaged version of masculinity we inherited.
So what does this new masculinity look like? Ah, this is the joy and privilege being offered to us now, to engage in the conversation, look deep into our psyche's shadows, retrieve what was lost, repair the damage with our sisters and bring wholeness back into the world.
In no particular order, the new masculinity will have the following characteristics.
We must forge a New Masculinity, for our children, our ancestors, our community, our humanity, These are exciting times, the time has come, the time is now.
Click on the "Comments" link above each post to leave a comment.
Jose Enciso is an engineer by profession, a poet by necessity and a seeker of spirit and soul. He brings a gentle presence and deep respect for the interior journey as expressed through creative and expressive arts. Jose is a skilled group facilitator who is committed to the spiritual and psychological growth of those around him. He trained under Francis Weller to lead men’s initiation groups doing deep soul work and is equally comfortable in managing complex technical projects. Jose is devoted to the emergence of the divine feminine, supporting women and men claiming their voice and power, and rediscovering the soul of masculinity. He is currently working on multiple projects including a book which seeks to encourage everyone to write their own poetry as a discovery of their own soul's truth.