Let’s talk archetypes…..In the last few decades we have started to see a re-awakening of our awareness of the Sacred Masculine. This consciousness is not confined to men – although men are the group in our society who are often out-of-touch with their spiritual essence. In the same way that both men and women have a feminine aspect to their conscious make-up, so to do both genders have a masculine aspect.
For over two thousand years many cultures have ascribed or assigned the male gender to their gods. The Divine is most often referred to as ‘He’. We have become accustomed to thinking of God as male. Yet the Divine Feminine has also had a strong presence throughout history. The Goddess takes many forms and names: Isis, Diana, Gaia, Yin, Hecate, Brigid, Venus, Moon, … to name just a few.
This introduction to the Sacred Masculine explores some of the ways in which male spirituality is now being understood and experienced. In a recent book on the subject, Matthew Fox asserts:
When the Sacred Masculine is combined with the sacred feminine inside each of us, we create the ‘sacred marriage’ of compassion and passion in ourselves.
The Sacred Masculine is most often presented through archetypes, metaphors and images. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette were pioneers of the modern-day men’s movement. They identified four classic archetypes of the man in touch with his sacred self, that they named King, Warrior, Magician and Lover.
The King archetype….
is the fully conscious male commanding leadership with respect. He is associated with authority, order, law and direction. He has two shadow ‘wings’ identified as the Tyrant and the Weakling. The immature boy version of the King is the Divine Child that can also be a child-tyrant or a weakling.
The Warrior archetype….
is the holy campaigner or activist. He has courage, persistence and devotion. He has two shadow aspects of the Sadist and the Masochist. His immature boy version is the Hero, that can descend into the bully or the coward.
The Magician archetype….
is full of consciousness, growth and transformation, often associated with our ‘third eye’ of insight and intuition. His shadow side can be exposed as the Manipulator or the denying Innocent. His immature boy version is the precocious Child, that can descend into the trickster or the dummy.
The Lover archetype ….
is sensual and delightful, appreciating goodness, truth and beauty. His shadow sides include the Addicted Lover and the Impotent Lover. His immature boy self is the Oedipal Child, that can descend into mama’s boy or the dreamer.
These archetypes are offered as the classic expressions of male figures of sacred spirituality. In traditional cultures, all four archetypes were found, and all four are needed for balance within the healthy community. Increasingly, our present-day communities are dominated by men demonstrating the unhealthy shadow sides of these archetypes.
It is interesting to review a book/film such as Lord of the Rings to see just how these archetypes play out in such clear roles. Eventually Strider / Aragorn emerges into his true manhood as the fully conscious King of the third book. What we lack today are real, true King figures. How many can you name that exhibit the characteristics of the healthy, conscious, self-aware King that includes aspects of at least one or two other archetypes?
Can you see yourself somewhere in between? …..to be continued…..
Reference: Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover