I perceive the overturning of Roe versus Wade as a reflection of conservationists trying to conserve an old paradigm that has been active on our planet for thousands of years: the belief that masculine energy should lead, and feminine energy should follow.

In some countries still, women are supposed to follow behind their men in public.

In this post I am not talking about men and women though. I’m talking about masculine energy being valued over the feminine within each of us. Thoughts being valued more than feelings. Intellect over intuition. Technology over caring for the earth. And the list goes on.

Wounded, insecure masculine energy tends to lead with a liberal (lol) coating of pride, pride that leads to choosing us versus them mentality, warfare with others we disagree with, and yes, the attempt to wield authority over women’s bodies.

The times are a’changing, and I feel embarrassed, sad, and deeply frustrated that my country is not keeping up with the evolutionary shift sweeping the globe.

Shit. I had no intention of getting political, or of venting my own pain. I’ve done that once in a blue moon with my email list, and each time I did I lost many subscribers. If you feel the need to leave, please go with my blessings.

I’m actually pro-choice and pro-life. The only thing I’m against is artificial distinctions that separate people.

But I digress. This article is about healthy masculine energy.

In 1996 I took part in a men’s initiation experience. It activated the fire in the belly needed to balance out the gentleness in my heart. 

Before that I had de-valued all things male, having seen the violence and abuse inflicted on the world through masculine energy trying to lead without the feminine. The experience, called the New Warrior Training Adventure, helped me heal my father wound and forge a new relationship with my masculine side.

Since then I’ve both been in and facilitated men’s support groups. From the men’s work I have done, here are my thoughts on what healthy masculinity is and isn’t.

Healthy masculinity is the courage to move towards fear, which starts with the willingness to own and admit fear.

Healthy masculinity is appreciating a challenge, whether it be lifting more weights or finding a creative way to face adversity.

Healthy masculinity is harnessing the bravery of a warrior in battle, and using it to fight the inner fight, to confront the demons inside the psyche with vigorous self-honesty.

A new warrior finds the courage to do battle with selfishness, small thinking, competing and comparing oneself to others, self-destructive habits, and limiting beliefs.

A new warrior is not afraid or ashamed to ask for directions (and other forms of help), whether it be asking men, women, or God for support.

A man with healthy masculinity may or may not work out in the gym, but he is in constant training to strengthen the emotional and mental muscles needed to face obstacles and to serve someone or something other than himself.

Healthy masculinity appreciates the feminine within. He can express feelings, be in touch with vulnerability,  and strives to balance intellect, emotion, and intuition.

A man with a healthy masculine side is energized by women who are in their power, and encourages them to use their voices and lead with their strength.

This kind of mature man appreciates just being around feminine beauty, and has no need to own, possess, or control what pleases his senses or ignites the fire of sexual desire. He approaches a woman from his energetic overflow, not from need or lack. He honors and cherishes all things feminine, including the beauty in nature.

In the men’s work I have done, it has been helpful to work with four archetypes that live within each man: 

Warrior, Magician, King, and Lover.

Each quadrant has gifts to give, as well as a shadow side to deal with. The more unhealed trauma in a man, the more suppressed, and therefore dangerous, the shadow parts. Men contain all four of these archetypes, but we might have one or two more developed than the others. 

The shadow parts rule us when we are coming from our wounds, as well as when we are living an unexamined life, devoid of self-awareness, spiritual practices, constructive feedback, and therapy.

The Warrior gifts are bravery, action, discipline, commitment, healthy self-sacrifice in the name of service, and the ability to summon aggression with an intent to protect, never to hurt or punish, only to serve life. 

The warrior shadow is revenge, righteousness, and violence against man and nature.

The gifts of the Magician are being able to be creative, make art, uplift people and transform the energy in a room. 

The shadow is dark magic, which includes addictions, the tendency to lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate. 

The gifted King leads with benevolence, wisdom, and authentic power. 

The shadow side of the King is narcissism, greed and tyranny. A man lost in his shadow king can never get enough possessions, dominance, land and control. (For example, the need to build tall towers and put your name on the top.)

And finally, the Lover. A man in touch with his lover energy is aware of himself as a channel of goodness, kindness, and generosity. He stands as tall and steady as a tree, grounded in his heart, confident, expressive and assertive. 

The shadow side of the lover is the people pleaser, the co-dependent. He loves to love, but his love is fearful, needy, attached to outcomes, and can be easily thrown off course with every gust of wind.

In indigenous cultures, warrior energy is initiated in adolescent males through a rites of passage, ceremony and ritual. Native people send boys out into the forest to fend for themselves. They come back  after facing their deepest fears, and are celebrated and newly treated as men.

In our culture, most men remain uninitiated, and thus feel like boys inside, no matter the age. Joining the army, and especially going off to war, is an attempt to experience initiation into the warrior archetype. A more extreme and far too frequent example is someone shooting up innocent kids and teachers in a school, a desperate attempt to unconsciously initiate oneself into warrior energy.

We men in the civilized world are desperate for healthy initiations, which is why I took The New Warrior Training Adventure. I wish every man could experience something like it. It was the most meaningful, transformative, and thoroughly terrifying experience of my life. I came out a new person, honest about my shadow and ready to lead with my strengths.

On the battlefield, facing the distinct possibility of death summons up the warrior, but leads to coming home with P.T.S.D. at the very least. The modern man awakening to his healthy warrior is also ready to face death, but it is an ego death, the crumbling of the petty, small, frightened, self – that is the battleground of healthy masculine initiation. 

A boy (or uninitiated man) enters the forest with the question, “What’s in it for me?” and  emerges with a brave new inquiry:

How can I give my gifts?

Mankind, womenkind, humankind is indeed healing at lightening speed these days, one heart and mind at a time. Our political systems may be the last to change, but change is the name of the game these days, unavoidable because our survival as a species depends upon it.

How can you give your gifts?

For more info, visit https://mankindproject.org/new-warrior-training-adventure/

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