Pic, unknown artist, http://www.reachingcampus.com
When Western Paganism was ‘outed’ back in the 1940s and 1960s, it came with a trend towards going back to the Goddess. There were people then as well as now who broke away from the conventions of the Patriarchal God and sought (or heard) the calling of The Goddess, The Earth Mother, The Mother of All. And that was no bad thing. The only down side to this is when people took this as a knee-jerk reaction, a rebellion if you will, and see any form of the God side of things as anathema. Misogyny is a two bladed sword, it turns out. And when there is so much material and Modern Pagan practice that focuses already on the Goddess, the God became…. less. Until eventually He is only recognised as an image, a symbol. No doubt there will be readers thinking “Ha! Well that’s what happens when you take the power away from Women and the Goddess…..” And in many ways, they are right. However, that particular stance isn’t going to do anyone any favours, all that’s going on there is focusing one sort of sexism for another and is counterproductive.
What we think we need is balance, what we actually need is harmony.
What have we learned from the Masculine Principle? What does it teach us?
- To have courage in all that we do.
- To do the right thing when no one else can.
- To draw strength from our ‘Bands of Brothers’ or our spouses or both.
- To express wisdom as well as learning it from others.
It taught us an important lesson for all, that reason can be clouded, be it by fear or anger. If we take the time to think, then we don’t have to go into a situation all guns blazing.
It also teaches us that to be kind-hearted is not weakness. In another story, Niall was the only one of his Band of Brothers to kiss the hag guarding the well for the water they so desperately needed. Doing as the hag requested transformed her into a beautiful young woman who gave him sovereignty to become king. The warriors have their part, so do those who have gentleness.
So what is the Masculine Principle? It is the animalistic part of us that wants us to survive, not only us but our ‘family’ in whatever form that takes. It’s the part of us that wants to declare our territory, to take action when a situation presents itself, to defend our friends and claim our mates as ours. Its bestial, it’s tribal and it’s in all of us. In fact, throw the labels out of the window we all have the creature inside.
Masculine Principle, Feminine Principle, we are capable of both their qualities, we have all seen men cry and show love, we have seen women take charge and fight. The Quest isn’t for the Masculine Principle to become an effeminate dandy like some might misinterpret; it’s to find our place in the world. Whoever and whatever we are. If we are talking masculine and feminine qualities in all of us, then we all have them in various degrees within ourselves. Men can be camp, women can be butch. There are those who identify with one bunch of qualities more than the other and there are those who don’t identify with ANY of them. These people, you, me and them, we are what we are and there is nothing wrong with that- they all natural. We are all capable of being emotional, of being logical, of being strong in our characters as well as our physical muscle. I have written this entire series in a certain way because I wanted to show how these principles apply to everyone.
When I write we need harmony, it’s because there is so much focus in the Western world on equality that we forget one simple thing: Not everyone is equal. Not everyone can read, some have dyslexia, not everyone can walk, not everyone is good at public speaking, not everyone is suited for physical labour, but everyone is good at something and like the aspects of the whole genderised spectrum within ourselves, we can harmonise these to the best of what and who we are and what we can do. Like our individual skill sets, the sex we are born with, the gender we identify with we must seek to harmonise all of them. The principles aren’t and shouldn’t be limited to simply binary, the degrees into how we are more like one thing and another are wide and vast, just like all of Humanity.
The question isn’t ‘What is the Masculine/Feminine Principle?’ the real question is ‘What is the HUMAN Principle?’