We have been denied a positive relationship with our own feminine core that has guided us intuitively since the beginning of human evolution. Our primal nature is written in the code of our DNA and hard wired in our brains. We can’t help but want to be connected to the pulsating magnetic force field of the earth at the root of our being.
Our primal nature is the feminine aspect of every human being. It is life force energy and our original nature. From an archetypal perspective she is referred to as Great Mother, Gaia, the Divine, Goddess, Love (Eros) or Passion.
When our primal nature is split off into our psyches it eventually becomes a destructive force within us and in the world. The earth’s future and our shared destiny is now a human predicament so what we do individually has enormous consequences. We must strive to become reconnected to the whole so we can begin living in harmony with each other and the earth’s ecosystems.
“Any hope of peace requires us to endeavor to maintain an open heart while having the courage to dance in the mystery of who we are.”
Why We Deny the Feminine
We all suffer in cultures that shame and disconnect us from our primal nature. Neither patriarchy nor feminism is large enough to define a whole human being.
Patriarchy willingly sacrifices the feminine at the alter of our egos. We want everything but don’t want to pay a price for what we desire. This irresponsible sense of entitlement results from an unholy marriage in our psyches between the dominating father (patriarch or negative masculine) and devouring mother (mother complex or negative feminine). Carl Jung would describe these aspects as our shadow.
Patriarchal cultures are created and then prolonged from fear of death and the unknown. They abhor primal, life force energy and try to explain, control and sanitize everything. As a result, the feminine is split off in the human psyche and her negative aspects are concretized into a mother complex who is devouring, emotionally troubled, petty and vindictive. Because patriarchy limits our ability to relate to the nourishing aspects of our primal nature, the feminine is then perceived as frightening, irrational and chaotic rather then creative, abundant and life sustaining.
The counter-cultural feminist movement has given women more economic opportunities to integrate their masculine aspects and increased societal awareness and appreciation of women’s unique reproductive and sexual roles. What it has not addressed is the the patriarch within women and the mother complex within women and men. So despite amazing accomplishments to empower and obtain more rights for women, feminism has not disrupted patriarchy. If we continue to blame patriarchy and men for the world’s problems and portray women as victims we further polarize women and men. What we need are much more expansive definitions of who we are.
“Splitting off the feminine “Soul of God” makes us forget how connected we really are to each other and the Divine.”
The Creative Power of the Feminine (anima) in Union with the Positive Masculine (animus)
If women and men are ever to form bonds that are peaceful and equal we must integrate the feminine and positive masculine within ourselves. Carl Jung called these aspects in our psyches anima and animus. It is a man’s acknowledgment of his anima that give him the ability to be consciously engaged, passionate and connected to a noble cause and a woman’s animus that assist her in fulfilling her life’s purpose. When both of these positive archetypes are integrated in our psyches (masculine/feminine – left brain/right brain – mind/heart) we have infinite potential to expand our intelligence, creative power and the limits of who we are.
The animus is the beloved masculine within us all who loves and protects women, children and the earth. He seeks freedom and gives women and men the ability to make distinctions and take action in a positive and purposeful way, such as advancing talents and skills and developing self-esteem.
The anima represents matter, energy and invisible quantum forces. She is mysterious, intuitive, non-linear and chaotic. She is the Great Mother of life and death and the relational matrix where familial and ancestral patterns were established deep in our past. Engaging the feminine aspects means becoming vulnerable to sorrow and grief as another part of being fully human while connecting and paying attention to nature, our bodies and our hearts – the symbolic center of our original, intuitive intelligence.
How We Can Become Whole – Reconnecting to Who We Really Are
We will not realize our fullest potential without encountering the feminine and masculine shadow within ourselves.
Women must choose to move beyond limited sexual and reproductive roles: the maiden, mother and crone and reevaluate the negative masculine roles they adopted in patriarchy. Women who are victims (passive and entrapped) won’t have enough ego strength or self-esteem to contain the consuming, petty and predatory greed of their feminine shadow. A woman who has moved beyond victimhood, taken full responsibility for her own evolution and developed her positive masculine aspects has the ability to face her mother complex and birth her creative ideas into the world.
Men must look deeply into their own feelings and reject the armor of machismo and other defenses. A man must struggle with his own destructive mother complex and stop projecting mother on women before he will be able to access his emotional and relational depths. Once a man is able to compassionately connect and dialogue with his own heart, he will be able to honor and acknowledge the awesome power and intuitive intelligence of the Great Mother.
Why Our Primal Nature (the Feminine) is So Frightening
The price we pay for our unconscious entitlement and failure to integrate the feminine and positive masculine within ourselves is ecological destruction, sexual objectification, war, violence, victim hood, bad relationships and irrational fears of others who are not like us. With no initiatory experience to remember our feminine essence in our bodies or in nature we fear using our intuitive intelligence, experiencing the natural cycles of life and death, and realizing we are part of the evolving, unfolding mystery.
The Feminine is Life and Death
We don’t want to acknowledge the natural cycles of life and death. Despite our collective efforts to deny death by intellectualizing God and our own immortality we fear death and our own sexuality. We instinctively know the destructive and life giving power of our own nature.
The Feminine is Awesome and Mysterious
We don’t trust what we can’t see or explain. We want to believe that we can somehow measure and control everything so we won’t feel vulnerable and helpless. Every time we look at the cosmos we are reminded of the awesome mystery of our own existence and how insignificant we are.
The Feminine is Chaotic and Irrational
We don’t have faith in nonlinear, intuitive and emotional intelligence. We fear what we can’t logically understand or explain with our minds.
The Feminine Must be Honored and Acknowledged
By being part of cultures that deny our own mortality and give us a sense of entitlement to Her abundance, we pay the price in psychic pain and suffering from the loss of resources, species extinction and human life.
“Remembering the Soul of God (our primal nature) requires participation in death for only in death can someone truly be Awake.”
How We Can Reconnect to Our Primal Nature
If we were wiser, we would gladly pay the price for the gift of our life through deep gratitude and reverence. We would acknowledge our connection and rightful place within the matrix of life and consciously engage with Her through a vulnerable heart, love and tears. The most powerful first step we can take to honor Her, is face our fear of death.
Feel the Fullness of Life by Embracing Death
· Hold an evolutionary perspective
· Relinquish sexual power over others for the relational power of companions and friends
· Realize unity and equality with both women and men by dialoguing about how we are biologically different and how we are alike then celebrating our uniqueness
· Consciously mourn and grieve through the shared pain, suffering and loss
· Remember the Truth “All is One” – we are never separate from Source
· Surrender the ego and learn to be guided by a higher power through your intuition or inner voice
Surrender to the Mystery of Not Knowing
· Act with integrity by bringing together heart (soul) and mind (spirit)
· Become humble, lead with humility and always remain curious
· Dwell in the world of imagination and dialogue with mystery through art, dreams, stories, songs, dance and writing
Develop the Strength to Live in Paradox and Chaos
· Trust in life by developing faith and a spiritual practice
· Step into the chaos and ride it into the storm – surrender to what is
· Learn to be emotionally rational by joining together intellectual and intuitive intelligence
Honor and Acknowledge the Feminine and Take Full Responsibility for Your Life
· Take responsibility for your own evolution
· Reject being a victim
· Become autonomous
· Cultivate courage
· Create initiation rites so you can mature
· Fully embrace what is by being vulnerable – Feel the Truth “All is Love”
· Thank Her for all that She has given. Know that we are surrounded by Grace at all times and our life is to be loved.
When we develop a relationship with our primal nature we become empowered and actively engaged in life. She reconnects us to our soul, emotional life, our body, other people and living beings. She protects, cherishes and nurtures us.
We do have a choice to be here on earth as a channel of love and grace. In order to do so, we must surrender to her awesome beauty and power and then with love and hope take responsibility for our destiny as well as the shared destiny of all beings and our precious planet.