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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Walking A Warrior's Path: Reflections on the Divine Masculine.
Article ID: 15175
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rev.Roman Delgado
Posted: November 4th. 2012
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There is so much in the Pagan community said about the Goddess. For what I have read, the birth of the modern Neopagan movement began with the revival of the way of the great goddess. It is a great relief to many men and women both, to bring back the balance of their souls and to once again welcome the Great Goddess into their lives.
For so long the western world has been so focused on male sky Gods that we have forgotten the Goddess. That was part of what helped bring back the old religions. Humanity however tends to be one track minded. It is not only the Great Goddess who suffered when the old religions gave way to monotheism. The Great Goddess is only one of the primal forces of nature that makes the spiritual world go round, whose influence and tides rule the natural world.
When the monotheistic religions of sky Gods came about, the Role of the divine masculine changed. Many of the aspects of the old Gods became demonized and forgotten. Both men and women have suffered because of this. There is a great need to return to the old ways, to return to nature. To think that the only archetype is valid to a man is that of the Divine king is short sighted. Equally short sighted is the tendency among Goddess centered circles to only view the Great God in relation to the Great Goddess.
Let’s face it, Ladies and Gentlemen, being a man and being woman is more than being a consort to your lover, being a parent or being someone’s child. If I try restricting the role of woman to a mother, I can potentially be deemed a sexist pig. Why is it that in modern times we have done so much of the same to the divine masculine? Both the male and female mysteries stand on their own merit. Both forces are whole microcosmic reflections of the whole, interacting with each other to bring wholeness and life to the universe.
My own experience with the divine masculine is one that I have seen many other men go through. It is a yearning for more than a father figure in the sky. It has been a yearning to see the spark of the divine that I feel in me reflected in the God that I worship. So in order to understand the need for balance not only of both male and female forces, but also of balance within feminine and masculine energies themselves, I shall delve into my past and share. Perhaps my journey will echo in the minds of fellow pagan who read it here.
We all come from different backgrounds. Those of us raised in religious homes had not just family as our first role models, but our religious traditions to be societies first attempt to help us grow into well-adjusted adults. That however does not always turn out who our elders plan. In my case, there were two huge problems with the system. I did not have the physical presence of a strong male role model to grow up around, and much to the dismay of my family and community I turned out to be Gay.
Without someone to guide me through the confusion and pains of not only adolescence but of a very difficult childhood, I attempted to turn to religion for my answers. Alas, my attempts were in vain. The catholic images of God as the father were alien to my situation, un-relatable to me. The image of Christ as the sacrificial God, attempting to redeem me from something that I viewed as part of my own nature offered no comfort. Only the loving image of the Virgin Mary who loved her son no matter what brought hope, love and, acceptance. It however could not be the Archetypal role model that I needed, as Gay as I was and am, I am not a woman.
It is sad to remember how society and my family rejected me. But I have also seen it happen to other young people, not only then, but now as an adult. The reasons are not always the same; it can be all manner of life choices or the child’s very nature that leads to rejection from their social group. Most of the young men I met throughout my formative years and early adulthood, who shared the pagan path, came from that background. Rejected by their primary social groups and families, so many of my early friends sought out the comforting embrace of the Great Goddess. Not all of them found everything they sought.
Seeking love and comfort is a very noble quest, a quest that men have undertaken for as long as we can remember. Just as the Sun Chases the Moon across the heavens, or as Pan chases Selene among the Greek fields and forest, men, too, seek love, balance and fulfillment of our very nature. In some mythological systems, it has been transformed into the myths of the questing knight, or the myth of the great hunter.
Let’s face it, guys like to chase things. It however matters not what we quest for, or for that matter what Archetype choose to follow. Within the heart of every man must lay the ability to balance the creative and destructive aspects of his nature. In the training of warriors, discipline is taught not only to master arts that aide in battle, but also to master one’s self. Henceforth it makes perfect sense that many men are drawn to warrior paths.
But what happens when the need to find that inner balance is not met? What happens when there are no wise elders guiding the young warrior (or knight, hunter etc) down the perils of his path? The answer is simple: The balance is lost. Without internal balance most men, especially young in years tend to self-destruct, or worse bring harm to others and their community. It is within every man’s nature to be both creative and destructive. When a man does not cultivate the discipline to master himself, the basic primal impulses of man run wild. That is seldom a good thing.
In my own life experience, when my military career ended against my will do to health issues, I had no natural outlet for my own warrior instincts. Without a structured safe place to both be creative and destructive, both aggressive and yet protective of those I loved, I began to self-destruct. I spent quite a long time battling self destructive behavior ranging from chemical dependency, to just about anything that would make me feel alive again. I had no outlets for the masculine aspects of my nature that were healthy. I had no family to bond with, no career and my health prevented me from exercising too much.
Years went by and soon something happened. I began to meet men who had a good handle on their own paths. They were not only in touch with their feminine side but also had a great handle on how to be men in a healthy way. I began to meet men who were my own elders, the father figures I never had. I met men who were my wise teachers that I always missed. I met the men who became the brothers I always needed.
Interacting with these men changed not only the way perceived myself, but also the way I see and relate to the divine. I began to better take care of my body, to heal my illnesses, injuries and improve overall fitness. I realized that the old adage “to master one’s self is to master the universe” speaks of the fact that the divine dwells within. If the Great God exists, I must make my body his temple. For as a man I am a vessel of his energy. If the Great Goddess exists, I must be the fit to embody her wisdom and emotion. To be worthy vessel of her wisdom and a good Son to the Great Mother.
Now as I grow, I come to see that the true nature of the Divine Masculine goes beyond the primal. The divine masculine goes beyond the seed that gives life. In ancient Greece, the Horned God Pan was known as the “the all that is”. In ancient Egypt, the Goddess Isis was known as the Single manifestation of all Gods and Goddesses, a very similar title. As a man, I have come to understand the importance of seeing the God as a whole, a reflection of everything that is seen from a masculine perspective. I learned that from my teachers who were warrior, hunters and magicians, I learned that from my father figures who were the kings and elders of their tribe. I learned it from my brothers who are the questing Knights who embody all of these archetypes through their journey.
A man will always be a man. But a man who is to walk the path of the Great God must do so in wholeness. Embracing all of his nature as the nature of the Great God himself. Embracing the Great Goddess, who is his very Anima, his feminine side, who is his wife or mother, his friend or elder, and who is the energy of the counterbalance that so many man quest after.
Without day, there can be no night. Without God, there can be no Goddess. Without creation, there can be no destruction. If we as Pagan men forsake the balance of either God, Goddess or both, we are heading in road that leads through great peril, a road to which I have lost many friends. Because of that, it’s a necessity to not allow ourselves to be one track minded. If my path has taught me anything, it is that spirituality and religion both are about wholeness and balance and it is our duty from time to time to remind those we love to preserve that balance and see themselves in the larger perspective… to see themselves as the embodiment of the The Gods.
Location: Seattle, Washington
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