When my mother died under the wheels of truck in 2001, I was 39 and living a scripted life of wife and mother, a life where I never stopped to ask myself—am I happy?
I was expected to be content because I’d married my soulmate, birthed two beautiful children, lived a life of material ease in a waterfront home and my health was excellent. What more could I ask for?
Within a year of my mother’s death, I was on a fast track to demolish a 15 year marriage by instigating a long-distance affair with a man I’d met (how cliche) online. Even as I knew that this man would not be my next-in-line, I dove heart-first into falling in love with a projection of my own yearning for wholeness.
The hole my mother left in her dramatic leaving was a bottomless need inside my fractured psyche for a Big Love. I wanted something or someone to sweep me off my feet and into a place of vulnerability and mutual acceptance. I wanted to feel safe sharing all of me, all of my sadness, anger and despair, with a beloved. And not just any beloved–but a powerful male who would lead me fearlessly from the chaos of my grief.
Ten years and several relationships later, I came to the shattering realization that love was never out there, waiting to be found. This search for the rescue of Big Love that drove me to a divorce and propelled me through seven love affairs, ended all at once on October 25, 2011 when overnight it became irrefutably evident that I am the very thing I sought. That every lover was me, loving myself and not loving myself.
I write this now because a recent article of mine on love at elephant journal went viral. A Call to the Sacred Masculine: Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine soared to 44,000 views and 12,000 Facebook likes in ten days. The piece also drew praise and condemnation from men, everything from “BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING, and MOVING!” to a thanks for “spiritual bullshit that you spew all over everyone.” In other words, the response itself was as polarized as North and South.
Yet A Call to the Sacred Masculine has clearly struck a collective nerve, reaching into the imaginations of men and women who yearn for a Bigger Love. But what most people have failed to see is that this article’s real appeal is not romantic and stereotypical but archetypal and alchemical.
The call for a Sacred Masculine to meet a Divine Feminine is not about new rules for relating or a better marriage formula. Rather, it is about the union of opposites, the marriage of King Sol and Queen Luna, of heaven and earth, of the transcendant and the immanent.
The masculine current is not about manhood anymore than the feminine current is about womanhood. Yet fact is, we are embodied extensions of the formless in form. I have a vagina that receives. A man has a penis that penetrates. In a heterosexual union both partners have the capacity to access their penetrative and receptive natures, for the man at times to be soft and the woman to be hard.
But unless a woman is truly masculine at her core, most women truly desire a partner who will play the polarity game with her—yes, a man who will ravish (not rape) her every now and then, a man not afraid to lovingly take charge
By allowing the natural flow of masculine and feminine to tango, free of ideas and judgements of politically correct loving (or what author David Deida would call neutralized polarity) there arises a third element. A polarized union in which each partner allows the other to be fully man, fully woman, generates a current that comes from the dance of opposites.
This current is a fast flowing river that ultimately will wash both partners into the ocean of the Vast Self—a self free from masculine or feminine. A Self that underlies all form, from gender to species. Recognition of that One Self is the gift I receieved in the dance of polarity with a man who rode the river to the sea, with me.
So, on that note, don’t be afraid to play the polarity game—ultimately all games end up at home base.
Awareness is here,
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