Man Power! Let’s get it right!
Let’s face it boys and girls. We’re in the mids of a crisis of masculinity. Here’s what’s coming in post:
1. Why patriarchy is NOT the creation of the mature masculine and why this is seriously good news.
2. The four main masculine archetypes and how they are like a blueprint within each one of us.
3. How you can work with the archetypes in your life to grow into a more balanced and happy man.
As a man myself who is keen to grow into a balanced and good person this ‘crisis of masculinity’ has often felt like something pretty personal, indeed, it’s been going inside me.
In the introduction to ‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover’ R. Moore and D Gillette explain how and why we’ve got into this couldesac of masculinity, that patriarchy is not created by the mature masculine but by an immature and stunted ‘boy psychology’. They also open the possibility of the full and mature masculine being developed through an understanding of our archetypes.
What a relief! There is a positive, beautiful and balance future for masculinity. Indeed, it’s already unfolding around us. More and more I meet men who are in their power, compassionate, creative and caring.
If you’re a man or woman alive in the world today this man stuff is important…
1. Why patriarchy is not the creation of the mature masculine and why this is seriously good news.
The mature masculine is compassionate, caring, creative and generative. Patriarchy is a perversion of what true men are really about, it’s an insult to all things masculine. Created by immature men who haven’t grownup it’s abusive, violent, weak, oppressive, dominant and disempowering.
Personally I have often felt ashamed of the destruction of the environment, mistreatment of women, abuse of political power and rampant inequality of all kinds that mostly men, mostly behaving in a patriarchal way, are responsible for creating.
I would wonder…
Was this the kind of man I would ultimately grow into?
Was patriarchy my birthright as a man?
You can imagine the relief on reading “King Warrior…” that suggests patriarchy is created by men who are not living in their fullness, not (yet) fully developed.
When men don’t grow up fully they remain stuck in an immature ‘boy psychology’. This happens for various socio-economic reasons.
A. The disappearing Father
The breakdown of the traditional family unit.
The disappearance of the father role from family and society.
Father as a overworked, tired and grumpy man who comes home from work and sits in the corner reading the paper while Mum runs the show.
B. Weak Father / Male role models
The weak or disempowered father.
The father who is out all day working in the factory as a tiny cog in a large machine and who doesn’t understand his work, nor feels good about what he is doing in the world is no role modle for a son (or daughter).
C. Disappearence of initiation rituals
The disappearance of rituals of initiaion to enable and honour the transformation from boy into man.
The disappearance of the elders from our society. (or perhaps not their disappearance but the reluctance of younger generations to honour their wisdom and integrate the elderly into society)
The loss of ritual and ceremonial processes that young men connect to or care about.
So what do we do?
2. What are the masculine archetypes and how we can use them in our lives?
“Within every man are blueprints, what we can also call ‘hard wiring,’ for the calm and positive mature masculine. [We can] refer to these masculine potentials as archetypes.” — Moore and Gillette
Boom! What a freakin’ relief.
These archetypes are firstly WITHIN EVERY MAN and secondly they are ‘hard wired’ into us.
It is through reconnecting with these primordial images that we can create…
“an adequate connection to the deep and instinctual masculine energies, the potential of mature masculinity.” — Moore and Gillette
This shit is fucking important. If you are a man I would say that no less than your work, marriage, family, financial success in the world, love life, garden, home, car EVERYTHING depends on you developing your balanced, full and mature masculine archetypes.
What are these magical archetypes?
There are four main ones:
“These archetypes provide the very foundations of our behaviour — our thinking, our feeing, and our characteristic human reactions.” — Moore and Gillette
This is GOOD news.
The perverse, ugly, violent and abusive masculinity we see rampant in the world today is NOT what we find at the foundations, at the core of what it means to be a man.
3. How we can successfully work with the archetypes to enhance our lives?
How do we work with these archetypes?
Graet question. Here’s a few suggestions (I’m still discovering this work myself):
Read the book ‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover’. It’ll give you a really good understanding of what I’m sharing with you here and some great depth on the archetypes.
Join a men’s group in which these archetypes are actively used and explored. The Man Kind Project is an international men’s network that has localised groups that meet regularly.
Join me on Tuesday the 28th March in Frome to discuss these archetypal ideas in more detail. More info is HERE.
Ask yourself if you are in balance with these four archetypal energies. If you notice a particular quadrant missing then devote some energy and attention to developing that archetype in yourself.
For example. I often feel I could do with more ‘Warrior’ in my life. In order to build that archetype I play violent video games and stalk the streets at night with a crow-bar.
No, I’m joking.
But I do actually feel I need more warrior in my life, so I go running and connect with the elements and the energy and action necessary for long distance running. Or I go naked wild swimming, or I did a big hole in our garden (we’ve got some trees that we’re removing).
It doesn’t matter so much what you do, so long as you feel your enhacning and building that archetype.
Look to your family and peers for inspiration.
It’s a pretty sorry sight if you’re searching social media or the UK parliament for male role models. Much better to turn to your family and friends. Find the brothers in your tribe who embody the King, or the Magician. Go and hang out with them, learn from them, craete with them, be with them and integrate their understanding of whichever archetype you feel they have most strongly.
Write about this man stuff, or speak about it with your friends, or say prayers in groups or share it openly in circles. You’ll be astonished at how many men will silently nod in agreement as soon as you open this topic for discussion.
Hop on the phone to me (Chris — 07881651889). I’m really interested in this topic (as you can probably tell) and I’m keen to have conversations with men of all walks of life to get a better handle on what needs to happen and on how I can best serve my community and brotherhood.
Share this blog post or write a comment and give your view or opinion, recommend another great book or challenge me on something.
Enjoy the adventure. I know my life has become more rich, varied and fun since devoting significant time and energy to enhancing and balancing my masculinity.