Here we are, entering into the season of celebrating our Mothers, amidst all the birth and renewal of Springtime. So, it’s a perfect time to take a look at our underlying assumptions that drive our values and ways of being. Specifically, with regard to the archetype of Mother, and what that may mean within a larger cultural context.
First, let’s dive into what we really mean when we speak about the Mother Archetype. According to Carl Jung, the archetype of the Mother is first developed within the early childhood psyche. For him, he saw the maternal, motherly ideals as projections onto one’s primary caregiver (regardless of whether or not that individual is one’s biological mother). In sum, Jung established a sense of early childhood awareness of the archetype as one that provides sustenance, care, loving attention and comfort.
In essence, the Mother archetype encompasses all that cherishes and fosters growth, sustains and nurtures life, and breathes attentive awareness toward the surrounding environment.
So, now that we have a more solid understanding of the Mother archetype, let’s go deeper still. What’s beneath all this? If you haven’t gotten the sense from our blog posts yet, we like to navigate the subconscious and bring what’s in the dark out into light. By illuminating some of the beliefs around the Mother, we can work to dismantle the part of us that takes the archetype for granted.
By bringing this out into the open, my hopes and intentions point toward the embodiment and empowerment of Divine feminine energy through a deeper, nuanced understanding. The truth is that many folks have misunderstood the feminine. Through an irrational deduction, folks have generally equated the yin and yang to passive and active. The feminine being the former and the masculine being the latter. Many regard ‘being in your feminine’ as being soft and caring, gentle and unobtrusive.
Altruistic and Holistic Augmentation
In actuality, the feminine couldn’t be further from passive. It’s time we clear some things up. There’s been a big mixup and we now get to augment our understanding. Being ‘in your feminine’ is hardly a passive thing. It requires a lot of energy to be receptive and aware enough to hold a container. Cultivation of this receptivity can take years of refinement and discipline. There is nothing passive about this receptivity; while the feminine is often less associated with ‘action’, there is indeed an action done while holding a container. There is a need for deep work, observation, sense making and continuous calibration in real time.
So, after a brief skim on the surface, how does this feel? Do we think we can adjust our baseline understanding of the feminine Mother archetype? Perhaps we can depart from the active/passive dichotomy and move into recognizing the energetic exchanges that are actually at play. Only then can we truly encounter the depth of love and active compassion the Mother archetype of the feminine has to share.
If everything you owned burned in an inferno, how would you feel?
What if your partner or best friend died tomorrow?
What if you were diagnosed with cancer and were facing chemotherapy, radiation, and the possibility of not making it in the next few years?
Sometimes, we think we have life figured out (not really, but we pretend we do). If we have that car, that job, or that house, we’re golden. If our day goes just the way we wanted it, we score! If we triple our income, we’re on Cloud Nine.
At least, that’s how many of us think in the Industrial West. But why do we have these ideas? Is this our heart speaking, or is it our brain? We’ve been conditioned for so many years. Reflexively, we reach towards what we’ve been told we’re supposed to have. If we have all of the right THINGS, we’re living the Good Life.
So much of what passes for spirituality nowadays supercharges this ego chase, so that we can satisfy what someone or something told us will make us happy. It’s sedating. But spirituality isn’t meant to sedate us–we have enough of that already! It’s meant to break us out of our old paradigms and help us emerge as beings Aware of the nature of Reality. If we’re addicted to our current paradigm, this transformation can feel uncomfortable.
What many of us also don’t realize is that spirituality is the Art of Living. It isn’t something we start and stop on the meditation cushion. ANY experience can enhance awareness, depending on how we approach it.
Pain and destruction raise our perception, if we allow them, if we’re completely present with them and nonjudgmental. They clear away what’s superfluous and illusory, leaving behind the True Nature. When you lose everything, you can realize, in a sobering flash, that those things don’t define you.
The Tibetan Buddhists have a practice called Chod, a ritual that takes place in a graveyard at night, where fierce and horrific entities are summoned and invited to tear apart the practitioner. In the astral carnage, the person loses attachment to the ego and enters the Void of Supreme Reality. Buddhists believe that clinging even to positive things will keep one from attaining the highest vision.
We don’t need demons or wrathful deities to tear us apart, because it seems like life does this enough to us as it is. But instead of running away from the “darkness,” we can embrace it and let it work its power on us, freeing us from our limited perspective.
Truly, what is good and bad is a point of view. Getting eaten by a mountain lion would be awful for us, but wonderful for the starving animal and her cubs. Right and wrong aren’t built into the Cosmos–there’s simply experience.
Sometimes, we just need a bitchslap to wake us up. We’re in a game, and if we take it too seriously, or get sucked into it too much, we’re missing out.
Here are some tips for riding the flames:
1. Let yourself feel your emotions, no matter how “low” or “gross” they are. Observe them and let them pass. No need to hold onto anything.
2. Instead of using your head to think of things to manifest, meditate until you reach some deeper sense of yourself, and let your Heart inspire you. Follow the signs in your life with childlike curiosity, but without serious expectation.
3. When facing a challenging period of your life, don’t struggle to make this or that happen. Allow things to happen as they will, and go with it, keeping an open mind to the possibilities. Things will probably fall away that you won’t realize until later you didn’t need.
4. Don’t be afraid to let go of things you now consider “positive.” At some point, you may start to see them as less glamorous than they appear now.
Be courageous on your Journey!
Let’s hear about your experiences! Please share below.
If you read “Will & Grace Part 1 | Divine Masculine,” you were introduced to the idea that polarization is something that happens even in contemporary spirituality, and that one major way this manifests is polarization of the gender principles. In this post, we will explore this further, and touch upon how we can honor the Divine Feminine in our lives (in balance with the Divine Masculine).
The Taoist sages of China, millennia ago, discovered that there are two fundamental forces behind reality. As many of us know, they called these Yin and Yang. The misconception that many Westerners have, however, is that Yin is evil and Yang is good. Perhaps this comes from attempting to understand another system through an Anglo and Christian lens. The Taoists did not associate these forces with good and evil.
Yang is masculine and it is the force that thrusts and shapes. It is hot and radiating. Yang is the quality that penetrates. In its extreme state it is corrosive, but when balanced, Yang is very life-giving.
Yin is the feminine quality, being receptive, flexible, and supple. It is depicted as darkness, but darkness is simply a photonic vacuum which light enters. There is no malicious aspect attached to it, being one half of a dynamic. Likewise, Yin is considered cold, and this is because cold is the emptiness which draws in heat.
THE TRIPLE GODDESS
Old Pagan traditions had rich descriptions of the Divine Feminine. A great way to learn how to incorporate sacred feminine energies into your own life is to run through the trifold nature of the Divine Feminine, metaphorically based on the three main stages of a woman’s life.
The Maiden is the young girl. She is playful, delicate, and creative. The primary trait of the Maiden is a full receptivity to life and other people. Unconditional acceptance and tenderness are natural effects of this. Be open and empathetic – imagine yourself as the person you are interacting with. What might be that person’s hopes and fears, dreams and regrets? See how you can connect with him or her, and how you might share commonalities. What could bring you together?
The Mother is the woman in her prime, nourishing those she cares for. She is fertile, abundant, and loving. She represents the alchemical vessel, from which Life enters and flows forth again. She is the Earth, the field, and the sacred waters. Reflect on the areas in which you are abundant. How can you use that abundance to give to others? Also, in which areas are you resisting being “fertilized” – do you have an energy, trait, or resource that could be activated, but you’re afraid? Perhaps you have ideas for a business, yet no clue how to put them into action. Maybe you have a vacant room, but don’t trust bringing anyone in to rent it out. Think deeply about this, and allow yourself to meet with people and opportunities that could put your stagnant resources to good use.
The Crone is the Wise Woman, the elder. Old in her years, and rich in experience, she intimately knows many mysteries. Her strongest attributes are a well-developed intuition and a subtle understanding about life. It’s as if she is straddling two worlds – the visible and the invisible. She refines the raw empathy of the Maiden, making it a well of vast wisdom. Pay attention to your intuitions and gut feelings. Learn to discern between ego impressions and genuine clairsentience (the difference is that strong emotions, such as fear or anger, often accompany the ego, whereas divine intuition is often pure information with a neutral tone). Record your dreams, and reflect on them. Practice meditation to still your mind and receive direct transmission from Spirit.
These practices are useful for both men and women. It is too much to ask a person to instantly balance the energies of both genders – this can be a lifelong journey. However, by paying attention to an energy you might not be used to, you can achieve greater perspective and more versatility in life. It is a stepping stone to equilibrium.