This is a guest post written and kindly shared by Michael Arnold of FEAT Acupuncture. and a topic I resonate with strongly having helped many people of all genders rediscover the feminine within them.
Shortly after my parents divorced my mum announced that she was going to join an organisation called SCUM – the Society for Cutting Up Men. She was joking but underneath there was a deep anger towards men.
At one point I started to internalise this and wonder if I was bad for simply being male.
Many years later I read Eckhart Tolle talking about what happened during the middle ages when millions of innocent women were killed and tortured (1):
“Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three-hundred-year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the “Holy Inquisition,” an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This surely ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for women to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch and then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared from human experience.
Who was responsible for this fear of the feminine that could only be described as acute collective paranoia? We could say: Of course, men were responsible. But then why in many ancient pre-Christian civilizations such as the Sumerian, Egyptian, and Celtic were women respected and the feminine principle not feared but revered? What is it that suddenly made men feel threatened by the female? The evolving ego in them. It knew it could gain full control of our planet only through the male form, and to do so, it had to render the female powerless. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent way. Women’s status was reduced to being child bearers and men’s property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves were now running the world, a world I that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.
In time, the ego also took over most women, although it would never become as deeply entrenched in them as in men. We now have a situation in which the suppression of the feminine has become internalised, even in most women. The sacred feminine, because it is suppressed, is felt by many women as emotional pain. In fact, it has become part of their pain-body, together with the accumulated pain suffered by women over millennia through childbirth, rape, slavery, torture, and violent death.”
Eckart also says:
“If the balance between male and female energies had not been destroyed on our planet, the ego’s growth would have been greatly curtailed. We would not have declared war on nature, and we would not be so completely alienated from our Being.”
You only have to look at our current situation to see why losing touch with the sacred feminine principle is so dangerous. An international group of scientists recently reported that the Covid pandemic was a “direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost.” (2).
Growth belongs to the Yang or masculine dimension and care and nurturing belongs to the sacred feminine or Yin dimension. Get the balance wrong and the planet (a highly intelligent being) is forced to try to correct the imbalance.
As Eckart points out men also have access to the sacred feminine. It is also fair to say that women have access to the sacred masculine. A healthy society values both equally. This might translate as motherhood being valued equally highly as being a film star or a successful business person. Or the health of the planet being valued as highly as GDP. Unfortunately this is not yet the case.
Many women who come to my clinic describe feeling under enormous pressure not only to be a successful mother but also to be successful in their career and to be successful as a supportive wife and a great friend. They often feel the need to embrace the masculine principle of growth, striving and becoming over the feminine principle of presence, peace and nurturing. The corporate world and the corridors of power are still dominated by men and by Yang ideology and energy. Many women feel they have to adopt a hard Yang approach to even compete with men. And yet often when they express themselves forcefully they face a backlash from men who feel threatened by them. Greta Thunberg is just one such woman who has had to face brutal assault for standing up for her beliefs and the environment. Meanwhile men like Donald Trump legitimise sexual assault and are still allowed to run the world’s most powerful nation. I don’t want to get into the realm of politics but I feel these examples show that we still have a long way to go.
But things are shifting. They have to, otherwise our obsession with growth will surely kill us off as a species. The huge rise in popularity of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, natural medicine and spiritual teaching is a clear indication that people are starting to go inward and connect with the subtle power of the feminine principle. The huge global popular support for the environment movement is another testament to this shift. And thanks to the popularity of people like Brené Brown more people are talking about vulnerability, without which no true loving connection is possible. Men are also getting in touch with their emotions and the power of the Yin dimension within them. This can be seen (among other places) in the rise of men’s sharing circles and the beginning of awareness of toxic masculinity (as opposed to healthy masculinity).
The Dalai Lama has said that:
“The world will be saved by the western woman”
Again Eckhart Tolle is extremely enlightening on exactly why this may well turn out to be the case. He says:
“But things are changing rapidly now. With many people becoming more conscious, the ego is losing its hold on the human mind. Because the ego was never as deeply rooted in women, it is losing its hold on women more quickly than on men. I believe this is why women will lead the way.”
Lots of love,
Image: The Godess, by Eddi van W: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spiritual_marketplace/3003158871/in/photostream/
1. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
2. IPBES Guest Article: COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics: https://ipbes.net/covid19stimulus
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