/ Or: Game Of Thrones: A Storm of the Psyche /
I spent many years feeling confused about, and quite often rejected by, the ideologies of my culture and communities. I experienced depression which I, much later in life, recognized as a response to struggling to fit in with the masses; a resignation in the face of two dismal choices: to comply and chase ideals I don't believe in or isolate myself from the world in which I live.
I attribute this lack of alignment to being an introverted feeling person with a dominant feminine trying to get along in an extroverted, thinking, masculine-dominant culture. I couldn't quite figure out why the dots couldn't connect; why even the smallest things felt like a struggle, and one I was seemingly experiencing alone.
In other words, feeling as though we, as humans, have perverted the ideas of material possession and responsibility as well as the ways in which we treat each other and the Earth at large, I couldn't maintain the types of jobs and relationships I needed to in order to survive as a member of this culture. The material world was always meant to be a portal to the spiritual one; appeasing our basic human needs so that we could transcend them. Instead humans have used the material world to create a bigger material world, one filled with skyscrapers, fast technology, designer handbags, and the almighty dollar that keeps us spiraling in a game with no real winners. It's a material world that not only can't facilitate passage to the spiritual world, it actively and intentionally keeps us from it.
That's not to say it's all bad. I'm using some of that technology as we speak. And I don't mean to criticize the masculine ideologies that brought us to these things, albeit at a cost. But to have come to where we are without the feminine's balance is where I feel out of place.
The Masculine, Repressed
So it's clear to me the ways in which the feminine is repressed in American culture. And like the yin and yang, both need to be present and strong in order for wholeness to exist. And with wholeness, so much is possible.
Little did I know that my resistance to this outside world created a war within myself, one in which my feminine was quite strong and, regrettably, under her own spell of domination.
The feminine domination, like violence, is different than the masculine's in its subtleties but is problematic nonetheless. I had two images arrive for me as I tried to navigate my inner world of these archetypes. I put them on paper. I was shocked and saddened by what I found.
This is my feminine. She's tough, closed off, claiming power without actually having any. Because when you have to dominate another in order to be powerful, you're not really powerful. She's developed some kind of tail which seems sinister, her crown could put out an eye or 6, her facial expression and body language demonstrate that there's just no room for the empathy, compassion, and openness she's meant to be full of.
And here's her masculine counterpart:
Torn between utter defeat and a furious rage, my masculine is trying to rise above the authoritarian of my feminine. He is depleted and knows it and only seldomly will he rally himself into a vicious attempt to overthrow her. He's armored up. She's damaged him in so many ways and he's lost sight of how to survive.
It's like Game of Thrones: A Storm of the Psyche.
It's the same but opposite of what the external world is experiencing. But it is in the space of these images that work can be done.
The Quest for Collaboration
Upon initially seeing these images, I immediately apologized to my masculine. I had no idea that in my rebellion toward the culturally repressed feminine, I'd repressed my own masculine. My animus was serving as a symbol of a patriarchal world I struggled to stand and, in turn, I rejected that world by destroying him.
But equally problematic to a patriarchal realm is a matriarchal one. Neither should have the throne. And not only is that clear from my masculine's visible exhaustion, it's evident in my feminine's visible fear. She is strong, but only as long as he is weak. And just like a bully, just like a terrible boss, just like the patriarchy, those who reign only through intimidation and control are, in fact, the weakest of all.
And so the personal work is to bring a sense of accord; to rise him, quell her, and allow them to navigate each other like two students partnering up on a project, determining how to delegate their strengths.
So who's working you? What's your inner masculine and feminine up to? Who are they to you and to each other? Because without this balance, you yourself will be in a state of conflict. The masculine's ego is a necessary symmetry to the feminine's spirit. The masculine's boundaries brilliantly offset the feminine's potential to love in a confused way. The masculine's capacity to execute the feminine's intuitive notions is critical to success. They are beautiful but only when collaborative.
And they are collaborative only when we can recognize and accept that a defeat occurred and take action on the healing that is needed.