Balancing the Divine Masculine

Balancing the Divine Masculine

​The concept of the Divine Masculine is often misunderstood and overlooked in our society, which tends to focus more on the negative aspects of masculinity. However, the Divine Masculine represents the best and most inspiring aspects of masculine expression in the universe. The Divine Masculine is thought to reside within all individuals, regardless of gender identity, and is seen as a vital aspect of personal growth and spiritual development. It is complementary to the Divine Feminine, and together they create balance in the universe. In this article, we will explore the Divine Masculine principle, its archetypes, traits, and imbalances.

Characteristics of the Divine Masculine

The Divine Masculine is an energetic, spiritual, and archetypal ideal that exists on a transpersonal and universal level manifesting itself through conscious thoughts, plans, processes, goals, and structures. This principle is very action-based, focused on doing rather than being, and it is represented by power, strength, focus, leadership, and logic. In proper balance, it is confident without being arrogant, rational without being possessive, and strong while still being gentle. It offers safety and guidance through compassion and support.

Divine Masculine Archetypes

In mythology and literature, the Divine Masculine is represented by various archetypes. These archetypes can embody both the light and shadow aspects. Both men and women can embody these representations.

Here are some examples:

  1. The King – represents sovereignty, leadership, and responsibility
  2. The Knight – represents courage, chivalry, protection, honor
  3. The Warrior – represents strength, courage, and protection
  4. The Magician – represents intelligence, wisdom, and transformation
  5. The Father – represents nurturing, supportive, and protective energy
  6. The Lover – represents passion, intimacy, and emotional connection

Examples of these archetypes can be found in various spiritual traditions, such as Hinduism, Greek mythology, and Christianity. Characters like Hercules, Perseus, Shiva, Zeus, and even the idea of a masculine God or “Father” in Christianity embody the Divine Masculine archetype.

Here is a great resource to learn more about Divine Masculine Archetypes.

Unbalanced Divine Masculine

The best way to understand the balance of the Divine Masculine is to see it in relationship to the Divine Feminine. Think of the Ying/Yang. These two energies exist in harmony. If one is out of balance it means that the other is also imbalanced. So if you are too grounded in your masculine energy, you will be deficient in the Divine Feminine and vis versa. Finding a balance between the two is key.  If you notice any of these signs, it may be an indication that your Divine Masculine energy is out of balance, and you may need to work on tapping into your feminine energy or work on any deficiency in your masculine energy.

Here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Overly aggressive or dominant behavior
  2. Lack of empathy or emotional intelligence
  3. Inability to connect with others on an emotional level
  4. Difficulty expressing vulnerability or emotions
  5. Overemphasis on doing rather than being
  6. Overemphasis on material success and wealth
  7. Lack of focus or direction in life
  8. Difficulty with self-discipline and not taking accountability

Awakening the Divine Masculine

Some practices that can help awaken the Divine Masculine energy within oneself include:

  1. Set boundaries: Being assertive and setting boundaries is a masculine trait. Saying “no” to people and things that do not align with your values is an important step in taking responsibility for your life.
  2. Practice Responsibility and accountability: Take charge of your life and be accountable for your role in situations.
  3. Examine your wounds surrounding the masculine: Reflecting on your formative and important relationships with the men in your life. What did you learn about masculinity? How did this guide your actions as an adult?
  4. Create Structure & Processes: Think about where your lack of structure and self-discipline has harmed you or inhibited your success. Can you create more processes or healthy habits that allow you to be more productive?
  5. Take action: Go get shit done.

By practicing these methods, one can nurture and balance the Divine Masculine energy within oneself, leading to a more balanced and awakened life.

Read: Seeing Beyond the Lens of Patriarchy

The Masculinity Crisis

Initiations and rituals that help boys transition into manhood used to be an integral part of traditional societies. However, over the centuries of civilization in the West, almost all of these ritual processes have been abandoned or discredited. This has led to a crisis in masculinity, where men are struggling to find their identity and purpose in life. The lack of meaningful ritual for masculine initiation has disconnected men from the processes by which they achieved their gender identity in a deep, mature, and life-enhancing way. As a result, many men either had no initiation into manhood or had pseudo-initiations that did not have the power necessary to achieve genuine transformation of consciousness.

It is necessary to find a balance between the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine to live a whole, awakened, and balanced life. Awakening the Divine Masculine requires responsibility, accountability, and self-awareness. We need to work on the shadow side of the Masculine to resolve the crisis of masculinity in society as a whole. By tapping into the balanced aspects and engaging with its archetypes, men can become more centered, and generative towards themselves and others, and live a more peaceful, aligned, and meaningful existence.

What Style of Meditation is Right For You?

What Style of Meditation is Right For You?

Finding the right style of meditation for your needs is important. While meditation may be simple, the practice of meditation is difficult. This is mostly because in our phone-addicted and over-stimulating world, the act of concentration and/or quieting the mind is getting harder and harder to achieve. I’ve been a student of meditation for over 28 years and have been teaching meditation for about 15 years. So, to say that I am a huge fan would not be overstating it.  While there are many physical benefits of meditation, I think the most important outcomes come from the spiritual side of the practice. Finding the type of meditation that will achieve your desired outcomes will help you be consistent so you can reap the benefits of this life-changing practice. 

Styles of Meditation

Before we talk about the benefits, let’s talk about some of the different types or styles of meditation. Each technique and style has its unique focus and approach. Most styles fall into one of two categories. Either it is directive, meaning that you are focusing on a single point, idea or mantra, etc.. Or non-directive, meaning the individual opens up their awareness and just allows things to move in and out of their field of consciousness.  It is important to understand your goals, and what you hope to get out of your meditation practice so you can choose a style that meets your needs.  Try a few and find the one that most resonates with you.

Here are some of the different types of meditation:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: This style involves paying non-judgmental attention to the present moment, and observing thoughts, sensations, and emotions without getting attached to them.
  2. Loving-Kindness Meditation: Also known as Metta meditation, it involves generating feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. It typically involves repeating positive affirmations or phrases.
  3. Transcendental Meditation (TM): This technique involves the use of a mantra, a word or sound repeated silently, to focus the mind and achieve a state of deep relaxation and awareness.
  4. Vipassana Meditation: Vipassana means “insight” or “clear-seeing.” It involves developing a deep awareness of the body, sensations, thoughts, and emotions. This technique aims to cultivate insight and wisdom.
  5. Zen Meditation: Zen, originating from Zen Buddhism, focuses on seated meditation (zazen) and emphasizes direct experience and self-discovery. It often involves observing the breath or engaging in contemplation.
  6. Guided Meditation: In this style, a meditation teacher or an audio recording guides the practitioner through a meditation session, providing instructions, visualizations, or prompts to enhance relaxation and focus.
  7. Kundalini Meditation: Kundalini is a form of yoga-based meditation that incorporates breathwork, chanting, repetitive movements, and visualization to awaken and channel the energy within the body.
  8. Walking Meditation: As the name suggests, this style involves meditating while walking. It emphasizes paying attention to the movement of the body, the sensations in the feet, and the surrounding environment.
  9. Body Scan Meditation: This technique involves systematically focusing attention on different parts of the body, usually starting from the toes and moving upward, to develop body awareness and release tension.

Check out this Loving Kindness Meditation

 

Spiritual Benefits of Meditation

There are so many mental and physical benefits to meditation like stress reduction, increased concentration, and decreased reactivity to situations. But for me, the spiritual benefits are why I have been a student for so long. Meditation is an integral part of my intuitive readings and has provided me with the level of concentration and awareness needed to glean insight into my energy work too.

While the specific experiences and benefits can vary from person to person, here are some of the more common spiritual benefits of meditation:

    • Enhanced self-awareness: Through regular meditation practice, individuals can develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior. This self-awareness can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a greater sense of authenticity.

    • Inner peace and calm: Meditation cultivates a state of inner stillness and calmness, allowing individuals to experience a sense of peace and tranquility. It helps to quiet the mind, reduce mental chatter, and find a refuge from the stresses and demands of everyday life.

    • Connection with the present moment: Meditation encourages individuals to focus on the present moment, to fully experience and appreciate the here and now. This can lead to a deeper sense of presence, mindfulness, and an increased ability to fully engage in life’s experiences. It is in the present moment that insights and intuitions arise.

    • Spiritual growth and insight: Meditation can facilitate spiritual growth by providing a space for introspection, contemplation, and the exploration of deeper existential questions. It can lead to insights, intuitions, and realizations about the nature of reality, the self, and one’s place in the world.

    • Expanded consciousness: Through meditation, individuals may have transcendent or mystical experiences that expand their consciousness beyond ordinary perceptions. These experiences can provide a profound sense of interconnectedness, unity, and a glimpse into higher states of consciousness.

    • Cultivation of compassion and kindness: Many forms of meditation, such as loving-kindness meditation, focus on developing qualities of compassion, kindness, and empathy towards oneself and others. This can foster a deeper sense of connection with others and a more compassionate approach to life.

    • Spiritual discipline and discipline of the mind: Regular meditation practice requires discipline and commitment. It can help individuals develop a stronger sense of willpower, focus, and mental discipline, which can be applied not only in meditation but also in other aspects of life and spiritual practices.

So think about what you would like to achieve with your meditation practice. Then choose a style that is best suited to your needs. Then practice, practice, practice. Some days it will be easier than others, but with all of these benefits, it is a worthy pursuit that has the potential to bring deeper awareness and balance to all aspects of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

Check out my library of free guided meditations

Ascension & The Higher Chakras

Ascension & The Higher Chakras

Many people believe that part of our human ascension is the activation of all of our chakras, including our higher chakra centers. However, there is much debate about where these chakras reside and what their purpose is. We do know that there are more than the 7 major chakras commonly discussed. And some feel, as I do, that our ascension has less to do with our lower chakras and far more to do with the activation of those that connect us to higher, less dense states of consciousness. Here I discuss some of the other chakras and their associated connection to our ascension and energy body.

The Earth Star Chakra

This chakra is located approximately 12 inches below your feet and is associated with grounding and physical connection to the Earth. This chakra is responsible for connecting the individual to the Earth’s field and serves as a grounding point for physical and emotional energies. The earth has an almost limitless capacity for neutralizing frequencies. So, it is through this center that we can release unwanted or unnecessary energy to be balanced by the earth. By facilitating this connection an individual will experience a greater sense of balance and harmony as their relationship with nature deepens.

This chakra can be activated through grounding exercises like walking barefoot on the earth, visualization techniques, and meditation. Also, moving the breath in and out the soles of the feet can be a powerful way to connect with the equanimity of the earth’s energy. The activation of this chakra is necessary for the ascension of individuals and establishes the foundation for our relationship with the cosmos. 

Want to learn more about the 7 Major Chakras and how they can be used as a framework for our personal evolution?

The Causal Chakra

This chakra is located three to four inches behind the crown chakra and aligns with the spinal column. This chakra is responsible for the manifestation of thoughts into reality and allows a person to tap into their creative potential. When fully activated, the causal chakra can lead to a greater understanding of one’s purpose, enhanced psychic abilities, and a connection to higher wisdom and intuition. Some people would describe this as the seat of the higher self which acts as our guide on our awakening path. This center must be connected to the heart. Creating a clear channel for direct communication. Using meditation, intention, and visions of light, one can open up this channel and receive divine guidance from this chakra.

The Soul Star Chakra

The soul star chakra, also known as the eighth chakra is located approximately 6 inches above the crown of the head. It is associated with the color white or gold and is said to be the seat of our soul and assists in the expansion of consciousness beyond the physical body. It is responsible for connecting our minds to the cosmic wisdom of other galaxies. Allowing us to obtain information from galactic sources. It is believed to be the connection point between our individual consciousness and the universal consciousness. It is also thought that it is the entry point for divine love. Whereas personal love is experienced in the heart chakra, here we have the experience of unified love from the Divine. 

The Stellar Gateway Chakra

The Stellar Gateway Chakra is the highest energy center of the human body and is located roughly 12 inches above the head above the Crown Chakra. It is a gateway to the source of creation itself. It represents our connection to the universe and the larger cosmic picture of our existence. Activating this chakra is a critical piece in the evolution of all of humanity. The opening of this chakra is not something an individual can open themselves, it occurs as a function of humanity’s ascension as a whole. This center of the light is thought to be timeless, holographic, and multidimensional and is our direct connection to Source.

Check out this moving meditation that blends sacred geometry, the chakra centers, and a guided meditation to activate your light body. 

 

Messages From Our Animal Guides

Messages From Our Animal Guides

We have many allies along our spiritual path, both seen and unseen, but among my favorites are our animal guides. It could be a giant blue heron that swoops overhead or a mouse that lies in plain sight and does not move until acknowledged. These animal guides or spirit animals are our guides in animal form. Some of them have walked with us since birth and some of them show up at the perfect time to bring a much-needed message. Learning to pay attention and decipher the message can be a magical and life-changing experience.

Message From My Animal Guide

I have had some powerful encounters with animal guides in my life. Some show up in deep meditative states or in journeys. And some showing up in real life. Mouse has been a good ally over the years appearing at just the perfect time. You might be thinking that a mouse is a pretty common animal, how could you know it was there to convey an important message? It isn’t just the appearance of any animal, it is its presence in an unexpected and/or meaningful way.

In one instance, Mouse was sitting wide open in the middle of our deck construction. It sat there unmoved until I made the connection of its presence and its message. Another time, Mouse had made its way up to the top right-hand corner of my patio door between the sliding glass and the screen. In both cases, once I took a moment and re-read the Mouse message in my animal medicine cards, the mouse disappeared. Mouse shows up for me anytime I am missing the details of something. She asks me to pay close attention and scrutinize carefully.

How do Spirit Animals Work?

When these beautiful spirit animals show up for us, it isn’t the consciousness of the single animal that is guided to help you. If you think about Plato’s theory of forms, he said that two realities exist. The material realm in which we live our day to lives and the non-material realm where the essence of all things exist in their perfect form. For example, there is the essence of Deer, a blueprint from which all deer are made. And an individual deer that has its own unique features, expression, and consciousness.

It is in the non-material realm that Mouse or the essence of Mouse exists. Some teachers like to call this the Oversoul. This oversoul then works with the consciousness of a single animal residing in the material plane to pass on the message that you need to hear. These messages if heeded can be an important piece of our conscious evolution.

Noticing the Animal Guide

Sometimes an animal guide will show up once in a meaningful way like in the example above. Sometimes they will show up over and over, in real life or in meditative states. And other times they will come to you in your dream time. Recently, as I was working on a project, Mountain Lion showed up in my dream. She didn’t just show up, she was stalking me. She pounced on the hood of my car at one point and in another instance was surrounding the house. Mountain Lion is about leadership. She could sense my reluctance and was calling on me to step up and lead. Dreams that are meaningful have a different feel than those that are just the unwinding of our daytime consciousness. They will stick with us even after waking.

So pay attention when an animal shows up in an unusual way. If you always see crows by your house so it is usual for them to be there, that is probably not an animal guide. Now if you were on a hike and a crow follows you from tree to tree cawing loudly along the way, there is probably a message for you there.

Messages Through Metaphor

If you think that an animal is trying to send you a message, take a moment, and consider the characteristics of the animal. For example, if a lion is showing up repeatedly in your healing work, think about what a lion means to you. They are expert energy managers. They won’t chase after something unless they know it is going to nourish them. They protect their pride etc. So after thinking about a lion as a metaphor, feel into the information and see what comes up for you. Does it apply to the circumstances in your life? Are you being called to manage your energy more wisely?

There are also some great animal medicine cards that can assist you and some pretty good websites too. My favorite is Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals. You might also just sit in meditation with the intention of receiving the message they are trying to convey.

Developing a Relationship With Animal Guides

As with all relationships, it is important to respect and honor their presence in our lives. You can do this by having an animal totem, i.e a figurine that you keep on your altar. You can donate money to charities that support the well-being of a particular species. You can call them into your rituals and ceremonies and develop a working relationship with them. Remembering to always be grateful and reverent for their service. These animals are connected to the Oversoul and as you honor them, you also honor the essence of all of them. Sitting in meditation with your messenger and connecting with them on a regular basis is another way to nurture collaboration.

Animal guides are magical messengers. Learning to work with them can enrich your life and assist you in your conscious evolution. As humans, we sometimes forget that we are part of the natural world. We too, are animals. As we learn to tune into the subtleties of nature there are many beautiful energies to explore that can expand your idea of what is possible. So pay attention to the animals that show up and then learn to listen to the guidance they have for you. Then take action, it may just change your life.

Here is a guided meditation to assist you in meeting an animal guide.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Donvanstaden

 

 

Time as Space

Time as Space

Being idle can do crazy things to a person. I don’t think humans are meant to be inactive for too long. We have a certain level of potential energy that’s begging to be transformed. Being in Japan and not working, I was expecting to be alone when we took this gig, but what was unexpected was a deeper understanding of time and my relationship to it. Most days here, I can fill with anything or with nothing, but idleness has shown me it isn’t time that moves, or expands and contracts, it is us.

We talk about time as passing, flying, or being spent. Time can permit; it can be killed or saved or freed. We have many idioms that we use, but common in most, is that it moves or flows, and we are inevitably swept up in its movement. When we talk about having free time, we are really talking about moments that aren’t bound by our expectation or obligation. So, I’m starting to think of time more as a container or a womb of empty space that is waiting to be filled than something that passes.

Time that is unbound is a tricky thing. And more often than not, it is never really unbound. Even when we are idle, it is being burdened by expectation, broken thoughts, and emotions that we bind with our identity. We focus on future concerns or past indiscretions. We say yes to things when we want to say no. We spend our time doing the dishes when we really want to be playing with our kids. We make small things into big things and ignore the big things in pursuit of the mundane.

For me initially, there was a certain paralysis that set in with an ample amount of unbound time. The same way that you get the worst service in a restaurant on a slow day. There is a sort of inertia that needs overcoming as you wait in anticipation for something to start. After all, if time flows, something is bound to be swept up in its current and make its way to you. Once you are moving though, it is easy to keep moving, but if there is no external push, that inertia can be insurmountable. Especially if you are waiting for it to happen to you instead of you leaving your imprint on it.

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment”.
~ Deepak Chopra

In my old understanding, there were days that I lived ‘better’ than others. I’ve run daily for weeks only to be followed by a day of day drinking and three days of watching Netflix. I’d spent hours in meditation, written a book I’ve yet to publish, started a screenplay, two blogs, and a fledgling podcast. Some of which I still work on, and some I quit as the novelty wore off. I’ve played guitar, made lotion, joined a book club, and dabbled in Japanese. And I’ve spent more time on Twitter than I care to admit. Some of these things made me feel productive while others made me feel guilty because there was nothing tangible to show for it. So I was left with the question – What makes a moment worth living?

I’ve done some interesting things, but I’ve also been envious when I look at some people around me who have accomplished careers and material success. I thought about how they decided to fill their containers.  They have been consistently (consciously or unconsciously) filling the space with the same things over and over without getting distracted or bored. Maybe they were both and decided to push through anyway, deciding to bind their time in specific ways to meet specific ends.

I started this blog a few weeks back, and at that moment, it was clear that discipline and consistency were precisely what I needed. I thought that commitment to consistency was the antithesis of grandeur and novelty. It was undoubtedly the way to keep any feelings of guilt at bay for not being productive. I needed a container for my chaos, and that container was intentionally bound time.

Then, after reading Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan, who critiques and questions our outward drive for material things and success in the name of perpetual progress. Instead, contending that what really makes a life worth living is meaning and connection, I was reminded of my usual thinking. Historically, I’ve tended to apply a more Epicurean philosophy, “Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” So with his reminder, my pendulum started to swing back the other way.

“Of all the means to ensure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”
~ Epicurus

I’ve always struggled between a life of ticking all the expected boxes and a general fuck-itness of the status quo. Usually acknowledging that a both/and rather than an either/or approach to things is the most meaningful. So, I like conceptualizing time in this way because it reminds me that how I fill the space is a choice. We can get so caught up in the idea that time happens to us, that we forget it is ultimately the individual that fills the container. And even when we have external obligations, it is our framing that drives the nature of the experience.

So lately, I’ve become more mindful of the quality of content that I add to the container. As it is the quality that matters, not merely the outcome. Admittedly, quality is a subjective measure where I am the arbiter, not society. That is why all the great sages and spiritual teachers talk about being in the present. It’s an awareness of the space that is and the contents held within it. The Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, says, “Time goes from present to past.” Meaning we can talk about doing something after dinner, but that moment only occurs when it’s occurring, and then it is past. There is no other. 

Maybe that is where the word fulfillment comes from. The idea that we fill our space with something meaningful or meaningless. And this can either add or detract from our sense of connection and purpose which is derived from both the experiential and the tangible. Leaving space for consistent, goal-oriented pursuits and the occasional day drinking with friends. For what matters is our presence and the quality of the expansion or contraction of self in the container of time.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Suljo