I was sat on top of a mountain in Machu Picchu after drinking a psychedelic substance known as watchuma (or san pedro), I was looking out at what I believe to be the smaller mountain of Huchuy Picchu (although the medicine was working pretty strongly at this time, so I cannot be sure). This mountain had a colorful shine to it and looked like the long hair of a child. As people walked by it was as if they were transformed into a childlike nature. I had a member of our group doing handstands, a man arguing in a very stroppy fashion with his girlfriend and people generally floating by in a childlike manner.
It was in this moment that I saw masculine and feminine energy in a different light. With far more levels than just the 2.
It is easy to compartmentalise masculine and feminine into 2 groups, however I have noted 8 archetypes for masculine and feminine energy, although I am sure these could be split into many more.
Before I go any further- what is the fascination with masculine and feminine energy? The alchemists have the hermaphrodite as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment.
In Chinese philosophy the yin yang symbolises the merging of the masculine and feminine energies.
In Hinduism Shiva and Shakti represent the coming together of the divine masculine and feminine energy.
There are many more examples from across the globe of groups placing the merging of the masculine and feminine as the pinnacle of spiritual experience, but why?
My understanding of this is the physical reality we live within its dual (meaning all has 2 poles of existence) and as a cross species duality- masculine and feminine is what humans represent. Being that the different associated characteristics of human potential are incomplete in either ends of the spectrum and need both sets to be complete.
Do not confuse masculinity and femininity with gender, as while men are generally more masculine and women more feminine, we all carry traits from both sets.
A masculine trait is that of self love, while the more feminine counterpart is that of caregiving. Giving is a characteristic of masculinity, while receiving is the feminine duality. Logic is masculine, creativity feminine. Lines masculine, curves feminine. Strength masculine, love feminine. Independance masculine, nurturing feminine. Again I want to reiterate that this is not a male/female thing, nor is it the specific roles e.g. Mother- but energetic properties that hold the characteristics of gender and specific gender roles. Anyone can hold any and all of these properties.
The 8 archetypes of masculine and feminine energies I felt during my experience are as follows:
The mother can be fierce like the lioness with her cubs, but she always places the care of the cub above her own well being and protects at all cost. The mother’s job is just that- a mother and while there are still other aspects to the role of a mother- nothing comes above the care of her children.
A mother feeds and nurtures her children, softly corrects them when they are wrong and shows her children how to nurture themselves and others. A mother carefully treads the line of softness and strict boundaries, she is a guide, but also a throne to her child. A good mother guides, but also gives space for mistakes so the child/ren can grow.
The mother also learns when her cubs are grown and ready to go out and fend for themselves, but still fully embraces the role of mother when the children need to return to the den.
The Father is strong, courageous and embraces the role of provider. The father encourages his child to do the same, but is far less hands on than the mothering role. A Father is not always physically present, but in times of need he comes to the aid of his child.
The father leads by example and has a strong purpose which is separate from that of the family. This is not to say that the family cannot be involved in his work (they often are), but that his purpose is also a priority and this sometimes comes at the sacrifice of his time.
The father also shows that it is okay to feel the full range of emotions and that suppression of any feelings is weakness masquerading as strength. But at the same time does not burden his child with all his problems.
The father can also be gentle and embodies the true position of alpha male, which is that predominantly of strong purpose- but also balance, love and the ability to lead in the face of adversity.
The characteristics of the sister are similar to that of the mother, only less grounded and mature. The sister is loving and caring to her siblings and also gives you a little more room to maneuver than the mother. In a situation when you may get a strong fierce stare from your mother for your mistakes, the sister will smile and joke when mother is looking the other way.
Sister embodies youthfulness, but protection and care, albeit in a more reckless way than the mother. The sister can get you into trouble with her recklessness, but you learn more about yourself from entering these deep waters. The sister also often has that youthful wisdom and in certain circumstances knows better than mother.
The sister also has her own life, so while the love and care is ever present, you are not always a priority. She is still maturing, you learn a lot from seeing her mistakes as an unrealised part of yourself. Spending time with your sister allows you to see the biggest gender transformation- which is a girl, turning into a woman as you both grow.
The brother is the man about the house when the father is not present, he cares deeply about his family, but is still working out what it means to be a man.
He is more serious than the sister, but still has not developed the intense focus of the father. He makes many mistakes in the pursuit of finding himself, but you get to truly see what perseverance is as he finds his feet and role on earth.
He is also strong, courageous and bold in his actions, although these traits are often ungrounded and more ambitious than realistic. The brother is the dreamer, smart enough to know there is more to life, but still not wise enough to fully understand what this means.
The loving grandmother is very similar to the mother, only she knows that life is not as serious as the mother thinks it is. The grandmother is and has been both daughter and mother, so she knows the process. She is still the caregiver to your mother, so in times when all is to much to handle for your mother, grandmother steps in and gives her the rest bite needed.
Grandmother is less fierce than mother, but this is only because she does not need to be- when she speaks you listen, because you know the wisdom is there and you don’t want to see the fierce side of grandmother.
When mother lets you out into the world to fend for yourself, you know grandmother is there as guidance. The grandmother is the caregiver who has been around the block and is grounded in her knowing of the game of life.
Grandfather has the soft gentle smile that allows you to feel safe in his presence, while embodying the strong, grounded masculine presence.
Grandfather has been the dreamer and the implementor, but now has no more to prove. He has completed his work and is now ready to be a guide to help you on your road. The grandfather is a lot more hands on than the father and while he may not be there as much, he is always available when you need him.
Grandfather has the muscles to flex, but has come far enough to know that he does not need to flex them anymore. He shares words that only time can bring into one’s vocabulary and when he speaks you listen.
Grandfather is wise and will guide you on the path, but allow you to work out your own direction. Grandfather is also courageous, strong and alpha in his ways, but shows it, by knowing he needs not show it.
Your child is your reflection, they came of you and are as close to you as any other human being. They are you without age, and the sum total of all your experience manifested in another body. Their mistakes reflect your lack of guidance, and their triumphs are your triumphs.
Your child is your mirror and your biggest responsibility. And if you do it right, they will become your biggest teacher. Sometimes the wisest words come from the unconditioned mind and while the wisdom is often ungrounded- the level of clarity that can come from the soul of a child can often be unmatched by the wise.
Your son looks up to you for guidance and you have to show him how to be. He is unrealised potential and has all the capabilities to embody the archetypal qualities of father and grandfather.
He is the alpha male in the making, but as he grows he is very delicate. He is unconditioned and embraces the full range of emotion. Try not to make him into a man too soon, as he needs to embrace the stage of childhood and play to prepare himself for a life of purpose.
Your son has come from you, but you must remember he is not you, and he will have to make his own way. As he grows you will be one of his guides, but not his guardian.
The daughter is the caregiver and will often exhibit these traits from a very young age. Daughters are a lot more grounded than sons and often know who they are from a very young age.
For a daughters to fully embrace her role as a caregiver she often needs to step into the dual state of selfishness. This is part of the becoming of who she is. Do not fight it and let this be a reflection of a part of yourself that needs to be explored.
The daughter is affectionate, loving and playful. She shows us the youthful part of ourselves that needs exploration. We are all children that have grown up and sometimes we need to revisit this place to refill our cup.
Your daughter is the biggest metamorphosis, she is the caterpillar turning into the butterfly as she grows. This can work as a metaphor and reminder to you that growth is a never ending process.
Thanks for staying with me for this long- please let me know what you think and share this article with your friends and family.
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I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here