Divine Duo

The Masculine
One of my biggest challenges in my personal work is integrating the divine feminine and masculine within. I have considerable issues with both sides, and this aspect of soul work has been incredibly difficult for me. The masculine aspect has been hard for me to accept within myself because I am absolutely at odds with the frenzied, passionate, active and violent part of this energy. Mortal men have hurt me deeply, causing scars, traumas and distrust that led to years and years of painstaking recovery work that continues even now. While I certainly recognize this energy within me, I have been unwilling or unable to integrate it. I deny it strongly; I have considered it one of the worst human weaknesses of all, and I’ve been trying to un-do many long years of believing this. A couple of years ago, I was dealing with intense rage that would crop up usually with my blood-sugar issues, but sometimes unbidden, and it was very frightening. It would swell like a tornado within, and I could do naught to halt this energy once it began. I worked very hard that year to understand where the rage was coming from, and to concentrate on figuring out how to deal with the physical component of it: the management of my blood-sugar. It really helped, but it was also the acknowledgment of it that helped me come to terms with its existence, and my ultimate ability and choice to make better decisions about my food and my emotional turmoil, while also recognizing that I need to have absolute say in what I do. I need to be mindful of how I manage my schedule and socialization so that I do not get into a place of feeling that I need to lash out to protect myself. I realized that I am, indeed, an introvert, and when my safety net is stretched too thin, the membrane breaks. I realized that I HAVE TO honor my needs, above all. I also realized that I need to not be ashamed of this intense energy. It is a very important aspect of humanity, one that need not be any more or less important than anything else. It brings my mind back to the word, integration. It shouldn’t be about denial of anything, any force, energy, emotion, need. It should be about recognizing it and understanding how to best utilize it. I’ve realized that when these experiences come up for us, it is a signal that the issue should be investigated. I recall the wise words of my psychotherapist years ago when I was being treated for post-traumatic-stress-disorder. He was trying to help me understand why my psyche was filtering all of my trauma’s through sleep, and why it was necessary to work first through the dreamscape before I could handle working in the conscious sphere, that my psyche was not ready yet to handle the truth of the trauma in waking reality, and so I was experiencing them through sleep. Ugh, it was such an unbearable time, it is difficult to write about it without getting a visceral response at the memories, but I bring myself back again and again to that lesson because it was such an amazing turning point for me. It took years and years and years to recognize it coming to fruition, but suddenly it seemed that I realized how much I’d healed. I refer back to my therapy a lot because my therapist helped me to understand first and foremost that not all men make bad choices with their masculine forces. Secondly, that I have the power within to do anything. Seriously, ANYTHING. This is one of the most important aspects of the masculine principle, I think. To understand that manifestation is within our own power, and we have unlimited wells within us from which to draw this energy. The rage or frenzy can assist us in getting there, as can the more subtle masculine energies. Maria Kvilhaug posted a video the other day of a Mãori haka ceremony, and it exemplifies the masculine within both sexes perfectly, and how this power can be channeled and utilized effectively. I sometimes try to channel this type of energy when I am traveling the world tree or in dreams when I need to have ferocious energy and courage in the face of intense fear or terror. It is also handy should you need to summon it in waking life to fight. In the Norse tradition, this energy is expressed through Óðinn, in his frenzy aspect (one of three aspects of his nature), and this aspect was summoned by the berserkers, a name which means “bear-clad” or to become like a bear, before battle. In the video, you can see some important facets of trance: the use of the breath and voice in this manner is one of the main components of summoning Óðinn. The use of rhythm, as they stomp their feet and pound their chests, is also an important component of trance-induction. The eyes open and tongue exposed are ways of heightening the senses as these have thin membranes and the tongue, especially, is thought to be a special receptor of divine communication. The use of feathers, as I’ve blogged about before, act as an antennae to the “higher” realms, or the realms of the cosmos (versus the underworld, or realms within, although from my experience all realms exist both within us and from without us…which is a whole other post about paradox that it difficult to grok without direct experience).

Ok, well, I can’t get that specific video to share properly here. But here is another:
In this video, the men slapping their legs reminds me of another method of underworld travel called “treading the mill”. In that method, as explained by Peter Paddon, the practitioner(s) circles in a counter-clockwise motion, slightly crouched in the knees as you chant and slap the thighs. New World Witchery discussed this technique as well, and they said they just had to get over the feeling silly part of slapping the thighs because it really was necessary to achieve the correct state of mind for the journey. It is supposed to be that this method will bring you “down” to the underworld realms, rather than bringing the underworld up, as is done in Wiccan-style “circle casting”. This is my understanding, anyway. In my early practice, I would “cast circle” and though the method seemed effective, I am rather uncomfortable with the idea of “bringing” the worlds to me, instead preferring the traditional witchcraft method of “going to” the place I wish to experience. Since I am relatively inexperienced, I am not sure how others perceive the specific kinds of travel, but I know each method I have tried has a different feel to it. Staving journey definitely feels as if I am wholly within myself, my body and consciousness, as a world within itself.
The Feminine
My study in the area of triple goddess figures is very limited, and as you will see, I have a certain aversion to aspects of this energy, and I’m not entirely sure that I even understand the triple aspects of the divine feminine. I have trance-danced with the warlike aspect of The Morrígan (read about it here) in order to try to experience this part of her mystery. In recent days, I have traveled in the lands of Hel, and experienced her cold embrace. I have seen the fields of Fólkvangr, Freyja’s realm of dead laying across impossibly huge fields. The divine feminine aspect that gives me the most trouble is not the dark, cold, deathly side, not the bloody washer at the ford, not the Dark Mother aspect, as terrifying as it can be to confront, as I’ve blogged about at length. My issue is with the passionate, sexual side of the divine feminine that seems to mirror the masculine aspect of this similar energy. The work with these energies is very wearisome to me, and forces me to into headspace I resist for a couple of reasons: sexual trauma and the fear of pregnancy. Part of it lies with my age and status. I am married, and entering cronehood. I find work in this area to be extremely pointless and annoying. I have had medical issues surrounding my sexual organs since what seems like forever, and having been violated before I ever had a consensual experience, well, I am tired of the whole lot that surrounds this aspect of femininity, to put it mildly. It is precisely for these reasons that I must find a way to confront these energies in order to understand and integrate them. I need to face her. I need to understand her. There is an African deity who is said to assist and protect women who have experienced sexual violence, and she has an incredibly powerful energy. She is featured on a shelf on one of my altars, although I still resist her out of my long-standing hesitation in this area. She is an interesting figure, a being of both fire and water, wherein she both burns away all shame and inflames the feminine pride in passion within and also cleanses and heals the emotional barriers through her watery aspect. I think with her assistance I could heal. But I have to invite the relationship with formality, with dedication. That is a weak point for me. In this way, my life is so divided between the mortal realm and the Unseen realms. I feel so split in two.
The closest thing I can find that’s not too hardcore and/or expresses this feminine sexuality with some amount of artistic elegance is exemplified through Madonna’s “Justify My Love”, which I like also for the whole gender-bending aspect shown in the video:

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