Two archetypes in particular speak to the healthy masculine that feeds a healthy seventh chakra. I am speaking of the spiritual warrior we are all called to be; and the hunter gatherer also.
Regarding the spiritual warrior, let us consider what Hildegard of Bingen teaches—and she is talking to her sisters often about this topic so once again we recognize that the sacred masculine is as much a women’s need as it is a man’s need. Hildegard identifies virility or manliness with virtue. Both contain the word “vir” or “man.”
Following are some ways to bring the spiritual warrior alive in oneself. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What inner work am I doing? Around joy? Around creativity? Around moral outrage? Around finding the “spark” hidden in the depths of my and others’ soul?
2. What cares and concerns am I standing up for and being heard about? What is holding me back?
3. Have I found my voice? How? If not, what is inhibiting me?
4. Have I confused “soldier” and “warrior” in the past? Am I over it now? Do I see our culture and media confusing the two? If so, what am I doing to set them straight?
5. How can I encourage young men to be warriors and not just soldiers?
6. What am I willing to sacrifice for values I believe in? Does this include my job?
7. What warriors do I admire? List them. What do they teach me?
8. Do I recognize the prophets as warriors? What do they teach me? Do I recognize Jesus as warrior–what does he teach me? Do I recognize Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Dorothy Day and Sojourner Truth as warriors–what do they teach me?
9. How have I learned courage (a big heart)?
10. When was the last time I stood up and stood out and took a stand? What was the cause? How did it make me feel? Was there a reality of solidarity in the experience? What price did I pay for this action? Would I do it again?
11. Who are my “enemies” (not personal but as carriers of principles I cannot go along with)? Am I proud of the enemies I have made? Why or why not? Have I thanked them lately for making me strong and clarifying my values?
12. What do my enemies teach me and bring alive in me that is positive?
13. Am I living out the Four Paths that develop a warrior within me? Which paths am I strongest in? Which do I need to develop more deeply?
To be continued.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, pp. 301f.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Ancient image of the sacred masculine: Cernunnos, god of the wild and wildlife, from the Gundestrup Cauldron, c. 150-1 BCE. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Which of these practices speak most deeply to you personally? Which do you think are most needed in our current culture?
The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God