Can the Webb Telescope Help to Awaken Sacred Masculinity?

It seems to me that the Webb Telescope and what it will reveal to us about our 13.8 billion-year journey opens up a whole new chapter on “Father Sky.”  

“Father Sky” by Native Heart on The Spirit of the North American Indian. Video by Lydi´s Style

If so, then it offers the potential for remaking our understanding of masculinity. 

There is a reason why the archetype of “Father Sky” leads off the ten archetypes that I propose for moving beyond Patriarchy’s distortions of masculinity–distortions that are everywhere evident in today’s news from Putin to Trump to un supreme court judges to assaulting Mother Earth and making matricide a priority. 

When the modern era shut down “Father Sky,” it left the male heart bereft and potentially more violent for men had no place to invest their sky-sized hearts and souls.  D. H. Lawrence sensed this when he wrote: 

Mariupol Drama Theater, bombed by Russia on 16.03.2022. Six hundred civilians, mostly women, children, and elders, died. Photo by Maxar Technologies (CNN). Wikimedia Commons.

What a catastrophe, what a maiming of life when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox!  This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.

What happens when cosmology is replaced by psychology?  When cosmic connections are displaced by shopping malls and social media?  The heart easily shrivels.  Souls shrink.  And untold violence can become unleashed. 

In celebrating the ecstasy we undergo vis-à-vis the universe, Aquinas is also talking about ecology since “ecology is functional cosmology.”

The official 2019 50th anniversary/ memorial music video for David Bowie – Space Oddity, mixing 1969 and 1997 footage of Bowie singing with his younger self, presaging his 2016 death.

In calling us back to the wonder, beauty, and ecstasy of the universe, we are being offered profound medicine and healing for the rupture of psyche and spirit that has haunted modern men and women and opened the door to anthropocentrism and forgetfulness and destruction of the planet, and to what Pope Francis has rightly called our narcissism as a species.

Furthermore, eco is the Greek word for “home”—and clearly the cosmos and creation are our home and God’s home. Are we at home in the universe? In the cosmos? Are we stepping back from our computers or our shopping trips often enough to look into our home, the universe, to study it? Or have we succumbed completely to the disastrous modern era that began with the divorce of science and spirituality, cosmos and psyche?

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 3f.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Earth’s night lights and the Milky Way galaxy while the International Space Station passes over the Pacific island of Kiribati and a lightning flash illuminates a large mass of clouds, reflecting off the ISS solar arrays. Image Credit: NASA, M. Justin Wilkinson, Texas State U., Jacobs Contract at NASA-JSC and Mark Matney, NASA-JSC

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree with Lawrence that a catastrophe and maiming of life happens when we lose our connection to the cosmos?

Recommended Reading

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

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17 thoughts on “Can the Webb Telescope Help to Awaken Sacred Masculinity?”

  1. Avatar

    I totally agree with Lawrence that a catastrophe and maiming of life happens when we lose our connection to the cosmos.
    We become disconnected.
    I think the Webb Telescope provides a powerful way to remind us to reconnect , to recall a true sense of our place in the universe.
    I work with many men who are “salt of the earth men” shall we say( there language is colourful to say the least and traditional religion has no meaning for them). When I showed them the images from Webb they were gobsmacked, silenced, intense, immense – I will not repeat the expletives they used here but they were used in an expression of wonder, awe and amazement. Surely this is a language and spirituality all can understand.

  2. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you used D. H. Lawrence to make a point about how disconnected we are from a true understanding of “Father Sky,” and what it has to say about the sacred masculine. D. H. Lawrence wrote: “What a catastrophe, what a maiming of life when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox! This is what is the matter with us, we are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of life, and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.” Truly powerful words for me because I am in the process of rewriting a book of mine that was out of print on “Liturgies of the Earth” that follow the solstices and equinoxes–as well as the “quarter days” that fall between them. You ask: “Do you agree with Lawrence that a catastrophe and maiming of life happens when we lose our connection to the cosmos?” You bet I do !!! That’s why I feel like to do regular and seasonal rituals which follow the cycle of the seasons, this would help us to appreciate creation even more–seeing creation not as a commodity to be exploited but as a gift to be appreciated, nurtured and protected. On a side note, D. H. Lawrence has a book in which he wrote about the book of Revelation, which is titled: APOCALYPSE. If you read it you will see that he did quite aa bit of research into it!

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I’ve been celebrating the Equinoxes and Solstices for many years now… which has brought me into alignment, balance and harmony with not only the changing rhythms and cycles of nature… but more importantly these ceremonies have helped me to understand, embrace and celebrate the different phases of the process of change itself. In our cultures and societies this has mostly been lost to many… replaced by consumer driven holidays… which lack all that the Equinoxes and Solstices have to offer.

    Another interesting ceremonial time is the full moon for women and the new moon for men… and the waxing and waning in-between these powerful times… and the changing ebb and flow of this Grandmother energy… and it’s natural cyclic movements… from the dark to the light… which unfolds, evolves and emerges within the womb of sisters and the spirit womb of brothers. The mysteries of this too, have mostly been lost to so many… and our culture now fears both the Dark and the Light within themselves… wandering in the ashes of shades of grey concrete… the moon and the stars, hidden from their sight by skyscrapers, with neon signs flashing subliminal messages of a false identity.

    Will the Webb telescope cause people to climb the stairs of their wealthy towers and look up? Will they enter a moment of silent solitude, to contemplate, to reflect, to ponder the mysteries of Father Sky and Grandmother Moon… or will the whisper of their call be drowned out by the sound of the Sirens of the city… drawing people’s attention downward into hypnotic business, as they scan through the latest supposedly urgent messages on their cellphones?

    Chances are, if you haven’t looked up in a very long time… other than to try and get a better WiFi, satellite connection… you most likely won’t… no matter how wonderfully spectacular the beauty is, right there above you… offered as a gift freely given… full of many mysterious blessings… awaiting to be simply received, acknowledged and celebrated.

  4. Avatar

    Learning how the heaven’s go (via technology) doesn’t necessarily correlate with an interest in how to goto heaven, or an understanding of how heaven manifests (incarnates) on earth as a transparency to the transcendent. Depends on heart conditions. When sun shines on wax, it softens it. But when it shines on mud, it hardens it. Likewise, the effect of technology on either softening, hardening, or having no affect on human hearts and spiritual consciousness.

  5. Avatar

    I do agree with Matthew’s comments and with those of D.H. Lawrence. This addiction to the illusion of “separation” and “superiority/domination over” is literally destroying all of us as well as the beauty in/of the Cosmos. We have to wake up before we literally destroy ourselves and many other species on Mother Earth-The Universe-
    The Cosmos- and whatever else exists beyond our present awareness. I wonder….Are we the species that exists for the mere purpose of destruction?????

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Eternity, I once read this: “Humans are to the earth, what cancer is to the body”…

  6. Avatar

    Yes, the divorce of Cosmos and psyche / Father Sky and Mother Earth / Masculine and Feminine Archetypes, has led to humanity’s increased separation from our Sacred Divine Source and ongoing co-Creation~Evolution within and among us with all its consequent and increased destructiveness and suffering of humanity and Mother Earth and all Her creatures and blessings (see Many lightworkers and their spirit guides and Angels from our spiritual multidimensions are still trying to help evolve our eternal souls here on our earth journeys with compassionate relations, actions, and faith/trust in our deeper connections to God’s Loving Diverse Oneness and Presence within All ongoing co-Creation~Evolution in our inner and outer Cosmos — our Beloved Cosmic Christ Consciousness….

  7. Avatar

    This essay is so beautiful, Matthew. How small our god has become when we reduce god to something about personal salvation, which is not salvation at all.

    How difficult it is for us to put our faith in the healing energy of wildness. We want to tame it, pave it as Joanie Mitchell sang, or at least surround our meager gardens with concrete—at the very least with a fence. On seeing poet Rosie Jackson’s photo of Devon, England, I wrote this poem because I too have been afraid of wildness. (I met Rosie, in one of your online classes, Matthew.)

    Dartmoor Window

    In the wildness of your world
    I stand.
    Imagining so at least.

    Original. Unheard of. Out of the
    The wind whipping across the moor
    Unseen in the fog, but felt.
    Sliding over the bog moss.
    Swirling in the gnarled oaks.
    Over the gorse and heather at my feet.

    I have wanted, Beloved,
    To keep you within bounds.
    Within the soaring vaults of the nave.
    Beside the neatly trimmed hedgerows.
    Inside the labyrinth’s fountaingrasses and pebbles.
    Which all seem mysterious
    And are
    Yet are nothing compared with
    The natural cathedral you create.
    The wildness of.

    Your roaring gales.
    Unbidden rain.
    The skittering sounds that startle.

    I’ve enjoyed it all—
    Your world.
    As long as it was
    As long as I could follow
    A pathway beside the lake.
    A switchback over the mountain.
    A footpath through the meadow.
    A stream through the forest.
    A pass through the gorge.
    A trail into the canyon.
    Beside Roman walls, tide pools, villages.
    As long as
    Someone else has laid the trail.

    But not the wild!
    The wild the way you, Beloved,

    I saw some photographs today.
    The wind whipping across Devon.
    Rain sliding down the panes of glass
    Splashing on the windowsills.

    I wanted to go outside and stand in the rain.
    Step off the trail.
    Jump into the pond and swim.
    Never mind the cold or the wet or my fear of werewolves
    Real or imagined.

    So grab me.
    Take hold of my hand.
    See that I follow.
    I would like to understand
    It All.

    1. Avatar
      Jeanette Metler

      Michelle, thanks for this inspirational poem… it’s like an invitation to step out and into the wild beauty of the unknown… with curiosity and trust in walking your own pathway… without fear!


  8. Avatar

    Separation consciousness is the root of all evil, a constitutional inability to see the sacred (God) incarnated in all things. That’s why I was surprised to hear both Matthew, and his reference to Pope Francis, as referring to said condition (sin) as “narcissism,” replacing theology and cosmology with psychology in evaluating and explaining this natural depravity in humans. Such contradicted his criticism of substituting one term for the other earlier in the text. Both Charles Manson and recent assault rifle assailants have been evaluated by today’s Medical Vatican as having mental illnesses, not separation consciousness (sin and moral depravity) as the root cause. Uh-huh. Sure, and I suppose Jesse James was afflicted by ‘train robber’s illness.’ When one has no theological frame of reference to ground and balance perception and thought, the temptation is to sociologize, medicalize, philosophize, and/or psychologize behavior that reflects a depraved indifference to the sacred at all levels. Sin and it’s manifestations are not a clinical condition, they are moral (depraved) one’s. Why call them something else? Like a rose, sin by any other name is still smells (malodorously) the same.

  9. Avatar

    Thank you Mathew. You gave us a treat today.

    From first hand I see the deprivation that we have bestowed on life. How many hours do we spend in front of electronic media while the sky awaits just a few feet from our recliner.

    It lets down the chain but we do not grasp.

    We deprive ourselves of a life essential and we are deprived by others who see safety in , lamplight, floodlight and other
    accessories that shut out starlight and moonlight. We can’t even see the chain.

    We are too busy burying our nose in media to partake in the life giving benefits of the night sky. We remain disconnected. We haven’t found ourselves because we are disconnected from an essential that awaits only a few feet from our recliner.

    Thanks Mathew.

    1. Avatar

      Thank you, Donald, and others of you who remind us to get outside! Walk in the wet grass of morning, touch the ancient rocks, walk in darkness or sit and gaze at the night sky. I once touched the Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is 1.7 billion years old. That’s somewhere around 1/3 of the age of the solar system. I felt as if I was touching time that far back. I can still feel my open hand touching the rock and feeling as if I understood the broad span of time.

  10. Avatar

    I am aghast at the immensity of space around us, yet seek moments when I can relate to this very immensity. I wrote this poem that may answer if I found such a place.

    In the silky flow of a night so dark it presses against my skin
    Like a gown of velvet,
    A wind stirs, seeping through holes in my heart
    Stillness descends on my limbs,
    Which rest heavy against the earth.

    My hands fold together, barely grazing,
    Fingertip to fingertip
    Eyes close
    Breathing slows
    The abyss of ignorance dissolves

    The ebony wind is warm
    And redolent with sweetness
    It carries night whispers
    Voices in the dark
    Of creatures great and small
    And an eternal Om,
    Audible in the darkness
    Trilling peace. . .peace. . .peace. . .

    God is in this place,
    Wondrous and immense
    Encompassing 13 trillion light years
    Yet, I feel God in the satin of this night,
    In this womb close and tight
    Encasing my soul
    Where lies God
    And Warm
    And forever

    1. Avatar

      What a beautiful poem, Carol Lynn. It takes me to a meditative place, hands in prayer position, body relaxed, waiting for silence or epiphany. “The abyss of ignorance dissolves.” Thank you for giving it to us.

  11. Avatar

    It is hard to find the “sacred masculine “ or Father Sky in an agricultural society that think God gave us dominion or dominance over nature.

    Would it help to have the United Nations and every nation define a (science based) Father or (science based) God as “that which set the laws of science in this universe, and that which established consciousness in people and the other beings that have consciousness? Then Our (science based) Father would be One with (science based) Love, defining (science based) love as “acts which sustain life, acts which enhance life and/or acts which make life possible.” Our (science based)Father and (science based) Love are seen within us and every living thing, and the laws of science created us and all of the cosmos.

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