The Divine Masculine

Volumes are written about the contemporary rise of the Sacred Feminine – a cross-cultural, trans-religious movement that honors the female… as Goddess and Universal Mother (think: Isis, Aphrodite, Shakti, Eve, Virgin Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, etc).

I’m suggesting there’s also a new masculinity paradigm that’s emerging. While its origins are spiritual… its manifestations can be seen, heard and felt from prophets of our times… our artists and our mystics.

Think about it.

I believe the new Divine Masculine is beginning to be widely embraced by most women in search of a mate (as opposed to a sex partner). I’ll also contend that this same emerging norm excites some more avante-garde men; terrorizes other more traditional insecure men…however, still the majority of American men are blind, deaf and numb to who they are and who they might yet become. I am not sure that’s the case for European or South American men…but this might all be changing.

As I remember back, it seems like I’ve honored the rise of the Sacred Feminine since I was a boy smack in the middle of the tumultuous 1960’s…in the days of mass protests and angry rioting when millions of Americans took to the streets demanding change – in civil rights, Vietnam and for America’s poor (those days before Fox News, smart phones and social media).

Now my maturity has shown me that my parents raised me to respect women. As women are empowered to be who they are and speak their truth… men need to catch up. This is the stuff of a cultural revolution that goes vastly beyond whether we are ready for a female President or women priests.

Its important to note that my contention that the Sacred Masculine is emerging does not in anyway dilute, cloud or adulterate the Sacred Feminine. No… indeed, I sense that it’s the Sacred Feminine that has conceived, nurtured and birthed the very possibility that a new Sacred Masculine paradigm might emerge. Mothers are transforming our culture…perhaps they always have.

My sense is that the rise of the Divine Masculine will have a profound affect on gender roles beyond male and female, sexual orientation beyond heterosexual and homosexual, economic models beyond competition and cooperation and family cultural units beyond male fathers, female mothers – frankly well beyond who marries who – yes… even what marriage will or won’t look like or mean (e.g polyamory).

The emergence of a new Divine Masculinity should not be confused with the black and white, more traditional moral absolutes of right and wrong. No. The Divine Masculine is not concerned with telling men how to behave. This new focus is gray… very blended. As always, it will take time for ethics to catch up (e.g. medical ethics still playing catch up with the right to die, 3 parent embryos and stem cell research).

Take a moment to look…listen…feel…the new emerging masculine paradigm. Do you see it? Can you hear it? Have you felt it?

I’ll suggest that the rise of the Divine Masculine is connected with the ways some mothers are choosing to raise their sons. Food for thought.

2 more thoughts from my meditation for your consideration:

Moms, please reconsider sending your sons off to war. Might there be other more creative ways for young men to serve and protect? (This being said… I am first to admit that we have witnessed enormous evolutionary gains by allowing women and homosexual people to be warriors). Moms could raise peacemakers.

Secondly, perhaps its time to reconsider the whole pink and blue mystique. Maybe the color purple has more to offer than we thought? Imagine a world in which boys are completely free to play house…and girls are encourage to master STEM courses.

This topic will be a recurring blog theme as it reflects many of the energies of my ministry right now. As always, I welcome your feedback. While I recognize its nontraditional focus, people that I minister to are teaching me that the “status quo” is spontaneously readjusting.

Whether we talk gender roles, our spectra of sexual orientation/sexual behaviors or coexisting in community, with other sentient beings in sync with our environment – we are all one and its ALL interconnected.


The Divine Masculine

Georgia O’Keefe Speaks to Me

Poppy, Georgia O'Keefe, 1927
Poppy, Georgia O’Keefe, 1927

In previous posts, I have written about the Sacred, art and communication. I believe that God speaks through both the artist and the art. Sacred art – painting, Gregorian chant, sculpture, religious architecture, symphonies, stained glass windows, Greek Orthodox icons or Zen gardens – art speaks to me of the Sacred beyond my senses.

To share another’s vision or to hear another’s voice can also be a Sacred and profound experience.

I’ve shared Van Gogh and Monet. Today, meet Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986). She is known as the “Mother of American Modernism.” Her bold, frequently huge canvases are as nontraditional as her life and her lifestyle. I honor what she saw and her courage to share it with us.

Georgia O'Keefe, Jimson Weed, 1936
Georgia O’Keefe, Jimson Weed, 1936
Black Mesa Landscape,New Mexico, Georgia O'Keefe,1930
Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico, Georgia O’Keefe, 1930

“I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way-things that I had no words for.”

Red Canna, Geogia O'Keefe,
Red Canna, Geogia O’Keefe, 1924
Red Hill and White Shell,Georgia O'Keefe,1938
Red Hill and White Shell, Georgia O’Keefe, 1938

“I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.”

Two Calla Lillies on Pink, Georgia O'Keefe,  1928
Two Calla Lillies on Pink, Georgia O’Keefe, 1928
Light Iris, Georgia O'Keefe, 1924
Light Iris, Georgia O’Keefe, 1924

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

Yellow Calla, Georgia O'Keefe, 1926
Yellow Calla, Georgia O’Keefe, 1926
Georgia O’Keefe Speaks to Me

Monet Speaks to Me

Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1919
Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1919

Here’s another installment of art that speaks to me: Impressionism by Claude Monet.
I sometimes wonder if Monet saw God in the shadows between his brush strokes?
A friend used to sit and stare at Monet’s paintings and pray. She said Impressionism nourished her soul.

The ability to create through artistic skills and the appreciation of what’s been created – both can be spiritual practices in search of the Sacred in our lives.

Do you have art that helps you pray?

Impressionism,Sunrise, Claude Monet, 1873
Impressionism,Sunrise, Claude Monet, 1873
Water Lily Pond, Claude Monet
Water Lily Pond, Claude Monet, 1883
A Seascape. Shipping by Moonlight. Monet
A Seascape. Shipping by Moonlight. Monet, 1864
Arm of the Jeufosse in Autumn. Monet
Arm of the Jeufosse in Autumn. Monet, 1884
Red Boats at Argentueil, Claude Monet, 1875
Red Boats at Argentueil, Claude Monet, 1875
Beach and Cliffs at Pourville, Morning Effect. Claude Monet. 1882
Beach and Cliffs at Pourville, Morning Effect. Claude Monet. 1882
The Customs House Morning Effect, Claude Monet, 1882
The Customs House Morning Effect, Claude Monet, 1882
Path through the Forest, Snow Effect, Claude Monet, 1870
Path through the Forest, Snow Effect, Claude Monet, 1870
Irises in Monet's Garden, Claude Monet, 1900
Irises in Monet’s Garden, Claude Monet, 1900
Monet Speaks to Me

Van Gogh Speaks to Me

The Starry Night, Vincent VanGogh, June 1889
The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

In college, I took two Humanities courses that turned me on to classical music and fine art. I was not raised to appreciate art nor did I understand it. Both courses opened a new world to me as I began to see, hear and feel the transformative power of human creativity. I, myself, am not so artistic… but I have evolved to honor our shared, cross-cultural and trans-historical heritage of art, architecture, music and ritual.

I respect that the creative arts are shared common elements across all of the 5 major world religions. I also believe that they can help provide expression for interfaith meaning, understanding and communication. In fact, the appreciation of religious art is a hallmark of interfaith celebration worldwide.

Art has a revered place in my sacred garden.

Visually, I’m attracted to Impressionism and the visions of Monet and Van Gogh. (I’m also attracted to what Georgia O’Keeffe saw… another post for another day). Their color and texture choices speak to me. I am in awe at how thousands of individual and seemingly unrelated brush strokes can melt together into symphony of color that portrays a scene. From chaos to order… is the beauty on the canvas or in my eyes? Impressionism keeps me asking… is what I am observing subjective or objective? I keep coming up with “its both!”

I must also admit that I kind of like that these Impressionists were rebellious souls… the “bad boys” of art in their day. Breaking with tradition, they created a whole new dimension within the heart of the 19th century that thrives and inspires today. These guys also excite my Pantheism.

I invite you to listen to some of my favorite Vincent Van Gogh paintings. Can you feel the Sacred? Does he invite you to pray too?

Irises, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Irises, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
The Red Vineyard, Vincent VanGogh, 1888
The Red Vineyard, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent VanGogh, 1888
Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent VanGogh, 1890
Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Field of Poppies, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Field of Poppies, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent VanGogh, 1889
Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Van Gogh Speaks to Me