In the age of Aquarius, with the rise of Gaia and the Feminine, there is a risk that the Masculine is being dangerously overlooked, not just overlooked, but actively persecuted. It is well documented that when a society goes through trauma or change it is the men who fall apart as they are the ones that loose their traditional roles. In these communities male suicide shoots up as does drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and rape. They are acting out their pain. In a society that is changing rapidly rough there are around 1.6million registered alcoholics in the UK and nearly 3 million registered drug addicts (registered = tip of the iceberg) And according to a major children’s charity a quarter of all women will be physically, or sexually assaulted by the time they are 16. Sounds to me that it is not just the Feminine that needs to be emancipated, nurtured and celebrated – we need to reassess and honour the role of the masculine. I hear every day how sacred the Feminine is, but precious little is offered to us males about the beauty and sacredness of our Masculinity. This is a natural result of the largely accepted view that unfettered Masculine power has run rife in our culture for hundreds of years and through it the repression of the Feminine that has brought us to the brink of annihilation. The feminine must and is being bought back into our Consciousness, but what of the Masculine? We are teaching our young that men have messed everything up. That we are the greed of Wall Street and the aggression of war the rapists of Mother Earth. How will that affect our young warriors today? I have always lived and learnt with young men with power and passion, beautiful inquisitive minds and bright warrior souls who were chained and repressed by a system that not only didn’t understand us, but didn’t even try. Who actively sought to crush us and then persecute us for acting out our pain. Then we become a problem to medicated, incarcerated, demonised, or just left to rot. The problem isn’t boys, or men, it is our society. In our ancestral cultures, young men were guided by the warriors, the healers, the storytellers and wise men of their communities. From them they learnt the practical and emotional skills needed for healthy and productive life in the community. Even just a generation ago in Yorkshire and Wales young boys in the coal mines would be apprenticed to older men of the village to work with and learn from. Where are the guides and role models for young men today? The obvious and seemingly most accessible seem to be in the media. The football stars, rap stars, politicians and a whole host of grown up boys acting out their dangerously seductive shallow fantasies of greed, selfishness and arrogance pervert the perception of what it means to be a man and to be powerful in modern society. So where are the true role models? The Heroes, the wise men? The teachers? Where do we find our warrior guides today? It turns out they are under our very noses. You can’t recognise them by the feathers in their headdress, their number of warrior rings, or how many notches they have on their bow (usually) But they are legion and here are just a couple I can think of in my immediate surroundings: The other evening I listened to a talk from Drew Dillinger. He is a handsome, rugged muscular American, with a deep voice and the classic American drawl of many an action film, or western. Very definitely a “guy” He talked, told stories of connection and action and performed some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever heard. He is a man of action, an activist that was knee deep in the occupy movement, fighting for his tribe. A warrior for the times and a beautiful voice of connection to the beauty wonder and sacredness of life. A couple of months ago another warrior of his times Adam Bucko visited the college. Another attractive, powerful, very cool looking guy with a tower of dreaded hair and casual grace. Like Drew he was involved in the Occupy Movement Again he spoke with reverence and beauty about the Earth, spirituality, the pain of being human, of lost souls of activism and of the redemption of faith in the beauty of our connections to each other and to something more than each other. A spiritual warrior and teacher for our times. Now I have started, I can think of many, but the one I shall end with is my ex boss, friend, mentor and the most influential man of the last few years of my life. He is definitely my Han Solo archetype, solid, confident and can always win the ladies over with a few cheeky words and a smile, but totally loyal, and no matter what, destined to do the right thing. The kind of guy that would definitely fly back to save your ass in a star fight. He to is a warrior of his tribe, working for many years to uphold and encourage compassion, selflessness and justice in the world. In his work I have seen him lead by example and guide, protect and impart wisdom to many young men just as the men of native and ancient cultures, helping them find their powers as men and as warriors of their tribe. I was sat with him a few weeks ago, trying to explain as much as you can explain to someone who hasn’t been to Schumacher what is going on here. And in his usual, casual manner he leaned towards me and said “Look. When are you gonna stop looking up to all these guys that right all these books and write your own book? I’m not interested in what you think about all those f**kers changing the world I wanna know when your going to do it.” As usual, it’s a good point. And so, prompted by my warrior guide I shall include myself: I feel the same pain and confusion in men all around me. I have struggled with cowardice, I have done wrong and I have hurt others and have been so wounded I thought I would never recover. But, mainly unnoticed by me, through these years I have been tested in battle and won many times, I have fought to protect my tribe I am a storyteller, a healer, a teacher. I do lead by example and I know I have influenced, guided and protected many people, just like the Braves I admire and look to. I am a warrior for my tribe and just like the other warriors, the best thing is I am just a guy, as normal as unsure and as lost as the rest of us. So maybe the secret to protecting and nurturing the beautiful, raw power of the Masculine is for us men to look to ourselves with the same love and respect we show to our heroes. To understand we are all teachers, healers warriors and poets and to continue to just be the men that we are. And to know that this is the most daring feat of bravery we could ever perform. So here’s to the Masculine – to the Warriors.
photos: ©Zack Embree 2014