Duality. One of the most important recurring themes of all things magickal. In a world where the patriarchy reigns, putting both the masculine and feminine in impossibly tiny boxes, stripping away individuality when it doesn’t fit with the status quo. We even have reservations towards the words “masculine” and “feminine”, because most of our examples have been tainted by toxicity within these roles.
Each and every one of us is whole, we each have the ability to slide in and out of our masculine and feminine. We see this very clearly in people who bleed. Premenstruation, and during menstruation, we naturally exude more feminine energy, we may rage, we may cry, we may feel more sensitive, and quiet. During our follicular and ovulation phases, we exude more masculine energy. This is more rigid, we tend to get things done, make lists, plan more social events, and spend more time out and about. People who do not bleed, still naturally cycle between masculine and feminine energies, generally this happens in one day (the Sun cycle), as opposed to throughout a moon cycle. Certain times of the day, specifically around 9 am to about 3pm is when people who don’t bleed might feel more energetic and have the urge to hustle. After 3pm, the energy levels change, this is usually when people feel the need for a coffee break, they feel a dip in their “go-getter” energy. Around 5pm this productive energy makes a resurgence, and then peters off as it gets later.
Masculine and Feminine energy want to have equal time, in order to be the most effective, however, capitalism has enforced this need to always be productive, and shames us when we aren’t producing. The expectation is that we should work our asses off, day in and day out, feeling frazzled and deficient. This is a control tactic to keep us in the rat race. This is when we experience “burn out”. It is healthy to take time to slow down. It is healthy to rest, to do “nothing”, to just be. The feminine in all of us needs this down time to recuperate. There is no shame in listening to your body, and maybe even scheduling out time to be productive, and to be still. When we honor the duality within us, we are less likely to have angry outbursts, and meltdowns, and more likely to have patience, and not take things personally.
I work with both Masculine and Feminine archetypal energies. Some, like Athena, who is female, but hones completely into her masculine, warrior side are helpful when we need to set boundaries. Chiron is male, but he is a student, a teacher, and a healer. Mars is a go-getter, we lean into him when we need to accomplish a goal, but he also holds space for the feminine. Using Mars energy can be very sexual, more often when you’re the one initiating, or giving. While Venus is extremely feminine, and opens to receiving sexually, and intimately. An archetype like Lilith can hold sacred rage, and be more dominant during sex. She is also called upon when we feel the need to protect our loved ones.
There are times when we slip back and forth from masculine “holding” energy, to feminine “receiving” energy. This is healthy, in fact, it’s a dance. The more intune we are with ourselves and our partners, the easier it is to flow from one to the other as needed.
Both energies are divine. And both can be toxic.
Toxic Femininity can be seen when we look at mythology. Medusa’s story for instance is a tale focusing on toxic femininity. Athena becomes jealous of her beautiful young temple priestess, and curses her, rather than punishing Poseidon who was having sex with Medusa in Athena’s temple. She curses Medusa in the ways that the feminine today still experiences. She turns her into a snake haired gorgon, making her hideous, and worse, if someone looked at her, he would turn to stone. Today, visibility of the feminine is diminished so that the feminine can be seen in a sexual capacity (and then shames them for it), or as maternal, but non sexual. Athena even goes as far as to give Perseus the tip that ultimately allows him to kill her. This backstabbing and jealousy, by using the masculine against the fellow feminine has been a tale as old as time. Even in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the rise of Christianity, we saw (mostly) women being kidnapped, tortured, beheaded, hung, burned, and drowned by men. But we also saw women turn against each other. The Witch Hunts severed the sacred connection between the feminine and each other, and the masculine and the feminine. Causing distrust that has lived in our ancestral lines for centuries.
We have the power to be the change. To lean into the most sacred parts of self, and make peace with both the masciline and the feminine. Divine union within ourselves is the first step to healing our planet.