I’ve been doing a lot of reading and contemplating about our primal archetypes, the ones that are so ancient and so universal that they show up nearly everywhere. Most cultures worshiped a life-giving Mother and some kind of vegetation God. As a card-carrying member of the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), it makes perfect sense to me.
The RDNA teachings give us Earth-Mother, who is the world, everything in it and on it, from the rocks to the people and every single other thing. Then there is Be’al, the masculine principle, “Father” if you will, who is the animating force. The Mother is the Ocean, and Be’al is the wave. The Mother is the tree, and Be’al is the living force of the tree.
The Mother creates what is; the Father makes it go. The Mother is the stuff; the Father organizes it into things.
Beautiful symmetry, and neither more “important” than the other, a true relationship of equals.
Most of my life I have sought such balance. The first time I saw the Yin/Yang symbol, I instinctively loved it, even though I didn’t yet know its meaning. It made sense to something in my soul, and that drew me to learn more. But in so many texts, the female element was somehow made to seem inferior to the male. The fundamental principle, that everything has an opposite which is its equal, is a beautiful thing. Dark and Light, for example; Light isn’t better than Dark, they are just different states. Let’s face it, without the Dark, we wouldn’t see the full majesty of the moon, and we’d never see the stars at all.
So Goddess and Green Man are archetypes that really resonate with me. The Green Man is the activator of Spring, the raw, primal, life-force unleashed that covers the ground in flowers overnight and makes trees go from bud to flower to leaf; His lusty nature warms us, puts a spring in our step and a shimmy in our walk. Earth-Mother provides the raw materials, but the Green Man has the master plan for what to make with it.
Of course, I know that the whole thing happens because the Earth is tilted in relation to the Sun and we go around the Sun every year and because we have this tilt we have seasons, and everything happens the way it does because Neil deGrasse Tyson says so. Fine. Sure. That’s a perfectly valid and accurate way to look at it.
But accuracy and passion are not always found in the same heart.
I want passion. I want magic. I want to believe nine impossible things before breakfast. I want my world and my life to sparkle. I want to live in the State of Altered Consciousness. I want my heart to be on fire with the mystery of it all.
And as much as I love and revere science, it doesn’t send me into ecstasy. No apologies — it simply does not float my ecstasy boat. Mystery and magic and things that cannot be explained are my drugs of choice, thank you very much.
High Summer has passed, the Sun moves ever southward, and night creeps in a little earlier every day. The Green Man is getting grizzled, slowly morphing into his counterpart, Old Man Winter. Harvest Home is just five weeks away, bringing the symbolic death of another vegetation god, John Barleycorn. The Green Man still grins at us from within dense foliage, but there’s a grimmer vibe to his merriment now as he prepares to become the death aspect of the life-cycle. The Goddess has withdrawn some of her energies in order to prepare for the spectacle of Autumn, so leaves are dulling and getting spiky; flowers are fading.
The Blessed Dark is coming, out of which Light will bloom again. All nice and neat.
Struggling to find balance in a topsy-turvy world? Seeking to add more meaning to your living? I would love to help.