Inner Michael » Titanism V – Reclaiming the Divine Feminine

Titanism V – Reclaiming the Divine Feminine

“This is a man’s world. This is a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl…” ~ James Brown

The Chinese Taoists have a symbol for balance called the Yin-Yang symbol.  The Tao, explained very simplistically for our purposes, is the harmony, the balance, the flow of the Universe. It contains both poles of opposite principles. The masculine and feminine, the god and goddess, the earth and sky, life and death. In other words, it is a combination, or the union of opposites.

It is a union of duality. These archetypes exist in every culture; they are universal in human consciousness. Many– particularly the Western religions, have forced a choice between faith and reason. (Faith being feminine and reason being masculine.) The Tao unifies all aspects of existence. It combines the earthly and spiritual dimensions and the physical and metaphysical realms. It is both religion and philosophy and is holistic and intends to unify principles that appear opposite.

One of the unifications that leads toward oneness is the Tao seeking to unite in the human and in the world, the masculine and feminine principles. Humans born into this life carry both masculine and feminine traits and characteristics. In fact, all embryos (the fertilized egg that becomes a fetus) are initially governed by the mother’s genotype with no defined sex and  depending on the embryo’s DNA, changes to form gonads (sex organs) which are either male or female. We all begin with both potentials and we all carry both characteristics.

The Universe works on established principles (Universal Law and Archetypes) and the masculine and feminine are aspects of the one grand principle– whatever you choose to call that guiding grand principle of existence. Some call it God; some Allah; some Jehovah; and so on… In this case where both grand aspects are held together as one, it is called the Chinese “Tao.” To be “in the Tao” means to be in the flow of the Universe acting according to Universal Law which incorporates both feminine and masculine aspects.

The “as above, so below” applies to all existence and makes the microcosm (your world/our world; your existence/our existence) a reflection of the macrocosm (all of Creation.)

Religions have misinterpreted the aspects and lost or separated the unity of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. Instead of keeping it unified and holistic, it has divided one from the other. The Western world unfortunately, and in a particularly dramatic way, has instituted a severe division of the masculine (Yang) and feminine (Yin) principles. The two were never intended to be separated but to be held together as necessary and equal polar aspects of the One. (One meaning God, Creation, Universe.)

Yin or the feminine aspect involves: nurturing, yielding, receptivity, openness, understanding, compassion, intuition, wisdom and caring through nurturance.

The Divine Feminine governs: Restoration, Life, Renewal, Creation, Healing, New Birth, Sensuality (not sexuality,) Insight, Forgiveness, Harmony, Love

Yang or the masculine aspect involves, Responsibility, Strength, Focus, Fatherhood, Encouragement, Intellect, and Care through Accompaniment and Provision.

The Divine Masculine governs: Action, Direction, Movement, Forward Thrust, Clarity, Abundance, Generosity, Transformation and Growth.

Do you see the mistake we have made? We have separated or polarized these aspects and exiled them from one another creating a duality instead of an intact wholeness. In doing so, we have cut off half of our essential selves. We have inadvertently created a resistance to one necessary side and essential essence that unites with the other to form the whole Self. We are out of balance and out of harmony with the Laws of Creation and this has caused untold misery in the world.

“The masculine” or “masculinity” is mistakenly viewed and lauded as power, aggression, domination, competition, ego driven acquisition or materialism, confrontation, and the warrior mentality. Positive masculine traits are discarded, suppressed and resisted in favor of those considered “manly” or “masculine” (which translates in modern culture into “Machismo” and “Macho.”) The culture has reflected this split from the feminine in its masculine–resulting in aggression, rape, the subjugation and oppression of women, corporate power, materialism, imperialism, and war-making.

This is not true masculinity but the shadow aspect of masculinity. Shadow masculinity has resulted in a focus on competition favored over cooperation, aggression instead of conciliation, the abuse of power instead of the wisdom of restraint, weaponry and war instead of ambassadorship and stewardship. It resists instead of embraces; it divides instead of unites. It makes a perceived undesirable aspect “other.” And this “other” making plays out in the world. And this too much masculine shadow and over-abundance of testosterone has led this planet to the brink of its extinction through weaponry and war-making and the doctrine of dominance over people, resources, nature and planet.

The Divine Feminine has gone sort of well… AWOL. And we are sorely missing the Divine Feminine whether or not that lack is conscious or unconscious. We know something is wrong, is out of balance, is missing. We may not know what it is or what to call it but we grieve the loss of an essential part of the human and humanity.

Women seem to have incorporated their masculine half (Jung called this “animus”) much better than their male counterpart. Men have done a miserable job of assimilating their feminine side (Jung called this “anima”) and that has caused a great deal of misery in the world. In fact, modern women have incorporated too much masculine which then becomes shadow. Women are natural nurturers, not aggressors and when that protective and nurturing intuition is gone, women behave more in sync with the aggressor and dominant shadow male. Unfortunately women have been forced to play by men’s rules in some arenas in order to gain equality. This is sill an imbalance.

And men are conditioned by our culture to be stoic and strong and aggressive and anyone who does not fit this mold or wear this mask is considered less than a “real man.” A man who assimilates his feminine side and demonstrates it is mocked or labeled or considered a sissy or wuss or in Arnold Schwartzenegger vernacular, a “girly man.” Or “gay.” (Used as an epithet.)

In culture and pop culture, this imbalance has brought us the objectification of women– they are seen as objects whose only or best use is for the dominance and pleasure of men. It has brought us misogyny and rape culture.

Domination has never served humanity or this planet well. Yang aggression carried too far (into shadow) has brought us slavery, genocide, gentrification, combat and war. The nineteen sixties demonstrated the imbalance of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine in an extreme fashion. The race toward dominance and war with its nuclear scenario and arms race gave us misery and fear with its too yang shadow creating the nuclear nightmare. This identification with the shadow masculine brought us more and greater stockpiles of the instruments of war and to a brinksmanship that left us teetering on the edge of the annihilation of the entire species. Too much yang is not a good thing. (Ever notice how weapons are phallic shaped– bullets, bombs, missiles…) This archetypal warrior male gone shadow almost ended life as we know it.

And where was the Feminine all this time? Fighting (another military war-making term) for equality, for equanimity, for voting rights, for reproductive rights, for equal pay, equal credentialing and equal respect as dignified and equally respected members of society. Unfortunately women are still expected to play by men’s rules; something happened to cause the feminine to slip over into the masculine and become shadow– too aggressive and forgetting the purpose of partnership with the masculine– to nurture, restore, create, and reinstate compassion or inaugurate it in culture and install it in society.

Now we have bullying in all its forms which is the manifestation of the masculine shadow overrunning the feminine principle.

What happened to the quest for peace and love and oneness? According to journalist Amber Lyon, it has evolved into “Peace, Love and Pepper Spray” in our current cultural lexicon.

We need to get our balance back. It is not helpful when males over-demonstrate their yang and women jettison their feminine and join the games because it’s a man’s world and women feel helpless to impact or change it or they defer to the male. The female then mistakenly thinks warriorship is the answer. That is why attack and bullying is so prevalent. We have forgotten half of ourselves! we have let our other side atrophy. We have exiled our Divine Feminine.

Compassion, nurturing, stewardship (mothering/parenting) of people and the planet, inclusion, healing, restoration, harmony and love is badly needed in our world gone amuck with shadow masculine (domination and power at all costs in all areas.) Our culture and corporations and politics and social engagement reflect this imbalance and cry for the return of the Divine Feminine.

Michael Jackson embraced and integrated his feminine side. He was shy, humble, kind, considerate, a gentleman and he respected women. He dared to defy convention; he dared to break the rules. He dared to challenge the definition of “male” and “Man.” The result? “Weird.” “Bizarre.” That’s so “gay.” Since he’s not a manly man, and fit the pattern, he must be a deviant!



Michael represents the Archetypal male who has embraced and assimilated his anima. His voice was soft, his large hands expressive, embracing and artistic; his demeanor shy and inviting; his body the supple body of a dancer instead of the hard-body and angular preening male; his sensuality, particularly magnified on stage caused women to faint. These are the idealized traits that represent the union of the masculine and feminine, the embracing of the Divine Feminine along with the Divine Masculine in a male body and persona. That is what made him so attractive.

It was confusing and unsettling to many men and to the culture and he was systematically mocked and derided for it. In fact, it was so threatening to men that one tabloid featured a story about all the female parts he embodied as if it were an abomination, an affront to the “manly men” of his generation. This rejection of the feminine was projection at its most virulent. The projection reflected the confusion and resistance of the culture. For challenging the norms, he was demonized. It’s a long-standing human pattern.

Actually, it was a challenge to misogyny and the male principle gone shadow. He was called “gay” and said to favor male children in an unsavory way. He was mocked for his affinity for healthy boyhood and encouragement for males to savor their childhood and play and freedom– and to not give up their playfulness for stoicism and the aggression demonstrated by most males and demanded by the culture.

He says it all best in “Beat It.” The culture, and particularly men, found his style challenging to masculinity and personally “their” masculinity. Yet females flocked to him. Since he didn’t follow norms, the name calling and mocking began and much of it was just plain mean. Apparently it was something to admire– to be mean spirited, particularly with anyone seen as the least bit effeminate. They thought being  dismissive and aggressive while disrespecting women was attractive to women? The women around Michael Jackson didn’t think so. Men who were threatened by the challenge to masculinity were dumfounded. What in the world was the attraction? He had to be well… so…. gay… wasn’t he?

It wasn’t just the package. It wasn’t the gold pants. It was the feminine intuition and the birthing of radical creativity meeting male sensuality in one body. It was the other side of Self actualized. It was the Archetype.

And the world couldn’t stand it. When we feel threatened the first thing we do is try to smash what threatens us.


  1. Poca said . . .

    Blessings to all. Michael did embrace and integrated his feminine side. He cried often openly and freely when he had to express his emotions. Some people would find this weird or “gay” if they see a grown man crying because to them this symbolizes weakness, but I say, this is one of the qualities that females find attractive. Women want to feel appreciated and when you have a male that can express those emotional feelings with you, then you feel complete. Michael demonstrated that you can be a strong male and yet show some feminine side as well. Honestly, this is a quality that I have not seen in any artist today and maybe never will.

    Posted December 26, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink
  2. Susan M-S said . . .

    “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving.

    Much love to Rev. Kaufmann and all who love and respect Michael Jackson.

    Posted December 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  3. Aberjhani said . . .

    Thank you, Rev. Kaufmann, for another great installment in this superb article series. Perhaps the the collective work of the 21st century must become the re-engineering of world culture to restore the very balance of which you speak. I tend not to feel threatened by such archetypal wholeness because I was raised by a widow who had first given birth to 4 daughters, then 4 sons, then another daughter, and one more son. The daughters were the older siblings so the brothers followed their lead. Imagine, with the social and political environment what it was at the time, the family dynamics that animated our African-American household from the late 1950s until the last of us stepped into adulthood in the late 1970s. My mother could easily have gone the route of Malcolm X’s mother and ended up in a mental institution but she was able to instinctively balance the yin and yang of her being enough to function as a nurturing mother or a disciplinarian father depending on the nature of the trouble we all got into while she was at work (those interested in knowing more about her challenges might wish to read the poem “Return to Savannah” which I think is still online).

    Our beloved country was established via an overdrive of masculine energy needed to establish the founding fathers’ and mothers’ vision of freedom. There are, I believe, extreme polarities of power within both the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine that can lead to either self-perpetuating chaos or transformative self-sustaining harmony. From my perspective we seem to move back and forth between the two like a double helix of destruction and construction winding its way toward a destiny still waiting for humanity to decide what its conscious role in it shall be.

    Michael Jackson chose to model for the world a human potential capable of resolving a lot of private and public conflict. Unfortunately, fear–– and unrestrained rage born of fear––still drives humanity to place more faith in the destructiveness you note: as opposed to investing trust in creative possibilities or potentials. I choose to believe that at some point the double helix of history is going to bend away from what I call the abbreviated mind syndrome (one of the sad side effects of guerrilla decontextualization) and curve more definitively toward healing expanded consciousness. How likely that is to happen in our lifetime is another whole series articles altogether.


    Posted December 27, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you Obe Wan Aberjhani.

    I found…

    “Return to Savannah”
    Memories: vicious
    like a thicket made hot
    with cobras. The wrong step
    or an erroneous beat
    of the heart
    and I could turn
    into a tower bursting with death.

    Legends tell the tourists
    that spectres roam this city
    but I’ve no need of tales
    to explain
    the red-eyed shadows
    hopping like squirrels
    through the greenless branches
    of my immediate apprehension.
    I remember when they died.

    Stand amazed, now,
    watching them haunt
    reflections of their former lives.

    The tourists hear one story
    but let me tell you another:
    like the one about WillieMae
    who had 14 children, 9 they say
    still living, just like she is
    a blackwoman working split shifts
    at what used to be the old
    Desoto Hilton Hotel.
    14 children, 9 still living
    spanking, feeding, loving her brood
    in-between preparing pastries
    for people who’d rather not know.

    But her story contains no irony
    the husband died a death that was actual
    and non-literary, her southern blackwoman’s
    life failed to reflect
    the bohemian aesthetics of drag queens,
    singers, and polka-dotted eccentrics
    that made John Berendt’s garden party
    glow so lusciously with decadence.

    I could tell the story
    of that scar, on WillieMae’s right leg
    where police dogs
    attacked like Klansmen
    because she insisted that her children
    laugh like anybody’s children
    in the sun-caressed green of Forsyth Park.

    But that history has not been preserved
    like the architectural jewels
    that adorn a shameless hypocrisy.
    Nor has it been dramatized
    at festivals or parades
    stirring up the ghosts on River Street.
    Nor immortalized
    by a Ray Ellis watercolor
    or a statue in the center of a square.

    We could even flip this coin
    of WillieMae’s tale
    and recite the parable of how
    she fed an entire neighborhood
    with one fried chicken
    and Jesus came back just to tell her
    “WillieMae you did my recipe proud.
    Hear what I say girl?
    You did my recipe proud.”

    Shall we speak of that woman’s biography
    like a hidden chapter of this city’s life
    or shall we simply point
    at a stupid little Hitch Village boy
    feet covered with red dirt
    and blackberry stains,
    snot flowing like panic and river water,
    some curious doctor’s fingers
    lost between his thighs
    his dreams containing just enough genius
    to save his mystified ass
    from everything except
    the slow knowledge of why
    certain days stink putrid with agony.

    Memories: vicious like a thicket
    burning hot with cobras.
    The wrong step
    or an erroneous beat of the heart
    and a man like me
    could turn into a tower stinking with death.

    (from I Made My Boy Out of Poetry)
    by Aberjhani

    Posted December 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

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