One of the themes that has been central to my life is abusive relationships with men. The aromatic wizard and good friend John Steele said that knowing me today, he couldn’t understand how I could have been in such destructive and abusive relationships. For some years, I have known intellectually how these relationships with men echoed through my motherline starting four generations ago in colonial India. However, it was only today that I realized on a visceral level that these relationships begin within ourselves and the only way to heal them is also within ourselves, by healing the inner masculine.
I am not alone in believing that the future for humanity lies not merely in solving the ecological problems we are facing, but in balancing the masculine and feminine energies on both micro and macro levels, both in the world around us and within ourselves.
The first question to ask ourselves as women is, “How does my inner masculine relate to me as a woman and how do I as a woman relate to my inner masculine?” The clue to the repeating patterns in our relationships with men lies here in this inner relationship. I am a heterosexual woman and can only talk from my experience. However, as we all have fathers and mothers biologically and ancestrally, I am sure that non-binary relationships somewhere within also resonate with these two energies. Remember that masculine and feminine are energies and different from being male or female, which are genders.
We learn about this inner dynamic not only through the relationship our mothers had with our fathers, but through the relationship that all the women in our motherline had with men (their fathers, their brothers and their husbands/partners). It is this energetic dynamic that is passed down to us, repeated through the generations and through the mothering, often subliminally. It is not what is said or taught consciously, but what is transmitted through the unconscious patterns and values.
Through my mixed-race heritage from India, I inherited the information that women could not survive without men, that men’s view and cultural experience of the world was the only one that had any value. It was his way or the highway. In fact, it was his way or poverty and death.
John Steel could not understand why I could fall into abusive, violent relationships with men because he only sees the white, privileged middle-class woman. He doesn’t see the deeply carved out, underlying, ancestral patterns and messages that I was carrying from my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother.
My motherline was colonized by colonialism. For the last four generations, the women in my lineage were victims of racist, colonialist, patriarchal forces. I have internalized my view of myself as a woman as a victim, with no choice but to stay and be subjugated in relationships with men that deep down hate my feminine being. “Why stay?” I hear you say. The answer is that I have also internalized the colonizer, in the men the women on my motherline married. They are also in my blood. My inner masculine related to my feminine self in an abusive, violent, derogatory way, diminishing her culturally and whispering to her constantly that she had no right to exist beyond his control and his narrow view of the world. Whenever I was faced with violence and derision in my outer relationships with men and a part of me knew I needed to get out, my inner masculine, sooner or later told me that I was wrong, that I was to blame, that I had no reason, that I would do better to bow my head and say ‘sorry’ and return to the status quo. I was loved in my inner relations with the masculine and my outer relationships if I played the small, sweet, obedient, loyal, admiring wife. If on the other hand my I put my foot down, I asked for realignment, for recognition, for equal rights…then I was punished, gaslit, my own words turned against me until I surrendered to the dominant force within and without.
There is no way out while the outer relationship mirrors the inner one, which is why you see so many abused women either continually return to the abuser or move onto the next relationship which is also abusive, although the color and form of the abuse may vary.
The work is within. The journey is long. We have to redefine our inner relationship before anything can change on the exterior.
We can only change that which is made conscious and this is where the real work comes in. I often asked myself why men thought they had the right to lie to me, gaslight me, disempower me until I realized that I was giving them the right by believing my inner masculine, he who colonized and worked to behold patriarchy. True responsibility is when we realize that which is happening on the outside is merely a mirror to the inner workings and that we need to get our shit together and start to cut with a scalpel those parts of us, which are is keeping us from our creative, powerful selves.
Since starting to write my book, this inner relationship has become clearer, because I am confronted with the inner critic who whispers in my ear that I have no right to write this book, I will not do a good job, it will be juvenile and laughable, etc. Instead, I need my inner masculine energy to support my creative desire to help me birth this ‘child’.
Remember that our inner masculine is a complex being with many facets to him. The aim is to build relationship with and learn to listen to and trust the part that can love us, the sacred masculine, who desires to find this balance between the feminine and masculine forces over the dominating, colonizer or patriarch.
I have used many tools over the years on this long, windy and arduous, uphill journey including shadow work, the alchemical stages, journeying, journaling, Jungian therapy, ancestral healing work, but the tool that recently ‘shifted’ the balance and allowed me to truly honor my feminine through relationship with a healthier aspect of my inner masculine was the aromatic balancing blend I made for myself and have been working with recently.
I was really surprised at the power of transformation and alignment this blend was bringing to me. Without thinking about it, by balancing the different aspects of my psyche, I have been balancing the inner masculine and feminine energies. The day has finally come where my inner dialogue is healthier than the old patterns. I can finally stand up to the masculine, patriarchal force that tries to infiltrate and dominate all our psyches and recognize what is no longer healthy for myself and the planet.
I am like a surgeon with his scalpel cutting out the cancerous cells that want to take over the whole organism. I know I can do it. I will not allow myself to be colonized one minute more or have my vital life force and strength used against me.
As I said the journey is long, but because it is an inner journey that entails many a trip into the underworld, what is bought to light cannot be shoved back into the dark, what has been seen cannot be unseen. So, sisters please don’t give up. The feminine is rising through our bloodlines, the grandmothers are with us, their force is huge. The ancestral mothers are pumping their love and support and vitality through our motherlines so we can do this. We must be strong, there is no room for soft-heartedness when it comes to cutting out the rot.
The gift lies on the other side of the trauma–By feeling the anger, the rage, the grief of what has happened to the feminine. Through waging war on what we know is a destructive force, by standing up and allowing the great power of the earth to flow through us, we will discover the sacred masculine within and without. He who was also colonized, he who has been swallowed up by patriarchy, he who loves the earth, the feminine and wants only to serve her, let him live within us. Through listening deeply to the earth, the ancestral mothers, by feeling the pulse that flows through us we reunite with the masculine and can finally tend the inner hearth so that we can be the creative beings we are born to be.