I think it is important to talk about the fact that masculine and feminine energies are not gender bound, as this can be confusing. When we speak about masculine and feminine aspects of the psyche, we are referring to energies that exist in us and in the whole of nature. When a flower (the reproductive system of a plant or tree) reproduces or multiplies, it does so through its male and female aspects. Simply put, the pollen held in the anthers at the tip of the stamens fertilizes the ovum/seeds held in the ovary. Two opposing energies or forces come together and reproduce. The new plants are the creative result of this coming together. For a child to be conceived, the masculine energy of the sperm must penetrate and be received by the feminine energy, the egg.

Within the psyche, we each have BOTH these energies and they help us to live a creative life and bring into the world our creative essence. The dynamic between these energies differs for each person and depends on the individual, their experience in life and what they have inherited from their family and cultural backgrounds – the creative form that comes from this dynamic also depends on the individual.

If, the words masculine and feminine are confusing or difficult, it may be helpful to replace them with yin and yang, cauldron energy and wand energy, or sun and moon energies. Not forgetting that a man can quite easily manifest more yin or feminine energy outwardly and more of the opposing dynamic, fertilizing energy in his shadow. In the same way, when the death mother archetype is mentioned for example, although it is often women and mothers that become possessed by this particular archetype, it doesn’t have to be. A father can quite easily play out this archetype in a family system.

It is important to remember that as in all this work, we are not a closed system affected only by influences from this lifetime. We are affected by and have internalized the collective, historical and ancestral dynamics of these energies and how they play out. Depending on our cultural background, our ancestral stories, our upbringing, etc. we will have internalized certain ‘assumptions,’ ‘beliefs’ and ‘behaviors’ regarding these masculine and feminine energies. Most of which we are not even aware of because it is in our shadows. Irrespective of our gender identifications, we are all carrying a lot of imposed baggage that plays out internally and prevents us being the truly creative beings we are meant to be.

Each one of us has our own story and path through this. It goes without saying however, that many if not all of us, because of the power of society’s past, need to identify, expose and disempower within us both the tyrannical patriarch and the inner victim. We need to do this because the psyche’s natural process is continually nudging us towards wholeness, which lies beneath this inner disharmony. The war of the sexes is an internal story and an armistice can only be found within each of us.

Masculinity is not patriarchy. The masculine (in us all, whatever we identify as) is evolving, searching for its sacredness. Femininity within us all is evolving to a place where her matter is safe and alive and open to penetration by the evolving sacred masculine energy. Together these two natural forces are striving for an inner harmony.

Men and women are facing their anguished femininity and her ravaged masculine partner. She will no longer be a silent victim, nor he remain ostracized.” –Marion Woodman “The Ravaged Bridegroom”

Because many layers of these contrasting energies are in our shadows, we project them outwards onto others. The work is seeing them as projections and owning them, reeling them in so that we can begin to have real, authentic relationships with others and with ourselves. The path of psychological balance and inner freedom is peeling others’ (often our parents’) projections off ourselves and taking responsibility by not projecting onto others.

The collective situation is playing out through us all, irrelevant of gender. We need to ask ourselves the question, “How and what part of my masculine/yang energy is still bound to patriarchy and in what way is it fearful of the emerging feminine/yin energy?

“…outworn mother and father energies must be left behind if we are to find our own lives. This requires making a distinction between the actual parents and the complexes they become in our fantasy absorption of them.” –Marion Woodman “The Ravaged Bridegroom”

Use Carrot Seed essential oil and Cypress essential oil to work with these two energies. Carrot seed anchors us deep within our bodies where we can connect with our receptive strength and the energies held within it. It gives a confidence in the self that emanates from this deep embodied-ness.

Cypress essential oil penetrates the interior with an outer force. It brings a sun-like energy into the earth of the self with precision and sharpness, wasting nothing of its precious energy. It’s perfectly mastered, aligned force brings clarity and strengthens consciousness.

Couple one of these oils with Labdanum essential oil to work with the shadow aspects of these internal energies.