In the past few weeks I have been calling to the men of both the clan and the membership to explore this ‘maleness’ thing and particularly “where is it?”
I am left pondering the male soul. The ceremony was to allow the Caretaker soul the opportunity and out of duty time to replenish, rejuvenate, regenerate and to remember its pre-incarnation destiny which had become lost or buried under duty and trauma.
Within the Sagh’ic Tradition the mythology tells that the Spirit emanates the soul which manifests matter, and form. It is said in the stories that the Spirit sings a song and the soul carries this song into matter. This song motivates matter into the dance of form and life.
The stories suggest that the spirits of the Forest, the Elementals (Fae) are in some way orchestrators of this song and dance and by their action these forms are manifested in nature. It is the Elementals involvement in the song that manifests and motivates the dance of life, and as each soul is inherently connected to the fabric of the planet and its destiny such involvement and management is the essential work of the Elementals (Fae) in the harmony and survival of the Earth.
This would then mean that when the Soul is exhausted, bound by duty, wounded it can no longer sing or express the song; lives, life, nature destabilises and the fabric of the soul’s song and dance incarnate presence becomes uncertain. By default in the event of one such soul being so compromised, the community of the Forest aka the Earth is at risk.
We then begin to understand the insistence and pressure of the Fae in this type of soul healing; as Caretakers of the Forest (Earth) they are attempting to correct this degeneration by re-synchronising the human caretakers.
The Hawaiian Huna as one of their 7 principles states in MAKIA principle, “energy flows where attention goes” or sometimes, “thought precedes energy”. We might take this to mean that the song that is present in our Body, Feelings & Mind creates the world around us in all its events.
If the Soul is our song and that soul is weary, traumatised, out of tune, even songless, what does it create? We look around and observe that soul disconnected to spirit is the essence of the world today.
In relation to my observance of the world and its current state, my pondering led me to ask the question “Where is the male soul and what is it?”
Our stories sing of the Male being called into being by the Female initially as companion. However when we hear these stories we cannot help but notice that the female spirits and beings are in some way or another fixed and static and it is the male spirits and beings that are active.
James Bowler in his book Caring for the Male Soul, observes this also in his exploration of male ministry; that women are and men do. He suggests that men are called to action and without action they cannot relate to purpose.
He goes on to say that men deal with phenomena such as unfulfilled promise and a destiny not achieved – the heartache of incompleteness. That they hunger to be in control and their perennial question is “Is that all there is?”
Within the Shamanic Tradition the world is held in harmonious balance, when that balance is disrupted, the natural process of the Earth’s destiny is compromised. At this point the Keepers of the Earth, the Elemental Fae strive to return the balance.
As one part of this balancing act, within the primal nomadic tradition, there are Hearth Keepers and there are Hunters, each working with and for the other and without either the other ceases to exist; so Hearth Keepers are the static point and Hunters the orbiting active participants. We look at the night sky and see this reflected in the cosmos.
The Hunters role is to provide that the Hearth Keepers can give. This provision is to seek out the elements of survival; most definitions of Hunter will say ‘one who goes out and kills for food’. Those definitions might add, ‘kills for food and sport.’
The Hunter has an intimate relationship with its prey and knows that in that relationship at any time they could change prey/hunter roles; this is the depth of that relationship.
There is meaning and purpose in this action; there is completeness here and there is control. Not controlling rather a self or soul focussed awareness of purpose. And the kill? This is the release of that passion that is witness-able and acclaimed.
All this as the song of the spirit which is the Soul is playing in that hunter life.
When that soul song is not heard or is deformed by soul loss, damage, shadowing or distraction, neither the man nor the Fae can manifest the appropriate dance between the Hunter and the prey. The hunt loses purpose; I would suggest that it is at this moment hunting for sport takes over.
Martin Pable, Capuchin in his examination of the life stages of the man uses six Hebrew words to correspond and illustrate these stages. He use the word, GIBBOR (“warrior”): The aspect of manhood that has to do with strength, combat, and competition, he suggests that this energy needs to be directed toward the right kinds of goals or it will become a destructive force in the life of the individual as well as of society, adding an observation that violence abounds in our society. Which also illustrates the hunter who hunts without purpose?
He then cites the word, ENOSH (“wounded”), saying that sooner or later the warrior is hurt. For many men life has a thousand ways of wounding that male identity. Pable suggests that how the man deals with the hurt will have profound effects on his spiritual development. We might expand that to say that spiritual development includes or is that relationship to the soul song, and again without reference to that song the disconnection to the world ensues.
We find the discrepancy between warrior and wounded, and for some each concept cancels out the other; we have disparity in two of the essences of the male soul. In having such disparity in one soul, such is the imbalance in all souls and not just of humankind. This imbalance may be akin to a stack of dominoes each falling and striking the next to fall and so on; the Great Forest becomes out of tune. And in this event the Elemental Fae are disquieted and almost by default are required to respond.
Of late one of the human ways of dealing with the overactive male was to inflict numerous goddess workshops so that men could find inner balance between the male & female sides. This suggested that the soul of the male had both such qualities in imbalance. Psychology would suggest that the imbalance was an internalisation of the relationship between maternal and paternal energies. Whereas this has value in bringing awareness to the mental and emotional relationship with self based on such internalisation it does not address the soul and as such may cause soul splitting whilst seemingly fixing incarnated being.
James M. Bowler makes an intriguing observation of male clergy who lose vocational purpose. He says; ‘Since many men are not yet ready to deal with a feminine image of God, those involved in facilitating the ministry of Christian spirituality need to be aware of their tendency in men to project their father relationship on to their operating image of God.’
Is the inability to deal with the female image more about an inability to understand and appreciate an inner male soul relating in a male way to spirit whatever or if ever gender that spirit has been assigned?
There does start to appear a rushing to fix something that may not be broken rather than appreciating its nature, which is male, which is hunter, which is warrior, which is satyr; I might suggest that the ‘rush to fix’ incurs that wounding.
If we continue to ignore the wounding we increase the savagery that each grows more prevalent in our world.
I reflect and consider the Pete Seeger song:
Where have all the young men gone? Long time passing,
Where have all the young men gone? Long time ago,
Where have all the young men gone? Gone for soldiers every one,
When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone? Long time passing,
Where have all the soldiers gone? Long time ago,
Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one,
When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
Even though the entire song suggests a cycle I could not help and see the cycle as one of despair. Despair is the absence of hope and hope is a call to action; action is doing.
And Seanamhair Cuan the primordial ocean called to Cel the Creator to do something; that doing was Fear Tintreach the lightning who did! It is his action that is the hope of men.
There is a meditation that Ignatius of Loyola gave his novitiates (Ignatius was a soldier before sainthood!) in this meditation he asked the novitiates to ponder three questions;
What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What ought I to do for Christ?
Again can we take ‘Christ’ as the archetypal male superhero!
All questions are about actions and therefore hope
The question is what is my super hero soul calling me to do?
Marin Pable uses another word which may help answer the superhero question; ‘ISH’ (“ruler”): Here, he says, is the man of maturity; a man who has learned to rule his own spirit, and is able to exercise authority for the good of the community, family, and business, civic and ecclesial. At the same time, he is able to share power, authority without feeling threatened in his manhood. Now this sounds like a superhero!
I return back to those men surrendering and reclaiming their souls, unafraid of what others may or might say, powerful in that spirit of manhood in that moment, in this there iss a visible and tangible energy of authority. Not that authority that dictates, rather the authority that originates and causes, initiating some beginning and efficient causation. Perhaps the first singer of a first song?
My belief is that we need a calling on men to remember the superhero that sings in their souls.
Every superhero seems to need by definition:
- A costume, typically emblazoned with some fashion of logo, symbol or name.
- Extraordinary abilities or powers of some kind.
- A secret identity or alter-ego.
- A mission, purpose or greater sense of drive towards something, along with a stricter code of conduct or morals.
- A back story that explains the circumstances by which the character acquired his abilities as well as his motivation for becoming a superhero. Many origin stories involve tragic elements and/or freak accidents that result in the development of the hero’s abilities.
- A weakness or Achilles’ heel, whether concrete and external.
- No superhero is ever complete without his villains and adversaries.
The song of the male Soul is all of these.
Seems definitions vary, yet consensus is one who defends the weak, fights for justice, rights wrongs, mirrors the shadows, fears no evil, sacrifices themselves, is humble in their power, faces all challenges, inspires change and is confident in their ability to do all of these!
And all of these is the song of the male in his journey to be the Hunter, the Warrior, the Lover, the King; the Lightning to bring the change!
The question was “What is the male soul and where is it?”
We may never agree on one answer and yet somehow he is the superhero and is somewhere in all men.
The Elemental Fae of Fire and Water, Earth and Air, have a greater appreciation of the necessity for this primal soul that has become lost and battered by today’s society. This primal male energy is an essential partner with the songs of the Great Ocean and Earth. If the Young Men are not found, this Ocean & Earth become stagnant and barren graveyards.
Without the Hunter, the Hearth Keepers cannot provide and nurture those to come.
The Great Song will become silent.
The image of Nelson Eddie & Jeanette MacDonald in Rose Marie calling to each other in the Indian Love Song comes to mind;
“I am calling you, won’t you answer true
I am calling you, won’t you answer – do..
Without your answer I am blue…..”
Rev Seanair John-Luke Edwards