Given the events of the last few weeks--the painful hearings over Kavanaugh's election to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the railroaded "election" itself--it's been easy to laugh bitterly--to say, "ha!, not so fast, dear. You've just been fooling yourself." And it was certainly a horrible process to witness. Yes, patriarchy and its culture of entitlement, violence, and dismissal of women's reality is still here. It's still hanging on desperately tightly and is still--in the political arena at least--in control. But look around with a much wider viewfinder. The shift is happening, but it's happening elsewhere; it's upswelling on its own terms and cannot be seen by looking only at the long-familiar forms we count as "real."
The evening Kavanaugh was voted in, I found myself stuffing myself with food and feeling sick. I knew it was because I was so disturbed and appalled, but also came to realize that I was literally "stuffing it" and acting as women have been taught: to internalize the message and the abuse, and to punish themselves and their bodies. It was a powerful moment, and that insight certainly helped me make a shift. I stopped saying (affirming) the situation was making me sick (and I stopped feeling sick). I took back my autonomy and power.
The story is quite complex and nuanced, and in the last week I have been processing the energies around this drama in multiple ways. It's certainly still an unfolding experience. But what I want to share here is an update of sorts. Because I did feel set back as I witnessed the blatant denial of women's reality, I decided to look at the cards that have come through to me (that I have made) since last spring, and to see if there was more of the message.
Yes, there is. The newer images continue to focus on how much men are wanting to be released. This is certainly not the narrative we were watching in Kavanaugh's furious face, not what we see and feel from McConnell or Trump or the others on the world stage playing out the same game (look at who is rising to power in Brazil!). But I know it's real. It's growing, coming from the ground up, so we should stop looking at the "top." We must track and feel the energy where it is.
I look at first like the grumpy dwarf from a European fairy tale—rigidly posed, looking unhappy, deprived, stubborn, and always left-out. I have a defensive stance and am always watching out that I am noticed and not counted, not important enough. I am overweight and not comfortable in my clothes, that all seem to be made for a bigger person. I am a little Rumpelstiltskin, angry and demanding your child. I am a spoiler, for I am not seen or understood (no one knows my true name).
But that's not all he said. Look back to the full picture, above, because the contextual information is so important. Here's what his words indicated about the rest of it:
There is more—I am in a universe where things are moving and swirling, and I can float anywhere. There are watery flowing orbs and streaks of light, and it is set apart as a stage set—under a proscenium above. Showing that it’s all a created story, a drama. I was created by a woodcarver/painter with a story to tell. I am a vestige of the old times, the old days. I am still solid but there’s an aura of light around me. I want a new role. Take me as you move though midnight skies and cosmic journeys.
I am here to show you how unhappy I am, how ready I am to be released. Have mercy, tell me my true name and bring me love, and carry me with you, transformed.
This is an image I made last weekend. It is called PEERING FROM THE PRISON. It has much the same message, expressing the longing for release from the patriarchal male role.
I am a white male looking out from behind the bars of my prison—peeking into your world. I am afraid, still buttoned up in the male costume with a tie. I am still mostly hidden, but showing in the rent seam. I am haunted. I am longing to break out. On this side of the wall, all is dark.
What is on the other side of my prison—the side facing you— is a happy blanket, designed by [Hopi weaver] Ramona Sastieskewa, embodying the dreams of the ancient peoples, their clear vision and clear colors, their geometry holding a sense of order and calm. But it is new, designed for now and for today’s world. The other side of the wall/prison --your side--embodies a resurrected native wisdom, mixing with women’s rightful new place, starting to be recognized. The hands go two ways: in and out, dark and light, pushing and pulling, Buddha blessing and the somewhat blotchy, tired, searching one. The red circles bring more geometries, more primary colors that balance it out, bring regularity, rhythm, framing. They also evoke Mesoamerica, something archetypically holding an old place and old wisdom.
Here is one last image that interestingly enough carries the same palette and tone quality as THE LITTLE MAN. This one, called BEHOLD WHAT'S COMING, also came through last spring, and while it may not completely refer to the male/female divide, it still seems quite relevant. The blank figures feel male to me, although they are kind of Pillsbury dough boy-male, that is, asexual and unformed. The message:
I am one who is looking to the future with some alarm and confusion. Many of my parts are featureless. I am looking through dark glasses. I have a smooth, almost baby-like figure, and another smooth, still largely blank (married) character. Behind us is swirling, knot-free, beautiful yarn. We do have a serene Buddha figure just waiting there, ready to be put to use, but it is not activated. We have some trepidation. But Buddha is there.
I'm here to tell you there is something big still ahead—it creates a sense of wonder, contemplation, and the need to wear glasses for the glare. The blankness is good; it means you will be ready to imprint with new things. The background is a universe of light.
My deepest wish, deepest prayer and heartfelt vision, is that the new Sacred Masculine, which is poised to come forward, is nurtured and able to quickly grow and thrive. It's still blank, a baby, and it is still in the prison of its long-familiar, confining role. But it's yearning for something new.
There was a report on the radio today about a big study where teenagers (10-19) were interviewed about their attitudes about gender roles. The girls had largely (more than 75%) internalized the message we have been reinforcing for the last few decades, that they can be whatever they want to be--scientists, athletes, leaders. The boys felt far more constrained. They felt huge pressure to stay within their allowable roles, even to act violently (e.g., get into a physical fight when they didn't want to). Most did not picture themselves as leaders. That's the prison I pictured. And these boys see the relative freedom the girls now have (in their minds if not completely realized in the world), and they are envious. They do not really want to come out into their fathers' reality; they want to come out into the colorful, calmer world with an activated Buddha and bright light.
In sum, I am impatient, but not despairing. My inner channel shows it coming so clearly, and it's reinforced by the clues like this teen study that show up everywhere. It's time, I see, to fully articulate, image, model, and strengthen that Sacred Masculine. Let's build a new kind of empowerment in the boys we are growing, and gently turn the faces of already grown men to the sun.