Disrupting Patriarchy: Getting back to balance

 

The Libra New Moon is typically a sweet time for connecting with others in ways that are loving, peaceful and harmonious. But this is not a typical Libra New Moon, and the revolutionary times we live in call for some serious shaking up of the status quo. While the Sun, Moon, and Venus in Libra speak gently and ask, “Can’t everyone just get along?” Uranus and Eris in Aries shout from across the zodiac, “Wake up! There are some huge elephants in the room that must be confronted!”

I’m not saying that you can’t have loving, peaceful, and harmonious relationships during this new lunar cycle. I am saying that if you’ve been sweeping things under the rug or zipping your lips, now is the time to have the courage to confront what’s out of balance. It’s time to work through conflict to arrive at true peace, rather than trying to prop up a pretty-looking illusion of peace. It’s impossible to have true and lasting peace if there is an imbalance of power, if boundaries are being invaded, if justice has not been served, or if needs are disrespected. Lady Justice stands poised to take action with a balance (Libra) in one hand and a sword and lightning bolt (Aries and Uranus) in the other.

One of the biggest elephants in our collective living room is the deeply entrenched system of patriarchy. It’s impossible to have true and lasting peace within a system that puts power primarily in the hands of men (mostly white, heterosexual, Christian men). It would be just as impossible to have true and lasting peace if all the power were in the hands of women. This truth should be self-evident:  All men and women and non-binary identified people are created equal. But that truth has been trampled upon for thousands of years under patriarchy’s heavy boots.

The elephant of patriarchy does not represent every man. Not all men abuse power. Most of the men I know personally respect women’s equality and the civil rights of all people. But the system of patriarchy has left deep imprints and wounds in the psyches of people of all genders. Those who are privileged with power and resources often do not feel the pain of the imbalance, but patriarchy has harmed everyone, not just women. Those who lack the privilege of power and resources feel the imbalance most intensely so they are the ones who feel the greatest need to speak up and take action to bring things back into balance.

The recent news stories about the intimidating, abusive, and sexually predatory behavior of Harvey Weinstein seems to have cracked something open. This is not just a story about the abuse of power by Harvey Weinstein, or Bill Cosby, or Bill O’Reilly, or Donald Trump, or Roger Ailes. This is a story about the big fat patriarchy elephant that’s been in the room for a very long time. Knowing the astrology that’s affecting us, I believe this won’t be just one more time when men in power are exposed only to have the issue just slip quietly back underground. Something is cracking open. That’s what Uranus does…it sends a lightning bolt that cracks things apart. It catalyzes a breakdown so we can have a collective breakthrough.

What’s breaking through is our need to reintegrate the Divine Feminine into our lives. For many men, being cut off from the Divine Feminine has disconnected them from their own hearts, their intuition, their vulnerability, and their ability to give and receive nurturance. In the realm of sexuality, many men suffer from an intense longing for the sensuality, beauty, and sexual power of the Divine Feminine which they believe exists only, and forever, outside of themselves. Women then become sexualized objects to be captured, possessed, and put on display.

Reclaiming the Divine Feminine is just as important for women. The Divine Feminine is not only gentle, compassionate, and nurturing, She is also bursting with creative power, ready to birth a new way of living on this planet. She expresses a sweet love with the unconditional heart of the Divine Mother and a fierce love with the courageous heart of a lioness. She is rising up, now, as Eris in Aries. She says, “The reign of patriarchy must end, for the benefit of all beings”. She says, “Abuse of power, in sexual ways and all ways, must stop! Now!”

Rise up, my sisters, rise up! Speak out, my brothers, speak out!

Let’s bring things into true balance and create lasting peace and harmony in all our relations.


Choose Love

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Love’s Landscape, by Sajit Greene

“You can only see in one of two ways—with love or fear.” -A Course in Miracles

“Love is at the heart of all things. How you feel but reflects your decision to accept love or to reject it and choose fear. Both cannot be chosen. All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear…Lack of love is fear.” -A Course of Love

When I was first introduced to this idea that there are only two emotions, love or fear, I found it hard to believe. As a psychotherapist, I was immersed in a world of emotions, and there seemed to be quite a lot of them: love, fear, grief, loneliness, anger, happiness, longing, worry, guilt, shame, and on and on.

So how can there be just two emotions?

Look at it this way: As human beings, there are two basic operating systems to choose from. You can operate from the belief that you are separate (meaning you are separate from God/Higher Power and also essentially separate from everyone and everything), or you can operate from the knowledge that you exist in Union with God and all of creation. It is indeed frightening if you believe you are separate and ultimately alone in an uncertain world, housed within a vulnerable and temporary body. That’s why “separation consciousness” is also called “fear-based consciousness“. As you awaken to Unity Consciousness, you see with the eyes of love.

fear copyMost of us have been operating from separation and fear because that’s how we’ve been conditioned. Fear is the ego’s operating system. It is so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize that the various forms of discomfort we feel are all rooted in a basic, unconscious fear. That’s why fear goes by so many other names.

Frustration, anxiety, irritation, anger, depression, hatred, judgment, attack, jealousy, guilt, blame, and shame are but different shades of fear. If you scratch the surface of any of these feelings, you will find fear at its foundation: Fear of being hurt, fear of loss, fear of not having enough, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of failure, fear of death.

love or fear 3 edLove is the emotion that naturally flows from the awareness that we are eternally and seamlessly joined with All That Is. To awaken from the dream of separation is to know that you are safe in the arms of a loving Creator. You are loved, and you are LOVE itself! In Unity Consciousness, love is unconditional and it shows up as joy, peace, freedom, and spaciousness. Love is compassionate, forgiving, and creative. While fear rejects and resists, love accepts and embraces, without exception.

“Your beauty is the gathering of the atoms, the order in chaos, the silence in solitude, the grace of the cosmos. Our heart is the light of the world. We are one heart. We are one mind. One creative force gathering the atoms, establishing the order, blessing the silence, gracing the cosmos, manifesting the light of the heart. Here we live as one body, experiencing communion, the soul’s delight, rather than otherness. It is a seamless world, a tapestry where each thread is vibrant and strong. A canticle where each tone is pure and indivisible.” –A Course of Love

Now that you know that separation leads to fear and that to be in Union is to BE love and express love, which will you choose?

 

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The Heart and Soul of Desire

Heart and soul of desire

My earliest encounter with Eastern philosophy came via Hippy culture, in the early 80’s. The take-away message went something like this: “Let go of all attachments. Let go of all desires.”  One cold winter’s eve, I attempted to follow that guidance and be “spiritual” by throwing away a box of photographs and memorabilia from my childhood.  That rash act may have cleared out some space in my closet, but it didn’t do a thing for my enlightenment!  These many years later, my understanding has deepened and become more nuanced. We don’t need to let go of all desires in order to be “spiritually-correct”. In fact, our desires can actually lead us along our spiritual way.

Our hearts’ desires and our souls’ intentions are naturally aligned.  Their shared purpose is to support our evolution and spiritual awakening.  A Course in Miracles describes the “prayer of the heart” and how our hearts know, perhaps better than our minds, what we truly desire. “What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying…The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience.” (A Course in Miracles, Teachers Manual)  For example, your heart may be asking for a deeply connected, loving experience. Your heart isn’t saying “Give me a single professional who loves Salsa dancing and sushi.”

Spiritual teacher, Bentinho Massaro writes: “If you have passionate desires raging within that are not just revolving around protecting yourself, but feel truly inspired, that bear with them a spark of excitement, of joy, of possibilities…then they have a very real purpose. They are a glimpse into your possible future…Let it all out, and act on it with respect and integrity toward your environment and the beings in it…Everything you see is the result of desire. Without desire, there wouldn’t be creation. Thus, even The One, The Absolute, has desires. Why try to be more non-dual than The One?”

The important question is not “Should I have desires?” but “Where is the desire arising from?” Is it coming from ego or from your essence?  The litmus test is this:  Is the desire driven by fear? If so, that’s your ego talking.  The ego is based on separation consciousness, which breeds fear and a belief in lack.  Yet the heart and soul are rooted in your essence, which is love. Your heart and soul know that you are already whole and interconnected with all of life. From that place of love, wholeness, and interconnection spring the profound intentions of your soul and the precious prayers of your heart. What are they whispering to you?