Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.

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Sometimes You Need the Masculine Energy

In common with the majority of Neopagans, I am a devotee of the Goddess. I spent the first half of my life in a masculine God-based religion, then felt drawn to explore the other side of things and to learn as much as I could about the Divine Mother. She has been my focus ever since. I see Her reflected in the best qualities of women I have met, and I often recognize her gentle and compassionate nature in men, too—underneath the stereotypical bluster and mindless arrogance which our pop culture likes to impose on us.

The downside, of course, is that—as a heterosexual man—I sometimes feel guilt about the historical subjugation of women, in a similar way that as a white man I feel guilt about the history of black slavery. While as a 60's flower child my personal sentiments have always been 100% on the side of women's equality and civil rights, it is obvious to any observer that I am a male of Caucasian descent; so I am connected, by association, with all males and all whites who came before me. But I am not one of the stereotypes. I am not an Archie Bunker. 

For the same reason, I have sensed some reluctance on the part of female witches and Priestesses to credit how deep my devotion to the Mother really is, or to accept that a straight man is even capable of such feeling. They don't know that for 37 years my Gentle Yoga classes were attended 90% by women, or that I have long considered myself a Servant of the Goddess through her mortal female daughters. 

Having set the stage with that disclaimer, I now want to tell you the true story of something that happened to me about ten years ago, when I needed to have a tooth extracted. 

My wife and I had found a reasonably priced dental office which was run by two lovely women. They were well-trained and competent, and we appreciated their gentleness and the personal concern they showed for their patients. When the senior dentist told me that the tooth had to come out (because we could not afford the more expensive procedure of a root canal), we expected it to be done in fifteen to twenty minutes. Due to our financial difficulties, she wanted to handle the extraction herself to save us the added cost of a surgeon. 

But there was a complication. Something seemed to be wrapped around the root. The dentist worked, twisted and tugged, worked, twisted and tugged…but with no appreciable progress. She got her partner to come in and help her. They were very careful, very solicitous to hurt me as little as possible. After two hours, my wife gave me one of her Percocets because the Novocain was wearing off. The dentists worked through their lunch hour, and even shared one of their sandwiches with me when I said I was starving—a more feminine, motherly, caring scene could not have been imagined! Those ladies were real sweethearts. 

Finally, after three and a half hours, when the office was about to close, they had to admit defeat. All four of us were sweaty and exhausted and at the end of our ropes. They had their office manager phone a nearby dental surgeon, who luckily was still in his office and said he would wait for me. My wife bundled me into our car (it was ten years ago and she could still drive then), and got me over there. 

As I was walked groggily to the chair, I tried to explain to the surgeon everything the women had tried, and what problems they had encountered. He just said, "Let me worry about it," put me in the chair and gave me a shot that blacked me out. Five minutes later—my wife told me afterwards—he woke me up and said, "You're all done; it's out." 

This was a case in which a no-nonsense, slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am approach worked infinitely better than a solicitous, gentle, non-violent, caring approach. My wife and I agreed then and there that we would somehow scrape up the bucks and go to a dental surgeon the next time either of us needed an extraction.  

I'm just saying that there is an appropriate time and place for everything. And sometimes you really need the masculine energy.

 

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A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England. theoczukor@cox.net.

Comments

  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ Saturday, 26 April 2014

    Ted, I agree with you that it is important for men to have male images they and others can identify with as postive. Images of male power can be hard to come by insofaras male power has been so identified with domination and abuse. But we need to keep working on it, so that men can change.

    I wonder however about stereotypes of masculine and feminine. I suspect men are just as capable of being kind and gentle as women and that women are just as capable of doing dental surgery when they have the training to do it.

    For this reason, I never speak of masculine or feminine energies. I am taller than most men, but that does not make me "masculine." I also have a very sharp rational mind, this also does not make me "masculine." I believe reason and intuition are available to all of us, that men do not have to be taller than women to feel "like men," and that the ideal for all of us is an ethics of care. Care is not weak or irrational or feminine, in my opinion. To care in the best way, one must bring to bear all the capacities of mind and body.

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Saturday, 26 April 2014

    Of course you are right on every point, Carol, and I am honored that such a leading light in the Goddess movement would take an interest in responding to my post. I only meant to indicate - in a somewhat humorous way - that in this particular case I was presented with two diametrically opposed approaches, which happened to embody the female/male stereotypes of our society. Of course a properly trained woman could be a good dental surgeon! Mother Kali and the Morrigan are aspects of the Goddess also, and I would not care to mess with either one of them! The piece is superficial, and focused on just one particular day of my life, which got my attention in a rather unusual way. Thank you for supplying more depth to the picture.

  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ Sunday, 27 April 2014

    oops I didn't see your tongue in your cheek or the twinkle in your eyes. sorry.

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Sunday, 27 April 2014

    No problem; upon re-reading, I see that the twinkle isn't very obvious unless you know me. I happen, by the way, to be shorter than many women (especially the way they're growing them nowadays!) and an exemplar of gentleness, having been my wife's caregiver for the last 20 years - so I appreciate your statement that care is not weak or irrational or (necessarily) feminine. I agree!

  • Brandy
    Brandy Monday, 28 April 2014

    This comment thread is very interesting to me, and coincidentally occurring during a period of time when I have been trying to answer who the male god is. This of course leads to the question of what is male and what is female, and does any of it matter? I have a real problem with "active" and "passive" forces being part of the definition, and was wondering if you would elaborate on this further in another blog. I am very interested in the male perception of masculine Deity. Thank-you.

  • Siri Snow
    Siri Snow Tuesday, 29 April 2014

    I agree with you Ted, heterosexual (especially white) males have a stigma attached to them...well to be fair I would say every culture has their stigmas, but white European man did not start off evil (without going into history here), nor is it forever in their blood. There is no need for guilt over being a heterosexual man over woman, or a white man over what happened to African Americans, because really the root of all that evil is much more deeper. I think feeling guilt is hanging onto that stigma and not allowing for progression, of course we should not forget about past woes, I am a white woman living in Canada so should I feel guilty? I feel what happened in the past was unjust and cruel (but so was what the Romans did to my ancestors and so many others), but I will feel no guilt because that is not how we move forward together. I also agree there is a time and place for male and female, there are things I would rather let my partner do because he is much better at it then me, and there are things he just should not attempt because it is not in his nature. Like your story with the dentist, I know woman can be ruff and tough and get the job done (no one can pound in a fence post like my mother and she is a womanly as they get), but when I had a tooth pulled it was a man who braced his forearm agents my forehead and yanked that thing out with brute strength and it was his assistant, a woman who held both my hands in hers and comforted me (because I was obviously terrified). My partner is not quite as intuitive as I am but nor am I as logical or strong as he. Yet I can be ice cold and outright blunt towards people and situations where he is more passive when faced with conflict. So there are parts of both male and female in both of us but for the most part our attributes come naturally, traits I think man and woman have for a reason. I rely on him for what I lack and he I, which are stereotypical male and female qualities. I do not think men have to change anymore then woman do, I agree a man can be gentle and warm, I have experienced that in Doctors and friends, and woman can be hard logic which collage teachers have shown me, but for the most part I think many stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, because they are what have been observed to be the dominating attribute for those groups (not all Asians can do back flips obviously) over the ages. I think fighting who we are born to be (including men) is what is wrong with this world and is going agent nature. I totally believe in male and female energies, that dose not mean I do not believe that there is not a whole as well and that we cannot share both, but I think we are fooling ourselves if we think we are the same beasts, because we are two sides of the same whole. Two sides that must come together to make a whole, rather that is two men who make a whole, or a man and a woman dose not matter I am not talking about sexual preference here but qualities I think build the energy that lives inside of us and that we should accept and nurture who we are to be better people, like the dentist who yanked my tooth out and the woman who held my hand, he had the nature to get it done and she the nuture to help me threw it.

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Wednesday, 30 April 2014

    Wow, what great comments from all of you! Siri, thank you so much for understanding where I was coming from; the only dental surgeons I'm aware of in Phoenix are men. As for the Black issue, I was a member of a small Childrens' Theatre troupe in Chicago in 1969, and we had to perform in an all-black high school the day after Black Panther leader Mark Hampton was shot to death by "The Pigs" in his apartment, a block away from there...so the issue was brought home to me in a very strong and scary way.

    Where do you live in Canada? I was a company member with the Stratford Festival from 1971-73. It was a lot more peaceful than Chicago!

    Brandy, your question is excellent - but I couldn't express my feelings on the subject better than Siri has. However, if you'd like to read my take on the God/Goddess, see my post titled "This is My Religion; What is Yours?" Of course, please note that I do not claim to speak for anyone but myself on that subject.

  • Siri Snow
    Siri Snow Wednesday, 30 April 2014

    From the small and forgotten, but very masonic Nova Scotia.

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