From Hunt to Hearth: A Man’s Challenging Journey
In the archetypal realm, a man enters the world to do battle, conquer foes, create fame & fortune (or misfortune), and bring back the resources to support the family, tribe, community. He wears armor, wields his sword, and protects what is his.
So as archetypes act through us, men still do this, as does more and more women. (Welcome to our world, ladies.) From 8 to 5, men are out there doing battle, not necessarily with life-threatening foes, but with a vertical hierarchical picture that there is only one winner, and those further up the axis are our “enemies” who keep us away from our perceived spoils. Traditional success keeps us looking at each other vertically, through the lens of competition. And when we go home, we carry that same deeply ingrained perception layered in our unconscious.
But within the hearth, the domain of the feminine, the vertical gives way to the horizontal. It is a place of nurturance, of connection, hopefully of love & acceptance. Men want that, need that, but do not really know how to make the shift to accept the gifts that it has for us. We often stumble across the threshold unconsciously and rudely. We are long past “Father Knows Best”, where the little woman brings him his pipe & slippers, and the children are in wide-eyed anticipation of his worldly wisdom.
Part of the problem is that we do not recognize the need for a conscious surrendering of the “warrior” archetype, and a conscious embrace of the “lover”. We unconsciously carry the warrior energy from the ‘hunt’ into the lover ‘hearth’.
Michael Mead tells us in “Men and the Water of Life” that a warrior must immerse his ‘fiery sword’ into cooling water. There are many ways that help a man do this … do a meditation, listen to music, stop off at the local park, feed the ducks in the pond, take a shower, anything that helps him ‘cool the flame’. The intention is to let go of the masculine mode of being and consciously embrace the feminine mode of being.
The intended result of this conscious action … a partner who welcomes him home, children who feel their daddy’s love & presence, a kind, gentle, and reverent engagement of the energy & consciousness of the hearth, and best of all, peace, nurturance, & love for him, and his conscious & available love for them.