These seven archetypes were heavily influenced by my participation in a men’s circle, the work of Robert Bly in Iron John and my experiences with Tantra and sacred sexuality. I employ a combination of mythical archetypes and relationships to the 7 Chakras.
In the western nations the press frequently demonizes men and paints us as devils, rapists, oppressors and all manner of despicable shadow-masculine characters. Most men I know would not fit into any such category, and yet most men I know have never read nor seen an essay about the sacred nature of men, while reports of rape, murder and men oppressing women can be read any day of the week in the newspaper. In short, I see a world literally filled with men who exhibit the 7 archetypes I’ve listed below, and with a small and ever decreasing minority of men who fit she “shadow” version of those archetypes, yet by reading the press, viewing the television and movies, or going to a modern university, one might get the impression that the shadow men make up the majority.
This essay serves to shed some light on to the divine natures within men.
Wild Man – Muladhara
The root of a man, from which all other aspects of a man grow. You might call his personality the deep limbic brain. He embodies that part of a man that acts most like an animal, feels most closely tied to the earth, and most in touch with nature. He represents pure instinct, and reacts quickly and decisively, and often reacts “without thinking.” Also, he represents a man who acts wild, untamed, and free to do anything.
Lover and Inventor – Swadisthana
The Inventor sees new ways of looking at things. Nothing seems impossible to him, but only obstacles to be overcome. He can invent his way out of any problem. He loves to think and to ponder over the world and the situations in his life.
The Lover might seem a contrary mix here, but like the Inventor is filled with ecstatic and creative energy. He has passion, libido, and embodies sexual love and intimacy. He loves passionately, creatively and from eros rather than agape.
Warrior – Manipura
The Warrior seeks to conquer injustice. He sits upon a seat of honor. His ideals guide his war; an inner spiritual war against his Shadow self more than an outer war against the world. He fights an outer war only to bring justice to others, and seeks to conquer the manifestation of his Shadow self in the real world.
The Warrior would never fight an unjust battle, and would never do battle against a weaker opponent. The Warrior would seek diplomacy over battle whenever possible.
King – Anahata
The King loves deeply and with fierce commitment, but this is agape, in contrast to the Lover. He loves all people with the same kind of brotherly love as we think of when we consider men like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. When he loves either men or women he embraces them as his brothers or sisters, and honors them as equals to him. He loves the earth, moon and the stars.
He infuses those in his domain with his power, and sees it as his mission to uplift the lives in his community. He often acts as a great and natural leader of or orator for other people, especially those men, women and children within his own community.
Trickster or Orator – Vishuddha
He is much like the Trickster of the Native Americans (Coyote, Raven, Rabbit, etc). The Trickster plays his games with others to make them think and to inspire them. Sometimes he only acts funny to amuse people, but most of the time his humor has a point. Ironically perhaps, I think men’s power to speak, to convince and to argue is primarily rooted in the Trickster. I would say that politicians, in particular, have a particularly strong manifestation of the Trickster, and thus their speech and actions are often filled with half-truths.
Magus or Sage – Ajna
The Magus sits upon the seat of male spiritual power. Popular mythical characters who represent the Magus or Sage might be Gandalf or Obi Wan Kenobi. Old and wise; he exists outside of time, and his power is manifested through light. He acts as an alchemist and represents the alchemical goal of turning lead into gold, which he knows to be a symbolic representation of his goal to turn his shadow into light. He seeks to transform his world to a golden world of magical beings and infused with spiritual power. He may be able to see into the future, and has a powerful intuition.
Prophet – Sahasrara
The Prophet represents the highest spiritual aspects of a man. He is wise and powerful. Unlike the Magus, he has no need to do anything. Like Buddha or Christ, he has attained enlightenment. There is no need to do anything, but only a need to be. The Prophet is awake, and aware. He sees the truth of all things.
The shadow self could be thought of as the shadow cast upon the ground by the 7 characters in the cast. He does the opposite of each of these aspects of a man, and serves the opposite purpose. Where the Prophet is enlightened and wise, the Shadow Prophet uses his awakening to feed his own selfish desires. Where the Magus seeks to change lead to gold, the Shadow Magus seeks to change it back to lead. Where the Trickster likes to play tricks to make us think, the Shadow Trickster likes to play tricks to be cruel and laugh at our folly. Where the King seeks to empower those in his community, the Shadow King seeks power for exploitation of those in his community. Where the Warrior seeks to do battle against the darkness in the world, the Shadow Warrior seeks battle for glory and victory. Where the Lover and Inventor opens his heart to others in order to create, the Shadow Lover closes his heart down, seeks to destroy, or uses others only as a tool for his own pleasures. Where the Wild Man acts as an untamed creature of the Earth, she Shadow Wild Man acts like a rabid dog.
The Shadow self seems ever present and exists as the “other self” with which his Warrior does battle. The ongoing battle between a man’s Self and his Shadow results in the outward man that other people come to know.
While there seems a great deal of focus on the feminine in modern Tantra and sacred sexuality, I encourage both men and women to examine what feels sacred in each other.
For my sisters, I encourage you to look for the good and sacred in the men you know. Think to your fathers, your brothers, and your sons. When you look to those men you know and love, you will surely see that men have a sacred and divine nature every bit as powerful as women. Your encouragement of us along our path, and your acknowledgement of our sacred nature will be greatly appreciated. Tell us when you see it.
For my brothers, I encourage you to look without and within for what feels like your divine nature. Learn about that divine nature. Get in touch with it. Embrace it. Use it in your daily life to guide your actions. Also, remember to see the divine in all the women around you.
Obviously, these are not the only archetypes that could be said to apply to men. A great many other characters from mythology, legend and history might well serve to inform men of our sacred nature. Whatever you find empowering or sacred in men, can serve to lift your heart and guide you on your path to becoming the man you wish.