There’s nothing like waking up in the early morning to go to a jewish learning center and hear a seriously sexist rabbi talk about men and women. Sitting in the classroom you begin to get thoughts like, “Does he really think that the world works this way? How much longer can someone sit through this brainwashing perspective? And I may agree that things were seriously messed up back in cavemen times but, really, this is how you see men and women?” The rabbi’s thoughts were that back in beginning of time when survival was the main focus and everything else was secondary, women traded sex for protection against the elements of the forest. Fine, we can understand women are not known to be big warriors with their larger fat to muscle ratio but, in times where we don’t just rape and pillage everything that comes our way one can safely say that women’s goals aren’t necessarily alined with that kind of thinking anymore. Maybe because women are capable of being just as fierce as their male counterparts, but more likely because we as a society are so far beyond that point where war and attraction are glorified things. Or at least we hope that beauty and strength aren’t the only two categories a human can fall into. Beauty plus strength equals harmony.
That’s been a personal motto to help understand not the combined efforts of two individuals, but the inner spiritual combination of a whole independently functioning person. Sure, Beauty can meet Strength and they can fall happy in love for a time but without Beauty having a little strength of her own and Strength being void of any beauty it is a matter of common sense the two will lose interest. Besides beauty and strength are just expressions of power and they can both have varying expressions of mental, emotional, or physical beauty or strength, and because of this the balance of all these aspects in a person is way more complex than just being strong or handsome. Everyone is given the physical aspects by chance, we are given our authentic features for drawing in a mate to procreate with us and then we are given our muscle make up for the mechanics of survival. Though when it comes to our mental and emotional expression, it is likely that the artistic charm and robust might are cultivated with the learning curve of experience. And when it comes to being wise and experienced, nothing can help an individual learn more than from failure. From those failures we detect our deepest insecurities or better known as weaknesses. It’s true: We turn our weakness into strength.
But once we have this manifested strength it is still not enough to make us whole. We cannot self-actualize completely based only on the fact we slayed the dragon, we have to win the heart of beauty to know we claimed a prize worth fighting for in the first place. There is no point to having all this inherent power without the ability to love. So: We turn our strength into beauty.
A lot of old school sexist ideas are written into the code of our archetype simply because this is a perception us humans all encounter being equipped with the moral virtues gained from animal kingdom exile. We are blessed with the structure to have a society built on love and honor if those in question are righteous enough to up hold those values but don’t let these extreme feminist get in your head: some sexists ideas are in place for a purpose. It is not to say that women can’t be independent or strong, or that men cannot be codependent or emotional, it is to say that with both these two aspects of masculine and feminine running through each individual it is vital we articulate their unique qualities to draw new found strength and beauty.
A lot of what I am saying can be summed up from looking at the tarot cards of the magician, the high priestess, the empress, and the emperor.
Men’s ego are so huge mainly because it’s a survival instinct to protect and to do so, men are based off the principle of power. This inflation of ego allows them to put pressure on themselves to provide value and gain a position of leadership. But in order for this male to gain that status he must first have a talent for manifestation, be resourceful, and have inspired action to acquire his power. This state is rather primitive being that the man in question has his focus on the creation of self: The boy on the quest to become a man, otherwise known as the Magician.
Women’s emotions are so over developed to ensure that they can connect to relationships around them because they are based off a principle of love. This interconnection to other forms of life is bred into women’s character to give them the insight necessary for their survival. Their intuition guides them to to make decisions based off of the sacred knowledge that comes from the journey within. Were as the Magician is to go out into the world to prosper, the High Priestess goes into herself to use her subconscious understandings of emotional power. She sees that men’s power comes from being able to go out and give, so she uses her inner wisdom to retain and receive. She is complex and therefore is both an independent, yet an interdependent character on her ability to create a relationship between the spiritual and the physical. This is normally why we associate women with beauty because it is that relationship with the divine that makes us so virtuous.
Higher expressions of these two archetypes is the Empress and The Emperor. Now the woman learns to take what she’s received and retained and give back, “new life,” and the Emperor takes what he sought after to build the foundation for his leadership chair. Here women are Queens and men are Kings and they rule together. Whereas before the Magician and the High Priestess were only in a romantic mating phase that is trying to learn to take two completely opposing energies of masculine and feminine and turn them into complements, the two now create a powerful love relationship. The Empress and the Emperor give structure to the future of a family or even more ambitious: a nation.
The gender roles are not something meant to be confined to completely but by understanding what traits they express in each individual may we combine both the beauty and strength of masculine and feminine to actualize a holy harmony.