How does that sound to you? Do you have that much clarity in you?
It has been a long time since I last wrote. I have not forgotten about writing nor have I stopped processing, but life events took a toll on my energy and I had to drop many things, writing being one of them.
A while ago I took part in a men’s workshop by Taki’h at Tampere. It was a workshop about Dark and Light Masculine. I’ve had mixed feelings about the men’s groups and workshops. I have tried to find experiences that better suit me and some have, but no workshop has been able to deliver insight and value like this workshop by Taki’h.
Taki’h is a warm and sweet, small woman. You may wonder: How on earth is she teaching a workshop for men? Well, it’s not about gender, size, or physicality. Masculinity is more about the inner qualities and inner processes than any outer expression or action.
The work Taki’h offered us during this weekend intensive is called The Cross. It’s based on Taki’h’s extensive experience in teaching groups and living out her philosophy. The idea of the Cross comes from Bruce Lyon. It includes the Light and Dark Feminine as well, and all these qualities are – or could be – alive in each of us. When we have access to all four quadrants, we can experience more freedom and harmony in our lives.
In this article, I will focus on the Dark Masculine, as the greatest insights I got from the workshop were about the “darker” side of masculinity.
What is Dark Masculine?
The idea of a dark something can bring a negative connotation. To define Dark Masculinity, however, you would instead use words like clarity, presence, focus, owning your “stuff”, taking responsibility. It’s earthy, bodily, matter and form. Taki’h calls the distortions in these realms Shadows. Shadows are things kept hidden and secret from others and even from oneself, consciously and unconsciously. Also, the distinction was made between Dark and Evil. Evil seeks to destroy intentionally, whereas Dark will let go of what needs to go.
I was attracted to this workshop for many reasons. First, as I already mentioned: I haven’t been able to find men’s work that would resonate with me and I trusted that Taki’h could deliver something I like. The second reason was that I didn’t quite know what the Dark Masculine would be, or how it would relate to the Light Masculine, which I better understood. Third, I have wanted to find brothers and brotherhood, some men to connect with, consciously.
For me, it has always been easier to access the Light, expansion, through meditation and other practices I have done in my life. Thus far it has been more difficult to access the raw, the animal side of me. Somehow I thought, self-righteously, that the Light is better than the Dark. And it had cost me. To be able to live my life in Freedom, I would need to incorporate both the Light and Dark.
It feels to me that the healthy Dark Masculine as it is described here is often misunderstood and maybe even feared. Masculinity is often seen for it’s negative, or shadow sides, without understanding that there’s a healthy side to it as well. Healthy masculinity doesn’t need to exploit or dominate in order to prove something. Abuse of power is not healthy, while consent is very much part of the Dark Masculinity.
In the beginning of the workshop, I thought I didn’t have a connection to the Dark Masculinity at all. It was very insightful to find out about the healthy and unhealthy sides of both Light and Dark Masculine. When we went through the list of unhealthy traits of Dark Masculinity, it really struck me. How unfair I have been, how much bullshit I have poured out, especially in my close relationships with women. I felt ashamed that my connection to and the expression of the Dark Masculinity has been mostly on the unhealthy, on the shadow side of it.
Even if I know that I don’t always behave in an appropriate manner, I haven’t been able to change it. I didn’t quite understand where it was coming from. I have been reactive and even arrogant, and definitely verbally attacking without knowing why. I’ve been blaming the other, when in fact, it’s all about me anyway. Now that I know where this shady behaviour is coming from, it immediately started to loosen its grip. Most likely it won’t be an overnight miracle change even if it feels like it at the moment. To grow it needs to be nourished and practiced in real life and in real situations.
It really felt like this work offered a real and long-lasting solution to a puzzle where the pieces haven’t fit quite right. I felt the change immediately as we practiced being in the states of the Light Masculine and Dark Masculine. It felt very good to be able to recognize and call forth the Dark, strong quality in me, and to be able to bring it out.
It amazes me how subtle Takih’s work actually is, in outward terms, but how profound an effect it can have. She uses simple practices alone and with others, deep reflection and feeling emotions to bring about change. A few of the brothers who attended this workshop defined it as life-changing, and I agree with that bold statement as well. I was able to meet my partner from a completely new place that was wonderful and loving for both of us.
The Light Masculine in me was able to access my purpose and mission in this life, and the Dark Masculine force can be used to materialize it in this world.
My desire for the immediate future is to be able to access the Dark Masculine when necessary and needed and to stand in my own power.
I know who I am, and I know what I want.
And I want to explore the work further. This was just a beginning. So I signed up for Takih’s retreat in Egypt in December. It’s actually a three week long journey, but because of other commitments, I will be able to attend only the first week. I’m hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of these energies or aspects of ourselves.
I want to bring this into my life, so that it’s easier to live a fulfilling life and be able to appreciate our fellow travellers and especially I want to bring this powerful and alive dynamic to my intimate relationship.