Raising Pagan Children: the Southern Way PART THREE

Author: Mja Principe
Date: Sunday, 20 December
Pagan Healing For Men & Women

It is significant that in our culture, there is such a widespread ignorance of a wound so deep and so common, that most bear no knowledge of it. According to the Jungian Psychologist and Author, this ignorance has cost us our wounded feeling function and has rendered us unable to feel joy, self-worth, gratitude, awe, etc. Through the “Wounded Fisher King” Johnson illustrates the anxiety and loneliness that plague men and through the “Handless Maiden”, he explains the very different frustrations of men and women and describes how these disparities in the way we suffer account for much of the tension and miscommunication between men and women today. His insightful analysis shows that these two stories, created centuries ago, are so very relevant today.

After listening or reading the following article, please get a copy of Johnson’s “The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden”, to deepen your analysis and understanding.

Most of us have come to the disappointing realization that when the days of the Vikings, Knights of the Round Table and hero-saviours died away, so too did the poetry, the beauty, the chivalry, the magic … all of that nobility made way for the cold, sterile world of industrial exploitation, violence, desirable ugliness, injustice, crime and despair. Mankind began plundering, burning, raping Mother Nature and turned on itself and women to do the same thing.

Théun Mares, in the Quest for Maleness (1999) wrote that a child grows up acting out what he feels his parents are doing to him. From this statement it is obvious that it is from our parents that we learn the basic values of life, discipline, respect for authority and all life, etc. Let’s face it, our behaviour has a long lasting impression on our children.

What a tremendous opportunity! What a formidable responsibility! Let us teach our sons that masculinity does not equate with stereotypical chauvinism. They should stand proud in their masculinity and reclaim their power as males. Young Pagan men should be taught to stand up for Pagan Pride, for Mother Nature, for their Pagan brothers and sisters. They should be knowledgeable, rational and logical, without neglecting their feelings, without neglecting to listen to their hearts. Every male should strive for his internal balance and know his inner female counterpart. The female/partner in his life, is his inner woman. She mirrors his inner female gender. Being a male does not give men the right to dominate, verbally abuse, control or break down women.

Pagan men should not “take revenge on Mummy, by picking on other women”. Men should treat their women/partners as the queen/king in their lives. Pagan Fathers, remember that if you don’t fulfil your role/fate as a father, your sons will not be able to learn from you what they need to know in order to be equipped for family life and fatherhood later on in life. Don’t be weak or manipulative. When little boys become adolescents they do not communicate as much as they did when they were younger. Rather, they observe and emulate the actions of the father.

Pagan Mothers, do not be over-bearing and dominant towards your husbands. Allow your sons to evolve to their full potential and to develop a healthy sense of self-confidence and inner strength. Let the examples in the home be positive ones. Give the boys time to get to know themselves, for in that lies the true power of being male.

The true power of the female does not lie in the “hen-pecking” of men, but in choosing the compatible partner and supporting him in his cause. She never undermines the male’s belief in himself, but rather compliments him and uplifts him and his efforts. A male gauges his worth by the acceptance other males give to him. Men give one another leadership, respect and following. Women should understand this mystery and respect it. A realized male acts without fear and is never tempted into reacting. He is never defenceless. He is ever vigilant and aware. Reacting is akin to being emotional and losing control to what is being confronted.

Men do not bully others who are less strong, men do not victimize women or children, nor do they impose their will on others. A realized male knows his worth and always welcomes the female perspective. It is important that Pagan men respond to their partner’s need for warmth and tenderness.

Gardeners should not neglect their gardens. Men have a projective role to play, whilst women have a receptive role to play. Let us learn from Mother Nature and mimic her lessons. Men are the creators and women the producers of their purpose.

The fulfilled male has overcome the imbalance as well as the rebellion against the Mother. He works with Her towards the higher good of his immediate family and towards that of the Whole. Being a true female means being in touch with your intuition and your inner power (which is femininity). Be gentle, nurturing, and remember you are not the weaker sex. Women are not victims. Women’s natural role is to preserve and to protect. Women don’t need to be liberated from being women. Rather, they need to be freed from the idea that women are inferior to men. We are not their competitors but their partners in life. Let us tell each of our daughters that they are special and that it is not necessary for them to ascribe to societal stereotypes of saint, mother or whore. Each woman has a role to play and none is nobler than the other. Let us teach our daughters that they are not defenceless. Women are capable of thinking for themselves, of fending for themselves and their little ones. Women are creatures with a purpose: they cooperate, support and nurture life.
Men remember that women are not the antagonistic opposite of yourselves. Women conceive. Through women, the purpose of your lives manifests. Men are not merely sperm donors and women are not merely incubators and walking-talking titty-bars. Procreation is a sacred act and family life should be devoid of this animosity and tension between the sexes. The whole battle of the sexes can be entirely eliminated/avoided by men striving to be the best males they can be, and in women striving to be the best females they can be. If a male wants to be respected he must act like a man. He must lead, be responsible, point the direction, and show you how to do things.

To understand their inner male, women must observe their outer male. You cannot be yourself without a mirror. Marriage is being committed to the outward manifestation of your opposite. The male (in men and women) loves and embraces his partner. A relationship where there is no inclusion of your opposite (of your woman/partner), is sterile both on physical and metaphysical levels. Let us remember that living life is not about walking the road to self-denial, but it is also not about alcohol and substance abuse, the exploitation of the weaker, lack of discipline, dishonesty, lack of respect, debauchery or licentiousness. It is striving towards balance.

Let us teach our children about our wounded feeling functions. Let us teach them to focus on the ancient myths that teach us about the steps to spiritual enlightenment, about the wounded masculinity function and wounded femininity function and how we find both within our individual existences. The lack of communication between men and women stem from this, turning our inner duality into a malfunction that affects our relationship with others and society as a whole.

The wounding of man’s generative being affects his personal value and psychological make-up and his ability to create in more subtle ways, as does the “silver-hands” syndrome affect women’s ability to do, and the negative programming that she is rendered helpless, permanently disabled/wounded by the paternal figure from whom she expects protection affects her ability to trust, giving rise to her reluctance to let go and accept her man’s leadership. Man cannot wish away his feminine side. He has to explore and get close to the handless maiden within himself. The hero cannot truly manifest if the feminine nuances (feelings of loneliness, lack of self-esteem, powerlessness and hurt) are not dealt with. He has to rescue his internal maiden and mother her back to perfect trust and spiritual wellbeing. Woman must explore and overcome the inability to feed her inner hunger and overcome her helplessness, by persevering and enduring; it’s alone in the meditative nature of her internal king, that she can find her curative feminine powers.

The feminine in the internal male alone can heal the masculine wound in the female. Men and women who have healed from their inner wounds and no longer give in to the urge to blame something extraneous to themselves, becomes true healers of men, true gifts to an ailing society. Modern day Paganism has lost sight of the values of beauty, virtue and goodness. Modern Paganism has been imbued with the messianic message of dooms-day culture and evil in darkness. Our Pagan ancestors embraced beauty, light as well as dark, and virtue as inherent to their way of life. The ideal of beauty and goodness was manifest in the ethics and morality, in the decorating of their clothing, their residences, shrines and lifestyle. The beauty of art was uplifting and specifically designed to inspire men towards striving for the good which is in everything, and towards excelling in Being true to Our Inner Divine, which is both male and female, and neither of them at the same time.

Let us heal ourselves from all the prescriptions and taboos of society and revive these ways within our homes! May all our children grow up to be wholesome and grown up to be healers!


The King Fisher & the Handless Maiden – Robert A. Johnson – 1993
The Quest for Maleness – Théun Mares – 1999
Unveil the Mysteries of the Female – Théun Mares – 1999