Milky Way

My Own Story

June 2014

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Growing up as a male with a strong Archetypal Feminine side, I was oriented as a youth with games of the imagination: playing in the woods around my home; drawing elaborate mazes in the basement of a friend; making music with my saxophone; writing fictional stories about my classmates. Of course, all children like to play, but I was slow to exit the world of the imagination, and struggled with a dawning awareness through high school and college of the need to find my place in the “real” world of adult responsibilities.

I went to college to study chemistry as a nod in this direction, but by my junior year had changed my major to English. I spent the last two years in undergraduate school writing poetry, studying literature and philosophy, indulging in mind altering substances, and learning to meditate. While my classmates were aggressively competing for the corporate job, I was planning a post-graduation cross-country trip that wound up in a commune called Funny Farm. Shortly after that, I moved into an ashram, where I studied kundalini yoga and meditation, wore a turban on my head, and exchanged my writing talents for room and board in a community of like-minded spiritual seekers.

It wasn’t until I left the ashram at the ripe old age of 27 and found myself faced with the necessity for the first time to earn my livelihood like “normal” people that I woke up to the fact that something essential was missing from my psychological repertoire. In retrospect, I can identify the missing ingredient as a relationship with the archetypal Masculine, although at the time, it just felt like I did not belong to this world in which I suddenly found myself cast adrift.

I spent the next 36 years or so, learning how to stand on my own two feet – financially and otherwise. I built a couple of successful businesses, started and ran a non-profit, ran a couple of political campaigns, became the president of the land cooperative where I live, built my own home, learned to use a chain saw, planted a garden, wrote and published several books, taught workshops, and in general, actualized the power of the effective doer on the archetypal Masculine side of my nature.

Earlier this year, I retired from a successful business buying and selling college textbooks to devote myself full time to building the vision of the retreat center on whose website this blog series runs. As I see it, Yggdrasil brings together the archetypal Masculine in the extraordinary amount of clear thinking and doing it will take to get off the ground, and the archetypal Feminine through its rootedness in the mythopoetic realm of dreams and Nordic mythology, and the cooperative nature of the process by which the Talking Council guides it forward.

Yggdrasil is my path to Sacred Balance at this point in my life, just as it is potentially a path to Sacred Balance for those who choose to participate and for the culture at large. The process is sometimes slower than I would like it to be, but it is clear that I can only push it so far so fast without sliding over the line into the domain of the Wounded Masculine. Nor can I indulge my penchant for wild imagination about distant possibilities for too long without feeling the pull back to more immediate, practical concerns. The fact that I am more aware of where the line is now than I was 20 years ago suggests that I am making progress, and if I can make progress, then I can also entertain hope for the imbalanced world that Generation Lost will inherit.

Addendum (written in 2021): Yggdrasil is no longer in existence, but my process remains the same, and I believe the principles I wrote about in this series still apply to our collective journey toward Sacred Balance.

The last post in this series is The Sacred Balance Workshop.

To read more blog posts, go here.