Cultivating the Archetypal Feminine in Men (And Women): Debunking an Exclusionary, Limiting View.


Recently, in light of our current cultural-meets-psychological-spiritual-meets-political-meets-the-soul-of-a-nation-in-crisis crisis, I’ve heard directly and secondhand, from men and women, a notion that “Women have the power to change the world for the better.”

I see, however, some difficulty in that statement’s implied limitations in the exclusion of the mention of men.

Having formally studied and extensively written on the historical theoretical roots of the archetypal Feminine’s role in informing and shaping modern psychological and spiritual thought and practice, as well as its implications for crafting a psyche that is whole and mature, along with a planet (as explored in the field of ecopsychology) that is healthy and sustainable, my guess is that perhaps there lies a misunderstanding rooted in a lack of familiarity with the depth-psychological underpinnings of the exclusionary statement.

So, here’s what I hope is a helpful distinction as I’ve noted, with some concern, how this issue seems to be growing in popularity over the last couple decades:

Men also have the power to change this world. For the more evolved, expansive, more eco-centric and more soul-centric — for the better.

Some of the most openhearted, soul-centered, empathic, intuitive, nurturing and awake humans I have known, are men. Men are not the problem.

Lack of psychological developmental maturity, and the outright willingness to dive deep into our depths and do what it takes to get to know our selves and our purpose for being here, what we came to give, is one of the core issues that has befallen us collectively now.

Let me explain: my sense is that this troubling subtly exclusionary statement with regard to women being the ones with the power for this sort of world-change may be alluding to the power of the archetypal Feminine — that particular way of being and behaving that is demonstrably nurturing, creative, feeling, caring, destructive in service of creation/evolution, tending, flowing, consensus-building, open, compassionate, wholehearted, tender, intuitive, wildly empathic and fierce.

There is, however, a common misconception about the presence of the archetypal Feminine.

The archetypal Feminine is no more present and available to be activated, actuated and fully instantiated within the psyche of a woman, than it is within the psyche of a man.

Among the inner work, for men and women,

is to look hard

into dark places

to identify within,

excavate, liberate,

and integrate

the presence of the archetypal Masculine and Feminine psychological and embodied energies within ourselves, and bring those energies, once well-balanced and made conscious, to bear, to serve the healing and evolution of the soul of the world. One fiercely compassionate move at a time.

Our cultural milieu of the last few hundred years has been marked by the presence of the highly unconscious archetypal Masculine — the aspects of the archetypal Masculine that do great harm, make great wars, among individuals and countries.

This sort of disintegrated archetypal Masculine (think Zeus, Pluto, Hades) hyper-aggressive, competitive, consumerist, money-grabbing, misogynistic, ravaging-of-the-earth, and now, nearly-soulless cultural milieu tends to both reflect and trigger many individual wounds and traumas that then further press in on, and perhaps now more than ever, work to aggressively dissuade our living, loving, critical-thinking, and finally — serving solidly with care — from a consciously cultivated stance grounded in a fierce integration of the archetypal Feminine and Masculine in our consciousness.

It’s not at all about females. Nor males. It’s about soul. (Soul means psyche in Greek.). And it is, ultimately, about our willingness to forgo a small and well-approved-of life, for a large and more edgy one — on the fringes of a culture and a way of being that has nearly forgotten how to love, and is resoundingly crying out for it.

It takes enormous inner work, great sacrifice of all manner of comfort and safety, to inhabit a true soul’s adventure, to live and serve this way. And the rub is: this integrated soul-centric way of being is no more available to women, than it is to men — to embody individually as well as to ignite and give birth to in the world.

It’s time we all get it together. Do the hard work, the heavy inner lifting to unearth, wake up, and actuate those aspects of our psyche we may have either disowned, lost track of, or just plain let languish. The world, indeed, is waiting. Teetering, we might say. On the edge of genuinely evolving. Or devolving further. It’s up to all men. All women. Never been a better time to wholly adult than now.


Melissa La Flamme is a visionary artisan of cultural evolution. As an author, poet, Jungian & shamanic psychotherapist and troublemaker, she kindles soul’s smoldering longing for everything real. She helps hack and track the smell of our longing to fully inhabit our life. She shows us how to enact our own prison break, from the inner and outer lockdowns we have unknowingly built. Melissa teaches the soul’s clandestine trade. The trade of the code-breaker of our one authentic life. The way of the Holy Hacker of our soul. The one writhing alive in our glistening, raving heart, vulnerable, ravished, undone and messy in a world where anything but is the safe way to belong. Visit her at her website, and on Facebook.


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