In former times, tribes were ruling humanity, and boys would be initiated into masculinity by other men in a once-in-a-lifetime ritual to find a healthy way of living masculinity.
As mythologist Joseph Campbell writes in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces“:
Today in the western world, tribes seem to not rule anymore. Their beauty is gone, and so are the initiations for men. Poet Rober Bly was addressing this in his seminal work "Iron John" as many other authors did after him.
Yet the tribes live on, but only with their shadow side. Today in so-called civilized societies around the world, national borders and interests from Brasil to Hungary are reinforced by their de facto tribal leaders who do not include the needs of the world in their politics.
Joseph Campbell saw this coming: "The national idea, with the flag as totem, is today an aggrandizer of the nursery ego, not the annihilation of an infantile situation."
Some boys don't become men anymore, they become presidents.
How can the healthy Masculine be retrieved to find a juicy interplay with the healthy Feminine again?
In the 21st century, men need initiation in a different way.
Because from my perspective, to be a man is not a given.
It never was.
It only appeared like it as the societies were organized in a structure that put men, and women, into a rigid order.
Today it becomes more and more apparent that being a man never was a self-explanatory being with given techniques, duties and prerogatives like in the old days Joseph Campbell writes about.
In the groundbreaking time of the 21st century, the world shows a thousand faces each moment, and a hero needs an initiation into being a man not only once in a lifetime to be able to deal with them. He needs initiation from moment to moment.
As the elders in our society do not have their place anymore, men need to become the elders for each other. This is only possible by coming together to be brothers. They do not need to be old anymore to support each other. The young can be old, the old can be young; it is an interplay not of age but of consciousness.
While the world changes, men today can stand with each other forming a tribe of consciousness where a river of the Masculine flows to each man.
In this flow, men are being constantly renewed.
Only in the creative cauldron of a circle of men, he finds the constantly changing techniques, duties, and prerogatives of his vocation he needs in every moment by getting reflections, the care, and the space of other men to manifest his potential.
Women birth boys.
Men birth men;
again and again.
A hero today is not a single man anymore. A hero is constantly born in a community of men supporting and celebrating each other.
On the verge of 2022, the thousand faces of men are asked to form the hero together. Let's call this hero the healthy Masculine.
What a joy and beauty and celebration.
Joachim C. Wehnelt
Guardian of the Brothers Of Heart
Cycle for new men: "The River of Men"
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