9 05 2013
Balancing Mars and Venus in Each of Us
Excerpt From The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand
and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life by Kevin B. Burk
When we think of ourselves first and foremost as human,
we’ve taken the first step towards regaining our balance.
Gender does not define who we are. Gender is nothing more
than a biological point of view. Once we take 2,500 years of
ego- and fear-based conditioning out of the picture, the
main difference between men and women is whether we have
indoor or outdoor plumbing. We are not our bodies. Our
bodies are nothing more than a suit of clothes worn by our
spirit. The main differences are that our spirits wear our
bodies for longer than our bodies wear our clothes, and our
bodies are harder to dry clean. Men and women do have
different points of view, but what matters is that we are
all human. And every human has equal amounts of masculine
and feminine energy.
It would be easier to embrace this truth if we had a better
understanding of exactly what “masculine” and “feminine”
really mean. Our current definitions are inexorably linked
to gender, sexuality, biology, and the ego-based lie of male
superiority. We have lost touch with many of the qualities
that were once associated with the feminine. In order to
rediscover these qualities, we have to go back more than
2,500 years and explore the culture of Ancient Greece.
The Ancient Greeks were the last civilization to include
reasonably healthy feminine archetypes. Of the twelve Gods
in Olympus, five of them were women. Until very recently,
though, we only embraced three of the feminine archetypes.
Women could be sex objects, in which case they connected
with the archetype of Aphrodite (or Venus, in the Roman
pantheon), the Goddess of Love, Desire and Beauty. Women
could be wives, in which case they connected with the
archetype of Hera, the wife of Zeus and the Goddess of
Marriage–who, despite her tremendous strength and cunning,
was repeatedly forced to be subservient to her philandering
husband. And women could be mothers, in which case they
connected with the archetype of Hestia, the Goddess of the
Hearth and protector of the home. These three archetypes
embodied the sum total of the feminine for more than 2,000
years. The male ego successfully suppressed the powerful
female archetypes of Athena and Artemis, who collectively
embody feminine strength, skill and mastery.
Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom, Reason and Purity.
Severing our connection to her archetype was no small feat,
as Athena was one of the most revered and respected of all
of the Olympians. In fact, the city of Athens is named after
her. Athena was fair, just, and an incredibly powerful
warrior. She was the embodiment of feminine strength. While
Ares, the God of War (and the Greek counterpart to Mars, the
Roman God of War) was wantonly destructive, childish,
violent, aggressive, and ultimately a coward, Athena was
proud, strong, and courageous. More importantly, Athena
would only fight in order to defend the city–she would never
initiate any conflicts, and she always preferred diplomacy
Athena is the archetype of the female warrior. Female
warriors are in no way inferior to male warriors: Time and
again, women have proved that they are in every way equal to
men on the battlefield. The difference is that female
warriors do not fight in the same way that male warriors do,
nor do they fight for the same reasons. Male warriors fight
to attack, while female warriors fight to defend. The female
warrior archetype has returned, however. We see it when
Sarah Michelle Gellar beats up vampires and saves the world
(while still maintaining every ounce of her femininity) in
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and when Lucy Lawless battles
warlords, gods and monsters alike in Xena, Warrior Princess.
More recently, we see Guinevere portrayed as a warrior in
Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s 2004 film retelling of
Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt, is the archetype of the
female athlete. In every way, she was the equal of her
brother, Apollo. Artemis has returned as a useful archetype
for women today, thanks to the popularity of women’s
athletics. Women now have role models and opportunities to
explore their physical strength, and test and improve their
skills through competitive sports.
We have always measured “masculinity” based on strength,
power, and skill, but these qualities are as present in
women as they are in men. Women were supposed to be delicate
flowers who needed men to protect them. The truth, however,
is that while men may have the edge over women in terms of
brute strength, that women often surpass men in skill and
dexterity. Once we take biology and reproduction out of the
equation, men and women are very evenly matched. So what
then, are the truly “masculine” and “feminine” qualities?
The masculine principle is focused, expressive, and direct.
The feminine principle is diffuse, intuitive, and receptive.
The feminine principle provides the container to support the
masculine energy. Masculine energy expands, and feminine
energy contracts. Any action can be “masculine” or
“feminine” in nature, depending on how it is applied.
Warrior energy on its own is neither masculine nor feminine.
It becomes masculine when we attack in order to expand our
borders; it becomes feminine when we fight to defend and
protect our tribe from invasion.
It’s true that men tend to be more in touch with the more
“masculine” or yang aspects, while women tend to be more in
touch with the more “feminine” or yin aspects. But not being
aware of or familiar with our complimentary nature doesn’t
mean that we can’t learn about it and express it. This, in
fact, is the reason that men and women form relationships
with each other. Our partners are our mirrors, and when men
and women relate to each other–whether that relationship is
sexual or not–what we see reflected is our complimentary
nature. We see the parts of ourselves that we haven’t
integrated or owned yet. And through our relationships with
the opposite gender, we learn how to connect with and own
these parts of ourselves, and experience true balance. We
need to learn to acknowledge, accept and embrace these two
complimentary natures. We each have both Mars and Venus
within us, and we need to learn how to appreciate and
express them both.
Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook:
How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your
Life. Visit http://www.everyrelationship.com for a FREE
report on creating AMAZING Relationships.