Updated: Mar 15, 2022
The dance of yin and yang, positive and negative, masculine and feminine is ever-present in nature and the universe at large. Nothing can exist without its complementary opposite to keep it in balance; summer/winter, day/night, hot/cold etc. The ancient sacred site builders recognised this in constructing their ‘temples’ by harnessing both the energies of heaven and earth. Stone circles, pyramids, cairns and cathedrals were all built on top of powerful currents of earth energies whilst also receiving cosmic energy by being placed on raised ground or having stone antennae. Even within each of these energies there are twin complementary threads such as the Michael and Mary energy currents that weave their way around the St Michael leyline. Many books have been written on such things, but today I want to recall an aspect of the Arthurian legend because it is so relevant for our lives today.
Situated just thirteen miles inland (as the magical crow flies) from Arthur’s legendary birthplace of Tintagel, lies Dozmary Pool. This is the reputed home of Nimue or Nineveh, the Lady of the Lake. In reality its nothing like its Hollywood image, lying on the treeless expanses of Bodmin Moor. However it is a numinous place that invites you to go within and meet the Lady for yourself. It’s recorded that it was she who gifted Excalibur to Arthur along with some advice that has mostly been ignored. She said “This sword’s name is Excalibur and it is very powerful even being able to cut through steel”. Most of us have heard this part of the story but she went on to say something even more important, “but the true power lies not in the sword but in the scabbard. Whosoever wears the scabbard shall never die of his wounds – guard it with your life!”
The sword of course represents the yang or masculine power, the seat of kingship, of logical thought and direct action in the world. The scabbard or protective sheath that ‘holds the blade’ is the yin or feminine power, that of insight, intuition, connection to source, the true lifeblood of our spirituality. This is what needs to be the guiding light in our lives supported by the yang action out in the world.
The symbolism of the chivalrous knight risking all to do the bidding of his ‘queen’ is another allegory for the same thing. Shakti Gawain put it very well many years ago saying that our inner ‘feminine’ or our connection to spirit knows best what course of action to take at any time, and that our inner ‘masculine’ is then great at putting that plan into action. Applying both aspects in their respective areas of expertise brings us into a state of dynamic equilibrium or health. Of course, all of us, men and women, have both aspects within us although we haven’t been taught that. Our inner feminine has been ignored by our society and religions have transferred our true power to god or even the church.
The world has passed through ages of intolerance, ignorance, rationalism, and material pursuit.
As we are now emerging from this long painful journey or dark night of the collective soul, the memory of who we really are is reawakening within us. The keys are shown to us through the myths and legends handed down through the centuries. We can unlock the secrets of the ages, and discover the true Grail within ourselves. In this way we shall not die of the wounds inflicted on us by life but rather live awakened to our true nature.
by Glenn Broughton