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Day #48 and the Maiden King

Day’s inspiration: The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine by Robert Bly and Marion Woodman. I’ll admit, I haven’t actually read Bly’s half of the book, because I am such a fan of Woodman’s writing. So far, through interpretation of a Russian folktale (“The Maiden Tsar/King”), she speaks to the necessity of transforming one’s relationship to inner femininity and masculinity–qualities that have come to be polarized and genderized and made into cartoonish stereotypes in our society. Woodman speaks to one’s personal balance. An old professor of mine used to talk about masculine and feminine aspects in terms of yang and yin (respectively) to remove them from the baggage with which we so closely associate each term. I like that approach. I’d like to dedicate today’s practice (and life) to the following passage:

“[…] A weak masculine [yang] in women produces a distorted, one-sided feminine–the baby doll, who pretends to be everything any man imagines her to be, or a Gorgon [like Medusa], who reduces others to stone.”

This distancing, Woodman asserts, has made it difficult for women to reclaim their authentic desire and act in accordance with what they want, and proclaim: “I love life. I desire color, shape, texture. I desire sexuality. I desire the luscious possibilities of all life has to offer. I accept life. I accept life. I accept life with its imperfections that work together toward wholeness. I love life in its constant state of flux. I accept death as part of life, contributing to growth.”

[Page 130]

(Eleanor Vere Boyle, 1872, “The King Rides Off with the Maiden” from “The Wild Swans;” not “The Maiden King,” but an image of public domain.)

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