Can We Tame the Masculine Monsters Within?


“The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several million human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche.” ~Carl Jung

I know little about astrology, but I respect the symbols in my dreams. I see astrology as another symbol system which—like Tarot, I Ching, and myths—elicits my imaginative and intuitive skills in the interest of understanding myself and taming my demons.

So when writer and blogger, Elaine Mansfield, commented after my last post that she was fascinated by the complex astrology of this time that features Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn, I was curious. I researched these gods to see what they symbolized to the Romans who worshiped them.

Pluto means wealth. He was the god of the underworld, death, and rebirth. Associated with the unconscious, he ruled all that is below the surface.

Jupiter means Jovial King and Father of Thunder. The leader of the Olympian deities, he was a teacher and mentor of the gods who always helped them in wars against demons.

Saturn means God of seeds, Father of the Harvest, and Father Time. He was the god of duty who punished those who didn’t perform their jobs faithfully and well. He’s associated with ambition, status, toughness, wisdom, patience, honor, hardships, and fatalism.

Like Elaine, I see some fascinating similarities between these powerful symbols of masculinity, the astrological charts, the latest news about the horrific murder of George Floyd, and the monsters in me and all of us. In ancient times, everyone knew the gods and goddesses had both positive and negative qualities. That’s why people developed rituals—sacrifices, prayers, dances, processions, and music: to appease the gods so they would use their powers to benefit humanity.

Today many of us still gather to worship our god-images in sacred places. Unfortunately, that does not stop us from unleashing our inner monsters on the world. Because gods and monsters don’t just live in heaven and hell. They live in us.

Jupiter helped the gods in wars against demons. Who are the demons now? They’re not the peaceful protestors who have been marching to show respect for the victim and sympathy for his family and friends. No, it was our hired protectors who defied the sacred law, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” And it was the small minority of rabble rousers who took advantage of the chaos to defy the holy law, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Were there demons in any of the people who worshiped their god-image in church on Sunday? Did some of them ignore the commandments to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself” on Monday? Were there any demons in places of power and authority who made a mockery of the god they profess to worship by blatantly breaking these same commandments with threats and divisive actions?

Saturn is an ambitious king and god of duty. Where are the gods who will punish leaders who do not fulfill their duties to govern and protect our country in a just and responsible way? Who are the political instruments of Saturn’s shadow, the demons who deliberately drive wedges between us to further their ambition?

Wealthy Pluto rules all that is below the surface in America. Who are the demons of greed who take advantage of this crisis and the Covid19 pandemic to fill their pockets? Why are they not using their wealth to repair our brokenness? Where are the benevolent gods who will give our underprivileged citizens the support, health care, and education they need to live without resorting to thievery?

Today the world is witnessing the ugly and brutal shadows of some of America’s leaders and protectors. We cannot change them or our society easily. But we can change ourselves, and as we do, others will change. We all contain a masculine drive for self-preservation and a feminine drive for species-preservation. And we all contain demons who thrive in dark chambers in our unconscious selves. The police officer who killed George Floyd was trying to kill his demons. But it didn’t work because George Floyd wasn’t the problem. The problem was Derek Chauvin, a man who was afraid to do his real duty: accept his own darkness and neutralize his own demons.

It’s not too late to tame the masculine monsters in ourselves and our culture, but we can only do it by balancing their excesses with some equally powerful feminine energy. We anxiously await the return of the goddesses who the ancient gods sent into exile thousands of years ago. Only they can save us now, for they are the mothers of mythos, the imaginative, intuitive, symbolic wisdom that can return restorative meaning to our shriveling souls. They are the parts of all of us that respect, nurture, and act with compassion toward their brothers and sisters of every color and every form of life on our planet. Let us call on them now.

What demons in you need taming?

Check out this interview with Desmond Tutu and his daughter, the Rev. Mpho Tutu, about how he helped lead South Africa into a multiracial democracy.

The following link is to a video that features astrologer, Pam Gregory, who talks about the significance of last week’s June 5 lunar eclipse before it happened. Keep watching to hear her forecast for the rest of this year. It sounds like it’s going to be a very dynamic, transitional time.

Image credits: Demon, Jupiter, Goddesses Three: Pixabay.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Watch for her new book, The Soul’s Twins, to be launched by Schiffer Publishing this October.

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10 Responses

  1. Dear Jeanie, I’m so pleased you’ve discovered Pam, she’s such an extraordinary astrologer and generous soul, one I’ll be following for years to come! Astrology and interpreting birth charts is a field I long to delve deeper into when the time is right in my life, in the meantime I listen and learn much from her and her YouTube videos. If your readers are interested they can download their own individual “free” birth chart from her astrology website.

    So true, those “shadowy” monsters live within all of us! Even more powerful ones I believe live in people with a pious, “holier than thou” persona! In fact, they’re the ones I fear the most! The news video of Trump holding the bible was not only laughable but truly terrifying! Much like the Divine Tarot, astrology offer us so much rich, insightful wisdom. Thank you for shining a light on the individual meanings and traits of these great and powerful planetary Gods with us!

    “We anxiously await the return of the goddesses who the ancient gods sent into exile thousands of years ago.” Ah, now there’s a sentence to pierce this poet’s heart! When reading the incredible story of “Lord of the Rings” (and watching all the films again and again!) and learning that the Ent wives were missing, I’m sure J R R Tolkien was referring to the exiled goddesses themselves. Hmm, a seed for a future poem lands!

    Earlier today I learnt “Mars will be in Aries from 28th June until 7th January so there will be a great deal of action, hopefully at the highest level of spiritual warrior energy.” So I guess the power and strength of those planetary alignments will be continuing for some time to come. What demon in me need taming? Right now “patience” or the ability to sit and wait until the world’s quarantine (however defined) is lifted. Love and light, Deborah.

    1. Dear Deborah,

      I’d never heard of Pam until I was browsing through my publisher’s Youtube site (Schiffer Publishing.) I’m in the process of making a book trailer for my upcoming book and wanted to see examples of other ones. I think they published one of Pam’s books. This video is not a trailer for it though. Anyway, she certainly seems extremely knowledgeable. And I did notice the British accent.:-)

      Yes, it was the self-righteous religious authorities that tortured witches and heretics in the Middle Ages and burned Joan of Arc at the stake. Yikes. It sends shivers up and down my spine just to write this.

      I didn’t know the Ent wives were missing. Tolkien definitely understood the language of symbolism, and spoke it well.

      I must admit that the demon of impatience is one of mine as well. At least it is these days. Maybe it’s the pressure of knowing my book will be coming out in four months and I have a lot to do before then. I rush through everyday physical tasks like making my breakfast and cleaning up after dinner, and resent challenges like figuring out how to do things on my computer or being interrupted by telephone calls. I constantly need to remind myself to stop and take a breath and be present int the moment. I long for the mountains where I have no problem relaxing and appreciating the miracle of life.

      Thank you for writing,

      Love, Jeanie

  2. Dear Jeanie, thank you. I read Desmond and his daughter Mpho’s interview (May 2015) with a new interest while SA is exploding on many levels at the moment. He’s always a beacon of light in these dark times (he’s now 88). His wife Leah is wonderful too. What truth to say that each of us is capable of ghastly deeds.

    George Floyd’s death was terrible and brutal. What is interesting to me is how people here in SA are jumping onto the bandwagon without looking at what is happening in our country, eg the recent deaths of 11 people at the hands of police. Let alone the ongoing murders. Deflection with a capital D. While I’m not sure that George Floyd is worthy of being martyred (his criminal record is breathtaking), his death does bring a heightened awareness of structural racism seen in all quarters of life. And dark shadows of those in power being exposed left right and centre. Will it make a difference? I’m not sure …

    As you say, change if it is going to come about, begins with each of us. From the microcosm to the macrocosm. Do unto others as you’d like done unto yourself. Love your neighbour as yourself (even if perceived as the enemy).

    We saw the eclipse last Friday night. Last night there was a bright star close to the moon which I photographed and this morning around 4.00 I stepped out onto the balcony to see where the moon was. She was behind the house with that bright star still close by. This morning, perhaps unconsciously nudged, I planted the seedlings I’ve been meaning to do for several days. Maybe a way of propitiating the gods. Or, let me say welcoming in the goddesses and asking them for help in these dark times. Lord knows we need those feminine energies …

    1. Dear Susan,

      Wow. I guess didn’t quite realize the extent to which your country is still struggling. I guess we’re not the only ones. The 20th century had more wars than ever before and although national boundaries changed, fear of the other and racism still persist generations later. Two steps forward and one step back.

      We didn’t get to see the lunar eclipse here. I suspect the bright star was Venus, the morning star.

      I love that you planted seedlings this morning. I haven’t done that in years. Maybe I should begin. It’s such a lovely way to sow hope and remind ourselves of the ongoing, life-giving energy of the Self. I know I could use some reminders of that right now.

      These certainly are dark times. Still, I know from personal experience that change is possible. And it’s exactly times like this that trigger it.


  3. One way to tame the monster within, as privileged white individuals, is to read “WHITE FRAGILITY: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin Diangelo. My son, who is Latinx, bought my husband and me a copy years ago. I thought I knew what it meant to be racist; I didn’t. I’m giving copies to family and friends – asking only that they pass the book along when they’re finished. We need to change ourselves first. (It’s currently sold out on Amazon, but keep checking.) Thank you for reminding us to pay attention to psyche, Jean!

  4. Dear Diane,

    Thank you so much for your suggestion and recommendation. I haven’t heard of “White Fragility,” but I definitely resonate with the title. It sounds fascinating. I will most definitely look for it on Amazon. And I’ll let my book group friends know about it too. Love, Jeanie

  5. Great! I love these archetypal symbols. Thank you, Jeanie. I’d say the keyword for Pluto is Transformation and it will happen no matter what the ego has to say about it. The ego often resists, but Pluto makes huge archetypal cultural changes much bigger than the ego can imagine. As well as more positive meanings you’ve brought out, Jupiter amplifies any situation and we’re seeing issues grow large fast. Saturn puts strong restrictions and rules as you’ve said–for better or for worse. And the planet Uranus, another wild change making archetype is also in the astrological mix and has been for a while.

    If you’re interested in hearing about the configurations from a Jungian astrologer, and philosopher Rick Tarnas, author of ‘The Passion of the Western Mind,’ I recommend his 90 minute you tube talk about the astrology of this time: Rick doesn’t assume the listener is fluent in astrological symbols, so he explains the archetypal energy behind them. It was recorded in April, so focuses primarily on the covid19 crisis, but his words ring amazingly true about what happened in the last few weeks. He’s not fatalistic, but believes in free will and that we can influence events. I saw that happening as Grace entered a disaster and protesters and some police stepped back from the brink of chaos and destruction. I see people stepping up to the challenge of racism. I quote my own notes about what Tarnas said: “a time of volcanic intense evolutionary pressures for radical reconfiguration for all life structures.” He brings in climate crisis, too. (Rick was a teacher at California at Integral Studies and taught with Stan Grof at Esalen. Vic loved his work.)

    In thinking of strong feminine energy to counter all this masculine power, I saw a brief video of a young bi-racial girl looking deeply into an aggressive policeman’s eyes. She had on a cloth mask. He had full riot gear. She said her father who was white told her (I paraphrase), “always look deeply in their eyes so they know you’re human.” I saw so many young women at a local mostly white gathering of 200 for Black Lives Matter in my small mostly white community. The Goddess may be showing up in them.

    I had an unusually violent dream this week, but the main point was: “The rich man has died. The antidote came in tender eyes for the suffering of the buffalo we Americans slaughtered by the thousands as we moved west.” After reading your post, I see the compassion and suffering in those dream buffalo eyes as an awakening of feminine consciousness, at least in me. (I’m sorry for the length of my response, Jeanie, but there’s so much to say about this moment in our lives. Thanks again for articulating what’s going on.)

    1. Very cool! I didn’t quite realize how knowledgeable astrologers are about the archetypes. Thanks for adding so much to this discussion by highlighting Pluto’s transformational powers, Jupiter’s tendency to amplify, and Saturn’s strong restrictions. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks also for the mention of Rick Tarnas’ Youtube talk. I will definitely watch this.

      I love your dream buffalo eyes. When I read it my first thought was also feminine consciousness. Thank goodness it seems to be awakening in a big way around the globe. I believe this is absolutely critical. Without it, there is no possibility of transforming ourselves or the world in the direction of greater empathy, compassion, and justice.

      There really is so much to be said about this moment, and I appreciate your associations. Thank you very much for joining in this discussion. I welcome other perspectives and hope others will add them. Jeanie

      1. Jeannie, I just listened to Rick Tarnas’s talk again (and exhausted my hearing capacity for the rest of this day and perhaps a few days). It feels so important that your book is coming out at this time when we need to connect the archetypal energies between personal and cosmic levels in order to transform and survive. He makes it clear how much we all need to contribute since so much is at stake. Thank you for your work.

        1. Thank you, Elaine. It does seem very synchronistic that my book (The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Feminine and Masculine Archetypes) is coming out soon (late Oct.). I had hoped it would come out a month or so ahead of the Nov. elections, just in case it might convince a few people of the importance of balancing the feminine archetypes with the masculine ones–both within oneself and in the world.

          But the universe had a different idea. At present the plan is to launch it on the 28th of Oct., about a week before the elections. And I’m cool with that. Just very, very grateful that Schiffer Publishing, under their imprint of Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit, wanted to publish it.

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