In the Name of Sophia – Part Two

In the Name of Sophia - Part Two

“In each of us two powers preside, one male, one female … The androgynous mind is resonant and porous … naturally creative, incandescent and undivided.”  ~  Virginia Woolf

For everything there is a season and mine is late spring, May to be exact. It’s my favourite month of the year in which the wedding of the Goddess and the Green Man takes place. The Goddess symbolises the manifestation of growth and renewal. She is the embodiment of the energy of the earth. The Green Man symbolises the life that grows on earth. They cannot exist without each other. The perfect time, I felt, for sharing the next part of my “In the Name of Sophia” series, as they come together in a beautiful embrace. In this second essay I will be exploring last year’s protests and pandemic in light of Sophia, updating you on my Animus Diet, before reflecting on “Becoming Sophian”, all with a nod to Jung.

Wisdom takes work. It takes years and years of searching, patience, and devotion. However, if it’s valuable to us, in the end we will find it and, much like the Goddess, find ourselves pregnant with new life. The awe, the mystery, the unknowing are part of this journey too, often beyond words. An example of this came to me as I sat in my garden today, with peonies preparing to burst into bloom. I reflected on how, on my journey, my longing for wisdom has brought me a vast yet ever-changing library, where no longer needed books are willingly released for others to enjoy whilst creating space for the new. This willingness to accept there’s a time for birth, death and everything in-between is, hopefully, helping me release what no longer serves and creating more space for Sophia.

In a Time of Pandemic and Protest

Unlike many, staying at home during lockdown came naturally to me as an introvert. My home and garden became more of a sanctuary than ever. During the first lockdown in March last year, I was delighted to press pause on work for the first time in my adult life. Reacquainting myself with my wife, garden, Mother Nature and soul brought out a deep nurturing side to my personality, as I walked, cycled, gardened, wrote poems and dreamt loads! Holding high the lamp of love, I was able to tune in to the steady rise and fall of nature’s breath. For a moment, the outside world became the inside world and I was home. A profound dream I had at this time was one of giving birth to twins which you’ll hear more about later.

The pandemic seemed to come hot on the heels of climate disaster, where floods and wild fires were wreaking havoc in a world dominated by those who did next to nothing to protect Her. Mother Earth seemed to be silently suffering until the coronavirus took the headlines by storm! Worldwide, national lockdowns and “exercise hours” quickly came into force and suddenly millions of people were outdoors enjoying the beauty and splendour of woodlands, mountains and beaches, honouring nature in a way I hadn’t seen in my life before. For me the earth became a warm mattress beneath my feet, where going “out” for a walk, was really going “in” for a walk. I remember looking up to those plane free skies in wonder!

Then came a summer of protests following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer. His dying words, “I can’t breathe”, became the rallying cry for overwhelmingly peaceful protests organised by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. After attending a local “socially distanced” BLM protest myself, I was deeply moved by its peaceful, non-violence stance. Two months ago, in March 2021, Sarah Everard was kidnapped and murdered on her way home in London, by another police officer. Unable to attend a vigil due to lockdown restrictions, like many, I left a lit candle on my doorstep in remembrance of Sarah and as my own peaceful protest. Much like the Women’s March on Washington in 2017, peaceful protest requires and unites both (positive) masculine and feminine energies, or “unity consciousness” as it’s also referred to, in stark contrast to the (negative) angry mob rule, anti-lockdown rallies being held across the world. 

Returning to 2020, by autumn I noticed that social media platforms had become infected with toxic online wars and threats being made against all kinds of protest around gender conversations. The old wounds between the masculine and feminine or “problem of the opposites” as Jung would call it, where each side of the opposite was being favoured while the other side was being dismissed, seemed to be opening up for all to see, as many vitriolic battles ensued. All parties went at it ‘hammer and tongs’, stirring up the gender war to fever pitch. And here we were in the middle of a pandemic, I thought, feeling overwhelmed by all the negativity and wanting to protest at the loss of middle ground in these matters.

That was until I experienced a sharp intake of light, as my wife calls it, which finally led me to encounter Sophia and Her regenerative energy, by asking myself this one question … were my own inner masculine and feminine conflicts mirroring these outer conflicts? YES, came the resounding reply! And so, all thanks to the outer conflicts, my attention was bought back to my inner ones as my ego finally acknowledged what my soul already knew. For the conflicts buried deep within myself were being reflected back to me via social media. At last I understood my attraction to androgyny through my desire to psychologically and spiritually transition my gender to a more harmonious relationship between my masculine and feminine sides.

Five Years on the Animus Diet

So how is the Animus Diet going I hear you ask? Well on the whole pretty good, although sometimes on a physical level I forget and allow my animus to feed me more sugar and fat than my body actually needs! I mention this because the body cannot be ignored on the path to individuation – for nothing will feel right until the body and soul reunite, meeting at the stillpoint. Creatively, it’s been a busy time following last year’s midsummer night’s “desk” dream that guided me to create my second poetry collection, The Shepherd’s Daughter. Then, just when I thought the muses would finally let me put my feet up, a profound “twin” dream sent me scurrying down a Jungian rabbit hole in search of a new, third book. Hopefully, all this creative activity has been balanced out in recent years by devoting more time outdoors than usual.

For those interested, following on from my Animus Diet, I visited my mother three more times in subsequent years, again all thanks to one sister letting me know what was happening in my family. Any pain, anger and sadness had long since departed as I spent hours talking to her about her life, my life and everything in between. On my last visit I read her my poem “Dear Mother, Dear Father” which was a truly healing moment for both of us! Perhaps I’ll see her again, perhaps I won’t. I’m happy and accept this is the best outcome I could hope for, as we reconciled with each other after eighteen years of estrangement. Years of estrangement that enabled me to find myself in ways I could not have done if I had remained in contact. Intuitively, I got the feeling that my mother knew this too, for the knowing smile she gave me as I said goodbye was astonishing … beyond words!

Okay, back to that “twin” dream. Nine months ago on 1st August 2020, I dreamt that I gave birth to twins with the help of an androgynous looking midwife. They broke my waters just before the babies were birthed together, with their light and dark arms and legs wrapped tightly around each other. In the dream I remember thinking, “Oh, they look just like the silver yin/yang ring I wore as a teenager. The boy was light skinned, sturdy and blonde haired, the girl dark skinned, delicate looking and dark haired. The boy talked loudly, the girl talked telepathically. Talk about opposites!

I woke up filled with a sense of awe and, as my wife was still sleeping, I went straight into an active imagination for fear of losing the dream’s essence. What came out of that dialogue could fill another book but the main points seemed to be about how opposites can offer the world guidance. I remember the boy saying, “because of your work you have dreamt us into being, mother”.  What this dream highlighted most for me was the reality of having a feminine and masculine side and how each differed yet balanced out the other. The emergence of the “living” yin/yang symbol from my body, with each light and dark twin embracing, was incredible to witness! In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, “Everything is gestation and then bringing forth.” Thus patience is the master key to all creative life.

The wisdom I’ve gained from the Animus Diet has been invaluable and, for me, proves the reality of a person having both masculine and feminine sides, alongside the ability to find our own balance between these aspects. Going over and over the work patiently throughout winter proved deeply rewarding, as the transitional space between my Anima and Animus became filled with the presence of Sophia. Today, as I turn my lens towards androgyny and meet the Divine Hermaphrodite, I realise that we are all sacred mirrors, reflections of the Goddess Sophia.  If only we would look beyond the surface, to deeper within. I feel that this is the beauty of inner work, as decades later, deeper and deeper meanings will reveal themselves, much like Chinese boxes, there’ll be another box within, and so the mystical game continues.

Becoming Sophian

At twelve years of age I got my first glimpse through the Sophian portal of “Orlando”, a novel by Virginia Woolf. The book describes the adventures of a poet who one night changes sex and becomes their opposite gender. As I slipped the book under my pillow I prayed that I too could change sex on waking. Why? Because growing up lesbian wasn’t possible in my family or in the rural community I lived in, unless I was prepared to face abuse, narrow-mindedness and prejudice. Back then my need to belong far overshadowed my soul’s calling, yet thankfully today those feelings of wanting to change sex and being attracted yet repulsed (as a child) by androgyny have finally made sense. For Sophia came a-calling, only I had no idea!

Even becoming a single parent decades later and having to be both “mother” and “father” to my children, now feels like it was all part of learning Sophia’s wisdom. I’m still left with more questions than answers, but that’s okay as “Desperately Seeking Sophia” feels more like a mystical quest these days, as I continue to search for answers while sitting with the questions. At the heart of this matter I believe lies the ancient wound between men and women as still the war continues above and below! If only we could stop and see the truth that psychologically and spiritually we are neither, and both.

Surely, we’re all somewhere different on the gender continuum, which is impossible to chart because humans are not static and so we’ll move along it throughout our lives. When I look at my Jungian studies holistically, I can see that five years ago writing the Animus Diet opened the first of many doors to wisdom for me through sharing my personal stories … such is the power of story! I hope that by sharing a few of my own experiences, in contrast to offering non personal stories, they have helped others to gain a sense of my journeying towards Sophia, as I travelled from naivety to wisdom and back again many times, with my psyche’s ongoing push for individuation and drive for union.

If, after reading through my work, you would like to explore your own masculine and feminine sides, first ask yourself how your animus and anima are doing. Is one overweight? Is the other underweight? It may help you to take a look at my Animus Diet essays and get acquainted with how these wonderful archetypes work. Previously, I nicknamed my animus “Brutus” and my anima “Olive”, characters taken from the Popeye cartoon but today I see them more like “Iman” and “David Bowie”, as they were together, each powerful in their own right, each happy with both masculine and feminine sides of themselves. It’s all about that connection really! That connection to ourselves and others.

A Nod to Jung

But what is the resolution? … To give birth to the ancient in a new time … The task is to give birth to the old in a new time.”  ~  Carl Jung

Near the end of Carl Jung’s life he wrote in his Black Book diaries that it was the vital task of our age to “remember Sophia”. Here, I offer but a tiny glimpse of the Goddess Herself. She, who I believe, seeks to return to the world, anew, offering us all a sacred path to the future. Slowly, I feel that I’m coming to know and love Sophia, and will never be the same because of Her! And with a final nod to Jung, let me conclude that, by writing these essays and dreaming of giving birth to a “living” Yin/Yang symbol, it has certainly felt like I was giving birth to the ancient in a new time.

In pure synchronicity with Jung’s quote in mind, my laptop broke at the start of February so I had to write both Sophian themed essays by hand and type them up later, which also felt like “giving birth to the old in a new time” as I returned to pen and notebook for the first time in twenty years! Another essay in itself! It took a while to get back into the rhythm of writing by hand but after a few days I even looked forward to the task. I’m hoping that my laptop will be fixed by the time I write my concluding poem to this series but if not, well, my creative imagination has been sharpened and is ready to go!

Wishing you all a Blessed Beltane. May we all dance at the wedding of the Goddess and Her Green Man. May we all find Sophia in their beautiful embrace. Here at the end, I leave you with the image that inspired me to write this series, one that perfectly illustrates my heart’s journey of love on the way to my own Inner Marriage. Dancing ecstatically in each other’s arms are David and Iman who, much like Sophia, lit a way in the dark, long ago, for us all to follow. Love and light, Deborah.

David and Iman

© Deborah Gregory 2021. This essay forms part of a much longer series which includes my four part Animus Diet, Divine Hermaphrodite and three part In the Name of Sophia essays and poems which are currently being gathered to create a new book later this year – Jungian Archives

Image credit: “Sophia” 1989 – Acrylic on Canvas, Alex Grey. Photo credit: Ellen Von Unwerth 2003 – courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger.

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22 thoughts on “In the Name of Sophia – Part Two

  1. Wow Deborah. Brilliant!

    Thank you for sharing your progress on this exciting journey to individuation and wisdom. And for tying it in with nature, the ancient wisdom of Beltane, and present-day psychological and spiritual inner work. This is how we grow. This is how we resolve conflicts. And this is how we save the world. Not by building walls to otherness, but by building bridges.

    As you know, the goal of all my work is also, “To give birth to the ancient in a new time.” (Thanks for that quote. I haven’t seen it before.) According to Jungian analyst June Singer, the Androgyne was one of our two earliest archetypes, second only to the Self. Frankly, I’m not sure I see the difference. Perhaps it is only that androgyny is a term that the ancients took to refer to physical gender, whereas the Self is about psychological and spiritual androgyny as well.

    While I never had a desire to change my sex, I was fully aware by the age of 12 that the cultural standards for what was and was not permissible for girls and boys was unjustly limited, arbitrary, and seriously flawed. Thank goodness I discovered Jungian psychology, which gave me the words to understand and express my sense of wrongness and imbalance in the world I grew up in.

    “Surely we’re all somewhere different on the gender continuum.” Yes, and surely we’re all gender fluid, despite what our ego’s binary, dualistic default mode of thinking wants to believe. “It’s all about that connection really.” Really!

    I love your example of how Brutus and Olive are transforming into David and Iman. What a beautiful example of the wisdom and understanding gained from your inner work, especially active imagination.

    And your twins dream? Wow again. That’s exquisite. What a gift! And the beauty of it is that dreams don’t lie. They can’t. They’re incapable of lying. They can only show us glimpses of what’s going on in our unconscious. You can take this dream to the bank and cash it in! It’s profoundly real and valuable.

    I love where the direction of your psycho-spiritual transformation is taking place and look forward to continued beautiful, articulate, and meaningful works will be born from it in the years to come.

    Thank you for sharing your soul with your readers.


    1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your truly generous reply to this second part of my Sophian series! Beltane, with its sacred union of the Goddess and Her Green Man, feels like the perfect time for making new connections and building more psycho-spiritual bridges between the awe, mystery and unknowing of life. As I wander hand-in-hand with Sophia, Mother Nature and mythology often step into my writing and the fun, mayhem and greening begins! Oh, how well you describe this blessed journeying, within and without.

      I ask myself the same question: Androgyne/Sophia/Self? And the answer is always, what’s the difference! For when I think of Sophia and Her thousand names, the list goes on and on. During the month of May, more than at any other time of the year, I feel strongly drawn towards finding more balance and union between my masculine and feminine sides. Reading Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando” was my first glimpse of Sophia … I see that now and wonder if Virginia saw that too, although she may have used other words for the same experience.

      My desire to change sex as a teenager was pure fantasy, a daydream, in order to escape the harsh reality of being attracted to girls, and not boys. A reality that was far from acceptable in my family and the rural community I grew up in. Yes, even at this young age I too knew that women and girls were being treated poorly in life, given limited opportunities and paid a much lower wage for the same work (or more!) back then, in comparison to men and boys. Aged fourteen, I remember my brother being paid more than me per hour doing the same job.

      I’m with you! Discovering Jungian psychology has been a life-line and one that I shall be hopefully mining for many years to come! Such treasure in one’s life! Oh, yes David and Iman, Sophia incarnate, I absolutely love them and it was this image alone last winter, which I discovered whilst down my Jungian rabbit hole, that really brought my Animus Diet project onto its next stage. I mean I loved Olive and Brutus and all their adventures, but transition they did, to my absolute joy! Okay, it’s late here and I must hit the pillow soon!

      Thank you so much Jeanie for holding high the lamp of love and glowing with love, light and wisdom for your readers too. Namaste. If any of my readers haven’t already read Jeanie latest book “The Soul’s Twins” I can highly recommend it! Dreams don’t lie, I love that! The final part of my Sophian series is to write a long prose poem in order to honour Jung and “remember Sophia” so that’s the direction I’m heading in next … poetry takes me to places that essays never can, so I’m looking forward to the task! Bright Beltane blessings, Deborah.

  2. Dearest Deborah,

    Here I am, a few days after May Day. After a year of introversion, extroversion is bursting out with spring green and wildflowers, local visitors, my son who I haven’t seen since October and then my book development editor who will stay 4 days as she sees clients in this area but also sits on my backporch with a book. I haven’t seen her for years, but we remain close. I wake in the night wondering how I will do all this and survive with my struggling health. As always, one thing at a time.

    A few reflections on your reflections: I have a big sky western view from my home and loved the year of no contrails across the sunset. They’re back as the demand to return to what was overtakes the country. But it’s not possible, we’ll learn soon enough. The opposites have been rejuggled. A new balance and mutual respect must be found.

    I’m grateful to hear about your contact with your mother because I learned as I got older that I had to reach a place with my birth mother and my mother-in-law where I didn’t cringe in their presence or get angry at them for being who they always were. When I relaxed, we could all soften and forgive. It took so much inner work and it was worth it as I have no regrets and made peace with what they represented in me. My “mother” and priestess Marion Woodman has come flooding back into my life with her love of Sophia, her love of the body and her struggles with her own animus starvation diet, and her love of all her students. Since my body is giving me a hard time, I’m re-reading Daniela Sieff’s interview with Marion on the Death Mother and then will re-read ‘Bone.’ I think I’m beat-up enough to understand the importance of Marion’s personal journal during cancer (much scarier than Meniere’s Disease). It’s so interesting you need to write by hand rather than computer.

    It’s been a cold spring and the Bluebirds come around but haven’t made a nest. The Monarchs are still in the southern United States. They’ll get here but maybe mid June instead of early June, and I will write about them—the thrill of finding them as eggs or tiny caterpillars, bringing them to my back porch nursery, watching them go through miracle after miracle before lifting them on my fingers to watch them take flight.

    Thanks for so much soul nourishment in this personal blog. Thank you for the poem ‘The Goddess and Her Green Man” which feels more significant and meaningful every year. I don’t know where I am with my inner balance of solar and lunar except a benign solar is always within in the image of Vic but also a negative masculine drive that beats me up on a daily basis. I try to keep an eye on that task master and be kind to my aging and struggling self.

    Sending you too many words and so much love. There’s never too much love, Elaine

    1. Dearest Elaine,

      Wonderful! Liberated at last from lockdown! Hope your weekend was great as you finally met with Anthony, Lori too (saw the lovely pics on FB!) and there’s more good news to come with David arriving next weekend. Oh happy days indeed, I’m smiling for you my dear friend! Yes, May’s greening season has begun and it must be lovely to have company too; I can imagine Disco dancing with joy!

      Wasn’t it marvellous to look up at those quiet plane free skies! It sounds like you have an amazing outlook from your home. Here in the UK we’re still not allowed to go on holiday abroad but that’ll change in the next two weeks I’m certain … and then what? Hopefully we won’t all go back to square one! I agree, a new balance and respect needs to be found, and quickly, if history is not going to repeat itself.

      Meeting my mother and reconciling with her has given me the peace I craved for years. Thank you for sharing more of your story and how by relaxing and softening the heart, forgiveness can follow, above and below. I love how you describe Marion and how she’s recently come flooding back into your life. I greatly admire Daniela and her work, so a rereading of that interview is order for me too.

      Do you know if Marion was still with us, I would write to her about Sophia and my Animus Diet. I’m honoured to say that over the years I have collected many of her books mostly from Inner City Books, including “Bone” and “Dancing At the Still Point” another book written by a friend of hers. I love them all! Ha-Ha! Writing by hand is definitely comparable to “giving birth to the ancient in a new time”!

      Everything is late here! Today, as it’s a Bank Holiday in the UK, we took a walk in ancient woodland where the bluebells are only just beginning to open. Thank you so much Elaine for gifting me your beautiful, wise words. You know each summer I look forward to reading all about Psyche and Her beloved, miraculous Monarchs on your wonderful blog … and seeing your amazing butterfly photos too!

      I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you love the poem I wrote for you! Sending you much love, light and laughter across the oceans and oaks between us, Deborah.

  3. “At last I understood my attraction to androgyny through my desire to psychologically and spiritually transition my gender to a more harmonious relationship between my masculine and feminine sides.”

    Thank you for exploring gender through a Jungian lens and offering us alternatives to surgery. Had I been born today, I might well have considered body modification rather than psychological and spiritual transition.

    Deborah, this needs to be published in order to help others, like myself, who struggle with gender issues. I’m happy you got to see your mother again and look forward to reading your poem.

    1. Thank you so much Bookworm for your kind-hearted reply and reading this rather long piece! As soon as I started to hear about physically transitioning one’s gender, it nudged me into remembering my own “Orlando” moment and my fascination and repulsion (as a child) towards androgyny. No wonder that Star-Man, David Bowie passed me by as a teenager!

      From there, I began to wonder in what ways gender could be explored psychologically and spiritually, and so my Animus Diet began, which five years later has led me to the Divine Hermaphrodite and Goddess Sophia archetypes … all by putting myself under a Jungian lens. What an incredible journey it’s been and continues to be! Bright Beltane blessings, Deborah.

      1. Deborah, I’m forever indebted to you for putting yourself under Jung’s lens. In order to have a greater life, I know I must change and transform along the way – being a re-reader helps.

        1. Oh, that’s lovely, thank you! I’m a huge re-reader myself, in fact, I’ve just started re-reading a book about bees and despite the text being familiar … I can see today how I missed many a word, sentence and meaning during my first read.

          Okay, back to Frith’s “Bees, Honey and the Hive: Circumambulating the Centre” …

  4. Deborah – this is such a wonderfully insightful post timed perfectly to coincide with Beltane, a time when earth energies are at their most potent as they build to the summer solstice. For too long there has been this battle of the masculine and feminine outwardly and inwardly but I love how the Wildwood Tarot, which I am studying, looks at this time.

    There are two cards that relate to Beltane…’Balance’ which refers to internal balance, finding inner harmony to move towards your greater good, embracing the light and dark aspects of your Self and balancing between physical tasks (masculine) and spiritual work (feminine). Interestingly the second card is ‘The Forest Lovers’ – which refers to outer balance, projecting outwardly what we want to create inwardly, embracing the animus and anima to be whole through creative emotional energy and harmony between them. So it is a time of inner and outer balance and harmony.

    It’s these energies that continue to grow all the way to the summer solstice when the Green Woman and Green Man are at their greatest power. So it could be said that the 1st May to the 21st June is the most potent time for creating more androgyny or balance between the female and male aspects. Just a thought to add to the mix!!

    “Giving birth to the ancient in a new time” – ahh so true! It feels like that as so many more people are connecting to the earth, nature and themselves they are perhaps unknowingly reconnecting to the Sophia energies. The image of David and Iman dancing (which I love!) personifies this movement – when he first appeared on TV in the UK he created such a stir and over the years drew such a massive following – many, like myself attracted to his own form of androgyny as well as his music. So many were people looking for a different way to connect and find balance with their inner male and female.

    The fact that he fell in love with and married the most amazing (Amazonian) androgynous woman made them the perfectly gender balanced couple…perhaps a modern day embodiment of Sophia worshipped by their millions of followers as it was in ancient times? And now the balances in nature and the many new ‘followers’ that have connected to it, especially since lockdowns first started could be the next way forward for Sophian energies to be raised as the naturally balanced energies of this time of year build!

    Oh I could ponder so many ideas here and so much to think about Deborah, thank you for this wonderful post which I am sure I will read again and again.

    Many Beltane Blessings to you, Sophia

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for taking the time to read and respond to my latest Jungian themed essay, I appreciate it’s a very long read for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Yes, I felt that Beltane was the perfect time to post too … in fact I’ve been waiting for a few days to do so. Although I’m not familiar with the Wildwood Tarot cards, I am familiar with the Rider Waite ones, and a few other sets. I agree, during Beltane, finding the balance between the spiritual and the physical hits the nail on the head. And those “Forest Lovers” perfectly describe the Green Man and His Goddess too! Knowing their energy is growing until June 21st makes me think perhaps then would be the time to post my final part in this series … hopefully, a long prose poem in order to honour both Carl Jung and the Goddess Sophia.

      My Animus Diet, Divine Hermaphrodite and Sophian essays just wouldn’t be complete without introducing the remarkable, androgynous David Bowie into the mix! I only got into his music twenty years ago but once the door was open, I never left so to speak! As a teenager he passed me by, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about at all … until I did! Iman, his wife was incredibly beautiful, and still is! Initially, I didn’t understand yet that photo of them dancing together sparked off this whole series … for no one has made me sit still and deal with myself more than Bowie! Hopefully, I can get my ego out of the way long enough for this new, third book to happen later this year. I hope this essay gives you something of yourself back to your Self … if that makes much “Jungian” sense at all! Bright Beltane blessings, Deborah.

      1. Thank you Deborah, yes it certainly has made me think and of course the more I think the more insights into my Self I gain. Yes the Summer Solstice would be the perfect time for part 3 – looking forward to it.

        1. Many thanks Sophia! What a magical time of the year this is … no wonder May is my favourite month.

  5. Beltane Blessings dear Deborah and thank you for this wonderful post today. It was maybe 35 years or so ago when a friend of mine with whom I was studying (both doing our post graduate degree in Psych) said that she was interested in androgyny. I reckon that was my first exposure to the word. We discussed it and I was fascinated. She went on to do her Masters, moving heaven and earth to get onto the programme, and then went on to train as a Jungian Analyst in Cape Town. We were in contact a little over a year ago, and I’m keen to see her again. She married another woman analyst – I introduced them!

    May the search for the inner marriage continue so that the masculine and feminine energies are no longer in isolation to each other and that each properly enhances the other.

    Sometimes I think about duality and wonder if there isn’t some value in this, in that there are opposites, and it is our task to properly discern them in order that they be fully integrated.

    Giving birth to the ancient in a new time, yes, yea and yes.

    Love to you across the oceans, Susan

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your wonderful comment! Androgyny has fascinated and repulsed me (as a child) for decades and today I finally know why, having worked in depth on this archetype for the past five years. If your Jungian analyst friend has written on the subject I’d be most interested to read her work … and does her partner also write I’m left wondering? Oh, how amazing it was that you first introduced them to each other.

      I love the idea of calling my book something like “The Search For the Inner Marriage” as I’m not fixed on a book title at all yet. If any other title comes to mind, as you’ve read, apart from my final poem, my whole project, do let me know … I’ve even drawn myself a word map trying to find the best fit! Although it wouldn’t surprise me if I haven’t finished but only just begun this project as I have this nagging feeling about including a few more poems … starting with the Animus Diet!

      Sending you love and light and Bright Beltane Blessings across the oceans between us, Deborah.

      1. Your possible title is lovely Deborah. No doubt you’ll come up with more and if anything comes to me I’ll let you know.

        I think about my friend from time to time – I’ll drop her a line in the next little while.

        Have a wonderful Sunday 🙂 Love, Susan

        1. Many thanks Susan! Once I get the title I feel half way there! Enjoy catching up with your friend. I’m delighted to have provided a little nudge in that direction. Have a wonderful Sunday too! 🙂

  6. The little synchronicities in life…I just started reading Orlando yesterday after having him/her sleep on my shelves for years. Looking forward to seeing how it resonates. I was brought up in a family of absent/absented fathers and strong women aunts/ grandmas and could never relate all that well to men except through the authorial voice ;(of mostly men) in books and music. It’s only been in the past few years or so that female voices have crept into my canon and enriched my inner life. It feels like it’s replenishing the water I’ve been a fish out of.
    I must say the thought of writing pen/pencil in hand would fill me with dread these days as it’s a good twenty odd years since I’ve done it. Maybe that’s a good reason to try though.

    1. Hmm, those little synchronicities! Thank you so much Brian because you’ve just prompted me to fetch “Orlando” from my book shelves and add it to my reading pile! Yes, I’m also wondering, in light of these Sophian essays, what I’ll think of it now! Huge thanks for the nudge!

      You describe well the experience of meeting one’s archetypal aspect, within and without, above and below, and integrating their voice and being into one’s Self and in doing so … “replenish(ing) the water I’ve been a fish out of.” I couldn’t have put it any better and sense the richness you’ve found.

      Hahaha! Writing by hand today definitely feels like giving birth to the “ancient in a new time” … I highly recommend giving it a go! The next and final part of this series will be a long prose poem as I attempt, in Jung’s own words, “to remember Sophia”. Bright Beltane blessings, Deborah.

  7. Deborah, your new Animus Diet (forthcoming title?) book is going to be amazing!!! I’ll get a copy as soon as it’s out as it’s such a different take on those gender wars that are still taking place, on and off social media. Your insights are deeply illuminating and I’m going to be thinking about this for some time.

    I’m in awe of how you share your Jungian archetypal journey in order to find more balance and union between your own masculine and feminine sides. Part two leaves me almost speechless. No doubt I’ll be coming back to read this particular one again, more slowly.

    Thank you for blessing the sacred union of the Goddess and the Green Man today with the sharing of your Beltane inspired article. All the best, Anna.

    1. Thank you so much Anna for your truly wonderful and generous response to the second part of my “In the Name of Sophia” series! I’m hoping to start working on the book as soon as I can sort my laptop out … which is proving difficult as my hard drive has just died so it’s looking like I need to replace it. I haven’t completely figured the book title out yet but I’ll let you know when I do.

      Yes, the whole social media gender wars issue has inspired many insights for me on this archetypal topic. It was like being hit on the head and instead of being knocked out … I was woken up by the answers I received! Bright Beltane Blessings, Deborah.

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