My first language is Ukrainian and in this language (unlike English) pretty much everything is assigned a gender – either male, female or neutral, which makes it potentially a tricky language to learn.
So how would I assign gender to the world in which we live?
Before I go on, I have to emphasise that I am not referring to physical gender, ie man or woman. I am referring more to the qualities of masculine and feminine, to something more subtle than mere physical gender.
As humans, we like to categorise and understand stuff. For thousands of years, we have assigned gender to most things, and here are some examples: (I’m sure that you can think of some more!)
|Left sided brain (rational)||Right sided brain (creative, intuitive)|
In yogic philosophy, there is a system of energy centres located within and around the body known as chakras. There are seven major chakras, each with its own corresponding, colour, emotion, sound, symbol, qualities, organs and (yes, you guessed it!) gender. The chakras can also be related to certain eras in human history.
There is a lot of information out there about the chakras, but I would like to focus specifically on three chakras – Sacral, Solar Plexus and Heart. I would like to relate these chakras to specific eras or epochs in human history, and why I believe that we are entering the Heart Chakra era.
A lot has been written about human history, how we evolved and there are many stories, myths, legends and truths. According to what I have read, there was a time when women ruled the world (and dominated men). Women were seen as magical creatures, with the ability to create new life. Life was closely connected to nature and the cycles. Men were seen as good only for procreation and moving heavy objects (sorry guys!) This part of history can be seen relating to the Sacral or feminine chakra. The element of this chakra is water and even though water can be fluid, cooling and soothing, and it can also be destructive and a force to be reckoned with.
Then, as it does, the pendulum swung the other way and men started to dominate the world (and rule over women). ‘Witches’ were burnt at the stake, women were deprived of basic rights and disempowered. In Sweden, women gained the right to vote and to work as recently as the 1970’s. This part of history can be seen relating to the Solar Plexus or masculine chakra. The element of this chakra is fire, which is warming, and can be destructive if left unchecked. Yet the energy of fire is necessary for transformation to occur.
Neither system is ideal as there is an imbalance.
I believe that for the last few decades we have been making the transition from Solar Plexus Chakra into the Heart Chakra era. The Heart Chakra is the middle chakra out of all seven and is represented by the colour green, which is a balance of warm (yellow) and cool (blue) colours. The element is air, which has a quality of lightness, expansion and ease about it. The Heart Chakra has a sense of balance to it.
The keyword here is ‘transition’. Like the birthing process, any sort of transition can be painful and ugly, but is necessary in order for the birth of something new.
As we move away from a male dominated world, we are fumbling our way into a new world of balance. We are making mistakes along the way, and hopefully learning from these mistakes. Sometimes it feels like we are taking two steps forward and one step back, yet we are moving forward. I love seeing men pushing prams and playing with their children! I have a friend whose husband is a truck driver. My friend recently posted on social media, pictures of her husband cooking up a storm in the kitchen and wearing an apron.
We are moving away from The Stepford Wives era, away from a world of perfection and keeping up appearances, to a world of authenticity and realness.
Masculine energy qualities of dominance, control, linear growth, competitiveness, large scale, are being replaced by Feminine energy qualities of co-operation, community, human scale, fluidity and cycles. Workplaces are starting to acknowledging the diversity of their team, not only in terms of gender, religion or family situation, but also in the respect of differing styles of communication and work style. Morning people are allowed to come in early when they are at their most productive and night owls are allowed to work late. There is more fluidity and co-operation, less ‘one size fits all’.
With thanks to the pandemic of 2020, we are starting to realise that our economies are unsustainable and that we have created a society of complexity, in our attempt to control the world (Masculine qualities). This pandemic has taken away our illusion of control, and replaced this with creativity, flexibility, community, co-operation and togetherness (Feminine qualities).
Traditionally, yoga has been practiced only by men in India. Yet in the last hundred years or so, it has started to become more inclusive of women. Interestingly, when yoga was first introduced into the western world, it was predominantly the domain of women. Now more men are taking up yoga as we are coming to a place of balance.
And so the pendulum continues to swing, yet I feel that the swing is levelling out. I feel like we are creating a world of balance, inclusivity, validity and authenticity, regardless of gender.
As a world, we are entering the Heart Chakra era, as one human race – male, female, other. We are all in this together.
‘May my life force be linked to my heart;
‘May my heart be linked to the truth within me;
‘May this truth be linked to the eternal.’
(With thanks to Acharya Upendra Roy)