“I can’t believe you are going to go do that feminist stuff.” “I don’t want you to turn into a man-hater”. “I don’t want us to grow apart.” “I am afraid for our relationship if you do that women’s process.” These are some of the fears that arise in men when women want to do women’s spiritual work. They are valid fears. When any of us go off to work on our own personal growth and leave our mates behind, there is a very real possibility that the relationship will never be the same.
My decision to write this article came from years of hearing that some of the partners of the women who went through my Shamanic Priestess Process™ were concerned about what it was she was getting involved in, and how it would affect them and their relationships. I felt that it would be essential to ask the men who have held space for women who have gone through the Priestess Process™, with me or with other facilitators, to assist me by giving me their valuable perspectives on how they see their partner’s changes, what has happened for them, their relationships, and what messages they would give to other men.
There are times in a woman’s life when she may be called to do work with women or a circle of women. Because of the fact that many women are raised to see God as male, it is very helpful for a woman to come home to the Goddess as a step towards coming home to herself. Scott H. affirms this when he says, “what attracted me was her fearlessness around her choice to consciously step away from mainstream spiritual dogma. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to ones own soul to step away from the mandated patriarchal path to God.” This work often requires the company of other women who can birth her through the painful, blocked and disconnected places in herself. The shame, confusion and low self-esteem that women experience in relation to men can drop away in a circle of women, so that she emerges from her time of inner psycho-spiritual work as a stronger, more authentic Self. There are some parts of the Priestess Process™ where women initiate or anoint each other in ways that only a circle of women can do. The end result is that women actually do change; they become more alive, more interesting, and more interested in what is happening in their relationships.
When I asked Chuck W. what changes he sees in his partner from her work in the Priestess Process™, he says: “She seems to have more self-confidence, is more conscientious about her health… I think she has better listening skills. She doesn’t interrupt me as much when I’m in the middle of a sentence and seems to take more value in what I have to say. I feel heard. I feel we are better able to communicate and resolve issues more easily.” Larry B. feels that, “among other things this process has given her more understanding and empathy with my perspective as a male.” Jim B. also sees that, “since my wife has been in the Priestess Process™, I have seen her emerge as a much stronger woman. She has definitely become more interesting! Her spirituality has deepened.”
Steve W. says, “I think my wife is emotionally stronger and more confident in, and willing to express and share her spiritual beliefs and opinions. She also has gained a spiritual support group that is there for her when she needs them.”
Larry B. felt that “the process could be an opportunity for her to find that support from other strong, spiritual women. This was true beyond what I had hoped. Though the travel was exhausting for her, the energy she received from all the other women seemed to give her a healing perspective on how Spirit and his/her incarnations can give her community in this 3D world.
Jaime A. states “I have witnessed a considerable change in my wife since she undertook the Priestess Process™. The changes have all been positive. She has become a better teacher and mentor to her own students. It’s their comments to her and to me that have shown me the way they look to her for sage guidance.”
Michael C. notices that “she is freer, bold, expressed, and is taking relaxed action in the world in service to her ideas and ideals. It’s energizing for me to simply be in the atmosphere of her radiance as she moves, shakes, rocks and cradles the world.”
I have been working with women for over 30 years; in individual psychotherapy, in women’s groups and, for the past 8 years, in priestess circles. Often women lead the way in their relationships by going out on the spiritual quest first, “scouting out the new territory”. Once they are assured that what they have found is valid and meaningful, they will usually invite their partners to come along. However, once in a while, if a woman is weary of her partner’s stuckness of attitude, or the relationship in general, she will seek out a new path to either test her partner, or in the worst case scenario, to push the ending of the relationship. Men need reassurance as well. And, often there are underlying issues that the spiritual work of the female partner will bring to the surface.
Jay says “…all I asked “am I still in your plans? and, am I coming with you?” The answer is always “yes” and I went with the flow. It’s not that everything went smoothly, but that’s life…”
Scott H. feels that “if a man has fear around choices his partner makes in regards to feeding her own soul, then there are bigger issues at play in his own heart, and he should look deeply at those issues to find the truth behind them. If he truly loves his partner and is committed to his relationship with her, he will find the courage to open his mind and heart to her needs and travel with her on her path of self-discovery.”
Dennis B. says, “I wanted a female partner who was into spirituality. I did not want a partner that was into dogma. That is probably what most men are afraid of. That the changes their partner will go through as she evolves spiritually will somehow turn her into a fanatic. Men are fearful that their woman will lose her sense of humor if she takes a spiritual path, i.e. she won’t be fun anymore. If she is truly growing spiritually she will be able to help her partner get over his fears.”
Sometimes, the male partner gets pushed into his own Death~Rebirth Process. One priestess describes it this way. “After 2 years in the Priestess Process™ and Magdalene Mysteries™ and being ordained as a minister, my husband had watched my journey unfold. He has reaped the benefits of my being fully in my power. It has not been overly easy, but it in no way threatened our relationship. I believe my process triggered his also going into his own death and rebirth cycle. After some nudging on my part, he very willingly went to a shamanic priest weekend at Isis Cove. He experienced Shamanic Breathwork and got in touch with his unconscious self. He is now engaged in the overhaul of his own spiritual power and gifts. When asked about this journey, which he is deep within, he did not want to commit to answers. I believe he is deep in his own process and it is not all clear yet. I also believe that men sometimes feel “less than” women in these types of processes. As women, we access our feelings and journey so easily….men process differently. Not better or less … just differently. They need to come to honor their way of being in the world and on their journey. We as women need to deeply listen to them to understand and honor their journey…their way of being in the world. Are they wounded? Hell, yes… Just as we have been. What emerges out of this work as couples begin to heal themselves as individuals, and then as couples, will hopefully change the face of the world. I hope and pray for it.”
According to teacher and author David Deida, it is the woman’s job to bring the interest to a relationship. The conscious woman wants to maintain her radiance and glow in order to feel the love that is her spiritual self, and also to be open and attractive to her partner. In the best relationships, a conscious woman knows when it is time to bring more of this juice to her partner. She knows when she is feeling tired, dull, and in need of a new infusion of radiance, a new connection to her heart and her feminine being-ness.
Jeff B. reflects. “Our relationship benefits because of the added spice. My wife is more assertive, is less apt to take my shit, and is far clearer with boundaries. She’s even more deeply woman-positive, which means she has way less patience with even my vague and questionable misogyny, i.e. patriarchal fear. I benefit because I have more of a fighting partner, who I can increasingly trust to call me on my prejudices and habitual unexamined views. I would highly recommend to men that their women empower and get to know themselves because the mirror they hold up to us is clearer, sharper and deeper. Of course men are challenged to accept change in their partners and must realize they cannot remain the same in the face of this dynamic. To develop from the simplicity of ‘the woman I thought I knew’ to the ‘beloved of mystery and profundity’ is a revolution for the consciousness of men making the shift. One payment, three curriculum’s (the woman’s, the man’s, the relationship) What a deal!!”
Eric B. talks about the benefits in his relationship, even in the bedroom. “The best food for the best result in relationship is supporting your partner in what they want to do. In most cases these days, men can be greatly helped by allowing their woman to guide them in spiritual ceremony and ritual….especially in the home and bedroom. Let your woman come home inspired and alive and men you will enjoy the gifts of her leadership.”
Jaime A. describes the effect on him as “…equally impressive. She is more patient with me, more attentive to my point of view, and very appreciative of my support of her work as a Priestess.” When I asked Chuck W. how he personally benefited, he said: “In a way, I feel more inspired to pursue creative projects. To use a cliché, it kinda rubs off on you…Honestly, I have never felt that way (afraid), even with my former wife. I guess those feelings might arise if men are not on a personal growth path for themselves. For me, I love to see my partner come home with that special glow in her eyes and new-found purpose! It makes me think, ‘How can I get me some of that glow and purpose?’ I believe that if men are willing to explore themselves and do their shadow work, then there will be no fears of their partner doing the same. Therefore, they’ll be on the same page and can grow together as a couple. I have certainly felt that in our relationship and look forward to whatever my next personal growth workshop might be!”
Buzz S. said something similar: “I met my Priestess after she had already gone through the process of becoming one, changing, and leaving her then husband who could not support her changes and spiritual growth. I am enjoying the benefits of having an evolved Being as a partner and that is wonderful!”
It is the masculine partner’s job in a relationship to provide the depth, to take his partner deeper than she has ever gone before, and to keep taking her deeper. He grows through taking himself to the edge of his consciousness over and over again, so that he can embody freedom. This edge of conscious freedom allows a man to intuitively know how to be with his woman in ways that fulfill her. A woman is continually filled by a man who challenges himself, and lives with a purpose that empowers himself and serves his world. Sometimes men get so dull and boring and lacking around purpose that women are the ones that go out into the world to challenge themselves. Their hope is that the man in their lives will follow suit and see that there is more to life than cruising the internet or the TV, working too much or worrying too much. If a man can hear his woman’s message and be willing to open dialogue about what the truth is in their relationship, both have an exciting opportunity to grow together.
Gary S., my own Beloved, says: “A little over a year ago, the most amazing woman I’d ever met came into life. I’d always liked strong women, but she was clearly the strongest woman I’d ever seen: powerful, capable, courageous, loving, and with fully embodied feminine and masculine aspects. Today she is my Beloved, and we’re on the way to building our dream. I believe that the reason this woman came into my life and that I was able to step up to her and her power, is because a few years ago I decided I had to be the kind of man that a woman like this would be attracted to. I had to fully step into my own power, and that meant doing my own work, not just sitting by and letting life take me, but by me taking charge of my life and my own embodied masculine. When both of us do our own work, it helps us support each other in the directions that most serve our growth in love, relationship and happiness.”
Dennis B. offers, “having a partner involved in the process of spiritual growth is quite a blessing as each time she grows or moves forward spiritually it facilitates my own spiritual growth… Moving into spirit brings much more to a relationship and helps to get past the mundane chores of a relationship such as how to move money to pay bills or should we do this or that. It takes the relationship out of the “head” part of the dynamic and puts it more into the “heart” where almost every interaction is done with love.”
Steve W. reflects on his relationship growth. “She has shared parts of the process with me throughout the course, and how it affected her, and what she was feeling. This has given me cause to think more about my spirituality and re-examine how I feel about it, which I pretty much quit doing when I rejected my catholic upbringing many years ago. I think we’ve both grown spiritually from her involvement. Exploring this process and finding her spiritual voice has caused us to have more discussions about how we feel. I have enjoyed hearing alternative views to spirituality and feel like we can both grow in a direction that is beneficial to our relationship.”
Scott H. gives his perspective on relationship. “…relationships require constant commitment, harmony, flexibility and core trust of the person you have chosen to be with. How, and what, one believes is an essential ingredient that needs to be in harmony with your partner or the whole relationship is built on false pretenses. One’s heart needs to be bigger than one’s ego.”
It becomes very obvious who the men are who want to be supportive. We hear about them all through the process. They are the ones who will transport, baby-sit, do the last minute editing of a story, make copies, or just hold down the home front with children, pets, shopping, laundry, cooking, etc. to make it possible and easier for a women to be with her circle on the periodic weekends. These are the men who get rewarded for their support with the accolades of their priestess partner. “I am pleasantly surprised at how supportive he is of me.” “He really understands how important this is for me.” “I am very blessed to have a great partner.” “At first I think he was fearful, but now he knows it’s ok, because I am happier with myself. That only benefits him.”
One priestess describes and appreciates her husband’s support. “Usually he had made sure that the hot tub was up and running when I came back, so that I could soak my tired body in it. And, I always ‘debriefed’ the priestess process. He mainly listened. But that felt good too. I really appreciated him coming with me for the Emergence and his willingness to connect with everybody & enjoy an extra day in the wonderful Smoky Mountains with me. So I really felt supported. The efforts we both took to keep each other informed have helped much to make it a mutual experience.”
On the last day of the Shamanic Priestess Process, the women “emerge” as priestesses, declaring themselves and who they are in the world. This ceremony is presented to their communities, families and allies, so that they can be seen, heard and received. It is followed by social time, and it is a time I finally get to meet the men who have held space for the women throughout their initiation period. I have heard many beautiful comments from the men who admitted being initially uncomfortable with the idea of the process. “Thank you for giving me back my wife.” “Where can I do this work with men?”. “I love that she is a priestess, I always knew that sacred woman was within her.” “I really admire you for doing this work, you really serve these women. “This has really enriched our relationship.”
Steve W. talks about his experience of her spiritual friends. “I have enjoyed seeing her gain spiritual growth and the sense of community she relishes by being involved with like-minded women. I have met most of them and have enjoyed them, and felt very comfortable and accepted by them. They’re really not militant, man-hating, ball crushing, dyke feminist witches (my wife made me say this)!”
Larry B. writes, “I was confirmed that some of this new softness came from the priestess process when I felt the acceptance and love from the other priestesses on the weekend of the Emergence. These were not feminists who lost track of love within their politics. These were loving women who walked their talk politically, getting important things in a way that also supported the positive masculine. I could feel their inner marriage as I could feel hers.”
The last question I asked the men is “What would be a message you would give to other men who have fears about their partner doing this work or any women’s spiritual growth work?
Dennis B. advises: “Get over the fear. If a man is afraid of his woman growing in spirit then he needs to do some work on himself. Holding one back from change is not good for either partner. If somehow a woman’s search for spirit creates an end to a relationship that’s much better than trying to keep someone from growing.”
Gary S. says: “Your woman is going to go through some inevitable changes in her life. She chose you and she wants you to join her in this growth and she wants your support and your strength. It’s the greatest gift you can give her. So for the men who fear the work their woman is doing, do your own work and step up to who she’s becoming, or at least support her….because she’s becoming….with or without you.”
Eric B. offers: “If men can step beyond their fears of losing something, they may be very surprised at how much there is to gain.”
Larry B. says, “ I guess my message to other men would be that if you think this process might undermine your relationship, then maybe there is already a problem that needs addressing. I haven’t seen any negative effects.”
Jim B. says he “…would tell other men to not be afraid; be open minded; be patient and listen. In the long run you will have a more vibrant and interesting partner. I will say, yes, I was afraid at first. I thought she might be encouraged to hate men by other women in the group, but I have learned that is not the truth.”
As far as the whole concept of man-hating feminism is concerned, Jackson R. says it eloquently. “I believe that the sacred feminine exists in a different realm than secular feminism. Secular feminism is resistance to the male domination of our traditional culture and religion. Sacred feminism on the other hand is an internal discovery and integration of the feminine quality of being. Both women and men seek to balance the feminine and masculine qualities. When women find this confident power of the authentic feminine and are able to balance the feminine and masculine, they can then interact with the world in more positive ways. The difference is a presence that is less reactive. It emphasizes the positive qualities of the feminine and stands for the woman’s place in the world. Ultimately it is a more effective way of being.”
Other men have a few reflective questions:
Michael C.: “If we, as men, are afraid of our partner engaging in her spiritual growth work, we probably should be! Are we, on some level afraid that she might “catch on” to us or outgrow the need for us? So what do we do? How do we choose to most authentically respond? Do I shrink and become jealous and controlling or do I wake up and step up my own commitment to consciousness? How can I as a man see my woman’s beautiful desire to more fully open to life as an opportunity and invitation for me to penetrate her more deeply with my purpose, passion and presence? As men, the more we seek comfort the less well we sleep at night. As men, our deepest and most passionate drive is for freedom, not comfort. Our pursuit of deeper and greater freedom brings with it the adventure and challenge of breaking into new territory and ’going where no man has gone before.’ And you are worried about your woman doing her spiritual work?”
Dez N: “Dear Men, supporting the women in your life to step into their power will insure deeper, safer, and sweeter relationships. Dispel fear and doubt with knowledge, love, and clarity. Most people live in fear and are half-alive, but fully alive and powerful individuals create extraordinary relationships. I feel more loved and safer around powerful women. What do you deserve?”
The New Masculine is being birthed on earth as surely as The Divine Feminine is emerging. There is no stopping it. The burning desire for a New Earth, what Nicole Christine, creatrix of the Priestess Process™ calls Celestial Earth, carries us forward. The passion for a more evolved consciousness spurs us all on into this new territory. Women and men are traveling there together now more easily and often than ever before. It’s the Christ~Magdalene phenomena, the Sacred Marriage, the Priest~ess, the spiritual quest to bring heaven to earth for a change and embody our spiritual beliefs in our relationships and to make every aspect of life Sacred here and now. We have so much more potency, synergy and alchemy when we do it together.
Blessed are the Men who are Sacred Allies to the Women, and stand with us in Dreaming a New World into Being. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!