What are the Divine Masculine and Feminine, and how do they show up in the world?

The Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine are the two primary energy aspects which make up the foundation of perceived and unperceived reality. They form the underlying interweaving of the elements and dynamics necessary to create what we know as “Life”—operating behind the scenes.  This pair is responsible for the infinitely complex inner workings at quantum and interdimensional levels to produce lived experience effecting nature’s environment and human experience. Each single aspect of the divine pair has its own unique qualities, characteristics, and domain of influence. 

The terms “masculine” and “feminine” are also filtered and applied through our human culture’s associations with these words and are often confused with the primary energy aspects (divine masculine and feminine) —which can create conflation and misunderstanding when discussing them. However, these terms have been used and understood from a human perspective for millennia and consequently are embedded in the collective’s psyche as indelible imprinted archetypes.

Conflating Divine Masculine and Feminine with Human behavior and character


This article is about the two principle energy aspects of masculine and feminine —not human beings. However, to discuss their attributes and how they show up in the human experience they are described as personified entities to show their relationship to each other and how they work together.

From a human standpoint, both masculine and feminine energy aspects exist within men and women—in various capacities and mixtures—and manifests as an individual’s personality and behavior.

A person’s experience of life is authored by two prime aspects of energy symbolized by the pair: divine masculine and feminine. Each one contributes their unique abilities and qualities which combine synergistically to make up life experience. Just as a director and choreographer of a play perform their roles behind the scenes to produce what is seen by the audience—so does the out-working of the divine pair influence the makeup and experience of life.

Masculine & Feminine Principles: Uniquely Different

The Divine Feminine Principle: Chaos n. (disorder)

  • The unordered state of matter in classical accounts of cosmogony
  • Any state of disorder or amorphous mixture or conglomeration.

Chaos is the feminine energy aspect’s essential nature and its purpose is “to be” —taking myriads of forms in an ever-changing fire of endless possibilities which the masculine energy aspect utilizes as resources in co-creation.

The Divine Masculine Principle: Order n. (organization, planning, implementation)

The masculine energy aspect’s essential nature is order—its purpose is “to do” and its task is to create order from disorder, or chaos. “He” (energy aspect, not human being) is the carpenter and “She” (energy aspect, not human being) is the material that builds the house.

His ordering of chaos is an arranging of elements to fulfill a purpose which she inspires. He is the painter and she is the canvas, paint, the inspiration of, and the one being portrayed in the painting.

Her domain is “to be” in the experience of feeling states; producing and sensing feeling-tones felt personally by men or women, such as: desire, pleasure, excitement, fulfillment, strong emotion—like love, passion, anger, fear.

His domain is “to do,” plan, and enact those plans to accomplish a goal or purpose. He is about taking action, directed towards completing a task.

She is the feeling of fulfillment (f.) that comes at the completion of the plan or task (m.) that she inspired (f.). This is an ongoing cycle of mutually supportive purposes; “to do” and “to be” working together to create perceived reality.

Leela—the Cosmic Dance


Yab Yum Yantra by George Atherton

This great cycle of divine play is called leela —it is the dance of Shiva (masculine principle) and Shakti (feminine principle) portrayed in the sexual alchemy of Tantric “maithuna.” The images we see of Shiva and Shakti in yab-yum sexual congress figuratively represent the creative interplay going on behind the scenes of perceived reality.

Reality is a result of this ongoing dance between masculine and feminine in a never ending, scalable, synergy of energetic aspects combining and synthesizing to create each moment perceived as awareness by the human mind.

Each primary energy aspect has its own character, essential nature, and domain of influence. Their interaction is an admixture synergy of their co-creation and cooperation together that achieves new levels of experience and awareness and creates perceived reality.

The Divine Masculine Principle

  • Stillness; inertia, serenity, contemplation
  • Directed action; plan, enact, accomplish, achieve, complete

The masculine contribution to the creative process is:

From a starting point of stillness/inaction the masculine receives inspiration from the feminine (“out of the Void”) and is prompted into action that eventually accomplishes a goal or task.

The masculine is stirred or urged by inspiration (f.) that develops a vision or purpose which sets directed motion (m.) into action with plans that are acted upon to become accomplishments and achievements that finally are completed or come to exist—producing a feeling state of satisfaction or fulfillment (f.). If the goal is not reached, the feeling state is dissatisfaction and unfulfillment which often prompts another attempt at reaching the missed objective.

The Divine Feminine

  • The Void (“pregnant emptiness” of infinite possibilities); muse, inspiration, desire, origin of the urge to create
  • Undirected motion, flow, spontaneous movement or transformation

The feminine relates to the masculine in the creative process as:

  • The Void; the chthonic cause that prompts the masculine to visualize a concept and begin the process of creative manifestation
  • Beauty: in all its forms—providing the container for the masculine vision; he sources his concepts from the visions she inspires

Where the masculine is directed action to a specific conclusion—the feminine is spontaneous and undirected motion with endless possible outcomes. Mind and its processes are perceived to be of the masculine; where experience feeling, being, intuiting or sensing, is perceived to be of the feminine.

yin-yang-divine-masculine-and-feminineAs the Yin-Yang symbol portrays, there is a place within each energy aspect that is reflective of the other. The masculine stillness is reflective of the Void. The feminine’s movement traits are reflective of the masculine’s directed motion. Also the symbol’s meeting of Yang (m.) and Yin (f.) shows that the two “touch” each other as they dynamically work together “hand in hand” to create a whole—outcome.

The Human Experience

The human being represents an externalized, corporeal, version of the masculine and feminine play of leela in that man or woman has intellect (m.) and is emotive/intuitive (f.); comprises “light” or consciousness (m.) and “shadow” or the chthonic and the unconscious (f.) in various levels, mixtures, and abilities.

Both women and men utilize masculine and feminine traits to “do” and “experience.” When a man is seeking inspiration and new ideas he is looking to his inner-feminine to provide them. When a woman is planning her career or education steps she is utilizing her inner-masculine to do so. In either case, traits from the opposite energy aspect can also be added to the process: the man seeking inspiration may also use reason and logic (m.) to shape his vision and a woman may add her intuition (f.) to aid her in planning her career.

Interdependence, cooperation and synergy of the masculine and feminine energy aspects creates results at all levels from non-corporeal to material. For people, this means that by ‘tuning-in’ to the masculine-feminine interplay within them it’s possible to enhance awareness and become more efficient and conscious with participating in the dance of leela as it unfolds in their life. By so doing, an individual becomes more consciously participatory and fluent with the creative process—increasing satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment while helping to heal, transform and transcend life’s wounds and challenges.

How to Work with Your Masculine & Feminine

Without setting up prejudices, expectations or stereotypes, observe how your masculine or feminine show up in various scenarios and circumstances. The more you can see the divine interplay happening around and in you the more you’ll be able to spot the places where you need some adjustment or find things to let go of.

Develop a practice of becoming mindful of the processes occurring around you and through you. Recognize when you are “in your masculine” and when you’re “in your feminine” and honor each one’s contribution to the process you are experiencing.

Sometimes with the complex mixture of inspiration-idea-action it can be challenging to know exactly what bit is masculine or feminine. The point is to be aware of the process—and where able, to sense masculine/feminine traits in your disposition or thinking process and use that awareness to assist you to create the experiences and outcomes you desire.

Accepting, appreciating and supporting the leela process and each energy aspect’s contribution to it is a good start. After that, try to notice when/where at some point in your creative process that you disconnect or interrupt progress towards your goal or with completing a task.

If you have problems with getting things done—look to your inner-masculine aspect and see what’s impacting it. There could be some belief or fear that is limiting your masculine trait of achieving your desired outcome. Sometimes this belief is a cultural, gender, definition like “women don’t do that” or “men aren’t ______” that needs to be let go of in order to clear what blocks your ability to get things done. Other times it could be emotional wounds from abusive experiences that happened when you were younger that have imprinted a huge ‘stop sign’ in your mind.

If you languish in lethargic melancholy or procrastinate it may be that your inner-feminine is impacted and not functioning as muse or inspiration for your masculine to “get going.” Again, there might be limiting beliefs or fears that come from past experiences or perceived circumstances that are contributing to the situation.

Cultural stereotypes of the male and female genders can infiltrate concepts of masculine and feminine and impact your experience of leela. For instance, being a mother is associated with women; however anyone who has been a mother knows that it involves a lot of “doing,” accomplishing, and directed action—which are masculine traits. Where a mother provides emotional support, unconditional love and compassion she is utilizing the feminine aspect within her. Likewise, the male gender feels emotion and desires that their children feel safe, nurtured, and loved—which are feminine traits. A man is no less a man if he deeply feels his emotion and expresses it.

It’s easy to conflate cultural gender definitions and masculine-feminine energy aspect traits since both have a strong influence on an individual’s life experience and perspective on the world.

Cultural mores or traditions seek to define what a man or a woman is and these can influence an individual’s identity and personality. Transpersonal energetic aspects of masculine or feminine are irrespective of gender definitions and have more to do with how an individual perceives reality and creatively interacts with life circumstances than with defining what a man or woman is or should be.

Leela—the Eternal Dance

Spiritual practice or introspection can help to see places where you are less aware, less developed or less adept with some aspect of the masculine or feminine. These are places to look for beliefs or judgments that block or lessen your ability to harmoniously and effectively support the leela process. In some cases, psychological-emotional wounds can be the cause of inhibiting a fluent creative process or state of being.

Getting stuck anywhere in the creative process shows where you have some inner-work to do to understand yourself deeper and clearer. Transmuting and letting go of whatever belief or experience that has held you back from realizing your full potential is key to feeling leela and the flow of life.

A lot of personal inner-work can be done by yourself to become more aware and release what’s blocking you. Sometimes, however it is better to have someone help you process and reflect back to you objective observations that can reveal places in your thinking and awareness that you don’t see—providing breakthroughs and clearing up confusion.

heart-yin-yang-heart-chakraIf you would like help with your inner-work process, visit my Work With Me page and contact me using the form below to arrange for a counseling – coaching program.


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Coaching for men to heal their wounds and become their best potential as a man.


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1 Comment

Anja · January 4, 2016 at 7:54 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and benefited from doing so. Thank you for sharing this wisdom and perspective.

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