Confucius said, “Yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth, good and evil…the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe.” Let’s explore how these opposite forces are at play in nature and in ourselves.
When we talk about masculine and feminine energies in nature, we’re not talking about males and females, we’re talking about balanced and polarized forces that make our world work. Much like the concept of yin and yang or the north pole and the south pole, you can’t have a masculine force without a feminine one and these energies are equally important and always in conversation with one another. One way to learn how to recognize these energies and notice how they show up in our own lives is to observe them in nature. Recognizing the feminine and masculine, or receptive and active, forces in the natural world activate your mind in different ways and you’ll see the whole planet as a living organism with interconnected parts that work together in dynamic ways.
We will start with masculine, or active, energy. Active energy can be defined as anything in nature that moves and generates energy. Fire and air are typically seen as masculine, or active elements. Fire burns earth and air fuels the fire. The wind on your face or the fire warming your food are examples of masculine energies at play. Feminine energies are the polar opposite of masculine, as they are receptive, not active. Earth and water are considered feminine elements. While earth and water move in their own ways, they are typically more still and receptive than air and fire. Feminine energies have the tendency to make you feel held, calm, and returned to source. Both of these energies are necessary in the natural world and within each of us. Recognize which parts of yourself are active, moving, and energy-generating and likewise, which parts of yourself are receptive and still. You can use this information and assign qualities or personality attributes an energy. For example, “angry” would be masculine and “sad” would be feminine, or receptive. Similarly, “accepting” would be a feminine/yin/receptive quality whereas “talkative” would be a masculine/yang/active quality. Use this information to deepen your understanding of yourself, without judgment or gender associations.
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery offers an experience like no other through a proven, 12-step, adventure-based wilderness program. For more information, call us today: 801-921-8488.