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By Keira Taylor (Kai Nkosi)
Our understanding of the Law of Gender comes to us from the genius of our African ancestors, who also created the first known religious systems, provided the original astrological layout of the cosmos, and supplied the unsurpassed social, scientific and civilizing knowledge upon which the world’s civilizations were built. Ancient Egypt and its Mystery Schools were home to the teachings of the Divine Feminine and the Law of Gender, which ultimately became ubiquitous teachings in the ancient world. The knowledge of gender specific governing principles represents the ultimate in African wisdom, which enlightened the world.
The Law of Gender is one of the Seven Hermetic Laws belonging to the people of Ancient Kemet or Egypt. However, during the height of Greek civilization these Kemetic principles were only half-heartedly attributed to Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, who was said to have lived and taught in both Atlantis and Egypt for over 2,000 years. Later, the Greeks became less magnanimous, and in defiance of historical fact, began attributing the Seven Hermetic Laws to one mythological figure, Hermes Trismegistus, a composite figure of Hermes, the Greek god of wisdom. A final form of the Seven Hermetic Laws have more recently taken the form of a greater work, The Kybalion, the basis for the system of Kabbalah in modern times.
One of the immutable, Seven Hermetic Principles, The Law of Gender, unravels the great and perplexing mystery of the duality of the universe, the masculine-feminine energetic dynamic and its application throughout the cosmos. The principle states,
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles. Gender manifests on all planes.” – The Kybalion
The Hermetic Law of Gender helps us to understand that the masculine – feminine principle is at work in all things on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes. On the physical plane, the principle of gender is manifested as sex, and on higher planes it manifests as dimensions of power and rule. Each and every individual has both dimensions at work within. Both male and female, masculine and feminine, father and mother, mater and pater, reside within each individual on deep psychic levels. The typical male gender characteristics of dominion, conquest, provider, and planter represent the counterpart to typical female traits of nurturing, communicating, relating, and conceiving. The wisdom of the universe has designed it so that generation, reproduction, and creation are not possible without both dimensions, masculine and feminine, unifying. Nothing can be effectively produced without the interfuse of these two dimensions. The seed without the womb cannot produce life, and its opposite holds true. The Law of Gender unfolds the mystery of the universe and represents the fountain of all wisdom as it relates to assisting humanity in finding resolution to the challenges of human relations and in the human discovery of global solutions.
Hermetic teachings influenced Asian conceptualizations of the cosmos, and at the heart of Classical Chinese philosophy, science, and medicine lies the principle of Yin and Yang. The idea is that the cosmos is one of duality revealing good and bad, light and darkness, higher order and lower order, the masculine and feminine elements. Yin conceptually represents the female-passive state, while Yang represents the male-active element. According to Ancient Chinese philosophy, the positive fusion of the two cosmic forces manifested the visible world. Although Yin and Yang are opposites, they are complimentary, and make up a unified whole with each element bringing its unique energy and distinct creative force with the effect of transforming the other.
As Hermetic influences traversed the ancient world, we find the Law of Gender infused in Ancient Hindu mythology and mysticism. In the Hindu pantheon, the goddess Shakti and the god Shiva take prominent roles. Shakti represents the sacred, active force of power and energy, and is the personification of the Divine Feminine, or the “Divine Mother”. While, Shiva represents the masculine principle or pure, empty consciousness. Shakti, as the maternal cosmic energy offers provision, nurture, warmth, love, and security, while Shiva, as the paternal cosmic energy and consciousness represents the unchanging, unlimited and detached observer. Shiva becomes the empty screen or blank canvass upon which Shakti can project vision. In the unifying of this two cosmic energies, a creative force of manifestation, movement and action can occur.
In Hindu mysticism, pure energy (Shakti) without pure consciousness (Shiva) is misdirected energy unable to produce manifestation. The opposite holds true, wherein empty consciousness (Shiva) is void without the force of energy (Shakti) necessary to release its latent potential. What is more, the symbolism of Shakti and Shiva teach us that consciousness impregnates active energy, and in this consummation, manifestation is possible.
On the physical plane, Shakti and Shiva represent the sexual energies between the masculine and feminine necessary to bring forth life, thus explaining the mysterious and inescapable lure of attraction between the sexes. On the spiritual plane, these twin energies were separated in creation, resulting in the existing dualistic cosmos. This past separation of the masculine and feminine energies is what causes the attraction between the two forces, and the attempt to reconnect, reunite, and reestablish oneness. Ultimately, Shakti and Shiva represent the union between human and divine consciousness and the goal of all spiritual practice.
In the Pentateuch, The Book of Genesis, in particular, we are introduced by the Ancient Hebrews to Abram and Sarai, who later become Abraham and Sarah. These two biblical figures are no mere figurative characters, instead, they respectively represent spheres of masculine and feminine power and energy. They are divinely assigned titles; The Father of Many Nations and The Mother of Many Nations. These titles are in no way insignificant since they represent dimensions of spiritual life and jurisdictional power on both the spiritual and mental planes. On the physical planes, both father and mother, pater and mater are given a dichotomy of prophetic influence, as well as intergenerational blessing and impact. Their equal titles infer that both dimensions are necessary for intergenerational and spiritual reproduction. Clearly, one dimension cannot co-exist without the other; neither is inferior. Sarah is no mere servant, but represents a spiritual equality necessary to the working out of Divine redemptive purpose (Taylor, ).
Abraham, the earthly carrier of the fathering dimension, represents the governing, ruling, pioneering and visionary function; while Sarah in her mothering dimension, represents the birthing, nurturing, teaching, conceiving functions necessary to deliver and manifest what is planted by Abraham. This is not to say that these functions are static; instead, they are fluid and can be operative in either gender. In order for Abraham and Sarah to have achieved their destiny fulfillment, both masculine and feminine energies were compelled to join forces to produce the heavenly promises (Taylor ).
In more recent times, Carl Gustav Jung, the Father of Analytical Psychology, with his knowledge of Hermetic Law, developed the brilliant Theory of the Collective Unconscious, introducing the modern world to a theory of gender archetypes referred to as the anima-animus. According to Jung, the anima is the unconscious feminine psychic profile within the male, while the animus is the unconscious masculine psychic profile of within the female. Jung postulated that within each male was a fully operative female energy and within each female, therein lies a fully operative, yet unconscious male energy. These psychic profiles are archetypical (not a composite of socially or culturally derived traits) and represent the collective psychic energy of the ages; fueling the latent drives behind human thought and behavior.
The African worldview of the masculine and feminine dynamic is that the two represent the harmonious balance within the cosmos; positively impacting the individual, the community, and the world. The perspective of Ancient African wisdom is that the male and female were viewed as complimentary and essential counterparts helping us to understand the greater duality of the universe, as well as the duality within ourselves. Within the African male-female dynamic, the emphasis is upon role and function, and has less to do with western ideals of equality.
The African woman was venerated and worshipped as the source of all life. Historical records and DNA testing have provided the evidence that an African woman was the first Eve, or “Mother of All Living”. Finch, suggests that primordial man did not fully understand the role sex played in procreation and therefore erroneously believed that the woman possessed some magical and divine ability to produce life within herself without the partnership of the male. Therefore, the African woman was worshipped as the source of life and in many cultures she was deified. Thus, the original African conceptualizations of God were of the Divine Feminine. Subsequently, our first social systems were matriarchal systems, which established mankind’s first moral guidelines influencing human thought and behavior.
The African woman was honored and revered in ancient times. We find evidence of this in Ancient Egypt and Kush where matriliny was practiced and children took on the surnames of their mothers. In Ancient Kush, the Queen Mother determined the Pharaoh’s successor. Succession to the throne in ancient sub-Saharan Africa was matrilineal up until the 12th century. The African traditions of matrilineal succession followed strict guidelines based upon the wisdom that in matters of lineage, one can only be certain of the mother of a child (Cheikh Anta Diop) However, with Islamic and foreign invasions of Africa, as well as the advent of European colonialism, came an insidious misogynistic dominance, rendering the African woman subordinate to the African man, thus creating the imbalance and tension within the masculine-feminine dynamic that the African community and diaspora continues to counter.
As we progress into this new age, humanity once again has the opportunity to draw from the deep reservoir of wisdom gifted to us by our African ancestors. As we seek solutions to solving existing tensions within the male-female dynamic, strengthening the family, reducing conflicts between and amongst nations, addressing the massive corruption and failures of global systems, ameliorating the effects of crippling poverty, and introducing much needed educational reforms; the knowledge and practical application of the ancients becomes vitally important. Ethnic and religious wars continue to rage threatening human existence, signifying that fact that humanity is in need of the reevaluation of our priorities and values. If there ever were a time to reintroduce the wisdom of the Ancient Africans, it would be now. The Seven Hermetic Principles are more relevant now than ever.
According to ancient astrology, every 2,160 years, there is a transition into a new energetic dynamic, which dominates and characterizes the spiritual, physical, and mental plane throughout the age. With the closing of the masculine Piscean Age of disunity, dominance, and violence, humanity is experiencing a war-weariness, and a spiritual and conscious awakening to the fact that our weapons of war cannot solve the global problems. There is a universal outcry for the manifestation of a more feminine energy to redeem global systems. The feminine dimension brings with it the distinct capacity for communication, cooperation, and collaboration. These feminine traits have been suppressed during the Age of Pisces. However, the dawning Age of Aquarius, thought to begin anytime between the year 2,000 up through the year 2,500 or so, brings with it a dominant feminine energy that will manifest global solutions and a stunning global spiritual awakening as we have not witnessed hitherto. This is not to say that masculine energy will be futuristically suppressed. On the contrary, in this upcoming age we will witness the harmonious co-existence between the masculine and feminine dimensions.
Futuristically, the interfuse between masculine and feminine energetic forces will uplift humanity in significant ways. The Universal Law of Gender instructs that the conjoining of these two dimensions, both masculine and feminine, will release the power to elevate humanity, while saving us from ourselves. Rather than witnessing the manifestation of our apocalyptic fears, the harmonious interplay between masculine and feminine will manifest the revitalization of global systems, a greater unity between and amongst nations, a respect for environmental restoration, a renaissance in scientific and medical discoveries, major religious reformations, global economic cooperation and partnerships, a renewal of human rights, and finally, a greater spiritual awakening for humanity.