The first time I encountered Shiva, I was flipping through my high school history textbook. It was a section on ancient religions, or maybe South Asia. I don’t know, I never really paid attention in history class. All I remember is the moment I happened-upon the image of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. He was in his Nataraj form, doing the tandava: a dance that Destroys the Universe to clear space for a new Creation.
Something stirred within me. A curiosity. Beneath that, a longing. For the first time in my sheltered, Bible-beating life, I felt what I now understand to be spiritual desire. I wanted to know this powerful being personally. Who was he? Why couldn’t I stop looking at him, pondering him, or scribbling drawings of him in my notebook? Though I’d never dare admit it, the god I was raised to serve — Yahweh, the Old Testament juggernaut — had never made me feel this way. When I tried to get lost in worship of Yahweh the way the other churchgoers did, there was something off. A disconnect. And naturally, I was told this was my fault.
But now that I’d experienced my first genuine resonance with a deity, there was no turning back. Call it genetic memory, call it mere curiosity. Whatever it was, it was real. More real than any feeling the church ever provided.
The second time I encountered Shiva a few years later, I was halfway between a dream and waking, in that precious hypnogogic state where fantasy and reality blend seamlessly into one. Shiva appeared to me there in that liminal space, and I knew we were going to make love.
In this half-dream, I began to position myself underneath him, not thinking, only doing. But in one swift movement he pulled me up and onto his lap, arranging my legs around his waist as in lotus position. And then in the most stern yet loving voice, he said: “You must never place yourself beneath me again.“
What followed was pure heat. Sex with a fire god is beyond what mortal words can describe. But, not being mature enough yet to understand the profound lesson he’d just given me, I told myself it was only a dream, tucked it away… and proceeded to sleepwalk my way through a series of painful relationships in the years to come.
I continued to encounter Shiva here and there over the years, mostly through signs and synchronicities, and sometimes by sensing his presence around me. But the most profound encounter of them all occurred during my ayahuasca ceremony this past May.
Two cups in, I began reflecting on how much healing I had to do. I’d been consciously single for a year, and despite the progress I’d made in breaking old patterns and restoring my faith in love, I still had scars. I had come to believe I was unlovable — too complicated, too demanding, too controlling, too this, too that, too everything and too nothing. I wondered if I would ever know what Love felt like. Love with a capital L.
At this point, the psychedelic effect was starting to kick in, meaning I was beginning to detach from my body, and the instability was frightening. In my mind, I called for help. A number of entities appeared as soon as I asked, forming a semi-circle before me and waiting for further instruction. Among them was Shiva, of course.
So I chose him. With my energy I invited him forward, and in his unfathomably graceful way of moving—being the Lord of the Dance and all—he slipped underneath me and pulled me up onto his lap. Here we were in the lotus position again, face to face. But this time I was definitely not dreaming. In fact, I was more lucid than I’d ever been, because Ayahuasca was giving me hyper-perception. So what happened next was as vivid as vivid gets.
Once he’d pulled me onto his lap, Shiva stared deeply into my eyes.
Rather… he stared into me.
Though his eyes were serene, his gaze was penetrating.
I felt naked. Exposed. I thought about all of my flaws, and how ugly they must look to him. But he continued to stare, unbothered by my trivial self-judgments, his gaze completely unwavering. I’d never been looked at like this.
As he gazed into my being, I became aware of what he was seeing: the vast cosmic void that presides within me.
He stared through my darkness. He stared through my emptiness. He stared through my horrors, demons and shadows. Not once did he back down, or flinch, or turn away. His presence was unflinching; his focus, piercing.
He stared into me,
and he stayed with me,
….until I knew what Love was.
Honestly? It took tremendous strength not to open this essay by apologizing. You see, I’ve been on a rather public journey of processing my feelings about men. When my writing first began reaching people, I was emboldened by radical feminism to write scathing critiques of men, masculinity and male supremacy. It was kinda my thing.
And though my bottomless rage towards male pattern violence has even scored me some awards, I have since come to realize that it was a gross misuse of energy. I was desperately seeking political, legal and material solutions to a spiritual problem. In other words, I was looking outward when I should have been looking inward.
So I did what any chaos magician would do. I accepted that the outer world is merely a prismatic reflection of my inner world, and I decided to change myself in response to the clues my reality was giving me.
What are Men?
No, I haven’t ~magically forgotten~ all that radical feminism taught me. Statistically speaking, men are responsible for the most vile, depraved phenomena on this Earth. Most paraphiles are men, most murderers are men, most rapists, porn consumers, pimps, johns, traffickers and violent criminals are men. Violence is statistically male, and there is usually a sexual overtone to said violence.
“Men are dogs.” “Men are animals.” “Men have two heads but can only think with one at a time.” “Men can’t control themselves.” “Men need sex.” Sadly, I would say that for the shocking majority of men, these statements are true.
All of these mugshots are convicted male sex offenders. Notice the absolute lack of virility: no aura, dull eyes, emotionally bankrupt. Frankly, they look like mutants. Like something went seriously wrong in their development. Admit it, you see it too. (Some clairvoyants even claim to see “golums” attached to the energy field of sexual deviants, but that’s a post for another day!)
Though I am skeptical of separatism as a strategy to address male pattern violence, I sympathize deeply with women who want to separate themselves from men. Look at all this dark, fucked-up, shadowy creepy ugliness. Why would any sane woman want to parse through all this putrid sludge to find the rare man worth trusting?
It’s frightening, disturbing and disgusting to reconnect with one’s desire for men after being abused by them. Trust me, I know.
But if we’re going to make sweeping generalizations about men based on their darkest shadows, we must also consider their brightest light:
Is it just me, or is it usually men who hurl themselves into rivers and fires to save family, friends, animals and total strangers? I found countless examples of these heroic headlines, all featuring men. But how could it be? I thought men were all, like, murderers and rapists and stuff.
So what are men?
What is their function? purpose? role?
What is this force inside them, that can either drive them to commit unspeakable violence against innocent lives… or drive them to impulsively sacrifice themselves to save lives?
And what exactly differentiates the Monsters from the Heroes?
Something tells me, it’s a choice.
A choice that the vast fucking majority of men are failing to make.
And that choice, is to channel one’s masculine power with clear intent, alchemizing its lowest expression — selfish Gain — into its highest expression: selfless Love.
Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.~ John 15:13 KJV
“I don’t believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.”~ The OG “man-hating feminist” Andrea Dworkin
As I’ve continued along my inner journey, coming to terms with my animus (or “inner masculine”), I’ve noticed something: The quality of men I attract, and who are attracted to me, has been improving. And not in a superficial way. In a spiritual way.
The more work I do to heal my emotional wounds, release trauma from my body, interrogate my subconscious motivations, and discern lust from love, the more I’m surrounded by good men. No, not “nice guys.” I said good, men. They are my friends, my confidants, my collaborators. As expected, the men who populate my outer world always accurately reflect the state of my inner world.
And not too long ago, this little ~inner journey~ led me to a very mystical man. He was a serious spiritual seeker who had been celibate and not-masturbating for 6 months by the time we met — under extraordinarily synchronistic circumstances, by the way. Because remember, we’re dealing with magick here, not materialism.
Listen. Women. When a man stops masturbating with the intent of replenishing his spiritual power, it shows. It exudes out of him like a blinding aura of sheer will and vitality. This dude was fucking hot. And the way he carried himself with such centeredness brought something out of me. Something like… femininity. I softened around him. Got all cutesy and shy and stuff — which I, like, never do with men (because ew, no). But he felt like such A Man, and I felt like A Woman around him. That is the simple truth.
Soon enough, we were in bed together. Things were getting intense. But he was determined not to waste his seed on any activity other than penetration — which I wasn’t open to. So every time he found himself on the edge of climax from our other activities, he would do something marvelous:
He’d draw his orgasm back into himself, breathe it upward, and release it into his body. I watched this man have powerful internal orgasms with this technique, over and over and over, never once spilling a drop of himself. This guy would not lose control. At some point, honestly, I was more turned on by watching him orgasm without ejaculating, than from anything else we were doing. No matter what form I took, he could always face me head-on, his focus never wavering, his willpower steady.
I realized: it was like having sex with my beloved Shiva again… but this time, through the form of a mortal man.
And that’s when it clicked!!!
How are women supposed to hold out hope for awakened men if they’ve never experienced the self-control that men are capable of? Where are the representations of male spiritual power? Where are the men who’ve MASTERED THEIR SEXUAL ENERGY, rather than play-acting at false “mastery” in the workplace, in athletics, in pickup artistry, etc.?
How many men do you know, aren’t wasting their lives immersed in virtual worlds and videogames? How many men do you know, aren’t pornsick losers? How many men do you know, are even aware that their biology is under attack? Not many, I bet.
But frankly? So are conscious women.
If we are all to be honest with ourselves — men and women — we will discover that 99.999999999% of us are sleepwalking through our romantic and sexual relationships. To varying degrees, we are woefully unconscious of why we even get together at all. Which is why abusive relationships are, indeed, always between equals: the unconsciousness that drives a man to beat a woman, is equal in proportion to the unconsciousness that drives her to accept the abuse and therefore co-perpetuate the vicious cycle with her abuser.
Before you cry “HOW DARE YOU!” please remember that I am no stranger to abuse. These are realizations I had to have before I could begin genuinely healing from a lifetime of trauma. Like I said, I was sleepwalking through life, manifesting monstrosities by accident because I was just that unaware. And I forgive myself, for I knew not what I did.
But let’s put abuse aside for a bit, because not everyone can relate to that. Let’s get back to the issue of unconscious sexuality.
To be blunt: Most people will just have sex with anyone who’s mutually attracted to them. Not thinking, only doing. Sex is a pressure release, a compulsion, a “BiOLoGiCaL NeEd” (🙄) and little else.
The few who do think about what relationships are for, may discover the traumas that subconsciously inform their romantic decisions, and consequently enter themselves into therapy in the hopes of attracting better partners. But still, they are driven by an urge to “get something” in exchange for performing their role the way a textbook would have them do. The motions are still somewhat mechanical, automatic. Half-asleep.
A few of those few, may experiment with modern “tantra” – which is not even tantra, technically. It’s the same old pornsickness that damaged the person’s sexuality in the first place, but rebranded as the solution to itself. Talk about withholding the cure! Most modern “tantrics” are motivated by the superficial desire to have better orgasms or make more money, prioritizing temporal experiences over long-term soul growth, thus missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
And fewer, still, can even conceive of the possibility that sex is intrinsically a serious spiritual pursuit that demands every ounce of conscious awareness they have to give, in the sense that it’s a “little death” — a transfiguration of the self.
A merging of opposites.
A fusion of souls.
A conception of consciousness.
A destroying of ignorance.
A knowing of someone.
A deep, unflinching gaze into the void.
An opportunity to heal the world.
So what are men?
But just as Shiva had to demonstrate complete stillness in meditation for countless years before earning the title of First God and First Yogi, so too must mortal men earn their Godhood through self-control and discipline.
How do they do that, then? Glad you asked! Let’s look at how these men discuss the spiritual benefits of abstaining from masturbation over at r/semenretention:
Look at how these men are seriously discussing higher concepts like Love, Manifestation, Psionics, Bioelectricity, etc. It’s like by abstaining from masturbation, they stopped “leaking fuel” so to speak, and now they’re on spiritual hyperdrive.
Could this be it? The solution to the problem of male pattern violence?
Could this be what differentiates the Monsters from the Heroes? The animals from the Gods?
The lost art of sexual self-mastery?
If so, it’s up to each individual man to commit to the work. Sadly, this is not the kind of thing that can be enforced through law. It can only be inspired through self-reflection. And while the more extreme Monsters may never sacrifice their addictive, life-depleting orgasms in search of Godhood, Monstrous men aren’t the only ones who need to learn self-control. Average men do too.
When I say “average men,” I mean the men who think they deserve a trophy for simply not-raping, not-trafficking and not-abusing women. They wield “Not all men!” with insufferable smugness, patting themselves on the back literally for doing nothing. And yet, they reek of weakness. There is no virility in them. They don’t even know what that word means.
They may be nice guys, but are they Good Men?
Better yet: Can they be Great Men?
Who among them is brave enough to find out?
To stare into the void, even as it stares back
Anyone you have made love with,
it is because you were really looking for God.
If you have known hundreds of partners,
God may not say this publicly,
but I think He is proud of your efforts.
Don’t let the freedom in this truth get you in trouble.Hafiz
This is the most candid I have ever been about men. Even though all I ever think about is God, Sex and Death (thanks, 8th house ☀️!) I’ve been suppressing these particular magick-sexy musings, because most of the women I know are sick of men, and they don’t want to hear jack shit about how they should be ~ iNtEgRaTiNg ThEiR aNiMuS ~ or whatever.
Again: I sympathize deeply. Not every woman is called to deal with men on this level, and that’s fine.
But for those women who do hear the call to pursue sacred union, this is for you:
Women cannot change men, nor should we try to.
But we can become conscious of our deep erotic longing to unite with the Divine, and in doing so liberate ourselves from the desperation to settle for demon-possessed men. It is through this careful selectivity and refusal to settle for less, that we inspire men to step up… or else reveal themselves to be unworthy. Perhaps, instead of being so nice and polite to men who lack discipline, we should hold them to a higher standard. Again, not a superficial standard like a certain salary or physique. A standard like Divinity. The standard of Godhood.
A God is a man who knows his spiritual power and works tirelessly to fortify himself energetically. A God is a man who takes the spirit world seriously, and doesn’t embarrass himself with hollow appeals to his own “rationality” and “logic.” A God is a man who treats his seed as sacred, for he knows it carries the raw potential to manifest any reality he desires. A man who can run a marathon doesn’t impress me. A man who can stop mindlessly jerking off, does.
A woman who wants a God-tier man must become a Goddess herself, but frankly, most women are not nearly at the level of consciousness they might like to think. Just as men have their special flavor of entitlement, this is how entitlement manifests in women:
- longing for a lover but being closed-off to receiving one
- wanting something without taking the time to figure out what (but expecting him to know somehow)
- trying to shrink our “unrealistic” desire for God-like men, the same way we’re taught to shrink our bodies to stop taking up so much damn space
- darkening, obscuring, manipulating, constricting, restricting, clamping up, going cold…
^ These are indicators of un-integrated feminine shadows.
While rejecting and abandoning our darkness may seem effective on the surface, it only causes psychological fracturing. Shadows must be faced directly and offered unconditional Love, if we are to transmute them into light. The degree of Godhood you get to enjoy, depends on how deep into the darkness you are willing to go.
So go deep on this one:
Why do you get into relationships?
What is it that you desire from a man?
You don’t really want his fancy car or muscular body.
You aren’t satisfied yet.
You want something more.
These flashy things are merely symbols.
“What do they mean?”
the dreamer asks in the dream.
And you realize,
they are merely indicators
of a man who controls himself
so you don’t have to.
You’ve been looking for a man
you can finally relax around,
because though he is powerful
he has shown you
he will not hurt you.
He is self-controlled enough
to stare unflinchingly into your darkest shadows
and Love every single one of them
back into the light of conscious awareness.
and you realize you’ve been looking for God all this time.