Recently I was invited by my friend and blogger buddy Georges to write an entry for his blog, “The Sky Clad Therapist”.
I am very honored to do so. He asked me to write something about masculinity.
There are many archetypes, and their importance or dominance in a man’s psyche varies over time. “Classical” Jungians and “Neo-Jungians” argue whether or not certain types are more important than others. For example; the ‘classical’ archetypes are the Persona, Shadow, Animus/Anima and The Self. One of my teachers writes that in matters of survival the archetypes of The Child, The Saboteur, The Prostitute, and The Victim are tantamount. Robert Miller, PHD wrote a book on the chief archetypes in the development of the masculine. They are The King, The Warrior, The Magician, and The Lover.
Throughout time, the expression of these four archetypes have been heavily dependent on Personae energy and garb. When we think of a King we see a crown and regal attire. A warrior is dressed for battle. From time to time history or literature has the men in these roles naked. No personae garb is necessary for real libido comes from within. Clothes are extraneous and perhaps distracting. It takes a powerful man to be at ease with himself to discard his clothes and have the world see him not as ‘naked’ but potent with archetypal energy.
To be in touch with The Lover while a sky clad is straight forward. We are most intimate with another in our naked state. To be nude – literally and emotionally – are almost requirements for Lover energy.
At first, Nudism and The Warrior sound like a contraindication. Warriors are clad with armor for protection. In history there have been men who fought naked, to express their fearlessness and reveal (literally) their phallic strength. This has an anthropological origin: the human penis and testicles are more visible compared to other primates. The theory goes these outward signs of phallos are to help reveal male strength. The male beard is especially obvious for this reason. It is small wonder therefore that most ‘warrior types’ have whiskers. The Celts were known to fight in the nude, and the Romans record this was frightening to behold. Warrior energy and nudism were demonstrated by the Greeks who wrestled and did other sports sky clad. Indeed, ‘gym’ derives from the Greek word for “naked”. We work out and compete in the buff.
Shamans and priests throughout time have stripped down to conduct their rituals and religious pacts. This ancient way made them better in touch with magic, the gods, and with nature. Nudism and religion is carried on by some Wiccans and other pagan groups such as the Radical Faeries.
The nude or naked King is the most challenging of the four. King energy gets more wrapped up in personae and show than the other three. Without royal garb, The King is merely another man. The Emperor without his clothes is mocked. King Lear, stripped of both his kingly clothes and his phallic energy becomes a howling impotent old man in a storm – a powerful symbol indeed. Both are cautionary tales for what happens when King energy is abused or foolishly wasted.
Are there any ‘good’ true Kings and nudism in history, literature, or society? I can think of only one; The Aztec Emperor would appear naked in a ceremony. Therein, his foreskin was cut and the dripping blood was gathered in crop fertility rituals – phallic energy indeed! – for one of roles of King is to be Father of his country. It was only after the naked ritual the Emperor was adorned with regal attire: he is King for who he is. The trappings are secondary.