Archetypal / Mythical Observations

The Lion and the Unicorn: Balancing the Masculine and the Feminine

lion unicorn masculine feminine yin yang balance left brain right brain archetypes mythology observation Nick Peterson Transmutation Counselling Wellbeing personal development therapy healing mindfulness transformation growth self-care Liverpool holistic person-centred creative mind body spirit

If you look at the British royal crest, it is flanked on either side by the lion and the unicorn, which symbolise the masculine and feminine energies that reside within us all. The lion represents the outward masculine doing energy of the rational left brain, while the unicorn represents the feminine feeling energy of the creative right brain.

Interestingly, the unicorn is shackled and bound, which symbolises that we keep our feminine feeling selves locked away, afraid of the repressed emotions that lurk beneath the surface. Indeed, our society seems to deny the mythical and transcendent unseen that the unicorn represents, rarely honouring the creativity and innovation that emerge from the imaginal realm.

The lion, on the other hand, is free from shackles and is a pure symbol of the masculine power that reigns supreme in this society. Indeed, the rational and logical mind is championed, with high value being placed upon practical action and solving things, often without the consideration and sensitivity of the feminine. With the unicorn chained up, the masculine lion is completely caught up in material affairs, fighting for dominance and power, striving for status and supremacy at all costs.

Both the masculine and feminine are needed to become balanced individuals. Without the feminine, the masculine is like a dried-up riverbank, hard and rigid – too fixed – but the fluid waters of the feminine help to soften things up and ensure that the lion acts with empathy and consideration.

Conversely, if the flowing waters of the feminine had no masculine river banks to hold it, then the waters would spill everywhere without any direction or focus, for it is the structure of the masculine that helps to direct our creative energy in a productive fashion and turn ideas into things.

The lion and the unicorn – left brain and right brain – must unite if we are to claim our crowns and step into our full power as creative and productive individuals, in tune with “he who does” and “she who feels”. Problems often arise because there is an imbalance within us – or we overlook the existence of one entirely.

Gender conditioning tends to steer men more towards the lion and women towards the unicorn, with the old prevailing narratives that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but no – both masculine Mars and feminine Venus exist within each of us. Thankfully, these old gender narratives are beginning to break down as new ideas about gender are challenging the status quo and gender becomes more fluid.

However, regardless of our gender identity, all of us have the lion and the unicorn within us – the left brain and the right brain. And if we can bring them both into balance, then we can empower ourselves immensely. People like Albert Einstein were so eminent due to this marriage of solid logic and fluid creativity.

While most of us are usually more at home with either the lion or the unicorn, there is work that we can do to bring them into balance. And the more that we accept them both within ourselves, the more that we can challenge the outdated narratives of our society and free the unicorn from her shackles.

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