My relationship with my own Dad wasn’t perfect. Typical of most dads of his generation, he believed that his primary obligation as a father was to provide financial support and security for his family. The emotional and nurturing side of child rearing was to be delegated to my stay-at-home mother.
The result was that I adored my mother, but was leery of my Dad.
Clearly, he was Boss of the House. He “brought home the bacon.” He lay down and enforced the House Rules. He taught us all to drive (my mother never did learn). He tutored us in math if we were failing (I was), and reviewed all our report cards. (“What’s this A-? Why didn’t you get an A?”) My gentle mother enforced discipline by threatening to tell him about my misdemeanors. (“Wait till your father gets home!”)
He was remote, all-powerful, and a bit scary.
He was also brilliant, a geologist-petroleum engineer who invented drill bits that are still used in the oil patch today. He gifted me with his love of music, his passion for reading and painting, his tall, slender frame, and my flyaway curly hair. He gave me an even greater gift, which I didn’t understand until years later. He was passionately in love with my mother.
While I resented his single-minded devotion to Mum, which seemed to leave so little love over for his children, this evidence of the possibility of True Love heartened me. And I looked for it when I was searching for my own Life Partner.
Today’s Dads are different. With many dual-income couples sharing financial responsibility for their children, domestic and emotional duties are also being shared as never before. Dads help care for the kids. Some assist in household chores. At the extreme end of the spectrum, some men even choose to be Stay-at-Home Dads, if their partner is the true breadwinner. My father would be astonished!
This month, I celebrated the men we love and honor by creating the first four cards in my new Gods for the Goddess line. They were designed, by customer request, for women to give to their men.
For lovers of mythology, and the Divine Masculine – I have painted The Green Man, and Herne the Hunter. These gods are powerful archetypes that speak to us today. The Green Man, Father Earth, is the counterpart to Gaia, Mother Earth. Dating back to pre-historic times, he has resurfaced today as the embodiment of the Green Movement, which unites men and women in their quest to heal our wounded planet. He nourishes us all with the peaceful fruits of vegetation.
Herne, the Hunter, is his radical opposite. An ardent lover of the Goddess, he provides for his people with his skills as a warrior/hunter. Both gods epitomize male virility, fertility, power, and their provision of abundance to the world.
For contemporary goddesses, I have created two modern Gods for the Goddess. One of them, A Special Man, celebrates the man who is able, not only to father a child, but to commit to and parent it as tenderly as a mother. Safe in Love honors the man who, in this age of Fear of Commitment, fearlessly loves a woman so completely and faithfully, that she actually feels “safe in love.” This frees her to lavish everything that she is upon her beloved.
Such men are still out there. Green Men. Warriors and Hunters. Men who can dry a child’s tears, or hold a woman safe. May God, and the Goddess, bless them all. Happy Fathers’ Day. And Happy Lover’s Day too. They go hand in hand.