Monster Boy

In myth

they call him

Monster boy.

In life he thrives


Aloof, disguised,

speeding madly

 over rough waters

(in a boat without oars).

Stealing Shadow

to bolster his own.

Fighting to win

 at any cost.

Feigning neutrality,

steel knives draw blood.


 dark feeling

hovers, always

Above It All. 

Oh, the Spider

 taught him well, 

but it must be said

a pattern was already

written in the stars..

If only he’d touch the Earth

If only he’d embrace the Earth,

  tears of forgiveness

            might flow.

healing waters…

The Navajo tell the mythical story of ‘First Woman’ who gives birth parthogenically on the top of a holy mountain. Changing Woman has twin sons whose job it is to rid the world of dark forces that would destroy ‘the People’. One child is Monster Boy, the other is called Child of Water… The two set out on a journey to fight monsters and to meet their Father the Sun… Changing Woman is left behind. The two heroes slay the enemies of the Navajo, and with Spider grandmother’s help, meet up with the Sun, who then forces them to prove their worth a second time before accepting them. A solar story if there ever was one.

When I first learned of this myth more than 30 years ago I was struck by the fact that although the twins rid the people of their enemies, this ‘first family’ remained separated.  Changing Woman is not reunited with her sons. Spider grandmother helps the twins but not their mother; the former is male identified. We all know women like her.

Changing Woman eventually moves west to be with the Sun; however, she insists upon having her own dwelling that is surrounded by water and must have animals and birds as her companions. She re-unites with her husband but only on her own terms. This first family never reconciles as a whole; the myth ends with the warring hero twins slaying their enemies and meeting the Sun. 

This Navajo myth is based on older hero twin myths of which there are many variations but the general story is the same and it seems to me that all are patriarchal, and therefore “new” appearing some time in the last 5000 years… the Mayan version occurs around 200 BCE. We are dealing with forces/patterns that have been around for a long time but not ‘forever’ as impeccable feminist literature/scholarship like that of Carol Christ’s reveals. When a story is not completed something is blocking the ability of a healing pattern to manifest, perhaps on a new level. Patriarchy, or Powerarchy, as I define the word, a system of unequal power, leads to eventual destruction of its people – if our present global crisis is any indication of what’s ahead. Nature will live on.

I think the deadly split that we are living cross culturally has everything to do with the need to reconcile these two aspects of the male (in women and men) with awareness. Monster Boy slaughters, Child of Water flows. Integrating the two extreme, opposite, forces means to honor the fire, but not to act it out destructively through rage/war, cultivating the male as love and protector, and allowing genuine feeling (water) to flow unimpeded. Embodiment creates a healing bridge to female powers if we do the work around acknowledging/honoring our feelings (both positive and negative) and grounding those feelings in a body. Living in our bodies with awareness challenges both women and men to integrate feeling, sensing, intuition, into our thinking on a conscious level. Only then can we become whole.

At present it seems to me that Monster Boy is ruling the planet.

It’s important to reiterate that monster boy could be either male or female if you take the two extremes (fire and water) beyond the story into our present culture. This truth was brought home to me recently in an encounter with a woman that once would have blindsided me.

2 thoughts on “Monster Boy

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