And, yet, the Natural Elements described in many traditions enumerate five: Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Spirit
Could there be five archetypal aspects to Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine?
Five is a number of change, freedom, and growth. It can be expansive growth or the kind of distorted, painful growth that can come from contracting our energy and denying our freedom of willpower. The Natural Elements described in many traditions enumerate five. For example, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Spirit; or, in another example, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.
Could there be five archetypal aspects to Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine? Let's begin with our first and possibly most well-known, the Divine Feminine mirroring the major lunations - the Waxing Moon Maiden, the Full Moon Mother, and the Waning Moon Crone. We don't often see comparable aspects of Divine Masculine unless we look to the four transitions of the Sun - the Bright Son of Spring, the Virile King of Summer, the Hunted Hunter of Autumn, and the Quiet Sage of Winter (or, Dying Overlord of Winter). In this valid perspective, the three and four have their very pertinent application and meaning. However, for this article, I'd like to explore the masculine and feminine natures in five aspects, like the five elements.
If we reexamine the triple aspected feminine, we can see there are masculine counterparts available. The Maiden considers a young, single woman looking for love and a partner. Her counterpart by our social associations might be a Bachelor or a Lover in that we are considering a young, single man looking for love and a way to make his place. Next, of course, there is a Mother and a Father. Finally, the Wise Elders are the Wise-woman or Crone, and the Wise-man or Sage.
However, between Maiden and Mother is a step - regardless of social or religious norms and strictly looking at the symbolism of unification and partnership where two become a single, greater whole - marriage or sex. Therefore, in traditional semantics, the Bride would symbolise this fourth step for the feminine; and, for the masculine step between Bachelor-Lover and Father would be the Bridegroom.
Then what comes between parenthood and being an esteemed elder? That fifth step embraces the Warrior-spirit. We could call them both Warriors because that's what they are. Or, we could look deeper into how this archetype plays out in our lives.
If the masculine were considered a Hunter instead of a Bachelor, could he then be considered The Hunted driving his Warrior-spirit to survive? Perhaps, but that feels slightly off balance. The Hunter is hunting to provide for his realm, his family, at this stage. He's not hunting for a mate and a home, he's an extension of the Father giving nurturing and provision with skill and fortitude. So, let's run with that one. The Warrior-spirit expressing the masculine step between Father and Sage is the Hunter.
Looking to the Warrior-spirit expressing the feminine step between Mother and Crone is definitively there but often, also, distorted. She comes as a healer, an activist, a "Mama Bear defending her young", and a teacher. But, with all this energy does (really no more or less than the masculine), what title has She but Warrior? What is the mirror of a Hunter? Is She the Hunted, the one to survive? That doesn't jive. What is at the heart of Her Warrior-spirit? Protection, healing, growth... if not hunting, then gathering, or cultivating, perhaps? Still and again, this aspect of feminine looks like the Protector, the Defender, the Destroyer... the Warrior.
In considering the freedom of Willpower and the opportunity that abounds within all change and transition, considering growth and transformation, the 5 aspects of both masculine and feminine provide a very clear and well-rounded dance of life. We honor the Bachelor-Lover, the Bridegroom, the Father, the Hunter, and the Sage. We honor the Maiden, the Bride, the Mother, the Warrior, and the Crone. We honor ourselves, and one another, our Ancestors, and the All That Is.