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Spiritual Movie Reviews: “Avatar” and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western World

January 22nd, 2010 by Ryan

Avatar is quite possibly the biggest movie of our generation…and for good reason.

Not only does the film herald in several breakthrough film-making technologies, it also marks a major turning point for our culture in terms of spiritual understanding and maturity.

In case you aren't familiar with the film, Avatar is James Cameron's (Titanic, Aliens, Terminator 2) latest creation.

The movie is set in the 22nd century on a foreign moon called Pandora.  The 12-foot tall humanoid natives who inhabit the moon are known as the Na'vi.

avatar jake net Spiritual Movie Reviews: Avatar and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western World

The story follows Jake Sully, an ex-marine who is sent to a mining outpost atop Pandora in order to control a Human-Na'vi genetically engineered body known as an Avatar.

His initial goal is to infiltrate the Na'vi people, gain their trust, and then convince them to relocate, thereby allowing his corporate employer to mine the precious mineral deposits that sit beneath the Na'vi homeland.

As Jake learns more about the Na'vi people and becomes a part of their tribe, he quickly finds himself torn between 2 worlds and forced to make difficult life-altering choices.

avatar jake Spiritual Movie Reviews: Avatar and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western World

You can view a trailer of the movie here:

There are many incredible aspects to this film.  For one, the film took nearly 5 years and $300 million dollars to create; a mammoth undertaking and risk in itself.

As part of the project, James Cameron invented a new "performance capture" camera that seamlessly places human actors into a computer generated world.  This means that while the actors are acting, as he turns the camera, the view of the cgi world moves with him as if he were filming on location in Pandora.

In addition to that, James worked with a language specialist from U.S.C. for 4 years to create the Na'vi language.  The language features about a thousand words (the first few were created by Cameron) and required active pronunciation training with the actors during filming.

Yet aside from all of that, there is something much more significant about the film:

It signifies the ushering in of a new paradigm within the mainstream western mind.

It marks the decline of the hyper-masculine, macho mentality and the emergence, or "birth", of the Divine Feminine within our modern culture.  

What does this mean exactly?

Or better yet, why is it so significant?

There seems to be a crucial error within our western culture's mentality; one that is at the heart of many of our relationships, our work ethic, and our sexuality.

The error goes like this: "To gain the power of the masculine, the feminine must be denied or rejected."

It starts in adolescence when boys are taught to "suck it up" or "be a man" and reject any and all signs of pain, feeling, or emotion. 

We see it in the notion that maturing means to throw away our imagination and "grow up". 

We see it in excessive drinking among men as a way to be "cool", and an attitude where any type of vulnerability is met with harsh words in an effort to make one "tough" (I know because I've seen and experience them all).

We even see it in some of the feminists who reject their feminine side as they step into "the man's world", resulting in less polarity with the opposite sex.  

Basically, the whole approach could be called "macho".

In a simple sense, machoism is the expression of the ego coming through the left-brain (the analytical, thinking, masculine side).

If you are familiar at all with the ego, it is that part of ourself that survived and evolved through gain (often at the cost of other's well being).  

The problem with the ego's expression as machoism is that it sets up an unquenchable thirst within us; almost like a black hole that can never be filled.

No matter how much alcohol we drink, no matter how much meat we eat, no matter how many women we sleep with or how much money we make; it doesn't fill this hole.  

The only reason that any of us do all these things is because we think that they will fulfill us.

Yet they don't
.

And as we realize this, we may find ourselves in an inner crises; as if our entire reality is crumbling.

We may have all the symbols of success yet still feel that something is missing

This is exactly why Avatar is so powerful.

The viewer is able to start the movie as Jake Sully, the typical macho-man tough guy who wants nothing more that to go into this next mission, blow some stuff up, and return victorious.  

Yet deep down, a part of him is ready for something more…something meaningful.

Basically, he starts in the same place as many of us who are watching.

As he links up with his avatar body and begins to live a second life within the Na'vi tribe, his consciousness begins to transform.

It was as if all the tools were within him waiting to be activated.

He is able to gain the trust of the Na'vi people because he has a "strong heart" and he is able to learn their ways because he has an "empty mind".

These the same pre-requisites that lead us to rapid inner growth.

As he explores this new world, he discovers an entirely new side of himself; one that is capable of intuition, love, and devotion to a higher purpose.  

He finds the gifts of the feminine.

As he begins to integrate this other side of himself, he finds he is able to synthesize both his masculine courage and intellect with his feminine love and connection to become the new inspiring leader of the Na'vi tribe.

It was not until he integrated this other side of himself, that he was able to realize his greatest potential.

All growth and healing is found by accepting and embracing those dark, rejected places within us and reclaiming our power.

He is then able to look at his past with greater awareness.  He recognizes the ego's unquenchable desire for gain (represented by the overly aggressive military leader and the heartless corporate executive), and from a new vantage point, he makes new and empowering choices.

*Please note*, this does not mean that all military or all corporations are bad or wrong.  There are tremendous gifts and benefits that these organizations provide to society.  This movie simply shows, using examples that are common to our culture, how the ego can take over and become destructive.

The amazing part is that the viewer goes through this journey with Jake, sowing the seeds for a similar transformation within each person as they watch.

It's as if this movie is an expression of our evolution up to this time and it has come out now to activate a part of us that has long been latent and unused.

That unquenchable hunger within us is actually a part of ourself calling out for the healing energy of the heart.

The way to step into our masculine power is to integrate the feminine.

This one, unspoken truth, could be the most powerful aspect of this film.

This truth is clearly evident in the classic Taoist symbol of the Yin and Yang.

yin yang Spiritual Movie Reviews: Avatar and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western WorldThe black portion of the symbol represents yin energy (feminine) whereas the white portion represents yang energy (masculine).

If you look at the part of the symbol where Yang is greatest, you will see a black yin center.  Likewise, where the yin is greatest, you will see a yang center.  

This ancient wisdom shows that to be powerful, one must integrate both parts within us.

This message is especially appropriate to us in the west.

Traditionally, the masculine has been represented by "Our Father in Heaven" (God), whereas the feminine has been represented by our "Mother Earth" (Gaia).

Although the west has had strong awareness of God the Father, the role of our Mother Earth is still not fully embraced not understood. 

This translates into a society that is overly concerned with masculinity and lacking in healthy feminine energy.

This is exemplified by the fact that major religious authorities have said in response to Avatar that "the earth is not a deity to be worshiped".

Perhaps some people treat nature like a deity but as I understand it, Mother Earth is not a god to be worshiped but an expression of divine creation to be honored.

It's as if the western world is afraid of the feminine, as if it's afraid of love itself.  

If there is anything a really tough "macho" guy is afraid of, it's love, this is why many men stick to casual sex – they just don't have the capacity to go there, yet.

The reason is that men have a yang sexual center and a yin feeling center. 

For men, the most vulnerable part of them is their heart, which is why they most often avoid it or close it off altogether. (For women, their yin side is in their sexual center and their yang side is their heart/feeling center).

Our culture is sort of like a macho guy who has walled off his heart and is now suffering because he feels cut off from his feeling center.  

Many men turn to things like alcohol, porn, or one night stands with women to fill this feeling of lack.  All of these are false sources of feminine-yin energy and often lead a man to become even deeper into despair.

The real answer lie in reconnecting to nature, the body, and exploring the energy of the heart.

Of course, you want to keep a balance of both masculine and feminine.  Some people take this too far and reject the masculine and swing completely to the other side, which is expressed as extreme anger at corporations and technology, an obsession with "preservation", or being overly emotional or "sensitive".

We want to honor both nature and each other. (What good is saving the environment if we hurt each other doing it?)

Another aspect of the film that is so powerful is the fact that it is set on a far away planet, in the future, with an alien race.

The Na'vi tribe, with their connection to nature and simple ways, resemble the American Indians whereas the gun-toting corporate miners resemble the American Cowboy (though the Cowboy's negative aspects seem to be exaggerated in this case for dramatic effect).

Had this film been just another Cowboys and Indians, it would not have been as powerful because it would have brought with it all the preconceived ideas and positions of the viewer's past.

Yet since the film is set in the future in a distant moon with 12-foot tall blue people, we as viewers are able to watch with "empty cups", so to speak.

We don't have many of the past opinions of who's right or wrong because we haven't seen anything like it before.  This allows us to watch without as much noise from ego.

Instead, we see the same human challenges played out, yet this time, we watch with new eyes.  

Our vision is unhindered from all the judgement and analysis of the past.  The incredibly realistic environment and 3d effects also help to captivate our awareness as well.

All of this shows how technology can help us improve our experience and accelerate our own inner growth.

Another interesting aspect of the film is that it allows the creator to direct the viewers' awareness to things that they wouldn't normally focus on in their daily life.

In Avatar, special attention is given to nature; the exotic plants and animals, the breath-taking landscapes and waterfalls, and the incredible floating rocks and neighboring planets.

avatar pandora Spiritual Movie Reviews: Avatar and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western World

We get to appreciate all the beautiful nuances of life on Pandora.

The funny thing is, as we evolve spiritually, we get to experience that same sensation and wonderment with everything that surrounds us right now.

Stepping into nature, even in our own backyard, becomes just like stepping into the world of Pandora.

By changing who we are internally, we actually begin to experience the outside world in a new way; a way that is deeply satisfying to our soul because it recognizes the spirit within every living thing.

This allows us to hold all of life (including our own) in a sacred space.

As this happens, all of nature is transformed before our very eyes.  This doesn't mean that we lose our practicality with nature, it's just that we honor it because we know it's source.

That could well be one of our greatest gifts ever, and Avatar helps us to tap into that ability.

One of the things that kind of confused me when I first watch this movie was how it ended.

If these people are supposed to be tuned in to nature, if they hold all life sacred and are aware of the interconnectedness of all of life, why do they fight back?

Aren't they connected to those they fight?

What was even more extreme was that fact that the animals and the moon-planet herself appeared to fight back.

I later realized that the Na'vi people were very much feminine in their nature; they have cat-like features, were very adapt at intuitive guidance, and lived in harmony with nature.

If you know anything about female animals, you will know when they will attack; if their nest or young are threatened, of course.

So the Na'vi themselves have to evolve, just as the humans do.

The first time I watched the movie, I was really hoping that the Na'vi would find some way to transcend the fighting and evoke a change in consciousness in it's attackers.

Yet, the more I thought about this, the more I realized how it really works out for the best.

The movie meets the audience where they are.

It's been said that the first step of change is acceptance.

Our culture as a whole, especially movie go'ers, are still in the "good triumphs over evil" paradigm.

Perhaps we will discover, in future Avatar sequels, that fighting back is often just a short term solution that doesn't really change much.

The real and lasting change occurs within our own consciousness and includes and benefits everyone involved.

The irony is that sometimes we need a good fight to realize this.

In spiritual work, one discovers how the outside world is a reflection of one's inner consciousness.  As we go within to "fight our battles", our enemies are transformed into allies.  

The Na'vi may have been able to overpower the small corporate mining operation, but what happens if an entire army comes back to Pandora?

It is up to the Na'vi to begin to integrate their masculine side of intelligence, courage, and perseverance.

Luckily for them, they have just the leader who can help them do it.

So what about this film would make it a once-in-a generation milestone?

Is there something about Avatar that points the way to the next 10 or 20 years?

If we look back to one of the most successful and influential movie series of all time, we may find some clues.

Star Wars first came out in the late 70's and heralded in, not only a whole new level of film-making technology, it also brought us an entire world of robots, space battles, and jedi-superheroes.

If we look at our world at the time, we can see that the movie was the precursor to the technology and information age.

In the early 80's we saw the emergence of the personal computer, videogames, and other technologies that dramatically altered our culture…and Star Wars seemed to have paved the way.

I believe Avatar signifies that a similar jump in our culture's evolution is about to take place.

While Star Wars shows us how we could use our left-brain, mental-intelligence to change our world, perhaps Avatar is showing us how we can use our right-brained, feeling-intuition to change ourselves.

Star Wars came to us as we explored the power of the mind, perhaps Avatar is here to show us the power of the heart.

Star Wars came to us imbued with a deep Masculine-Father theme ("Luke….I am your father") whereas Avatar comes to us with a deep Feminine-Mother theme.
 
It seems to me the next area of our evolution does not lie simply in more advanced microchips, synthetic pharmaceuticals, or dynamic computer systems, but instead, in advancing our own intuition, our self-healing power, and in discovering our innermost spiritual essence.

Time will tell.

If you liked the music in Avatar, I would recommend checking out any Adiemus album or Robert Gass' Medicine Wheel.

Adiemus is a group that uses a made-up language with tribal beats that I was reminded of while watching Avatar.

Robert Gass' Medicine Wheel features many native American songs that will help you tune in to the connection to Mother Earth, especially the song based on the Speech by Chief Seattle, which is profoundly powerful and moving.

There is a tremendous amount of wisdom, power, and love available to us as we step into this new world of feeling and intuition.

For us as men, our greatest gifts can be accessed through the heart.

In watching Jake's transformation into "Toruk Makto", the tribe's powerful and inspiring new leader, we see a perfect example of how this plays out.

Of course, everyone who watches Avatar will get something different.

What did you think of Avatar?

Did you have any realizations or 'ah-ha' moments?

How did it affect you?

Feel free to leave a comment below. 

By the way, be sure to check out this article on Avatar's archetypal message, as well as the official Avatar community, and the Avatar Wiki.

And of course, here are some programs that I recommend to help you on this path of healing your heart and living your deepest purpose:

Entrain the Brain – Remove Fear & Anxiety by Listening to a CD 
Abundance "Tapping" – Remove Subconscious Money Blocks
Total Well Cleanse – Detoxify your Body for more Energy


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21 Responses to “Spiritual Movie Reviews: “Avatar” and the Birth of the Divine Feminine in the Western World”

  1. Cuidados SaudeNo Gravatar Says:

    At the moment i don´t see avatar. I heard many things about the movie. Anyway great blog : )

  2. AdamNo Gravatar Says:

    Great, great post. I really feel the same way.
    I liked the movie so much that I actually watched it 3 times in the cinema.
    What I realised is that I really want to live a kind of life Jake lived (in his avatar form), because it dawned on me that what today’s society offers to me (university, job, riches, having a wife and children) is simply not enough. While all are nice and I’d really enjoy them I feel a deeper calling within. A calling that cannot be described and I don’t really understand it yet. I don’t know this might be just another aspect of the bottomless hole inside all of us.
    What I also liked about avatar is the Na’vi’s connection to nature and their freedom.
    I’ve really found this film inspireing and it really made me think about myself. With this post I have really gained some insight.
    Thank you.

  3. Sue Ann EdwardsNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Ryan!

    I enjoyed the movie, too. The Vatican blasting it just made it that much more attractive.

    Interesting that you mention the Divine Feminine and our feeling nature, for that is our next step. We had to develop our Intellect before we could over ride Instinct. But our Intellect has been functioning at the direction of our instinctual feelings.

    Intuition is heart centered, not gut centered as is Instinct. A simple guide is to really connect with what emotion we are experiencing. If it is any kind of doubt or fear, then by all means, do NOT act on it. Instead, ASK to see the situation in the Light of Wisdom. Basically, we have to move out of our solar plexus areas, to access our Intuition.

    Wisdom equals smarts plus Heart(not solar plexus).

  4. HerbsNo Gravatar Says:

    This movie is of the best ever done. Just never thought that this blog will have such a post. I have red it and could say that the writer knows what he is talking about. ;)

  5. Nutritional Supplements - Dr. PostNo Gravatar Says:

    I have not yet seen this movie but everyone keeps asking if I have. Once they hear that I have not they push for me to go and see it, saying it’s one of the best movies they’ve ever seen.

    Thanks for some of the background and related information about this movie. You’ve motivated me to first go see it and then look for some of the things you’ve mentioned. I appreciate your insight!

  6. BryanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Ryan, great post.

    I may crosslink it to a post I write on my own blog (blog.authenticmanprogram.com) about integrating the masculine and the feminine, a process I’ve found absolutely relevant on my own path.
    BTW, I feel your concern about the Na’vi not “transcending” war as a means to come to resolution… however, war is sometimes the “transcend and include” solution, depending on the level of consciousness you’re dealing with. — if you’re familiar with the work of Ken Wilber, this becomes clearer that as our consciousness evolves, we have more choice available to address the circumstances of the moment. Just as non-violent protests would have gotten mowed down under the tanks of the German Blitzkriek in WWII, sometimes the evolved response IS meeting fire with fire. Check out Wilber’s “A Theory of Everything” for more on that tip. Anyway, love what you’re up to here!

    Best,

    Bryan

  7. RyanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey “Cuidados Saude”, thanks for the kind words. It’s cool to be connected with some Brasilian bloggers.
    Adam, cool to hear your experience. Yeah I think Avatar woke a lot of us up to good that can come from exploring our connection to nature and our higher calling.
    Sue Ann, well said. We definitely have a challenge (and opportunity), as humans, when it comes to overcoming our instinctual drives and allowing higher wisdom to take their place.

  8. RyanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Byran,

    Thanks for the feedback on the masculine feminine aspects. Yeah get what you are saying about war, that is definitely something that I have been coming to understand more lately. It seems that war offers many great opportunities for growth and evolution. Though I hesitate to write too much about it since its so easy for the ego to pick up this higher meaning and use it as justification for doing it’s own self-serving deeds (ie, like the islamic jihads-war as a way to serve God). Frankly, many men have served their country with love in their hearts as they entered into war, but we have to take into account their own perspective as they stepped into that situation. When we realize that there is no “other”, it doesn’t mean we roll over passively nor does it mean we necessarily obliterate others- there is a middle way that allows us to stay in our power while staying in our love, that is balancing act that we walk in these types of conflicts. Definitely a good area to explore more.

  9. The Worm GrowerNo Gravatar Says:

    Avatar should be named the best movie ever.

  10. Thomas GKNo Gravatar Says:

    Femininity surely needed some importance. And i wish avatar was really possible. :) Thanks for the post.

  11. Wilber LlerasNo Gravatar Says:

    I like the Avatar 3D movie, particularly the story line, not solely it brings a completely new feelings but inspiring thoughts of humanity. I heard the New Avatar 2 is comming soon, cannot wait to watch it again…!

  12. Herbal SmokeNo Gravatar Says:

    I watched the movie 3 times also! I am also going to purchase it on DVD. This movie should have won best picture this year!

  13. Owen BellNo Gravatar Says:

    it is really exciting to watch 3d movies. i hope that there would be 3d sexy movies too.”,-

  14. David OlsenNo Gravatar Says:

    While i did not appreciate the film nearly as much as you did, (I just saw yet another “white man must save native people by beating his masters at their own game” movie) I really appreciate the vision you bring to your interpretation of it.

    Bad movie, good review.

  15. tomNo Gravatar Says:

    A prayer from Jesus in this end times, these times of the great falling away. Jesus has blessed this prayer in that all who humble themselves, will hear from Jesus as He makes known His perfect Will.

    Jesus we lift you up always. G_d bless

    – A PRAYER FROM JESUS -

    This prayer is from Jesus that we may hear from Him, that He may speak to our hearts. It only consist of three simple steps.

    1) We need to read one scripture. This will focus us in the word that brings everlasting life.

    2) Since this prayer is from Jesus we need to direct our prayer to Him personally. Too often Christian focuses they’re prayer’s to G_D the father. Scripture proclaims that Jesus should be the focus of our prayer.

    3) The simplest part of this Prayer is to ask Jesus one question. Please, all that is required for this question is that it should be simple. Let Jesus Himself finish the question when He gives you that understanding through this prayer.

    The PRAYER

    The scripture that is the focus of this prayer is “ACTS 2:38″. It’s not necessary to do any study into this scripture. Jesus Himself will bestow the understanding that will resonate in your heart.

    The most important part of this prayer is that we need to direct our prayer directly to Jesus. If you normally would say Father in your prayer, change your focus from the Father to Christ Jesus, by lifting Jesus name up every time you would normally use Father in your prayer.

    Maybe the hardest part of this prayer is the question that we need to ask Jesus. For man as we are, always trying to understand the question instead of listening to the answer. The simplest question is all that is required.

    Simply ask Jesus ‘WHY’

    For those who are obedient
    tsquare777(at)gmail.com

  16. antivirus 2011No Gravatar Says:

    I have watched the movie and i love it very much. But going deeper on the story itself about this whole feminine thing in relation to avatar,I’m quite impress. You really did a lot of thinking with this one. Thanks for sharing your insight!

  17. TaylorNo Gravatar Says:

    We can definitely draw from the Avatar story in terms of looking beyond what we can see and finding greater things from nature than we may presently embrace.

    Being in tune with nature or the universe doesn’t have to be limited to a sci fi flick

  18. Jessica JohnsonNo Gravatar Says:

    My daughter absolutely loved Avatar. She is very spiritual and see the world in a very open way. She is one of those people who can walk kin the woods and pick up on tiny treasures from nature that people like me miss. Movies like Avatar are very helpful for getting yourself into that mindset – the known universe is a very, very small place indeed.
    Jessica Johnson´s last blog post ..Interviewing An SEO Firm

  19. lovelyNo Gravatar Says:

    I really like this movie especially its story. Thanks for sharing this article.
    lovely´s last blog post ..Spiritual Movies- The Best Movies for All Times

  20. Vanessa MooreNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks for this movie review of this Avatar. It really gives us information about the movie. I enjoy reading your post. I love the Avatar movie.
    Vanessa Moore´s last blog post ..Eliminate That Yellow Grin And Get A Bright White Smile

  21. Brian PerkinsNo Gravatar Says:

    In working with an an online international Avatar forum community that often deeply addresses very “real” world issues underlying our humanity The storys I have heard and in experencing of this myself ” have lead to in “some” people a very profound change on how they view our real world and awareness and merit of our deep inner conective understading I feel this goes far deeper then people grasp but must be objective in my thoughts on this “experence of this connective understanding” much like a “bond” to our inner humanity that holds us accountable for our actions from our heart, people speak of a very heartfelt fealing of emotive experession in “seeing” in “reflecting” on examples from the film and what they now “see” in our very real world isses ,they truly feel accountabilty inside and deepy reflect on the actions of our people, I realy relate to the view change spoken of in the article to the sacred feminine in addressing fundamental ballence issues our mainstream world view lacks that is at the underlying roots of our “sence of seperation” in sociaty and our place in the world. in inderstanding Avatar one must grasp it is “mirror story at its heart.

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