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For years I tried all that I could not to be the Bad Guy in this story. To do better - mostly to know better, too. I am a post-patriarchal man, a feminist, I embody the future. I thought. Driven by sincere utopianism, a little arrogance and, as I realize more and more, wounded ambition.

One of the most toxic masculine traits of all might have hijacked my attempts at overcoming the patriarchy in my personal life quite a lot: the wish to prove my worthiness, to win the competition at any cost, to out-compete first my father by being the most sensitive, emotionally aware child, the best listener and caretaker near and far, then to try and win in a sneaky way against every other guy by showing off how feminist I am, how unthreatening, how gentle and sweet.

All this is of course part of me. And I am happy to have many deep friendships with women who cherish the space of care, ease and emotional abundance we are able to create together.

But part of me is always busy to create another situation where I can gain some more approval from mommy, another reason for me to be valued as one of the good guys.

And, yeah, I might be quite a good guy with a pure heart for real - and my desire to be one of the funeral directors for this wasted zombie called "the patriarchy" and to co-create the coming world beyond any -archy is sincere ...and exactly because that is the truth, I want to liberate my life and work from this sleazy undercurrent which tries to turn every situation into another approval game.

For years, my queerness was an amazing shield to avoid any kind of shitstorm, to not step into the continuity of my "toxic" family tree. Being a queer man allowed me to avoid receiving most of the rage about the collective abuse that women had to endure from men throughout patriarchy. "See, I'm on your side. I am not one of them." BS. We all are one of them. Toxic men, toxic women, toxic queers. It's part of us and our upbringing.

So, let's leave that hiding game behind.

I feel ready to stand in this fire, to receive justified as well as unbased reflections and projections. I feel ready to be seen as one of "them" - and to acknowledge that I can be as emotionally unavailable, as aggressive, as numbed down, as territorial, as much the frustrated provider as my father. And all of these traits have as much potential to do harm than to be a gift. Thanks to the no-bullshit gaze of my beloved I can see this now more clearly than ever. She sees through to the core of me and none of my strategies have a chance against her love.

And so I realize: I am a toxic man, too.

From this place of acknowledgement I heal. Not in the hiding place I built for myself, which looks like the official memorial column of The Golden Boy, whose ambition to shine as a beacon of enlightened wokeness is revealing one of the deepest woundings of the masculine: this specific worthiness issue I see at play in most men. While women in the traditional story have to gain male approval by meeting some fucked-up mainstream beauty standards and perform character traits that signal fragility, men are only worth as much as their achievements. Meh.

I am enough. I do not need to prove myself. My value is not measured by my achievements- may they be in managing a gun manufacturing business or in good guy impersonation.

I release the energy that is still stuck in me by holding on to a facade that promised to keep me safe and loved. I allow this energy to flow to where it is needed.

From this place I can show up in my full power for what moves my heart from day one: actual liberation for all genders, for all forms of love and for natural life, starting with myself and those next to me.

From this place I can overflow with natural generosity and the sincere wish to be a helpful presence in the world. I am also much more vulnerable here.

It includes the option to fuck it up, to be blamed, to humble myself and lose the game - and by virtue of all this it includes a sense of brotherhood with other awakening men.

Ten years ago, the men's work I would have been doing would have sounded like this: "You guys are toxic, let me show you how wrong you are and btw here's your path to becoming the man that all feminists desire - well, not really, but it'll sure get you out of the shitstorm. I won't admit it but I actually just wanna be your alpha and my moral superiority might even get me there. See, all the ladies in the house, am I doing it right?!"

I abandon all traces of this superiority I might have longed for in the past.

My Men's Work is about acknowledgement of who we are, accountability for our actions, and most of all about acceptance. I want us to show up in our brokenness and the radiant brilliance of our humanity.

Saviors are not safe to be with, good guys are creepy, as are those running around stuck in the bad guy role in order to prove something.

There is nothing to prove.

So, let's heal this worthiness wound. Let's become generative adults, with no reputation to lose. Courageous creators of a new world and fierce defenders of justice, our hearts much more touched by love and liberation than by moral superiority.

We need new rituals, new initiations to affirm masculinity. What would men's rituals look like that are in touch with the Core of the Earth? That speak to this heart of magma that is beating inside all of us: its wild, liquid fire? The rituals currently offered to men do not serve this furious aliveness.

A week ago, Germany celebrated so-called Father's Day, the classical holiday where men spend time with a group of male friends. The way I have perceived this ritual for most of my life goes like this: we blow your brains out with booze and then we roam the streets as a bunch of ungrounded, latently aggressive lost soldiers, looking for a a place to act out all the suppressed anger, fury and rage.

Now I also see the potential that is hidden there: it's a way of releasing pressure and of connecting to something more archaic.

It's tribal, it promises a sense of letting go, it offers a getaway from dosmeticated life, trapped in the role of provider or nice guy. Channeling some of the despair about the shallow lives that consumer society is offering to us... I'm all up for that.

So what bothers me with these rituals? Exactly that there is such huge potential in there. Events like Father's Day contain a lot of nourishing, empowering elements that might stem from ancient rituals that might have been more connected to wild nature and an essence of freedom. But as they are appearing now, they are complicit and enmeshed with a culture that is suffocating life on this planet and that is actually dead already.

They offer an emptied version of something actually nourishing. Just like most of the porn out there is selling a promise of sexual liberation but actually just gives you the exact amount of pleasure that you need to keep going. Nothing to lift you out of your cage.

In a similar way the most common rituals of manhood keep us trapped in patriarchal loops. Like a regression to becoming teenage boys again, eagerly trying to demonstrate that they are kings. Going wild and then crawling back under mommy's skirt, to emerge with an even bigger craving for power and freedom. A dangerous mix that made many men, like me, believe that they don't like to hang out with groups of other guys: the drinking rituals, the numbness, the narrow range of emotions and intimacy allowed to share with other men in these spaces.

Where's the brotherhood that actually nourishes, empowers us, that connects us to the ancient knowledge of our place in creation?

The Archetype of the Immature King is still ruling much of the world: cold, calculating, controlling. Afraid of the chaos of Life. At war with nature. A lot of our actual power is blocked by the dominance of this archetype.

There are so many more, ready to emerge.

These archetypes are not at all more harmless or weak. They are actually much more threatening to the status quo than the suit-and-tie guy, the one sitting in a tank, the one mining the Earth for precious metals. And there is a deep desire for these new embodiments of the masculine to rise: Earth fathers, passionate lovers, generative adults. Archetypes that are offering trust, stamina, willpower, ease. That see through the deceit of false power and control, that cut through they veils.

These archetypes will sprout from our hearts, they will rise from the roaring earth awakening, they will be fostered by a caring, supportive circle of brothers.

It's on us to dare to claim this power and to call it forth from each other's hearts.

The old civilization is dying. Earth is calling us to become good ancestors. To become fathers, uncles and brothers of a way of life that can regenerate ecosystems. With good sex, living food, free expression for all genders and sexualities. Where life force is actually unleashed in a way that is sustaining life.

What do the rituals of this coming world look like? I tapped into a gentle whispering about that. But it's a collective effort. So join me, fellow men. No more lone wolves.

One of the ways to investigate this is BROTHERHOOD OF WILD GODS, a combination of online sessions and an in-person retreat.

It's starting soon and you can find all about it here: But that's just one piece of this puzzle. Brother, reach out to me if this touches you. I need you by my side.

In my ongoing sensual research into the Archetypal realms of ancient Gods and Heroes something keeps surfacing in myself and in participants that I decided to call the Myth Body. An organism made of imaginative intersections, neuronal wirings and epigenetic memories that tends to awaken in these spaces. This Myth Body is of no "use" in regular day-to-day life, but it starts sprouting, spreading, mycellating instantly, once we enter the climate, moisture level and symbiotic neighborhood this part of us has always known - a biotope of storytelling. Once we get to water the Myth Body in this way, our own (constantly shifting) archetypal shapes can be observed: the drunken centaur, the blood-thirsty bird dancer, the trickster tree spirit with the LED screen on its head, a fog bank, a heartbeat. Cellular memory of a greater aliveness, ultimately Soul pounding at the door of the embodied Self: "All this is you. Remember!“

The Myth Body delights in the dramatic enactment of the totality of Life, worlds being created and destroyed, Creation Myth and then Ragnarök, over and over again. The Myth Body celebrates the rage of the Amazons and the sorrow of a Weeping Willow as much as the dances of cute fairies at dusk. To the Myth Body, it’s all ecstasy. We get a sense of it when we immerse ourselves in Sci-Fi movies, devour fantasy novels or witness a classic tragedy in a theatre performance. In the work I am envisioning, this experience moves from the witnessing mind down into the sensual body. Like in collective storytelling in the center of a village somewhere on the planet or in the secret initiations that happened at the mystery schools of ancient Greece, where the initiates had to „dive through“ the myth to liberate themselves of some of their personal baggage. Life becomes more playful after an initiation like that.

The initiation I am looking to give and receive in this mystery-play-school-to-be is not an initiation into another individual "Hero's Journey" as proposed by J. Campbell and lovingly embraced by generations of fellow self-realization nerds. Instead of taking the lonesome and normative journey of the one, universal, monomythic hero that Campbell depicted, I long to be initiated into an ecosystem. An ecosystem of primal topsoil, ancient microbes and new companion species. The initiation I seek is a re-rooting as well as re-routing. My subterranean arch-tentacles are not excited to tap into a prefabricated monomythic nutrient solution. Instead they want to take a plunge into a messy, unpredictable, polymythic underworld, one that reminds me of my constant mutability, the ability to shape-shift according to the needs of time and place. The awareness for everything that surrounds me and that will, eventually, become me. The necessity of compost, care and companionship.

How delicious to venture on this journey together with others, not alone. Making u s e of the Myth. To look so closely at these ancient tales that their inherent queerness, their fissures and inner eruptions become visible. These cracks were always there, waiting to be discovered, so that endlessly unfinishable new stories can be birthed from them, just in time for this catastrophic era. We might become able to find enjoyment and inspiration in the process of death and rebirth we are currently undergoing as a species. Not sarcastically or by blurring out the suffering that’s real. To the contrary, we might become more fully, whole-heartedly immersed in the immensity of the Myth of these times and take our breaths of fresh air from there, acute poetic resilience.

What else can you do when there is no other way to deal with the level of destruction all around but to look for the hidden poetry, to mythify, to tell the old-new story, once again? To activate the Myth Body who has seen it all and still is curious for more…

Let’s prepare our Myth Bodies for this. And quickly.

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