The Archetype of Gay-Centeredness

by Mitch Walker

I wish to honor the archetype of Gay-Centeredness in men. This is an inborn pattern of meaning that focuses on homosexuality and its unfolding experience. It is that innate Intelligence which fires homosexual lust, desire and romance as key psychological facts of life around which a growing boy and youth can come to know himself and come into his own as what we today would call a gay identified man. Gay identity, according to the constructionist viewpoint currently dominating gay intellectuals, is purely a recent situational creation of Western sociopolitical forces. They say that even the experience of a consistent, central homosexual desire and romance in a person is constructed that way due primarily to outside forces. They point to people and cultures where they say sexual identity and desire seem different or fluid.

But I would say that the "outside" does not and cannot either create or destroy the inner primordial forces of the unconscious psyche, the inherited archetypes, the source of all psychological energy, patterns and meanings. Therefore I say that when the spirit of loving phallos seizes a gay boy in its inexorable grip, that boy is fundamentally not experiencing any external force or context but rather an internal Will and Purpose which has chosen him, to be its follower, to be his inner God and Way, Homodeity as god of the libido, the "energy" of the psyche, of Phallos and Eros, of Romantic Love, of the Great Mystery of meaning, of Self-realization. This is the archetype of Gay-Centeredness, of a homosexual Lord of Love and Knowledge and Self and Being and Becoming, of a centralizing homosexual lust and love as the bursting kundalini energy rising from the fundament to sprout Enlightenment in the mind.

This is the Being to whom we -- each one of us who become gay-identified -- have turned in eager longing as we experience the fact of homosexual desire and love, even of life itself, upwelling from our deepest core to inexorably innundate us in his Call.

This Call is there even from before the beginning, informing and orienting the first stirrings of psychological life. It reaches its first great climax when a young gay boy of three or four, under a growingly insistent yearning to get physically close to older males, unselfconsciously falls into romantic love -- the First True Love -- for his father (or analogous figure). Our father's image becomes the first personification of Homodeity in the core unfolding of archetypal romance, Homoprogenitor as ultimate love-object. Arousal of such a primordial incestuous longing brings in turn the awakening of the also-innate incest taboo with its primal shame, and so the First Love is then repressed back into the unconscious, where it will magically give birth to a second Son of the Homosexual Father, an inner gay soul figure, an archetypal Twin Brother. At the same time, falling in love with father means experiencing mother both as erotic role model and as rival (the boy would like to take her place with father). This then reflects a homosexual form of relationship with the inner archetypal feminine, in Jungian terms the Anima. I call this homosexual Anima Aphrodite Urania (after Plato's Symposium), while the Homosexual Father I call Uranian Eros, and the Twin Brother I call the Double Soul. These three figures. plus the developing ego of a gay boy constitute a magic homosexual Quaternity, an inner archetypal Gay Family from which a homosexual individuation of personality can go forward. Such a dynamic -- parallel to the Oedipal experience of heterosexual boys -- I call the Uranian complex. The constellation and ultimate resolution of this archetypal Uranian complex provides the engine by which gay life and creativity can fulfill themselves.

When we fall in love with Uranian Eros and seek him out as Father and Brother, we enter a fecund homosexual Twinship with the Sacred not experienced by those heterosexually organized. We enter the magnetic Romance of the transpersonal Double, the seminal Haunting of our Wraith-Buddy Soul. We enter a mystic marriage with the animating spirit in our own penis, Phallos Protos, the eternal Source of Fathering during which we experience a special bond and identification with Aphrodite Urania as Mother and Sister that reverses our biological gender; thus we become hermaphroditic and mercurial and gravid in the pursuit of gay love. Such a procreative gynandrous Twinship with the Sacred both invokes a homosexual form of return to the Primal Scene of creation as it evokes the archetypes of Androgyne, Trickster, Transformer, and Friend of God. Thereby we can learn the alchemical teachings of Sophia -- the Wisdom -- of homosexual love’s spermatic mysterium as the Way of Self-realization, from which comes the birth of spiritual insight and initiation. In this "third-gender" way we are following the footsteps of our most ancient homosexual forebears, who evolved at the dawn of humanity to personify the roles of seeker and knower, philosopher, scientist and mystic. Thereby the archetype of Gay-Centeredness developed avatars of the mind and spirit, focusing in their own personhood the evolutionary force of energic libido’s progessive transformation from concretistic life and reproduction to the generative flowering of mental being and individual self-awareness. The products of this process, as Plato notes in his Symposium, are the magical "children" of homosexual love and self-devlopment, and this same archetypal truth animates our homo spirit today. And moreso than ever today, the dysfunctional society of heterosexual breeders around us needs the necessary balancing, healing and evolving capacities of our mercurial Love.

When we claim a gay identity we are acknowledging and validating the eternal archetype of Gay-Centeredness under modern sociopolitical conditions and needs. It provides us a sure sense of self that can forcefully stand up for the truth of our love and being against homophobia as we develop modern forms of gay-centered thought to celebrate and further actualize our archetypal homo potentials. Gay-centered thought arises with gay identity as a natural extension of the archetypal Homodeity into consciousness, by which questions of existence, becoming and meaning can be explored from a homosexual perspective and spirit, as can be found in writings from before Plato to Walt Whitman and Karl Ulrichs -- the "father" of modern Gay Liberation in the 19th century -- to Edward Carpenter and Harry Hay more recently. The next step in developing modern gay identity then, is when gay-centered thought turns on itself, that is, to seek conscious relationship directly with the inner archetypal homocenter through self-knowing.

Most thought by gay men today is not very gay-centered, much less self-knowing. This, unfortunately, is the direct result of a thousand years of brutal Christian persecution, which has severely disrupted our ancient gay wisdom traditions as it has crippled our psyches with crushing shame and woundedness. Yet the eternal archeype of Gay-Centeredness contains an infinite Source of healing and inspiration, and we who today achieve a functioning gay identity have established the necessary inner foundation to now renew and advance our most hallowed homo traditions.

We are today called to re-establish paths of homo self-knowing in gay-centered thought, to reawaken our deepest nature and potentials as well as heal our inner woundedness. This means an encounter with our own psychology, with what Jungians call the Shadow. Centralizing homosexual desire will take us there as it pulls us back to the primordial incestuous family in the Uranian complex, to its shadowside of Shameful Hurt Child, Rejecting Father and Engulfing Mother. When we consciously seek relationship to our own gay psychology we initiate a historically new stage in modern Gay Liberation, a second phase of gay identity formation that I call coming out inside. Through learning inner work we can learn to partner and unfold our deepest homo psychology, which leads not only to our Origin but also to our Final Outcome.

This would be a profoundly revolutionary step, because the adult human personality today is maintained by a persecutory and self-destructive repression of the Shadow. Historically determined by collective social forces, this tyrannical repression is enforced in the individual through vicious unconscious defenses in collusion with other people’s defenses in a vast consumerist system, spinning what amounts to a blanketing web of collective and self delusion. Since we are all raised to be thoroughly enmeshed in it, to break the arrogant stranglehold of this enwebbing delusion in oneself is in my experience the greatest challenge a person today can face. Yet the initiatory potential, capacity and understanding to do so is also resident within the infinite Source of archetypal GayCenteredness, in its personification as the figure of mystical shamanic transformation.

Historic examples would include the Greek/alchemical Mercurius (or Orpheus, Bacchus, Apollo etc), Egyptian Thoth, Sumerian Enki, Aztec Tez-catlipoca, Tibetan Manjusri, as well as their female counterparts such as Sophia (or Metis, Diotima etc), Maat (or Isis etc), Innana, Tara and so on.

Yet today we are in need not of metaphysical initiation but of psychological. The problem can no longer be displaced onto our projections, because it consists of a profound lack of psychological self-awareness, awareness of our own inner unconscious psychodynamics of repression and other defenses and the destructive issues they are hiding. These issues must be faced to truly resolve internalized homophobia and reach a deeper relationship with the underlying archetypes. And so the call of archetypal Gay-Centeredness, once we have achieved a relatively solid gay identity, is to come out inside, to birth a new gay identity based on conscious partnership with our own gay psyche.

Since humanity is currently in desperate need of liberation from repressive forms of society and personality, to embark on gaycentered inner work therefore is to enter a new avant-garde, to become a new kind of queer political revolutionary. It is the revolution of Selfhood and the true democracy of all selves, which, after all, we began to serve as soon as Homodeity seized us in the core of our own being. For then we gained that equalizing Twinship with the Sacred which is the transpersonal origin of democratic visions, and further we were forced to stand up for that inner source of truth in the face of rapacious heterosexism. In doing so we established the basis now to step into that universe of individuality which the archetype of Gay-Centeredness as homosexually birthed in us through incestuous congress with our own primordial origins. To do so is to further differentiate a conscious and psychological relationship with that cosmogonic Force in us, seminal Uranian Eros, with Phanes - the Orphic "Lightbringer," with Aion -- "He Who Turns the Zodiac," with Legba -- the Yoruban Vodou "Master of the Starry Road," with the Intelligence of Homosexual Phallos as the personification of sexual instinct and the energy-system of the mind.

After all, as Diotima asks Socrates at the climax of her teaching (as related in the Symposium), following this way means "to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may. Would that be an ignoble life?"

Mitch Walker was the first post-Stonewall author to write about gay archetypal psychology in his 1975 Master’s thesis Gay Depth Psychology and subsequent 1976 article "The Double: an Archetypal Configuration" in the Jungian journal Spring. Since then he has continued to explore gay archetypal truths as a homosexual shamanic psychologist in his writings, practice and a growing community of people exploring gay-centered inner work. His most recent manuscript is The Uranian Soul: Studies in Gay-Centered Jungian Psychology for a New Era of Gay Liberation.