Evolutionary times call for evolutionary partners—women and men who have the courage to engage each other in new and generative ways.

    Seismic cultural shifts of the past fifty years are picking up speed, and our old points of reference are falling away.  Mutual trust is low, often even between individuals and groups who share similar goals.  Perhaps nowhere do we feel this more keenly than in gender relations—across genders, within genders, and within ourselves.

    Yet, something NEW is trying to emerge, and we can take an active part in bringing it forward.  This “something new” is about co-creation—partnering with others to help us flourish and thrive—now and in the future.

    As Evolutionary Partners, we can bring forward what is good and honorable within us—as women and as men—and open to the mystery of who we are becoming. 

Why now...?
IMAGINAL CELLS
A compelling metaphor for our times
    Do you know how a caterpillar actually transforms to a butterfly?  Once the cocoon is spun, a most amazing process takes place—one that greatly parallels where humanity finds itself in these days of radical and unprecedented change.  
    When all the old ways are failing to thrive and the new ways have yet to emerge, it can feel as if we are facing death.  But what if these uncertain times could actually stimulate a transformation as radical as becoming the butterfly?  Here’s how evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sartouris describes the process:
    “The present is really an unprecedented time of opportunity. Think of it as a stage between caterpillar and butterfly—a time of metamorphosis when an old unsustainable system fights to preserve itself as a new system struggles to be born. 
“Caterpillars chew their way through ecosystems leaving a path of destruction as they get fatter and fatter. When they finally fall asleep and a chrysalis forms around them, tiny new imaginal cells, as biologists call them, begin to take form within their bodies. The caterpillar's immune system fights these new cells as though they were foreign intruders, and only when they crop up in greater numbers and link themselves together are they strong enough to survive. Then the caterpillar's immune system fails and its body dissolves into a nutritive soup that the new cells recycle into the developing butterfly. 
“The caterpillar is a necessary stage, but becomes unsustainable once its job is done. There is no point in being angry with the caterpillar, and there is no need to worry about defeating the immune system. The task is to focus on building the butterfly, the success of which depends on powerful, positive and creative efforts in all aspects of society and alliances built among those engaged in them.”
THE MANDORLA
A timeless and powerful ancient symbol
 As we connect with potential evolutionary partners—engaging imaginal cell to imaginal cell—we are entering "the mandorla."  The mandorla is an ancient symbol signifying the union of opposites, such as Masculine and Feminine, Heaven and Earth, known and unknown, and other paradoxical partners.  The mandorla—Italian for “almond”—is the oval shape formed by two overlapping circles (also known as the vesica piscis) that shows up in sacred geometry throughout the world.
The mandorla is held in particular esteem because it holds forth hope for reunion, healing, and wholeness.  Medieval architects, for example, used the mandorla as a full-body halo to surround images of holy figures.  At the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, UK, the mandorla is celebrated on the well’s beautiful cover and in flowing fountains throughout the surrounding gardens.  The mandorla finds representation, as well, in sacred art and architecture of Islamic, Asian, and African traditions.
To step into the mandorla is to move beyond “either-or” thinking—even beyond ideas of common ground or compromise—and to stand in the tension of opposites long enough for something new to emerge.  In the realm of the mandorla, the whole yields something greater than the sum of its parts, opening doors of possibility, discovery and creativity.
The mandorla inspires action informed by the spirit of courage, curiosity, compassion and collaboration.  Whether addressing personal conflicts, business issues, social concerns or spiritual questions, the mandorla’s message offers a balm for wounds suffered in a contentious world of “us vs. them” and “might makes right.”  It demonstrates the principle of “power with,” rather than “power over,” and it stands as a signpost on the path of walking between opposites.
To quote psychologist Dr. Robert Johnson:  "The mandorla has a wonderfully healing and encouraging function. When the most herculean efforts and the finest discipline no longer keep the painful contradictions of life at bay, we are all in need of the mandorla."

Chalice Well

Glastonbury, England

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In the dark of the moon

in flying snow

in the dead of winter

war spreading

families dying

the world in danger

I walk the rocky hillside,

sowing clover


—Wendell Berry