The Eagle and the Condor
Where Mind and Heart Meet
A couple of years ago I had the very good fortune of attending Gaia Sagrada Eco-Community Retreat Centre in Ecuador, South America. It was there that I heard of the ‘Eagle and Condor’ prophecy. This is an ancient prophecy, believed to have started in the Amazon, and then spread throughout the Americas, thousands of years ago. Many distinct cultures from all over the world are familiar with such a prophecy.
The prophecy speaks of society dividing into two distinct paths: that of the ‘Eagle’ (the ‘North’), representing the industrial, mind, and masculine principles; and that of the ‘Condor’ (the ‘South’), representing the heart, intuition, and feminine principles.
The prophecy stated that every 500 years there is an era, called a Pachakuti. It was predicted that the 1490s would begin a period during which the Eagle people would become very powerful and dominant and drive the Condor people nearly out of existence – but not quite.
The 5th Pachakuti period began in the 1990s. It is a potential time for the Eagle and the Condor to fly together and each bring the best of themselves to birth a higher human consciousness. The ‘Eagle’ represents the masculine principles of being outwardly directed, driven, visible, active, open and about growth and expansion – the ‘activating’ principle. The ‘Condor’ represents the feminine principles of surrender, creativity, intuition, mystery and of being receptive, inner directed and hidden – the ‘letting be’ and waiting principles. The masculine and feminine principles are metaphors, analogies, and archetypes. They are not limited to gender, with both masculine and feminine aspects being present in both men and women, as well as all societies, but to different degrees and with different emphasis. One is not better than the other; they each have their roles. Ideally, individually and collectively, we weave both masculine and feminine principles together harmoniously for optimum outcomes.
The masculine principles, when distorted, can give rise to: aggression, hostility, dominance, arrogance and destruction. The feminine principles, when distorted, can give rise to: dependency, passivity, helplessness and surrendering to others’ authority. We can see how the Eagle (the ‘masculine’) and the Condor (the ‘feminine’) influences affect us individually in our day-to-day lives. We can also extrapolate how the masculine and feminine principles weave together in society at large and how they operate in the collective.
To bring anything into creation we need to harmoniously use both masculine and feminine principles. For example, a woman giving birth will be utilizing the masculine principles, as it is usually a very active process; whereas, she will be utilizing the feminine principles while pregnant, as it is a receptive and waiting time. In my own domain, having worked as a medical doctor for many years, I am aware of the juxtaposition between Western, allopathic medicine (representing the ‘Eagle’) and other, more traditional healing disciplines (representing the ‘Condor’). The world of frenetic, ten-minute medical consultations stands in stark contrast to the world of unhurried, 18 hour or even timeless ceremonies, where the focus is on completion of the process rather than time. The paradigm of hard, verifiable scientific facts seems contrary to the realms of mystery and the secrets of the unconscious mind. In Western medicine, clearly the masculine principles are dominant. We use them in spades. And obviously they are very useful in areas such as the treatment of acute medical conditions and trauma, where an expedient, pro-active approach is often needed.
However, for the more entrenched, chronic conditions (physical and psychological), that defy the medical model and for which there are not easy, effective treatment solutions, a more in-depth, introspective approach is often needed. This involves utilizing the feminine principles to enter the ‘shadow’, the hidden, unconscious aspects of our experience that so affect our health and wellbeing.
Looking into the ‘shadow’/hidden, which utilizes the feminine principles, and is not yet accepted as part of our general, largely patriarchal, Western medical culture. ‘Shadow’ simply means that of which we are unaware – what is hidden from our conscious mind. And what is hidden from our conscious mind is what most affects our health.
Other healing traditions, such as the shamanic healing traditions that I witnessed, and experienced, whilst in Ecuador, utilize more of the ‘feminine’ aspects of healing – though of course they use both. With the help of the plant medicines, those hidden, unknown aspects of ourselves, that might span space and time, are brought to the surface to be acknowledged, addressed and healed.
During a recent plant medicine session that I participated in, at Gaia Sagrada, I had personal verification of the effects of what we hold in our unconscious realms on our health and wellbeing. During this session I was taken to a scene where, many years prior, I had birthed one of my babies. Following this delivery I had a retained placenta and, as was normal procedure, I was taken from the delivery room to theatre, where I was given a general anaesthetic and the placenta was manually removed.
What I realized during the re-visiting of this experience was that it was a fairly brutal and disrespectful procedure and I had, unknowingly, held the trauma of this in my body for all those years. At the time I was unconscious – in every sense of the word – and that is where our vulnerability lies. Consciously, I had given that experience no thought at all, having considered it done and dusted. During the ceremony, as my body shook out the trauma, it affirmed to me that the body will hold, and respond to, what the mind does not acknowledge.
As said, according to the prophecy, now is a potential time to bring together the best aspects of the ‘Eagle’ and the ‘Condor’, of the masculine and the feminine, of the North, South, East and West. This should be without diluting or diminishing their distinctive, individual qualities, while respectfully contributing their unique perspectives and gifts for the benefit of the whole.
For the optimum practice of health care and healing (as in any other area of life) we need both – the best of ‘mind’ and scientific, intellectual based understandings, and the best of ‘heart’, representing the more wisdom – based, intuitive and mysterious aspects. The best of the masculine and the best of the feminine principles.
“Some say that the offspring is represented by the quetzal of Central
America, the Mayan bird that is the symbol of bringing together heart
and mind, art and science, male and female”
– John Perkins, co-founder of Pachamama Alliance
This article was written by Catherine Fyans, a former guest of Gaia Sagrada and later a valued member of our volunteer team.