Book Review: Unplugging the Patriarchy: A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age, by Lucia René

My spiritual teacher Norma T. would describe Lucia René’s Unplugging the Patriarchy: A Mystical Journey into the Heart of a New Age, as a teaching novel. René herself calls it  “fictionalized memoir,” part truth, part fiction.

The storyline begins with the protagonist at loose ends, having lost both of her parents, and within a week of her father’s death, her job as well. A student of an enlightened master of American Buddhism for 17 years, she is open to guidance received in meditation, and in such a way receives her  “Spiritual Marching Orders,” the title of Part One. Being in such a liminal state and with an inheritance, she is free to follow them:

Closing my eyes, I settled myself in my chair and, after a few moments, managed to still my mind.  Immediately I began to hear words being spoken telepathically—the sound of many voices speaking in unison, each world articulates slowly and clearly. My anger evaporated, and I held perfectly still.

“For the next six months,” I was told, “between the summer solstice and winter solstice, research what is happening in the world. Read about economics, politics, and global affairs. Look behind the scenes to learn what is happening on a mystical level. Figure out the underlying mystical structure. …your job will be to disassemble it .” (22-23)

The next sections describe her research into the political, educational, and banking systems of the United States and the world. I warn you, this part is scary, regardless of your beliefs in mysticism or psychic development. She does document her sources and they are there to follow up on. She names people and corporations, quotes them, describes their actions. Patriarchy takes on whole new, frightening dimension. Personally I feel a renewed responsibility to understand structures of power in our country and world so I have more chance of conscious decision-making in what I support.

She also presents her intuitive seeing of the energetic structures that keep the patriarchy in place and her interventions with them. Whether or not the reader believes in mysticism, according to this author, a few powerful men in the world do, using energetic means to control populations and wealth. It brings up the importance of becoming more savvy to the world of spirit and energy, about which most of us are dangerously ignorant.

This is one place in the book I found myself wishing I knew how much was fictionalized. I do know first hand the effectiveness of working with subtle energy, both from my own spiritual training and our farming. Our farm is healing through the use of homeopathic sprays of Biodynamics (see Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation). I remember a statement by French Biodynamic farmer and winemaker Nicholas Joly: It is one thing to degrade the soil with chemicals and neglect, he said, but if we degrade the subtle energies of our earth, we are in much more serious trouble.

It is chilling to consider that subtle energies may be manipulated by a few men to control wealth and power in world, something René asserts and documents to some degree. In the process she differentiates between lower mysticism, or the dark arts, and higher mysticism, the path of power. It is important to understand what the dark arts are— the use of energy to have control over others— and how we all participate, consciously or unconsciously.

So this story is one of the use of subtle energy, which is not so subtle! — both in the patriarchal way it has been usurped over the last 6000 years, and now in the shift into what has been called the return of the Divine Feminine, the shift of 2012, which René is not alone in asserting is the transition of this time. This is a shift involving love, open heartedness, and a feeling of being at one with creation.

Last, but not least, as an analyst I very much appreciated the author’s confrontation of the patriarchal forces within herself as well as without, forces that we all need to identify within ourselves as we transit to another way of channeling power, a way René terms “solar feminine.” We need this yang power of “strength, passion, creativity, and action (Preface)” as we enter the space of the psyche not censored by intellect. Then we enter a territory in which subtle forces become not so subtle, and in which we navigate through perceptions most of us have left to mystics and shamans.