Georgia New Warriors: Spiritual Men for the New Millennium
© Jay Harden, Knowing Hawk
The gizmos of technology keep coming at us. These marvelous, magical toys engage our minds with the world, but not our hearts. We men, their creators, reason that these are safe ways of dealing with the unrelenting speed and stress of today. At the same time, our spirits search for another kind of tool, an inner one that we can carry always and use to balance our lives. How do we men, who make the machines, keep in touch with the spirit we drew upon to create them? How do we men stay in touch with each other on a human level in this intensive electronic age? New Warrior is one answer and it has, at last, arrived in Georgia.
I’ve always admired Henry David Thoreau (Walden), who longed for the simplicity of life. He proclaimed “…men have become the tools of their tools.” That was in 1854! How could he have known about cell phones and the internet?
I do love my toys with all their switches, buttons, sounds, and images, but they pull me toward the machinery of life instead of the living of it. I don’t want to misuse them to escape and stay comfortably numb. I want balance for myself and for my children and grandchildren who look to me for guidance.
My toys helped me realize I wanted to change my life. I was seeking a life of passion, with no more regret. I wanted to grow spiritually, become stronger, and stop running from my fears. What I really wanted was a way to heal myself so I could live deliberately in the present as Thoreau apparently did and “not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I found all of this, plus the gift of brotherhood, in the men’s movement known as New Warrior.
New Warrior is an order of men who reclaim the sacred masculine through integrity, accountability, feeling, and action in the world. We are a voice for men’s spirits and the natural warrior energy repressed today by stress and its accomplices, like our gizmos.
Robert Bly got it right in 1982 when he said that men can only learn about true manhood from other men. The decline of male mentors in our society and the increasing number of boys raised exclusively by women threaten our families and our future.
New Warrior is an honest brotherhood where we can learn and teach each other the endangered ways of masculine growth, a brotherhood that is not elite, but all inclusive. New Warrior excludes no man and seeks diversity in faith, age, color, class, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, and nationality.
New Warrior is unique. We conduct a weekend initiation into sacred masculinity that we call the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA), then offer weekly meetings (I-Groups) to integrate what was learned.
The New Warrior initiation training is based on the hero’s journey of mythology and Jungian archetypes. During the weekend, we also use rituals of manhood from the spiritual tradition of Native Americans. There are no required beliefs and no one is forced to do anything. It is a weekend of adventure, games, challenges, and growth.
Bly’s best advice was for men to go home and form their own groups. After the weekend, we create local I-Groups where we learn how to communicate, how to act in integrity, how to confront fear, how to be personally accountable, how to connect to our feelings, and how to create healthier choices in our lives.
Because of my New Warrior experience, I am more honest with myself and others. I know how to confront the fears I carry inside. Life is clearer to me. I am able to stand in my own power more than ever and safely reveal the real me, all of me, including my beauty, my shadows, my magical child, my wise sage, and, of course, my internal warrior. For me, it is a great personal victory.
Is New Warrior for you? Only you can decide. Yet, I do know what kind of man seeks us out. He is a man who is looking for something important and is ready to find it. He is there to find a better way of being a man. He is there for himself, not someone else.
Three men founded New Warrior in 1985, training 18 initiates. Today, there are over 15,000 New Warriors and 23 training centers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. Some New Warrior I-Groups have been meeting continuously for ten years.
Here is the best news of all. The first ever New Warrior Training Adventure in Georgia will be held the weekend of November 10-12, 2000 at Camp Allatoona, north of Atlanta. Enrollment is limited to 30 men for this historic weekend.
We men need to care for ourselves so we can care for the world. We need to be connected, balance our joy of toys, and love ourselves more. New Warrior does that, one man at a time. The time is now and the place is Georgia.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-445-8313.
Call Ed Carter at 678-445-6222 for enrollment information.
See http://www.mkp.org/atlanta for date and location of upcoming presentations about NWTA in a casual setting.