By Shepherd Hoodwin


[NOTE: This article originally appeared in the April 1997 Orange County Blade magazine. It explores how the seven Michael Teachings roles relate to societal sexual stereotypes and sexuality. Contact the author at sgh (at) summerjoy (dot) com [Please replace (at) with @, etc.] about reprint rights for this or other articles.]


The cliché icebreaker used to be, "What's your sign?" In the near future, someone attractive might glide up to you and say, "Hi! I'm a warrior. What's your role?"

According to a metaphysical system called the Michael teachings, each of us is one of seven roles, which is our primary style, or way of being. Our role remains the same in each lifetime, whether we are male or female, so both men and women can be any role.

Warriors are persuasive, single-minded doers, often with a hearty sense of humor, and sometimes the subtlety (and strength) of a Mack truck. They seek challenge. Think Joan Crawford or Harrison Ford.

Kings are warriors' large-picture counterparts. They are charismatic leaders, organizing others to action, sometimes in a tyrannical manner. They seek mastery. President John Kennedy and Katharine Hepburn are examples.

Scholars, rather than being oriented toward doing, are a resource for others. They study and assimilate, intellectually or otherwise. Sometimes, they are overly theoretical and distanced from life. They seek knowledge. John Lennon and Joyce Brothers are scholars.

Artisans create what is new, whether in art, hairstyles, or carburetors. They are often warm and playful, sometimes self-deceptive and artificial. They seek originality. Andy Warhol and Judy Garland were obvious artisans.

Sages express and communicate. They are witty, friendly, entertaining, and sometimes loud and verbose. They seek insight. Bette Midler and Mel Gibson are sages.

Priests inspire others through their compassion and vision. They sometimes get carried away and take too much on faith or try to force their beliefs on others. They seek what is highest. Two priests are Christopher Walken and Joan Baez.

And servers support and nurture others, sometimes in a self-denying and victimized way. They seek the well-being of all. Mia Farrow and the Dalai Lama are examples.

Warriors and kings were attracted to the challenges of the American frontier, and many cowboys were these roles, so our stereotypical masculine image (the Marlboro Man) derives largely from them. Gay and bisexual males who cannot identify with this stereotype, especially expressive, sensitive artisans and sages, might rebel against it or identify more with society's feminine stereotype. The majority of all roles are straight, and any role can be gay or lesbian. However, artisans and sages are largely the basis for society's gay male stereotype. High drama (opera, old movies, and larger-than-life stars) is a sage specialty. Fashion, hairstyling and decorating are principally in the artisan's domain.

Society's stereotypical feminine image derives largely from the soft roles of artisan (Marilyn Monroe) and server (Doris Day). Lesbians and bisexual females who are powerful, intense priests or neutral, studious scholars may not identify with that stereotype and might rebel against it or adopt the male one; these roles are largely the basis for society's lesbian stereotype. Warrior and king women also contribute to it, but they more often "go with the program" and accept heterosexual imprinting (or are bisexual), whereas scholars, particularly, have no problem with being unconventional. Scholars tend to be utilitarian in their dress, and this has influenced the evolution of "lesbian chic." Gay male scholars, on the other hand, may feel they have trouble competing with the more flamboyant sages or striking artisans, but scratch the surface, and often scholars are kinky or experimental.

Scholars, warriors and kings, being the most "solid," focused roles, are those most attracted to the earthy leather scene. Sages can enjoy wearing the costumes, and artisans may design them. A sizable number of "masters" are kings, and many "slaves" are servers. (Keep in mind that there are many exceptions to all these generalizations.)

It's generally warriors and kings fighting hardest for gay (or any other) rights, although sages are likely to be handling the media. Many warriors and kings recently have been choosing to be born as women because of new opportunities to fight for women's rights. This trend is challenging stereotypes and bringing changes--such women were accustomed to male prerogatives in former lifetimes and aren't about to give them up!

In past societies, sometimes the scenarios were different, with, for example, the feminine ideal being based on warriors and kings (à la the mythical Amazon women), and men imprinted to act subserviently. Obviously, these either/or stereotypes are very limiting, and they have little to do with what it actually means to be a man or woman. As civilization evolves and becomes more complex, we are developing multiple role models for manhood and womanhood. It is hoped that ultimately, we will simply allow each person to be who he or she is, without rigid stereotypes, and that after millennia of swinging between matriarchy and patriarchy, we will find equality of the sexes.

The Michael teachings can help us understand ourselves and others better, leading to greater love and acceptance. In upcoming columns, we'll explore other traits that affect personality and sexuality, such as body types and male/female energy ratio.


SHEPHERD HOODWIN is a sage and a Laguna Niguel Michael channel, counselor and past-life therapist.