• Tag Archives mythology
  • Working with Aspects of the Soul: Inner Calm

    Have patience. Endurance is one of the characteristics of the I AM Presence.

    As I write I’m feeling less patient with this process and wanting to give it all up and go back to a life that seemed somehow easier.

    Having said yesterday that I was sleeping well, I awoke this morning while the sky was still dark. And the thought going through my mind was “say something one day and life turns round and plays a different card the next”.

    Never mind, it wasn’t as if I was lying awake all night worried about the prospect of today. Because today is about perfect poise, while what I’m writing up here is yesterdays stuff in case I have some illuminating moment in the middle of the night.

    I’ve taken a moment to read the section on perfect poise because yesterday I neglected to and didn’t create an intention with the subtleties of the aspect of Inner Calm. I spent the day cultivating a sense of Inner Calm without taking into account the rest of what I’d written about it – the nuances of patience and endurance.

    Once I’d posted yesterday and had some breakfast I worked on a job application for a children’s health camp here in Christchurch. As I look back now I see a sense of resignation at the time. That this was something to endure rather than enjoy. And the end result reflected that. It also told me a lot about who I really am and how much of that is hidden. The requirement for the application was to fill out the form correctly. This I did. And on the surface of the application the person reading it would see that I’m a chef. There was space at the end of the form to fill the assessor in on the other things that make me who I am. I have studied many different fields over the last 10 years attending workshops and seminars in several personal and professional development modalities and yet I have no diploma, and very little certification to show for it. Who am I without that?

    A lot of the feelings and thoughts that were coming to me yesterday were around letting go completely of my work as a chef. There is still a tug to go back to the safety of that rather than advance boldly in the direction of my dreams.

    There is a sense of what Thomas Moore describes as walking the labyrinth. The soul journey can be arduous and full of twists and turns and dead ends. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been in a labyrinth for the last 10 years.

    In Greek Mythology Theseus, holding Ariadne’s golden thread so that he can find his way out again, walks into the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur .

    There’s been times when I feel as though I’ve dropped the golden thread and on the dirt floor searching for it so I may continue my journey. Maybe if I’d let go of being a chef earlier my life would have changed sooner. Maybe. I’ll never know. Having stayed in the trade opened a door in my mind to see cooking processes as having relevance in the field of self development.

    Why hasn’t it come together and taking off? I’m still in the labyrinth. I may even be in the process of slaying the Minotaur. Perhaps the Minotaur doesn’t need slaying but rather integrating.

    A white bull was gifted to the Minos the King of Crete by Poseidon. Minos decided to keep the bull and sacrifice one of his own herd instead. He did not honour what he had committed to with Poseidon.

    In time his wife became attracted to the bull and conspired with Daedalus to build a wooden cow. The cow was a decoy in which she secreted herself that she might mate with the bull.  The Minotaur was the fruit of their loins.  The Minotaur had the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man. Daedalus went on to build the labyrinth to house the monster he had played a part in creating.

    From one perspective I might see that the Minotaur representing the lies I tell myself  and the courage it takes to stop those lies. Am I being bull-headed about the process of my life? Am I honouring the calling of my higher self?


  • The Soul: Part One

    The Soul is undiscovered, though explored forever to a depth beyond report

    I will never discover fully what the soul is. No matter what I do. It is limitless. It goes beyond even what I imagine the universe might be as it is said that the universe is finite; that if I was to shine a torch out into the depths of space that eventually after eons and eons of time it would come back and hit me in the back of the head. This earthly existence doesn’t give me the time.

    I am unable to wait, for life changes from moment to moment, cells are dying in my body as I type and new ones are taking their place. I embrace change as a part of life. All I have is the precious now for what was, is now gone and what will be is yet to come. All I have to do is engage my soul and trust that whatever I need in this moment I will receive. And to receive without judgment.

    How do I engage my soul? Where is my soul?

    I see the soul as being our connection to the Life Essence and through that to each other entity from the denser energy of the stones, through plants, insects, birds, and animals. All are affected by what I am broadcasting to the world.

    If I’d been in that engaged soulful space since birth I wouldn’t know what it was like to be out of it. In this earth-bound existence I can only experience one state when I have experienced its opposite. And so rather than judging my negative experiences as bad I now see them as a way to embrace and appreciate more fully the positive.

    Jung said once that the soul does not reside within us, but that our bodies exist within the soul. Sort of like an egg where the yolk is the physical body and the white is the soul that surrounds it.

    The place of the soul in my earthly vehicle is my heart. The heart provides a rhythm for life and as it beats, pulses the energy it is experiencing out into the world. It’s no surprise that we are able to discern a person’s disposition though they may be silent. Whether they are happy, sad, joyous, jealous or angry they are broadcasting it to the world each time the heart beats. When I look into my heart, when I connect with others from a heart-centred attitude, then my soul is engaged.

    Finding pleasure is considered the foremost quality of soul. When I find soulful pleasure in whatever I do I am increasing the vitality of this temple I call my body. It may take me a while to get into that zone and as life changes I may easily slip out of it again. So why wouldn’t I want to be in that state constantly?

    From the stand point of Creative Mythology I look at our traditional mythologies and the stories they tell. Most of them can tell us how to connect to this soulfulness, if we look at them in a metaphorical sense rather than a literal telling of a story. Rereading my post on Chaos may give you some insight into this.

    Or consider the mythology of the Birth of Adonis.

    The Mother of Adonis, Smyrna, was concerned about her incestuous feelings toward her father and tried to take her life to avoid what seemed to be the inevitable result. Her nurse discovered and saved her from this fate, colluding with her to bring this relationship to fruition which she did while the King, Smyrna’s father was drunk when her mother was away.

    This continued until the King became suspicious of who the young girl was. Smyrna left and began to journey through several countries, praying to the gods along the way, unsure whether she wanted to live or die. In time the gods answered her prayers turning her into the tree bearing the name Myrrh.

    After several Months the tree split open and Adonis was born.

    When we look at the image of incest as a symbol we find that in ancient cultures it was sometimes considered incestuous for not only family members to have a sexual relationship but also for members of the same tribe or clan. While it doesn’t necessarily take the curse away from the act it may not be as taboo as incest within immediate family. It may be that it caused unpleasant dynamics within the power structure of the tribal community which then forced Smyrna to leave the tribe and wander searching.

    There may have been a cult around the myrrh tree. A tribe which tended to and traded in Myrrh to which Smyrna was drawn and in that community she was to give birth to Adonis.

    I’m reminded of how soulful I feel when I’m in nature. How nature can speak to those deeper places of connection within me. A feeling of coming home. I imagine that Smyrna may have had those same feelings as she may have connected with these people who were the stewards of the Myrrh.

    This is obviously a construct of my imagination based on the symbolism contained within the story and the concepts you construct around the myth may or will be different to mine. And this will be absolutely perfect for you and what you’re needing in the present moment.


    For more on the power of the Heart see HeartMath

    Incest: Rape Crisis Online Encyclopaedia

    Greek Myth: GML

  • Chaos

    I am going through a lot of personal chaos at present. A couple of days prior to shifting house I was on my mountain bike when a van pulled in front of me. I’m not sure whether my attention was elsewhere or whether he’d suddenly veered but in braking suddenly I was cartwheeled over the handlebars. The van driver came to see if I was alright and one of the women I work with also saw the accident and was concerned. I seemed to feel ok and any pain I was experiencing I imagined to be normal considering what had just happened. I went to work and got through the day. Biking home was a bit of a stretch but I managed it. Went to work the following day and that was ok too. The time I was experiencing the most pain was when I was in bed and shifting my position. On the Saturday I went to the clinic and after a consultation and xray the news was a broken rib and a small puncture in my lung.

    Shifting house is acknowledged as one of the most stressful situations we can find ourselves in and yet the last couple of times we have shifted it has been almost stress free. A sense of detachment helps and just doing it. Having done it several times over the last few years it is accepted by my psyche and I’m not having to create a new thought pattern around it.

    What has been chaotic has been the shifting of the telephone service. We had cable service at the previous house and were told that the house we were moving to was also in a cable area. When the guy came round to hook us up he discovered that they had cable on the other side of the road and there was an engineer’s report required before they could consider hooking us up. That was two weeks ago. I’ve been exploring other options and have got another service provider for the phone. Still negotiating on internet. I’ve noticed myself getting frustrated as I’ve talked to the company on the phone and not being given the different options that I am aware the company provides to the point where I want to talk to someone in the flesh and not some faceless voice on the other end of the phone.

    Greek mythology opens with the story of Chaos. Chaos arose from Mist. And from Chaos, Nyx (Night), Erebus (the darkness of the Underworld), Tartarus (the place of punishment in the underworld and also the source of all waters), Gaia (Mother Earth), and finally Eros (Love).

    I find this particular myth fascinating as it points to ways of coping when I’m in chaos. Night is the place of dreams and sleep. Both of these are essential when dealing with chaos. To ensure I’m well rested and to become aware of not only my night dreams but to maintain my focus on the dream or purpose I have for my life.

    Erebus reminds me of the gifts of the underworld. By allowing the darkness of the experience I’m able to fully appreciate the coming of the light. And wealth is associated with the underworld through the earth being home to precious stones and metals.

    Tartarus indicates the ways that I can be depressed when I’m in that chaotic space. How I beat up on myself. It also prompts me to allow full expression of the emotions in the experience. To allow the anger to be anger, sorrow to be sorrow; and then to let them go once they’ve been manifested and acknowledged.

    Gaia invites me to ground myself and to also to let the beauty of nature touch me, to stop and smell the roses when chaos bites.

    And beauty leads me to love and allowing Eros to connect me to my community however that is experienced in my world. We need not suffer alone and need to let ourselves be held by family or community. Being honest about our feelings will help as we go through personal Chaos.

    The saying, “And this too shall pass” is comforting as I sit with what is happening.

  • Functions of Mythology

    Joseph Campbell suggests four functions of Mythology. The first he says is to “reconcile consciousness to the preconditions of its own existence”. This means a merging of our day to day consciousness with what he refers to as the mysterium tremendum. In cultivating a sense of awe and fascination around our perception of life and fully participating in whatever way we are called we find a mythic sensitivity to life itself.

    The second function is interpretive. In this the myth is “presenting a consistent image of the order of the cosmos” . Cosmos means ‘a place of adornment’. On a personal level how do we see our own cosmos? Are there things we know about ourselves we can rely on come what may? If you’re not sure you have a cosmos how would you imagine it to be? What are the ways in which you adorn your world, create a beautiful space?

    The third is to “validate and support a specific moral order, that order of the society out of which the mythology arose”. The question I ask myself here is how do I create a moral framework for my own life? What is it about my life that has created my sense of ethics.

    The fourth function is to “carry the individual through various stages and crises of life – to help people grasp the unfolding of life with integrity, meaning that individuals will experience significant events in accord with first themselves, second with their culture, third with the universe, and lastly with that mysterium tremendum beyond themselves and all things. What is arising within when you read this? What have you experienced within your life that has given you the tools to deal with the crises that unfold. If all is perfect at all times then we can look for clarification of what is happening now in what has already come to pass. We may be called to honour something that was important in our past that has slipped into the background – something that engendered a sense of awe and fascination at the time.