Autumn time, red leaves fall while the weeping sky looks overall.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Archetype and Myth

Having just spent a weekend at Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara my mind is still marinating in the rich stew of myth, archetypes and heroic journeys. Sometime during the third day of the writer's conference titled "The Writer's Journey: Inside Out and Back Again" I realized how deep my understanding of myth and archetype is -- that I live this stuff.

My year revolves around the myth of Persephone and Demeter; in the fall I begin to put down my roots, stay home more and explore the shadows, and in the spring I yawn and stretch and try to find new ways to put winter's lessons to work in every day life. Each Hallows Eve I walk to the nearest crossroads and leave an offering for the great Queen of Witches, Hecate. On Beltane Eve, well never mind what I do on Beltane, but you get the idea. My spiritual and mundane life are guided by the myths that guided my ancestors to plant, tend, harvest and rest.

Artwork by Demeter23triplemoon on Photobucket
Of course none of this makes me particularly special because most witches do live this stuff. Those big pointy hats we wear aren't dunce caps you know, they're vessels to hold all the information on folklore and myth and symbolism we absorb while learning spells about how to get a better job or protect our backyard rites from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, a living goddess herself as far as I'm concerned, was one of the conference presenters and I suggested to my myth-challenged good friend that Bolen's book "Goddesses in Every Woman" would be a great primer if she wanted information that delved deeper into the idea of archetypes, not just a retelling of myth. She bought the book and thumbed through it on the way home. As I drove we discussed a variety of goddess myths and she asked which archetype I felt connection with.


Venus of Willendorf
Lately I've been wondering that myself. I came out of winter's cave truly transformed this spring -- I am officially a moonpause woman. It's not simply this physical fact that's changed my relationship with the Mother archetypes I've always felt connected to: Demeter, Isis, the ancient Venus, it's the emotional and spiritual work I've been doing to support that physical change that now has me wondering just where I fit in.

Who am I now? A baby crone, a matriarch in my family but not yet Hecate and no longer Demeter. I'm something in between. I'm a woman in search of a new myth and it dawns on me that the in-between seasons are the place I might find a new archetype to lean on and learn from as I continue more fully into my transition from mother to elder.

Any suggestions?

Friday, April 19, 2013

She Changes and Changes

Beautiful Spring Goddess
I've been a bad blogger. Just when I get a few people actually interested in what I'm writing here I stop making posts. All I can say is that I've had a hard time coming out of the cave this spring -- a case of "be careful what you ask for."

If you've read earlier posts you know I set intentions to go deep into the dark this past winter. Not only did Persephone call, Nyx, Ereshkigal, Lilith, Hecate and the whole gang of dark goddesses wrapped their sinewy arms around me and would not let go. Or maybe it was me who wouldn't let go of them.

My circle experienced grief, confrontation, anger, fear, change and change and change this winter, as did I. Of course change is a blessing, a sign that the goddess is present in your life because She changes everything She touches. But I know you feel me when I say change does not always feel like a blessing when it's happening.

And there are so many bad things happening in the world. And so many bad things, and so many bad things.

Spring arrived fully in my neck of the almond orchard right on time last month. Some sunny days I think I hear the Maiden dancing in my garden so I leave the dark cave of my writing space to go look for her. She coaxes me into pulling weeds and planting fresh flowers just to please her. I'm enthusiastic about the garden this year which I am not always so it's a good sign.

I hope you are planting seeds and lingering on the soft scent of jasmine as it wafts into your open door at night. And if spring is not yet that present where you live I hope the changes in your life are as gentle as the waiting green grass.

Blessed Be