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?

No comments:

Post a Comment