Mythology seems to be lost in society. “Mythology consists of stories about half-naked Greek Gods running round doing crazy stuff and getting away with it”.
I used to think so… Untill I had a dream that showed me that stories are not always just stories…
Arthur in dreams
Sometimes, mythology just comes knocking on your door in a dream. For me, that happened several years ago. In a dream, I heard a voice over say: “You belong to the court of King Arthur”. I said back: “No that is only a story”. I was wrong about that. Mythology is about solving life’s problems. Mythology is about learning to live with life’s problems.
In the Mindfunda Mythology Course, I created a lesson about Arthur. It is called: Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword. This is a quote:
“The Grail in the Arthur myth is about a spiritual kind of love, felt deep in the soul, where it touches upon the waters of life. Whenever you experience “a dry spell” in your life, a depression, you know you have to find the grail again. And according to the Arthur myth, you need to ask the right question on the right moment to find the grail and heal the fisher King“.
But sometimes mythology is hidden in themes that play a role in your life that is obvious for an outsider, but not for you. That is why each lesson has open-ended questions so you can re-interpret your stories, as well as your dreams. I will give you another example from the course:
“If you look at dreams you had about your mother and reinterpret them as dreams about mother earth, does their message change? How is mother earth talking to you? Is she protecting you? Is she urging you to change your life? To change your nutrition?”
The Arthur lesson is the last one of six. Together they make a perfect line up of the trouble that one comes across while living life. The first lesson: “Creation Myth: Genesis and Big Bang” re-writes modern society as a contemporary myth. It’s exercises will give you clues into re-interpreting your dreams with new mythological meaning. The second lesson “The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology” will help you connect with and accept the animal part in your own personality. The third lesson “Mythology of Men” will help you understand men more. Whether you are born in a men’s body or in a woman’s body. The same is true for lesson number four: “Mythology of Women”. In lesson number five I invite you to a private party. I invite you to a private party. “Trusting the Trickster: Hanging With Loki and His Friends“. The focus of this lesson is to recognize and embrace the Trickster in yourself. We have already discussed the last lesson: “Mythology of the Grail: Pulling Out the Sword” in more depth in this post.
Each lesson consist of 26-30 pages A4 filled with text, exercises and a literature list filled with good inspiring books.
All Excited? Mindfunda Mythologyis designed to make the journey of your life easier. You will get:
Knowledge about the Sefiroth, the Cabalistic Tree of Life;
You will be introduced to the two main categories of myth so you can (re)connect with the strength of your inner animal;
You will have access to al the 24 possible ways of behaviour of male and female archetypes;
You will be able to tap into the power of the Trickster whenever you feel reluctant to follow the call of your own path;
All these methods and techniques will enable you to enlighten your inner fire, your personal Grail;
You will get 44 exercises during the course, an average 6 – 10 exercises per lesson to help you master the knowledge.
Online courses are the most convenient way to keep learning. In your own time, at your own convenience. In your pajamas with a cup of coffee, or when your housemates are away so you have some peace and quite. Mindfunda proudly presents two online courses about dreaming. Continue reading Online Courses from Mindfunda
In the second Guest blog, Jean Raffa explored Inanna’s descent as a personal myth.
This third blog will focus on the common themes found the Descent Myth of Inanna and Sleeping Beauty.
The last blog, written by Elaine Mansfield, will talk about Redeeming the dark.
Sleeping Beauty and Inanna
“The story of Inanna was the greatest and most influential of Bronze Age myths, apart from the Epic of Gilgamesh” say Anne Baring and Jules Cashford in their “The Myth of the Goddess”, still one of the best handbooks around when it comes to Goddesses.
Anne Baring and Jules Cashford write in their chapter about The Descent of Inanna: “While Inanna is in the Underworld, during the three days of darkness, it is as though a spell has been cast in the upper world. Fertility is suspended; everything falls asleep. The imagery of the Sleeping Beauty comes irresistibly to mind. Was the story the origin of the fairy tale whose lunar princess, together with the parents and the court, falls asleep on her fifteenth birthday and who is awakened by the prince, who restores her and the whole court to live?”
The sleep was the result of a spell of one of the wise thirteen women who was not invited to the party, celebrating the miraculous birth of the couple that had been infertile for years. To conceive a child, the couple gets help from a frog. But this kind of dark side magic comes with a price.
So here is the Dark Mother Goddess. A spinning Goddess, who spins out life, giving form to new ideas, new creations. The fifteenth day of the cycle of the moon is the day the moon begins to wane. So the Goddess not invited has to be the Goddess of the Dark Moon. To quote Anne Baring and Jules Cashford in The Myth of the Goddess: “The Mother Goddess begins to loosen the threads of the cloth she has woven”.
Sleeping beauty and number 13
Thirteen is the exact number of full moon’s in a year. And it was Apollo 13 who got into trouble in 1970: “Houston, we got a problem”. It is an unlucky number. Friday the 13th is the day that, according to legend, Jesus got crucified. That sacrifice, giving up his consciousness for his belief in an afterlife, is exactly the same as the sacrifice in the Quest that Inanna undertakes in her journey to the Underworld. The Mother Goddess Inanna, travels to the realm of her Sister Queen Ereshkigal. The Earth becomes infertile. Like the Kingdom of the parents of Sleeping Beauty became infertile, when the curse casted by the uninvited Fairy was completed.
The Sleeping Beauty and the Waste Land
So here we have a theme of a King and Queen, and their daughter sleeping. The Kingdom goes to waste. Every sign of growth is put on hold. The land has become a waste land. We have seen this theme in the Grail Story. Like Sleeping Beauty, the Grail story is a story of enchantment and disenchantment. Like the Wounded King, Sleeping Beauty gets stung. The King by a lance, Sleeping beauty by a spindle. Both are unable to fertilize anything. The wounded King is wounded in his thighs, suggesting that this is the reason for his infertility. The father of Sleeping Beauty has this same fertility issue. And now, at the onset of her own menarche, the wounded princes falls asleep. Postponing her entrance on the marriage market for a staggering 100 years.
We have all been there. We have all been so hurt by a stinging remark of somebody that we fell sleep. Our light, vividness, sense of humor was gone. Trapped in an infertile land. New thoughts, new creative ideas did not have a chance to reach maturity, just like Sleeping Beauty.
I remember the hurt and humiliation I felt when an older Dutch person who works with dreams said when he read one of my books: “You need to go out and get some life experience”. I have never tried to write a book again, feeling quite sure that it could not be good enough. In that way I am Sleeping Beauty, who needs to be kissed awake.
Innana’s myth of the descent is a tale about life after death. Inanna visits the Kingdom of her sister who hangs her on a meat hook. Like Sleeping Beauty she is paralyzed for a short while. Striped down, hung out ty dry, with all the creative juices dripping out of her flesh. Like Sleeping Beauty, who is rescued by the prince, Inanna receives help from her animus as well. The King of Gods, Enki, creates beings from the dirt underhis finger nails.
The integration of the animus in a woman is in both stories the way to turn the tables. Getting out of the helpless stage, embracing your own masculine side is an important step before one can enter any marriage market. Theater you want to propose to your boyfriend, or if you want to court a new idea for a book, a play or a writing.
REMEMBER: the CHRISTMAS period IS a VERY SPECIAL TIME FOR DREAMING, SO JOIN MINDFUNDA FOR THE HOLY NIGHT DREAM INCUBATIONS.
Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 24rd and January 6th, I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient belief says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.
Do you consider yourself a Goddess? You should. The Goddess is the earth. We are all part of the earth. But the Goddess is more. She is also that spiritual vessel that brings love in new unexpected ways. She is connected with the moon. This week’s Mindfunda is about dreaming with the goddess, incubating dreams that aligne with the phase of the moon. Find out how you can dream the Goddess into your live!
Mindfunda explores the Goddess in 4 blogs
The Triple Goddess was hot in the seventies of last century. Marija Gimbutas put the Goddess back on the map. She inspired a lot of scientists, anthropologists and mythologists up to this day. But the attention for the Goddess seems to have faded away. Mindfunda want to invite you to reconnect with the Goddess. During the month of November Mindfunda will share 5 blogs:
In our rational world the Goddess seems to have disappeared. That is why the dream group I am part of spent a mont of dreaming with the Goddess. We wanted to see how the energy of the goddess still resonates in our lives, our loves and our dreams. Each week during a month, one of the members shared a dream incubation devoted to the Goddess. The new moon or Maiden Goddess, the half-moon dedicated to Shakti, the full moon dedicated to Mother Goddessand the last quarter dedicated to the Crone Goddess.
Looking back on this project, I can say that I was struck by the archetypical motives we encountered in our month of dreaming. To connect with the creative power of the Goddess has increased my faith in my own body and how it reflects the wisdom of the earth. Find out how you can dream the Goddess into your live!
Dreaming with the Triple Goddess week #1
In our first week we connected with the Goddess in a beautiful way. There are so many beautiful inspiring dreams that it is hard to choose. I selected two that show the qualities of the Goddess in a very clear way. They represent the Triple Goddess in clothes and colors. I had these two dreams:
First dream: I am flying on a bird…
The second dream I am in a marketplace. An elderly lady is sitting there. She is short-haired and she looks at the clothing me and my sister are selecting. It is clothing our mother gave to us and she wants us to pick out what we like. I select three dresses, a dark one, a light blue one and a white one with blue figures on it. I take the last one, the white with blue with me, to try on. I take a leather bikini a brown one but put it back because it is not my style.
When I walk away and I wonder if I took the right dress, maybe the dark one would have been better.
The bird in the first dream can refer to the soul, just like the bird C.J Jung saw in his dream that changed into a blond girl. Marija Gimbutas associated the Bird Goddess with the Great Cosmic Creator.
The second dream shows the Crone guarding over the clothes my Mother left behind for me. There are as many outfits for me as there are manifestations of the Goddess. A dark one, representing the Dark Goddess, a light blue one representing the Mother and a white one with blue figures on it representing the Maiden. I choose the last one, but it does not feel right. The perspective of my life is changing. I am no longer the young girl, I have become a mother. With my children growing up to be teenagers It is significant to me that I do not change into this dress, I only take it with me to try it on.
The light blue dress resembles the dress frequently depicted on mother Mary.
Carol had this dream about the triple goddess:
Dream I am somewhere I don’t know lots of people around. I am putting in a tricolor rug noticing colors red and green not sure of third color. I look and go into a crawl cave like space under the floor it seems. I am talking about the rug with someone laying out the patches of pieces side by side seems more like leftover remnants. I then look out a back window and see a fire burning in a one level building. I am telling others to look at the flames. I have seen this happen before. I see people inside trying to put it out. Then I look at the wood planked floor under my feet and see flames from burning fire too.
Maria Cernuto commented on this dream: “The tricolor rug reflects the Triple Goddess most likely: Maiden (green or white is Her color), Mother (red), & Crone / Grandmother (dark blue or black). The colors woven together (tricolor) in the rug are like the Triple Goddess figure… the Moon’s phases / Phases of the Goddess are not separate… even time… past, present & future are woven together, they’re not separate”.
To me, the fire on the wood represents “the fire inside, the fire in the mind” as Joseph Campbell would phrase it. The Goddess came and said hello to us that first week and enlightened the flame. This theme of colors and clothing returned in my dreams later that month…
Dreaming with the triple Goddess week #2
Maria Cernuto shared a dream incubation devoted to Shakti energy.
Knowledge of Shakti occurs primarily in the Tantric texts from India. Shakti translates loosely to “Cosmic Energy” or simply “Power.” She is energy, force, sexuality, spiritual fire, ability, faculty, strength, potential, etc. She is the Divine Feminine energy of all –of both genders, male and female – She is that which causes all action to occur. Maria Cenuto
And indeed, most of our dreams displayed couples, relationships and sexuality. Debbie shared this dream:
It is as if I just woke up in my bedroom. It is bright and sunny. There is a young couple intertwined with each other on Michael’s side of the bed (left when standing facing it) and Michael and I are intertwined on my side of the bed. I realize that the couple and Michael and I are covered in a huge amount of sexual excretions; as if a bucket of it was poured over each couple. Woke up in a bright sunny bedroom and said wow that was a lot of “come”.
Note* there was no sexual excitement to the dream at all and no lovemaking. It was more like everyone was done hours before.
Maria Cenuto commented on this dream:
This is very Shakti-like in that she is sexual energy. I like the young and older couples, especially given how long you and Michael have been together. “Michael is on my side” — I like the way that sounds metaphorically… he’s “come” to my side. How could this relate to the incubation? What part of sexuality or sexual energy could be “developed, harnessed and utilized” for the benefit of your own inner shakti power?
In her dream Maria wears a necklace of the perfect couple:
Instant Karma, Libra Judgement and the Blue Bindu:
I am in a mall and run into D. She wanted to walk with me to say “hi” to somebody I was with. I say to the person, “I don’t know if you remember, but this is I’s daughter.” I don’t know who I was talking to. I am walking around the mall alone. I am wearing the pentacle necklace with the “perfect couple” in the center. A slender Asian / Orient male is walking towards me, and for some reason I flash him the pentacle – not sure why I did it, like I thought he could be dangerous and I am trying to intimidate him with witchcraft. He made a face like why are you showing me this object / necklace; and then he simply asked me a question. I answered him and we both walked our separate ways. As I am walking away my necklace / the chain part breaks. I think this karma for jumping the gun and judging him and using a sacred symbol to instill fear or threaten him.
Then I see rare blue macaw parrots, and then a blue dot appearing on my forehead / Anja Chakra, only bright, electric blue; and it seemed to have dimension to it, not flat, bubbled outward.
In this dream the Goddess appears in the color blue. In “Renowned Goddess of Desire” Loriliai Biernacki associates the color blue with creating life and the moon:
“The color blue makes things prosper; the color blue is indeed a God. The soft kind Goddess Avitri, the light of the world (Kali) is blue and the ancient teachings in the throat of Shiva are blue.
The great Indra, emperor of the Gods is blue and the rain clouds which give life to the world are blue. The vault of the sky that gives space to all living things is blue. The moon which is the source of light has a blue strain.”
The Goddess Shakti to which the incubation was dedicated has a blue manifestation in MahaMaja. A goddess blue-black in complexion.
“The Sanskrit word Maya has two important meanings – one is measurement and another is extraordinary or supernatural power and also illusion.
So the term Mahamaya is an attempt by human mind to capture – unimaginable qualities of Goddess Shakti – like she is matter, she is energy, her various forms, creation, sustenance and destruction.
Sadly no human word is powerful enough to capture the true form of Goddess Shakti and it can only be known through self-realization“. (Hindu-blog.com)
In this way Shakti/MahaMaja is a dream Goddess. A dream, an illusion, a created reality that makes everything possible.
Dreaming with the triple Goddess week #3
In this week we dreamed during Full Moon. The Moon and dreams are connected according to old traditions. Connie Kaplan has written a very good book about it: The woman’s book of dreams. It is one of my favorite books. During the week of incubating dreams, the moon is known as the harvest moon. It is the full moon that happens closest to the autumn equinox. Farmers used to harvest using the light of the moon. We incubated the question of what we needed to harvest in our lives right now. The first dream of Shelli tells about the present she gets from the Goddess, but also about the hurt she needs to let go off.
“I’m at Maria’s house with Ralf, Debbie, I think Patricia, Susanne and my hubby, his parents, and a few young kids. I see K. and she wants to tell me something unimportant and now forgotten.
One of the young girls has to go pee and as I grab her, she does a bit on a couch. I rush to the bathroom and I try to get her to sit but her legs end up in the toilet. It’s deep so her feet aren’t in the water but she pees.
We are getting ready to leave and I have to pee. The bathroom door is a drape that is pulled across a wooden bar. In-laws and Maria come in as I’m sitting there. I shoo them all away and hubby comes to my assistance to rid them so I can pee without them all. One has to leave through the bathroom and everyone is leaving.
I walk back to a bedroom to find my clothes as I am just in panties. I try to cover myself as I see a bunch of clothes hung over the back of a chair. Beside them are gift bags that Maria has for us, but I pretend I didn’t see them.
We are ready to go, and I leave with hubby and in-laws. Maria says goodbye and when we are outside my mother in law asks everyone’s names but I tell her I’ve only met some of them once and couldn’t remember who was who“.
In Shelli’s dream the dream group is present at the house of the current Goddesses Mary. The Goddess has presents for everyone. The Maiden represented by the young girl has to go to the bathroom. She has to let go of emotions no longer needed. The dreamer herself also has to get rid of old water. Water as a symbol of the Goddess. Water as emotion, creation. In situations were I have a broken heart I usually dream about going to the bathroom. In “A branch of the Lightning Tree” Martin Shaw writes:
“Years can pass in our own lives between and event that caused us to both love and lose, and the slow birthing of insight that one day (seven years perhaps?) causes our shaman-fox to saunter through the groves of difficult remembering and shuffle out the seed we carry on into the rest of our lives. That seed could grow to contain any number of things -But some parenting is required: the other disciplines of the Queen or Magician have to come into play to help it grow into the bespoke shape it wants to become.”
With this perspective we can see the dream as an invitation to an initiation from the Goddess. The Goddess invites the dreamer to let go of her old emotions: the pee of the young girl and later on that of herself. She helps her Maiden and even puts her in the middle of the toilet, with her legs in it: now that is an invitation to an initiation! Changing waters, changing emotions, stepping forward. Her husband is there to help her unload, to get into her new life stage as Crown with a new view on love. And the dreamer finds gifts for everyone in the house of Maria. She does not open them yet, but the invitation is there! A very positive invitation…
The water element of the Goddess also played an important part in a dream of Maria Cernuto:
Goddess of the Water Element
I am involved in a sort of competition. A group of people creating altars, sacred space and rituals to express an aspect of the Goddess. I was assigned the element of water, so I was to honor Water Goddesses – others were assigned a different element (Fire Goddess, Air Goddess, and Earth Goddess). I placed the white statue of Venus that I have in WPR (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus) on the altar, and then I put the large conch shell I have in waking life in front of the statue to represent a vagina – I drape a strand of puka shells in the opening / spilling out, and a tubular shaped seasponge (also have these in waking life).
Recall hanging a poster on 1 of the 4 quarters’ walls – it was from the major arcana of R.J. Stewart’s Dreampower Tarot, “The Maiden” – a female wrapped in a white fluid like substance flowing from the blue-black background with a the Celtic Sheela na gig – her vulva exposed as usual with a white water-like excretion flowing out and wrapping around the female figure (see below).
I placed other art prints relating to Water Goddesses on the other walls – can’t recall what I used. We used items gathered from this one large room that was for everybody to build their ritual / altar with.
Maria Cernuto is an astrologer and the full moon at the time of dreaming was in Pisces. Connie Kaplan says in the Woman’s book of dreaming that dreams can involve water. Maria herself says about this dream:
I could use more water in terms of being more in touch with feelings / emotions (intercepted Moon in Capricorn in the 1st house — cold and repressed). I have Venus in a water sign, Cancer (Mothering/Birth), though it too is intercepted in the opposite house of the Moon, the 7th.
Venus relates to the arts though She expresses differently through either Taurus or Libra; the Morning and Evening Stars respectively. The former more sensual via singing / music, sculpting, makeup artistry / beauty, etc.; and the latter with refinement thru dance, poetry / literature, music / instruments, painting, etc.I get the message of birthing something with all the open vagina symbols, and water breaking type images. Some form of creativity to manifest.
The dreamer seems to be harvesting one of the four elements of the Goddess. She has an alchemical approach of the Goddess: there is a water, an air, an earth and a fire element to the Goddess. In our first week we have encountered the fire element in a dream shared by Carol (see paragraph Dreaming with the Triple Goddess week #1). In the second week we had the air element of the Goddess symbolised by the blue bird in the dream of Maria Cernuto (see Dreaming with the Triple Goddess week #2). And now she shares her vision on the water element of the Goddess as something she needs to cultivate. That is the harvest of the Goddess. The gift that Shelli saw in the first dream I shared in this paragraph.
Dreaming with the Triple Goddess week #4
The last week of our month of dreaming with the Goddess was dedicated to the Crone. I selected a paragraph of the incubation Debbie shared with us.
“The Crone is associated with the waning Moon and the moment of exact darkness of the moon before the new moon. She is also associated with autumn and winter. She is death but with the promise of new life. She is known as The Grandmother, she is past her child bearing days and bleeds no more and holds that power within. She is the Wise Woman and midwife, The Wisdom Keeper, Seer and Healer”.
The Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess is the most feared and misunderstood. She represents the most frightening aspects of humanity: destruction and death. In “Well of Remembrance” Barbel Kreidt tells about her meeting the Crone after spending a few days and nights in the desert.
“I am the Goddess who solves all riddles because I know everything. The golden one has sent me to you. Every person must gaze upon me at least once in life. I am veiled because my face is unendurable when it is unveiled. Yet whoever searches for knowledge can ask me to lift my veil”.
The nameless fear, the horror. Death, war disease, cruelty, the tortures of all times and the whole world can be seen therein. I hear the screams, the cries, the despair. It simply flows out of her face. A face as cold as stone, ageless. A model of ugliness. Inconceivable. With eyes that close for nothing. I take it into me and hear her voice as she tells me it is not enough to simply endure her. I must also love her.”
In our week of dreaming with the Crone she manifested herself as the Goddess of Ice in a dream of Shelli. In this dream the water of the Goddess has turned into slippery ice. Shelli has learned to control it. She skates, dances, controls it and finds her way home. The Goddess has shown her to let go of old emotions and now she has “thougned up” for the job. She twirrles and skates
I’m at my hometown arena, figure skating. There’s only a few of us on the ice. I am my present age but trying to see if I can do the jumps and spins I was able to do when I was skating.
There’s a coach from the south there to watch us, looking for exceptional skaters. I know I’m not one of them, but just have something to prove to myself. The coach is a bit arrogant, and I do my best to ignore him.
I start with some jumps as I work my way up to the more difficult doubles that I was able to do. There’s a bit of an audience as there will be a hockey practice after.
I decide it’s time to try some spins. I can do a basic upright corkscrew very well, but my camel spin isn’t very good. It’s slow and pathetic, so I go back to my jumps.
I see a few of the guys I went to school with and someone I don’t know in waking live but I know in my dream and want to show off without looking like I am. I don’t make eye contact and just pretend I am practicing.
I eventually am able to do the difficult doubles, all of them. I am very happy as they came a lot easier than I thought they would. Again, I am trying to be noticed but not obviously. I set up for the double lutzes and do them right in front of the one I’m trying to impress the most. And I do it very well!
I go back to do a few spins again, including a difficult entry camel from my right leg. Again it’s a bit pathetic, so I stick the jumps. I decide to see if I can do some double combos. I do a double toe double toe well enough and decide it’s time for a double lutz double toe. After a few attempts I land it. I am very happy with myself!
One of the Zamboni drivers when I skated tells us it’s time to get off. A coach tells him that they usually give us a but more time. He says he knows this and usually he can but there are hockey players out ready to practice.
I skate and do a few more lutzes, then get off the ice. I go to the lobby and sit on the floor. There’s other people there that I know. I wipe off my blades and look at them closely. The picks look well-used and I think I’ll need new blades, but there’s still enough of the blade left and they are very sharp still. I wipe them with my mitts to get them dry.
As I sit there, I see lots of family. I also see B. She asks if I need a ride as she’ll have to ask her parents. I tell her I can probably get a ride with my family. My younger brother says we can find a ride home and I see my aunt. I ask if we can go home with her. She says sure that she can do it. We get into the front of her truck and she drives us to our parents home. Recall fades.
Note (from Shelli). I believe this is about becoming confident in my abilities. I’ve always been doubtful that I am actually good at what I do. Also, I just discovered yesterday my new Director is someone who I skated sometimes with. I believe I am to be confident that she will see me as having great potential. Thank you, Goddess Crone for this gift!
When accepting coldness and arrogance that you encounter in this world as a fact of life and not as a personal rejection you can skate away on your own pace and find your way home again. I love how in this dream Sheli finds her way home again by accepting a drive from her mothers’ sister: her aunt. The love between sisters is strong. Do you remember the film Frozen? The Ice Queen Elsa showed that love was the only form of magic.
Loving yourself, embracing your own shadow is the gift of the Crone. To become an old man or old lady that is wise and accepting. Carol dreams a dream of accepting the two sides of everything: the Warrior and the Goddess, Logos and Mythos, the Shadow and our Conscious Self (it is no wonder that Elsa keeps creating mandala’s in the film frozen):
Another Wake Induced Lucid Dream visual: I am crying two times. My dreams seem to be repeating: there is two of everything. When my tear drops are falling from my eyes down my cheeks someone is holding what looks like a circular tin can to catch my tears while saying: “Have to get them before I die”. It is like this is a way of saving the energy of DNA. I am saying really like nothing notable.
There is no reason to be smart, there is every reason to just be yourself. To accept your wisdom, your sorrow, your pain, your joy. Like Clarissa Pinkola Estes says in Women who run with Wolves:
“If one overlooks a woman’s dual nature and takes a woman at face value, one is in for a big surprise, for when the woman’s wildish nature rises from her depths and begins to assert itself, she often has interests, feelings, and ideas which are quite different from those she expressed before.”
The tears with life juice are captured in a Grail-like tin.
The Grail as symbol dates back to the 12th century. It was said to have captured the blood of Christ. During the centuries the Grail has become a symbol for divine grace. To unite the God and the Goddess is a key to become the authentic Self.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
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What is Mindfunda about?
My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.
This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature”.
Grail and synchronicity
Several years ago I had a dream that ends with a voice-over telling me: “You belong to the court of Arthur“. I respond that Arthur is just a story.
I was wrong. The myth of King Arthur and the search for the grail is so much more.
Do you believe in synchronicity? When I requested a review copy of Robert Moss’s new book Sidewalk Oracles (a review is coming up, I am playing the games so I can walk the walk just as much as I talk the talk) something happened. Kim of New World Library asked me, “Would you also like a review copy of Romance of the Grail?” I gasped for breath; synchronicity did not just knock on my door, but kicked it in.
Years ago, after having the dream I mention above, I discovered that Arthur meant bear and bear was the totem animal of Robert Moss. The Bear is the oldest worshiped deity of the world, “So this is a bear god: the valley, and the river there , running by Lourdes, is called the River of the Bear (the Ourse). This is the God Arthur. I think I can make the point that Lake Geneva is therefore the source of the whole idea of King Arthur’s departure on a boat after his death to the Isle of the Golden Apple, the Isle of Avalon” (Romance of the Grail).
So I invited Robert Moss to give a workshop on Active Imagination in the Netherlands. And now his book about synchronicity guided me back to Arthur and the Grail
Romance of the Grail
Joseph Campbell coined the term monomyth. To quote Wikipedia: “..Monomyth refers to the theory that sees all mythic narratives as variations of a single great story. The theory is based on the observation that a common pattern exists beneath the narrative elements of most great myths, regardless of their origin or time of creation”.
That is an attractive idea isn’t it? The idea that we, members of the human race, are so very much alike in our needs, in our challenges and in our solutions, that the basic problems myths guide you through boil down to a couple of themes.
I want you to know that I find this a very work-able assumption even though it is criticized now. I also agree with the critics. Ellwood stated in 1999: “A tendency to think in generic terms of people, races … is undoubtedly the profoundest flaw in mythological thinking.” But putting that aside, I think the contribution Joseph Campbell made to mythology is phenomenal. He brought mythology to you and me, into our simple lives and made us feel the energy of the Gods and Goddesses.
The book is composed by Evans Lansing Smith who spent many hours reading and listening to lectures of Campbell and who attended a lot of his travels and workshops. By reading the notes of Campbell Lansing Smith was able to present the wealth of knowledge that Joseph Campbell left behind. The work of a man who used to read 4 hours every day for nine years with the sole purpose of educating himself. Reading this book will let you reap the fruits of his work on what is called “The most important mythology for the Western World”.
Romance of the Grail discovery #1
Editor Evans Lansing Smith, chair of the mythological studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, has composed a book that will elicit several aha’s.
He starts out with painting the background of Europe through the centuries. His main point is that there simply was no European culture. Europe was invaded by Indo-European tribes since the Neolithic times, 10,200–8,800 BC. and Roman Emperor Theodosius I, Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395, issued decrees that made Christianity the official religion of his Empire. Europe became subjected to a religion that had its origin in Jerusalem. The old pagan traditions were destroyed. The European (Western) emphasis on the individual shifted towards the Eastern sense of community spirit.
“So this totally alien point of view was imposed on Europe. Europe had perfectly good religions and mythologies and this other thing was brought on top of it.”
The Christian church believes that we are born in sin. Jesus Christ can save us but the only way to come close to Christ is to get the sacraments from a priest. And a priest was able to behave in a rather un-Christian manner, without being disciplined by the church. Of course not all of them, but many did. The Arthurian Romance is a way of dealing with this controversy.
Joseph Campbell’s never before published master’s thesis “The Dolorous Stroke” in the Appendix of this book provides clear insight into the genius of Campbell’s mind. His analysis of the similarities and differences in Grail stories with great detail. The Fisher King, based on Jesus his statement: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” is wounded by a lance at the time of a feast. So the King is wounded. Worse than that: he is made sterile. He can not reproduce anymore. And he is closely related to his land: his land also becomes infertile. This fertility God is wounded. The church is too much about following rules and ignores the spiritual side of the sun. The connection of people with their own sense of spirituality was cut off. The King was wounded.
The solution was to be found in love. Joseph Campbell’s Romance of the Grail distinguishes between erotic passion and agape: spiritual love. The romance that the Grail perspective prescribes is a combination of love that is born in the eyes as well as in the heart. Parzival as described in Wolfram van Eschenbach (German knight and poet who inspired Wagner’s Parsifal and who uses the name Parzifal spelled with a z), is a happily married man who enters the Castle, meets the Fisher King but does not ask the question: Who serves the Grail?
I just told you that love was the answer.
No here is a happily married man, married out of love which was quite uncommon in these days. He is in the castle, with the wounded King. So all the variables are present but no catharsis. No solution. He fails to ask the question that could heal the King. Why?
Blame it on the mother? He was told not to ask too many questions. He did not want to come across as impolite. So he dismissed the question in his heart. Growing up you need to decide if you are going to head your parental advice or if you are going your own way. And make some mistakes along the path. Because the mother of Parsifal wanted him to be polite.
Again here is a mythical notion to let rules be rules. To follow the heart. Campbell said “Follow your Bliss” for a reason. Don’t we all know that moment when we follow conventions while our heart screams out something different?
Romance of the Grail discovery #2
An important theme in the Grail stories is the theme of enchantment versus disenchantment. Sometimes in dreams you are the only one who sees flowers. Sometimes in waking live you are the only one who sees the beauty of a person, of an event or of a tragedy.
“Everything needed is already there only it is not being seen. And what the hero is to do is to clarify the situation”
I remember a few months before my mothers’ death I had a dream of her sitting with a sister of mine at the couch in the palace of the Bishop. I saw flowers everywhere. All the guests where talking, laughing and eating and I seemed to be the only one aware of those flowers. I followed the trail outside. In the hallway there was an undertaker. I felt so much grief in my heart when I handed over the flowers to him (a lot of the flowers lay on the floor at his feet). I asked him to take good care of my mother. Waking up I realized that I could only survive the loss of my last parent by seeing and honoring the flowers embedded in the situation.
There is enchantment in the descent to the underworld to meet the dark aspects of your soul. To become aware that deep in the darkness is the soil that nourishes the flowers. And to realize that not everybody will appreciate them. That there are people who do not even see them. What was the last time when you saw flowers where no one else noticed them?
Romance of the Grail discovery #3
Almost all of us know the Grail as the story of the love between Guinevere and Lancelot. In our time this theme is relevant and the most handsome actors and actresses depict the honorable fight between lust, love and honor. In 1995, the film First night depicted Richard Gere as the attractive Lancelot who tried to walk away from temptation. Romance of the Grail explains how a story about the ancient Celtic fertility gods was reshaped in a story about adultery.
“After Renaissance, a god wounded by a lance, whose injury entails the blight of his land and the misery of his people, revived by a magic question or salve of blood was incredible. Therefore it was not surprising that Tennyson should have substituted a sin of adultery: the sin of Guinevere and Lancelot”.
In the middle ages in the story Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette written by Chrétien de Troyes this love mentioned for the first time.
Guinevere was abducted by a Lord that belongs to the underworld. In ancient times ladies were in the habit of being abducted, waiting for a knight to come and rescue them. While Arthur stays at Camelot, Lancelot climbs on his horse and goes out for his love. He drives so hard that two horses die. He hesitates for three steps if he would take a cart driven by a churl. He would be faster in the tower were Guinevere is kept prison but a card is used for people who ride in the cart are being taken to be hanged or punished in some way. He hesitates for three steps but takes the cart.
Next trial is what we know as the Perilous bed.
“This is the masculine experience of the feminine temperament: that it doesn’t quite make sense, but there it is. That’s the way it’s shifting this time, that’s the way it’s going that time. The trial is to hold on, be patient and don’t try to solve it. Just endure it, and then all the boons of beautiful womanhood will be yours.” [Transformations of Myth Through Time]. Once a hero has integrated the anima or the feminine side of his character there is another challenge. The bridge of Swords.
The bridge of swords is the Razor’s edge as Somerset Maugham described it in his novel.
If you follow your own path you can be swept away by your own passion. As Jeffrey Leach puts it on Amazon in a review: “The Razor’s Edge” really has a simple message. It asks us to reflect on how we lead our lives. Do we follow the masses or seek inner fulfillment? Is it right or wrong to drop out of society and follow our inner selves? Maugham makes us ponder these questions as he introduces us to his characters.
Finally our hero frees Guinevere out of the tower but she is as cold as ice. Why? Because he hashesitated for three steps. His ego for that moment was a few seconds stronger as the passion in his heart. No mercy for the brain. Ask yourself: when was the last time I acted out of love, without thinking? At this moment whose path do you follow? Your own? And if so: that is still no guarantee for fulfillment: you have to walk on a sharp edge to avoid getting cut. It is almost impossible, but it is worth it.
Romance of the Grail conclusion
I started this blog by telling you that being offered Romance of the Grail for a review was a moment of synchronicity. So while reading it and making notes I tried to look at why Arthur, the Bear, came knocking again. In four years I have made certain steps to follow my passion about mythology, spirituality and dreaming. And what everybody told me: that it does not pay the bills, unfortunately is true. Still I feel rewarded in so many other aspect: the people I meet, the books I read, controlling my own time.
I like the way the Romance of the Grail is crafted. I like the fact that The Dolorous Stroke is an appendix of this book. I feel so much more informed about the symbols and the themes that prevail in the Arthur myth that I can only advice you to read the book and let the magic work for you. As Joseph Campbell explains:
“We have recognized at the heart of the Celtic mythology, a belief in the might of magic”. I think we should all shelter and nurture this believe.
“Can the Grail be here? You range through the house seeking, only to return to the great sky-lit space. She says, “Be still, and open. Stand like a tree, open like a flower, like a chalice, at your crown.” You remember the crown you once wore and you let that go, and open. “Drink the light.” You drink deep, and something opens deeper in you in the cavity of the heart, a cup is filing with light. Light streams from the heart, pure waterfall, and you know you have found the Grail, in the one place it can be found“.
This is Mindfunda's presentation for the Dream Weekend organized by the Dutch society for dreamers: Vereninging voor de Studie van Dromen (VSD) . Unfortunately influenza payed me an uninvited visit. I was not able to attend the weekend. Aad van Ouwerkerk, author and dream worker read my presentation to the visitors. I thank him for doing that.
This is a series of blogs about my proces of dreaming my way through the Red Book. I have divided it into five steps:
Psychic Power and dreamsAnimus/anima dreams
The Self in dreams, that is the subject of this blog. In Jungian Psychology Defining “The Self” is the Grail, the ultimate goal of the journey of life…
The Self in Dreams: an example
You kind of know who you are by now. But in ancient times Know Thyself was an ultimate wisdom. How can you use dreams to get to know yourself better?
As a Jungian you have to be aware that you are creating and co creating your Self. Your persona, your shadow it is all part of your authentic self. Everything I talked about in the other four steps leads to the acknowledgment of the Self. So I am going to end this blog by sharing a wonderful dream of Jodine. In my eyes it represents the Self. The dream theater of the soul, the loss of the familiar family and the acceptance of the relative unknown as aid to find your way back home. To her surprise she finds a baby in a red cradle. A child of joy The red book is like the passionate eros, baby and grown man. I hope you have fun reading it!
Dream location is a small theater space. There is a director working with actors who are practicing and producing a play. He is an older man and seems familiar to me, reminds me of ? Can’t quite place him though I see him with grayish short curly hair, intelligent, very perceptive and also aware of me as well as the actors and everything going on. The creative authority.
The scene develops into a very grand theater, like one in London where there are massive balconies all around as well as the main floor stage and seating. The play is now proceeding in full costume and action and the cast is enlarged.
I am with others, a group of us, on an upper level watching the performance. Our group is maybe a dozen people and Terry and David (my son) and other familiar people are with me. We are very excited that the “house” is full, every seat taken. A big success.
Before this scene or perhaps after, the time is Dream time, not chrono time, and so proceeds in a circular or all at once kind of time: there is this action-
I am with my gang though a smaller number than in the theater. We are in a large bookstore which is also a meeting place, like Shakespeare & Company( the real store in London & also the original one in Paris which appeared in the book I was just reading in waking reality).
I receive a message, a physical slip similar to a telegram on blue or purplish paper. It indicates the name of the theater director/playwright who I am to look up & make a connection with. The note was sent from Joy Fatooh. Even as I receive it I discover to my surprise and pleasure that Joy is right there in the store! We are thrilled to see each other. Her son is with her and he is a small boy or infant who has been placed in a red cradle, a very quaint old-fashioned one, by the cash register. There are many layers of cool little shirts for him in the cradle. Seems he or Joy can choose which ones to take and wear. Her son is both a baby and also grown- there is a timelessness about him. I am very happy to see Joy and also Joy’s son.
Final scene of dream which seems to come after the theater performance:
As the play ends and amid great celebration of the success & huge turnout for it, we rise and start to leave our seats. I want to talk to the director and commend him so I’m a little behind the others who are leaving.
My group is moving fast exiting the theater & I hurry to keep up but lose sight of them outside the hall. We are in a university like area, perhaps Cal Berkeley. I try to follow where I think they’ve gone but lose track of them. I see a formal sculptural medallion or shield made of porcelain which appears to be the insignia of the university or institution &’I see it as a potential landmark to find my way. I had noted a similar one inside the building as well as now seeing it on the outside.
There is a long ramped walkway and as I proceed on it remembering we’ve come this way I realize it has changed or isn’t the same ramp- walkway & so won’t help me get to where I need to go to reunite with my group.
I then decide I need to call someone to locate them. I call Dave Emerson who was with my friends/ family! (This is a surprise, it would have been more expected for me to call Terry or David.)
So I hope to have helped you soul searching. I certainly enjoyed dreaming my way through the Red Book. if you have any questions, be sure to post them. Just remember: It is all about love. Like “We fall in love not just with a person wholly external to us but with a fantasy of how that person can fill what is missing from our interior lives”.