Archive for the ‘Hero’s Journey’ Category

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Commencement!

December 18, 2010

Have I told you lately that I am content!?!?!?!? Ecstatic even????

Oh my goodness what a ride this last nearly four years has been… and now after having been caught in the undertow, the spin cycle, and the roller coaster – I am being catapulted out the other side…and I am here to tell you with absolute certainty and joy that it was worth every moment of suffering and difficulty and ecstasy and joy!

 

Have I mentioned lately how ab*soul*utley enchanted I am?

Well… I am!

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Coniunctio

April 24, 2010

I am participating in a six month Archetypal Journey of Twelve Wise Women – well maybe 11 wise women and me!

Our work for tomorrow is coniunctio… and I haven’t come up with my participatory piece yet. But something that is niggling me is the colors – red, white, black.

Maybe because I just worked with making intuition dolls and we talked about Vasilisa and her red boots, her black skirt, and her white apron. And there is also the imagery of the three horsemen – red, black, white, and there is also something with alchemy – black – to white – to red – to gold – and the words negredo, albedo, and  rubedo – and how the work of mining the unconscious, working with shadow, brings up gold from our depths and our own darkness once brought to the light of consciousness.

Any ideas? references? Stories? that might help me go to the next place with this?

And in an interesting synchronicity – I have recently been in contact with two men who participated in a gender conversation last spring. First women sat in a circle and spoke about what it means and feels like to be a woman in our culture and the men formed a protective container in a circle around us, and then the women switched with the men, and we had the rare chance to peek into the inner world of the wounded masculine. That experience rocked my world – and a year later – the conversation continues with these two Sacred Warrior men.

For quite some time I have believed that women have done enough work to come to the marriage of the Sacred Masculine and the Divine Feminine – but men haven’t been able to have the same space to do this work – and we as women are somehow acting as gatekeepers in a way that doesn’t allow this work.

The goddess is alive and afoot and present… and looking for her mature, masculine partner… and he isn’t here yet. And it isn’t because men don’t yearn to do the work – I believe they do… It is because our culture socializes boys and men into narrow realms of expression.

James Hollis has a wonderful passage in his book Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life about women and men.

Women are usually far more emotionally differentiated  – that is, they
have a much keener awareness of their inner reality, have a range of
friends who support their process of growth, and have already
undertaken a wider range of personal exploration.  Today’s woman
remembers a grandmother who suffered the horror of gender
discrimination and had few professional choices.  Her mother was
caught in a changing world, whipsawed between motherhood and
unprecedented opportunities for career.  Today’s younger woman sees
models all around her, and is just as likely to define herself through
her work as her grandmother did through her homemaking.  But at least
she has a choice today.  Many choose to do both, and most struggle
heroically to balance the world of domestic and professional
responsibilities.  And often without an understanding, and supportive
spouse.

At the same time, in speaking to women’s groups, I have suggested that
women look at men this way: if they took away their own network of
intimate friends, those with whom they share their personal journey,
removed their sense of instinctual guidance, concluded that they were
almost wholly alone in the world, and understood that they would be
defined only by standards of productivity external to them, they would
then know the inner state of the average man.  They are horrified at
the notion. <snip>

Addendum from:

Title: Initiation and Meaning in the Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Author(s): N. J. Girardot
Source: The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 90, No. 357 (Jul. – Sep., 1977), pp. 274-300
Publisher(s): American Folklore Society

During mid-winter the Queen wishes for a child “white as snow, red as blood, black as wood.”

And…

From a comparative perspective, the color symbolism in some primitive situations involves the idea of a union
of the red (menstrual blood) and white (semen) through the agency of the black (the ritual “death” involved in the initiation and marriage union).

I find this fascinating as I am also working through this tale in the Dangerous Old Woman series right now… Guess this is really working me? yes?

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The Red Book

September 26, 2009

redbookAnd Jungians, almost by definition, tend to get enthused anytime something previously hidden reveals itself, when whatever’s been underground finally makes it to the surface.

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I wrote the check

April 26, 2009

Paraphrasing Jung – The greatest determinant in the life of a child is the unlived potential of the parent.

My husband launched from high school in the sixties – when women had to wear skirts to class! and all freshmen wore beanies! I launched from high school in the seventies – when women believed they could do everything – become a CEO and have the house with the white picket fence – and men were breaking out of the IBM mode of dutiful husband and father.

My husband dutifully went off to college, followed the rules, earned a BS, an MS and then a Ph.D. I rebelled, graduated from HS early, moved out and eventually found myself back in higher education earning a BS and an MS and now am back for an Ed.S. So – even though we are of different generations – education is important to us as parents!

When our son was little – I imagined that he might want to take a year off after high school and decompress and forget everything they had stuffed into him (my need obviously not his!). As he began to differentiate as a teenager – I realized that he had some gifts and skills that differed from and exceeded mine and his needs were different than mine. I had a paradoxical mixture of pride! and panic!

And now – he is about to launch! It was a tough decision – several tempting offers and with each campus visit he was seduced and fell in love. In the end, he chose a school that is smaller, less flashy, filled with kids who are not easily defined as leaders or followers – filled with kids who are not easily defined!

He chose a school with a liberal arts focus – a place where he could take Music Theory to satisfy a math requirement and Acting to satisfy a public speaking requirement. My hope is that it will be a good fit for the next four years.

And now – there is the grieving that takes place for the roads not chosen… the what ifs… and it would have been that way no matter what school he chose.

I am so proud of him! This wasn’t an easy process. I struggled to not be overinvested – while knowing that my expertise in higher education could be useful to him! My husband struggled because he knew which school  he wanted him to go to and wasn’t all that subtle about it at times. And our son struggled because he is on the cusp – he is about to leap into the unknown. There are lots of exciting things to come – and also some uncertainty, doubt, fear, and dread. I wouldn’t change places with him for anything!

And I am so proud I am popping my buttons!

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Contemplative Practices

December 31, 2008

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Wildness

July 26, 2008

“I believe we each carry true wildness, and, thanks to that wildness, our lives need not be determined by our biological inheritance or our prior experience. Perhaps our lives are most creative and fulfilling when we have accessed and embodied that wildness, our deepest individual potentials, the destinies for which we were born… our souls.”

Bill Plotkin – Nature and the Human Soul

Many of you who visit here are familiar with the archetype of the wild woman as described by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women who run with the Wolves. Recently I met a young woman who was trying to read the book and she couldn’t “get into it…” When I first encountered the book – I was unable to find a way to hear her at first – and then I got the CD version and listened to her mesmerizing voice – over and over she told the stories of La Loba – and I was able to activate the archetype through the use of sound.

Today someone sent me a recording of a trance session. There is the sound of the drum and then the sound of two women talking over each other. The effect is powerful – and after a minute or so, I gave up conscious listening and just let the sensation enter my consciousness and activate my unconscious.

I supposed I am musing about wildness and sensation today because of the four ways of knowing – imagery, thinking, and feeling, sensing is my least developed function.

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Paradigm of Partnership

April 27, 2008

Last week I continued my musings on the Sacred Masculine. The fates provided and I had the opportunity to talk with a man who works with young men around the issues of what it means to be a man. We quickly found that we had common interests and a shared passion for the use of nature in the mending of our wounded psyches.

Speaking of nature…

It gives me great hope when someone like Oprah is reading David Wagoner. I am probably one of the few people on the planet who is not following along with her as she reads Eckhart Tolle but I read on Fran’s blog that she had read Lost on her webcast. I’ll know there is hope for the world when she discovers David Whyte!

Oprah has a lot of power to focus attention on things that she thinks are valuable. If Oprah is convinced that bringing back the old teaching stories (like the story told in “Lost”) is important, there is hope for us yet.

Also last week, I received my newsletter from The Center for the Sacred Feminine. Oh how I long to go retreat with them… my time will come I know. Right now my work needs to remain local – no matter how tempted I am to travel. It isn’t lost on me that as soon as I made this local commitment that a series of enticing temptations for travel have appeared.

So as I finished reading the newsletter, the phrase ‘paradigm of partnership’ leaped off the page and gave me the sustenance I need to continue my work with the balancing of masculine and feminine divinity.