Myth & Folklore

Patterns of Oppression

Using the myths of classic Greece, Uranus, Cronus and Zeus, we can identify patterns of oppression within the archetypal field of patriarchy.

Within the continuing crisis in Missouri, all of these myths are at work. Starting October 22, 2014, I will expand on this topic across three weekly online seminars. Join us by registering at www.reflectionsmyst.org.

Devouring Fathers

Late last year I was thinking a lot about the mythic symbolism associated with Uranus, Cronus and Zeus. Uranus who despised his children, the Titans, even pushed his youngest children back into Gaia’s womb (into the darkest part of the underworld) causing her great pain. Uranus was defeated when Gaia gave Cronus a weapon that could dispatch his father.

Cronus, because he feared being overthrown, swallowed his children that were sired with his sister Rhea. Rhea hid Zeus from Cronus, and when Zeus grew up he freed the underworld Titans to help him to defeat his father.

The mothers aided each of the conquering sons. In the myth associated with Demeter and Persephone, it is Zeus who allows his own daughter Kore to be adducted and taken to the underworld. And once again it is Kore’s mother, Demeter, who is critical in her escape.

The reason these myths began to resonate with me was because I started thinking of my relationship with my own father and his relationship with his grandfather. In each of these myths, the fathers cripple their children’s growth and development by sending them into various symbols for the unconscious – pushing them back into the womb, swallowing them and arranging an underworld abduction. And in each case, it is the mothers who arrange the circumstances that lead to their escape.

Why do these ancient fathers need their children to remain unconscious? In The case of Uranus and Cronus, they somehow knew that their children would challenge their rule. Classically the old king must die before the young/new king can emerge.

But I believe there is more to these myths than simply the usurping of the old in preference for the new. Collectively these myths articulate the origins of patriarchy and displays the patterns of oppression within its archetypal field.

Join us online starting October 22 from 8 to 9:30 pm Eastern.

Register at www.reflectionsmyst.org

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Fri, 10/10/2014 - 8:41pm.

Why Talk About Myths?

“With the world going to hell in a hand-basket, why on earth are you wasting time talking about myths and fairytales?”

This is the unspoken question I face nowadays as I promote my upcoming myth series, Loss of Innocence. It is an excellent question, I must admit. There seems to be no end to the list of atrocities, scandals, political shenanigans, massacres and environmental outrages. It seems as if we either need to storm the battlements for life, liberty and justice or collectively bury our heads in the sand.

At a time like this, why would anyone want to spend her time studying those old tales of endangered children, mean middle aged women and absent fathers? Why indeed?

As I mentioned way back in one of my very first blogs, the old gods do not just fade away when their temples are destroyed. They remain in this realm by inhabiting or overshadowing those elements of nature that most resemble them in power, attitude and focus. So the gods of war haunt the battlefields and the gods of love leer suggestively in the red light districts. The gods of healing cycle through the hospital air system and the gods of knowledge sink into the libraries and lecture halls.

The same is true for the old tales.

When these old stories, like the old gods, are no longer spoken about around the glowing embers, when the dark is no longer propitiated with song and dance, and the bloodied teeth of the night terrors are no longer allowed to move freely through the words and gestures of the griot ... they take on lives of their own.

And these old tales and these old gods come alive without the mediation of culture, elders and the soul of humanity. So instead of us offering the first fruits of the harvest to the agricultural deities, we instead place monsanto derivatives into their soil of their bodies. Instead of offerings for the sweet waters of our rivers, we let industrial and superfarm waste spread diseases to all that lives down river. (And face it, we all live down river.) So the stories and the gods become distorted caricatures of their real nature. So the tortured land taints our food. And the dark tales enters the blood of the willing and terror is let loose upon the land .... and upon our very children.

So I seek answers within the words of our ancestors. Maybe we can identify why the wolf waited for Red Riding Hood instead of devouring her as soon as he found her in the woods. Or we can learn the skills of the dwarfs and rescue the lost children. Or maybe, we can strengthen our hearts, brains, homes and courage for the work that is already in our hands. And then maybe, just maybe ... we can reconcile these beasts of our own makings.

Surely it is worth a try. Join me for the first seminar on February 27th at 8 pm eastern. You can either dial in on our toll free number or join via the internet. This first session is free. Register online at www.reflectionsmyst.org

See you then.

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Sun, 02/10/2013 - 11:21pm.

The Challenge of the Present

I have mentioned in recent lectures that the current American political climate can be modeled as a clash between sensates and intuitives.

In my upcoming book, I define sensates and intuitives as corresponding to earth and air respectively. In the Myers Briggs and Kiersey personality type systems, it is the S and N split. In mythic terms, it is the ancient battle amongst the angels side by side with the battles between the Titans and Olympians. Sensate language is concrete and specific, while intuitive language is abstract and filled with metaphors. In esoteric terms it is the difference between the ethereal realm of Yesod versus the manifest realm of Malkuth.

Sensates peer longingly at the past and fear the future. While intuitives fear the past and look hopefully toward the future. But we each are the shadow of the other. So when sensates view the future of the intuitives, they see social chaos, family turmoil and eternal damnation. While intuitives are aghast at the past of the sensates, filled with stifling soul killing traditions, myopic disregard for minorities and women, and an ignorance born of shortsightedness.

What is a challenge to both is the present moment. Sensates and intuitives need each other because the information we both hold is needed to meet the challenges of the present. No we can not go back to the past, but there were gifts and values we cherish that need to be remembered and preserved. And although it is frightening to face a future of uncertainty, there is hope and promise that needs to be nurtured and shaped. And the sensates can help us remember, while the intuitives can give us hope … together.

Because in a global economy, none of us truly wants to return to the blindness and social injustice of our American past, nor do we want to un-tether ourselves from the societal and cultural traditions that have helped many of us to survive and thrive. And in a world facing the challenges of an environmental crisis, can we really make the changes we need without engaging the passions of all our citizens. We need to find common language, common values and work together. And we need to be specific.

What will not work is pandering to our fears. The American politic is dangerously close to a civil war. I have said it before and I will say it again. Although the American boogieman is “a black man with an erection coming over the wall”, what actually frightens us the most are angry white men. And we have seen a lot of images of angry white men and frightened white women lately.

So yes, the tone of the campaign needs to definitely calm down. But more importantly, we need to all step out of our shadows and into the present moment. Believe me, there are enough problems in the here and now without reaching into our collective unconscious.

So when we see those traumatized and frighten sensates, try to remember that they are being played ... just like the rest of us.

© 2008 Katrina Messenger

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 10:33am.

2009 Reflections Intensive: Answering The Call!

Somewhere in the darkness, someone or something is calling to you.

You have heard it in your dreams,
And within your quiet moments alone.
You have heard its whispers as you gazed into the crashing waves of the ocean,
Or wandered under the canopy of old growth trees.
You have seen it in the swirling waters of the babbling creek,
And in the mountain mists in the early morning light.
You have felt it with the crickets on the darkest nights,
And within the howling voices of storms and hurricanes.
Something deep inside the recesses of your own heart whispers your name.
Mysteries from within the deep and ancient places are calling to you.

Maybe it is time for you to answer that call.

February 13th -16th, 2009
(Presidents Day Weekend)

An extended weekend filled with myth, mystery and magick.
Includes 8 meals and three nights lodging along the picturesque Potomac River.

Early registration opens September 1st.

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 8:17pm.

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