Myth & Folklore

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.

Descent: A Woman's Mystery

with Katrina Messenger

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:43pm.

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Recent comments

  • Nephthys (not verified)

    I've been with Firefly for a number of years, I recently left my position at The Firefly Community to pursue other dreams but to be clear how much I was involved before I address the statements made, I was a teacher, Priestess, member of the Inner Circle of the Council of Elders, Course Contributor, Clergy, Delegate and Divination reader so I was quite involved with Firefly on many levels.

    I am offended by your statement that Firefly is cultish. Given my involvement as listed above I can safely say that Firefly members are not cultish in behaviour nor is Firefly cultish in of itself. I am no longer involved with Firefly in any strong capacity other than that of a student so I can also safely say this is not coming from a blind faith position. I will be the first to admit that part of the reason I left Firefly was because I did not agree with some of the changes Lady Iris intended to make, that being said, I don't support the idea that abuse should be turned into a political statement.

    I don't know Sean and I am not close to Lady Iris (I live in a different country) and have not commented on the situation with her marriage but some of his behaviours are reprehensible. If a President did this he would be impeached and booted so I fail to see why it should be ignored and relegated to 'personal marital issues' when behaviour like this is indicative of larger psychological issues. If Sean Bennett is allowed to use and abuse women in this fashion, eventually he would work his way through the single ladies in the OHF and what would you be left with?

    1 year 50 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I for one have been pondering this question. Iris did highlight a valuable point - how are checks and balances established to prevent potential abuse and to air concerns. These are hard lessons that groups need to learn.

    Without denying people their agency, how do you set up a system that will prevent abuse by other members? How far does a group go to ensure the mental and emotional safety of the adult members?

    For example, I know with my disability (brain injury), I would deeply resent being told that the group is looking out for my best interests. It would seem to be paternalistic on the group's part to assume that I cannot fend for myself. But because of my disability, I can be easy prey for a con-artist. How do you solve a dilemma like that? Can this be encoded or is this sort of thing too nebulous to pin down?

    1 year 51 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I have a traumatic brain injury.

    That being said, I got caught in the cross-fire in the Firefly Campaign, since I did not get with the program - i.e. Firemoon was abused by a sexual predator, who for the sake of the community had to be removed. I was shocked at how this mantra was repeated over and over everywhere it could be. I was shocked at how the Firefly folks did not identify themselves as they sought to achieve their goals. It left a poor taste about Firefly in my mouth since I started to regard them as "cultish", incapable of independent thought or discussion. Also it disturbed me how the Firefly folks who had nothing to do with DC, carried water in the campaign as well.

    Since I had lot of free time, I researched the consistent posters and everything I could find, and an disturbing picture arose. The one you described of a one-sided campaign to achieve a stated end, without proper identification or perspective.

    As for the brain injury - I got raked over the coals for making light of the issue from an avowed healer, who thought my injury was a ruse. That scared me into thinking that perhaps my impression of the "cultishness" of the Firefly group was true. (I know cult is a loaded word, but I cannot think of the word that would indicate a group of people, emotionally inflamed with one mission in mind, and not allowing any dissent.)

    1 year 51 weeks ago
  • Kali Firemoon (not verified)

    Katrina,

    I am so sorry that we have not met yet since it so obvious from your comments that you are a close personal friend of Iris’s and know all there is to know about the situation from a front row seat. I mean, after all, one who has seen a woman four months pregnant, losing weight and physically appearing to not be pregnant would of course understand the emotional, and yes, physical stress she was under. But of course, since you were there I don’t need to remind you of that. So lets move on to the rest of the story, you know where her husband chose to have unprotected sex with someone else, who I am sure was a complete virgin and posed no risk to mother or child, and then husband went home to engage in carnal activities with his wife, confident that his unborn child was never at risk. Yes, I am sure that all of your female students understand why you are firmly in the husband’s court. After all, it’s always the woman’s fault when marriages go bad. Or at least that is what I seem to glean from your article. Yes, I am Firefly, and I was one of the one’s chosen to help this woman after she was victimized by this predator who seems to have persuaded the pagan community that it is acceptable to treat not one, not two but at last count four woman as though they were simply a means to his end. And BTW I know she attempted to alert the community to her situation and apparently no one felt it worth even a cursory investigation. Oh yes, one more example of us not wanting to rock any one’s boat. I will tell you that in response to her story, several other pagan women have come forward with similar stories of abuse reported to the male members of a community met with similar disdain and an obvious desire to hide this type of behavior. Do I believe it happened this time, yes; do I believe that this community is willing, no matter the cost, to hide this type of behavior, yes. No one wants to call attention to the pagan community because we already have an undeserved stigma. But that does not mean we should allow behavior none of us condone simply because we are afraid of controversy. If one of us needs be sanctioned, then we either stand and sanction or accept the stigma so many would place upon us. We need to “police” our own. When four and probably five women come forth and tell the same story of predatory behavior against women we either act or fold the tents and go home. So I suggest you talk to all of them before you post any more pontifications. I also realize you can never post this but we both know you will have read it.

    1 year 51 weeks ago
  • Cara Schulz (not verified)

    Hello Katrina,
    Although we know one another, mostly online but also when we met at Sacred Harvest Festival, for your readers let me note that I'm the Managing Editor of PNC-News and the Co-Editor of PNC-Minnesota. I was the primary author of the PNC-News statement that you are writing about.

    The persons who contacted me asking when PNC would cover this were not Firefly members. Most were not local to DC, but were Pagans and polytheists in other parts of the country who had donated to the Pagan community center in DC and naturally had an interest in it. Why would they contact me? Because I'm the Managing Editor and people often contact me to ask if PNC is covering a story or to request that we cover a story. That's how we get many of our articles - through our readers.

    As for why PNC-News put two different situations in one statement, it's because they are related in nature and both needed to be addressed promptly.

    If anyone has any questions, we encourage them to contact us and ask them.

    1 year 51 weeks ago
  • Kat, Emralde (not verified)

    Thank you for this perspective. I very much appreciate the voice of the elders as I struggle with my own (not-voiced) feelings about this situation and its outcome.

    2 years 1 week ago