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The Power Of Myth

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2013 at 9:03 am
Campbell and Jean Erdman c. 1939

Campbell and Jean Erdman c. 1939 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Ask and ye shall receive, knock and the door shall be opened to you,” Luke 11:9

Joseph Campbell tells us:

“The ego cannot reflect upon  itself unless it has a mirror, against which to read itself, and that mirror would be the mythological  schedule that lets it know where it is.”

He also wrote,” It doesn’t help to try to change (an imposed system) to accord with your system of thought. The momentum of history behind it is too great for anything, really significant to evolve from that kind of action. The thing to do is learn to live in your period of history as a human being, that is something else, and it can be done.”

But I have a question. At what point does the “Momentum of history” lag behind the need for change or some form of evolution where the individual can truly find myths in his “Period of history” that are relevant. What if you live in a myth less age or at best the myths you have feel more like a Labyrinth where a proverbial Minotaur awaits you.

Campbell goes on to say . “Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.”  In other words myths are indispensable, and needed in order to survive and thrive in life. Myths inspire us.

In the book, Your Mythic Journey, Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox postulate,”The dominant myth that informs a person or a culture is like the ‘information’ contained in DNA or the program in the systems disk of a computer. Myth is the software, the cultural DNA, the unconscious information, the meta-program that governs the way we see ‘reality’ and the way we behave.”

“But in the same measure that myth gives us security and identity, it also creates selective blindness, narrowness, and rigidity because it is intrinsically conservative. It encourages us to follow the faith of our fathers, to hold to the time-honored truths, to imitate the way of the heroes, to repeat the formulas and rituals in exactly the same way they were done in the good old days. As long as no radical change is necessary for survival, the status quo remains sacred, the myth and ritual are unquestioned, and the patterns of life, like the seasons of the year, repeat themselves.”

There are periods in history when generational myths require restructuring or complete absolution from our psyches altogether. A shape shifting of our archetypes. The 1960″s was such a period.

Unlike previous post war decades, the 1960’s was a decade of revolution. Many young people started doubting the values that were passed down by previous generations. Many of the ideas presented in the sixties continue to evolve today. It is interesting to note that this was a period of a significant Uranus -Pluto contact.

Walter Isaacson on Steve Jobs and the sixties. “The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. “The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.”  In astrological terms this was the beginning of a 138-year Uranus-Pluto synodic cycle. This was a time of planting seeds for new myths to grow.

Nick Antony Fiorenza clarifies that the present Uranus-Pluto synodic cycle is a major evolutionary transition for us all, that heralds us into a new time/paradigm on earth. Synodic Cycles are created when two (or more) planets align in their orbits around the Sun. The synodic cycle theme, defined by the planets involved and the star alignments at the time, will unfold until the two planets align again, marking the completion of the synodic cycle and the beginning of the next one. Our current Uranus-Pluto square may stimulate the creation of new technologies and modalities of thought motivated from structural systems and societal modalities that simply no longer work. Mr. Fiorenza goes on to state it can motivate radical and mind-expanding change in the very foundation of matter, energy and consciousness that breaks us from very deep-seated and long-standing genetic, cultural and social behavioral patterns. This seems like a very tall order to me. Anyway one thing is for certain it is certainly a stressful time, the Uranus-Pluto synod is probably the most stressful combinations of planets. We are currently living through one of the most stressful periods in human history, at least since the origin of this particular synod which began with the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1964. We are currently in the most intense period of this Uranus-Pluto synodic square, the exact square taking place on, November 24, 2013, in between the fourth and fifth Uranus square Pluto transits. This marks the most stressful period of the cycle until the period between the sixth and seventh square, which takes place between December 15, 2014 and March 17, 2015.

Socially and politically we can see this all around us, as the present synodic cycle constructs and deconstructs myth. This is a defining moment in history. The wonderful astrologer and book author Elsa Panizzon said of the current Uranus-Pluto square, that no one really knows what is going to happen, and if they tell you they know, they are basically fools.  She did not say this exactly, but it is the jest of it. I think this is true. It takes courage to look into the undefined and not be fearful. In his book “How to Have a Life-Style”, the wise and witty Quentin Crisp said many years ago, ” present day society, with its constant change, its deafening communication, its almost total loss of definition, has produced a climate of bewilderment so profound that in it personally disintegrates in all but the most persistently self-aware. What we need, therefore, is a reaffirmation of personal boundaries. If to look upward is in vain because, to put it politely, You Know Who is apparently  resting, and to gaze about us is unbearable, where else is there to look but within?”

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