Numbers, furthermore as archetypal structural constants of the collective unconscious, possess a dynamic, active aspect which is especially important to keep in mind. It is not what we can do with numbers but what they do to our consciousness that is essential.
A woman has her Juno, just as a man has his Genius; they are names for the sacred power, the divine spark we each of us have in us. My Juno can't get into me, it is already my deepest self. The poet was speaking of Juno as if it were a person, a woman, with likes and dislikes: a jealous woman.The world is sacred, of course, it is full of gods, numina, great powers and presences. We give some of them names--Mars of the fields and the war, Vesta the fire, Ceres the grain, Mother Tellus the earth, the Penates of the storehouse. The rivers, the springs. And in the storm cloud and the light is the great power called the father god. But they aren't people. They don't love and hate, they aren't for or against. They accept the worship due them, which augments their power, through which we live.
On my journey from the fantastical to the practical, spirituality has gone from being a mystical experience to something very ordinary and a daily experience. Many don’t want this, instead they prefer spiritual grandeur, and I believe that is what keeps enlightenment at bay. We want big revelations of complexity that validates our perceptions of the divine. What a let down it was to Moses when God spoke through a burning bush! But that is exactly the simplicity of it all. Our spiritual life is our ordinary life and it is very grounded in every day experience. For me, it is the daily practice of kindness, mindfulness, happiness, and peace.
I do so love my witches and wicked queens. I find myself drawn to feminine archetypes that previous generations have found threatening or dangerous: crones, oracles, madwomen, Amazons, virgins who aren’t helpless, bad mothers. I love to give the vagina dentata voice. It so rarely gets to speak for itself.
The Alchemical world view, in stark contrast to the scientific world view, where rational deterministic man is completely separated from both Nature and the Self, in fact the Self does not even exist. In the alchemical world view, all three are inextricably woven together and in synchronistic or archetypal events & occurrences in one's life, all distinctions between them blur and almost disappear.
Slender Youth. A tour companion who may be either a lost prince or a girl/princess in disguise. In the latter case it is tactful to pretend you think she is a boy. She/he will be ignorant, hasty and shy, and will need hauling out of trouble quite a lot. But she/he will grow up in the course of the Tour. In fact she/he will be the only Companion who will change in any way. Quite often, she/he will soon exhibit a very useful talent for magic and end up by hauling everyone else out of trouble. But this will not be until midway through your second brochure.
Small Man can be a very funny or a very tiresome Tour Companion, depending on how this kind of thing grabs you. He gambles, he drinks too much and he always runs away. Since the Rules allow him to make Jokes, he will excuse his behaviour in a variety of comical ways. Physically he is stunted and not at all handsome, although he usually dresses flamboyantly. He tends to wear hats with feathers in. You will discover he is very vain. But, if you can avoid smacking him, you will come to tolerate if not love him. He will contrive, in some cowardly way, to play a major part in saving the world.
Female Mercenary. This will be a companion on your Tour. She is usually tall, thin and wiry, silent, and neurotic. Sex scares her. This is because she either came from a nunnery or was raped as a child. Or both. Somehow this inspired her to become a mercenary and she is very good at her job. You can rely on her absolutely in a fight. She can usually kill two people at once while guarding your back in between. The rest of the time, she will irritate you with lots of punctilious weapons cleaning and a perpetual insistence that a proper watch be kept. Mostly, she will have no magic talents, but sometimes, in an emergency, she will come up with a gift or vision. You will end up grudgingly admiring her.
Burning Woman is a powerful image. A role model. A metaphor. A warning. A source of power. She is Feminine power incarnate.
And that's the point! Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force strength power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their week ones.
The part of the tradition that I knew best was mostly written (or rewritten for children) in England and northern Europe. The principal characters were men. If the story was heroic, the hero was a white man; most dark-skinned people were inferior or evil. If there was a woman in the story, she was a passive object of desire and rescue (a beautiful blond princess); active women (dark, witches) usually caused destruction or tragedy. Anyway, the stories weren’t about the women. They were about men, what men did, and what was important to men.
Stenham had always taken it for granted that the dichotomy of belief and behavior was the cornerstone of the Moslem world. It was too deep to be called hypocrisy; it was merely custom. They said one thing and they did something else. They affirmed their adherence to Islam in formulated phrases, but they behaved as though they believed, and actually did believe, something quite different. Still, the unchanging profession of faith was there, and to him it was this eternal contradiction which made them Moslems. But Amar’s relationship to his religion was far more robust: he believed it possible to practice literally what the Koran enjoined him to profess. He kept the precepts constantly in his hand, and applied them on every occasion, at every moment. The fact that such a person as Amar could be produced by this society rather upset Stenham’s calculations. For Stenham, the exception invalidated the rule instead of proving it: if there were one Amar, there could be others. Then the Moroccans were not the known quantity he had thought they were, inexorably conditioned by the pressure of their own rigid society; his entire construction was false in consequence, because it was too simple and did not make allowances for individual variations.
As I regard physics and psychology as complementary types of examination, I am certain that there is an equally valid way that must lead the psychologist 'from behind' (namely, through investigating the archetypes) into the world of physics. As an example of background physics, I shall discuss a motif that occurs regularly in my dreams - namely, fine structure, in particular doublet structure of spectral lines and the separation of a chemical element into two isotopes.
it strikes me that the writers most deeply concerned with the state of literary fiction and its biases against women could do a lot worse than trying to coin some terms of their own: to name the archetypes they wish to invert or criticise and thereby open up the discussion. If authors can be thought of as magicians in any sense, then the root of our power has always rested with words: choosing them, arranging them and – most powerfully – inventing them. Sexism won’t go away overnight, and nor will literary bias. But until then, if we’re determined to invest ourselves in bringing about those changes, it only makes sense to arm ourselves with a language that we, and not our enemies, have chosen.May 14, 2011 Blog post
When we place our immediate conflicts in the territory of an archetypal story we can better see the nature of our problems and find solutions that bring creative imagination to bear in the realm of hard facts and hardening dilemmas.
If it be true that there can be no metaphysics transcending human reason, it is no less true that there can be no empirical knowledge that is not already caught and limited by the a priori structure of cognition.
...Understanding as had the ancients that angels and demons were identical- interchangeable archetypes- all a matter of polarity: the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer...
The one who re-creates from that which has died is always a double-sided archetype. The Creation Mother is always also the Death Mother and vice versa. Because of this dual nature, or double-tasking, the great work before us is to learn to understand what around and about us and what within us must live, and what must die.
Every culture that has lost myth has lost, by the same token, its natural healthy creativity. Only a horizon ringed about with myths can unify a culture. The forces of imagination and the Apollonian dream are saved only by myth from indiscriminate rambling. The images of myth must be the daemonic guardians, ubiquitous but unnoticed, presiding over the growth of the child's mind and interpreting to the mature man his life and struggles.
These superhero and mythical stories have, in many cases, replaced Biblical stories as vehicles for communal myths, but they are hardly any better than ancient magical adventures tinged with mythical archetypes and the decidedly unnuanced black-and-white struggle between good and evil.