Category Archives: mythology

Musing on Inspiration

 

“I love you, Lucien, but I am a muse, you are an artist, I am not here to make you comfortable.”
― Christopher Moore

 

In Greek Mythology, the muses were the daughters of Zeus and the titan Mnemosyne(Memory). They governed over various arts and were said to inspire artists to create. They were alluring and graceful and many an artist tried to woo the muses when they undertook a new endeavour. From a kaballistic standpoint, Zeus would be Chesed (expansion into form). In other words, art’s inspiration comes from the expansion of memory into form. This would include but not be exclusive to the artist’s personal memory. It would also include to my mind both the archetypal memories that live in our collective unconscious and atavistic memories that are buried even deeper thus giving us a bottomless well of inspiration would that we could tap into it.
How can we call on the muses? How can we find the inspiration we need to create? Here is an exercise that you may find useful. Imagine if you will swimming below the surface in a clear beautiful river. You sense that you are not alone in your swim that there are other forms swimming around you. You come out of the water into a beautiful clear moonlit night. As you leave the water you sense that you are not alone. There is a woman there, attractive and somewhat shy. Ask her her name and what she may have for you in the way of ideas and inspiration. Listen to what she has to tell you.
Understand tho that many of the memories that lie below the surface may not be pleasant comforting ones. Then again, we seldom create from comfort. Usually we write or draw or create based on themes and ideas that we are trying to work out within ourselves. Quite often the work of creating art is the purest form of shadow work and in interacting with our creation, we gain awareness of parts of ourselves we would otherwise be unaware of.
Blessings, G

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

Finding a New LabyrinthFinding a New Labyrinth by G A Rosenberg

 

Rainbow PropagationRainbow Propagation by G A Rosenberg

 

Mythic Vocabulary

 

“A mythological order is a system of images that gives consciousness a sense of meaning in existence, which, my dear friend, has no meaning––it simply is. But the mind goes asking for meanings; it can’t play unless it knows (or makes up) the rules. Mythologies present games to play: how to make believe you’re doing thus and so. Ultimately, through the game, you experience that positive thing which is the experience of being-in-being, of living meaningfully. That’s the first function of a mythology, to evoke in the individual a sense of grateful affirmative awe before the monstrous mystery that is existence.”
— Joseph Campbell

 

Mythology gives us a language. We hold these archetypes in our heads and dream of them. We imagine kingdoms won and lost and the spirit power behind all natural and unnatural phenomenon personified and named. If we can give these form and tell true stories about them than we have gone a long way towards the visceral understanding of deep truths. Myths and stories provide the vocabulary to express truth. Of course what we do with the truth and where it takes us is up to us.
Blessings, G

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

A New Place I VisitA New Place I Visit by G A Rosenberg

 

In Strange TunnelsIn Strange Tunnels I Travel by G A Rosenberg

Digging in Athens

 

“When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
–Edith Hamilton

 

History like most things goes in cycles. Much the same thing that Edith Hamilton said above could be stated about many countries in the modern world. Whenever we give up responsibility for our own actions whether it is seeing ourselves as a victim, to avoid consequence or just to let someone else do it because it is easier we surrender so much more. Loss of self does not happen all at once but in a series of momentary decisions.
On Thursday we visited Athens. What an amazing sense of history. The Acropolis deserves everything said about it and the Archaeological museum shows the development of art through each step of the way. Looking at temples that were erected over 2000 years ago and museum pieces that predate that by another five or six thousand was inspiring. I can’t wait to make my own art out of some of the pieces I saw.
As we were walking back towards the bus we saw soldiers and riot police descending on a protest that was taking place. I am not sure of the exact circumstances tho it seemed to have something to do with how people were being represented. Perhaps they were taking some notes from old Edith.
Blessings, G

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

ParthenonParthenon

 

Old Greek Street DudeGreek Street Dude

 

Minotaur Bust Archaeological Museum AthensMinotaur Bust – Athens Archaeological Museum

 

Mask of Agamemnon--Bronze AgeMask of Agamemnon Bronze Age- Athens Archaeological Museum

 

Olympic Stadium 1874 AthensNew Olympic Stadium built 1874 Athens

 

Greek PoliceGreek Police

 

Digging in Athens

 

“When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
–Edith Hamilton

 

History like most things goes in cycles. Much the same thing that Edith Hamilton said above could be stated about many countries in the modern world. Whenever we give up responsibility for our own actions whether it is seeing ourselves as a victim, to avoid consequence or just to let someone else do it because it is easier we surrender so much more. Loss of self does not happen all at once but in a series of momentary decisions.
On Thursday we visited Athens. What an amazing sense of history. The Acropolis deserves everything said about it and the Archaeological museum shows the development of art through each step of the way. Looking at temples that were erected over 2000 years ago and museum pieces that predate that by another five or six thousand was inspiring. I can’t wait to make my own art out of some of the pieces I saw.
As we were walking back towards the bus we saw soldiers and riot police descending on a protest that was taking place. I am not sure of the exact circumstances tho it seemed to have something to do with how people were being represented. Perhaps they were taking some notes from old Edith.
Blessings, G

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

ParthenonParthenon

 

Old Greek Street DudeGreek Street Dude

 

Minotaur Bust Archaeological Museum AthensMinotaur Bust – Athens Archaeological Museum

 

Mask of Agamemnon--Bronze AgeMask of Agamemnon Bronze Age- Athens Archaeological Museum

 

Olympic Stadium 1874 AthensNew Olympic Stadium built 1874 Athens

 

Greek PoliceGreek Police

 

Wishpoosh and Coyote – Creation Myth From the Nez Perce

“Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.”
― Joseph Campbell

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

The Nez Percè tribe in the Pacific Northwest tell of a great Beaver Wishpoosh who jealously guarded the primordial lake from all creatures wishing to swim in it. Coyote wanted to fish in the lake one day and ended up in a brawl with Wishpoosh. They fought from one end of the lake to another causing gauges and land masses to shift in form and break off causing the formation of the uneven coastline there.
Finally needing to recharge a bit Coyote transformed himself into a jagged branch and floated on the lake. Unfortunately Wishpoosh saw him and came along and swallowed him whole. Coyote transformed himself into a giant needle and started cutting Wishpoosh up from the inside out into a thousand pieces each of which became a tribe of humanity. The tribes that formed from pieces of the head became very wise. The ones that formed from the arms were very strong. The ones that formed from the legs became very fast runners. According to some versions of the legend, some were made without eyes or mouths so Coyote had to return to finish the job and did it sloppily which the Nez Percè attributed some of the strange looks that other tribes have.
Coyote is a trickster / scribe deity and the splitting apart of another deity has echoes of Set and Osiris. Also death by the prick of a needle has elements of the death of Baldaur in Norse mythology.

This is the first of what will hopefully be a recurring feature on Waking Spirals taking a look at myths and legends and perhaps will result in some art pieces as well.
Blessings, G

 

Ocean ReflectionOcean Reflection by G A Rosenberg

 

Inner Butterfuly MandalaInner Butterfly Mandala by G A Rosenberg