Tag Archives: myths

One Life Furnished in Many Tarot Decks (Part One)

 

“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. Religion, philosphies, 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.”
–Joseph Campbell

 

From a young age I had a strong interest in archetypes and myths. As a child I read every book on mythology that I could find in the library and constantly searched for more. There was something in me that was touched by these stories. I felt a connection to the beliefs that people had. As a teenager and young adult this expanded into studying every religion I could find as often as not from the inside. I was searching for large answers, perhaps even capital Truth (as opposed to the personal subjective small t truths we all have). More than anything I wanted to understand why people believe what they believe in and how it all matched up. When I started reading Carl Jung and his ideas on archetypes and the collective unconscious things started clicking for me. There was a reason why so many of the deities in each culture seemed to match up with one another. They were all aspects of the same universal forces. Thus almost every culture had a war god, a love goddess, brother gods who fought each other, solar gods who died and were reborn etc. Then at the age of eighteen I discovered the tarot.
At the time I was studying the works of Carlos Castaneda and using those books as a springboard into the study of Theosophy, Wiccan Lore, Qabalistic Lore, Parapsychology, Philosophy and about ten different phenomenon. A friend of mine (who was more knowledgeable than I and saw himself as my teacher) and I would read chapters and sit there with books strewn all over our apartment keeping ourselves going with over the counter caffein and diet pills and take out. It was a sublime time for me but then I have always been something of a geek.
When we discovered that there was a tarot class being held nearby we jumped at the chance to attend.
Sandy who taught the class was a woman in her late twenties who together with her husband ran an Astrological Research centre. They taught classes and did charts and readings for people. There were about eight or nine of us in the class and Sandy’s two chihuahuas. Week after week we would sit in a circle while she went over the cards and what they meant with her dogs jumping at her heels. My room mate Bill and I supplemented the class with our own outside reading which consisted of a few of Arthur E. Waite’s books, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, Crowley’s Book of Thoth and Eileen Connolly’s Tarot Handbook for the Apprentice. We also gave each other and anyone who would ask readings.
On the night before the last night of class, Sandy thought it would be a good idea for the class to attempt a reading together. Someone suggested that she be the subject and she giddily (as she did everything else) agree. She laid out the cards in a typical celtic cross spread and then abruptly switched gears and put the cards away and started another project. Bill and I who were sitting closest had to avoid laughing because we had seen the cards. There was quite a lot in there about Sandy’s marriage and other aspects of her life she did not particularly feel like sharing.
I don’t know whether Sandy was the best teacher or not but she did start me off on a subject that has held my interest for the last thirty years. It has helped me expand my understanding of human consciousness and spirituality and cosmology. It has also given me an amazing perspective on human nature and perception and how to open myself up to my own intuition and for that I owe a strong debt of gratitude.
Blessings, G

 

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Weaving in BeautyWeaving in Beauty by G A Rosenberg

 

Camouflaged FoxCamouflaged Fox by G A Rosenberg

 

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

 

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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

Quote of the Day – February 22 2013

“The child intuitively comprehends that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue …”
― Bruno Bettelheim

 

Spend enough time on the internet and you hear lots of stories. People share their stories and you begin to gain a sense of mythology. Some of us are the heroes of our tales. Some insist they are the victims. Some tell stories that have no heart because they have lost theirs long ago. If you listen carefully enough, you can gain a sense of the truths behind the stories you hear and which the rationales that are woven to cover our truths out of fear. Of course to do this, we have to face our own truths first not an easy task. Perhaps that’s why children can sense the truth so easily . Most of them have yet to weave falsehoods made out of fear and concerns on how they’ll be perceived.
Blessings, G

 

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BlessingsBlessings of the Priestess by G A Rosenberg

 

Spider's Web MandalaSpider’s Web Mandala by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – January 18 2013

“If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life”
–Jean Houston

 

Time to expand our stories. Let’s change it up so that we become the victors rather than victims and that we win out rather than lose. Once upon a time our stories kept us down. We talked about what oppressed  us and how we could never be free. Then one magickal morning we awoke and our thoughts were changed. We found that we could transform. Every thought beckoned us towards freedom and doors that were shut started to open. Nothing could oppress us without our permission and from that point on we withheld it. People could do what they would but we would not be victims. We became empowered and reborn and live each day to the fullest.
Blessings, G

 

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Flames of red and gold
Red – Gold Flame Mandala by G A Rosenberg

 

Consorts in the Chamber of the Flame Crystal
Consorts in the Chamber of the Flame Crystal by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – July 30 2012

““People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

 

I love reading Joseph Campbell’s writing. Well anything just about that involves comparative myth and legends and how our beliefs and our beings shape each other. Tonight I received a fantastic compliment on my art where the writer remarked that many of my pictures tell complete stories. Well, I do get influenced a lot by myths and much of the time (in my non mandala geometrical patterny type pictures) I try to make a picture iconic. Do that enough and people will fill in the blanks of the story deriving myths from it. One of the best feelings I get is when someone tells me what one of my pictures symbolizes and they describe something far different from my intentions when I was working on the picture. They tell me what it symbolizes to them so of course I tell them they are right, that is exactly what my picture means. For them it is the truth.
Blessings, G

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Energizing by G A Rosenberg