Every myth represents a treasure-house of wisdom regarding the world and our personality. And, the way to these treasures is difficult and tangled. All too often when it seems like the mythic map is clear, we suddenly discover that there is a whole new level of the myth before us. Myths are meant to take us beyond ourselves, beyond the ways we have looked at life and particularly at our difficulties and struggles.
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The myth of Medusa is an extraordinary mythic story from our collective past. What it can tell us today is as sacred as any religious parable. This myth is a symbolic story of how the patriarchy has abused and banished the feminine, how it can be redeemed, and the tremendous healing and instinctual power that can be freed in this process.
As we are touched by the feminine and are able to step outside of our traps of rationality, efficiency, and “things that have to be done,” we become more open to our innate wisdom. An awareness of our innate wisdom helps us understand the language of love, the mystical, art and poetry—the language of symbolism, metaphor, meaning, eternity, and, most of all, the real language of stories.
Many of my female analysands painfully confess that they no longer have an idea of what it is to be feminine. Over twenty-five years ago, the Jungian analyst June Singer, in an article titled “The Sadness of the Successful Woman,” said that she believed that such women are suffering from a particular form of depression: They are mourning for their lost femininity.
We want to invite you (men and women) into the adventure of restoring and revitalizing the eternal feminine into our lives and culture. To help you along we will be publishing a new blog series based on an expanded and updated version of the Study Guide for Into the Heart of the Feminine. This study guide series can be done in a discussion group setting, or individually through journaling.
Love requires sacrifice, and means that we must learn to love the lives of others as well as our own. This type of love makes it clear that comfort can quickly become its own corruption. When we love beyond our own lives and comfort, we begin to love the lives of those connected to us and we are challenged and inspired to build a better world for all of us.
Heroes and heroines often lost in the woods, faced witches, dragons, dwarves, and trolls in our stories from medieval times. In our complicated age, I, like most of us, have had to learn that as a foundation for change and growth, I have to face dark forces within myself. I have had to learn that there are no new creations without passion, without rage. I am constantly challenged to stay aware of the complexity within myself that shapes how I respond to the events I am experiencing. I take on confronting myself as a personal duty because I care about the world I am helping to create for my children, grandchildren, and the family of humanity.