Myths, are true stories that never happened. And yet, these stories, which transcend space (where they originated) and time (when they were conceived) can help us not only understand our lives but also improve and empower our existence.
How to work with myths?
Imagine myths to be snapshot of your soul, metaphors, poetic allegories that sheds light on the most intricate and intimate aspects of your personality. The protagonist is your true potential, the adventurous part of you that knows it can make anything happen. The antagonist is your greatest fear manifested. The “bad guy” comes from the Mordred, Sheol, Hades, what Jung calls “the shadow,” the place where your greatest talents and gems are held hostage. The wizard or witch that comes to your rescue is your higher-self, your guardian angel, also known as “the agent of change,” maybe it is even your own “future” lifetime where you are far more evolved, a life when you are about to attain enlightenment. Your love interest is the key to opening the treasure trove, since every trunk has a lock. The quirky, funny, and loyal sidekick is the one who helps you reach your cornucopia. But remember, you are the sidekick in your sidekick’s story. Next time you read a myth, a biblical story, or watch a fantasy or sci-fi movie, try using these tools to make the story more personal. If you identify with a character or a story it means you found something true in it. The fantasy then transform into a documentary of your inner world.
We are stories anyway…
According to Sefer Yetzira, arguably the oldest Kabbalistic manuscript, attributed traditionally to the Patriarch Abraham (pseudonym) it is said that God created the universe using stories. That makes you and me, our pets, cars and bosses, all stories, albeit of varying genre (ranging from horror, romantic comedy, and tragedy to action). The book of John (another pseudonym) of the New Testament asserts that God is a “word.”
As we are stories, so can we learn about ourselves through stories. Mythologies are like mirrors, we see in them our image, our lives, only reversed. The Heroines and Heroes with which we identify the most, reflect our true nature. But because they are bigger than life and have a tendency to be even more dramatic than us, it helps us see more clearly who we truly are. It is as if you project yourself through your hero into an archetypal reality. You are no longer stuck in an office crucible, you are Neo, receiving an envelop with a message from your initiator, Morpheus, god of dreams. Together with your protagonist you hear the call to action, and alongside her, you refuse it. But after some bargaining, threats, or a promise of a boon, you join your reluctant hero and journey onward in your new mission. You fight, you win, you lose, you win again. You meet a good fairy that gives you magical weapons (anyone from your wise grandmother to your quirky yoga teacher) and finally after defeating the dark forces, you return home with your prize. FIN.
Working with Chiron
The name Chiron – Kheiron, is derived from the Greek word for “hand.” Chiron means “skilled with hands.” It is the origin of the word “surgeon,” which means “done by hand.” As we saw in the blog post, Chiron embodies the archetype of the wounded healer, he or she that can heal everyone but themselves. There is a part of you that is Chiroish – when you give advice that work for others yet you never follow, or when you help someone do something you never bothered doing for yourself etc. But let’s look closely at the tale of Chiron and find ourselves in it:
Divine Abandonment: Chiron’s mom, Philyra abandoned him after she realized that rather than looking human, he was a centaur, a monster in her eyes. However, part of our human existence entails a similar abandonment at the moment of our birth. Hopefully our biological mothers are there to nurse and nurture us, but if you do believe in reincarnation and the concept of Mother-Light (as the Tibetan call it) when we come to this world, we are trapped in the mortal coils of time and space. We are torn from the arms of Mother Light, thrown into this samsara or pain and suffering, left to fend for ourselves. Mother Light lets us go, she gives us up. Maybe that is why we cry when we come out of our mother’s womb. Think about it for a moment. How do you think we felt when we came through our mother’s birth canal? We hear the mid-wife or doctor telling our mother to push us out, she screams and then to make things worse, they abruptly cut off the umbilical cord, our last physical connection. What’s up with that?
So if you sometimes feel lonely, welcome to the club. We are together in our loneliness. Feeling lonely is normal, and in our communal loneliness we stand together. It’s called being human. We all by definition have abandonment issues.
But as we saw earlier, myths are true stories. To illustrate this point, here is a question: what is the worst genocide in history?
Six million Jews slaughtered in WWII? No.
Forty million Native Americans? Nope.
The worst mass murder is what is called the gendercide of 120 million women that occurred and still takes place mainly in China, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Places where mothers and fathers reject, neglect, kill, or abandon their newborn baby girls. Remember, myths tell true stories that never happened before. Maybe we should correct that definition and agree that myths are true stories that are happening right now. If you have the stomach for it, watch this video of a modern day Chiron abandonment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C9yWv0gv00
I wish these abandoning parents as well as Philyra would have heeded to the wonderful words of Khalil Gibran who eloquently wrote that:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
However, we still in this day and age reject baby centaurs and baby girls. Think of the potential we are throwing away by these abandonment. Who knows, maybe one of these 120 million dead was the woman who was destined to find a cure to cancer or invent a way to abolish world hunger, or compose a wonderful symphony.
Divine Adoption: Thank God and Goddess, Chiron was adopted by Apollo and Artemis, the gods of Sun and Moon, which besides making him a morning person and a night-owl, granted him tutoring both in the day and night. Well, we all are. Father Sun and Mother Moon provide us with light and warmth that help us navigate life. In the day we produce and at night we dream and process the events that took place while awake. The message in this profound myth is that in order to grow we need both the masculine sunny energies and feminine lunar nourishment. To make the perfect teacher and healer, one needs both. That is why Chiron was versed in herbs (attributed to Virgo, the sign associated with Artemis, goddess of virginity) and yet was also a master warrior and musician (associated with Apollo). To truly be a man, you must connect to your inner woman, and to be a woman, you must be linked to your inner man. You too have been adopted by a divine couple. It might be a teacher and an older brother, a boss or a heroine. Each one of us gravitate towards someone that channels enough light to show us that we are unique, special, superheroes. It is about believing them and letting them help us help ourselves. Astrology provides a glimpse at the nature of this divine adoption on the archetypal level. Your Apollo is your Sun sign, and your Artemis is your Moon sign.
In “Chiron Part III,” I will demonstrate how you too are a wounded healer and how your wounds and imperfections are what makes you perfect.