In Western contemporary culture, Myth has come to mean "falsehood". Here, at Wild Earth Medicine, Myth speaks to the greater stories we as individuals and communities (locally and globally) live by that give meaning to life. Stories that deeply inform the ways in which we connect and relate to ourselves and the larger world of everything. Stories that redefine and transform the challenges, obstacles, and woundings into gifts, powers, and strengths.
Myth work is the rewriting and re-embodying of these stories - both personal and collective. A re-writing and re-embodying that supports the individual in re-membering their deepest and most authentic Self. To re-member is to give voice, body and life to a forgotten and often new way of being in the world, a new mythic identity. A mythic identity that is rooted in the intelligence of the Earth, and in service to the unfolding story of our time.
"Myths are the spiritual potentialities of the human life." Joseph Campbell
This work involves:
Awakening to the current Myths that are steering your life, and your understanding of Self and the world
Naming the Myths that arise from both micro and macro planes - the individual experiences of your life, and the more ancestral/cultural/earthly experiences of the larger collective existence
Identifying the threads that tether you to these Myths (individual and collective)
Severing these Mythic threads
Spinning a new Mythic web that you can live into with your own body
Giving voice and life to the new mythos of you
"Myths are first and foremost psychic phenomena that reveal the nature of the soul." C.G. Jung
Individual Myths: The Microcosm of Our Individuated Lives
Individual Myths present a diverse spectrum of experience, and are often governed by archetypes that have followed human beings throughout history in the guise of gods and goddesses, queens and kings, and epic journeys or battles. Archetypes that embody humanities greatest strengths, as well as humanities greatest weaknesses. They are the recurring universal themes, characters, symbols and images that live within story and mythology regardless of culture or historical period.
For example, we can discover our wild indigenous nature through Artemis, the great huntress, or our maternal gifts through Demeter, goddess of Earth and fertility. We can feel ourselves as warrior through Hercules, or devote ourselves to a larger cause through Hanuman, both god and devotee to Rama.
Archetypes that govern each individuals life can be identified through one's dreams that arrive in our sleeping hours to the stories and mythologies we are most allured or repulsed by. Identifying and consciously embodying personal archetypes allows the individual to reclaim lost pieces of one's larger Soul image.
Collective Myths: The Macrocosm of Our Shared Existence
Currently, there are two major Myths that govern and direct Western culture. The first is the religious Myth of an all-knowing celestial architect, such as God or Allah, overseeing all of existence and determining each of our destinies. The second is the science Myth proclaiming all of life (earthly and cosmic) to be mechanical and soulless.
Both of these Myths continue to have a damaging impact upon our world. The religious Myth suggests we are not of this world, and so we never fully root into ourselves or the Earth. The science Myth suggests that the Earth and Cosmos are unintelligent and inanimate, and thus something to be conquered and dominated.
Between these two Myths is the resurrection of a much older and further reaching Myth. A Myth that seeks to reestablish humanities sacred relationship to both the Earth and the Cosmos. This Myth's reemergence is what environmental activist, Joanna Macy, refers to as the "The Great Turning." It is the Myth that tells the story of humanities shared existence with all of life. An existence that grows out of a shared intelligent and ensouled Earth and Cosmos.
"Whoever you are, go out into the evening, leaving your room, of which you know every bit; your house is the last before the infinite, whoever you are. Rainer Maria Rilke