As a foundation for your own exploration of personal myth, allow me to illustrate through personal example. These are the myths and archetypes that have attended me within the past 64 years.
My Spiritual Child
As a kid I was disorientated, isolated, and misunderstood. By the time I was seven or eight, I sensed the world and the family I was in to be incompatible and unsuitable for me. I imagined I’d be rescued by my real family, my people, maybe from a different dimension or solar system. Sometimes at night I’d hear distant rumblings from the sky and say to myself, “This is it. They’re coming tonight.” This preserved me in a hopeful state, a state that allowed me to proceed. The archetype at work in me was the Lost Child exemplified in numerous fairy tales, the Orphan, the Spiritual Child, the precocious child of innocence, wisdom, and the future, along with the fantasy that was going in and through me was the struggle with dark forces and the battle for survival. Mythological examples include Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Romulus and Remus, and the narrative of Moses.
As a teen, having braved the tribulations of a family, the rantings of an alcoholic father, and the pleadings of a sufferer mother, I flipped my natural religious inclinations toward music. Spirituality had no circumstance in my family and faced with the disappointment of my brief sortie to the Anglican Church, songs seemed to embody something of the holy, the sacred, even the numinous quality of existence that I felt and was comfortable with and that I experienced as more real than my real existence.
Occupying the Transcendence: The Shaman
Music allowed me to occupy the transcendence I felt inside me, it enabled me to develop my contemplation of the Divine. I analyzed the drums and was fascinated by the apportioning of time along with the mathematical precision of behaving in distance to split time in a wondrous ritual which generated rhythm, speed, and meter. Wood, metal, and epidermis were my way to worship secularly and paganly at a timeless ceremony of genuine home-transcending and homecoming. The archetype at work in me was the healer, the medicine man, and the shaman who rides to other worlds and dimensions on the drum, as intermediary, healer, and visionary, and also the fantasy that was going in and through me was that the healing service of keeping the relationship between the worlds, invisible and visible, beyond look and common perception. Mythological examples include the early Sumerian goddess Ninkarrak, Bear Medicine Woman at the First Nations heritage, the Greek hero Asklepios, and from Hinduism Garuda, the terrific man-eagle that mediates between people and the gods.
Art and Alchemy: The Lone Wolf
In my twenties I not only found meditation and therapy, I became a singer-songwriter, baring the plight of the human condition through my song lyrics, singing of the anguish of love and presence, of belonging and jealousy. This was for me intensely serious and frequently painful. The price I paid in performance was especially exacting. I felt that I inhabited a profound inner space, an interior solitude and simultaneously engaged in revelation and inward confession, openly. The archetype I had been allowing through me at the time in my life was the minstrel, the poet, the conveyor of information, the story-teller, the blues singer who performs the alchemy of singing the world’s ills and converting humanity’s suffering even as he suffers from his own and others’ suffering. The fantasy at work was the sacrifice, the ritual offering, the scapegoat sent out to atone. Mythological examples include Orpheus, David the author of Psalms, and the Omega Wolf who falls beneath the weight of collective pain and is pushed out of the tribe to become the Lone Wolf.
Becoming the Lone Wolf was a profound experience for me and one who was to proscribe the whole rest of my life by allowing the deepest archetype in me to own me; my entire life was to become dedicated for this one pursuit because another archetypes bowed in gratitude and relinquished their right to live.
The Tests and Challenges of the Seeker in Search of Himself
Initially this new presiding archetype manifested as the searcher, the pupil, the seeker in search of himself, as I plunged with excellent fascination into the actions and events of personal growth, consciousness-raising, treatment, and internal work, as we call it today. My enthusiasm for it was terrific. It very quickly returned me in a way I never hoped would be possible. Here were the aliens, the fourth-dimensional beings who I’d waited for and longed to rescue me in my youth.
My real encounter with a new breed of people initiated me into the world of sense and authentic experience. I was to find myself through a long journey through many tests and challenges to emerge changed. The Orphan or Spiritual Child experience allowed me to develop independence and an internal reality based on direct experience.
Through my personal fantasy, I developed my childhood wonder at the extraordinary ordinariness in the world, its beauty and numinosity, its glory and mundaneness, its extreme despair and exhilarating joy. This is the myth of the hero’s journey. Describe your own myth. See the prevailing themes in your life. Express them through dance, art, poetry, and story-telling. Enhance your life with the understanding of your life’s innate purpose and leadership. You’ll end up living in a more expansive manner, in a more profitable way. Pass these thoughts on to your friends even as you become conscious of the mythological dimension. Work with your customers on the archetypal level. This will provide clarity, deepening understanding and provide valuable reference points for their life journey.