Sheela na Heroes part two
Today's feature closing article connecting this 5 part series on this glorious sunny Gregorian fixed
Brighid’s Day here , also introducing ‘Bathing With The Sheela’ new book and new session theme for the Tree Labyrinth here. Click the ‘See more’ ... Wishing you a wonderful day, and. .. tomorrow a special Saturday poem feature to round this up.
To bring this five part series into a cycle, I am joining the return narratives of Daghda, Brideog, and Coire Chrann back to a new adventure.
A summary of that story seems to be that it is essential nutrition for all of us to have space that is perhaps not space, where the human calibrations of time and space do not exist.
I am convinced this is essential re-wilding for us.
It connects us to all other vessels on earth that carry life. No other vessel of life on earth lives according to time and space.
It is unlikely that a drake says to a duck, “how about we go on a date, I will meet you at the SW of the lake at 4:30 pm. Lets go for a straight paddle and pick up a snail supper on the way”
Teachers of the ‘Hero’s Journey’ seem to talk about breaking from the ‘mundane’ and heading off into an adventure. What is the ‘mundane’?
To me this ‘mundane’ is life lived within a human created realm of time and space. Regulating legislation is scribed out to the beat of this calibrated time and space. There are some job positions that put more emphasis on time card punch-ins than on the creativity, productivity, and team playership of a worker.
We seem to live lives according to
‘doing what we are told’,
... and many of us allow no or little break from this.
I think of this when I see the remains of an ancient structure where there is a straight passage, and then it enters a circle or spiral.
Though this may be distant from actual purpose, I tend to think of the straight passage as the linear mundane entering into a circle of communion, of community, of connection. The stone circles of Beaghmore, Co. Tyrone represent this well, as does the willow way and cairn at our Tree Labyrinth Garden here at Carrowcrory.
The natural world does not
seem to have a ‘mundane’.
Even so, we seem to have created a human instinct to be courteous to others through being at specific places at specific times, or in Ireland 20 minutes later. We do this to be effective in service, and to participate in team or community events.
Time and spaces seem to bring us together. Sometimes its a lot of stress arranging the ebb and flow of activities and conditions around us so that we are fully present at stated times and places.
Our calendars tell us what to do,
not our consciousness.
We need to take breaks from calendars, from watches, and live through consciousness from time to time. ‘Time to time’ put in there as a bit of satire, of course, but also as language that we understand now.
So there we go, follow the ‘call to go on an adventure’ and break away from our ‘time and space ship’, away from our calendars, that we are often reluctant to detach and depart from.
There, through the story, was Daghda breaking from his routine cycle and going off with the three hags. Though the Three Hags are storytelling imagery and Daghda going off with them because he was ‘told to’, I still feel it as a consciousness guided direction, as I am told it, and as I tell it.
The ‘Hero’s Journey’ is then portrayed as entering the ‘unknown’ which I find quite sad as I feel it should be the ‘known’, but this is perhaps the condition that calendar driven lives place us into.
So, through detached unfamiliarity we pass through the threshold into a “special world", the natural world, to face tasks and deeds alone or as a member of a team.
I like the word of a collection of ducks for this
... a ‘raft’,
... as it does feel that we are doing this floating or treading on water.
Like Daghda, we arrive at the "innermost cave". Through the story this was entering the caves and arriving at the Faluchtra pool. This works in Labyrinths too as we reach the centre.
At this innermost space or centre it is either spoken of as “the ordeal" or as arriving at a place of rest.
As an ‘ordeal’ this is the awareness, overcoming, adjusting, or forming a healthy fearless relationship with an enemy, shadow, or obstacle that prevents the letting go from time and space.
A profound well told story of this ‘ordeal’ is expressed through the tale of Theseus and the Minotaur in the Labyrinth on Crete. I will tell my version of that story here sometime.
If the letting go is achieved, from this centre, then this centre becomes a place of rest. It becomes a place, a realm, of clarity.
It becomes a realm where poetry
enters our voice,
... and we feel free to express it, or at least journal it.
With Daghda, at the hottest point of heating Faluchtra, it became an elixir of surrenderous connection to elixir of life, after a tantric journey of letting go.
After this experience of letting go of time, space, guilt, shame, and fear, it is said to be a return journey back to the ‘mundane’ but with an ‘elixir’, a ‘conception’, a transformation like a new ‘Spring’.
Its a wonderful celebration of ourselves full of love to be expressed through our blooming ahead, our own Imbolc experience.
With the Daghda story this flowed through the deeds of other stories not told in this series, and the deeds of Brideog and Coire Chrann born from the Daghda experience with the Mor na Coire Cíuín.
This cycle of
... is repeated.
I align this to the rites of our life in ‘Ogma’s Tale Of The Trees’, within my Bathing In The Fae’s Breath book. These align to the seasons of the year.
Individual, Imbolc, our birth and seeding time ... our departure from the ‘mundane’
Mating, Bealtaine, our initiation after the journey.
Harvest, Lunasadh, our return, harvest home, elixir gift
Divinity, Samhain, back to the ‘mundane’ ???
Before I move on and pause this stream, I must express my discomfort with ‘The Hero’s Journey’, it’s ‘elixir’, and it’s ‘reward’, as this is how it is usually spoken.
To me this brings up an image I once had, living in the USA, of a funeral hearse towing a U-Haul trailer.
A ‘hero’, to me, is always someone idolised by others. Unfortunately, a ‘hero’ to me is an image of our idol possession that we dedicate our service to. Often, when we meet our hero-idol the person becomes very different to that image we have created and possessed.
A ‘mentor’, though, I interpret as ...
an organic mirroring of ourselves,
aided by another.
A comparison of this is a Baha’i Faith belief in the ‘idea’, rather than the person who expressed the ‘idea’. Ideas are then communally published without any credit for the person this came through. The idea then becomes a tool of the person using it. There are no ‘heros’, the ideas become mentors’. Before you ask, I am not Baha’i.
The ‘elixir’ is expressed by tellers as a realm of nothingness, no time, no space. It is then expressed as a ‘reward’.
I feel discomfort with this as it seems like something Nestle would come up with. To me, it reads in line with going into a natural area, seizing the water, and selling it back to the people.
I feel it is somewhat sad that people need to get their ‘life’ back through a cycle of gauntlet style adventure, into initiation, and return with the timeless, spaceless, unconditional life as a ‘gift’.
A child is reverse, born of timeless, spaceless, unconditional love and life. We chip that away, and then as that was done to us, we need to go away and find it again for our own continuous nourishment.
Are we now that bad, to regard unconditional life and love as a quest to earn, rather than be?
I will leave this flow of this series with a few thoughts about ‘mundane’.
When the ‘Hero’s Journey’, is told, there is usually reference to ‘return to the ordinary world with reward’.
Sometimes included is reference to the guardians of the life elixir in pursuit to get it back from the ‘hero’, as if it is some kind of ‘loot’ and ‘bounty’.
Some stories tell of the hero discovering the ‘elixir’ world to be a cool place to stay. Well, if we let go of everything, that would be the realm of ‘death’. So this story may include ‘ordinary’ humans coming to the rescue to enable their ‘hero’s’ return.
If the ‘treasure of elixir’ is an image that a story listener can understand, then it may assist the understanding of how ‘mundane’ evolves into ‘divinity.
This, my friends is the core of my
presentation of ‘Bathing With The Sheela’.
It is kind of like the straight willow path into the cycles of the Tree Labyrinth Garden here.
Mundane to Divinity, to me, is a transformation of us being able to depart the linear into cycles, that actually work out to be fractal and spiral.
Each time we cycle through that cycle of adventure, initiation, return, and back to mundane, we bring back more wisdom, so our ‘mundane’ grows into ‘divinity’. The more our ‘divinity’ grows and matures, the more we become ‘mentors’ for those on consciousness journeys.
I am uneasy with those who return from this timeless, spaceless, unconditional realm claiming ‘special powers’. To me, they seem to have lost the ‘unconditional’ part on the return.
A storyteller telling of magical experiences, I feel is a wonderful thing, and very mentoring. A wizard claiming to have returned with amazing power wielding alchemic skills i feel can be a dangerous thing.
I feel, and perhaps fear, that it is the ‘wizard’ is more likely to be hero worshipped than the mentoring ‘storyteller’.
Part of this is due to the ‘wizard’ wanting to be hero worshipped much more than the ‘storyteller’. ‘Wizards, I feel, are trickster Love Talkers. I talk of that in tomorrow’s Saturday poem.
That tale of Daghda, in three parts, I hope may have danced an image of what I interpret as ‘Bathing With The Sheela’. The Sheela being within the water womb of the Sheela na Gig, and the baptism with the Sí, or Sidhe, within the water pool of life, memory, and transition. A pool that ignites a flame.
Regarding a ‘hero’ or ‘mentored’ journey and an individual, I think it is so important for each human to follow their cause but in relation to all they contact. Living a meeting of minds and spirits, and not a selfish objective that tries to enslave others into a cause.
Consent is maybe the keyword here.
It seems nothing timeless, spaceless, and tantric, can happen between people without mutual consent.
The other consideration is to encourage people not to be so enslaved to others. Each person has a voice to share too. So much damage can be created from resent to enslavement. Damage from fear, guilt, shame, and generally feeling unworthy.
Maybe a person is a hero to release from those chains, but it still needs to be a balance of voice and action with listening and participating.
As we enter Imbolc with this, may your return from the Winter mundane, or divinity, be able seed and bloom from your new elixir of life.
Welcome back tomorrow for a special Saturday poem to passionately round this up further ...
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