Shaman circle of myths. Summer - autumn - winter - spring - and again summer. Summer archetype: Healer. The myth of Medea

From the motif of the circle and the quaternary is derived
symbol of a geometrically constructed crystal,
which means a miraculous stone ... The second
variation - wheel. In the first motive
emphasizes that "I" is contained
in the larger space of the self,
in the second - rotation, acting
and as a ritual walking in a circle.
Jung, 2009, § 352
According to Erich Neumann, human consciousness goes through four stages of development. The first is uroboric, when consciousness and the unconscious are merged and there is no separation into opposites. The second is matriarchal: consciousness has risen from the depths of the ocean of the unconscious, opposites have appeared, but there are still no sharp judgments, no analytical division, there is peace, Eden, a person is not responsible for what happens to him, everything “happens” to him, everything is wonderful. The third is patriarchal: there is no miraculous, there is scientific, there are no more accidents, there are patterns, hierarchy, intellect, knowledge, analysis; if the facts do not fit into the theory, then they are dismissed as unnecessary, often one of the opposites takes precedence over the other. Fourth - transformation - this is, in fact, the stage of connecting the second and third, the possibility of recognizing both the scientific and the miraculous; this is probably the place where analytical psychology tries to live with its “and, and”, holding on to opposites, searching for a symbol where the answer to the question of the existence of God is possible: “I don’t believe, I know.” “Now the patriarchal solar consciousness is reuniting with what preceded it, and together with the regenerating power of the primordial waters of the matriarchal consciousness – closer to the primal matrix and its central symbol the moon – rises from the depths to celebrate the ancient ritual of the hierogamy of the moon and sun on a new, higher level of the human psyche” (Neumann, 1994).

In the Shamanic Circle of Myths program, we are trying to travel through the matriarchal level of consciousness, keeping in touch with the patriarchal level. This is extremely difficult.
We took Jung's idea of ​​the four functions of the psyche, assuming that each of these functions goes through a matriarchal level in its development, and tried to select the myths of Greek mythology in such a way as to see the metaphors of functions in the heroines of these myths. We have succeeded: feeling - the myth of Medea, intuition - the myth of Cassandra, sensation - the myth of Atalanta, thinking - the myth of Penelope. But living myths and analyzing them from a subjective point of view, filling them with their own stories, is the work of the intellect, so we added the shamanic circle, ritual, tambourines and the method of trance poses as an opportunity for internal travel without being tied to the patriarchal level.
We used the approaches of two American anthropologists, each of whom studied the traditional shamanic cultures of the world in their own way. One approach involves the practice of the "four roads" and living the yearly cycle through working with shamanic archetypes - this is the Angeles Herrien approach. The second is based on the practice of ritual trance postures and is known as the ecstatic trance method, which involves the ability to make ecological journeys into the depths of one's psyche with the help of such tools as sound, rhythm and special body positions. This method was developed by Felicitas Goodman (1914–2005).

Matriarchal consciousness is impossible without the cycle of nature, and we have made our seminars seasonal, linking the seasons, shamanic archetypes, functions and myths. After all, since ancient times, all traditional communities lived in a deep relationship with nature, observing the position of the main luminaries in the sky and the endless round dance of the seasons. From these observations, a folk calendar and annual holidays were born. Rituals were an important part of the life of the community, meaning-forming points that helped to include a person in the cycle of natural changes. There was a place for everything and a correspondence, both internal and external, everything mutually penetrated into each other. For centuries, five sacred transitional states of a person have been formed and celebrated with important rituals - birth, initiation of growing up, marriage, pregnancy and death, as well as the passage of the main points of the annual circle and the change of seasons.

The circle of shamanistic archetypes Angeles Herrien allows us to make more obvious the phenomena of the external and internal order that occur to us at one time or another of the year. This work involves conscious deep contact with natural cycles through various practices and rituals, focusing on certain aspects of one's activity, qualities, and interaction with other people. Consciously passing the main points of the annual circle, we learn to connect the flows and events of internal and external nature.

“Each season of the year has always set different tasks for a person, in each period he went through various trials and from ancient times prepared for the next season by performing certain rituals” (Lopukhina, 1998). Experiencing the changes taking place in nature, we transfer them to our inner reality with the help of various rituals. According to Angeles Herrien, “ritual is the conscious recognition of a change in life, it is a gesture of respect and expression of support for change through such elements as the presence of witnesses, the offering of gifts, the ceremony and the solemnity of the situation” (Herrien, 2003, pp. 160-161) . Herrien also notes, referring to Combe and Holland, that "the word 'ritual' is of Indo-European origin and means 'to fit together'. It is like words like art, craftsmanship, order, pattern, and arithmetic—anything that brings things together to create a new order.” All participants in the ritual open the way for a new “correspondence of things” (ibid.).

Thus, we have a picture lined up: spring - the archetype of the healer - feeling - Medea, summer - the archetype of the seer - intuition - Cassandra, autumn - the archetype of the teacher - sensation - Atalanta, winter - the archetype of the warrior - thinking - Penelope. Unfortunately, today we do not have a clear contrast in terms of the “seasons - functions” correspondence. Ideally, I would like it to be winter - summer, spring - autumn, thinking - feeling, sensation - intuition, but so far we see as we see. (We wrote this article first, the article about Cassandra the second. Already in the second article we changed the order of Angeles Herrien and now we are working with the archetype of the seer in the spring, with the archetype of the healer in the summer).

In order to balance the inner forces and revitalize the energy of the four archetypes in ourselves, we can use a variety of means of inner work, seasons, myths and certain ritual trance postures.

The unusual postures that people have depicted in art for thousands of years have given our ancestors the ability to heal and make "journeys in the spirit." Until the middle of the last century, ancient figurines and rock paintings depicting people in these unusual body positions mainly attracted the attention of archaeologists and cultural historians, but the anthropologist Felicitas Goodman managed to single out the trance component in them in the 60s of the last century. It became obvious that the ritual postures of the body, depicted in many cave paintings of prehistoric caves and in figurines of various peoples of the world, are united by one common theme. All of them depict people in a special, altered state of consciousness (Goodman, 1988, 1990). It was surprising that the most diverse peoples of the world at different intervals of time, using a variety of materials, could depict people in the same body positions. It was like a forgotten trance language, traces of which she "accidentally" discovered.
As a result of Goodman's research, he was able to recreate a simple but very effective way of internal travel using these special bodily postures. The journey is accompanied by rhythmic stimulation. As a rule, at the beginning of the journey, these are the sounds of simple pumpkin rattles or noisemakers, which prepare the body for the perception of trance experience, and then a special static position of the body is held for 15 minutes, accompanied by a tambourine in a special rhythm of 210 beats per minute and more. Together, sound, rhythm and a special position of the body help us to shift the "filters of perception" and, just like the shamans of antiquity and today, travel through our inner worlds and other realities associated with them. When working with ritual postures, a number of rules must be observed. We remember that all body positions are static, they necessarily have a combination of relaxed and tense muscles, the so-called points of tension. We try to hold this body position all 15 minutes while the tambourine sounds, and this is an excellent means of “distracting” consciousness. While the mind is busy with what needs to be remembered, “how to hold my hands, what is with my neck,” the unconscious has time to do what is called mental restructuring in hypnotherapy. On the other hand, it is the presence of consciousness, its work that minimizes risks, makes travel safe and manageable. Consciousness is forced to hold the body as a specially molded vessel, into which energy will be poured each time, depending on the tasks performed in a trance state, and the specificity of the chosen trance posture.
Taking a ritual posture, we close our internal energy lines in a special way, which provides an entrance to certain spaces of the Spirit. The main task of ritual postures, as well as other means of shamanic practices, such as burning herbs, shamanic chants, monotonous movements and dances, is to enter an altered state of consciousness. We are changing the state of consciousness for access to inner resources and for healing.
“All the rituals in the world designed to separate the soul from its “bed” include rhythmic impulses, such as the sounds of rattles, rattles, or drumming. These impulses change the biochemical balance of the body; they may culminate in a state of “boiling energy,” as the Kalahari bushmen call it. We call this altered state "ecstatic trance." In the process of research, it was found that unusual body positions make it possible to move into another reality. These unusual ritual positions of the body contribute to such experiences as the journey of the soul to the lower, middle and upper worlds” (Nauwald, Goodman, 2008, p. 95).

The beliefs of the shamans of the Peruvian Shipibo tribe suggest that each of us is surrounded by the patterned fabric of life. If a person's life pattern is broken, then the person "falls ill", and the shaman performs a nightly ritual and tries to understand which of the "patterns" has been broken. Then, with the help of special chants, the shaman returns harmony to the vital tissue of a person. Shipibo say: "To be healthy means to have good patterns."
And the same can be said about ritual postures. Each of them has its own pattern, its own "red line". All postures, of course, have a healing effect on the body-consciousness-soul. Traveling with the help of this or that posture, we can come into contact with its internal pattern, with the cosmos of the culture that carried it and brought it into being. It is noted that during the first travels with trance positions, this cultural background is more common. In subsequent travels, we reach its deep, archetypal level.
Among the indigenous peoples, the trance state was and remains a socially recognized method of maintaining the balance of body, soul and spirit and restoring this balance when it is disturbed. In Arabic, trance is called "waj", which means "to find". In fact, trance is designed to find some parts that are missing for a state of completeness, wholeness, "healing". "Transition" here means the deliberate removal of perceptual filters, allowing one to penetrate into other spaces. The experiences that a person experiences at the same time are a state of ecstasy, going beyond oneself. The prerequisites for achieving this state are in every person. Our body is the perfect set of tools for achieving trance.
The method of ritual postures gently balances all internal systems, elements through interaction with the archetypal figures that inhabited the Earth and Space of a particular culture. Experiences of an altered state of consciousness as a result of deliberate, purposeful shamanic influence can be healing, illuminating and visionary, can allow you to feel yourself and whole at the same time.

We are doing our program for the third year, it is rolling along its own road; you can enter and exit it at any seminar, you can go through one circle of myths, you can go through more than one, at your discretion. This is not a women's program, although we have heard about it just such reviews. This is a program for people who want to travel from the patriarchal stage of consciousness to the matriarchal and back. “Do you know how much female is missing for a man to be full? Do you know how much a man lacks a woman? You look for the feminine in women and the masculine in men, and so there are only men and women. But where are the people? (Jung, 2009).

Neumann spoke of the matriarchal consciousness in men: “It is clear that the matriarchal consciousness is not limited to women; it belongs equally to the male, where his conscious is the anima-consciousness” (Neumann, 1994).

To question (1) about the functions and levels of consciousness, John Beebe answered that each of the functions is at its own level of development. That is, if you hold eight functions of consciousness (according to Bibi), then each is on a matriarchal (less manifested in consciousness) or patriarchal (more manifested) level of development, regardless of the person's gender.

So, today we present a shamanic myth: summer - the archetype of the healer - feeling - the myth of Medea.

Last night when I was sleeping
I dreamed - wonderful dreams! -
What is here, in my heart, a beehive.
And golden bees make white honeycombs
And sweet honey from my old mistakes.
Antonio Machado. Times of Solitude (quoted by Angeles Herrien)

What is the usual reaction of people when it comes to Medea? “Ah, this is about killing children out of revenge!” - this is an exhaustive answer, more, as a rule, nothing. In psychiatry, there is even a Medea complex, defined as “the desire of a mother to kill her children in order to avenge her husband for his betrayal” (Zhmurov, 2012).
When you read the myth of Medea, a strange feeling arises: attention and, surprisingly, respect from the gods and hatred and contempt from the people. There is even such a historical anecdote that, in fact, the children of Medea were killed by the Corinthians during the pogrom, and then, for huge money - 15 talents - Euripides wrote his tragedy, in which he made the murder of children the work of maternal hands, carried out in order to take revenge on their father. traitor.
When Medea, whose heart was pierced by Eros so that “the arrow entered to the very plumage” (Graves, 1992, p. 446), sits in her room and hesitates what to do - betray her state or refuse the love that Aphrodite supports " with the help of a new love spell: a living spinner, flattened on a red-hot wheel” (ibid., p. 445), she, in fact, chooses between passion and madness, which happens when a person refuses the gods. By that time, Medea already occupies a certain position in society: she is a sorceress, the chief priestess of Hecate, at the entrance of which the king begins to observe decorum, ceases to offend strangers. She sees the future, knows what awaits her, but resigns herself to the command of the gods. And their command, it seems, is to carry this human hatred and fear through the ages, which we also experience at the mention of her name, despite the fact that more than 2445 years have passed since the writing of the play by Euripides, and the myth itself about Medea, of course, even more.
“Self-hatred, “the last expression of the death drive,” wins this duel and annihilates the last visible traces of the life drive – children… She is “the object of hatred, the woman most despised of all women by the gods, by me and by the whole human race” (complaining Jason in the name of all of us), the eternal winner,” writes the French psychoanalyst Nadia Bujor (Bujor, 2012, p. 48).

After Glaucus, Creon dies because of Medea’s gift, Creon’s palace burns down, and Jason manages to escape miraculously (is it a miracle?), “Zeus, who appreciated Medea’s courage, fell in love with her, but she rejected his harassment. Hera was glad: “I will make your children immortal,” she declared, “if you put them on the sacrificial altar of my temple.” Medea did just that, and then fled on a chariot drawn by winged serpents, which her grandfather Helios lent her,” – this is how Graves describes this place in the myth (Graves, 1992, p. 458). Hera kept her promise - we still remember the children of Medea. Zeus abandoned his claims and never pursued Medea.

Theseus brings Hercules to Medea after he kills his family and his children in a fit of madness. Why do you think? So that she would cleanse him of the committed crime, despite the fact that she had already committed her crime, perhaps even more serious, because she was conscious and understood what she was doing. And she cleanses it: now Hercules can approach the oracle and receive a divination of what to do next, how to atone for his pain. The gods accept purification from Medea.
At the end of her life, Medea does not end up in Tartarus and does not atone for her unimaginable sins, but receives immortality, ends up on the islands of the Blessed and, according to one version of the myth, marries Achilles, the greatest hero of Greece.
All her life, Medea relies on her own values, which remain unknown to us, and throughout her earthly life she brings death and life to people. She kills, but also heals, cleanses, brings back to life. The rejection of her homeland, father, brother, husband, children turns out to be her desperately bleeding wound of the Healer, “shamanism is everywhere associated with painful suffering of the soul and body, which led to persistent mental traumatism. The “proximity” of such a healer to the “savior” seems to confirm the well-known mythological truth: the one who inflicts wounds, but at the same time receives them, is the bearer of healing, that is, the sufferer takes suffering with him” (Jung, 2005, p. 339).
Medea is led by four goddesses - Hecate, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, or rather, the last three come to her with Jason and stay with her when the gods turned away from Jason as an oathbreaker.
Abraham hears the voice of God and is ready to sacrifice his son, but the archangel stops him. We speak of the voice of the Self and this is what we call individuation. This is the patriarchal level. Medea hears the voice of Hera and sacrifices children, her hand is not stopped, in matriarchal consciousness "the actual achievement of the ego lies in its readiness to accept the content of the unconscious that rises to the surface and bring itself into agreement with it" (Neumann, 1994).
She hears the voice of the matriarchal side of the Self, believes it, but we call it a crime...
Feeling as a function of the psyche determines the value of what we encounter. James Hillman wrote that “the feeling function relates the subject to the object (setting its price) and the object to the subject (including it in the subject's scale of values). Therefore, this function serves to define relationships, and is often referred to as the “relationship function” (Hillman, 1998). And one more thing: “A developed feeling function is the intelligence of the heart, which is not fully understood by the intelligence of the mind” (ibid.).

According to Neumann, “...symbolically, the matriarchal consciousness is not located in the head, but is located in the heart. Here "understanding" also means the action of the feeling which understands, and often enough this action, as in the creative process, is accompanied by an intense participation of the affect, so that something can break into the light and illumine the consciousness. Compared to this, the process of thinking and abstractions characteristic of the patriarchal consciousness is “cold”, since the “cold-blooded” objectivity that is required of it implies the establishment of a distance and, accordingly, the presence of a cold mind” (Neumann, 1994). And further: “Just one important meaning of this symbolism should be mentioned: the fact that the heart, and not the head, is the seat of the matriarchal consciousness means that the ego of the patriarchal consciousness - the head-ego we know - often knows nothing about what takes place at a deep level of consciousness – the center of the heart” (ibid.).

1. To be a Healer is to wander all your life in search of your
2. To be a Healer is to resurrect in memory what has been forgotten:
connection, unity and interconnection of all things, living and non-living.
3. To be a Healer is to accept even the most terrible and frightening.
4. To be a Healer is to open the closed, soften the hard and
hardened, what turned into a barrier.
5. To be a Healer means to enter into the transcendent, into timelessness, where the Divine dwells.
6. Healing is creativity, passion and love.
7. Healing is the search and expression of one's "I" in its entirety, with its light and shadow, male and female.
8. To be a Healer is to hope and rely on Life.

Jeanne Akhterberg, "Woman Healer" (cited in Angeles Errien, 2003).

Many traditional shamanic communities believe that the heart is the link between Father Sky and Mother Earth. That is why to follow the path of the Healer - “means to listen to everything that has a heart and purpose. In almost every tradition, healers believe that the power of love is the most powerful healing force available to all human beings. The real Healers of any culture are those who use the power of love: acceptance, understanding, appreciation and gratitude” (Herrien, 2003, p. 75).

“The energy of sleep that restores the body and heals its wounds, as well as the healing that occurs naturally in the dark, belong to the nocturnal sphere of the healing moon, as well as everything that happens in the soul and allows a person to “grow beyond” an insoluble crisis through dark processes perceived only with the heart” (Neumann, 1994).

Angeles Herrien writes that "if we do not pay attention to our own health and condition, we manifest the shadow side of the Healer Archetype" (Herrien, 2003, p. 96).

The wounded healer manifests through four addictions:
1) a tendency to exaggerate (unclaimed resource - love);
2) tendency to improve (misuse of force, unclaimed resource - outstanding skill);
3) the need to know everything (unclaimed resource - wisdom);
4) fixation on failures, inattention to successes (unclaimed resource - foresight, the ability to perceive things as a whole). (ibid., pp. 98–100).

We usually end a seminar on Medea with a trance pose “woman from Georgia”.

A statuette of a woman 17.1 cm high, made of bronze, was found in Georgia in the vicinity of Vani on an ancient site for performing rituals. “Georgia, located at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, has always been distinguished by a variety of cultures and languages. Its history is closely intertwined with many ancient myths. Archaeological finds testify to the spiritual life of Transcaucasia in ancient times. According to these findings, the central place in mythology was occupied by the “Great Mother” in her many forms. The sun acted as a female deity, and the moon as a male. Until the last days in Georgia, especially among the mountain tribes, the veneration of wooden and stone images, which were revered as shrines, was preserved” (Nauvald, Goodman, 2008, p. 145).

Experience with this posture leads to a variety of experiences. There are many feelings, tears, a feeling that “space sings”. Feelings "difficult with people - easy with nature." Death as a healer. Power and wildness. Energy movement. Freedom, healing. religious experience. Gradual synchronization in work with noisemakers in hands. An acute feeling that left and right are about different things, and in connection with this, the difficulty in maintaining the same rhythm when working with rattles. Feeling like you are giving birth.

We want to finish our article with the feedback of the seminar participants:
“The plot, which seems to be completely outside and logical only in itself, becomes obvious and so powerful, collapsing into reality that you have to survive! It would seem that a harmless myth draws you into the plot, like a character, forcing you to understand everything that is happening around you in a new way, to understand yourself in a new way. It makes you become Medea in order to go through the terrible, but completely natural path of gaining personal integrity in it again.

“It feels like a part of my soul that was lost before has returned to me.”


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Goodman F.D. Ecstasy, ritual and alternate reality. – Indiana University
Press, 1988.
Jung KG The Red Book // Philemon series. – Zurich: W. W. Norton & Company.
Neumann E. The moon and matriarchal consciousness. The Fear of the Femi
nine. – Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press, 1994.
Bujor N. Reading the Medea with Winnicott. About adequate hatred in countertransference. - M .: Edition of the Institute of Psychology and Psychoanalysis in Chi-
quiet ponds, 2012.
Graves R. Myths of Ancient Greece. – M.: Progress, 1992.
Zhmurov V. A. Big Encyclopedia of Psychiatry. 2nd ed., 2012 (cit.
according to:
Lopukhina E. The archetype of seasonality. - "Urania", 1998 (quoted from: http://www.
Nauvald N., Goodman F. Ecstatic trance. - Ripol Classic, 2008.
Hillman D. Lectures on Jungian typology. - St. Petersburg: B. S. K., 1998
(quoted from:
Errien E. Way of four roads. - "Sofia", 2003.
Jung K. G. Eon. – M.: Academic project, 2009.
Jung KG Psychology of the trickster image. Soul and myth. six archetypes. -
M., AST; Minsk: Harvet, 2005.


(1) From a personal conversation during the IAAP Moscow Summer Conference in 2013.

1 comment

  • thanks for this. i’ve just downloaded it and had it translated. look forward to reading it. well done!

    dale mathers

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