Shamanic circle of myths. Winter-spring-summer-autumn-and winter again. Warrior archetype. The myth of Penelope.

Being a warrior doesn't just mean wanting to be one.
It is rather an endless battle that will last until
last moment. No one is born a warrior, that's for sure
just like no one is born an ordinary person. We ourselves
We make ourselves one way or the other.
Receptivity is not the most important thing. The main thing is
impeccability of a warrior. The most important thing for a warrior is to gain
integrity of oneself.
Carlos Castaneda, "Tales of Power"
Winter is the time of the Warrior archetype. The time when nature goes into sleep and encourages us to go deep in order to think, analyze what was accomplished in the previous stages, listen to ourselves and prepare strength for future affairs.
“Many native peoples associate the path of the Warrior with the North, winter, the home of the Sky Father, all birds and winged creatures.

Winter is the time of year most often associated with the north; it is the season of maturing plans and gathering strength. Although winter doesn't always bring ice and snow, each hemisphere has its own winter holiday season. During this time, natives usually complete unfinished business. Winter is a time of reflection and contemplation. It is considered the best time to prepare for the renewal and healing that occurs in the spring” (Herrien, 2003, p. 55).
In our region, winter is one of the most mysterious times of the year, when the earth is covered with snow and there, in the depths, a hidden transformation takes place, the birth of a new life, preparation for a completely new stage of development and growth. And, of course, this is a time of difficult challenges - our ancestors had to survive, overcoming the cold, limited resources, and lack of light. The space seems to narrow, collapse into the space of a house. All external processes concentrate on what is inside, literally forcing you to go deeper in order to find resources there to overcome external difficulties. Just as the sap of trees goes to the roots, so we rush into our inner space in order to determine who we really are and whether we are going there.
The most important tasks that a Warrior faces are honesty towards oneself, one’s strengths and limitations, discipline and the ability to hear oneself. “A warrior must understand and be aware of the causes and consequences of actions taken and not taken. This quality of attention is called responsibility, literally from English responsibility - the ability to respond. The Chinese “Book of Changes” (I Ching) reminds us that “the event is not important, what is important is its echo.” Responsibility is not only the ability to respond to what comes to us, but also the ability to be aware of our actions and be responsible for everything we have done or not done. Our honest and impeccable response to events puts us on the path of the Warrior.
This side of responsibility is called discipline. Discipline is facing life head on and taking action without haste or slowness. The word “discipline” in Latin means “to be one’s own follower.” If we follow ourselves, we respect our rhythm and natural movement” (ibid., p. 37).

Winter time is perfect for going deep into yourself and discovering there dormant forces striving for self-realization. Contemplating nature, immersed in itself and seemingly frozen for a while, we take this time to correlate our life with our inner vision and plan our future actions, following the deep call. And very soon a new natural impulse will set the internal juices in motion.

“Many native communities believe that each person has a special magic - personal power, and there is no other like it anywhere on the planet. No two individuals have the same talents or qualities, so if we compare ourselves to others, the natives see it as a lack of faith in our personal strength. This belief affects not only us, it also manifests itself in the world in general. Not to use personal magic or not to apply your personal power to anything means not allowing the healing effects to take place that go to Mother Nature and all her creatures” (ibid., p. 41).

The myth of Penelope and the shamanic journey to ourselves through ritual trance body positions, selected in accordance with the Warrior archetype, helps us feel this special time.

Winter seminar. Penelope

If she continues to irritate the Achaean sons,
Proud of the gifts that Pallas Athena
Gave her in abundance - art in beautiful works,
With a bright mind and cunning ingenuity - the kind that
Even among the ancients we do not know Achaeans with magnificent hair,
Be it Tyro, Mycenae in a beautiful crown, or Alcmene.
No, not one of them could compare with Penelope
By cunning! Today, however, her cunning will not help her.
They will eat both your stores and your livestock, until
She will persist in those thoughts that are in her chest
The gods invest. She brings great glory to herself with this
Maybe get...
Penelope is the daughter of the villain Periboea and King Icarius, cousin of Helen of Troy, wife of Odysseus. One of the most boring female characters in Greek mythology, according to the frequent opinion of the participants of our seminar at the beginning. But not at the end.

We live the myth of Penelope as a metaphor for the development of the function of matriarchal thinking and the formation of the shamanic Warrior archetype. The characteristics of Penelope that the myth emphasizes are intelligence, tenacity, cunning, the ability to withstand uncertainty, the ability to lie low, to live in anticipation, to be silent.

Having married Odysseus, Penelope leaves her father's palace and moves in with her husband. Icarius followed the chariot for a long time and begged his daughter to stay. Odysseus only says: “Either you go to Ithaca of your own free will, or, if your father is dearer to you, stay here, but without me!” Instead of answering, Penelope only lowered the coverlet (Graves, 1992, p. 476).
A bedspread is like a curtain, like a curtain, a canopy that separates one space from another. At the same time, it is something that can be woven and created by hand. Weaving as women's magic, the magic of the matriarchal world. “The most important components of early human culture were created by woman and her spirit of invention. Basic achievements such as keeping fire, preparing food and intoxicating drinks, sewing clothes, spinning and weaving, and making pottery, etc., are part of women's primordial territory. They were not originally “technical” achievements in the sense in which this definition is used by the patriarchal consciousness, but rather were rituals shrouded in symbolism. They should be called primary mysteries, since they deal with the mysteries of the unconscious, with symbolic activity, but not yet with mysteries in which cognition is present” (Neumann 1994, p. 78).

Here the bedspread is a prototype of the same shroud, the bedspread of the grooms, for which Penelope is famous for weaving. By lowering the veil, Penelope learns to hide herself, her thoughts and feelings from those who, in her opinion, do not need to know them. It becomes invisible, inaccessible, inaccessible.

“Thinking is a function that strives to comprehend the world and adapt to it through intellectual knowledge, that is, through logical conclusions,” defines Yolanda Jacobi (1996).

Jung speaks of two types of thinking: “definitely directed... verbal thinking... an instrument of culture,” thinking “for others” associated with speech, and thinking “dreaming, fantasizing...
fantastic-mythological thinking in ancient times... thinking of children... thinking in dreams”, thinking “for oneself”, associated with the flow of images (Jung, 1994, pp. 31–37). In our opinion, Jung’s definite-directed thinking is a function of thinking that has reached the patriarchal level of development, and thinking-dreaming is a function of thinking at the matriarchal level.

How often do we weave a veil of daytime meanings and cannot find answers to our questions, and at night, in our sleep, we dissolve daytime beliefs in order to discover answer images.

Let's return to the myth. After living with Odysseus for several years and giving birth to a son, Penelope is forced to leave her husband. He must fulfill the oath once given to Elena's father. In addition, the oracle says that without Odysseus the Trojan War cannot be won. But Odysseus also received a prediction: “If you go to Troy, you will return home only after twenty years, lonely and poor.”

Therefore, when Agamemnon, Menelaus and Palamedes arrived for Odysseus, he decided to deceive them by pretending to be crazy. Odysseus, wearing a felt peasant hat in the shape of half an egg, plowed his fields with a plow harnessed to an ox and a donkey, and sowed the field with salt. Palamedes figured out his trick, snatched the baby from Penelope’s hands and put him on the ground in front of the team. Odysseus hastened to stop the animals so as not to kill his only son (Graves, 1992, p. 476). It was Penelope who brought the child to the field. For what?

It seems to us that the task is that Odysseus must leave, this is the development of thinking: Odysseus, as a symbol of patriarchal thinking, leaves to explore, conquer - to understand the world, and Penelope, as a symbol of matriarchal thinking, remains in place, her task is waiting and contemplation.

“The task of the ego at the matriarchal level of consciousness is to wait and watch for favorable and unfavorable times...” (Neumann, 1994, p. 86).
While the war lasts, everything is in a more or less understandable balance. “News reached us about how the siege of Troy was progressing: when it was better, when it was worse... I was waiting for news about Odysseus. His name was mentioned in songs, and I enjoyed such moments... Troy fell... Greek ships sailed to their homeland. That’s all” (Atwood, 2006, pp. 85–86). The return of Odysseus lasted 10 years. 10 years of uncertainty. 10 years of their personal, everyday war, his with Poseidon, hers with the suitors.

Thinking that Odysseus had died, 112 noble young men from the islands that were under the rule of Odysseus began to brazenly court his wife in the hope of marrying her and getting the throne. At first she refused, Odysseus is alive - this was predicted by a reliable oracle. Then, when they became more insistent, Penelope said that she would give an answer as soon as she had woven a shroud for her father-in-law. For three years she sat at work - weaving during the day and unraveling at night, until the suitors figured out her cunning (Graves, 1992, p. 542).

Penelope's stubbornness is annoying. Her name is shrouded in gossip like a veil. They say that she slept with all the suitors and gave birth to Pan (ibid., p. 71):
And the one who, they say, was waiting for you,
can't be found anywhere, because I gave it to everyone
Brodsky, 1993.
“...stubbornness, intransigence, self-will, tyranny are qualities that men usually attribute to women. The mental activity of the matriarchal consciousness, immersed in thought and walking in circles, does not contain the purposefulness of the act of thinking, assumptions and judgments. The mental activity of the matriarchal consciousness corresponds to the beating around and around the center or consideration (which Jung once interpreted as “making it full, as in pregnancy”), not the directness “in the eye” of the male consciousness and the knife edge of its analytical power. The matriarchal consciousness is more interested in the sensory, sensual, sensitive aspect (Sinnhaftigkeit) of a phenomenon, situation or people than in facts and figures, and, consistent with organic growth, is guided more by teleology than by cause and effect,
mechanical and logical point of view” (Neumann, 1994, p. 106).

What is Penelope famous for? There is only one answer - waiting. Waiting can be paralyzing, depriving energy, when the whole meaning of existence is reduced to one thing - waiting for someone who will come and decide. This is probably the very case when hope is harmful, it deprives movement and development, but gives the illusion of life, the illusion of responsibility for self-realization.

Penelope's expectation is different, her “... important property... is... unsinkability, the ability to cope with depression and remain an active, active heroine” (Purtova, 2010, p. 153). “My strategy was to increase Odysseus’s possessions: when he returned, he would find that he had more of everything than he had—more sheep, more cows, more pigs, more crops, more slaves” (Atwood, 2006, p. 92); she raises her son, confronts suitors and waits. It turns out that waiting gives Penelope strength and opens up new areas of development for her. Matriarchal consciousness enriches us, without being interested in whether we want it or not. Another thing is that we often do not pay attention to its resources; we wander somewhere, performing feats, not knowing that homes with rich gifts are waiting for us.

“Life is shaped not so much by our experiences as by our expectations,” wrote Bernard Shaw (quoted in Dan Millman, 2009). Penelope teaches us to wait; her waiting is focused on results. Dan Millman, in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, describes the law of expectation this way.
“Not this tree,” she corrected me. - “The other one, over there.” She pointed to a large oak tree, thirty meters away from us... “The test is to overcome the negative beliefs that drag you down.”

She picked up the stone. I opened my mouth in surprise when I saw that she threw a stone and it hit the target with a loud thud. “Just to get your attention,” she said, smiling as I looked at her with wide eyes. “It’s not enough for you to repeat over and over again, ‘I can do this, I can do that,’” she explained, “as long as your deepest beliefs steal your spirit, robbing you of focus and strength. I want you to bring these negative expectations to the surface - open them to the light of conscious understanding, so that you can see them for what they are. Go on, shout them out, get them out of your lungs!”

Now I really felt stupid, but I did what she asked; I shouted out all the reasons why I couldn't hit the tree. Again and again, prompted by the wise woman, I loudly voiced all my doubts.

“Now,” she said, “look at the tree again and create this expectation: ‘I will easily hit the tree.’” And I repeated it again - “I will easily hit the tree” - and something strange happened: none of my doubts returned. It just became true. I felt it; I completely believed it! It sounded true and certain. When I looked at the tree, I felt an energy thread stretched between me and the tree, and I knew that the stone would fly along this thread to its goal. I stood up straight, maintaining my balance. Nothing existed except the tree, the stone and me. For a moment, “me” was gone. That's when I took a breath and threw the stone. The moment I released it, I knew it would definitely hit the target. I saw him flying, attracted to the tree like a magnet. The stone hit right in the center of the trunk, and at the moment of impact, something shifted inside me. I understood the Law of Expectation: before I do something, I must believe it. I should really expect this.

Nodding, the wise woman said: “...The Law of Expectation reminds you of your inherent power to shape your life by creating images and expectations. By expressing your doubts openly, you lift them from the depths of your mind, dissolving them in the light of awareness” (Dan Millman, 2009).

Penelope's suitors are her doubts, negative expectations,
attacks from patriarchal thinking (the suitors are noble men from the Odyssey islands), her temptations. But consciousness is strengthened through the experience of conflicts, and if the patriarchal consciousness openly enters into battle, fights, dismembers, examines it under a microscope, draws conclusions, then the matriarchal consciousness flows around obstacles, contemplates, bears, and awaits the ripening of a decision.

“The matriarchal consciousness reflects unconscious processes, integrates them and directs them inward, thus taking on a position of “waiting” without the willful intentions of the ego. For the matriarchal consciousness it is a matter of a kind of general perception in which the psyche as a whole participates and in which the ego has the task of directing the libido towards and intensifying the observed life processes or events, rather than abstracting from them, the result of which is an expansion of consciousness. A characteristic factor of such observing consciousness is the act of contemplation, where energies are directed towards the content, process or middle
point, while the ego organizes its participation in the emotionally charged content and allows it to penetrate and saturate it. This is different from an extremely patriarchal consciousness, which distances and abstracts itself from content” (Neumann, 1994, p. 105).

Return. Odysseus returns to Ithaca and “cleans up” the house: he kills the suitors, hangs the maids who flirted with them, that is, thinking analyzes what is happening, isolates the main thing. But when they meet, Penelope puts him to the test: she offers to take the bed out of Odysseus’s bedroom and lay it out for the stranger in other chambers. The fact is that this bed is carved from a tree trunk that has not been uprooted from the ground, that is, it is impossible to take it out, and only Penelope and Odysseus know about this. “Deciding that someone dared to cut down a pillar so dear to his heart, Odysseus flew into a rage” (Atwood, 2006, p. 164). Both proved to each other who was who, she by provoking with a check, he by responding with rage.

“Conflicts that are consciously sought and over which
reflect systematically, are a distinctive feature of the process of individuation, which is a constant “discussion” or search for a common language with “other” or directly opposed ego contents” (Edinger, 2001, p. 15).

Bodily trance poses, performed during a special healing ritual to the sounds of a tambourine and shamanic noisemakers, help to collect those processes that begin to occur during work
with myth. While in a special safe sacred space, in
contact with the natural symbols of Heaven, Earth, which are important for the Warrior,
four cardinal directions and a person at the center of the ritual, we carefully explore this inner territory through ritual trance poses “Standing Jaguar Man”, “Man from Veracruz”, “Woman from Tlatilco”.
“Standing Jaguar Man” from the Olmec culture immerses us in a special timeless state of indestructible trust, readiness to protect and defend. The key points of working with this pose are the restoration of disturbed order in communities, change, transformation and a powerful influx of energy.

The Olmec culture, which once existed in Central America, is one of the most mysterious and fascinating prehistoric cultures we know. The Olmec shamanic cosmology is made visible to us by the special ritual objects of this culture. They clearly convey what the Olmecs knew about the deep interconnection of all living things and about the ability of man, under certain conditions, to overcome the barrier separating different forms of life. Hence the numerous figures depicting different stages of the transformation of people into animals and vice versa. In order for the formation of a Warrior to occur, it is simply necessary to connect with one’s inner strength, which in many shamanic communities is personified by the search for a special animal power, or ally.

The participants' experiences were unusually profound. The appearance of many cats in the inner space seemed to teach the art of waiting, “hunting for the right action.” Observing the inner jaguar taught the ability to “wait for the moment and then act with lightning speed.” The feeling of energy and special heat in the pose accompanied most of the participants throughout the 15 minutes of work. And since the trance pose of “Jaguar Man” is performed standing, there was a feeling of “standing up for yourself,” defending your borders, territory, your beingness. “I am and occupy exactly this place, this space, exactly within these boundaries.” This was also the experience of the importance of the fact that someone is waiting for you, manifested in the image of a lighthouse, lights on the shore, Penelope as the Sun that follows the travelers. And at the same time, the feeling of Penelope as an “anchor”, who with her expectation “seems to ground the energies, allowing the journey to take place.”

The ritual with the trance pose “Bird Man from Veracruz” filled the space with the energy of birds, giving for a while the opportunity to feel the flight and come into contact with different elements in oneself, especially through the appearance of the image of ducks, which perfectly cope with both flying in the air and swimming on water , and with walking on the ground. Changes in hearing and the ability to distinguish the most subtle voices and rustling of wings, and, most importantly, the feeling of one’s flock, one’s natural origins. What you can always rely on in yourself and what your “pack”, or your family, gives you. As is known from the myth, Penelope was thrown into the sea as a child by order of her father, but “a flock of ducks with pink stripes on their plumage prevented her from drowning, fed her and helped her get to the shore. Amazed by what they saw, Icarius and Periboea relented, and Arnea received a new name - Penelope, which means “duck”” (Graves, 1992, p. 476).

Our further immersion in the myth was helped by the amazing trance pose “Woman from Tlatilco,” belonging to the culture of ancient Mexico. The word “tlatilco” itself means “a place where things are hidden.” It was here, on the site of this ancient city, that an astonishing number of ceramic vessels in the shape of animals (primarily ducks and fish) were found among the funerary utensils. In addition, numerous female figurines with elongated faces, called pretty ladies, with unusual patterns on their faces, were discovered in Tlatilco.

After preliminary work with noisemakers, which prepare the body for the perception of a trance experience, for 15 minutes we take a ritual position of the body, which completely reproduces the image of one of the sitting Tlatil women. In this case, a special ritual coloring is applied to the face - these are two lines intersecting on the bridge of the nose, which form four segments. This coloring seems to reflect the integrity of the circle, including the annual circle with its movement of seasons one after another. Considering that we can perceive our coloring only internally, what is of great importance here is that we can observe other participants in the group, noting how the face changes after the ritual coloring, and correlating this with ourselves. If before this the visual movement of the annual circle was visually reflected in an altar divided into four parts, always located in the center of the group’s work space, then here it becomes possible, through coloring, to “take” this from the space, appropriate it for yourself and experience it as the presence of this circle and its parts inside myself.

During preliminary work with noisemakers, thoughts of panic and fear of breaking into panic decisions came. Heart pounding, as if in panic, a feeling of different rhythms that do not agree in any way. Then, when working with a trance pose, the participants had a feeling of steady tension, as if “Penelope had confidence that her wait was not in vain.” The image of a well with steps down, which immediately turned over and turned into a tower, as if, having gone down, you can go up, immediately finding yourself at the top. Heat and feeling of tense anticipation. The desire to move somewhere, the difficulty in maintaining this tension. And then suddenly... a feeling of rootedness and trust. God Chronos and his advice to focus on the present moment.

From participant reviews:
What did I get from Penelope? Patience, the ability to wait for your time while creating
at the same time, Beauty, painstakingly choosing from the total mass of possibilities the details for his intended creation.

We often say that the worst thing that can happen is the unknown. Probably, only in this context is the true meaning of Penelope’s warrior spirit revealed. The ability to wait, to wait, enduring difficult moments
doubts, fear, panic, terrible thoughts that haunt and overtake in the most difficult moments - for this, in my opinion, you need to be a Warrior. During the seminar, I found several keys for myself that help my expectation now. And one of them is an invisible contact, a connection that exists deep down with my inner center. It is like a quiet river that flows somewhere in the depths, and you can only hear it if there is silence around. I am eternally grateful for this seminar, as well as for the amazing trance poses, which during the seminar greatly help to experience this experience not only in symbolic verbal space, but also literally in the physical body through a shamanic journey to oneself. It seems to me that you can go to such seminars many times, so they are cyclical, annual, because it is a journey within yourself. And each time it is new, because we are different each time. And it’s always surprising to discover that this year I’m not at all the same as I was a year ago. And these changes begin somewhere here, in that space where Penelope weaves a shroud every time, and then unravels it...
It seems to us that the development of consciousness is a process that goes both upward and downward. The task of the consciousness of modern man is to be able to rise to the patriarchal level and dive into the depths of the matriarchal level of development.

“Dionysus was bisexual from the beginning... And the change that is symbolized by Dionysus is not the change where the feminine is added
to the masculine or integrated by the masculine; on the contrary, the image demonstrates an androgynous consciousness in which the masculine and feminine are initially co-
united. A conjunction is not some achievement, it is a given. She
is not a goal to be strived for, but an a priori possibility always available to anyone” (Hillman, 2005, pp. 308–309).

It is this possibility that we are trying to discover, to recognize,
be in it at our seminars.


Brodsky I. Ithaca. Quote from:
Homer. Odyssey. – M.: AST, 2010.
Graves R. Myths of Ancient Greece. – M.: Progress, 1992.
Castaneda K. Tales of power. – Kyiv: Sofia, 1992.
Millman D. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. – Kyiv: Sofia, 2009. Quoted. via: http://
Nauwald N., Goodman F. Ecstatic trance. – M.: Ripol classic, 2008.
Purtova E. A. Penelope. The work of expectation // Jungian analysis. 2010. No. 3.
Hillman D. The Myth of Analysis. – M.: Kogito, 2005.
Edinger E. Creation of consciousness. – St. Petersburg: B.S.K., 2001.
Errien E. The Path of Four Roads. – M.: Publishing House “Sofia”, 2003.
Atwood M. Penelopiad. – M.: Open World, 2003.
Jung K. G. Metamorphoses and symbols of libido. – St. Petersburg: VEIP, 1994.
Jacobi I. Psychological teachings of C. G. Jung // Carl Gustav Jung: spirit and
life. – M.: Praktika, 1996. [Electronic resource]. Access mode: http://
Neumann E. The Fear of the Feminine. – Princeton University Press, 1994.

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