Shaman circle of myths. Spring - summer - autumn - winter - and again spring. Spring archetype: Seeing. The myth of Cassandra
Oh, the Great Tree of the World, linking all the worlds!
Our destinies grow in your crown, our ancestors sleep in your roots!
Manifest in this space and let us know ourselves
Rising high to the stars and sinking deep into the earth.
I call all your inhabitants, all those who treat us kindly!
E. Ratnichkina. Opening up sacred space
As we started writing articles for the magazine, we began to see the cycle of seasons living differently. And the first thing we decided to change was to believe in ourselves and try to be in the Healer in the summer, and in the Seer in the spring. This is what we wanted from the very beginning, but Angeles Herrien thinks otherwise, and our work is based on her book The Path of the Four Roads ( Errien, 2003).
In our region, there is a completely different perception of the seasons, cardinal points, and the south and summer are almost synonymous. In the spring, when the snow melts, revealing the hidden, allowing us to "see the invisible" in ourselves and others, in nature and in a certain situation, we honor the inner Seer, acting from our true essence.
Erich Neumann believes that “sex life is also closely related to spring, whose nature as the “season of love” is confirmed by the increase in conceptions, sexual crimes and the increase in the number of suicides. Since sexuality is the starting point for the symptoms of psychic life in general, we can assume how much our psyche depends on cosmically determined periods, including, perhaps, the details of our lives. In this sense, it makes no difference whether we consider this effect to be under the control of hormones or controlled by something else” (Neumann, 1994, p 89).
Hillman writes that “Love blinds us in order to extinguish the false and habitually everyday vision, so that another eye can be opened, the eye that perceives the movement from soul to soul ... Not an enlightened person who looks and sees, but a transparent person who is looked at and seen through; a reckless person who did not hide anything in himself, became transparent thanks to adequate self-esteem; his soul is loved by him, it is completely open, fully expresses itself; he is exactly what he is, he is free from paranoid concealment, from knowing his secrets and from his secret knowledge; its transparency is a kind of prism for the world and for the non-world. For it is impossible to know oneself in a reflective way; only the last reflection - the reflection of the obituary - can tell the truth, and only God knows our real names” (Hillman, 2005, pp. 119–120).
“We follow the path of the Seeer through personal creativity and the ability to bring dreams and inner vision into the world” (Herrien, 2003, p. 24), which means we encourage ourselves and others to seek and express their own truth. This archetype encourages us to answer ourselves the questions, what is our life dream, or, as shamans say, what is our personal magic. The Seer archetype manifests itself as “an unrelenting force within us, insistently urging us to be who we really are, requiring us to manifest and express our true essence, vision and creativity” (ibid., p. 121). Interestingly, in some American Indian cultures, the term "sacred circle" is synonymous with the true, authentic essence and means the sphere of human spirituality. These peoples say that “when a person is himself, he is in the “sacred circle”, and when he returns to the true essence, “sits in the center of the sacred circle” (ibid., p. 115).
Angeles Herrien lives in another hemisphere and on another continent. For us, the archetype of integrity has turned the other way, because the Self is “not just a statistical value or a frozen form, but at the same time a dynamic process” (Jung, 2009, § 411). So, we are writing about spring again, but now for us spring is intuition and the Seer.
The main principle that the Seers are guided by is to speak the truth without accusing or judging. It is not an easy path to speak impartially, remaining within your sacred circle, maintaining your own dignity and the dignity of who or what we are talking about. To walk this path and strengthen "the one who sees" we can be helped by the means that exist in traditional communities: voice work, singing, meditation, reflection, prayer and the search for visions. “The sound of our own voice both relaxes us and causes euphoria; it awakens the reserves of hidden forces, strengthens the sense of belonging to the community” (Goodman, Nauwald, 2008, p. 76). Maybe that's why so many native cultures believe that our favorite songs are songs of power. Spending time in nature, in reflection and meditation, we are renewed, like nature in spring, and discover what is hidden inside. By honoring our dreams and the images that come during meditation, we develop the Seer within us. From this understanding, the Way is born. With guidance from within, we are ready to act. All shamanic healing rites begin with the creation, or rather, with the reproduction of a certain coordinate system within which the ritual will take place, with the opening of the "sacred space", as American shamans call it (Villoldo, 2001, p. 154). Understanding how this space works comes to shamans during training and various vision rites that they undergo during initiation. Sometimes spending several hours preparing for the rite, the shaman calls on spiritual forces that are friendly to him, enlists the support of his ancestors, turns to the four cardinal directions, which can be represented by archetypal animals, as well as to the earth and sky and higher deities. Thus, the shaman actually manifests his inner universe, his inner geography. The very understanding of the annual cycle, its inner philosophy, is revealed at the moment of the beginning of the work of the one who conducts the ritual, making tangible and transparent the forces that are called into the circle.
In a sense, all shamans are masters of creating a ritual space, but all this is preceded by a call and then an initiation: the inner Universe must be “seen”, having passed through death and rebirth. As Joan Halifax puts it, “through symbols, songs and dances, the shaman conveys to his people the essence of the cosmic geography revealed to him at initiation, in trances and soul journeys. Myth-dancing, map-making shamans live in a multi-dimensional inner world that is connected to our so-called reality” (Joan Halifax; cited in Matthews, 2002, p. 24).
Thus, the rites of healing are preceded by rites of vision, the discovery of which can be both a blessing and a heavy burden. “The attacking and violent quality that seizes the personality and transports it into ecstasy, madness, poetry and wisdom when it is seized by a sudden idea, inspiration or ecstasy emanating from the subconscious, is one side of spiritual activity. On the other hand, we find dependence on matriarchal consciousness and trust in it. It is trust in any intuition and inspiration from the emanations of the subconscious, which arise anywhere and at any time, in an incomprehensible and mysterious way that is almost impossible to control. In this sense, all shamanism, extending to prophecy itself, is predominantly passive suffering: its activity is perception rather than intentional action” (Neumann, 1994, p. 92).
As we live the shamanic circle of myths, we also begin work by opening up the sacred space, which is expressed by inviting friendly spiritual forces ready to participate in the ceremony and assist in the journey. We honor our inner Seer by sharing with each other our dreams and images, life stories that come to us while reading myth and traveling with trance postures.
So, the shamanic myth:
Spring - the archetype of the seer - intuition - the myth of Cassandra
Trust the voices in you...
K. Kinchev. The wind leads the dance
And on the night when from the belly of the horse to Troy
Death descended, as it should be, winged,
Above the beaten insane crowd
Someone shouted: "It's the witch's fault!"
V. Vysotsky. Song of Things Cassandra
The myth of Cassandra is the breaking point between the intuition of the matriarchal consciousness and the consciousness itself, which has passed to the patriarchal level of development. What does Cassandra see when she receives Apollo's gift? Why, having received a gift, does she immediately try to refuse it? The gift of Apollo is the ability to accurately name what you see:
Where did you find in vain flour
A prophetic word is a divine gift?
With the cries of delirium merges the song of the prophet,
Harmonious song of fate.
Where did you find such a tune for a tune,
New threatening grief?
Aeschylus, stanza 1150
But what does “exactly” mean when it comes to seeing?
The myth begins with the death of the Mother in the womb of the Father. Zeus swallows Metis, pregnant with Athena: he fears the birth of a son who will overthrow him. As a result, the most devoted daughter in the world is born from the head of Zeus, a daughter who never knew her mother. As a child, Athena is friends with a boy, in some versions of the myth - with a girl named Pallas (Pallant). This friend of hers Athena accidentally kills during the game. In memory of the slain, she adds his name to her name and creates palladium, which she places on Olympus.
When Zeus rapes the galaxy Electra on Olympus, she touches the palladium with her hand. Athena throws out both the galaxy and the palladium in anger. Electra is Cassandra's great-great-great-grandmother, and it is this palladium that Il (Cassandra's great-grandfather) will find, asking the gods for a sign in honor of the construction of the city: “Apollo Smintheysky gave Ilu the following advice: “Save the goddess falling from heaven, and you will save your city. After all, wherever the goddess goes, she carries power with her!” According to the advice of Il, he erected a temple in the citadel, where he placed the statue ”(Graves, 1992, p. 464). The gods predict a bad future for the city, so Il does not build walls around Ilion - his son does. The fortress walls that will withstand a ten-year siege are built by Poseidon and Apollo:
“Zeus, angry that Apollo and Poseidon rebelled against him, forced the gods to serve as simple day laborers, and Laomedont took advantage of their service. Poseidon built, and Apollo played the lyre and fed the sheep of Laomedon. Leleg Aeacus helped Poseidon. But Laomedon deceived the gods and did not pay them what was due, which caused their terrible indignation” (ibid., p. 464). Poseidon builds walls of stone, Apollo of music: Troy is securely packed.
What we have? Troy (Ilion) is a capsule of trauma, and palladium is the symbol of trauma. Zeus and Metis (thought, wisdom), Zeus and Electra - absorption and violence of the Great Feminine by the Great Masculine. Athena is the killer of Pallas (Pallanta), and this friend means a lot to her if she mourns and tries to perpetuate her / his memory. What does this mean? Who is this friend for Athena? Her love? Her sensibility? We don't know, but it looks like it's something that Athena can't deal with. Athena is the only female-non-female goddess. Murder - a symbol of the transition from matriarchal to patriarchal? “Pallas means only “girl” or “young man”” (ibid., pp. 30–31), that is, she kills her innocence, naivety, pays off the matriarchal, jumps over the transition from matriarchal to patriarchal, becomes the goddess of wisdom. “She herself was not born a woman, but came out of the head of Zeus, and therefore, by nature, she is deeply hostile to the chthonic-feminine element in every mother and in every woman born from a mother” (Neumann, 1998, p. 193).
“Among the younger children of Hekabe, Cassandra and Helen were twins. During the celebration of their birthday, which was arranged in the sanctuary of Apollo Fimbreysky, they were tired of games and fell asleep in a corner, and their parents, who had drunk too much wine, forgot about them and staggered home. When Hekaba returned to the temple, she saw that the sacred snakes were licking the ears of her children, and screamed in horror. The snakes immediately disappeared into a pile of laurel branches, but from that moment Cassandra and Gehlen began to have the gift of prophecy ”(Graves, 1992, p. 465). Further, the myth unfolds in such a way that we can see: there is an intuition of the matriarchal level (Kassandra) and the patriarchal (Gehlen), they are not connected; Cassandra dies after the death of Troy, Helen becomes the king of the Molossians, befriends the son of Achilles, lives a long life after the fall of Troy, that is, as if there is a gap in the development of intuition, a ban on the development of the female image. But Cassandra does not die in a burning city, she finds death in a foreign land, at the hands of a woman. She is killed by Clytemnestra, who in turn bears the stamp of the same violence: her first husband and child are killed by Agamemnon, her second husband, her daughter Iphigenia is sacrificed by him. The matriarchal won't let her go? As if the transition requires a betrayal of the Mother, which Cassandra must not commit. Cassandra is a priestess of Athena claimed by Apollo. Apollo and Athena are the forces of light opposing the darkness of the matriarchal world; Cassandra is the sacrifice that allows the Father to triumph over the Mother.
There is another version of the myth, how Cassandra received the gift of Apollo.
“Once Cassandra fell asleep in the temple, Apollo appeared to her and promised to teach her the art of clairvoyance if she shared a bed with him. Cassandra, having accepted a gift from him, refused the rest. Apollo persuaded her to one kiss, and when she kissed him, he spat in her mouth and thereby made it so that no one ever believed her prophecies ”(ibid.).
Cassandra does what she has to do: she refuses, sustaining a note of extreme excitement. Consciousness wants connection, but matriarchal intuition refuses, seeing the whole nightmarish prospect of refusal. But Apollo accepts the refusal.
From the workshop review :
Cassandra is the voice of Troy, the symbol of this city. A contradiction within me - recognition and downcast eyes, shame? Or avoidance.... You carry the mark of otherness. Who will remember that the war was unleashed by others, if you are talking about death, prophesying how crazy you are rushing along the walls. And yet why did you refuse Apollo? Or did she not refuse and took the poison of the kiss in full mind and consciousness?
We find ourselves in a state where intuition predicts, shows what will happen, but consciousness does not believe, refuses to believe. Why is it necessary for the psyche? Why do we all face desperate distrust of ourselves? We know what will happen, but we do not believe, and then we mourn and grieve, we are angry with ourselves. For what?
From a review of the seminar : And how I, at first feeling this intuitive message in myself and responding to it, then at the last moment doubted and refused it, like Cassandra, who violated the agreement with Apollo. What motivated me in those moments? I think fear. Fear of taking responsibility for what will happen next, because as soon as knowledge is recognized, it is automatically necessary to recognize what follows this knowledge. And then, following this knowledge, such a difficult road of pain and loss opens up that , probably, everyone who has ever been sealed within the walls of their own Troy has to face ...
The intuition of the matriarchal consciousness speaks directly from the Self. The ego cannot take on such responsibility, the society is not ready for such knowledge. For many centuries this intuition has been corroded by the unconscious, which makes it easier for the patriarchal consciousness.
But Apollo remembers Cassandra and does not let Orestes out of his field of attention until he is acquitted for the murder of Clytemnestra. “The trial took place as expected. Apollo appeared as a defender, and the eldest of the Erinyes as an accuser. In a flamboyant speech, Apollo denied the significance of motherhood, arguing that a woman is nothing more than a furrow into which her husband throws seed, that what Orestes has done has enough justification, since only a father is worthy of being called a parent. When the votes were divided, Athena took the side of her father and cast her vote in defense of Orestes” (ibid., p. 323). Orestes is acquitted for the murder of his mother. “Defending himself from the mother world of vengeful furies, who are looking for the killer of the mother in order to kill him himself, Orestes takes the world of light as an ally. Apollo and Athena help him achieve justice, and justice in this case means the introduction of a new law as opposed to the old matriarchal law, which did not know forgiveness for the incomprehensible crime of killing his mother ”(Neumann, 1998, p. 193).
Enantiodromia, reversal, change of opposites: there was one parent - Mother, there was one parent - Father. At the seminar, this is a place of tension, a place of anger: “How is it, only one parent is the Father?!” At the trial, this is stated by Apollo, who, together with his sister, killed the children of Niobe, who insulted their Mother, Leto. Is his statement as unambiguous as we used to think? Or is it very important for him to bring the Father into the world, albeit to the detriment of the Mother? Athena gives shelter to the Erinyes (matriarchal law) on the land of Athens.
Should I bear the insult!
Am I, a gray-haired old woman,
Into the black bowels of the earth
To leave in disgrace!
Anger fills the chest
Anger bursts out
Pain gripped my heart.
My mother, Night, do you hear?
With cunning, the gods completely shamed me.
No, I won't get tired of teasing you.
You won't say that I, the youngest goddess,
And these townspeople are ancient guests,
Despising hospitality, they rudely drive away.
No, if Pito, the goddess of persuasion,
You honor - you will soften, having heard meek advice.
So stay. If you refuse
Stay, you do not dare to send to my city,
On my people, curse, damage, destruction.
Oh yes, don't you dare. After all, you are offered
To rule the earth here forever and to live in honor.
Lady Athena, where will you give me shelter?
Where there is no trouble or grief. Settle, live!
And I will settle down - what will be the honor for that?
Without you, there will be no prosperity in any house.
Will you give me that power?
I will send luck to those who honor you.
And in this you give eternal guarantee?
What not to be, that would not be promised.
(Aeschylus, stanzas 880–900)
Neither Apollo nor Athena deny the Mother, but it is important for them to affirm the law of the Father.
Matriarchal consciousness cognizes by contemplation, patriarchal - by reflection. Apollo seeks an alliance with Cassandra, without her he is cold and aloof, kills at a distance, looking through a microscope, distinguishes, divides and concretizes. If Apollo unites with Cassandra, matriarchal intuition rises to the level of patriarchal consciousness, a genuine work of imagination arises, which “goes beyond the limits of the mental union of our microcosmic fantasy life, reflexive “hatching” by the mind of its thoughts... male and female polarities” (Hillman, 2005, p. 113).
“Sudden thought and intuition are expressions of the spiritual power of the unconscious lumen naturae [light of nature] of the archetypal female night world, where darkness is suddenly illuminated by light, as if by inspiration” (Neumann, 1994, p. 79).
Apollo: And then, in the temple, I seemed to you at least a little... attractive
Cassandra: Ah, Apollo... You were divinely good... But too zealous...
Boris A. Novak
There are certain trance positions that seem to be designed to enhance the state of vision. Probably, many of these postures are what remains of ancient shamanic rituals designed to move into a special state of perception, in which the “perception filters” shift especially rapidly, making a different understanding of the world and deep knowledge available to us. Imprinted in stone, clay and rock paintings, these ancient "ritual instructions" have survived to this day and are available for our "member observation".
One of these ritual poses, the “Mochika clairvoyant”, belongs to the ancient Peruvian culture of the Mochika Indians, known throughout the world for their amazing ceramics and the sacred Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. A small clay figurine depicts a seated old woman in a collected, tense pose, with her knees drawn up. An unusual pattern is drawn on her face in paired lines. One look at her is enough to feel the special depth and concentration of her state: “the one who sees” has experienced both the gift of vision and its burden. Maybe that's why one gets the feeling that one of her eyes looks into "this" world, far into space, and the other is turned deep into herself. The large size of her ears attracts attention, which indicates to us different ways of obtaining information in an altered state of consciousness. As the Buryat shaman Marina Choyzhalsanova says, “shamanic vision can come in the form of whispers, pictures, sensations... it’s different for everyone, someone just gains knowledge” (from a personal conversation). If you rub your ears before performing a trance pose to activate their function, then perception during a trance will be especially heightened. Drawing paired lines on the face creates a certain energy imprint that can enhance experiences not only during trance, but also during sleep in the first nights after the trip. “Dreams become clearer, and everything we see in them becomes more voluminous” (Goodman, Nauwald, 2008, p. 219).
The experience of the participants can be described in the following words: a lot of energy and a lot of anger; intolerance, impotence; Priestess of the Moon and Priestess of the Sun; a lot of fire, heat, feeling of expansion. The ritual pose unfolded the theme of the rapid opening of the vision and the acquisition of the gift, bringing to the surface the dispute “I can - I can’t”, anger and reassurance, the feeling that “I can look into the water and see the edge of the sun”, “the connection of the impossible”, as well as the conflict between logic and intuition, male and female. One of the stories about the journey: I see everything in red-orange-black tones, this is Nowhere. Lots of fire, very hot. Drum music. A man is dancing. Lots of passion, lots of aggression. Scary. Mysteriously. It's bewitching. Hurt. He beckons. It's impossible to break away. No time, no space. It seems like it goes on forever. Or one moment. I know that this is the dance of Apollo.
We usually start and end the seminar by playing our tambourines together, focusing on the inner theme "I'm like Cassandra". In the first circle of sound, according to the participants, Kassandra stood up to her full height, causing indignation of all internal elements.
There was a feeling of throwing in front of the energy that is approaching, and you, as a person, cannot do anything, only warn, the power is coming. The second circle of joint sounding connects the impressions of the entire process, collecting all the stories that have been heard and exposing a special territory within us associated with the Vision.
I would like to finish the article about Cassandra and the Vision with the words of the seminar participants: “We can talk about the deep living not only of my personal female history, but also the transpersonal history of the Feminine, where I felt like a vessel for its embodiment. At the same time, I accepted in myself that which I used to shy away from, even feared, and therefore avoided it. What was previously devalued by me as part of an unworthy, even low in the eyes of society, has become my strength. I felt the power of a woman.
Like a veil fell from my eyes.
Cassandra reveals something to each of the vast and numerous that is in her, depending on how much each one is able to accept at the moment. Or not accept. Definitely for Cassandra to mature.
I want to run and yell when all this is going on. Be horrified, inhabitants of Troy, at my madness, for you have not realized your own. You haven't found what I found yet. What you don't own is easy to sacrifice.
If there is no need for freedom, slavery is only the relief of the days of life . Especially now. Ready-made opinions, ways of life, rules - everything for a safe dying. It was easy for me to give up on myself yesterday, before meeting with Apollo. And now I am. My Zeus, Baba Yaga, Jesus, Abraham, Isaac and Cassandra, Medea, Gingerbread Man and Little Humpbacked Horse are equally important to me. My Baba Yaga has a full cellar of magic and a full fence of heads. I need an Apollo. I need I. Cassandra, thank you.”
Neumann E. The Fear of the Feminine. – Princeton University Press, 1994.
Villoldo A. Shaman. Sage. Healer. – Sofia, 2001.
Graves R. Myths of Ancient Greece. – M.: Progress, 1992.
Goodman F., Nauwald N. Ecstatic trance. – Ripol classic, 2008.
Matthews D. Celtic shaman. – M.: Sofia; ID Helios, 2002.
Errien E. Way of four roads. – Sofia, 2003.
Novak B. A. Kassandra. Cit. via: http://www.stihi.ru/2011/04/14/9165.
Neumann E. Origin and development of consciousness. – M.-Kyiv, Refl-book,
Hillman D. The myth of analysis - M .: Cogito-center, 2005.
Aeschylus. Oresteia // Agamemnon. Cit. by: http://www.lib.ru/POEEAST/
Aeschylus. Oresteia // Eumenides. Cit. by: http://www.lib.ru/POEEAST/
Jung K. G. Eon - M .: Academic project, 2009.