The Living Power of Myth

My Life Is A Myth Unfolding

I am the creator of my life’s story.
I rise and greet each new day
with gratitude, faith, and passion
open to possibilities
that come to me along the way.
My life is a myth unfolding.

Joseph Campbell discussed the profound connection of myth and ritual with the divine in The Power of Myth, “A ritual can be defined as an enactment of a myth. By participating in a ritual, you are actually experiencing a mythological life. And it’s out of that participation that one can learn to live spiritually.” Myths, whether personal, religious, or collective are a timeless practice for living, growing, and being. Myths allow us to imagine the lives we want to create.

Myths are retold throughout the centuries because they resonate within the collective life we all share. They show us how similar we are to one another, as well as how to respect all our many differences. Myths—storytelling, is the shared exchange our ancestors used to make sense of the world around them.

Most common in all cultures is creation myths. Countless creation stories, spoken around a fire, or told in paintings on cave walls, enable humans to imagine the universe and their place in the design of the cosmos. Myths contain the possibilities for change and affirm the cycles of the seasons as well as the personal seasons of our lives.

For me, reclaiming the healing power of ritual and myth demands nothing less than a commitment to my personal evolution; to be as fully aware–moment to moment–of my thoughts, intentions, and actions as I can. Living a fully conscious life is like dancing on the head of a pin, living in the moment–being the observed, while also standing outside myself–observing my actions and intentions–what I am creating.

This is not a comfortable or pain-free place to live. Ritual does not bring easy answers or miraculous cures. To truly live—write my own story, my personal myth—I must willingly be in the dark places as well as the light. I must have the courage to not only dance on the head of the pin, but to dance with my shadow on the head of the pin. The “shadow of self” is what Jungian psychology refers to as the unconscious or aspects of the unconscious personality which the conscious ego self does not recognize, own, or acknowledge. It is, more often than not, thought that the shadow is “negative” because it is the part of the ego that we reject or keep veiled so that we remain nescient and unaware. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

With conscious thought and inquiry guiding the journey of ritual growth, I must then move through all the emotions, the ups and downs of life, my personal myth, and be fully present in the matrix of the story I’m writing. To sit in the silence, to rage at the pain of injustice, to be sad at the disappointments, to spontaneously reach out, or go willingly into the cave of my own soul and seek the mirror of honesty. Living a mythic life, where the everyday in ordinary life is imbued with meaningful moments, becomes a conscious ritual. It is not only a hero’s journey, it is the path of the warrior. The rituals and recipes in Feminine Alchemy ask, no require, that the reader journey into an awakening and confront fear, seek healing, and forge a new pathway.

Rituals and myths are a collective way of relating to the divine energies and celebrating them. In the process of celebrating these life-affirming energies, we have the opportunity to practice a form of the ancient art known as alchemy—to change our lives for the better, to create our lives the way we want them to be . . . to write our own myth, the story of our lives.

I am the Creator of my life’s story.
A hero fighting dragons of doubt
Tale of a life-long quest
Relentlessly striving and searching
the prize, a Grail, filled with my soul’s very best
My life is a myth unfolding.

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment