Category: Mythology

Embrace it Like the Very Last Christmas

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Written Malayna Dawn for Unity Community Church where she poses as web-"mistress".

MayanSanta

If the Mayan calendar is right, and the world is ending on December 21 2012, (my birthday) or even transforming dramatically, this could be the last Christmas* and the last New Year.  At least, the last one we might recognize. 

Kinda a bummer, I know. But we Unitics (AKA Truth students, positive thinkers, Pollyannas) can make it work for us.

 Last year, we thought it might be the last holiday we could spend in our family home, so we did it UP!

We infused every aspect with appreciation and love, and lived it consciously and meaningfully

(P.S.–Thanks to the law of attraction and our attitude of gratitude, we didn’t lose the house!)

Let’s treat this holiday season the same way. Deck the heck out of those halls, and trim those trees to teetering!  Be good to yourself, and give to others from the heart.

If anything can stop the end of the world, it would be unfettered, unadulterated LOVE.  And if it can’t be stopped, we may as well enjoy it to the fullest, live in the moment and have no regrets.

Make the most of the Mayan prophecy and make this holiday season the best EVAH!

(And if it turns out NOT to be the end of the world, we can top ourselves next holiday season while we giggle.)

Love, Laugh, and Live it UP!

Also check out last year's Christmas cogitation: Symbolic Wishes for a Metaphysical Christmas

Mayan Santa image combines an image from the Dimension of Power blog and a Santa hat icon from Icon Archive.com.

* We'll probably get to squeeze out one more Hannukah. No Kwanzaa though. 

Goddesses of Business – Female Archetypes for Professional Roles

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By Malayna Dawn

P5270033 As women in business, we aren’t always lucky enough to have role models to follow. But if we look back to the ancient world, we can find that many mythologies included ideal feminine concepts that were not restricted to the care of home and family.

The psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) used familiar symbols as models for patterns of behavior or personality traits called “archetypes”. We have many archetypes at work within us, helping us to fulfill our various roles in life. There are numerous images to choose from, but for representations of ideally powerful women, goddesses are probably the best. 

(Photo of Athena at the Vatican Museum taken by Malayna Dawn)

Listed below is a sampling of goddess archetypes we can apply to the business world.  Whether we recognize these qualities in ourselves already, or long to possess them, perhaps with these archetypes as guidance, their traits can become part of our working personas.

Athena/Minerva

Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. Her mother was Metis, goddess of wisdom, but she emerged fully grown out of her father Zeus' head.  Her Roman counterpart was Minerva, goddess of wisdom, medicine, the arts, dyeing, science, trade, and war. She was also credited with the invention of numbers and musical instruments.

The Athena/Minerva archetype speaks to women’s ability to multi-task.  The Athena-type’s well-rounded education allows them to communicate well with men and earn their respect, which can be very useful in business.


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April Foolishness and Archetypal Enlightenment

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Jester-clipart April Fool’s Day is a day to play jokes, which can (if we’re lucky) have the positive effect of shaking people out of their stupor, and hopefully making them laugh. This is great for seeing things from a new perspective and lightening up – or maybe even Enlightening Up!

“Everything that I’ve read suggests that enlightenment is lightening up,” said comedian Mike Myers in an interview. “’Ha Ha’ and ‘A-Ha’ are connected – they’re related industries.”

Caroline Myss examines the archetype of the Fool along with about 70 others, in her book Sacred Contracts. She explains that the fool is more than a simpleton, but by acting like one, he is able to communicate serious issues through humor.

In the case of a Court Jester, the fool expresses to a King what commoners or even the court members wouldn’t dare to say, much like political satirists do today. In other words, at their most positive, the Fool can “carry truth into closed circles or closed minds.”

The shadow, or negative aspect, of the Fool archetype manifests as cruel personal mockery or betrayal, specifically the breaking of confidences gained through knowledge from the inner circle.

So if you see any unenlightened pranks being played on April Fool’s Day, step in to find and share the positive in the scenario.  Tell pranksters and their victims about:

• the Sufi (mystics of Islam) figure Mullah Nasruddin, popular in Egypt, Iran, and Turkey– half saint and half fool, he acts like a ninny to teach wisdom.

• Or of King Arthur’s court jester, Sir Dagonet, who was knighted as a joke, but who also performed bravely in tournaments.

• Or the tricksters of Native American lore –  Heyoka, from the Lakota Sioux, who does things backwards to teach people not to take themselves too seriously or the animal medicine of Coyote. (Remember Wile E. Coyote from Warner Bros. cartoons?)

Coyote-tricksters

So don’t be afraid to act like a fool on April Fool’s Day. It may offer the breakthrough you’ve been looking for!

Written by Malayna Dawn for her blog, Symbolic Themes.

 

Jester image from Spiritually Starving

Coyote Medicine Card from Animal Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams, David Carson and Angele Werneke. 

Wile E. Coyote image from Digital Citizen.

Exploring the Angkor Wat Temples

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For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something BIG. Something from my Life List, something that came from my dreams.  Since I was in Sri Lanka for the big event, it made sense to take advantage of being on this side of the world. But having just traveled from L.A., I didn't want to fly too far. So I came up with Cambodia and Angkor Wat.  I'll admit that this was partly inspired by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which I dig because of my deep love of Indiana Jones. (I also like The Mummy movies, if you must know.)

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Thoughts on Themes of AVATAR

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I was fortunate enough to see the film AVATAR with an insightful chick from India, who explained to me at intermission (we have those in Sri Lankan movie theaters) that the word “avatar” still has spiritual meaning to people in India, and therefore when they’re referring to the movie, they might differentiate it by pronouncing it with an American accent!  

 

The definition for them is “The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.” She pointed out that Vishnu’s avatar is Krishna and both are blue.  And also that the Na’vi had tails, much like the monkey god, Hanuman. 

 

She also mentioned that the word “Na’vi” sounds like the Hindi word for “new” and she wondered how the Na’vi language was developed, so I found an explanation for her on Wikipedia.

 

The name PANDORA

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Contemplating “Twilight” – Story, Symbolism, and Mythology

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Twilightbooks

I had put off reading Twilight initially. 

Maybe it was out of loyalty to Anne Rice’s vampires

Maybe because it looked like a teenage vampire story and I thought I couldn’t relate to the kids today. 

Honestly, it was largely because I’m in the midst of writing my next book—still a spiritual adventure set in Sri Lanka, but a gothic and supernatural one–and I didn’t want to be influenced too much. 

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetknez23/

But then I gave in. My mind needed data.

I’m so glad that I did!  For one thing, it made me feel young! And apparently, I CAN relate to the kids today, since I know a few Tweens who are totally into the series, as well as several alleged-adults like myself.  Youth is a state of mind

Also – it reminded me that true creativity isn’t diminished by appreciating others’ creative work, instead, it breeds inspiration by feeding the imagination.  Creation feeds creation—it’s the circle of life and of giving and receiving. And that’s all good stuff.  Her praise for the band “Muse” * for inspiring her is a good example.

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Spiritual Metaphors 4 Life ~ Hero’s Journey

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Life is like a heroic journey. You are the hero of your own life story. There are always challenges and monsters, but there are helpers and guides too. After we cross into the unknown, we find that we have more inside us then we realized. Then we return home from our spiritual adventure to find that we have changed and we bring something new to old circumstances. Herosjourney 

The heroic life is living the individual adventure.
~ Joseph Campbell

Why “Symbolic Themes”?

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A friend of mine once asked me “Why Symbolic Themes?”

I told him that it’s how my mind works. I see thematic patterns in the symbols around me, and I use it to guide me through life. But I’ve just found further justification for my choice of blog names in a book called “Man and His Symbols” edited by eminent psychologist, Carl Jung.

It’s a book that explains Jung’s philosophy in laypeople’s terms so that non-academics can play along at home. Basically, Jung believed that our subconscious communicates with us in the language of symbols and archetypes that have appealed to people throughout history. He also believed that by paying attention to our dreams, and our responses to the symbols we encounter around us, we can interpret the intuitive guidance we have within us.

Here’s the quote that made me think I was on the right track with the name for this blog that I had already chosen, years ago:

“…the great writers are able to transcend the differences of time and place and express themes that are universal. We respond because these themes are fundamentally symbolic.”

I love to talk about those universal similarities that transcend time and place! (And I aspire to be a great writer someday too). All great artists transcend time and place when their work touches something in their audience that resonates within them.

What led me to read "Man and His Symbols" was a quest to find where my work and chosen area of study fits in the world. I found some Masters Degree courses in Transpersonal Psychology, and though I can't take them the way I want to right now, I found that Jung is at the bottom of it all. So I decided to educate myself. Many of his ideas are already so familiar to me, but I learned them from people who built upon his work, like Joseph Campbell and Carolyn Myss

Here’s the description from the back of MY book, Echoes Across Time:

Backofbook

“Mara is a woman on a mission… to follow the unraveling trail of meaning behind her symbolic dreams while trying to save her best friend from self-destruction.

Part spiritual adventure, part feminist fairy tale, this modern-day myth takes you through a mystical series of events from America to India, and on to Sri Lanka spanning four generations.

Along the way it offers metaphorical explanations for simple mysteries of our lives that make up our identities. From seemingly inexplicable friendships to exotic mixed ancestry, Mara finds the purpose behind it all. Ultimately the tale offers insight into how each of our souls has at least one connection that echoes across time.”

So though I chose the name Symbolic Themes for my work years ago, and wrote a book based on the things that fascinate me, I’m feeling pretty good about myself because without really knowing it, I have fallen very nicely within the framework of Jungian thinking! I may even be channeling Carl Gustav Jung himself! 

I Wanna Be A Muse

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When I grow up, I wanna be a muse.

If you’ve seen the movie Xanadu like I did numerous times as a kid, (or the Broadway Musical), then you know that a muse is one of 9 sister goddesses from Greek mythology, whose job it is to inspire humans.

The movie totally inspired me–-of course, I was 10, so all I took from it were the concepts of divine intervention, inspiration, possibility, magic, music and that love conquers all. Good stuff. I never did pick up the whole roller skating thing though, but I did sport leg warmers for a while for no particular reason.

Anyway, back to the Greek muses. Each of them had a different talent, or area of expertise. There’s a good breakdown on the Wiki page. Of course, the Greeks weren’t the only ones with muses. India has the apsaras and Norse mythology has the Volva. So there.

So here’s what I’ve decided I like as a mission statement: to inspire and a-muse, helping people to get more in touch with their own intuitive guidance.

So let us muse together, about music, museums and general amusement for personal enhancement!

Xanadu

Pic credit: http://www.musical-world.de/DVD/DVD-Rocky/DVD-Xanadu/Xanadu.jpg