The lives of many, if not most of us were touched and shaped in important ways by the elder women in our families or neighborhoods. Yet, as a society, we rarely give credit to the crones or sing their praises in any public way. Indeed, in the West where youth is worshiped, the older one gets, the less visible one becomes. Respect for the Goddess archetype in her aspect as Crone may have disappeared from the world, but She remains a reality within the psyche.
Femininity is universally associated with beauty, softness, tenderness, receptivity, relationship, and caring. While some equate these qualities with weakness, Spirit Warriors know they make us stronger than we ever imagined possible. Of the many symbols suggesting this kind of strength, none speaks as strongly to me as the caryatid.
At the age of 35 I had a wonderful family, good health, a comfortable lifestyle, and a master’s degree: everything a woman could want. Right? You’d think so. But I felt painfully unfulfilled. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just be happy? I felt like an ungrateful wretch.
Remember Popeye? He’s a runty, uneducated, playful, squinty-eyed guy with a speech impediment who sails the seven seas, adopted an infant foundling he calls Swee’Pea, and is in love with a tall, skinny drink of water named Olive Oyl. Unfortunately, his nemesis, the musclebound bully Bluto, is also attracted to Olive Oyl and keeps trying to kidnap her.
The death goddesses and their myths are, in part, metaphors for loss: the loss of youth and innocence, of important roles and relationships, of personal power, of fertility. In dreams as in life, death symbols point to the outworn attitudes and assumptions we need to slough off, like a snake shedding a tight-fitting skin so it can keep growing.
Once, enthroning King Ego aided the survival of our species. But the rules have changed. Now he is a dinosaur whose dominator mind-set is rapidly becoming extinct.
By reuniting our minds and bodies, Serpent Mother returns us to the magical childhood mystery of living in the here and now, but with an important difference. This time we know the place for the first time and experience appreciation and gratitude for what Jungian analyst Marion Woodman calls “the eroticization of all of life.”
The Eastern world has long known about the power and effects of Kundalini, but most Westerners have no idea that such a thing as spiritual evolutionary energy exists. Yet, committed seekers and spirit persons have repeatedly reported experiencing the disconcerting effects of its awakening…
Snakes fascinate and terrify most of us. Because of this near universal reaction, and because snakes have played such important roles in the mythology of just about every religion, we know they have relevance to the psycho-spiritual life of every human being.