My last two posts here and here, were in response to questions from students at Justina Lasley’s and Tzivia Gover’s Institute for Dream Studies. This post is the answer to their final question: “How do I identify the Mediatrix archetype in my dreams?”
In Aeschylus’s tragic play Agamemnon, Cassandra is a prophetess who foretells the fall of Troy and the death of Agamemnon, but no one believes her. Agamemnon goes to war with Troy anyway, and when it falls, Cassandra is raped, then given to Agamemnon. On their way back to Greece, she and Agamemnon are murdered. Cassandra’s seemingly supernatural ability to see into the future, as well as her suffering for it, is one theme associated with the Mediatrix archetype.
In the ancient myth of Inanna, Goddess of Heaven and Earth, Inanna descends into the Great Below to visit her sister, Queen of the Underworld. There she is stripped of all her belongings and hung on a meathook for three days until she is rescued by tiny emissaries of her priestess. When she returns home she rules as a benevolent and wise goddess.This myth depicts another Mediatrix theme: the wisdom gained from the suffering that comes with going deep to connect with the darkest mysteries of oneself and life.
Persephone’s rape and kidnapping by Hades, followed by Demeter’s search for her with the aid of a torch provided by the goddess Hecate, contains the above themes and suggests a third: the guidance and protection provided by the Mediatrix. In this story the Mediatrix is represented by Persephone, who goes to the underworld unwillingly, Demeter, who consciously explores that realm in her search for her beloved daughter, and Hecate—the goddess of crossroads, entrance-ways, light, and the hidden arts of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, and sorcery.
In The Odyssey, Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, disguises herself as the old man Mentor. Mentor is Odysseus’s wise friend and guide, and in his absence, the teacher of his son, Telemachus. The word ‘mentor’ means wise counselor, teacher, sponsor, or supporter. These, too, are qualities of the Mediatrix archetype.
Thank you Jeanie, this is wonderful. It’s also helping me ‘look’ at a very puzzling recent dream in a hopefully newer and fresher way.
Thank you, Susan. Good luck with that dream! 🙂
Very dear Jean, I sense you speaking from the Mediatrix archetype yourself in this deeply wise and compassionate article. As I slowly begin my healing following a major surgery and long hospitalization, your words speak to my soul. I’m too weak to respond more now, but would love to have a conversation with you sometime (perhaps by phone or email) about the Mediatrix and the forms she takes in our individual lives and communities… Bless you for your good work!
Thank you Kirsten. Nothing would please me more than to have a lovely long talk with you. Let me know when you’re well enough. I know you are learning so much in this period of your life and I look forward to our talk and to seeing more blog posts from you in the near future. Blessings and be well, Jeanie
Reblogged this on lampmagician.