Myth is the secret opening… A myth we re-quicken in our minds and our lives, brings creative juice… Joseph Campbell
During the early 1980s my search for understanding, my quest for meaning. brought me to the works of Joseph Campbell. Jean Shinoda Bolen’s, Goddessess In Everywoman also made a deep impression. As a painter it was easy to identify with Artemis, or Diana the Huntress, goddess of the moon, for I was also on a hunt, and Diana’s arrows became my paintbrushes. Skip to the next decade when I began writing about my experiences, and the myth of Psyche and Eros sprang front and center.
Psyche’s goal was to win back the love of Eros. For the ancients, the longing for Eros was a mystical longing for union with soul. To fall in love was to reawaken to spirit. Love brought forth beauty. Beauty was the catalyst, the first link between the inner world and the outer world of the senses. The beauty of the beloved prompted the soul to remember its divine origin.
In the myth, Eros was Psyche’s husband. He rescued her from the dragon and married her, but forbade her to look at him. One night she did. She looked at him while he was sleeping. He woke up and flew away.
The first of Psyche’s tasks was sorting the seeds. The other three tasks took her far and wide. Finding the golden fleece, filling a flask with water from the River Styx, and fetching a box of beauty ointment from Persephone in the Underworld.
I, on the other hand, didn’t have to go anywhere. My journey was within.
For five-and-a-half-years I sorted form and color and followed an inner logic. I was guided by an invisible cord to find a path deeper than the eyes could see.
For my task was to retrieve a memory from the bottomless deep. A search and rescue mission back through Time to locate the place where I had lost myself.
Eros was key.
It was love that kept calling me. Beauty and Love was the bait, the creative juice that led me back to soul.
What is your key? What note are you playing in? Finding the door is one thing. Locating the key to open it is even better…