Her name has come up here and there over the last few days. I am happy to have found her. So many elements to her ways ring true to me. Poetry, the underworld , the cauldron, love-death-rebirth, maiden-mother-crone-… I am very in tune with her and she seems to know me better that I do her. As I am wandering through the dark forest of menopause. I am transforming and changing, stretching and aching. I have reached the second return of Saturn. I am 54 and I am at that place of the mystery of women. Passing the tests of time of experience, of knowledge~ maybe too I have passed her tests. I hope so. It is not so lonely now. I am ready for story telling, sharing and learning. She is calling me… all women..!
I don’t know if others working with their shadow experience this or not. Recently I engaged with a lot of creative forgiveness work with others and myself. I call it taming the wild woman within. The symbol that comes to mind is the wild purple thistle that grows on the hills and fields in my town. Interesting to view, sticky, needles all over, and that purple color…wow. Yet, often we tend to cut down and do not give time for this wild purple thistle to come to full fruition. Occasionally we see them in forgotten fields or in an uncut neighbor’s lawn. I love them. I tend to cut them down too. I know that when we do too much healing, or forgiveness and bring that awesome light into our bliss felt little existence, we ignore the shadow in us. Then like the wild thing that it is, it pops up in the most unexpected ways. Maybe it is a projection of our shadow on to a situation that is not to our liking. Be it stress, too much whiskey or pushing our comfort zone. It was a simple thing for me, where a few so-called friends ignored me at a bar? This hurt my feelings so then the shadow monster came forth. I tend to ride the creative expression of the shadow, not suppress it. This, for me, can be uncontrollable expression. I might use my “fuck you finger”, or kick a bar door with my foot. Maybe bring up those elements of the film Fight Cub in my life, as in the relationship between the narrator and Tyler Durden. The relationship being is to fight with oneself and in this film the shadow does motivate an underground revolution. My revolution being the one within myself in relation to the world, but one needs to find balance. The key is becoming conscious of all of this. Achieving this balance then between our civilized self and wild self. If I find wild purple thistle growing in my garden I will let it come to full bloom. I will not let it take over completely. Likewise, if my lawn becomes conservative and meticulous in greenness, I will let some part of it go wild. So here I sit in my bed with possible torn ligaments in my right leg. This is extreme shadow pain. I am hopeful of lesson learned!?
That is what we usually neglect to do. We allow the images to rise up, and maybe we wonder about them, but that is all. We do not take the trouble to understand them, let alone draw ethical conclusions from them. This stopping-short conjures up the negative effects of the unconscious. It is equally a grave mistake to think that it is enough to gain some understanding of the images and that knowledge can here make a halt. Insight into them must be converted into an ethical obligation. Not to do so it to fall prey to the power principle and this produces dangerous effects which are destructive not only to others but even to the knower. The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness of his life.
C.G. Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Confrontations with the Unconscious Pg. 192-193.
I have worked with the above image for thirteen years. Along with the quote by Jung, I have tried to creatively work with this image… It came twice to me and in different forms. The one to view as part of this essay is the first one. I have researched the image and have a great amount of insight into it. The image is a female presence and is holding something. What my focus is on is the cauldron. A cauldron takes on many mythological meanings. It is not until today that I sense that a name possible can be placed upon this whole figure. Both times I viewed this image I saw it in an in-between place. While looking outside a widow in my apartment, and seeing it reflected in the widow. There was nothing in the apartment or outside to create such an image. This is the place of the void or unknown or the unconscious projecting as an image.The second time I saw a similar female figure but she was holding a smaller caldron and also a large staff. I viewed this image upon the ceiling while visiting a chiropractor for my health.The image was above me and transparently formed as she transfixed my view. From both of these images I created a stencil and printed them on paper.My goal is to listen to the teaching and advice of Jung on this matter. I hold true to the ethical obligation to this image and sharing it as well.I feel an overwhelming creativity happening now. Is it the full moon or the eclipse of Venus that is on my horizon? I think it might be something of Black Moon Lilith. Is she offering this caldron of the archaic feminine to me in understanding the depth within my shadow? My shadow is in the form of this image. Working on acknowledging the shadow in me and in others is something that I hope to understand more deeply… and maybe this image is whispering the way. The now…what a creative time it is!!