Maybe I just like sparkly crystals
Synchronicity is an odd thing. I’ve always been interested in astrology, tarot, earth religions, feminism, and folklore. They have a lot to say about how the psyche works and–especially for followers of Joseph Campbell–how stories function. After all, reality is the tales we tell ourselves.
As an author, this subject is an important wellspring. Hence my interest in dreams and symbols and imagery that crosses cultures and the boundaries of time. I investigate these subjects, drift away, and come back like a migratory creature on the way to an unexplained destination. Maybe I’m ready for the next layer of information. Maybe I just like sparkly crystals. However, sometimes odd synchronicities happen.
I signed up for a 3-session course on Jungian psychology and alchemy from the Embassy of the Free Mind. With those two subjects combined, how could I not? I’ve attended two sessions so far, and the course addresses the stages of alchemy from a psychological perspective. In a very small nutshell, our personal growth follows the stages of death and rebirth and coming into wisdom through inner work. I love the international nature of the experience (yay for Zoom) and the wide-ranging references to mythology and culture. To be clear, there is no physical chemistry involved. It’s all dreamwork and navel-gazing, but right at this moment in time–after fire, plague, and TP shortages–it’s powerful. We’ve been forced to sit and think about things, and here is a chance to use that introspection. What’s working? What’s the source of unhappiness? How can we be more whole?
At the same time, completely randomly, I picked a DVD off the shelf that had sat there for years unwatched. I got a copy of The Hero’s Two Journeys on a Black Friday sale some time ago but never found the time to play it. I wanted something for a blog review so picked it off the TBR pile. It’s Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler talking about story structure. Surprise, surprise, the map of the inner journey (particularly Vogler’s analysis using Joseph Campbell’s work) closely parallels the alchemical path. That tidbit was a huge “whoah!” for me, especially when it showed up in such random fashion.
Apparently, I need to pay attention here. Just as a confirmation, I pulled a card from the Wildwood Tarot and got the Nine of Stones (tradition). Part of the meaning is “reverence for past wisdom and sacrifice. The ability to relate to ancient knowledge and pass on the lessons of ancestral memory and ritual.”
I’ve got some thinking to do.