She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and that’s no doubt one of the reasons why they did.
Twenty years ago I was living in Nepal and decided I wanted to do a doctorate. I had been a science teacher and was trained in the use of scientific method. I realised though that instead of following a scientific discipline I instead wanted to use social science and therefore went on a journey to become a social scientist. It was a real challenge to turn away from one paradigm and venture into the world of philosophy, ethnography and participatory action research. I left the world of teaching and sought to undertake something that was radically different. However, the scientist in me is always observing but with a thinking heart, looking for patterns, making comparisons, articulating and evaluating. At that time I lacked confidence, was unsure of myself and questioned my abilities, still holding onto the feeling of not being good enough. Today I looked back at some of the research I did then and realised that my work has been extensively quoted and used by others. It gave me a warm feeling and a sense of validation.
There is a growing realisation that new values are emerging – feminine values where the patriarchy of the past is being seen as redundant. A new dynamic lies ahead in the following millennium. I have started writing more frequently, not in order to publicise myself, but due to being a creative intuitive I take too much for granted. I forget how much I have thought about things and fail to fill in all the gaps that would make my thinking clear. I tend to gaze out of the window at the trees, think things through and then write down my conclusion. My writing is like a web or tapestry where I try and connect all the concepts and theories I have been reading over time and present them in diagrams or images.
Linearity does not come naturally
to me. It kills my imagination.
No bell rings
No moment of here and now.
No moment that says yes.
Without these, I am not alive
I prefer the pleasure
of the journey through the spiral
Enjoy the spiral
If you miss something
on the first round
You might pick it up
on the second – or third – or ninthy
It doesn’t matter
Timing is everything.
If the bell does not ring,
it will resonate
through all the rings of your spiral.
If it desn’t ring,
it is the wrong spiral –
or the wrong time –
or there is no bell.
Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick
So what is my greater mythic story? It is not the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell nor is it the story of Inana although it held a lot of fascination for me and I spent a long time exploring the poem of the ‘Descent of Inana’. My mythic story is one of exploration of the time between stories where we are looking for a new way of being in the world. A place where living by our principles is the norm rather than a rarity. The realisation that we are all part of an interconnected world and that our actions impinge on others. We will come into a time when our politicians are ethical and principled and consider the needs of others rather than themselves alone. We will look to having sufficiency rather than being intent on destructive growth and peace and harmony will be paramount rather than division and strife.
The mythic journey has several phases – it begins with the call; followed by the journey; the descent; the darkness; a healing crisis; an epiphany; the ascent; accepting unlikely companions on the journey; and finally new visions of the self and the world.
I know that it took a long time for me to understand the darkness and for me to realise that I had much to learn from the shadow self. That only through acceptance could I fulfill my full potential and own my own power.
As Jill Mellick says:
The woman who takes time to grown into herself in the darkness becomes familiar – perhaps for the first time – with the real source and containment of her psychic strength.
No longer is her strength dissipated in obeying an idealized father figure, in pleasing a lover, in trying to satisfy a perpetually unsatisfied mother figure, in accommodating to a patriarchical organisation or culture, in appeasing the inner witch who tells her she is worthless. No longer is her strength lost to obeying compulsions, drives, and obsessions that can slip during the dark night of the soul and substitute for the real thing.
I look within to discover what the ‘real thing’ is for me and find it is my true spirit, my inner marriage which commits me to my destiny and feeds my soul and my creative essence.