This is supposed to be easy, right? Coals, some scrunched up newspaper, dry kindling, and then when the flames catch, chuck on some logs. Sometimes even the best laid fires don’t catch straight away. Sometimes even the most brightly anticipated plans stall. What is that? Like an unexplained block in the back of your waist preventing you from getting a full twist and satisfying pop. Sometimes to sit with resistance is enough to make sense of it and move forward. Sometimes, like the fire stubborn to light, the wood needs to be re-stacked to allow air to breathe through, blowing out stale and unnecessary fears. Creative collaborator on the Only When Its Feathers are Grown R&D, psychologist Dr Michelle shares her daily summaries from the first project week.
Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – structure for the Descent. Stage 2) The Call to
Adventure is followed by 3) Refusal of the Call. Faced with the start of the project and diving back into the Descent, this time knowingly, I faced massive resistance. I told Lucy that I couldn’t do it. We talked about how we could make it workable for me, and I realised I still wanted to do it but was afraid. Fear of putting myself out there, fear of failure.
Reflected on the timing of the project. The beginning of artist’s retreat ties in with Venus
starting her retrograde journey, ‘disappearing’ from the sky as the evening star, to rise forty days later as the morning star. For ancients this became the story of Inanna’s/ Persephone’s descent into the underworld.
Reflected on my own descent. I was reminded of a dream I had during that period – of
leaving a pile of clothes in my therapist’s house. This relates to Inanna passing through the seven gates of hell, removing a layer of her finery at each gate. This motif suggests the removal of old illusions and false identities that may have served in the upper world, but which count for nothing in the Netherworld; Descent to the Goddess. A
Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera.
Looking again at The Wizard of Oz as an example of the descent in popular culture, I noticed the balancing of masculine and feminine in Dorothy, Oz, Professor Marvel in his most powerful and frightening form, is a negative animus figure, the dark side of Dorothy’s father. Dorothy must deal with her confused feelings about male energy before she can confront her deeper feminine nature; The Writer’s Journey. Mythic
Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler.
PAUS retreat. Lots of synchronicity. Day started with drawing a spirit animal card. I pulled the Deer:
Instinctual energy, independence, regeneration. Graceful, swift and elusive, the deer has
symbolised the powers in nature that are not easily subdued. A deer’s antlers are shed.
And then, it was off to the woods…