As children, we develop personal beliefs or
stories about how our lives are. These personal myths contain
our ideas, images, feelings, and attitudes that influence
our understanding of life and direct our behavior. They are
influenced by both our own personalities and by the circumstances
that surround us. Throughout life, we continue to follow any
one of our particular stories until the story is somehow challenged.
We continually create new stories, change the old stories,
or even deepen the old stories.
Western culture tends to lack a cohesive mythology that binds
us and gives us a common direction. Therefore, our personal
mythologies become our greater guiding forces. There was a
time when the group mythology held great significance. Now
the psyche of the individual holds the greater significance.
However, at the same time we must be aware of how consensus
mythology can become deeply ingrained in the individual's
unconscious, thus becoming a personal mythology. Modern people
have the opportunity and the capacity to become aware of and
think about the contents of the personal unconscious. While
our ancestors were largely bound to the group mind, myths
in Western culture may no longer be imposed upon us by group
dogma, those in power, or traditional practices.
Sometimes we adopt personal stories that are
not in accord with who we truly are. When we live by a myth
that is not right for us, then we suffer psychologically.
For example, many people live by a particular religious doctrine
that does not resonate with their inner self. They practice
the religion because they were taught to follow it, but it
never truly feels right. On the other hand, a personal myth
that is true for someone, can be a source of disappointment
when it conflicts with consensus reality. For instance, a
person who is born genetically male, may in fact have the
psyche and personal mythology of a female. But if that person
lives in a society that has rigid ideas about gender roles,
this can create difficulties.
When we recognize and embrace our personal myths
we allow ourselves to live mythologically. We are alive with
divine energy as it flows through us and in our lives. It
is important to become aware of our personal myths, in order
to empower ourselves and free ourselves from living involuntarily.
Awareness of our personal myths gives us a fullness that can
only be obtained by embracing the passion of life.
Jasper is trained and certified in therapeutic massage
and Gestalt psychotherapy, she is a Reiki Master. She has
a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology, and has worked
with children, the disabled, and the mentally ill. Conny is
the author of a book entitled The Way of the Tarot, a clear
and concise guide to understanding and reading the Tarot.
She is the co-creator of a CD entitled Earthcraft, featuring
original poetry and evocative music, and she is the author
of a book of poetry entitled Spellfyre. Currently, she is
working on a thorough guide to Earth-based healing and spiritual
Wise Woman Center
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