Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Campbell’

Layers Upon Layers: Learning to See Beyond Apparent Dichotomy

I was going to write a much longer post, but I can’t get this song out of my head. It pretty much sums up what I would have said. Those who get it will make the connection. Those who don’t wouldn’t have gotten it from a 2,000 word post anyway.

The Faeries’ Oracle cards from Brian Froud offered “The Pook” as commentary:

“It is time for the resolution of seeming contradictions and paradoxes in the situation. Someone or some part of the situation is cloaked in confusion, and our muddled thoughts must be stripped away, revealing truth. We just need to think about it, the information we needed is now available to us. And as soon as we have that burst of insight and get it, it’s time for us to make changes based on our newly clear understanding.

“Alternatively, it may be time for us to make a reality check on the good/bad labels we put on things. Make a list of the “good” (possibly even surprising things) about this situation, and another list about the “bad” ones. If you are not in the habit of seeing the good in the bad and the bad in the good, having preferred a black-and-white world rather than one with colors, you may need some help in learning to do this well.”

“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.” ~Joseph Campbell

 

“Maturity of mind is the capacity to endure uncertainty.” ~ John Filmore

 

“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”
Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Revolution? Or evolution? We don’t need another hero, but I am certain we’ll find ourselves presented with one. Might as well make the best of it, eh? 😉

Letting Go

Just for today, can you let go of one thing that feels too old, too tight, too restrictive and/or too dull for the “you” you are becoming? It can be anything, large or small, real or symbolic. Just for today, see if you can surrender something you don’t want anyway. Letting go encourages flow: relinquish to receive.

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell

That is all for today, and it is enough.

The Power of Myth

I am a huge fan of myth! Since I was a child, I’ve always felt fascinated by the stories we as individuals and as a culture tell ourselves in order to make sense of our world. I spent most of my high school, college and graduate school years chasing down motifs and integrating Sacred Geometry, Christian mysticism, angels, Art History and Paradise Lost.

Then, my 1998 brain injury catalyzed a far less rational approach to everything I had learned and come to love. Instead of analyzing myth, I began living it, embracing it as my own, day-to-day experience. Unable to read for many years, I took to borrowing books on tape and videos from my parents’ local library. Among these, I found a life-changing series by Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, called “The Power of Myth.” I’ve not seen it in years, but I still recall how I felt while hearing Joseph Campbell talk about the caves at Lascaux and the ancient Shamanic Experience.

Well, yesterday, while doing research for painting my third antique door, I stumbled upon this video and took a stroll down memory lane. It’s an hour well-spent. I hope you enjoy his insights as much as I did:


Joseph Campbell – Arthurian Legends and Western Way (12 of 14)

R-CANE-1 | MySpace Video

If you like Grail stories and myths, you might enjoy Schizandra and the Gates of Mu … a very modern take on an old motif … and if you’d like to explore ways of bringing more mythic awareness into your life and dreams, feel free to contact me here.

Door Number 2: The Alchemy Door

Please see the important update below from December 2014. This door no longer looks quite the same and has totally different, flowing energy now.

Please also note, the colors look much more yellow in these pictures than the actual door; in person it looks more dreamy and muted. I used a combination of acrylic paints and oil pastels, and the oil pastels seem to photograph more intensely than the acrylics. Anyway, these photos give the general idea:

The Alchemy Door by Laura Bruno

Alchemy Sun

The Androgyne

Phoenix and Peacock

Follow Your Bliss

While I designed the first door as a portal, this one embodies some key principles of Alchemy, which I’ve studied since I read Plato’s Symposium during my senior year of high school. I became so fascinated with the union of opposites that my college honor’s thesis explores Mercury, Hermes Trismegistus (the father of Alchemy), the mythical Phoenix, and Plato’s story of the Hermaphrodite as they relate to Archangel Raphael. This door features something called the Androgyne, a union of sulfur and mercury (that which burns and that which is volatile), and a union of masculine and feminine. (I modified the image from something I found in the Book of Symbols.)

The phoenix and peacock at the bottom also represent a union of masculine and feminine, as well as the ability to regenerate. The phoenix rises from its own ashes, and the peacock’s tale symbolizes the all-seeing eyes of God, as well as the inner astral world. (I modified the bird images from some I found here, because I liked the calligraphic feel to them.)

The words at the top are the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, sometimes translated as JHWH, Yahweh, or “I Am That I Am.” The bottom of the door includes a favorite quote by Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” I had intended to paint the back and may do so at some later time. For now, though, this door seems complete. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Many Blessings and Happy Transmutation!

December 2014 UPDATE: Well, it took awhile, but the door did eventually complete itself. I painted the back shortly after originally posting about the door; however, the door constantly reminded me that something was keeping the alchemy in check. On Christmas 2014, for a variety of reasons too long to explain here, I felt led to repaint the top of the door, replacing the demi-urge with Sophia, written in a Rune System whose letters emphasize the Sacred and Divine Feminine, as well as matrilineal heritage. As soon as I shifted the door from a patriarchal “I Am That I Am” to the dynamically creative Goddess embodied in our planet, the door came alive. That’s the only way I can describe it.

The door is already in place in our very carefully arranged, small living room, so I apologize for other objects in the photos. I can only move them so far out of the way. 🙂

Alchemy Door with Sophia in Runes

Alchemy Door with Sophia in Runes

Sophia Correction on Christmas

The energy of our entire home has shifted with this seemingly simple revision. It was not actually a simple process, as it involved many layers of paint, along with brown marker to dull down a too bright red. The net result of that process, however, was that the Runes got traced and retraced many, many times, amplifying the intended shift. Our home feels lighter and with more feminine flow now. The door’s energy also feels like it cycles up and back down and up, like a Tantric circuit, rather than having a patriarchal energy bearing down upon it and keeping the process from completion.

I did not expect it to take me nearly five years to complete this portal door, but due to several other simultaneous developments in our world, Christmas 2014 felt like exactly the right moment to do so.