SEEKERWhile searching for the realms within, human beings distrust space. Going forward over the abyss needs much courage, yet the Seeker takes the rainbow path joyfully and with equanimity. We each have our own personal abyss, inhabited by  monsters, fears and doubts; most of us don’t look into it too often or too closely in case we get bitten. The choices for the Seeker are to remain in the Wasteland, to fall into the Abyss or to leap over it and enter the unknown landscape.

Questions:
What is the Wasteland to you?
What lurks in the abyss?
What do you hope/think/feel lies ahead?

The Seeker (Fool) is you standing at the threshold of the quest. Self-knowledge is the object of your future searches.Before we start this quest, it is useful to assess yourself and clarify your direction. So ask yourself:

Who are you as a person?
What is my life’s purpose? What would you like it to be, if you are unsure?
What are your greatest strengths?
What kind of quest are you already on? What do you hope to find/achieve?
What needs most empowerment in your life right now?
What is your seeking style? deadly earnest, plodding, adventurous, cautious, dilatory, swift, playful, etc?

TASKS:

1) Write an incident in your life when you were presented with alternative choices—one which seemed ‘wise’ and the other ‘foolish.” Write your story as if you had chosen the ‘foolish’ alternative – whether you did or not, write as if this was what you’d chosen in reality. What might the outcome have been?

OR

Choose an incident in your life where you felt particularly foolish or at a disadvantage. Mythologize it if you like: rather than telling it in the first person, tell it in the third person and set is somewhere else. Allow your story to unfold but, at the moment when the innate foolishness is revealed, turn the story round and bring it to a resolution so that “foolish” decision becomes the “wise” one.

 

2) Select the Seeker from your pack, shuffle it and extract a series of cards to create situations which you as the Seeker have encountered in your life recently. Use the face value of the picture or the divinatory meanings as you like, consulting the book of you need to. Write a story where the Seeker meets with these situations/places/people, using the cards as story components.

3) Create an opening affirmation with which you can start each meditation session. Example:

From this world to that word, I go to meet (title of the card you are meditating upon)

 

MEDITATION

Create an opening affirmation with which you can start each meditation session. Example:

From this world to that word, I go to meet (title of the card you are meditating upon)

The following meditations should be spread over a series of dys, rather than performed all at once. Write down your answers with a general report of what you experienced at each meditation session. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t appear to get a great deal at this stage. Accept your experience and record it. Don’t feel that apparently irrelevant images or feelings are unrelated to your experience but refer them back to your meditations subject
Without referring to the hand-book, look at the card of the Seeker in the Wasteland. What is the general feeling of the card? How do you feel looking at it?

Each card is surrounded by a doorway or window: this time, when you meditate, step through this doorway and ENTER the card. Close your eyes now and enter the SEEKER CARD, answering the following questions: What is it like being in this landscape? What can you see from the cliff top?

Enter the card now and stand in the Seeker’s place, becoming the Seeker, who can be of either sex. If you find this difficult, try questioning him when you enter the card. Find the answers to these questions:

Where are you going? What do you seek? What are the blackbirds saying to you? What are the uses of the things you carry: the staff, the knife, the helmet and pendant stone? Are you brave enough to step upon the rainbow road?

The Rainbow Path of the Seeker takes you from your own world to the innerworlds. You can pass between the worlds by this pathway. As you explore the innerworlds, be aware of the Rainbow Path forming a crossroads which faces the four directions. You will be taking each of these roads in turn in the next part of the course.

 

 

In the Fall of 2009, my son’s latent depression manifested to the point where his high school contacted Children’s Memorial Psych Ward during school and had him transported to a bed. We’d gone through the paperwork to get on State Aid to pay for this intervention and were scheduled for our first visit the day of my final exam in Myth Class.

Dr. Smith, a Baptist Theologian of all things, had given us our vocabulary list and 6 possible topics, of which only one would be chosen for the Final Essay -65% of the test grade – the topic to be decided by the roll of a dice. There was no way I could study all six topics to my satisfaction the night before so I picked “The Hero’s Journey” as viewed by Joseph Campbell as I felt I could use this topic some day.

Our visit to Children’s Memorial was taxing, even if the hospital was only a few blocks from the classroom where I’d be taking my exam.  I was nervous as I walked into class — Dr. Smith read off the number of the topic which corresponded to the die, Heroes Journey being #1.  When he rolled the fateful ONE, my loud WHOOT was the only sound reverberating through the silence.  The Gods truly loved me that day and yes, I got my A.

For a more in depth description, READ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth

Where are YOU on your journey?

I SEPARATION

A. Calling: The hero begins in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.

X. Refusal: Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

B. Supernatural Aid: Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid them later in their quest.

C. Crossing the Threshold: This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.

D. Belly of the Whale: The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis.

 

II TRIAL/VICTORY

A. The Road of Trials: The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.

B. Meeting the Goddess: This is the point when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.

C. Temptress: In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.

D. Father/Atonement: In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power.

E. Apotheosis/Illumination: When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.

F. Boon: The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.

 

III DEATH/TRANSFORMATION

A. Refusal: Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.

B. Magical Flight: Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.

C. Rescue from Without: Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.

D. Crossing the Return Threshold: The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.

E. Master of 2 Worlds: This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.

F. Freedom to live: Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.

30. September 2013 · Enter your password to view comments. · Categories: JOURNEYS

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Important Questions asked John Matthews regarding journeying:

What if I’m deluding myself?

Our society is unsupportive of people experiencing more than one reality.  Indeed, some people must be insulated from other kinds of reality for their own sanity — these places are called mental institutions or the real world, depending on your standpoint.  Things happen in meditation.  If you are seriously unhappy about anything which you experience, you are probably discovering things about yourself which life has shielded you from until now, and which your brain has hidden away in a back cupboard.  What you do about this is your responsibility.  If this much reality frightens you or makes you feel guilty or  disoriented to the point of delusion, then you should not be doing any meditation until you’ve sought help.  Alternatively, if you are able to trust the experience you are having, it will probably change very soon and you will understand things in ways which might not seem possible now.

How do I know what I see is right?

This course does not have one set of right answers.  Everyone experiences the otherworlds according to their capacity, experience and background.  However, that experience is broadly variable within certain confines.  If you are meditating and arrive at a place where a character gives you something, accept the first thing you see, even if it seems trivial or ludicrous.  Learn to ask questions.  Looking up symbols in a dictionary of symbols is pointless since your own symbolic values are personal to your own understanding. 

Meditation courses like this one are written to restore the meditator’s personal authority and to wean her off total reliance on sources which supply scenarios for all occasions.  The otherworlds are accessible to you.  Your own experience is your own pathway, your personal encounters with otherworld inhabitants are your own teaching scenarios.  Learn from your otherworld teachers, not from books which pretend to reveal all, but which just disempower the journeyer.