We all expeience such times now & then of finding ourselves suddenly out of our depth, times of vulnerability, of feeling abandoned, lost, betrayed even. Maybe hope has dimmed, faith has been thrown into question and we have sunk down into a lightless depths within ourselves.
In myth, legend and fairy-story such times and such experience have been likeened to the wasteland – where no one can live and nothing can grow.
The grief of Isis knew no bounds when she discovered her beloved Osiris had been murdered and her tears filled the river Nile. It was the same with the Summerian goddess Inanna: the same for our own blessed Virgin for her crucified son. Demeter caused such a winter to come upon the land when Hades stole away her beautiful daughter and she refused to let time turn until she was returned to her.
And in fairytales – this is the part of the story where the heroine realises she is all alone, abandoned & prey to the heartlessness of a wicked step - mother or jealous sisters who cast her out from the family home or plot her destruction.
Our sweet Cinderella with her kind heart has such awful siblings as does her predecessor in the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. The Russian Vassilsa, beautiful by name and beautiful by nature has an evil step- mother too. Snow White is such a child, with her lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow and hair as black as ebony - and the ill- fated brothers in the tragic tale of The Six Swans, cruelly turned to swans and condemed to roam the skies for eternity by their father‘s evil new queen. The real mothers of all these innocent souls having sadly died, leaving them so terribly vulnerable unprotected & unloved.
So they all set off into the wide world, the underworld or the deep dark wood, in search of what has been lost and must keep all their wits about them to just survive.
There are so many heroines and heros, like Frodo in more recent times and Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, slipping through the back of the wardrobe in their big fur coats, straight into the snowy realms of Narnia where a heartless Queen rules and where it is always winter but where Christmas never ever comes.
But the truth is we are not meant to be destroyed such expeience. No! In myth & fairy-tale these are the places of tasks, of trails and temptations that lead the soul to greater understanding. It is where we might meet our ememies - for sure - but also where mentors or magical helpers might suddenly appear.
Cinderella has her fairy god -mother. There is Gandalf too of course & Dumbledor, Yoda and Virgil, the Roman poet guides Dante through the firey depths of the inferno, through purgatory and to paradise where finally he meets Beartrice his beloved and understands the meaning of all he has seen.
And who can forget the wonderously uplifting moments in Tolkien's Legendarium, moments when the hero's have given everything they could possibly give - where they are spent & battle weary, gravely wounded too very often. When it seems as if the battle is over, the tale is at an end and all hope is lost - it is then, quite miraculously it seems - that Tolkien's Eagles suddenly appear. It happens in Lord of the Rings when Frodo & Sam are rescued from Mordor & after the final battle in the Hobbit, when the wounded Bilbo cries out....
“The Eagles are coming! The Eagles are coming!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
The Eagles are a symbol of Grace - as are all these magical helpers.
Divine intervention if you like.
that can't ever be predicted - can't ever be relied upon
- yet sometines - in our hour of greatest need - is there for us.
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More fairy-stories, myths, legends and books by Anne Maria Clarke http://www.archivepublishing.co.uk/T... Books - Transpersonal Psychology. Understanding the Soul - Expanding Consciousness www.annemariaclarke.net http://www.annemariaclarke.net/blog