Mythology and the Human Condition
The Linking Principles
We will now examine in more detail the principles which internally link spirit, soul, mind, and body together so that we are each a single entity rather than four separate beings.
Mercury - the Messenger of the Gods and Human Logical Thought
The mythological messenger of the Gods is called Mercury, and his symbol is a boy with wings on his feet. Mercury acts as the communicator between the Universes of Air and Earth, between Saturn and Uranus, or in human terms between mind and body. He translates the experiences of each into a form that can be understood by the other.
Language and logical thought is for most of us, the only way we have of understanding and communicating our experiences, both internally to ouselves, and externally to others. Many people identify totally with the logical thought process and insist it is the sole reality behind physical form; they claim it is what distinguishes us from the animals, and believe that if the internal dialogue they term thinking ceases they will cease to be.
Descartes made the best statement of this viewpoint when he said, "I think, therefore, I am". He might as well have said, "I will, therefore, I am", "I feel, therefore, I am", or "I sensate, therefore, I am". What he really meant was "I am conscious, therefore, I am". Western culture has enthroned logical thought, called it science, and worships it as the only true God. Until this state of affairs ceases and we stop believing speech and rational thought is Man's supreme talent we will make little further progress either as individuals or as a race.
Venus - the Goddess of Love and the Human Personality or Heart
In mythology Venus was the daughter of the Moon Goddess and Saturn. She brought direction and form to the mysterious and constantly changing realm of the first, whilst watering and nurturing the barren earth of the second with the balm of feeling. Because of her caring nature Venus was known as the Goddess of Love and she is often symbolized as a naked girl standing in a shell floating on the ocean. In some legends she was stolen away and imprisoned by her father Saturn and being thus confined to the sterile world of Earth, and having with no contact with her mother the Moon, she eventually lost her abilities to offer nurturance to Saturn, the very reason for which he imprisoned her in the first place.
At a human level, personality or heart, reflects our emotionally coloured tastes and values and is active in our exchange of feelings with others. It can be considered as the link between the soul and the body, it is the face which we present to the world and is quite often the only inner part of us that others ever perceive.
Physically we display our internal nature, or personality, to the world by the way we dress and style our hair, by our facial expression and by the tone of our voice. Because appearances are so often what we fall in love with, especially if we identify strongly with the physical, personality can be said to play a large part in our love lives.
Those capable of utilizing the emotionally active and receptive aspects of their heart often have that elusive quality we call charisma. By means of this they are able to directly impact and be impacted by others at an emotional level. An individual who has restricted their personality and closed their heart, by denying their feelings, appears very cold and forbidding, such individuals are more often than not male, and reflect very accurately the myth of the stern Saturn who has imprisoned his daughter Venus or his heart as mentioned previously.
Mars - the God of War and Human Emotional Energy
In mythology Mars was the child of the Sun God and the Moon Goddess and acted as the link between the Universes of Fire and Water. He was known as the God of War and was often symbolized as a fierce warrior. Having parents with such different natures, the Sun being hot and dry, and the Moon cool and wet, meant their conflicting energies were reflected within the being of Mars, and he was in consequence in a state of constant internal struggle trying to resolve these differences.
At a human level, within our model, the Sun God represents our spirit and the Moon Goddess our soul, Mars can therefore be likened to that aspect of us that we use to express and energise our feelings, ie our emotions.
Now emotional energy in its most violent watery mode can be compared to pressurised superheated steam and it expresses as the intense emotions of anger, desire, lust, passion and jealousy, or more positively as courage, strength, persistence and effort.
In its most intense fiery form it is like a blow torch, and manifests as will power, drive, initiative and direct action without thought for or fear of the consequences, some term such behaviour bravery others call it foolhardiness.
Many people are afraid of their emotions and suppress them. They do this because although the gentle, subtle, and compassionate expression of such powerfully conflicting energies is socially acceptable, it is very hard to achieve, and they believe no emotional expression at all is a better option than risking offending those they meet.
Conscious control of emotional energy confers great power since it involves channelling energy in a direct fashion at the level of both soul and spirit. Unless completely suppressed we all use our emotional energy to some extent to achieve our goals, even if only when we lose our temper in an argument and try to overpower our antagonist instead of using charm, the realm of Venus, or logic, the realm of Mercury, to convince them of the correctness of our case. We also use our emotional energy when we struggle against adversity and strive to achieve some aim we have set ourselves.
Jupiter - the Thunderbolt God and Human Imagination
The mythological Jupiter is the God of Luck and Fortune and is often symbolised as a jolly bearded giant clutching a handful of lightning bolts. Occasionally he throws one of them at a passing mortal resulting in that individual being inspired to some great act of creativity. Jupiter is the mediator between the Universes of Fire and Air, ie the Sun and Uranus being the brother of each.
We will call the link between the human spirit and the mind, mental energy or the imagination. By definition, therefore, the imagination exhibits aspects of both Fire and Air and is at home in either. The imagination takes the creative power of the spirit and by combining it with the ordering and harmonising properties of the mind creates new perspectives. It fans the first with the cool breeze of concept and warms the second with the fire of inspiration.
All things created by men are initially conceived of by the imagination. They then, if their originator has the ability to nurture and develop them, perhaps find expression in the world of physical reality.
Imagination represents that part of us which can call into being within our minds things that are not but which perhaps could be. Most of us of course do little more than dream the dreams that happen to come to us and probably wish we had the energy to make them come true. To actually control our imaginations and consciously select and dream the things of our choice is something few even contemplate as being possible, let alone achieve.
Since what we consistently imagine will happen, invariably does, imagination has a connection with what some call fortune, destiny or luck. At the level of mind it expresses as creativity, at the level of spirit as religious awe and wonder.
Neptune - the Ruler of the Oceans and Human Psychic Thought
In mythology Neptune is the ruler of the seas and is pictured as a half naked bearded giant wearing a crown and holding a Trident. He can raise tempests and thus whip up mountainous waves in an ocean which had but a moment before being peaceful, conversely with a wave of his trident he can calm those same seas, allow the sun to reappear, and once more bring tranquility to the ocean.
Within the terms of our model, Neptune is the link between the Universes of Water and Air, or in human terms between the soul and the mind. We will call this link psychic thought or psychism.
In the same way that the god Neptune has control over the seas so does psychism have power over the feelings. By providing understanding and control, it permits us to comprehend just what in our environment, internal or external, is causing particular feelings. It acts as the mediator between the soul and the mind, using reason to calm the turbulence and fears of the first, and feeling to moisten and soothe the dry nature of the second.
In its airy manifestation psychism is that part of us which can create order in, and thus permit us to understand our deepest emotions. It is able to calm and bring peace to the inner sea of our feelings when they are turbulent, without suppression or force but by the use of thought. It also brings the skill which permits the transformation of one type of feeling into another, thus allowing us to be joyful and content even in the most exteme circumstances of deprivation and discouragement.
In its watery manifestation psychism brings inner meaning and can dampen down the wild gyrations of a mind that might otherwise spin out of control in its wild seach for explanation. It does this by gently introducing the element of feeling in the form of misty showers. Conversely by bringing torrential rains it can cause that same mind to sink and stagnate in the mire of over emotionalism. Conscious control of our psychic ability bestows great power upon us as we can use it to select what we wish both ourselves and those around us to feel at any given moment in time.
Pluto - the God of Change and Human Vitality
In mythology the god who moved freely between heaven and hell was sometimes called Pluto. Now Pluto serves Saturn the god of the underworld as the stoker of the Fires of Hades. He uses the Earth of physical experience to provide the substance needed by the Sun God to fuel his expression and the Fire of purpose to bring energy and change into the existence of Saturn. At a human level Pluto represents the part of us which is capable of directly expressing our spirit in matter without the need for the intervening elements of feeling or thought.
We could consider the Plutonian factor to be simply the vitality or physical energy that mobilises and galvanises us to perform the activities necessary in our everyday lives. It is, however, more than this, but because most of us identify so completely with the material world and our thoughts and feelings, we have difficulty comprehending how Pluto, except in its mundane expression as physical energy, can be an aspect of ourselves.
To the part of us conscious at a physical level which we have termed the Self Image, Pluto in his spiritual manifestation appears a dangerous and alien intruder. This is because he acts towards our Self Image and its defensive structures in much the way molten lava behaves towards the rocks it encounters in its path. It melts and changes all without mercy, and is apparently irresistable. This destruction is essential if growth and change is to occur. It is impossible for the old forms and ways of being to clothe the new, so they must be transformed.
The beliefs and other limitations that make up the old reality along with the habits and psychic structures that permit them must be melted down in order that they can be reformed to accommodate the new. The process can be very frightening since it apparently brings through the destruction of our Self Image the complete loss of Self. The resulting pain and disorientation, however, is usually a result of the struggle against the process, not of the process itself, which, if accepted and co-operated with need be no more unpleasant than the changes brought by puberty. Nevertheless, just as some clung, and still cling to aspects of childhood at a physical level, so do we tend to cling to our juvenile psyches.
Pluto also provides the material of physical experience as food to the Spirit in order that it may grow and increase in brightness. Just as the Sun needs fuel in order to burn, the Spirit needs fuel in order to stay alight. Paradoxically the densest substance, ie Earth, provides this in its most concentrated form.
Diagram 6.1 shown below represents the human individual and shows their primary bodies and the linking attributes.
Diagram 6.1 - Coming soon.
Saturn or Self Image is shown as the ruler of the Earth Universe and thus represents the physical body. In reality Saturn is the 'energy' body which the 'physical' body assembles itself around. Saturn modulates and transforms the energies from the other Gods or aspects of our being to a level at which they can be utilised by the physical body. This is the provence of the Earth Goddess GAIA.