July 14, 2012

{End of the Myth} Part Three: "Shadow & Light"

[This is Part Three of the End of the Myth section of my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride. Other parts of this chapter will follow. Simply scroll down or click on "End of the Myth" in the labels group below to read previous excerpts.]

Was this royal “fairy tale”—with both its light and dark aspects—all part of a divine plan that revealed the true origin of this damsel and knight mythology? Were we to discover something deep and unspoken within ourselves? Perhaps the story is a metaphor in the lineage of ancient traditions that confirms, what author Frank Joseph calls, “myth’s unsuspected power to preserve high truths.” What is the “high truth” that is wrapped up in the Diana and Charles story?

The romanticized, filtered-down versions of these inherited damsel and knight folktales actually came out of ancient “high truths,” the original stories derived from the old Goddess cultures where people lived in more respectful accord with nature. There is a legend from pre-Celtic times of the imprisonment of the Goddess Ethlinn that Joseph shares in his book Atlantis and Lemuria:

Ancient Irish tradition tells the story of Ethlinn, a goddess, who was confined in a ‘crystal cave’ by Balor, King of the giant Formorach, earliest inhabitants of Ireland. With her imprisonment, the world grew ever dark, cold, and barren. She and the earth languished for just one day short of a year, until she was freed by Lugh, whose name means ‘light,’ leader of the Tuatha da Danann, ‘Followers of the Goddess Danu.’ For his heroic act, the gods rewarded him with the secret of eternal life. On every anniversary of his rescue, the longest night of the year, he returned to the crystal cave, where he transformed himself into a coiled snake. When dawn light entered, Lugh unwound himself and rose up a young man again.

In this winter solstice story, we have the ‘masculine light’ releasing the abundant feminine energy out of the darkness, revealing the full vibrant life that is then possible. The story tells of shining light into the darkness in order to bring balance back to the earth and releasing the “imprisoned” consciousness that gives it life.

These metaphorically rich stories from antiquity explaining the natural world were especially compelling in the harsh aftermath of the destroyed Goddess cultures. These matriarchal societies—perhaps the last era of equality where the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies were honored, making male and female powers of equal importance—were overrun by the more dominion-focused patriarchal cultures thousands of years ago (exactly when depends on the region of the world and who is doing the interpreting of history.) Nonetheless, as a result of this imbalanced and fractured world created, women were more and more suppressed into their limited dark boxes, squelching the nurturing light in everyone.

And sometimes the source of that light comes through unlikely means: storytellers, minstrels, even pretty princesses. ~

[This is Part Three, "Shadows & Light," of the End of the Myth section of my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride. To read previous excerpts from this section, simply scroll down and click on "End of the Myth" in the labels group below. -CP]

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