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ellen H. Weiland LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker   (Retired)


Mental Health Practice and Consultation


Mythic reGenesis

The Process
Mythic reGenesis I
Mythic reGenesis II
>
Mythic reGenesis III | Footnotes


FAMILY AFFAIRS AND CO-CREATIVITY
by ellen Helga Weiland, lcsw

"What we have said about man is already marvelous, but most marvelous of all is that he has been able to discover the nature of the gods and to reproduce it. Our first ancestors invented the art of making gods. They mingled a virtue, drawn from material nature, to the substance of the statues, and "since they could not actually create souls, after having evoked the souls of demons or angels, they introduced these into their idols by holy and divine rites, so that the idols had the power of doing good and evil." These terrestrial or man-made gods result from a composition of herbs, stones, and aromatics which contain in themselves an occult virtue of divine efficacy. And if one tries to please them with numerous sacrifices, hymns, songs of praise, sweet concerts which recall the harmony of heaven, this is in order that the celestial element which has been introduced into the idol by the repeated practice of the celestial rites may joyously support its long dwelling amongst men. That is how man makes gods. Hermes adds as examples of such gods, the worship of Asclepius, of his own ancestor, Hermes, and of Isis (implying the cult of the statues of these divinities); and he mentions here, too, the Egyptian worship of animals." -- Yates

Introduction

Family Affair and Co-Creativity is intended as a deepening of last years presentation, Mythic reGenesis II: Icon of a Goddess. I found pleasure in opening, for you, a window to my relationship with the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, and her role as my supernal Mother. Time was limited and there remained so much to reveal about our adventures.

I take this opportunity to relay not only some of Mother Sekhmet's contribution to my creative life, but to view our relationship in the context of " The Family", into which Sekhmet weaned me, and how my "Archetypal Family" offers support and guidance. Particularly I will invite you into the "Family's" co-creative process.

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Before we go much further, I draw the distinction between the care-taking system from within ego, vs. the care-taking forces shining from the vast horizon beyond our ego. I suggest to you, that while functioning under the exclusive guidance of our little local self (ego), participation in our "God Given" co-creative role is severely limited, if not curtailed all together..

I use the term "ego" as representing that aspect of our organization which acts as "cultural interface" to allow "inter personal communication" and "understanding". The structure of ego is formed by the prevailing "reality consensus". Reality consensus is built on shared experiences and traditional, repetitive behaviors acceptable to, and encouraged by the group. The ego's belief system holds the norms, mores, and rules of behavior to assure the perpetuity of the group, by bonding together individuals comprising that group.

In contrast, the multi dimensional space, including but not limited to ego, consists of the vast cosmic ocean filled with the building blocks of creation as well as the intelligence directing that creation. This intelligence may or may not be apparent to the existing ego structures, and certainly gives every indication of being functional without the direction of ego.

Over the centuries, and through our alleged evolution of culture, we have individually positioned ego as chief executive of our earth life, often relegating to its control, soul limiting decisions. We, the masses, have constructed and promoted such firm ego boundaries, and in western civilization, have all but sealed off any avenues of interdimensional journey, on the premise that danger lurks in that terrain.

As currently developed, the ego's belief system is determined to perpetuate any existing reality definition, including the exclusion of actual contact and interactions with the intelligence beyond its limited dimensions. (Non Western man has not been lost to such limiting development.

The Balinese ritual dances , the Sufi whirling dancers, the Thai feeding of the gods and temple dances, the Dreamtime of the Aborigines are all intended to initiate contact with an intelligence beyond ego etc.)

To compound the problem of self limitation, as a culture, we have externalized egoic authority, thereby disowning any possibility of taking to hand our personalized belief system, to recycling those beliefs no longer in our personal or the collective best interest. (I stand in constant amazement at our group members willingness to blame anyone at all for our social, political and economic ills. We have lost touch with the reality that "I -- not only as individual, but also as part of the cosmic whole", am ultimately the architect of our future reality definition, and build that definition by token of my current beliefs, thoughts, and deed.) I note, we position ourselves with the locus of authority resting in external little local selves, most of whom are crossing the great ocean in a small belief dingy.

The cosmic intelligence stands ready to meet us and to interact with us. It offers variations on the theme of manifestation, which encourages novelty, involution as well as evolution though the never ending creative flow. The cosmic Intelligence is beyond our reach while we fumble with a limited belief system, relocated to external ego functions.

Given the above, it seems reasonable to conclude that if we remain subservient to, and overly involved with the local internal and external ego systems, ignoring active relationship with the supra system, we will limit our ability to transform, to evolve, and to dance the ongoing cosmic dance.

The care-taking forces to which I am drawing your attention, are those from beyond the ego, which hold the wealth of the cosmos at their proverbial fingertips, those which appear most happy to share with any willing to "...take the longest stride of soul men ever took..."

Until recently, within the last decade or so, I too was also a captive of the prevailing Western belief that the intelligence of the cosmos was nothing more than a confabulated metaphor, destined to encourage me to draw pictorials about things we ought to intellectualize.

Then through a series of, at the very least, interesting experiences, I had to discard my metaphoric belief, and acknowledge that something more was transmitted in contact with these Organizing Principles of the Unity.

(Just one last short diversion...Thank God that the belief that pagans are polytheistic and not in resonance with the concept of "One God" is being re-viewed. I think that "pagans" understood that the overriding intelligence -- God with a capital G -- was far too vast to be truly comprehended by the finite human mind. Pagans cultured their acquaintance with God through multiple organizing factors, each of which presented unique and individual characteristics. Only in interacting with the full cast, did cosmic balance become apparent.) On that note, let me move on to...

Sekhmet, the Family, and me...

I refer you back to Mythic re-Genesis II: Icon of a Goddess, in which I talked about how I met Sekhmet, how she claimed me and how I accepted her as the ever present supernal Mother.

To develop our relationship we met daily in meditation. Daily I presented her with my questions. Daily her teaching guided me into a more intricate understanding of the possibilities of traveling beyond my own limited ego cage, beyond culture, into the extended realities.

As I reflect, I realize that she came into my egoic confinement, offered lessons which raised my self confidence and my trust. These lessons fostered my desire to expand beyond my small, local, self.

I recall following her with great enthusiasm, looking forward to any contact and all new adventures. Some of these experiences took place within the context of my clinical practice. Other adventures were profound lessons in personal obedience.

One encounter occurred when on a bright and sunny afternoon, I jumped into our car to go shopping. I drove from Naperville, Illinois towards Aurora. When just a few city blocks from the shopping mall, I heard Mom's voice command, not ask, but COMMAND that I return home, I laughed, telling her "I ... am going shopping!" "You are to turn around and go home NOW," said Mother with an unusually firm voice. Shocked by her directive, and her firmness, I made a mid street U-turn and drove towards home, only to watch the sky darken, then blacken in my rear view mirror. Car in the garage, I ran to the cellar as instructed. I heard the whine of the tornado siren. Very quickly, the sky cleared, and all was sunny again. I turned to the TV to discover that an unexpected tornado set down in Aurora, destroyed the small airport with planes, picked up just on the street of the shopping center, jumped over our house, touched down again a mile away and tore all of Plainfield (the next town south) apart. I was impressed to say the very least, and had "that voice inflection" deeply imprinted, as one not to ignore.

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Only on rare occasions did I distrust and doubt Sekhmet's directions. One such incident occurred during a meditation when Sekhmet's form seemed to rise our of her icon and to move towards the room's physical door. She invited my imaginal self to follow. I wondered what she was up to, and became a bit testy, asking her where she was taking me. Always before had she taken me where I asked to go. She was now acting very strangely. "To earth teacher", she replied, "he wants to see you!". I told her "if "earth teacher" wants contact with me, "earth teacher" knows my telephone number, and returned to join my physical body in the chair. Rapid thoughts about the consequences of my disobedience ran through my mind. Was this a test? Had I failed it? Was it a test of mind-fullness? one of inviting me to act with strength and independence? The phone rang and "earth teacher" was indeed on the line. Sekhmet returned to her icon, as teacher and I continued our real time phone-conversation.

Somewhat later in our relationship, Mother suddenly disappeared. I did not see her or sense her for months. I missed her presence, her guiding contact, her daily instruction in my professional and personal life. I felt abandoned and an old familiar emptiness. I meditated - venturing into my depth, called to her, wrote to her, cried to her, and prayed. She was nowhere to be found. I was left with the uncanny knowing, "I have taught you what you need to know, the next phase is up to you." The next phase?
I recall vividly my own fear of impending death. Somewhere from my earlier life or lives I had brought with me, the belief that to totally journey beyond cultural definition, to leave behind the rules, regulations and guidelines so firmly implanted by my biological care-takers, to venture into the extended reality invited certain death.

I had not explored the various aspects of death, so found myself thinking and believing, that any effort to continue my journey meant I was to cease being, to surrender "physical life". Yet an uncanny knowing that Sekhmet wanted me to journey into some "great beyond", rang foremost in my mind. I supposed this was a test of faith, a leap I was to make without her presence. Unsure, and filled with concern, I chose to have an earth ally as my witness.

When next I met my friend, Scott, I talked to him about my call "to die". Good friend that he was/is, he asked me "when do you intend to die?" "How about tonight" I whispered, with a bit of holy fear racing through my bones and flesh. Scott pulled up two chairs, invited me to sit and die.

Uncertain about my fate, I sat, shaking, looking for Mother, and finding nothing but a sense that this was right and she was present though hidden. I closed my eyes and instantly found myself in a familiar, small and well decorated room. My image was vivid, deep, and intense. It activated every sense within me.

At the far end of this imaged room was a set of tall, carved, wooden, double doors. I had not noticed them before. They seemed to vibrate, and emanated a strange light. These doors certainly attracted my attention. I approached them, and, taking a deep breath, gave them a hefty push.

The double doors opened into a kind of Alice in Wonderland world with no discernible top, no bottom, no weather, no temperature, no order, no objects of any recognizable kind. I was pulled towards a milk glass translucence.

My mouth articulated a string of make shift words which did little justice to the world before my inner senses. As a chain of symbols, they confirmed the connection between Scott and myself. Relying on this as our bond, I ventured forth into my death.

To my surprise I did not fall off the edge. I felt no pull of gravity, no firmament beneath me, saw no clear direction before or behind me. There was no point of orientation; no archetypes ran to my rescue. No form of any kind was apparent. I felt, kinesthetically an incredible richness of something which could manifest, if only I knew the mystery. I felt myself streaming out of my physical being in all directions, always through the double doors. I was here and there, everywhere and nowhere simultaneously.

At the peak of my fear, should I call it terror, I saw suddenly, the face of Mother, and felt her deep and gentle breath ease me into quiet calmed continued exploration.

Then, in a flash, I got it. If only I would set my intention, focus my will and gather the surrounding force in which I bathed. If only I could direct it to my spine and raise it from the very root of me, slowly, systematically up and through my third eye; if only I could maintain my focus long enough to do that, then, then, YES ... indeed...worlds opened up before my very eyes. I graduated. I was the creator, the creatrix, oh heck whatever.

I practiced gathering, directing, raising, focusing, creating, letting go, disassembling. Deeply involved in that process, I saw, walking from the great beyond, Mother with a joyful sense about her. Happy to see her, and pleased with my discovery, I spent, what seemed forever, creating, to my hearts content.

I heard Scott's voice in-forming me that it was 4 am and time to "stop dying" for today. I very deliberately returned into the confines of my ego, re-viewing its limitations, its gifts, the room in which Scott and I sat, as well as his face. Awe struck, I was certain I had indeed died to who I was a few hours back, and would never again live comfortably confined to that small local reality, shut in by the locked, wooden, vibrating double doors.

For the next few weeks, I played at this "dying" as often as I could. I learned that I could travel empty handed beyond the double doors and find the elements for spontaneous creation. I learned too, that I could bring along fragments of ideas upon which I could build in the abundance and vastness of the extended reality.

Awe struck I was. Awe struck I feel whenever I release myself from ego confinement, to venture beyond culture, beyond group, across the threshold of the double doors.

Mother Sekhmet and I had numerous discussions about the wonder of this learning. As always she answered my questions with additional lessons and journeys. I became more comfortable with my new found creative ability, and for the first time in my life, began to present my creative desires and my creations to Mother for comment and suggestions.

In my professional life as clinical social worker I organized rituals, processes, entire mythic journeys for my clients. It had always been easy to reproduce an especially potent process learned from other professionals. Suddenly I could bring such processes through the double doors, into the creative stream, and find new applications, new variations, entirely new processes crystallizing.

I was a very happy camper. Life was good. Life was easy.

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Have you ever noticed that just when ever things goes easily, and smoothly, suddenly there is a new adventure on the horizon?

One fine day, having committed to present a weekend seminar, I brought the project to Mother. She seemed quite disinterested. I was appalled, and approached her again with a new urgency. She told me she was busy and I was to go to the west and ask "uncle" Thoth for his input.

It's true that I had created this temple to include a number of Archetypal Forces. I had celebrated Thoth in the west for as long as the temple had been consecrated. I had celebrated him, but never thought to interact in a co-creative manner. Had I not been taught loyalty to mother by my biological family? How could I now desert mother and ask the instruction of another force?

Sekhmet was quite insistent. "I am otherwise occupied! Ask the others in this temple!!!"

I will spare you the wrestling match which ensure. Suffice it to say, I was determined to remain entrained on Sekhmet. She was equally as determined that I engage the fullness of the over-riding intelligence by meeting and working with its organizing forces. My seminar became the secondary project as I primarily negotiated to remain in tutelage, at Sekhmet's side, resorting to manipulations such as "you don't love me anymore!"

Seemingly bored with my antics, she addressed me during a lengthy meditation, telling me this was not an issue of loving, or wanting, or abandoning, or especially false loyalty. This was an issue of what I was to learn. She reported that there were skills and gifts which could only come from specific forces within the temple, and that if I was to be a fully balanced being, I needed exposure to each of these energy constellations.

While I was not thrilled with this new supra-social opportunity, it did seem to make sense, and so I set about taking a new look at the gods which graced this temple with their presence.

The Family

 

In organizing and raising the temple, rather specific potencies reported for installation. These potencies were not placed in accordance with existing literature. Instead, I allowed each to find its own space within my sanctuary. Through passive and active meditation, I engaged each in relay-tion-ship, and miraculously found that they usually offered the gifts and skills allocated to them in a variety of traditional and sacred writings.

The Archetypal cast of characters which comprises my Family includes, but is not limited to...

ReHerakhty residing in the east , the place of vision - The word "Herakhty" translates as horizon. "Re" translates as the god of light or the sun god. ReHerakhty means
The Light on the Horizon.

Maat shares the east and nourishes the rising vision - The Goddess Maat is the personification of the basic laws of all existence. She embodies the concepts of law, truth and world order. Without Maat life is impossible because -- law, truth and world order are the food and drink (the nourishment) of the Light on the Horizon.

 

Sekhmet resides in the south, the place of the fire which warms with its gentle heat, and prunes away excesses by burning. - Sekhmet, Ptah and their son Nerfertum make up the Memphite triad. Sekhmet is the mighty one, mistakenly seen ONLY as the goddess of war. She DOES accompanies the king. Her weapons are arrows with which she DOES pierce hearts. A fiery glow emanates from her body. The hot desert winds are thought to be her breath. She is connected with the fire-spitting ureus of the king, and thereby is thought of as "the eye of Re" or (the gateway to the Soul of the Light). She is the one "great of magic" whose knowledge of sorcery gives her a place in the service of healing.

Ptah resides in the north, the place of manifestation - Ptah is the local god of Memphis always represented in human form. He is wrapped like a mummy with a shaven head and tight fitting cap. His sceptre is a combination of the djed-pillar and the was-sceptre. Originally he was the god of craftsmanship, inventing the arts. But by the pyramid age he already assumed the position of a creator god. He creates by means of his heart and tongue, fashioning the world by the power of his word. Ptah is regarded as 'the ancient one' who unites the masculine and feminine aspects within. People see him as the 'sculptor of the earth'

Thoth resides in the west, the place of death and resurrection, also the place of flowing water with all its life sustaining abundance. His connection with the moon made Thoth the 'lord of time' and 'reckoner of years. As the god who invented writing he was the protector of scribes. He is said to be the scribe of the gods.

Thoth was occasionally described as the "tongue or heart of Re". As a protector of Osiris he also became a helper of the dead, which led to his identification with Hermes by the Greeks.

Looking at my Archetypal Family I present to you again -- ReHerakhty - the light; Maat who nurtures the light; Sekhmet, who is the protectress and the eye or entrance to the soul of the light; Ptah, whose words of power sculpt the light, and Thoth who scribes the sculpted light into humanity, facilitating creation.

 

This is my Supernal Family. I can not think of a more potent group with whom to co-create. Doesn't this Family seem well organized to engage the cosmos in dance? While I particularly love my Family, I assure you that at the opening to your heart, stands ready for action, a Family particularly suited to interact with you.

Family Affairs a Co-Creative Event
I activated the temple; decorated with flowers, dressed for the occasion, lit the candles, offered smoke of copal, played music conducive to attunement, placed my intended project for manifestation on the center altar, then called my Family together.

Once I had the sense of their presence, and in accordance with Mother's directions, I physically took the symbol (a loose-leaf book with notes), for my seminar now only days from the doing, to Thoth in the west.

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"Hi" said I. "Mother sent me. I am supposed to ask you for help with this project. She is busy".

"Uncle Thoth" was kind and receptive. Quietly he examined my project, scribed into me, a wealth of additional ideas, elements and tools which could crystallize this project into a much more potent happening.

 

I was a bit overwhelmed, and, after thanking him, ran with the entire new information set to Mother. She defined me as not being able to envision this larger creation, and sent me to the east and ReHerakhty.

"Uncle Re" helped me reassemble all the new material into a larger vision; while "Auntie Maat" weighed this re-viewed vision for heartfulness.

 

I physically took the whole project to "Poppa Ptah" of the North. Ptah is truly a master potter. He guided my inexperienced mouth, teaching me to carve, and shape the words which spoke this larger vision. He was crafty enough to help me re-cognize areas which needed pruning, and sent me back to Mother in the south, to have her burn away the excess.

Round and round the temple wheel I went, getting this help from one, that help from the other until "my" seminar became "our" seminar. This was certainly a joint project which lay, complete, on the center altar in full readiness and with the blessings of the entire Temple Family.

 

I gasped at the miracle of this co-creative effort, and finally realized Mother was not playing a dirty trick on me by sending me to apprentice with these Potencies.

I offered many fresh flowers, again lit incense, played the very best music and danced to thank her, indeed to thank this entire Supernal Family for receiving me and guiding me into co-creative participation.

 

In this writing, I have offered some of my thoughts, my beliefs, and relayed a number of experiences with Potencies rising outside the realm of ego. My paper only minimally touches on my experiences. None the less, I mean to impress you, with the probability that life lived only within egoic confinement, carries with it a permanent though sub-liminal sense of restraint often manifested in various level of anger, or depression, ultimately turning to grief (life unlived). I mean to impress any of you still doubtful or fearful that journeys beyond the egoic self, when properly and safely planned and organized can be a great source of enjoyment, wisdom, security, support, and above all facilitate our tapping into the creative flow in the service of the good of all.

My writing suggests to you such journey and experience is possible for anyone. There are numerous volumes of books which teach the planning, building and activation of a sacred space to house the Supernal Family suitable to you. I implore you, don't hesitate! don't wait! Begin your adventure today.

Lastly, I understand that I am addressing an audience which for the greater part hardly needs invitation to travel safely beyond ego. This paper is written to support anyone, or anyone whom you may know, who needs just a bit of confirmation, information, and reassurance that "Near is but difficult to grasp, The God! But where there is danger, the saving graces also rise."

Footnotes:

1. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition; "Ficino's Pimander and Aesclepius"; Yates, Frances A.; The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991, pp. 37

2 Mythic re-Genesis II: Icon of a Goddess; Focused Projection of an Archetypal Potency - Mother Reunion; in Phoenix Rising IV: Proceedings of the Inernational Conference on the Sudy of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing; edited by Ruth-Inge Heinze - 1996; University of California, Berkeley; pp 258

3 Shamans of the 20th Century, Ruth-Inge Heinze, Irvington Publishers, NY, 1991, pp163.

4 from Christopher Fry's A Sleep of Prisoner

5 see Opening the Heart: Clearing the Vision; Proceedings of the Tenth Inernational Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing;editor Ruth-Inge Heinze; 1993 pp273

6 The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated Dictionary; by Manfred Lurker; Thames and Hudson, NY NY, 1991, pp65.

7 ibid pp78

8 The Goddess Sekhmet:Psycho-spiritual Exercises of the Fifth Way, Robert Masters, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1991.

9 ibid pp106

10 ibid pp96

11 ibid pp120

12 quote Jean Houston in Mystery School Process, Chicago Seminar Process and Human Capacities Process