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ellen H. Weiland LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mental Health Practice and Consultation
Mythic reGenesis II
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." --
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.
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
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...
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
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
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.
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
I was a very happy camper. Life was good.
Life was easy.
Have you ever noticed that just when ever
things goes easily, and smoothly, suddenly there is a new adventure on
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
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...
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'
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,
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
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
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.
"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.
1. Giordano Bruno
and the Hermetic Tradition; "Ficino's Pimander and Aesclepius"; Yates,
Frances A.; The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991, pp. 37
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