LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

 

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JOURNAL 2013

A living myth

Seven year cycle

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AUTUMN 2013

A living myth

Index 2013

New beginnings

Telling an untold story

A different way of seeing

The power of unanswered prayer

Sitting with the buddha

Colliding with St. John

The beginning of wisdom

A single flower clearly

The deep uncanny mine of souls

Syzygy

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LIFEWORKS

About

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ARCHIVES

Index

 

 

 

 

AUTUMN 2013
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A LIVING MYTH

(above) Sculptural detail of sacred ox. nd. Louvre Museum, Paris.

(left) The four evangelists (detail, St. Luke as the ox). The Book of Kells. Trinity College, Dublin. ca. 800 AD.  The Book of Kells, also known as The Book of Columba, is an illuminated manuscript containing the Four Gospels in Latin. This winged ox is the spiritual symbol of St. Luke.   Luke was an apostle of Christ, a doctor and a writer (Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles). Tradition also credits him with the creation of the first icon of Mary and Jesus. The Guild of Saint Luke, one of the earliest artists guilds, takes its name from this legend. Luke is the patron saint of artists and healers. His feast day is October 18. 10/18/13

Ox: ochse, German origin; also Dutch os, from the Sanskrit uksan, meaning bull; in Zen Buddhism, a symbol for enlightenment.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu (604-531 B.C.), philosopher, author of the Tao Te Ching

Samhain approaches.  It's an ancient holiday, officially beginning at sunset on October 31.*  Lasting three days, Samhain marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the "dark half" of the year.  According to Celtic mythology, it is a time of enchantment, a time when both mortal and immortal can pass back and forth between this world and the Otherworld.  Like many of the Celtic holidays, Samhain aligns exactly with a Christian observance -- All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day (October 31- November 2).

Samhain marks the time of year when the ancient Celts began their storytelling cycles, gathered as a community around the winter fires. This cycle continued throughout the "dark half" of the year, until Beltane, May 1, when the warm weather and agricultural duties required full attention.

Recognizing the approach of the storytelling season, I have put together a narrative cycle of my own, framing it inside the Ten Oxherding pictures. What I particularly like about this series is how the path to enlightenment concludes by returning us to the world and the human experience.  The series reflects precepts of Zen meditation, a Japanese tradition of Buddhism (Mahayana) that emphasizes a combined spiritual practice of meditation and intuition.  In other words, in order to truly understand these images, we must reflect and intuit their meaning.  

The writing that accompanies these illustrations incorporates ideas from this web site.  In that way, this particularly telling of the Ten Oxherding pictures explores the idea of a living myth.  And if you take time to reflect and intuit, you might discover more than the writing itself.  You might find some new aspect of yourself and your own personal myth.

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*Samhain celebrations traditionally coincide with All Hallow's Eve (Halloween, October 31).  However, Samhain is a cross-quarter day, meaning the actual date lies at the midpoint between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.  Varying from year to year, in 2013 the date is November 7.

 

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