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What are personal myths and how can I use them?
Psychology is about human personality, our drives, our urges and our instincts. The great psychiatrist, Dr Carl Jung, was heavily influenced by the secrets held in mythology. He travelled the world to study ancient native cultures and their myths.
If you want to understand your personal psychology first study Greek mythology, there you'll find the roots of psychology. Our myths explore the many psychological traits in human personality. The desires, jealousies, urges and fears are all there. In each myth we see humans striving to understand life through action and conflict. Psychologists like myself use myths in our sessions, they make powerful metaphors to explore and explain a patient's journey.
Another way we use myth is through personal narration or story telling. These stories are known as your 'personal myths'. It could be said that we live a life of myth and by telling your 'story' you can examine your personal myths. Sometimes you'll find links to the myths of ancient Greece or other cultures, thus your life becomes enlivened with insights and a richness unrealised.
One way to take this journey is to read up on the Greek myths associated with your astrology sign. If you know a little about astrology you can look up your Moon sign and Ascendant sign as well. Then write a few drafts of your life as a story, just like a myth or fairy tale using insights into these astrological myths. You can even start with, "Once upon a time there was a little boy/girl who..."
Put it down and come back to it the next day and examine the themes that flow through your story. Do any of your personal myth themes sound like anything in your life, your personal challenges, strengths and weaknesses?
Let me give an example: once upon a time there was a little boy who grew up in a busy household. Because he was the last of his family and the smallest he was ignored, no one noticed him. He felt like like a mouse who crept through the house, alone and frightened. Even the king and queen didn’t notice, even the scullery maids, the knights and pages failed to take any notice of this little boy.
He grew into a man but had to find his own way through the maze of manhood rites of passage. He drank and was drunk many times, he took drugs and sought meaning to his existence with shamans and alchemists, but in the end he found nothing but emptiness.
One day he came across a beautiful princess who took notice. She brought the man out of this little mouse and showed him that life could be good. But one day she left him. His sorrow was enormous, until he found that he had retained the courage and confidence she bestowed upon him. His journey has begun anew and he can see the dragons in the valley below, waiting. He has checked his armoury and he has done his warm ups, now he steps forward to test his manhood and tame his dragons.
This process is fascinating and one you can do again and again for each period of your life (infancy, early school years, teenage years, college, early work years, middle years, family years...). If you enjoy writing you'll love examining your personal myths.
Noel Eastwood (1955- ) is a psychologist and skilled astrologer, who has spent more than 30 years accompanying others on a healing spiritual journey to meet their inner selves. He was introduced to Taoist meditation and tai chi while at teachers' college in the 80's. This formed the basis not only for his teaching, but also for his work as a therapist after he earned his degree in psychology. Noel studied astrology under Chris Turner, one of Australia's foremost astrologers, and started to receive clients in 1988. Currently, he is a practicing psychologist and astrologer in Australia. Over the years, Noel has developed his own, unique blend of astrology, Jungian and Archetypal Psychology, Taoism, meditation and tarot - his great loves that continue to inspire and guide him as a therapist and in life. Married, with three grown children and two grandchildren, Noel created Pluto's Cave to pass on his skills and knowledge to the next generation of astrologers and psychologists.