Wednesday, November 26, 2008

JC and the Moon

Jake has been talking about JCs and the moon.  The Moon was my focal point last year, and now this obsession can be see for what it was:

However, the work has still not been completed. Although the monster has been overcome, and the imprisoned soul freed, the hero still has the difficult return ahead.  He or she must find the way out and should not lose the way in the labyrinth of the underworld. Insidious dangers lurk on this return route and become traps for great failed heros (191-192).

The Moon card is frequently misunderstood today because we primarily connect the moon with romantic images. But here it means darkness, night, and the deep exploration of the inner spaces [emphasis mine] (195).

As long as the hero is fascinated by the light side of his anima, the star woman, he will also remain enslaved to her dark aspect. This dark aspect has pushed itself in front of the sun here as the moon. Only when the hero recognizes that the actual goal, the sun (as a symbols[sic] of the self), lies behind this darkness, can he escape from the labyrinth, or the enchanted woods (197).

In the myths of many peoples, including the Upanishads of India, the moon is considered the gateway to the heavenly world. To the same extent that goal lies behind Saturn's threshold, the most enriching and delightful experiences that can be achieved lie behind the fear.  This is why Saturnian rituals, such as fasting, silence, and aloneness, belong to all religions as the the transitional rituals that help the human being cross this threshold. . . The task here is to not lose heart, not to become discouraged by the darkness, but to follow the longing and sincerely take the path of fear with courage and trust in order to reach what is authentic behind it (199-200).

The journey through the night, diving into the depths of the unconscious, has led the hero to an enormous expansion of consciousness. The danger of losing everything at the last moment through a greedy maneuver by the ego, through betrayal of megalomania, is great (202).
Hajo Banzhaf, Tarot and the Journey of the Hero (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1976).

In the context of these symbolic assignments, the cycle of a single lunar month has been compared, by analogy, to the term of a human lifetime, with the fifteenth night, which is of the moon become full, equated with the human adult's thirty-fifth year (in the reckoning of three-score and ten as the human norm).  On that very special evening there is a moment when the rising moon, having just emerged on the horizon, is directly faced across the world, from the opposite horizon, by the setting sun. Certain months of the year and the two, at this perfectly balanced moment, are of equal light and the same size. By analogy, the confrontation has been likened to that in the midmoment of a lifetime when the light of consciousness reflected in the mind may be recognized, either suddenly or gradually, as identical with that typified metaphorically as of the sun.  Whereupon, if the witness is prepared, there ensues a transfer of self-identification from the temporal, reflecting body to the sunlike, eviternal source, and one then knows oneself as consubstantial with what is of no time or place but universal and beyond death, yet incarnate in all beings everywhere and forever; so that as we again may read in the Upanishad: tat tvam asi, "though art that."

This is the realization connoted in the metaphor of the Virgin Birth, when in the mind and heart the ideal is conceived of a life lived, not for the primary economic and biological ends of survival, progeny, prosperity, and a little fun, but to a metaphysical end, intending values transcendent of historical survival (59).

Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion. (Tornoto, St James Press: 1986).

No comments: