On the face of the earth there is no one more beautiful than You
Wherever I go I wear your image in my heart
Whenever I fall in a despondent mood I remember your image

I met a woman at a party. Out of the blue she began to tell me about a baby dragon she had met in the woods..

oh dear, here we go..

She fed it and looked after it…


And then, when it was big enough she released it into back into the woods but villagers came up with sticks and clubs and beat it to death…

She burst into tears, asking between sobs…

‘What does a dragon mean?’

‘Do you see’, I replied gently, ‘how in a stroke you just beat it to death?’

She never thought to ask the dragon.

didna wear de image in her heart….

One of the main difficulties we have in finding a story to sustain us is that pretty much straight off we want to know what it ‘means’ and in the process rob ourselves of the soulful connection that first brought it to our attention.

We want to understand it rather than having a relationship with it out of which understanding might flow when it is good and ready.

We forget that stories and symbols which have the power to grab our attention also have their own life. So our wanting to know is like the discourtesy of rushing up to a person in the street and asking intrusively what they mean.

Our interaction with the Unconscious in the West is, as a rule, dismissive, arrogant and intrusive..

Like a swaggering king..

who wants to ‘understand’ stuff so that he can have power over it..

and kills it in the process of his dissection….

And my spirit rises a thousand fold
Your advent is the blossom time of the Universe
O Mother you have showered your choicest blessings upon me

With the loss of the Great Mother comes loss of the Principle of Relatedness. We lose sight of what is really important in life and wind up like king Gilgamesh, the first king of the first city, slayer of the Goddess Cybele, whose final act is the piteous praising of his city walls, his defended persona, rather than finding his true Self.

an’ so what about that? Him King!

Gilgamesh is an important figure because Western Civilisation has largely been built on the archetype of kingship and the ‘Madness of Ceasars’, the inflation that goes with it. Our belief in the myth of the ‘evolution of consciousness’ has to do, in part, with veiwing kingship as psychological progress and something to aspire to. This justifies the patriarchal spoiling which has occured as ‘necessary’, a bit like dropping atom bombs to ‘shorten the war’.

I believe, to the contrary, that the advent of kingship marks a period of regression in our culture, the beginning of a split reality in which the loss of the Principle of Relatedness means not only a diminishment of compassion for others but a loss of connection to self. Lets be cheeky and look at another of Gilgamesh’s dreams which seems to bear this out. I am indebted to  M.L. von Franz for her insights into this dream and paraphrase her liberally in what follows.

”I am walking up and down proudly in front of my people. Stars are in the sky. One of the stars of the sky God Annu falls upon me. I try to lift it but it was too heavy. All of the Uruk assemble and kiss it’s feet.”

So, here we have ‘the ideal man’, the primal hero, dragon slayer…

‘the great individual who takes on the challenge of changing forces and powers’. (Baring and Cashford)


and yet he has a dream that quite clearly critisizes him for this ‘evolutionary’ step with which so much of academia would like to attribute him.

As king he has fullfilled some collective role, but not his uniqueness at all. He is crushed by the burden of following his own star which the people regard with greater favour than august kingship. Rather than have a relationship with that which comes from the heavens, he attributes himself with divinity and considers his role to be by divine appointment.

So him crushed..

If you don’t follow your star and opt for corporate life instead, your fate will come to you from outside…

and at high speed.

for want of re-membering..

Also remember me on the Day of Judgement
I don’t know if I will go to heaven or hell
But wherever I go, please always abide in me.

For the rest of us, the ‘not-kings’, waal we like this king arrangement preety much. We’ll sit on the sidelines..

wiv chips and Mountain Dew…..

while we watch in fascination while ol’ gilga try to wriggle free….

”This fascination leads to an infantile giving up of oneself and being flat on one’s belly worshiping ….the projection…  ML von Franz.

so that peoples don’ have to make any effort themselves…

To find your story, to follow your star, ‘means isolation, not knowing where to go, having to find a completely new way for yourself instead of the trodden path everyone else is running along.” ML von Franz.

And so it suits us to hand over our power to others so that they will also carry the projection of the Self and all the aggravation that goes with it despite the loss of relatedness entailed and our meagre substitution of ‘understanding’ stuff for immersion in the Waters of Life.

Poetry from the Koran.

The Intrusion of Absence.

When i was about thirteen my father called me to one side and announced that it had been remiss of him not to tell me the story of my grandfather and would i like to hear it..


So we went into his study which was more special and he sat me on his special footstool…

squealing delight..

yearning for the legend to unfold of the brave lancaster gunner who was killed over Turin in ’42

and so told me the special story.

‘When I was seven I was swinging on the garden gate and my father came along and swung me off…’ And he made a swooping gesture.

You can go now.

Its what I call a medusa moment. Its when there is a rider on an event, an ‘aubertext’, and what’s really being communicated is more like transmission, the passing on of some family wreckage rather than an enriching story. The moment turns to stone..

Falling like a stone…..

.and the place where  the nurture of ancestral tales..

So much smoke and, but…two engines still going, Ginger come in…GINGER! Oh God we’re going down, oh fuck, oh God..

.feeds the soul…..

If he had fallen like a stone, from say 1500m, physics says it would take a full 8 1/2 seconds to hit the ground, but then you’re built to float and are doing 200mph and Ginger’s still slumped over the throttle with those two engines still coughing…

.is lost…..

Even more intrusive by its absence was my father’s relationship with his mother. We had a rare, the only…ever.. family gathering one year.  My father announces for everyone to gather round for a video of the event to be taken for Nanny who couldn’t be there.

Hang on a minute….

Didn’t she die..like, twenty years ago?

But no, look, she has arisen in New Zealand.. where she went after her second husband gassed himself in the kitchen oven…

..so many fumes…can’t greath, choking now…sooo cold.

And what that stoney look does is worse than any beating. When moments are petrified by a parent’s need to pass on their own deadness it really does numb the child to its own life and teaches/compells the child to disown its potential.

About a year later we were playing chess one evening. I was on holiday from boarding school. We played quite a lot, or at least he regularly trounced me. Then, one delicious evening I won. For the first time. In history.

He studied the board in silence for a loooong time then scraped his chair back and left without a word. We never played again. And what i learned was not that i was a clever lad but that to shine is to be abandoned and so i went forward faithfully sabotaging myself at every opportunity and turning myself to stone.

Getting stoned….

thinking that was rebellion…

but in fact, unconsciously fulfilling one more silent expectation.

But all is not lost!

In fact, you now have a ticket to ride.

Because when the medusa moment has you up against the wall and whatever you do or say next will be wrong then you might as well fulfil your own destiny and find what you need out in the world

or deep inside

to reflect your truth..

to have I and me stay in the same vessel.

In the story of the golden fleece, Jason uses the reflection of his shield to defeat Medusa. So long as he is able to reflect he will be safe from being petrified.

So long as I can talk to me.

So that you know that being sent away is wrong..

And the swinging on the gate story is compensatory bullshit..

And the chess was all about beating me rather than playing..

..then the intuition and imagination of the stone child can come alive.

And where is your mother in all this..?

Veiled. Predominantly through the crack of the door to her room where she lay in valiumed haze behind tresses of shrouded  netting.

Thou shalt not be creative…

She was a brilliant artist, but didn’t have permission to be brilliant so she got migranes and valium instead.

Unlived life does not sit idly on the shelf. It will turn around and bite you. M.L.Von Franz.

Its amazing how mutual deadness can act as such glue in a marriage. The offspring involved are faced with a stark choice. Do the same thing as them or go on a veeeery long journey to find the fruit in the experience.

It’s in there somewhere, rippening in your adversity.

I had a friend who grew apples. One tree bore the most incredible fruit. They were sooo fantastic. Only it was bent double having grown in the shade of a massive firtree. To improve it’s lot she had the firtree cut down… but the apples never tasted the same after that. They just tasted like regular apples.

And so, for all those who’ve grown in  the shade of something seemingly deadening, don’t wish to be rid of it so easily. Would you be fruiting without it?

”Most of the people who are the greatest healers living on the face of this earth are unmothered children.”   Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

having had a rough start is kind of necessary to the individuation process. An old Gnostic saying captures this well,

‘ There is good and there is bad and that is good.’

When times are tough you grow. When they are easy, you rest.