It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves. --Carl Jung
If you walk around our house or even my studio, you'll notice an eclectic mix of various representations of world religions. In the above photo, we have a little bit of Hinduism and a little bit of Buddhism and a nod to Paganism.
I've been studying world religions since I was about 12 so welcome to the inside of my brain...or more accurately, the inside of my heart.
When I teach, you get the same mix. I am very Joseph Campbell; I believe it's all the same and it's all beautiful, and from any and all of it, we can learn and grow.
I certainly have some preferences, but to be truthful, even those are fluid depending on the time of year and where my energy is and what I am needing.
This fluidity used to bother me, but now I understand it as one of my greatest strengths.
Right now, I am feeling particularly fond of and inspired by and close to Hinduism.
In Hinduism, there are millions of gods and goddesses, and the Hindu mind believes that they are all real AND that they are all not real but rather metaphors.
They believe both/and.
This is hard for the Western mind.
We like clearer lines.
Both real AND not real. I love that.
As Jung says, it's all how you look at it.
So when we work with archetypes in the Heart on Fire workshops, we create rituals and altars and devotionals around them.
And you can approach this a couple of different ways: You can decide that this is totally real for you, that this god or goddess is the real deal. Cool.
You can also decide that this god or goddess represents an aspect of YOURSELF with which you are working.
You are devoted to yourself, performing ritual to this part of your self, calling forth more of this aspect for and from yourself.
Yesterday, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I announced that SHE is the next archetype.
For me, she is Divine Mother Love, something we all need more of. Or most of us, anyway. From what I observe, we aren't very kind to ourselves and our ideas of love are super limiting and limited.
For me, too, she is the ultimate YES speaker. She was not TOLD she would take this journey she took; she was ASKED. Just like you are every day.
Just like you did not have to be Hindu to work with the energy of Ganesh, you do not need to be Catholic to work with the energy of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Here's a cool tidbit: She is actually a representation of the coming together of two worlds -- Aztec and European Catholic. She herself was neither fully in one or the other.
Just like our work in Heart on Fire.
(CLICK HERE to sign up for an exploration of divine, unconditional mother love through movement, mantra, ritual, and writing.)