Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

The True Hero’s Journey December 20, 2011

At the age of ten I dreamed the Lone Ranger shot me. This big dream about my hero was more real than any other I’ve ever had. I was devastated to think he hated me so much he wanted to kill me and I couldn’t understand why. I had practically worshiped him, his beautiful horse Silver, and his trusty partner Tonto; yet he shot me! The injustice of this was intolerable!

One thing I’ve come to understand is that this dream spoke to my childhood image of God as a heroic male and my growing sense that I was unworthy because I was a female. In 195o’s America God was a He, history was still about males, and females could not be bosses, ministers, presidents or heroes.

That new awareness was very painful to my ten-year-old heart, and I tried my best to suppress it for many years; but ultimately, belatedly, it forced me to take myself as seriously as I took my loved ones, to search for my truths, and to connect with God in ways that were personally meaningful instead of entrusting this most crucial of my soul’s tasks to others — especially others who did not value me because of my gender. It also inspired my creativity. My struggle to understand and empower femininity and the feminine side of the Sacred Mystery is at the core of everything I write.

A second message of this dream was the inevitability of death. While being alone most of the time I wasn’t in school or church seemed normal to me at ten, my dream said that unconsciously I was feeling very vulnerable and insecure. I could be left alone to make my way through a dangerous world, I could be victimized, I could die. When my father died a few months later this suspicion became a certainty and my trust in my hero/God was shattered. Apparently I knew something no one else did: the heavenly hero everyone thought of as perfect was secretly untrustworthy, unjust and cruel.

I tried to repress this awareness too, but it was nevertheless a bedrock reality that fueled my determination to do everything I could to stay on God’s good side! Ignoring my wounded Persephone, I concentrated on developing my Athena, the brave, noble and wise defender of patriarchy! And I got pretty good at being heroic in the outer world of ambition, achievement and work.

So it was a bit of a shock to realize at mid-life was that I was copying a surface version of the hero myth  that emphasizes external trappings of power and success and ignores the inner life. Beneath the image of the independent, white-hatted cowboy on a white horse who rides off in search of bad buys to kill with his silver bullets is a much deeper meaning that is also the deeper meaning of  every authentic religion: True heroism, the kind that lasts and makes a difference in the world, is the ability to rein in the ego, lasso and befriend our shadow, learn compassion, and embolden our true Self so we can care for others in ways that are beneficial to all. In conforming to a mold that didn’t honor my inner realities I was betraying myself and the Great Mystery we call God.

Here is the message I want to convey:  We don’t have to settle for dysfunctional God-images or self-images. Acquiring the consciousness to recognize our wounds and complete our souls so we can serve our communities with compassion is the true Hero’s Journey. This is a spiritual path anyone can take.

 

A Message From the Lone Ranger October 19, 2010

In the dream I am walking between railroad tracks that curve into a distant horizon. I see only earth, sky, this hard metal road with rock-covered banks that fall away on either side into dark woods below.

I know this place. I walked these tracks with Daddy when I was five and we lived in Tallahassee. Daddy wanted me to feel the magical allure of trains, but also to know their danger. There were hobos in tent camps in the woods and I should stay away from them. I should stay away from the tracks too. Little girls could get crushed by the metal monsters that rode them.

Are there hobos in the woods now? Will a train come soon? Why am I here? Where am I going? Where’s Daddy? I don’t know. I only know I am alone and must keep walking.

From behind me a voice calls, “Jean!” I turn, and there is Tonto.

“Come,” he beckons. “Lone Ranger wants you.” I am thrilled. The Lone Ranger is my hero and he wants to see me! I push away a niggling shadow of apprehension and follow Tonto. The Lone Ranger stands in a clearing. Behind him his magnificent white horse, Silver, munches grass contentedly. Beyond them, the dark woods. I feel wonder, excitement, curiosity. Beneath these, that tiny knot of anxiety.

“Stand there.” The masked man points to a spot on the ground in front of the steep embankment. I obey and wait for the words that will reveal his regard for me, tell me why I’m here, confirm my mission.

The Lone Ranger pulls his gun out if its holster, aims at me, pulls the trigger, shoots. I feel the kick in my mid-section, clutch my body at the point of impact, wait for the blood and pain. Is this it? Will I die now?

I wake up screaming, “Nooooo!” between great heaving sobs, outraged by this inconceivable betrayal from a man I have admired second to no one but Daddy. Mama rushes up the stairs into my bedroom and holds me in her arms.

“Shhh, you’re okay. You’re okay. It was only a dream.”

Only a dream. That’s when I tell myself, stunned with incomprehension but fierce in my determination, “This is important. I am ten years old and I will never forget this dream!”

If you have read my book, The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, you already know this story. In the book after that, Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork, I mentioned the Lone Ranger once again. Then, thinking I was done with him, I set him aside to address headier matters. I’ve been writing for years, hoping to round out these two books with a third that would complete them, but nothing quite gelled. Now I understand I still had unfinished business with the Lone Ranger, Tonto, and Silver.

The Lone Ranger gave me my mission: You want to know why you are here and where you are going?  I will tell you. These tracks represent your spiritual journey. I have given you an experience that will shape it. Never forget the pain of being betrayed by the god of your childhood: a lone, remote, and mysterious masked man who doesn’t value your significance and holds the power of life and death over you. Remember this dream and become conscious of its fullest meaning. This is your life’s work. He was right.

You can find my newest book,  Healing the Sacred Divide, at this Amazon link and at Larson Publications, Inc.

 

 
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