The Wounded Fisher King
Jung and the Ancestors
The long-awaited release in the 21st century of Jung's RED BOOK (2009) reveals just how much of a role his ancestors and inner figures played in his own psychic life. They led directly to the formation of many of his theories of psychic dynamics.
Historically, in Western societies the focus of genealogy was on the kinship and descent of rulers and nobles, often arguing or demonstrating the legitimacy of claims to wealth and power. The term often overlapped with heraldry, in which the ancestry of royalty was reflected in their coats of arms. Modern scholars consider many claimed noble ancestries to be fabrications, such as the Anglo-Saxon chronicles that traced the ancestry of several English kings to the god Woden.
But Jung healed and transformed his own fragmentation by taking up imaginal relationships with his inner figures. He developed what might be called a Dialogical Gnosis -- a Way of Knowing informed by the wisdom of the Collective Unconscious, the plenum of inherent knowledge and experience. Jung was engaged in the process of individuation.
One does not choose the path of individuation, but rather is chosen by it. Individuation seems to be the innate urge of life to realize itself consciously. The transpersonal life energy, in the process of self-unfolding, uses human consciousness, a product of itself, as an instrument for its own self-realization.
New discoveries must not only be made, but assimilated with concurrent experience and meaningful psychological insight. The individual meaningfulness of an experience is what creates unique personality. The instinctive feeling of significance is expanded by rooting experiences in their mythical patterns.
If the ego can withstand the irrational temptations, ordeals, and peril at the hands of the unknown, it is eventually rewarded with an expanded experience of self and a rejuvenation, or rebirth. In his essay on the "Relationship between the Ego and the Unconscious," Jung has stated that,
It is impossible to achieve individuation by conscious intention, because conscious intention invariably leads to a typical attitude that excludes whatever does not fit in with it. This assimilation of the unconscious contents leads, on the contrary to a condition in which the conscious intention is excluded and supplanted by a process of development that seems irrational. This process alone signifies individuation, and its product is individuality as we have defined it; particular and universal at once....Only when the unconscious is assimilated does the individuality emerge more clearly, together with the psychological phenomenon which links the ego with the non-ego and is designated by the word attitude.
But this time it is no longer a typical attitude but an individual one.
What the conscious ego can do in regard to individuation is make the commitment to work in harmony with the unfolding subconscious process, to give it constant attention, and to place proper value on the experience. This creates a resonance, the experience of "being in harmony with the cosmos", reflecting the Hermetic Axiom, "As Above, So Below." The Secret Garden of the Rose
Cult of the Archetypal Feminine
The Mother of us all is also the Earth, as the light of the divine womb (primal source) and the mystery of divine light that informs and transforms into matter. The Sangreal is a cult of bloodline. Many who are of it are unaware or unawakened to that genealogical and gnostic awareness.
Many who think they are 'awake' are merely enthralled with the fugue state or eruption of symbolic material which is actually a form of dissociation. Dissociative disorders are typically experienced as startling, autonomous intrusions into the person's usual ways of responding or functioning. Due to their unexpected and largely inexplicable nature, they tend to be quite unsettling. Jung theorized that theorized that dissociation is a natural necessity for consciousness to operate in one faculty unhampered by the demands of its opposite.
Much of the magic and mystery enters our lines through our grandmothers, from the distaff side of our physical inheritance. It is carried in the mitochondrial DNA, inherited only from the mother on the x chromosome. It is very persistent through generations in both men and women, which helps us determine the relationship of populations.
The fact that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited enables genealogical researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time. The concept of the Mitochondrial Eve is based on the same type of analysis, attempting to discover the origin of humanity by tracking the lineage back in time.
In the medieval era, a cult of the Feminine arose with a persistent theme of gender reunion in the Great Rite of the ancient bloodline, mystical eroticism known as the Mysterium Coniunctionis or Royal Marriage, in the underground Church of Love. Jung wrote a large book with that title describing "the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy".
The opposites to be reconciled were Venus and Mars. It's about healing sexual woundedness, the pathless Wasteland of male-female relationships (literal and psychic), with a mystical inner marriage. Like Isis and Horus, when the Madonna holds the infant Jesus, he represents the Future, and he continues to do so as the future is always coming.
The Sacred Heart and Mary Magdalene are twin symbols of the Grail. She has been used to symbolize the hidden teachings of Jesus. The cult of Mary Magdalene and the Cult of the Black Virgin survive in many forms to this day. The meeting of the sun-god and the earth-mother brings forth the miracle of birth, death, and rebirth from her dark creative womb. The god comes through the goddess.
We find that balance in Individuation, after facing the Shadow and connecting with inner wisdom. Through his relationship with the feminine a man gains access to his own soul, to the deeper layers of his "heart". His sensitive quest for his "queen" makes him wiser, more sensitive, more scrupulous as a person. AMOR is a spiritual development. The courage to persist is the hallmark of loyalty.
The Rosy Cross is a symbol of the human process of reproduction elevated to the spiritual: The fundamental symbols are the female rose and the male cross. As generation is the key to material existence, those symbols exemplify the reproductive processes. As regeneration is the key to spiritual existence, the symbolism of the rose and the cross typifies redemption through the union of our lower temporal nature with our higher eternal nature.
The Rosy Cross is equivalent to the Philosopher's Stone or Holy Grail, and refined Gold. All represent the Grail of Self-Realization. As an image The Grail was a symbol of not just spiritual transcendence but also the Divine Immanence in creation. In Jewish mysticism, every woman is an earthly embodiment of the celestial Shekinah. The Grail Temple is the body, our sacred vessel. We need to learn again that the family is a being, a goddess.
There are many icons of Mary that show black faces and hands. In France, these are called Vierge Noires—Black Virgins. Elsewhere, they may be called Black Madonnas or the "other Mary." Jung called her Isis, while others claim she is the symbolic remains of a prehistoric worship of the Earth Mother. She is generally connected with Cybele, Diana, Isis, and Venus, as well as with Kali, Inanna, and Lilith. Historically she is connected with the Crusades, the Islamic occupation of Spain, the Conquistadors, the Kabbala, as well as the Merovingians and Knights Templar, who viewed her as Mary Magdalene.
Courtly Love (courtezia) and Troubadours were institutions that compensated the misogyny of medieval times. The contemplation of beauty in its feminine incarnation opens the Middle Way between debauchery and self-abnegation. Transcendent beauty is reflected in a beautiful face or body. Contact with the beautiful is a sacrament. The culture of l'amour courtois flourished in Anjou and the Languedoc. The House of Anjou remains the senior Grail family.
The Crusades, the so-called 'holy war', filled the need for collective Shadow projection. In this scenario, Venus and the cult of the Feminine played counterpoint to the Martian cult of warrior-knighthood, with its chivalric code of honor. This Quest for a lost sacred object, the Holy Grail, appears out of a deep and urgent need to counteract the brutality of the rapacious crusading, murderous military oppression. AMOR was a gnostic and esoteric doctrine of the divinity of the Mother and the higher meaning of the chivalric quest.
The persecuted became persecutors in a collective defensive strategy known as identification with the aggressor and the splitting-off of the victim. Whether personal or collective the consequence is the same. A need arises to find and project the shadow onto an external victim who opposes the newly found power of the aggressor. The real problem was and remains how to reconcile the two warring extremes of human nature: spirituality and sexuality. Men met the challenge by becoming more rigid and investing women and the Grail with the powers of generation and regeneration.
The historical origin for the collective resurgence of the sacred feminine is most likely derived from ancient cults of the Great Goddess—the mysteries of Isis, of Diana of Ephesus or Cybele, and especially the Sophia of the Gnostics. They were carried to Europe through the artistic contacts of troubadours who had been to the East.
Above all, the Cathars revered a version of Isis-Sophia and ordained women as priestesses equally with men. However, their Gnosticism also vilified the flesh and therefore all matter. Their archetypes, The Archons, were likewise demonized, being stunted by duality.
It is likely that the troubadour aubades or songs to the lady in spring ultimately derive from remnants of the old cults of Demeter, the Mother Goddess and her daughter Persephone. The Greeks brought this worship to Provence when they colonized Marseille and the south of Gaul in early times.
In the ancient Basilica of St. Victor in Marseille, on the 2nd of February each year thousand of candles are lit to attend the raising of the famous Black Madonna from the infernal darkness of the crypt up into the upper air. Persephone returned to the upper world every spring in Greek times, with masses of torches, to re-unite with her mother Demeter.
So in many of the noble courts of the South of France in the 11th-12th centuries there is a kind of revival of the pagan substrate that has been buried, but not entirely, by Christianity. What re-emerges is Christianity’s pagan shadow, to use Jung’s terms. What we see is the upsurge from the unconscious of the repressed pagan archetypal energies of the Dionysian-Venusian. Ecstatic use of art, music, and the body led to communion with the godhead within the body. (Woolger) http://www.deepmemoryprocess.com/page33.html The Grail hero discovers a castle in the midst of a Wasteland of self-alienation
The Fisher King is the wounded father principle, the weakened, unproductive and spiritually desolate father-world of medieval times. The waters of life have dried up both within and without laving a damaged consciousness, cut off from Mother Earth.
Jung said that today "the Gods have become diseases," and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) describes not only the psychological victims of war and brutality but says something about our own "hostage" culture. It is a kind of stuckness where the trauma seems to be continuously recurring, a torturous victimization without relief. The war comes home in chaos, flashbacks, dark futures, and suicidal impulses. We can imagine that the old warrior-knights were not immune from such human frailties. http://ptsdpolitics.iwarp.com/
“Peace for veterans is not an ‘absence of war’ but its living ghost in the bedroom, at the lunch counter, on the highway. The trauma is not ‘post’ but acutely present, and the ‘syndrome’ is not in the veteran but in the dictionary, in the amnesiac’s idea of peace that colludes with an unlivable life.” “The return from the killing fields is more than a debriefing; it is a slow ascent from hell. …The veteran needs a rite de sortie that belongs to every initiation as its normal conclusion, making possible an intact return.” (James Hillman)
In contrast, the passion of the troubadours was earthy, bodily and sensual no matter how sentimentalists would later portray it. Dali quipped, "The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot." There is no longer any excuse to see the ladies of the troubadours through rose-tinted spectacles of the early Romantic poets and the Pre-Raphaelite painters, as purely ethereal disembodied “spiritual” anima figures.
The troubadours celebrated the incarnation of the feminine every bit as much as its spiritualization. Some say fins amor, or pure love of a woman as a form of spiritual initiation through a forbidden but transcendent love affair, was practiced not for procreation but contemplation. http://www.deepmemoryprocess.com/page209.html
Woolger, Roger, The Holy Grail: Healing the Sexual Wound in the Western Psyche (1983/2010)
Karena Karras "The Bath"
Rose Line Descent
The Da Vinci Code made much of the so-called Roseline marking sacred sites in the European landscape. But the real Rose Lines are revealed in the royal genealogies with which it is interwoven. The Grail is the source of life, of generativity, of the primordial Eros. The Grail belongs to all that is soft, yielding, yin, of the body, of the earth, of the Mother: full, rich, gentle, and infinitely abundant.
Certain images, such as the Garden of the Rose, the Fountain, the Loathly Bride, the Damsel in distress, and above all the Holy Grail recur in all kinds of variations. The symbol of the Rose, for example, finds its way from the Sufis to the Roman de la Rose, to Dante's Paradiso, to the windows of Chartres Cathedral, and eventually to the mystical Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians. The underground tradition of alchemy and esoteric arts kept the spiritual Mysteries and Great Goddess discipline alive in the Underground Stream.