our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2013/04/28

I am a tear: the Sun lets fall

I am a stag: of seven tines,
I am a flood: across a plain,
I am a wind: on a deep lake,
I am a tear: the Sun lets fall,
I am a hawk: above the cliff,
I am a thorn: beneath the nail,
I am a wonder: among flowers,
I am a wizard: who but I
Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?

I am a spear: that roars for blood,
I am a salmon: in a pool,
I am a lure: from paradise,
I am a hill: where poets walk,
I am a boar: ruthless and red,
I am a breaker: threatening doom,
I am a tide: that drags to death,
I am an infant: who but I
Peeps from the unhewn dolmen arch?

I am the womb: of every holt,
I am the blaze: on every hill,
I am the queen: of every hive,
I am the shield: for every head,
I am the tomb: of every hope.

Song of Amergin (Bard of the Milesians, lays claim to the Land of Ireland)

translated by Robert Graves, from The White Goddess, Faber and Faber Limited, 24 Russell Square London WC1. It appears here under the principle of Fair Use.
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"....The fact is that though the Anglo-Saxons broke the power of the ancient British chieftains and poets they did not exterminate the peasants, so that the continuity of the ancient British festal system remained unaffected even when the Anglo-Saxons professed Christianity...."
"... The Theme, briefly, is an antique story, which falls into thirteen chapters and an epilogue, of the birth, life, death and resurrection of the God of the Waxing Year; the central chapters concern God's losing battle with the God of the Waning Year for love of the capricious and all-powerful Threefold Goddess, their mother, bride, and layer-out. The poet identifies himself with the God of the Waxing Year and his Muse with the Goddess; the rival is his blood-brother, his other self, his weird.
All true poetry— true by Housman's practical test— celebrates some incident or scene in this very ancient history, and the three main characters are so much a part of our racial inheritance that they not only assert themselves in poetry but recur on occasions of emotional stress in the form of dreams, paranoiac visions and delusions.
"The weird, or rival, often appears in nightmare as the tall, lean, dark-faced spectre, or Prince of the Air, who tries to drag the dreamer out through the window, so that he looks back and sees his body still lying rigid in bed; but he takes countless malevolent or diabolic or serpent-like forms.
"The Goddess is a lovely, slender woman with a hooked nose, deathly pale face, lips red as rowan-berries, startlingly blue eyes and long hair... Her names are innumerable...."

~Robt Graves, in THE WHITE GODDESS
James Hillman also discusses the triangle inherent in Eros in his Love's Torturous Enchantment in A BLUE FIRE.

see also Self: The archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche; a transpersonal power that transcends the ego. in the JUNG LEXICON , A Primer of Terms & Concepts by DARYL SHARP. Excerpt:

Like any archetype, the essential nature of the self is unknowable, but its manifestations are the content of myth and legend.

The self appears in dreams, myths, and fairytales in the figure of the "supraordinate personality," such as a king, hero, prophet, saviour, etc., or in the form of a totality symbol, such as the circle, square, quadratura circuli, cross, etc. When it represents a complexio oppositorum, a union of opposites, it can also appear as a united duality, in the form, for instance, of tao as the interplay of yang and yin, or of the hostile brothers, or of the hero and his adversary (arch-enemy, dragon), Faust and Mephistopheles, etc. Empirically, therefore, the self appears as a play of light and shadow, although conceived as a totality and unity in which the opposites are united.[Definitions," CW 6, par. 790.]

The realization of the self as an autonomous psychic factor is often stimulated by the irruption of unconscious contents over which the ego has no control. This can result in neurosis and a subsequent renewal of the personality, or in an inflated identification with the greater power.  (more)


See also EROS AND MAGIC IN THE RENAISSANCE BY Ioan P. Couliano

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Grave's weird is the Ego projected as Self, rather than united through a conscious realization of that inner Self, which is incarnation...