deirdre, a myth

Page Fifty

Saturday 23 January 2010…   Greenfield

I’ve read a number of books by Carl Jung, as well as a number of others written about Jung’s approach to psychiatry. And in these writings one technique that particularly appeals to me is the choosing of archetypes that fit your personality. You can choose more than one. They can be general, like Earth Mother or Father Sky; or they can be specific, like Hercules or Aphrodite.

One of the archetypes I chose for myself years ago was Deirdre of the Sorrows. This myth comes from Celtic, specifically Irish, culture. I think I’ve given a quick synopsis of this story, which appears in several versions, on another journal on soulcast, but I’ll do it here again:

Deirdre is so beautiful from birth that she is hidden away, lest she cause fighting among men of royal families. But it happens anyway. She falls in love with Naoise, and when a rival family learns of this, their king has Naoise and his brothers killed, steals Deirdre for himself, locks her up in his castle.

So there’s Deirdre kidnapped and forced to live for 12 years with a man she hates, and some versions of the story say that she never lets him touch her. For all the 12 years she cries. Finally her grief breaks her completely, and when the King is taking her out somewhere in a carriage of some type, she hurls herself out of it onto a stand of boulders, smashes her skull, and dies. She is finally free of the King and of her grief.

I always told people, for years, that if I lost all of my animals because of some cruel landlord, I would die of the grief. I didn’t say it for drama, or to get attention. I said it because I believed it.

And it’s nearly two years since they were taken. I wonder: why haven’t I died of the grief? But I bring Deirdre of the Sorrows back to mind, and think, maybe sometimes dying of grief takes time. A long time. Maybe I just have to cry, and wait.

 here to a tad more on archetypes.

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(greeting card photo)