In The Flight of the Gander, Joseph Campbell talks about living myths, how they evolve, and how we absorb the stories. Myths still serve the purpose for humans that they always have. They tell stories of events and people bigger than we think our selves to be. Intellectually, we see ourselves separately from the myths, but at the level of human consciousness, we identify.
Myths help us contextualize ourselves in the world – physical, human, “natural,” or metaphysical (like these are actually separate). This morning, about six a.m. I saw a mother wildcat and two cubs come across the wall that separates my yard from the wash behind, drop down into my neighbor’s yard and proceed through and across the street to the ravine that leads away from the houses. I took a picture and a short video (short because I’m not very skilled at using my phone for this purpose) because I want to know the species and population of her type.
It’s now three hours later and I still feel charged by that encounter. My body knows this was important, and I can’t help but feel special for this sighting. I was visited by the Jaguar woman goddess, Ixchel, this September morning. As a moon goddess, she represents fertility and protection for pilgrims (those on a spiritual journey).
Like anyone else on a Hero’s Journey, I need to be reminded now and then. I have to stay aware and notice the messages and stories the world is telling me all of the time. These stories persist because we value them and learn from them. Seeing what she brings next – what an adventure!