Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Archetypes In Symbolism And Mythology

"Mythology is a fictitious tale about 
characters who never existed,
engaged in events that never happened.
But, yet, it is true."
- Joseph Panek

An Archetype is a physical portrayal of either an Event or an
abstract concept. An Archetype is portrayed as male when it is
designed to depict a masculine aspect, or essence, of nature.
An Archetype is portrayed as female when it is designed to
depict a feminine aspect, or essence, of nature.

Ancient Esoteric writings inform us that masculine aspects of
nature are active, bestowing, rational, logical, conscious, and
solar - The Seed; while feminine aspects of nature are passive,
accepting, intuitive, emotional, subconscious, and lunar
- The Womb.

The events depicted by an Archetype can be either terrestrial
( earthly ) or cosmic ( heavenly ). The Epic tales of classic
literature all contain Archetypal heroes, gods, and goddesses
who weave their ways through these ancient sagas and mingle
in the affairs of mankind. Consider the heroic and divine
Archetypes who have mesmerized us in Homer's unforgettable
classic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

The abstract concepts depicted by Archetypes are limitless.
They include, but are not limited to, dreams, insights, epiphanies,
prophecy, esoteric Wisdom, and Shamanic experiences. These
are the Archetypes portrayed in the many temple paintings and
hieroglyphs which come down to us from ancient Egypt.

Archetypes allow us to visualize, personify and personalize events
and abstract concepts. They are unforgettable physical
constructions which then become an ingrained mental image that
allows us to recall and associate a specific Archetypal character
with a specific event or abstract concept.

An Archetype is a necessary element for the creation of metaphors,
allegories, parables, myths, legends, fables, and stories which
become the unforgettable Lessons which are then passed down
from generation to generation.

The ancient thought process was Archetypal and metaphorical.
The ancients thought, spoke, taught, and wrote through the use
of Archetypes and metaphors. Therefore, in order for us to
understand ancient histories, legends, myths, and sacred writings,
we must first attempt to understand the ancient mind which
evaluated events, ideas, and concepts by way of Archetypal thinking.

For only by understanding this ancient thought process can we
truly understand the histories and Lessons which they have
passed down to us by way of their myths, legends, sacred
writings, puns, and metaphors.

So, how does this process of Archetypal thinking actually work?

First: An event must occur, a hero must be glorified, an
abstract concept must be brought into consciousness, or a
phenomenon of nature must be experienced. These are the original
and fundamental sources from which Archetypes are conceived
and brought into physical reality.

Second: An Archetype is created which Symbolizes this event,
hero, abstract concept, or phenomenon of Nature. Only then, by
way of a physical representation ( a Symbolic Archetype ), can
a myth, legend, story, or metaphor then be created. If the event
or abstract concept is masculine in nature, it is portrayed by a
man. If the event or abstract concept is feminine in nature, it is
portrayed as a woman. The Archetype must exist before the
myth, story, or legend can be created.

Third: The myth, legend, sacred writing, or metaphor is created
by way of using the Archetype, or Archetypes, which have been
created from the initial event or abstract concept. This end result
is the stories and Lessons that have been passed down to us from
our ancient ancestors from the most ancient of Times.

An Archetype is perpetual while those who later assume the role
of that particular Archetype are temporary. THE HERO is an
Archetype for all heroes who follow. AN ECLIPSE is an Archetype
for all eclipses which follow. MOTHERHOOD is an
Archetype for all women who later assume the role of mother.

Furthermore, THE HERO will always exist; regardless of whether
or not there are currently any heroes to assume that role.

This fact is True for ALL Archetypes.

KINGSHIP is the Archetype for all future kings who assume this
role. KINGSHIP ( or RULERSHIP ) will also always exist
regardless of whether or not there is currently any king to assume
this role. The Archetype of KINGSHIP is clearly defined in the
statement, "The king is dead. Long live the king". What this
proclamation is actually saying is, "The old king is dead. Long live
the new king". This proclamation reminds us that the Archetype of
KINGSHIP is perpetual, even though the characters who wander
in and out of the role of 'king" are continuously replaced.

The same goes for "popes", "presidents", "history teachers",
"comedians", "architects", etc. These are all perpetual Archetypal
titles under which others temporarily assume a role as Time and
history ceaselessly march onward.

Let us look at two Archetypal portrayals (one masculine and the
other feminine ) in order to better visualize the concept of Archetypes:

 Horus standing.svg

Horus - image via wikipedia

HORUS: Horus is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter, which
Symbolizes KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP. Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man and the head of a hawk.

KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP is an invisible abstract concept which
relates to an "active", or "masculine", aspect of Nature. Therefore,
the Archetype the ancient Egyptians called Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man.

Furthermore, Nature also provides us with a visual phenomenon of
RULERSHIP by way of the hawk.

The hawk is a powerful bird that RULES the heavens. And just as
the hawk was seen as the ruler of its domain of the heavens, so
was the KING or PHARAOH seen as the earthly counterpart of the
hawk who was destined, and responsible, for RULING on earth.

This is why Horus, the Archetype of RULERSHIP, was depicted as
having the body of a man with the head of a hawk

All Egyptian pharaohs were understood to be a temporal aspect of
the Archetype Horus and were therefore recognized as HORUS.

 Refer to caption

Hathor - image via wikipedia

HATHOR: Hathor is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter,  for
MOTHERHOOD. MOTHERHOOD is a feminine aspect of Nature.
Therefore Hathor is portrayed with either a woman's body with a
cow's head, or, simply as a woman's facial features with a cow's
ears. HATHOR can also be portrayed simply as a cow.

The cow is a docile, nurturing animal. It is also the animal which
provides the milk which is necessary to nourish infants. Here we
see the reason why the ancient Egyptians chose the cow as the
Symbol for MOTHERHOOD.

All women who chose the role of motherhood in ancient Egypt
therefore became a physical manifestation, and representation, of
the Archetype called HATHOR.

Furthermore, when a person's earthly incarnation came to its end,
it was HATHOR who welcomed, nourished, and nurtured the Soul
of the newly deceased when it once again returned to the spiritual
realm from whence it had departed in order to experience a
physical existence.

Conclusion: As we become more and more familiar with Archetypes,
we gain a better understanding of the thought processes and
perceptions of our most distant ancestors. And it is by this
process of understanding the ancient mind that we can slowly
unravel the enigmatic and mystical riddles which baffle and amaze us;
enigmas, mysteries, riddles, and abstract concepts conceived and
cast into stone at the most remote beginnings of historical Time.

See Also:  Article about "The Egyptian Neter"

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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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1 comment:

Dustin Ebaugh said...

This is a great article, Joe! Thank you for sharing. I loved reading about the symbolism the ancients used.