Originally privately published 20 May 2015
As author Lewis Hyde writes in his book Trickster Makes This World, Coyote belongs to ritual and to storytelling and that is where to find where he or she flips the worlds, creating them anew. The characteristics of the trickster archetype of Coyote show him or her to be the intrepid, often concealed or disguised character(s) creating new boundaries through both ritual and art. It is these exact things: trickster, ritual, art, and storytelling that must be examined to see the immense (unlimited) treasure trove of potentiality for current American culture (with its footings and forerunners necessarily in other cultures) that can open an endless supply of imagination and creation into the flow of what had become accepted as concrete and static: society formerly resigned to a fate far less than what is possible, namely the invisibility and unimportance of the role of the heroic artistic and heroic feminine which creates new culture, new values and which links to the views on and treatment of races and ethnicities, animal life, the environment, and the universe as a whole. It also transforms the role of the male heroic because the old perspective is rendered obsolete; it is transformed by no longer having a stable ground in the old "assumed" ways and this too alters the structure when its truth and certainty is taken away and expanded. Transformation is required. History is importantly a made thing (both universal and by humans) and it is up to creators to see how it moves towards freedom, creation and expression and what can be. It might, too, be seen coming full circle, more complete than it has ever been, ending an interminably long era of deprivation and negation. While Lewis Hyde points out why the Coyote trickster, the one able to cause transformation, has not been able to exist in Anglo American view, although he gives exceptions in some artists' works, it is precisely these answers of why they can't exist that they actually do now exist and indeed these terms clarify exactly where Coyote is to be found right now effectively disrupting American society on purpose, flipping the worlds as we speak, opening blocked levies of thought and being. These insights, however, just like the stories of the trickster in other cultures, are not told outright; it is a naturally and historically reserved topic for many reasons examined here before, just as the knowledge of the mystery cults was reserved because it was a transformation and process of coming to know. But to take it even further, the depth of what is happening with Coyote is even richer: there are important commonalities between the operations and characteristics of the Coyote and art's own ability to transform, parallels with the structure of the feminine heroic as seen throughout literature (with such forerunners of female roles in Pippi Longstocking, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Little Women and their operating outside of the social structure, for example) and history, and likewise within mythology—all performing in a like fashion that transforms, and even is also linked to how change is born in liminal characters, in small marginalized groups, and as seen in ritual by Victor Turner: all actually one flow that can break open into being.
There are important differences in what happens for the artist and for the audience. The artist is in a hard flow. That that person is not just someone who got "lucky" and became an artist on the surface is evident in the process that goes further than commonly assumed. It also becomes evident that on the social level there are needs of a different kind of operation that is capable of reopening the culture to something vastly more true than surface self-interest. Campbell explains ritual's path in both ranges (artist and audience) of reopening to the whole:
For in every mythologically grounded traditional society the mind, which is open by nature to the recognition of synergic affinities, is in such recognition reenforced and confirmed by whatever local system of metaphorical ceremonies the infant is taken into the tribe and the tribe or civilization held to accord with the perceived natural order of the universe. Such lesser and greater institutions and occasions may indeed be described (to return to the vocabulary of John E. Pfeiffer in his discussion of cavern art . . .) as a 'corpus of socially constructive rituals . . . for conflict control . . . pictorially encoded for storage and transmission through generations.' However the potential conflicts comprehended in the symbolic range of a ritualized traditional order of art are not only, or even principally, of the claims of clans or individuals against each other, but of ego interests, ahem-kara, against the universal atman, or will in nature: in sociological terms, urban economic interests against the biosphere of a local ecology, or in Freudian psychological terms, ego-interests against the super-ego and the id.
The address and appeal of any traditional art is of two degrees or ranges, an exoteric or popular range, addressed to the well-being and harmonious organization of the community, and an esoteric or recondite range, made known only to initiates through trials and transformative revelations.
That the paintings of the Paleolithic caves cannot have been created to serve an exoteric function is obvious from the fact of their inaccessibility to general view. They are hidden, deeply hidden, to be approached only by way of dangerous, often difficult passages. Moreover, as the findings of Leroi-Gourhan have revealed, the order of the appearances on the walls and along the corridors of the caves suggests a metaphorical connotation of some kind. This subterranean domain, that is to say, is to be entered and experienced in a different state of consciousness from that of the daylight mind informed on the hunting plains above through the physical senses. Down here is the state of myth, of dream, of the same mind that is evoked in exoteric ceremonials by theatrical means, masked dances, mimetic enactments of mythic scenes, ceremonial chanting and the like. Such theatrical arts are addressed to people in the Waking State (jagarita-sthana), where things are experienced as separate from each other and a is not not-a. The psychological transformation that is by such arts effected for the period of at least the ceremonial, however, is to the Dreaming State (svapna-sthana), where what is beheld is a unified, synergetic ally integrated field in which the viewer him [or herself] is participating as a member.
The social function of conflict control which is served by the exoteric institutions and occasions of a corpus of socially maintained rites is in primal cultures an effect, not of any sort of applied force, but of a people's spontaneous enjoyment in the synergetic experience of their common identity as of one state of being. Nor is it population density that occasions the need for such ceremonials. As Lorna Marshall has reported: the nightly trance-dancing of the Kalahari Bushman camps 'draws people of a Bushman band together as nothing else does . . . they become like an organic being'.
In contrast, the ceremonials performed in esoteric sanctuaries the men's rites, for example, of painful, terrifying trials and revelations which in many hunting cultures are applied to the initiation of youth to manhood have rather to do with the spiritual transformation of elected individuals than with the communal solidarity, which is a condition already presupposed. Such rites begin where the exoteric end, with consciousness in the Dreaming State (svapna-sthana); and the passage is rather from Dreaming to Deep Dreamless Sleep (sushupta-sthana), than from the Waking State to Dream (The Way of the Animal Powers xviii).
There are likewise two ranges of rituals for artists: one in a private realm of personal creative endeavor that involves the transformation and being of the human learning, trying, envisioning and being, and the range at which that expression is given, when it is delivered into a unifying experience outside oneself. The transformative experience of the first doesn't take place in the public realm; it is internal. Because of this, it remains unseen and in an outwardly focused culture such as American culture, unseen means not existing and having no value and so it doesn't get place or time and essentially is erased in thought and therefore in action. That might seem obvious, but the powers of it are not. The power of it is tied to a different kind of structure that moves: connected with all that is, and is alive, instead of a constructed ego that takes a ton of focus and energy to maintain, is being connected to a natural powerful movement that becomes evident in one's self being quiet and still, unveiling something unfathomable in perfect subtle expression and motion. Tied to that, the self becomes a gorgeous expression of what is vastly larger (and is that and its own realization all at once) that has the immense, almost incomprehensible opportunity to be. Possibility is opened. What is real and lasting becomes known. The moment no longer has to be forced. Where domination once looked powerful, it becomes known as complete loss in itself in that all that is real and lasting was eliminated. The expression of domination of ego holds only to the moment, requires pressure and energy behind it, and is without fail, fleeting. In Percy Bysshe Shelley words Ozymandias says to, "Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Yet "Round the decay/Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare/The lone and level sands stretch far away." Time inevitably takes that material, hyper-focus and mis-directed energy away, erasing it as if it never were, almost as if it purposefully mocks it. It becomes nothing in the field of time, let alone timelessness. It is the connected spirit of a thing that lives and lives on. Knowing this then, the spirit lived in person can be naturally larger than the self and thus far more in tune and it never dies. Actions from this are differently centered and move with the eternal movement. Expression takes on far-reaching difference, as alive as life itself.
There are, then, necessarily these two ranges making the role of the Coyote dual in roles by nature and requirement of spheres to operate. This means a private space of transformation, being, and creating, where "the imagination is awakened and runs wild . . . increase . . . the sense of sanctuary and mystery of these dark, unmeasured recesses of the living earth" and a social role that has to move like that "motley-in-motion" in order to be free and operate outside the grasps and bounds of those ego-interests that are regularly, endlessly imposed in order to create a field of "communal solidarity" where something broader and more fulfilling than self can be experienced. In order for "polytheism," myth, dream, imagination, creation, or true nature to operate, it has to remain unbounded be taken and that only happens by the actions of Coyote. Freedom and autonomy is rarely an offered thing. (Walt Whitman offered it and said he'll be waiting up ahead.) Otherwise the whole can fall subject to any shaming or imposition. Whitman takes the freedom then sets the new standard.
That this exists and operates in ritual and art make the movements and progress possible for several reasons. Artistic ranges are considered "not real" and thus have natural freedoms other areas do not. They appear to be merely moving, creative, periphery and powerless, a dreamlike state that doesn't move the waking hours. But importantly it has in reserve a most powerful center: the artists' own true nature—an expanded space necessarily taken and created by the artist without permission. It is a place where all the rules are broken and must be for one's own well-being and for the act of creation. For a voice such as Jed McKenna's, it is a necessity to knowing what actually is and there's no other way to it. For the Transcendental writers such as Emerson, it was the only way to be, know and create something free and true. This is the range of the artist. This also is the place of mastery. This "place" expands in two directions from this center: the artist's life and creation process protected (from opinion, for example) where the inner voice comes clear so that it can come back through, and then further, the being with the freedom to break through to the realness of being alive, that level which informs its realness and is not the surface "ego-maintenance" level. Dual roles and dimensions are importantly an aspect of Coyote's maneuvers, always between the worlds to make something new of this one.
It is a strange web of operations (very much unlike the operations of hierarchy that orders its demands and is rigidly fixed) that continually works in and out, links in connections, unifying and liberating as it moves and just as strangely, while remaining in the realm of the stories told, the relationships built, the artworks created, and the rituals performed that open participation, its effect is in liquifying what is around it in the form of different definitions of power and heroics; structures are reimagined, transformed, and altered: where attitudes, feelings and imagination and created actions are heroic and powerful instead of killing for one's belief systems. In fact, it renders the old an outdated, weak system. The new are, as Lee Edwards writes, "heroes because of their power to improvise rather than accept" (189). It is in that shift of where one stands: on the margins, and the choice of what to do with that: Obey the old rules? Or risk everything and discover how things really work and to bring it back through. To know the capabilities of a Coyote in American culture, it has to be understood in the ways it has been understood in other cultures to see its far-reaching effects, as Lewis Hyde lays out, but for contemporary culture, it comes to life in a new way across a powerful spectrum formerly hedged in by the old walls of moral, egotistical, cultural or otherwise forms of domination—and right where it is to be found in the artistic, in ritual and in narrative, but for the first time in American history, crossing over into power and into the sacred and transforming it by the actions of Coyote.
One way that ritual crosses important boundaries in art and establishes a new sphere is how instead of being completely tied to the limits of individual needs and desires, stepping into and connecting to the continuum of what has come before and what will come after indeed has powerful and unseen effects that strengthen important bonds and is no longer limited to the secular even. Victor Turner writes of what happens in ritual:
But this "sacred " component is acquired by the incumbents of positions during the rites de passage, through which they changed positions. Something of the sacredness of that transient humility and modelessness goes over, and tempers the pride of the incumbent of a higher position or office. This is not simply, as Fortes (1962, p. 86) has cogently argued, a matter of giving a general stamp of legitimacy to a society's structural positions. It is rather a matter of giving recognition to an essential and generic human bond, without which there could be no society. Liminality implies that the high could not be high unless the low existed, and he who is high must experience what it is like to be low (Turner 97) [emphasis mine].
Also in vice versa, the low can see that what is known or accomplished gets passed on and will become low again, in the passage of ritual and time. Instead of a culture of competition, "fetishizing youth," and sweeping away the old as "over", the bond is even stronger as something of the eternal shared, reigniting both ahead of and behind. The "sacredness" of it then comes through in these different manners, doubling instead of limiting or taking away. When the "low" enters into mastery, into fullness, and is still low in the presence of what came before, there is something even more that comes with it. Turner writes, "In closed or structured societies, it is the marginal or "inferior" person or the "outsider" who often comes to symbolize what David Hume has called "the sentiment for humanity," which in its turn relates to the model we have termed "communitas" (111). This brings in an important, vital human element. Turner continues: "structure tends to be pragmatic and this-worldly; while communitas is often speculative and generates imagery and philosophical ideas (133). Thus, coming into the structure of ritual does not eliminate important changes and shifts, but creates fluid openings on both sides and ignites past, present and future, openings of which Coyote trickster has to see and know the value. Ritual is entering that continuum wherein the continuation offers other powers like this naturally induced kind of sacredness, for example, and more strengths available within that give and take from those that came before and those that take that cusp. It is entering into all that is also movement and makes it all alive, more inviting, more inclusive); It gives is a new old voice that participates in the alive, transforming cultural consciousness—turning stale thought into a moving dialogue instead of a fixed state.
The connectivity of "two" continues throughout the connections that Coyote is able to create, constantly breaking open and refiguring the more-than-the-sums of the worlds. That the two ranges of ritual and art exist also shows how dual roles are necessary. In one way, it allows for a healthy polytheism to exist whereby images can break through to the eternal and into the common day, an imaginative scope that reaches as far as art itself, and yet the artist, being actually human, has a reserve. Polytheism, like art, also operates like dream, the psyche of a culture, showing neurosis when culture has a neurosis, for example, or shifting and changing through epic, leading towards triumph when a culture needs to know how to change. Another breaking open of two in this way in that Coyote does have dual roles is also important for the feminine to become as imperative as trickster Coyote in transformation. It is necessary to have the ability to be importantly in transformative reserve and that be an understood and valued state and also the ability to transform over into the societal, cultural role and to create depth there. The dual roles are necessary for change and it creates the milieu wherein Coyote, the artistic, and the feminine can operate.
One of the terms whereby Lewis Hyde states that the trickster isn't present in American culture is that the trickster only operates in polytheism. In the current morph of culture, however, where stories were once passed down and spread culturally the old-fashioned way, sitting on a front porch or at bed time, scholars have pointed out that the myths and stories of popular culture have taken this place, so while it may appear to be a wholly monotheistic society, in practice there are many characters living out the narratives of our collective unconscious that do not get eliminated in thought by having an understanding of the grand universe, but in fact are enhanced by the wonder of it all coming into being. We are interested in what happens and are imaginations are engaged. If this narrative is aware of and actually tied to the living eternal truths of these never-fading archetypes that do continually speak to the eternal truths of human existence, informing and inspiring it, the stories of polytheism are once again vital in the experience of being alive, and they live at least as it works in story and in the collective imagination (free as we are from being dominated by religion). As Campbell points out mythology is alive and well (as always): “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.” Moreover, if these characters are artists with intrepid thinking and creative abilities, the realm in which these things are happening in our view is clearly in the possibilities of music and movies, where there is this kind of practice of polytheism and whereby Coyote can exist, and indeed, have the conditions to operate as he or she must, understanding the power of art and artists to transform. In this realm of art and ritual, then, something new and something very old can occur: transformation and then participation in that difference. By the actions of Coyote, it comes into a fuller circle where now even the history of humanity reveals it has played out these truths across millennia and shows itself to have grown and moved towards freedom and expression of the human spirit: not alone, but in a fully animated universe that doesn't work with humans dictating to it. The goal, then, is to reveal the entire weave, to unveil the truths of the psyche that do play out, that although seemingly subdued and put away, was never actually gone, but moving towards a very real, coming to life expression that completes the missing half. How that is brought about, the field of on the road and of transformation, is up to Coyote who is in the in-between.
How it comes to life is that Coyote's creation takes on a life of its own when created in a certain connectivity with all that is. Throughout history and across world cultures that can be seen most significantly in the narrative being given the signification and the power of the creative lyric and the universal language of music; i.e. song. Dance, in this sense, too, is "between the worlds" as is rhythm, a participation in the experience that is eternal both within and without in that moment. It brings it into accord. As Coyote also belongs to the reserved arena of special storytelling that blocks the road way and reveals, the storyteller him or herself a Coyote between the worlds, story itself moves also, giving selective, woven narrative along the way, but it, too, has a life of its own, as can be seen through the development and passing of very old stories that stay and the path of world literature through time, powerfully always flowing on its own past the levies built in its way, gaining acceleration and strength towards transformation, freedom, and understanding of the whole perfect organism of the universe and a realization of the human within it. The Coyotes are the creators. These are the ones, according to Lee Edwards, who have the capacity to "wrestle with the angel for the name that truly measures our experience, to make reality mirror what we know first in our dreams" (189). Participation in what is then created is that "coming to know" which is, too, coming to feel that "rapture of being alive," that in the face of the nature of loss and pain, surpasses it into something greater.
In our own culture, ritual, which had been claimed by the institutions of religion and blocked off from growth, use, understanding, and vitality, is actually to be found in the arts, where the path follows out on the road to knowing to a completeness, as in the possibility of transformative concerts or movies where the Coyote has the possibility of breaking barriers by protecting or revealing truths along the way. The consciousness that goes along with it, the natural narrative that moves in that music or story is then alive, is like the bard through time, able to move and alive in the psyche to tell a complete culturally transformative tale—one that brings the entirety of the web of life into visibility and gives identity to the necessary whole and by doing so, by giving it mind and presence, gives it new value and new life in the light of day. It is the liberated and liberating consciousness of a culture that has to come with awareness. It is also the freedom moving to build on to that something more. Inside that story the "signs" and symbols of meaning left along the way by Coyote in his or her transforming acts mark the change of boundaries and move the foundations that once hedged him or her in from freedom to fully be. Even in this sense that ideas are changed, these acts are also prophetic, in the sense that Hyde describes, by carrying forward eternal truths that came before, and are far deeper than judgements and through imagination and creation, transforming what is real and still alive into this process of being alive in this moment, reawakening the heart as opposed to simply being restricted to the mind "that thinks it is in control." Without this entire epic—in Coyote's creations and in consciousness—and the actions of Coyote moving it further, important actions of characters such as Athena and Penelope (the eternal and human dimensions of the heroic feminine and representative of the dimensions of all of life—for currently what is alive is seen merely as empty, pointless bodies for use) are obscured, silent and not understood—although we may see them—their roles and values, symbolic and in person are not realized to be valued as they must be to be culturally transformative—just as with White Painted Woman in the Navajo and Apache legends who has remained a silent, powerless figure much like the tribes themselves. While Coyote's work occurs inside the art, inside the ritual and his or her own handicrafts, and in the art and creation of life, it is their story affecting awareness that gives them narrative of life. The stories told broaden our concepts. The Coyotes themselves, their creations, and the implications of them are far reaching. Athena has created an actual path, she is a mover, a protector, a force; Penelope, with the handicraft of weaving, by remembering and continuing on by taking the risky freedom to do and undo, creates space and time with the pressures right outside the door, as artists and creators must. They each are perfect symmetrical fractals that when seen make up dimensions of an even more perfect symmetrical whole. One invisibly empowers the other and is the greater for it. Although visible, "seeing" them means seeing their dimensions only available through ritual and story that carry. The female role is no longer just a body, but a psyche, like the universe, alive. Insight is given beyond the physical realm. Life itself comes to life, takes place, is created and moved from beyond the physical plane and has to be brought forth to creation and realization to even comprehend what already is, let alone to be mesmerized or caught up in the thrill of the sublimity of life possible, its potentiality broken open. And so, coming into the artistic awareness of the Coyote's ability to completeness means possible visibility and consciousness of the whole. Through the process of creation, pulling the whole into visibility through story and song means pulling the whole into consciousness and into the possibility of participation. Obscuring the truths of existence means obscuring the whole, parting out life and humanity, rigid boundaries of divided nations instead of immensity of life across one small planet. The sun actually does not rise in our minds eye without seeing the whole—it, too, as a life force gets obscured as unimportant and valueless, as peripheral. With sight and values skewed, immense moving beauty itself is seemingly pointless and empty, subtle and silent. Yet, it still moves powerfully underneath, moving like Coyote past human rigidity. The forms await being brought to life, all being signs and metaphors for the greater thing that is and that they are and that moves through it and enlivens it. Making this entire weave come through is to bring what was formerly not seen, the actions and values of what is both feminine and artistic, into broader view as it is also to give mind and identity to the vivid and vital workings of the intelligent, natural, alive, conscious phenomenon of the universe that realizes itself through these transformations. The Coyote is the one who brings it about. The characteristics of Coyote are necessary to give life to a completely different story and therefore world. He or she creates along the way. In ceremony, the operations are a boundary, a path. Along side of it, as a different entity, often shown in mythology as handing-off to a much broader, more powerful entity is that awareness that comes with it.
The characteristics, then, of this kind of trickster's transformations do have effects that are unlike other kinds of actions. For one, Coyote's operations miraculously bring about revitalizing transformations. In the Native American ceremonies one striking difference from the European-Anglo view is that this ancient multi-character mythology has retained its connection with the sacred. How the connection is reestablished to the sacred in a very different way by Coyote comes about in wild and exciting ways. He or she gives it life. This is one of his or her most important reverberations, reopening closed holes, breaking open limited passageways to the source of being which becomes evident in all things in a celebration of life. He or she creates with what Lewis Hyde calls "sacred amorality." Coyote him or herself is sacred by all at once being unspoken, spoken of only in reserved stories, but also his speech is profane, according to Hyde, meaning "pro fanum, in front of the temple" (156)." In this Coyote leads to opening the temple itself, but with a kind of tunneling, at least temporarily making him or herself impervious to being shamed during an action and speaking "shameless" speech to make his or her way--not good or bad or compassionate, and criticized and crushed for it, and yet he or she is the "creator of values" and the "creator of culture." It is imperative that he or she operates in this sacred amoral way, for what he or she both conceals and leads to is opening the in-between flow between the spiritual and the human, altering the experience in this world. He or she alters the eternal by making it visible and bringing it into awareness. Coyote doesn't allow the spiritual to be held in reserve. According to Hyde, his or her concern and efforts affect this world. For Coyote, the sacred and the bountiful has been held to long in reserve. Religions such as Christianity have purified and separated the rituals, cleansing them of life on earth in all their "dirty" forms that have to be chastised, judged and obliterated, making God or Ussen or Universe seem as if a rigid "scarcity" guarded by rules and regulations to be dispensed according to law. The sun and moon do not concern themselves with human endeavor, judgement or opinion, but powerfully work, like Coyote, according to their own rhythm and flow. The human will is a destructive force when against them. Coyote, unlike those things purified, is very fond of dirt, another of his or her important characteristic, and according to Hyde, quite obsessed with it. Hyde importantly tells how the trickster Krishna as a child got into trouble for eating dirt. "At first denying it" (he first lies) and at first refusing to let his mother see, he opens his mouth and when she looks she falls into a swoon when she sees the entire universe swirling inside (293).
Coyote doesn't like things of pleasure and plenitude in jars, held back. In the Christian Bible the rigidly defined judgmental God during creation darkly "broods over the waters" that are already present in form. Separation begins there in the mind. The waters are the consciousness that already exist, the flow in time and place, not separate but taking a form. According to Joseph Campbell, the waters are the goddess, already present as the form of life. In the most dynamic, alive places on earth where both art and commerce have thrived the cities have been centered around water. But in Christian services waters are unclean and "made holy" by purification by a very specific, exclusive sex. In Native American ceremonies waters are an incredible gift of life, already freely flowing, a gift of life to give sustenance and to be enjoyed with gratitude and recognition, it being an inconceivable thought to destroy the living elements that give, sustain and nurture life itself. To do so is not only insanely damaging, cutting off life,, it is an abomination to oneself, life and the entire universe. It is comparable to beating a woman in public for whatever religion or reason. Campbell quotes from Genesis, "Remember thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return." He goes on to explain:
Well, the Earth is not dust, the Earth is life, vital, and this intrusive god who comes in late, wanting to take everything over to himself, he denigrates the Earth itself and calls it dust? What he tells you there is, 'You really are your mother's child and you'll go back to her. She's nothing but dust, however' (Goddesses 234).
Coyote, then, might like to break open the jar of what is pent up in the Bible. (He or she doesn't know boundaries.) According to Hyde he or she does speak the "sacred profanities." Like Krishna as a child with his mother when he breaks open the jars of butter which are actually plentiful and do not need to be rigidly distributed according to structure and order, he might get into trouble at first. Hyde shows how the baby Krishna broke into the jars in order to show the plenitude, not the scarcity of the butter. He breaks it open to pleasure—which, connected to the body, to the enjoyment of life and to the female—is strictly forbidden in the Judeo-Christian and Middle Eastern traditions. Sensuousness, tied in the fallacy-ridden slippery-slope argument that it is licentiousness and gluttony, is another "dirty" selfish, not "Christ-like" thing. If the theological underpinnings are related to reducing appetite to reach a spiritual plane, for example, as White Painted Woman naturally does in being a spiritually different kind of person than the girls who create monsters instead of giving life to and nurturing culture, the Judeo-Christian view point eliminates life in the process, not ever re-embracing it and with no intention to do so. The return is not allowed because it would be to something viewed as dirty, not spiritually capable and certainly not ready. (Never mind that the person of Jesus historically did not judge humans in that way.) Much pivots on the kind of character that makes the return of the heroic and that can bring recognition to the many unseen dimensions of life. White Painted Woman, as powerful as she is, is hidden in a cave in the Navajo legend until the heroic return that dispels illusion and heroically alters the way things are. Coyote trickster suppresses his appetite in order to have something greater, but the something greater is present and knowable in the world he is in, its definitions and boundaries changed. Coyote certainly intends to re-embrace it, after it is opened and transformed. Hyde states,
This is the first part of the trickster prophecy—appetite seeking the pores of artifice—and it brings directly the second part, the revelation of plenitude. Remember that Krishna, the thief of butter and of hearts, does not steal because the objects of his desire are intrinsically scarce. He steals because they are abundant but human order has reduced their circulation. There is love in marriage, but it is necessarily rule-governed. There is plenty of food in Yasoda’s house, but it is laced with local rules about who gets to eat when and under what conditions. The butter laid up in jars is sealed-off nourishment, a force contained by convention that becomes everywhere available only after Krishna breaks the jars (Hyde 292).
He or she seeks to open. He/she is a character on the road, and he won't let the road be closed. Coyote breaks the hole in order to show the natural plenitude and break it forth, to show that there is abundance; in butter or love, and if there is abundance—and there is—one is not to come from a place of rigidity, control, scarcity or fear which first and foremost eliminates sex, race and differing cultures. These limit, guard and cut off life and the celebration of the gift of it. The trickster character seeks to break open all movement. Love is a freely flowing thing untied from social opinion and constraint. To come from a mind that feels scarcity and guards instead of plenty leads it to needing more than powerfully flowing rivers that lead to an immense ocean. In direct relation to art, the center of the Graces is Abundance who is also, not accidentally, the poet and also the energy of the universe in motion—for the "music of the spheres" is in motion through her and that is what comes out through expressions such as dance, historical writing, epic poetry, etc. It is how it is connected metaphysically. These truths are also what have been blocked out—not only actually deadened from the spiritual realm and expression, but also removed, deemed peripheral or even shameful. To be blocked off even from one's own body in shaming is a restriction taking over even autonomy. The transformation that Coyote seeks to open is that pent-up version of human expression into the fullness of the tri-fold Aphrodite as all-form through which the universe/consciousness flows. It is also not a coincidence that when contemplating how one is to ever experience the rapture of beauty that awakens the nature of the heart James Joyce said three things are needed: Wholeness, Harmony and Radiance (Claritas), a very close description of the representation of Aphrodite herself. It is the transformation and opening of love and expression itself inspired by the soul of life which is, like its art, alive. Comprehension depends on seeing these things. It is given life through imagination, but it is brought to life by Coyote, like James Joyce, who sees past what everyone else sees. So his operations require that the jars and grasps of the former culture be broken and also that Aphrodite in all the forms be able to speak. Poetry flows. It awakens and speaks through music. Quiet or invisible and she's not only powerless, there is no awakening of the soul to the universe. If the flow is recognized, too, "She" and form are no longer judged entities, but alive and moving with and inspired by the universal forces constantly at work and moving.
The frontispiece to Practica Musice that shows the realm of the muses Campbell describes as:
. . . the trinity here is not of three male divinities with the Virgin then as a feminine fourth but of the classical three Graces with Apollo as a masculine fourth. And as the Muses are here clothed, so the Graces, performing their round-dance on the noumenal plane beyond and above the visible sky, directly in the presence of Apollo, are unclothed. They are the triune personifications of the Aristotelian primum mobile, or 'first moving thing,' which is of the tenth or highest celestial sphere and derives its circular motion directly from God, the 'unmoved mover.' Here the image of God, as Apollo, is clothed, since the 'unmoved being' of such a 'first cause' transcends envisionment (i.e., all names and forms); whereas the Graces are movement itself. As stated in the Latin of the inscribed scroll overhead: 'The energy or virtue (vis) of the Apollonian mind moves or inspires (movet) everywhere the Muses' (The Mythic Dimension 142).
Very different here the focus is of equally, and the flow through, life on earth. If life on earth is limited to "father, son and holy ghost," life (as opposed to only the eternal), the body and anything female gets reduced and becomes unimportant and throwaway; the flow is away from life only in one direction but does not complete the circle: it is that heroic transformation that never returns and the endless wait and life has no value. The Virgin is powerless and is only a "go-between" never taking form. (Coyote, though, is a go-between and this knowledge unlocks her role.) Athena's actions are not readily known, but still have moved through song and epic poetry. The muses in the illustration are clothed because they come into expression. It is the forms they inspire and also a part of their signification—clothing tied to bringing it into body and form. (Therefore that they are clothed is inspired and not random.) Coyote puts things in flow where staleness has stopped the flow between everything that is. The Graces and the muses are the informers of life in motion and expression, life moving, spirited and inspired: joy, radiance, clarity, boundlessness, creativity broken open to the skies themselves. It is life broken open to plenitude beyond a boundary where dream, myth, imagination, creation are stopped from coming into the experience of life and judged "not real." The very old surviving stories such as Cinderella or Briar Rose is not of a pointless muse who was dead but an industrious and intelligent psyche and creator given recognition by a society that formerly (before the heroic transformation) had no status or value for her—it is her acceptance and awakening that break open pleasure. The significance of the spiritual marriage into the physical is the ability to join the connection to the social world. However, even the mention of Cinderella now brings up connotations of judgments of "juvenile" or "silly" but the archetype remains in the psyche.¹ Static images and symbols that unlock plenitude and pleasure and life have to be reimagined for the trickster's own means and times, to break it all open once again, and in doing so, break open even the past. The muses show how the music, the epic, the tragic, the stars in constant motion are very real and that they can inspire and ignite life and creation by recognition of their actions and their movement in perfect synchronization with an entire system. They are the poetry in motion, in perfect moving order, in form. These life forces were dismissed with the female but have never ceased their movement in the stars, in history, in the arts. Cut off from the eternal, she was the throw-away material. Abundance herself is the form, the spinning, tilting Earth that continually, very evidently brings forth more in perfect circulation with all that is, very much alive and breathing. (Since she is the abundant earth of course Coyote wants to eat dirt and it is not "off-limits." It reveals the universe. According to legend he/she does have a tremendous appetite, even though he or she suspends it for a time to transform and free that which he or she seeks.) These muses are certainly not absent although they are not seen. Imagination, intelligence, archetypes, myths and dreams are not seen or valued until they are connected both to their wildly viewable eternal sources (humans didn't make them up) and to the forms and creations which they bring to life. They are dismissed or seen as coincidences, chance or accidents or wastes of time, too leisurely, not industrious or profitable, and not socially sustaining. Seen in such a way it--and all that it carries—cannot be valued. Joined with the characteristics normally deemed heroic, showing that the heroic returns to an empty world without it, these new values are brought to life in a full-circle return, in realization. It comes to mind and to form, and is ignited by this connection to the social realm. The prophecy becomes profitable, but certainly not limited to money but further to pleasure, abundance and participation.
Reexamining what we normally think of as mind leads to something far more beautiful than the "mind thinking it is alone and in control." Hyde in looking at the The Homeric Hymn to Hermes traces a better translation of mind and incredibly, how it leads to voice:
Against the rules he stole a cow and killed it, as Coyote did, but having violated that limit he imposes another in its stead. Or rather, what I've translated as his 'heart' imposes another. The Greek word in question is thymos, usually translated as 'heart,' 'soul,' or 'breath'; it can also mean 'mind,' because Homeric Greeks located intelligence in the chest and the speaking voice, not in the silent brain (Hyde 34).
The heart, awakened at the sight of the unfathomable beauty, is what meets the cosmos, and it simply cannot be limited to the mind in control. When the heart is the voice, the story is different. It creates new signs, new language; it sees differently and openly and to more possibilities and potentialities. The heart, mind and soul is awakened to being alive. The singer/songwriter/storyteller becomes very importantly a different kind of entity in our understanding, not limited to or bound by the rules set by a static society that as Hyde formulates it, paradoxically relies on these disruptors. This kind of voice speaks to everything that is real and alive. This, then, also adds to the dimensions and importance of rituals where Coyote resides. They take on a realness that had gone dead in our imaginations and reignites it with the invention of "fire" and a new world where it can be used.
According to Claire R. Farrer in her book Thunder Rides a Black Horse: Mescalero Apaches and the Mythic Present, in the Apache puberty rights ceremony for girls that is given from the legend of White Painted Woman, the ceremony importantly recognizes changing and transitioning life and its coming and going as a natural circular transition that the girls "step" through by placing their feet on symbolic crescent moons during each song before the culmination of running towards the Sun. In some views the dream of life represents this kind of passing, yet as illusion and one then has to move past the illusion represented as female or life on earth to see and know the eternal. Maya, who represents illusion in the Upanisads also introduces the gods to Brahmin, all-knowing. Representative of life in form, the female then is also representative of the passing illusion of life that moves as if a dream. Campbell describes the feminine principle as "aspects of the energy of life: sakti" (Goddesses 144). In the Christian tradition, though, life, earth and the female are killed off, put away, not returned to, although a return of a different kind is hoped for—but there isn't a female to be returned to except the "purified" church. Life is therefore scarcity. It is a complete dismissal, a locking up of life in the body; it is an abandonment, a refusal to let there be anything which to return. There is no vitality or of the female. Underneath, the view does have the commonalities with the spiritual-readiness of White Painted Woman when she is visited by the Sun while she takes a nap, but she, too, as important as she is to her people in legend and practice, is reliant upon the heroic (transformed and able) return. But her importance is right here, where it is desperately needed. She is a highly intelligent, desperately needed figure who guides her culture and in some ways can be seen as a form of Talking God, as discussed here before. Her house is to become the House of the Sun in comprehension of the return—it always was the House of the Sun but it had to become known. Her form will pass away and change, as if a dream, but she is life itself. Accepting her and one's own changing and going away is an important part of the puberty ceremonials of coming into full being. There is no notion, however, of forgoing her or the experience and nurturing of life. The acceptance of responsibility to life and to people, a central part of the care and celebration of life, is given in the ceremonials. Isis or Aphrodite purified into the Catholic Mary separates her from body and from earth and from experience; it takes away her senses and powers to be; it takes away her voice. While the metaphysical is an important dimension unseen of the female, it requires form also. While body is form, so to is writing, poetry, lyric, dance. In the Mescalero Apache puberty ceremony for girls it is shown of White Painted Woman, "this is what you are." Even for a moment in the ceremony the girls are transfigured into the physical embodiments of the heroic feminine of White Painted Woman and tribes people line up to be touched and blessed by the girls whose spirit is now present in body form, there for the healing and renewal of the people. Life is affirmed. For the western tradition, Aphrodite also once bridged this spiritual yet very life-centered gap with the Graces that are faced both directions. Campbell stated:
Both the names and the postures of the Graces tell of the qualities of their influence: (1) Thalia ('Blooming, Abundance') unites and relates her opposed companions; (2) Euphrosyne ('Mirth, Festivity, Good Cheer') moves away from the God to the descent, ninefold, of the Muses; while (3) Aglaia ('Splendor, Beauty, Triumph, Adornment') confronts him, returning to source (The Mythic Dimension 142).
And so this plenitude of life is that which is to be broken open. In order to do that, her qualities, her metaphysical dimensions, as well as her body and her processes of creation that are not reduced only to procreativity have to become visible and knowable; it has to come into understanding and brought through ritual and narrative into the social order—right where Coyote operates. In his going "between" the worlds he also is the only one who can "return" after he/she has caused transformation and created a world at which he or she can be at home. The old stories and traditions or static symbols that no longer are the real thing are exactly like having moss grown over them. If it is like the Navajo legends, it requires a return from the recognition of the oneness with the indomitable Sun first, the symbol that is the real thing, and knowing and participation can't be realized otherwise. Symbols have to be ignited again; as in the Native American traditions, the symbols here on earth are the real thing and this is how they speak.
That "polytheistic" realm is also altered, for Coyote leaves nothing sacred and unturned. The empty shell of "celebrity" thinking where the stories for a culture are pointless and misleading transforms into the process of creativity and substance takes center stage—symbols that radiate through the realness of being alive and are true. The symbol is the real thing, "transparent to transcendence," viewable by its abilities, or it is merely illusion. Such a point simply marks a barrier, a "restriction of consciousness" that Coyote will inevitably take down. (Hyde points out that this requires a culture with a new ability to "read" the symbols; a coming into a new literacy and awareness.)
The descriptions that writer Lee Edwards gives of the feminine heroic have striking similarities with the qualities of trickster Coyote in that they have to operate in much the same ways and that both have this in common with what cultural anthropologist Victor Turner calls "threshold people" who "elude or slip through the networks of classification that normally locate states and positions in cultural space"—those in-between spaces that are where the Coyote/artistic/feminine creator is to be found and where their actions are possible (Turner quoted in Edwards 7). This connection draws it closer to the revelation that all of this pivots on the kind of actions of the feminine heroic as much as it does on the heroic return and both are common to Coyote archetypes. Strangely, all of these belong to and are to be found in both ritual and storytelling and their transformations are revealed through that process whereby the listener or participant either does or does not come into recognition—the "realization" is not readily available outside of it, without transformation of thought; i.e. ceremony.
Showing more of these striking commonalities between the heroic and Coyote, Edwards states, "Western culture's opposing self, the woman hero uncovers fractures in the surface of reality, contradictions in its structure, gaps in its social ideology" (4). Furthermore:
Unmasking misery, risking present pain for the sake of a future ideal, heroes always emerge into uncertainty. What they promise is glorious, but what they ask is terrifying. And who they are is, initially, unknown. Villain and hero are each other's shadows. From the point of view of the conservative, the makers of a new cosmogony are heretics. Those who hear voices or march to the music of a different drum might more easily be witches or lunatics than saviors or saints. Only at the quest's end, when the whole story can be retrospectively revealed, is success or failure measurable. Only then is the hero distinguished clearly from the fraud . . . Ambiguity disappears in retrospect . . . [from the former] dangerous uncertainties of action . . . fueled as always by isolation, social confusion, and existential anguish (7).
She goes on to state, "Their absorption by society requires fundamental and permanent changes in the definitions of society or self" (8) Whereas for the male heroic she points out the difference in Turner's "liminars" and "marginal" characters—the slight difference between the feminine and masculine impacts. It requires the added dimension of the feminine to "negate the assumption at the culture's heart." Coyote combines worlds and it seems even in his/her actions, he/she acts in combination. Recognition of such in a culture could never be done alone—she requires recognition from the culture at its heart, which is masculine in nature; likewise, he is only temporarily not the definition of his society:
However marginal a male character may seem, however isolated, discontented, oppressed, or enraged, he can never remain male and be more than transiently un-manned. He can thus scarcely be used to pose the deepest threat to patriarchy's authority, to divide power from sex, gender from honor, strength from violence, and society from male supremacy (9).
It requires a network, a weave, a process that is in the in-between. It is also that coming into conscious awareness and the move into creation that does speak and that gets connected to the social order. She remains a surface view until the dimensions she brings are recognized. When she brings those dimensions, it is the landslide, for nothing gets eliminated. The rock he or she rolls that was covered with moss is her and with that comes everything else.
Inspired life is viewable through the work of the movements of the muses showing that there is the metaphysical aspect of her and creations of her actions, and that there is visibly the beyond eternal inspiration evident in all that is in earthly, bodily forms, and in form it is female and furthermore, it is anything but "dirty." The muses that show the entire web speak quietly and subtly to the poet at heart and are revealed through creations and creations of life--through artists. The rituals, the ceremonies, the creations, and the creations of life show the elements that are natural and real at work coming forth; it shows in its harmonious form and perfect order from the stars to the movements of the oceans "this is what you and life on earth are elemented by, and you are not merely dirt, but enlivened by a symmetrical vast web of existence that agrees with you, works with you and is you." Inspired history can be shown to be at work if one sees it ever in powerful motion towards and giving Abundance; one can see Venus and love transforming through Mercury's journey towards enlightenment; Love gets opened to plenitude and does not need pent up in jealousy, but breaks that levy. The epic tale unfolds and gives way to the experience of being alive, in the senses and intrepidly into the erotic, sensual experience of being alive; through the expression of all nine muses showing what is underneath but viewable, finally to the stable constancy yet motion in the stars bringing the Sun home to rise perfectly with its brightest star in the moment of actual greatest plenitude, evident on earth in the bursting forth of plant life and, in ancient Egypt, at that time, the flooding of the Nile which actually and literally brought fertility with its overabundant waters. From Io to a cow to Isis, the transformation is not an accidental one. It is all viewable but not "seen." If it ever was an imposition to think imagination and dream could have a say, and poets and lyricists became only our peripheral pastimes, the need in our time for recognizing life is utterly dependent upon their awakened voices. It is the poet at heart that can tell the story and who has the true voice. Imagine waiting on that singer or dancer to take the stage and then getting to hear and know that experience throughout one's being.
What is awakening and opening is a new importance in ritual and ceremony, much freer, expressive and participatory about life and love and truth and beauty and transformation and expression and becoming and being and existing and creating than ever has been before because now it can be experienced in all forms. These are the things that move through both nature, our own nature and are transforming-ly expressed through art. Author Richard Tarnas shows how it moves in the stars and has throughout the shifting eras. To come into full blooming, like the center of Aphrodite, Abundance and Poetry, is the point on either side of the ritual, as artist or participant. Powerful measures can be taken from that stand point. Author Rebecca Solnit wrote a book considering why a country only comes together during or after a crisis. What she came to know is that there is a natural governance, something in ourselves that comes out that does better without the imposition of opinion and governing and that that interference actually reduces our desire to open and to give. The spirit leads. If human judgement and order reduces this natural tendency, it demonstrates even more the natural heroic freely at work, freed from boundaries, and it, too, is like a plant naturally moving and turning towards the sun. Art works outside boundaries, judgements and opinions and has continually moved toward that very alive expression. Transformation into one's own, growing up and becoming, broadening, taking on life are very natural things that the human spirit tends towards and seeks and hindrance or starvation of that is felt internally. Art gives the permission and shows the path to go there. It and ritual, and participation in its movement, are the awakening of the heart.
As Campbell points out, one learns about life from the goddess. She is life. In the "goddess" form her creations and workings are visible. In both forms, however, also as a human living being, she is the changing dreamscape, Changing Woman, and the Mother as universe in form, the universal flowing through her. She relies on the path to coming to know, through story, symbols, myth to show her dimensions that are not recognized in a surface existence. Campbell states that mythological symbols demonstrate this essentialness of being towards the feminine, that it is "the primal impulse of all mythological symbolization whatsoever" (161) to go to the source of life because they speak to true essence and this comes out through our true lives and true expression. After a life-long career in comparative mythology Campbell stated that he found that there were two types of mythology: that of all the rules that defines what must be, and then that of the "nature rules" that "live in the heart" (The Mythic Dimension 184). He describes them as: "One that shuts it down, one that opens it up." What would life be without the opening up? There is a going away to Christ consciousness, enlightenment, coming to know the Sun and irreplaceably coming to the source of the nature of one's own existence--something one cannot do without--but in the nature traditions that do not shun the earth and life and in the universal, unequivocal hero's story, there is a return. The heroic journey is completed and made whole in the return. If the journey is closed, it is closed to plenitude, closed to life and closed to making and being home. It is closed to the wonder of being alive. Ritual and ceremony are to renew our hearts, but we do not even recognize the heroic movement in expression. Coyote breaks open what lives in the heart and is its true nature. He or she gives the gift of the ceremony. He or she follows the path that must be followed, the one to which is heart is awakened. He or she speaks, and most importantly, sings, so that it is a participation and known throughout the being.
Freedom from religion and the expression of the individual in the western world broke art away from religion where it had become held prisoner to its patron, having to meet the desires and whims of those footing the bill and that binding opinion, the natural path away from it that it had to take for transformation. Art could take new freedoms, on the periphery, being awakened to its own nature, take on new live forms, move freely towards ultimate expression. While the flourishing ocean trade market in Florence opened the opportunity for the Renaissance and the ability to pay much more to the arts, the patrons often asked for art to meet their own desires and represent their own beliefs—more social obligation, affirmation of social order, not an awakening beyond those self-imposed boundaries. It was the alive truths of the classical myths that awakened in the art. It was also artists such as Michelangelo who surreptitiously had to work in his own expressions into the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The breaking away was from holding human life and expression to rigid, deprived scarcity. However criminal he would have appeared to the papacy at the time, the crime turns out to actually be the reverse: to limit his mind.
Because of this opening to the eternal in participation and celebration in the forms of life, Native American mythology has also retained a more ecstatic physical participation because it isn't "other than" and they themselves are the expression and realization of it. They take on the roles of the mythology because those roles are alive, a way of understanding the metaphor that leads to and opens life. They are open to the alive signs that speak to this awakened soul. They are visited by the Spirit Gods, they become them, and it invigorates them and gives the tribe new life. There is full life in each step. A foreign concept now in the western view, their dances are full participation with a different source other than the limited body self, of limited human order. It is not for show but to bring it to life—a viewer is actually advised to look at the fire instead in order to know internally and feel throughout their entire beings what is expressed in the pounding rhythms and the creations of the forms. These are still prayers, undaunted and un-judged communication between the worlds of which they are certain they are a part. Ritual, importantly, did not become separated into religion, painting, dances, symbols, clothing, meaning, philosophy, education, poetry, song, storyteller, warrior, hero, and the list goes on. It was formerly also not on an imposed day and time, but following a natural, observable flow, much larger than the human concept of what "ought" to be done. They were not particularly watching human order but watching events, how things unfold and come together; watching the stars and sky and the universe moving through it. They are not "stuck" in one spot but feel the world axis, all four directions around them and the movement between. Writers about the ceremonials report that Anglos often got frustrated because the ceremonies did not traditionally start or stop by clock time. In such a view social order and will prevails and is the dominating force. But to a heart, those things are imposed. Watching the natural ticking of the stars going around and watching at which moment to participate in the wonder is a different way. Knowing readiness. It sees itself in the brilliant movement of the stars. The heart knows itself and it is glorious.
THE HOLE LEFT IN THE WEAVE
While the act of ceremony or ritual seems to be completely expected, the next step anticipated, known and repeated—so much so that in American society we are conditioned, perhaps insensitive and no longer commonly aware of the live, moving potentiality that is inherit in ritual—that ritual is set up around and for—we are still—for those who want broken open—seeking to be truly thrilled to the core of our beings by seeing something alive and that is truly inspiring and to feel completely alive. The bursting colors of fireworks across a sky do speak to the internal that longs to burst out with vivid, exploding colors of its own. But it is still something not quite connected to independence on a holiday such as July Fourth to all the other happenings, not quite articulated, but still there are smiles on faces and the night feels free. Perhaps without knowing it, we long to be filled with new vigor and certainty, assured in being given a new uninhibited thought landscape that emerges into the experience of here and now, and thus a new human-scape, and time-scape with past, present and future completely, differently, illuminated, showing something we didn't formerly see, meaningful and alive, opened instead of closed, powerfully moving, and instead of limited options, the possibilities of living opened in unimagined measure and the excitement and joy and well-being that that brings. It is possible that beyond looking for what is in it for us (plenty flows when the true levy is opened), we more so want to be awakened, transformed, infinitely loved and to love openly, recognized for our true inner beings, alive, bright and beaming and completely in the flow of things and for there to be a flow of things. While we might go for the entertainment and to see a representative of the possibility of this speaking to us on a primal level we don't yet recognize and then plan on heading back to our economically-based lives that afford our own personal choices as best possible, what we seek is to fully participate in something real, something that has been rendered pitiful and that is missing to come alive and complete us, the inner-scape that wants reignited to counter-balance our structured selves that often feel dead, having no value, locked in, pent up and invisible. We may want our opinions and preferences and structured selves for the warmth of home but are still wanting to be moved, longing for the kind of joy that is freed by the experience of pure unkempt, unharnessed beauty that seizes the heart unexpectedly, takes us out of the body but sensed throughout the vibrations of the body, that something we find in an artist who can speak, that through natural realness breaks through in prime and exquisite form in real expression where one cannot help but be in a state of reverence and awe of the flow, the radiance, the abundance and transported by the experience, arrive into the possibilities of some new way of being that sits just behind cognition. Even in the rituals of our lives, we are, after all, live beings and want to feel alive.
What is unexpected is that all of these rituals have openings where something else in addition to the order does come into play. This kairos, this "hole" left in the creation or in the weaving, is a moment wherein opportunity actually comes down to the awareness and ingenuity of this one kind of character who is the master of in-between. It is a hole for what can happen. The Navajos leave a hole in a basket for the spirit to enter; the blues plays an awaited note off-beat giving the unexpected, and then it can take you places you didn't know you were going to go, and willingly. And so that is what Coyote is and does. It requires a creator in the breaking through to the realness of the thing, this one kind of character who is that original rolling stone, like Hermes (the "one from the stone heap") that becomes the opening him or herself, is 'on the road,' in motion, turning the stones over, causing what has grown over with moss to roll once again, and preferably, into a landslide. Separated from religion is a freedom; separated from our own true natures it is a holding back. Not only is this a mastery of order and form, that mastery is required to go further. One is what one creates and the road is thereby opened.
Ritual is the arena for the real. The rhythm does not just go with the rhythm one might clap one's hands to, but to a deeper rhythm that pulses through the pulse, through the heartbeat, pushing past the thoughts in the mind to something felt in an entirety of being. It is pure freedom, a complete, unadulterated "yes." In music concerts with the Grateful Dead, for example, where according to Campbell, with the spirit, genius and abilities of the musicians opening the path, one is allowed to lose oneself, raptured and innocent, freed from the mind to the larger whole. The beauty is such that the verisimilitude of it is not broken by an ego or agenda on stage nor an ego encapsulating the self—but in the natural flow, transcended naturally and spontaneously past even human concerns. It is not a planned response but an immediate reverberation to a natural state of being—an immediate recognition of a truer self that is spontaneously awakened in joy to something larger in which it knows itself to be like and finds immense joy in the realization. The love for it then produced is an unprescribed state where one knows oneself and is therefore opened. About a symposium he held with the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart entitled "From Ritual to Rapture: From Dionysus to the Grateful Dead," Joseph Campbell stated:
The principle theme of my talk was the wonderful innocence and the marvel of life when it recognizes itself in harmony with all others. Everyone is somehow or other at one with everyone else. And my final theme was that this is the world’s only answer to the atom bomb. The atom bomb is based on differentiation: I-and-not-that-guy-over-there. Divisiveness is socially based. It has nothing to with nature at all. It is a contrivance and here, suddenly, it fell apart. (The Mythic Dimension 185).
For the artist, it is in that breaking through that is the difference—breaking through to the audience on a different level—not on the former level which represents a boundary, but bringing them to something new and by which they arrive at a new understanding, breaking through to a change, which can only be articulated by the artist. It can't be done unless the dancer is already in-between both worlds and creates on this threshold.
The dancers themselves don't especially want holes in the order to be at play, nor does the audience want to arrive and not receive what is expected. The sense of play is built on the order and mastery, as it must be for the performances to be carried through. But flowing into it is also a natural order (or disorder, depending on the vantage point) where, when human order is opened, a natural, immense plenitude is made visible and available. In Native American ceremonies this structure allowing for that hole or opening for "disorder" or play remains even after centuries—in the clown or White Spirit Dancer—where the hole has been seemingly closed in our own rituals except in the arts. It likewise became closed in our understanding, storytelling and in our own ability, strength and willingness to open—and is now, even in the repeated annual steps, a potentiality that is to be loosed and although seen as chaotic or judged, is very much needed. What has been purified and lulled away is actually paramount to the experience of life itself. Without it we are a dead order—rules and regulations that sweep us methodically to the grave in proper form (and also even symbolically heavily casketed away from touching the dirt of the earth), illiterate to lyric, Independence Day a holiday for beasts of burden, not the buffalo magnificently seen as representing the tremendous power of natural thunder on the "open range" and then likewise awakening the landscapes of our beings. We are not separate from place. In American ritual someone such as a priest regulates and blocks the opening of what is seen as disorder, uncontrollable, and requiring purification and therefore stops what is a natural, intelligent working life force that permeates and informs all that is, but that seems like is still asleep or non-existent. It is not seen because it awakens in the entire psyche, however. It is awake and awaits return and recognition. The process, however, cannot be skipped. For Coyote, once it is awakened in the heart it becomes a struggle, a journey, an ordeal because he or she has no home in the world (no one else outside recognizes his or her true selves) and he or she can either give up him or herself or transform the entirety to create a new place that is home. Symbols are meant to express that path to awakening, to signal the changes and the way, the measures taken, the meanings formed, spoken to the nature of true being, broken past all of the "shaming" to what is in his or her heart and that which he or she holds close and protects. The heart and imagination in our own culture is awakening. It isn't done by the human will alone, nor is it assigned over to a god separated from being. While it has had to become a master of its self and the arts, the artists' true selves are the conduits, the opening to something more. The metaphors are opened into real participation, not signs of mere self. For signs to speak they have to be enlivened in the flow of things. Ritual speaks when the natural flow is followed and allowed to speak. Signs speak internally as when the stars come to life in recognition and, in turn, ritual. It is the very point of ritual to open. The active agent place holder for a different kind, this "shaman-with-a-difference" in this Native American ceremony represents a very old grand yet eternal scheme, a chance find that can ignite and instead of mere colorful sparks in the sky, meaning and new rapture of experience can burst out—with a changing of the signs—and fireworks of those and the starry kind explode to life—outside and in. Because Coyote creates and then gives the understanding, in one Native American creation story Coyote is told to give the People the Buffalo. That's the kind of rodeo one can be transformed by. The meaning—but what is more, the experience of it—is an immense gift of seeing things completely and significantly alive. The challenge of that changed perception is completely different. For example, the point would not be domination over or against animals, but with them, they teaching us.
Coyote is a creator of language and signs that can only come from "seeing" what a habituated mind cannot. It is not an imposition of will, but of "remaking the world out of whatever happens" in a way that is open. Hyde writes,
. . . but with Hermes coincidence turns fertile. This was one of the points the anthropologist Victor Turner made in his classic book on liminality, The Ritual Process, that the state of being betwixt-and-between is 'generative' and 'speculative'; the mind that enters it willingly will proliferate new structures, new symbols, new metaphors, not to mention new musical instruments.
Law and rational thought works to get rid of all loop holes, to define, to stop chance and flow. Coyote is the loop hole already. Just as Lee Edwards describes the female as a permanently liminal character, Coyote is also "an emblem of patriarchal instability and insecurity" (Edwards 4)—already a sign without even beginning. The inner "seeing" and the action then makes the difference and the way to do it is through the creation of signs that speak to the eternal in the here and now so that we are "oriented to the Imperishable" in ourselves (Hero With a Thousand Faces 243).
The "hole" that is created, even as that hole is in the act of creation, has "potential as a cataclysmic change-agent." As Lewis Hyde points out about Loki, the trickster from old Norse tales, "something truly new might have emerged" when "everything is in flux." So Coyote puts everything into flux again. Abundance is the potentiality everywhere. When one sees it, it becomes shocking that it was ever governed.
In his discussion on presence of mind and the "chance" find, Lewis Hyde quotes the aphorism "Chance favors the prepared mind" and gives the French equivalent: “Dans les champs de l'observation, le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés” (140) which translates as "In the fields of observation, random chance favors only the prepared minds." The French saying opens two important things that are closed in the English version: the field of observation and that "les esprits" can also be translated as "the spirit or spirits." Yet esprit also can mean "mind, wit, spirit; intellect, sense; head; vein, life." The two opened descriptions broaden to a different kind of knowing wherein the field of observation is not limited to idea of pure chance, but observable forms, and also the field of observation becomes something of itself, operating, and then therefore is also not limited in understanding to merely being observed by a "thinking" or "planning" brain, but opened to a entire being that feels and knows things in inner recognition. In looking back at the past, for example, events can be seen as if not random at all, but in a perfect, unseen order no one could or would have planned. The field of observation then is coming from a place of perfect order, even if it is judged as chance or reduced to a scientific method. A thinking or scientific mind might eliminate an idea such as "being homesick for a place one has never been" because it has no basis in observable facts, but still, one just knows. In an interview Bob Dylan described knowing as a child he wasn't in the place where he was supposed to be. The broader the view of the field of observation, opening to allow that it is acting in an intelligent and alive way, for example, opens the view of the spirit, wit, intellect, vein, or life that is participating in observing. "Presence of mind," then, is not simply limited to seeking out facts but open to what speaks beyond what one might not be able to report data or articulate easily. Then it is also not assigning meaning randomly. On writing about enlightenment author Jed McKenna states, "Nothing is random or chaotic, only fully perceived or not. There is no disorder." He later states, "Whatever is, is right. Ask why." Joseph Campbell similarly describes any problem that one might have as simply a "restriction of consciousness." The "prepared mind" is also one that is open. It is a mind that is on the road, in motion with all that is in motion. Likewise, in the Native American view, it is an intelligent universe and the mind, spirit, flow in the veins, wit, intellect is to be in participation and that is the way to be in harmony.
The hole in ritual, then, is open to an open spirit. The opening is present in what is "found." As Hyde points out, the "presence of mind will find it" not intend it and with a "wit that responds and shapes, the mind on-the-road, agile, shifty in a shifting world, capable of recuperation, and located especially at the spot where roads, 'parallel . . . and contrary,' converge (141). Hyde quotes James Joyce writing in a letter "Hermes is the god of signposts: i.e. he is, specially for a traveller like Ulysses, the point at which roads parallel merge and roads contrary also. He is an accident of providence." Joyce is also the one who described how to experience the awakening of one's being in observation. According to him if you want to experience the rapture of beauty, you have to be able to see the whole thing, the "radiance" running through it, and see it with clarity, the perfection of the whole in the part. What is viewed comes to life with the kind of presence that views it. According to Hyde, Picasso once wrote: "My object is to show what I have found and not what I am looking for (131). In this view creation is alive with the environment and the being that finds it. Importantly, then, we are no longer by ourselves in an empty, meaningless universe, but one that opens itself up to new creation and is that kind of creation. Hyde states of those moments of recognition that delight the heart, soul and mind that "The ingredients of such moments—surprise, quick thinking, sudden gain—suffuse them with humor not tragedy." Creation is an open, alive, active, life-affirming act done along with a gigantic, perfectly orderly entity, itself visibly and knowably open. This is a vastly different view from a god—or a people, for that matter—that are closed and instead of open, are judgmental. This is also the difference in a mythology that lays down rules and definitions of "how things are or were" and assign them only to one personhood, versus the mythologies that open up the universe for exploration and that speak to the spirit as signposts left, transportive metaphors, paths that speak to eternal truths.
Lewis Hyde quotes Milan Kundera in Trickster Makes This World showing that the rote doesn't speak to us stating, "Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us." Furthermore, he quotes C.S. Pierce as writing: "Chance itself pours in at every avenue of sense: it is of all things most obtrusive" C. S. Pierce (128). When not viewed and limited as random, too, it is seen as the biggest thing happening around and in us. For the coyote or Tricksters Hermes and Eshu, Hyde says, "Chance events bear messages" (284). But to take this further it is important to get past the restricted idea of what "chance" is presumed to be (empty, not spirited, non-intelligent) to what it actually is, and for the artist, medicine person, shaman, or plain, pure, unfiltered consciousness, there is no chance but perfect order in all things that can be seen—and for the artist or Coyote, acted upon. And there has been a natural watching and waiting, with no plan to do so. As Franz Kafka wrote how it even moves without us: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Creation for the open mind comes of this and moves with this.
While the English language and language altogether might limit this kind of perception wherein the universe is alive and the potentiality of one's own spirit and what happens when the two fortuitously, continuously meet, from fully being expressed, other kinds of signs can express it and are meant to express it. Poetry goes there; Lyric goes there. Music communicates it in its primal form. It continually moves us. For the Native Americans, the sun, winds, and characteristics of things speak directly to our own alive natures as literal metaphors that communicate the powers inherent and that operate alongside as one organism. The lightning does not speak to Anglo culture although it still may yet stir something within. The lightning is empty of meaning and deep inner experience because truth and beauty are perceived not to move and are not alive except as a second-hand act of a separated entity or a scientifically explainable happening in the perception. To reignite them is to open and reignite the inner understanding of what they actually speak to by transforming the found signs into life itself, into the natural motion come into view, engaging in transformation right before our eyes, and all done with inspiration from and along with the thing from which they come that is already alive and moving in perfect order. Furthermore, Hyde quotes Meister Eckart in saying, "We are made perfect by what happens to us rather than by what we do." The struggle against something doesn't transform, it pens up the soul. There is no earth to be against; no need to dominate, no need to grab; there is time to be in the process, to perfect the art which is the expression of ourselves participating in the whole. There is not one spot on earth more holy than another: Each mountain speaks to the heights and strengths of the spirit given the gift of being alive here on earth. The world axis is not meant to be a commercial Christmas tree but a gift giving center of the natural abundance of all things, straight from the earth and alive and radiating out while reaching towards the sun. Not only is there plenitude, but the alive intelligence operating within the macrocosm creates and gives more abundantly. Separated and against that is insane, to look at life and reject it. The whole is much greater than its separate parts. Hyde compares the work of composer John Cage to such in saying, "as meditation promises, [this] 'opens the doors of ego' so as to turn it 'from a concentration on itself to a flow with all of creation'" (Hyde 142). She can be found everywhere.
WHAT IS FOUND
On the July 4th weekend the Mescalero Apache tribe holds its annual ceremonials which merge together the American Independence Day celebration with fireworks display over their lake on the Mescalero Apache Reservation at the foot at the sacred White Mountain and the American western tradition of rodeo with their own traditional rites, the ceremony of the Spirit Dancers and also the female rites of puberty ceremonials which take place over four days at their feast and rodeo grounds. It is a community affair, a repeat of the previous year, meant to restore and protect the tribe once again and with the puberty rites, bring it into new maturation, strength and growth with the "coming out" of the females. The old reason these ceremonies are combined into one annual affair is because of a former law that the Apaches could only congregate and hold their ceremonials a restricted number of times in a year. And so tradition now has it that they are held at the same time of year, when the puberty rites need to be held according to the arrival of the ancient summer sun and July 4th came closest to that timing. According to Erna Fergusson who traveled the Southwest in the early 1930s writing about these ceremonials for her book Dancing Gods, the Spirit Dancers would normally have only been held in times of trouble, in going off to war or when an epidemic struck. Now they have been incidentally incorporated as part of the females' ceremony and the dances take place on the same days. Underlying the law and the formation of that restriction of a nature and medicinal tradition is that four seemingly different rituals come together merging importantly as dimensions of one—by "chance" or as a "gift-of-Hermes," a found opportunity rich with potentiality, albeit it is still divided and particularly from the Anglo American view, seen as a holiday with the pressures of expectations of a certain kind of thrill or fun and relaxation that that implies, and also by the holiday's repetition, viewed in most western minds as an exotic marking of another year of the same rituals held on the same day. Because it is planned to happen on that certain July 4th weekend, what will happen is expected. One ceremony begins when darkness meets the dawn, like the inception and birth of White Painted Woman, and meet the summer sun four days later (on what Anglos count as the fifth morning) at a most precise moment of its return and rising with emphasis on very young girls coming into what might be a purely symbolic transition into womanhood, their real options limited to within that tribe. One will invoke the Mountain Spirits, the return of the heroic to renew the tribe. It is the western idea of release and entertainment meeting the mesmerizing, skilled dance prayers of the natural, spiritual world. One will test human skill, endurance and will against that of the strength, determination and instinct of animals who are no longer free on the open range. One will burst colors of sparks into the air marking being outdoors in leisure and thrill-seeking away from work.
While there is nothing wrong about a holiday and the "freeing" and renewing feeling it can have in celebration, something more than a holiday and performance that is very right is underneath in a commonality of potentiality, a prime gift-of-Hermes, at a crossroads of cultures that are at their core radically different. Crossroads are for Hermes, the creator of music, and Coyote who, deep down, has to open the road, it's his or her nature. This crossroads is a place where moss-covered stones get rolled; where masked White Painted Dancer morphs the appearance of the truth in order to break through, and does break through, showing such flowing plentifulness and pleasure that his heart is delighted even if there is trouble. Change does not happen without his or her disruption. Coyote comes to the crossroads by "presence of mind" and spirit and by what is found. This is also a moment where it can be seen that important signification comes together, opportune in itself where moss has grown fully over. This is known when the signs aren't speaking. There is silence instead. Lewis Hyde shows how Coyote is a creator of desperately needed new signs—new language, new hieroglyphics. He or she "speaks freshly where language has been blocked, gone dead, or lost its charm." He or she "invents the inner writing of memory" which is to reignite it with the inspiration from which it comes, the moving truth, and the "inner language of self knowledge that invents writing," moving it into creation and expression. These are the movements of the muses when abundance is broken open. He or she knows how it is all reignited underneath, it is his own inner composition and outer creation. He or she is a beginning, a creator. Coyote is that "mind, consciousness" that thymos, which is the awakened heart right in the body that is also voice, a voice that is most powerful in the signification of song.
This coming together of people, holiday and four disparate events brings something prime and waiting into view, before the awakening of the sun. It is an unrecognized cultural coming of age and emergence of its Native American feminine, as peripheral and quaint to Anglo culture as a quinceañera, or trivialized in our own American culture into a pageant or unpromising graduation from test-taking where the real, unspoken inner struggle begins of what to hold at bay, what price to pay, what rule or instinct to follow. The ceremony here is of White Painted Woman, the embodiment of earthy, cultural hope, intelligence, voice, strength and intellectual, inner and cultural nurturance, both being born of darkness and the dawn at the beginning of the rites, and coming to meet the Sun at its highest point—all symbols that once could speak to the highest realization in body and form and to what the feminine, the powerful and the heroic signifies. Once it no longer brings the recognition breaking past controlling thought, the symbols have to transform and speak again. In this case, the image of White Painted Woman is encased in an entire peripheral culture, a people instead of just the female. Those images that speak must be both enlivened by and met by consciousness in a new way of "reading," as Lewis Hyde calls it; a new kind of enlivened literacy that breaks past the surface of things and speaks to deeper sources again. Hyde writes, "The revelation of plenitude calls for a revelation of mind" (295). There is plenitude, and then there is recognition. In the ceremonies the girls don't actually get to come out in powerful form because something huge in perception is missing when the signs can't cross the divide or awaken the heart or being and give one inner knowledge and strength and connectedness to all of being, and if it does within her, it hasn't yet within her surrounding, still disparate society who comprehends her and treats her as worthless. She is a sign herself that doesn't speak until her world is enlivened. It is still a wait until recognition along with the important and hard process of becoming and following one's true nature that also must be given consciousness and personhood. In instance after instance the female image is locked away and worn over by time. Even the bard, the storyteller of humanity, delving into the truths of our psyches and souls and the human stage on which it eternally plays out, had to become an individual in western society who had to pursue love himself because she was gone. She no longer even existed in our imaginations. Instead of powerful life-forces, goddesses became figments of dreams and dreams became silly things to be put away for pursuit of seemingly more powerful money and socially based status and likewise the surface of things. Even language barred us. The coming of age of the feminine aspects of this are fortuitous for our own perceptions, limitations and boundaries, as we have very little of imagination or place to offer our own very young females, and it mirrors in motionless, dead art. America's spirit of liberty was once feminine in perception as in the French conception of the Statue of Liberty, but, these too, wait for the heroic action upon the return from the Sun, signifying the embodiment of the recognition from pure consciousness—the person who gives it body and voice. It cannot happen until it happens in inspiration first, igniting the spirit and the mind into the hard trial of becoming. Process of becoming is an inner one that takes on process (without inspiration the process is too difficult). It is not a pursuit of what the society deems as the outer goal. It begins in the heart in a different way of knowing--a kind knowing that we do not currently recognize nor nurture. It is a coming together of presence of heart, what is found, the hard process of becoming past barriers, what is created, what is spoken, what becomes known. It is an inner struggle and a creation getting it ready for the light of day. For art and creation is just like the feminine, peripheral and moving, and it does not come to the center of society until consciousness becomes embodied in the structure of society, the Mountain Gods become (realized themselves), the returned male heroic recognizes and it becomes place.
The ritual has to speak, awaken, move from sign to person, a spectrum of communication to all the depths and dimensions that we are, far deeper than mere surface objects and that stir the soul to a knowing. This is the way that the feminine comes to know itself and she should be shocked at how she encompasses the whole living, moving thing. The poet John Keats built a cathedral to her in his mind, for all that she is was inexpressible except through inspiration and creation, that moving thing that stirs in the soul. The western heroic likewise finds, remembers and imagines her, and needs to return to her, on the road through creation, and only in coming back from being transformed by the Sun, take his place at the very top of his mountain (which is actually all the world)—just as the sun comes to be at the top of the mountain, bringing the sunrise to all humanity. It is expressed in song; the soul longs for the life recognition, just as in ritual. The Moon has been alone at night, working, just as artists must, the stars changing their positions to come back to the moment of abundance, lining up once again to return. The weaving is in the stars showing process, the very thing that humans are and must do; the Moon becomes and is, just as White Painted Woman and the other polytheistic characters taking on different forms, such as White Painted Dancer. The poet heart speaks and brings all of this inner recognition that also gives her life and voice. On July Fourth all of these things happen, but beneath the surface and yet vibrantly visible all around, potentiality pent up.
Story is told in retrospect, tested over time in a consciousness, developed by master storytellers who see, but Coyote is the master of signs, the one who finds the open moment, and transforms the structures. Through transformation of their own, the discovery process in initiation and story, the reader has what is found, too. Story comes alive in real time, in a movement of its own, co-created, during and even afterward, story is a living thing that moves barriers, especially societal ones. Literature and music have forever thrown off the shackles of hedged-in thought. Now, however, it is evident what it was always moving toward. Although society tries to tie all hearts to firmly entrenched social opinions and structures, it, like love, takes place in the inner-scape where no one else can rule. It's a space connected when in harmony with far more powerful senses of being than reliance on illusory human structures. The societal pressures are right outside its door, looming, brooding, and demanding, and yet paradoxically, nothing is owed outside of it. The "real world" is what is created from one's own true nature, the universal song that is inexplicably heard that even the crushed spirit has to follow; freedom can only be an embodiment, not a stale idea repeated year after year. To remember is to remember it is alive and wake to it, find it, create what can be imagined. That it isn't told in real time reserves it for creation while this very thing also gives it a real and vivid connectedness to life, right to what is alive and was once pent up as "sacred" but now is. At the very same time it moves it redefines what is sacred, opening the flow into life itself.
PULLING THE SUN
The path to this whole is also the path to the "pulling of the sun," that moment when all is brought together. To "pull the sun" is to meet the power and energy of life in its most brilliant and illuminating form at the exact moment of its complete emergence from over the mountain to its rise on its place on earth. It is the moment when the sun sits exactly on the mountain, on the lotus of the world, in its precise clearance of the horizon, and to meet it at the exact ending, on the note, of a collection of songs in complete readiness for its arrival, palms open and painted, to be hit with the light, the sun's power shining on one's own hands, and at the same time, the females, recognized, in the light given being and recognition in a truer sense. The season of abundance makes its way around again, the sun comes, and this moment is the sign and realization of complete harmony and circular wholeness, a complete circle of return, of a year, of a night, of a cycle of songs, not a repeat, but a coming again, and in that a breaking free in recognition, joy and celebration.
With the music concert market now booming globally in our moment, to understand the vibrant spirit inherent in ritual opens the experience even more to the potentiality of something very much alive. Coyote belongs to ritual and also to storytelling, both of which are now prevalent in our culture and are openings. To understand also that story is a moving, living thing invites one into life for participation, not blocking anyone out of what he or she envisions and wants to create from the inside out. The rewards are values yet to be seen as they come to life in the wake of new powerful stories and the hard process of bringing them to life. The masters gave their lives to it. In the emergence and recognition of the feminine aspect, in a reciprocating manner, the thing that is shaped is life itself. The new paradigm is in connectedness. When plenty and pleasure flow, life becomes an immense expression of all that is; it becomes a participation in a truly ignited celebration. When Psyche (the mind, body and soul), asleep because she opened the box of beauty that belonged to Persephone (who brings the entire spring), meets the transformed Eros, their offspring is named Pleasure. Likewise, it is the Coyote Hermes who returns Persephone and new life is delivered. Time and time again the best expressions are to be found, always vibrantly waiting.
1. Cinderella is actually about the archetype of pure consciousness, just as the Virgin Mary, Athena, Aphrodite, etc., and just as importantly about things unseen (and unspoken): character and process. It is the process of coming into being and into creation. The archetype staying in the psyche long after other gossipy, destructive stories have faded, it tells the story of inspiration behind actions. Its "pureness" in the western world has been trivialized and reduced to a virginic, unrealized thing. Still, it shows the broader connections to an inspired universe that can't come to life without mind and realization. The archetype is still vastly important but what is primal behind it is unrealized. Because it has gone stale, the archetype has to transform and expressed in a different, transformed way, with new vision, new voice, and new language that breaks past what limits its recognition to a new realization. It has to speak. Signs and symbols have to speak. They have to break though consciousness into action. It is dangerous to even bring up Cinderella knowing one will be dismissed, but the reference is to an archetype that humans still search out but find limiting and disappointing. It is no longer a workable metaphor in that form but still present.
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