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Coming to Know Sense of Place

Within and So Without:  Dispelling Illusions, Establishing the Real in Where the Two Came to Their Father: A Navajo War Ceremonial

Myths and rituals convey knowledge about the internal cycle of becoming and in the Navajo War Ceremonial Where the Two Came to Their Father, first given to the artist Maud Oakes for publishing during World War II in 1943, the intense internal trials of going to this meeting with the source of their origination, the father, brings the goers into such awareness that they are internally changed.  This ceremony to prepare warriors who were going off to face battle, as here when the Navajo were leaving for WWII, takes the initiates on a psychological journey that will transform their inner states to come to this arrival with the source and knowledge of their own beings and that of their identification with the universe.  It is to ensure that they know exactly what they are internally, how to make it through any trial, psychological or physical, and that they are one with this infinite source of strength and life.  Importantly, it also teaches the true nature of the universe and how it can and must be relied on.  The spiritual trials in the ceremony test their inner selves for this ultimate realization that is then to be taken with them as a new sense of protection and a centeredness in how to know the way.

According to mythologist Joseph Campbell, to know at-one-ment with the universe is to come face to face with the terrifying source that, after the impossible soul-, ego- and life-scorching tests, reveals that, beyond all the violences and injustices there is a validation of the terrible and all that is, not expressible in human terms, but only knowable in the experience in the moment of this face to face arrival (Hero with a Thousand Faces 147).  In this arrival, the universe reveals itself in all of its realness and trueness that is beyond all terror.  The hero sees that this is what he is an expression of, what he is, and in this moment becomes one with this unfathomable "majesty of Being."  Past all of the fear and trepidation where the self is lost and spiritual readiness completely tested, the truth of existence is revealed and become known.  The hero forever knows his grounding and center.  The source reveals itself to be both the hero and the universe, as one.

At the heart of this transformation the center of the warrior's viewing standpoint is shifted and the understanding made complete.  He or she is no longer divided or fractional between an inside and an outside world where one has to search for answers in the outside world.  In particular, this realization transforms the perception of place and home because he or she can now discern the depths of 'all of being' by direct internal experience.  Although it was present all along, it was not known.  By being taken on this path inward by the medicine men—all the way to this recognition and through all of the horrifying psychological trials until all are passed, the initiate finally realizes his or her own state of being as a center common to the entire universe.  It is an indestructible, still place, as is all of eternity.  Once it is understood, there are no more fears or desires.  The illumination is open.  The universe, matching on the inside and outside, takes on different and alive significance.

Evoking Symbolism and the Landscape of the Heart

In the ceremony the steps of the legend are recreated for invoking the symbolism into awareness within the initiate so that he or she will recognize what is being shown and so that it will awaken and speak to him or her eternal truths about his or her own internal state along the path of the trials to proving the realization.  The images as well as the initiate are being given life and strength by the specific songs, honoring and invoking the Spirits by the prayers and in the recreation of the pollen paintings.  Each painting is holy and powerful.  They invoke the real.  The paintings ignite the symbolism internally to the recognizable truths all along the way that will show the initiate what is guiding him or her, how to recognize it, how to recognize the center.  In these ceremonies all layers of things are being shown of their true existence:  the stories, the symbols, the literal environment, the initiate, the eternal are all one harmonious powerful entity of which he or she has to come to know his or her identity and place and how to operate.  As Joseph Campbell points out, "the beauty is the beauty of one's essential nature" (Where the Two Came to Their Father 53).  He even shows the far-reaches:

 . . . by uniting the mind with that beauty . . . one becomes profoundly composed.  The landscape of myth is the landscape of the human spirit . . . [it] conducts the imagination across every threshold of inner resistance to the secret of the life that built the body—not man's body only, but the body of the world (53).

The landscape is now the one in which "The heart has long been beating before the brain invents a reason for its pulse" (54).  Each and every symbol is to be speaking directly to this internal universe of the initiate.  The outside world is no longer apparent as it was, and the internal world is alive with this more powerful reality.   Too, it operates in such a way that the initiate may be shocked to find its helping forces that have to be recognized.  He or she has to come to understand the power of what is being given and what it actually means far beyond the surface representation.

[pullquote width="300" float="left"]The heart has long been beating before the brain invents a reason for its pulse."[/pullquote]

The medicine man/woman profoundly knows this world and by knowing it, the outside world has become different.  The external world matches and communicates the whole cosmic scheme to him (in this ceremony the medicine man is male) by its true and resonant, not superficial qualities, of which he is profoundly aware of its depth and purpose.  He sees it is alive and active and influential and powerful and real.  It isn't something spoken; one is taken there.  The mountains in the paintings, for example, which are holy and alive to the medicine person, have highly different existence and value that speaks directly to his or her being that will be revealed and communicated through this spiritual, creative process.  The song is no longer "just" a song, the painting no longer "just" a painting.  All is shown to have existence on a true spiritual plane that is much more alive than the surface existence.  It is the difference between being shown a baby doll and then being shown a real baby.  The initiate has not been aware that he or she has been acting as if life is like the doll instead.  As Campbell says,  "For their adventure, while it appears to be a venturing forth, is actually a quest into inner depths: what they find without is a token of what they are realizing within" (69).  Nothing is done or used now superficially in the ceremony.  The symbols are alive.  The journey for the initiate begins.

The Silent Influence of the Southwest

It is important to note that Joseph Campbell points out how foreign Southwestern mythology actually is to us.  He writes,

Spider Woman, Bat Woman, the Cutting Reeds, and the Bear That Tracks are strange to us.  That is because America is strange to us.  Our fairy world is that of Europe, not of our adopted continent.  And yet, it is just possible that the powers of the continent are at work in us, even so.  It is possible that the sons of Changing Woman are even now accomplishing within us, slowly and with great pain, the hero task of slaying Enemy Monsters, to establish in a renewed and mighty social image the life-potency of the New World.

We may well listen, then, to the words of the old medicine man, Jeff King.  His fine, rugged body is built out of the corn that has known no land but this land; his vigorous mind is filled with images deriving, through many ages of great-grandfathers, from the mountains of America that once spoke to a listening people; his good, human heart is established in the way of the ancient rites of this our continent" (62).

This is a crucial and pivotal point since most of us were born here but remain unaware of the ground we stand on and the atmosphere we breathe, let alone the action that is "underfoot" without our awareness but of which we are a part.  Like the initiate then, culturally speaking, we stand from the viewpoint looking at the symbols as if they are inanimate and insignificant objects for make-believe.  Shockingly, this also means that is how we view ourselves and our own lives, thinking the role we play is what is important, when it in fact may not have been informed or enlivened by the human spirit or that of the universe (which will come to be understood as the same).  For this reason, the symbols remain static symbols to us—even our own—and culturally speaking it is hard to take this or any internally transformative trip.  We prefer the surface we can see, monitor, plan, control and to work toward our own preferred outcomes instead of igniting our vitalities and destinies.  The medicine man knows this something else, much more alive, awaits.

Born of Darkness and of the Dawn

 At the beginning of the legend around which the ceremony is based, Changing Woman is "born of darkness," her father is the Dawn.  She is found as a baby in a bed of flowers by Talking God (34).  At the creation of the world it has been known that she will be born and that she will go west.  When First Man and First Woman were deciding how to put the world together, "a holy messenger, Little Wind, arrived and whispered and said, 'Later on, when you multiply, Changing Woman will be born, and since she will go west, Sky and Earth must face east'" (25).   She is described as "changes with the seasons, had bad and good dreams.  The people would go to her for advice.  She would tell them what to do and what not to do, where to go and where not to go" (35).  From her mountain, she will give birth to the twin heroes, Monster Slayer and Child Born of Water.  This is the point of origination to be understood by the initiate, now understood to be both heroes, Monster Slayer and Child Born of Water.  This is where he or she comes from.  The manner of their births are significant also, for this will tell them the beginning of how to find who they truly are in their quest.

Each symbolic detail reveals where they come from, where they are going, and who they are by showing the elements by which they were born.  To be born from a darkness and sired by a dawn is suggestive of elements that show a dynamic and a destiny:  the nature of the past is suggested and the promise of the day to come.  At the beginning of the story the twin heroes are told who their fathers are, but remain nameless because they do not know yet who or what they are.  They cannot stay forever in their mother's hogan on the mountain because then they would have no idea who they are and know no source of their own power. To be merely told "you are a child of the Sun" does not communicate the import nor the new reality to be conveyed. They would always remain children. The journey must be taken.  They have to be transformed and thereby their worlds are transformed—it depends on it.  Importantly, everything is in danger and they would have no power to fight and kill the monsters.

Monster Slayer is conceived when Changing Woman gets lonely and leaves her hogan.  Falling asleep in the Sun, she wakes tired and sweaty and sees footprints to and from the east.  ". . . she hoped it was not Big Giant, who had been coming to see her now and then.  For she had seen giants take girls away" (35).  Metaphorically, this would be the monster of illusion drawing girls in.  Because the Sun is the father, Changing Woman's conceiving is therefore a spiritual pregnancy and birth.  The second birth is spiritual in nature also.  The conception occurs when she washes herself in a pool formed by dripping water in a canyon.  She remains worried about the monsters and hides the babies by digging holes by the fire in her hogan. The pollen painting of Changing Woman's mountain with her hogan, medicine man Jeff King points out, is very holy because this is where she gave birth and where the Navajo tribe increased (90). It also shows the footsteps of the twins and the clouds they step on from where Rainbow Goddess is there ready to take them.  The painting is called the "Starting Place from Where the Warrior Starts."

These conceptions and births show the starting ground from which the adventure must begin while also showing the problem that will call them forth to their own identities, strengths, sources of power and destinies.  The dissonance, caused by seeing only illusion, shows the imbalance and causes the movement.  When the imbalance is grown into its extreme form and reality has become known as completely surface, this creates a monster who feeds on its deep belief in itself's importance and the power it can then lord over others through manipulating desires and fears that are natural in one state, but unnatural in the next.  Transformation is imperative.  Growth and change is imperative.  The imbalance can be seen on many levels.  First, in the personal, where, like an infant in desperate need, pulls on the environment and those around it to be entirely about itself.  A natural state for a newborn who is just learning how to have confidence in breathing and in being alive (and who must build strength, confidence, and later courage), this desperate pull to be the center is an entirely unnatural state once strengths and confidences are built.  The step towards life can never be taken (and later the heroic leap necessary to follow one's own calling).  The need to maintain the illusion of being the center, not able to embrace the requirements of life, begins originating from a different source that sees others as reflections and not as emanations of the wonder of life itself.  Life is not seen for what it is, but as the illusions built and the extreme energy and effort it takes to maintain those illusions.   Instead of a natural instinct to grow and to become through natural states, the desire to manipulate and control takes over, vying continuously for the same infantile center.  There is the sophomoric fear that the attention will go away and that being seen as the source of life—which is no longer actually needed sustenance—will be taken away.  This stunted growth also feeds on being "special" in this stage and must keep everyone else as "not special" in order to propagate the illusion.  This is the internal monster, the imbalance that refuses to change and feeds on others.

The Life-Force of Transition 

On another level is the social significance of not embracing change and growth that shows a much larger imbalance.  Culturally speaking, remaining a center of world power based on what desires and fears can be instilled in people is not the basis of a healthy, changing social structure that has natural vitality and could have natural strengths and confidences.  The imbalance can be readily viewed in the destruction and the elimination that such a state renders on its own waters and lands and maintains that imbalance for its own centrality.  The desire to "have it all" in this state is an illusion based on what the human mind can imagine as "needed," which is inferior to a grander scope that gets eliminated as "not real"—only the illusions and the sustaining of that matter.  The fear that what is necessary will end if this abuse is not maintained is also an illusion.  Patriarchy is based on this fear that nature and the universe must be defined and controlled in order to keep maintaining the construct of human structures as being omnipotent.  This is the world view that was very strange and seen as extremely self-centered by the Native Americans who were forced to know it.  The medicine men were aware of this very large imbalance where cultural transformation is desperately needed.  They could see that it is in America where the natural world is coming face to face with this social structure.        

The imbalance, though, is a force generator of transition.  Within the illusions it is hard to see it is necessary.  It is, however, "that dash of chaos which converts static or orderliness into running life" (85) and whereby "stage by stage, directed by an unstayable dynamic, the possible [becomes] actual; . . . [and] blossom[s] forth in the fullness of beauty" (86). This is the purpose of the transformative journey. 

Stepping into the New Unknown

So in this small Navajo ceremony, the call now for the twin heroes is into the unknown; into the danger and possibility, drawn into what they must become—that which they do not yet know (and what the initiate of the Navajo ceremony does not yet know).  If it is unrealized, it is closed to them.  Life as it can be known would be closed to them.  In each stage of the trials the twin heroes are told the truths, given further insights and talismans, and have guidance into right-knowing.  In many instances, for example, Little Wind acts as the internal voice telling what to say and do when it is necessary.  It is also the "myth-personification of the vital breath . . . the microcosmic is in the breath of life" (77).  Other helpers include the female presences of Spider Woman and the Sun's daughter who act as guiding and protective forces similar to that of Athena and Nausicaa in The Odyssey.  It may furthermore be what Campbell refers to in his lectures when he quotes Goethe saying, "The eternal feminine draws us on."  The initiate is discovering where help is going to come from:  from this internal voice and from natural forces and the natural flow and this draw and protection to life.  Changing Woman, like Penelope, is that compelling force to bring it back to real life, both in her creating and in her waiting.  They are all making the transition possible.  This is the only way to make it to the house of the Sun, the house of their father where the tests of character and identity will reach their culmination before they are granted recognition and the expansion of comprehension that comes with it.

This is a trial to illumination with all that is, which in western culture is seen as optional, a life path that is rarely chosen or reserved for extremes, a culture instead choosing to remain children with their toys.  The Navajo world view is not viewed as desirable. It is not seen on the surface as powerful or beautiful, but its stirrings are very deep.  In North American life there are the many rewards and conveniences of furthering the self and one's beliefs and keeping things the way they are.  The limits to this are not readily perceived, except that there is harsh disharmony and dissonance, and as Yeats wrote, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold."  As stated before, it is that "unstayable dynamic."  Discord instead of harmony rules.  Desire and comfort outweigh courage and the internal voice.  There is no such thing as an internal voice beyond reason and rationalization.  Furthermore, why would one mess up one's life for illumination or to see the world in a different way?  In this trial, however, there comes no choice for the heroes:  the dissonance is completely out of balance and life has become closed off.  Here in this Navajo ceremony the initiates, too are facing the imbalance of WWII, and will go face that enemy.  They are being prepared in a way in which they are not even aware until they have reached the realization.  The medicine men, however, are very much aware of the imbalances and what will actually be necessary within the hero to win a different kind of war than what is first perceived.  In the Navajo legends, from the very beginning the earth has been endangered from the "monsters."   This limits life, stops it from growing and becoming, life as it can be known (which is the unknown and therefore not readily sought after by others).  It is at this point that the individual element, the heroic, that causes this transition and growth to happen and the heroes take the path that they must take.  This is the "heroic leap" from within the heroes that will bridge the humans to what can now be possible.  (Even in that moment the supernatural force steps into motion and Rainbow Woman is there to take them.)

There is value in what the realization can bring back, but this value cannot be known.  From the outside it looks like total loss.  For Changing Woman, for example, it looks like her sons are gone.  She is, however, because of her own state of being and looking at the surrounding elements, able to know that they have gone to the House of the Sun.  She is still "afraid for them all the time" (36) and she herself has to live in fear.  The trials for the heroes are impossible to pass, and rightly so.  Humans, with all of their beliefs and their beliefs in the self cannot come and are not welcome and will be killed in this journey.  The elements of this kind of trial are similar to other cultures' rites that are leading to realization.  It is barred to humans for this reason:  thought, self and reason will not work when something else outside of that must be comprehended.  There is no other way to understand it.  In this trial the hero twins are repeatedly told that "earth people are not supposed to be here."  During the dangerous path and the gradual letting go on this firm grip of belief is when the other forces can be seen at work, assisting.  According to Campbell, another commonality to this and seen in other cultures is a narrow opening through which it is almost impossible to get through, as here when they try to enter Spider Woman's hole in the ground and it is too small but they are able to go through when she tells them it is plenty big.  More and more it is a "divestiture" of the body¹ and a new listening.  Their ideas of what they "think" they need are countered with what is actually needed.  Throughout, these assisting forces, most especially seen in the female forces that guide, are an important element that come vividly into play and without which the journey would be impossible.

The Always Active Life-Affirmation of the Feminine

The guiding of these female forces (sometimes an interplay of both male and female), much like in The Odyssey, is so that there will be a return to life with the drastic change known internally and brought by the heroes.  The first of these is an old woman who demonstrates that concern about the body and aging will take away their energy and vitality.  When the heroes walk on her path, as she has told them not to do, they become weak, old, tired and unable to go on. To come to know the feminine in its greater powers, this is a transition that has to happen: "Old Age is that mortal aspect of the goddess which all must transcend before coming into the sphere of her higher wisdom" (65).  The healing power of song is used:  She sings a song about old age mentioning all four directions so that it includes all things.  She sings them a song about old age to make them young again.  She renews their strength, but it is the first step of getting rid of their over-concern with the body, of which they are going to have to relinquish control over to enter a new state of being.  This is what will continually happen on the way to the House of the Sun.  If they are able to make it back, their bodies will be completely different and will be viewed in a vastly different way.  This is also showing them the over-concern about time, which in its passing, is an aspect of being alive to be recognized.  While acting towards life, these female forces are also powerfully acting towards the rebalancing:  life is to be fully realized.  Ego and childhood is to be surpassed and this is how to do it.  War and killing take lives and when the imbalance gets this great with death or ego overtaking life, this journey must be taken.  Therefore, like Athena, Spider Woman is for the heroes taking this journey.  As Campbell points out that happens with the imbalance or war and death in The Iliad, in The Odyssey, they are "learning about life from the goddess" (143).  So, too, here, their "principle transformative experiences are with . . . the female principle."  The dissonance from which they are coming is a symptom of the same:  of "coming from a world that has rejected and denied the female principle" (Goddesses 162), the creation and nurturing of life, which is life in all its forms.  Changing Woman's and Penelope's state of danger also shows this disrespect and abuse of the feminine and her ability to be, generate and create life.  It also shows the disrespect and underestimation thus extended to their places of being.  

The heroes on this trial, however, are not supposed to have this supernatural help.   It is only won by the heroic heart.  It is an internal secret carried in the heart.  The trial is meant to kill off the reliance on the physical, yet the goddesses' powers are in aid of the heroic, that which can transform life.  Spider Woman, in this case, gives the heroes feathers to hold close to their hearts to protect and help them when they are in trouble.  She also gives them turquoise and white shell to "make the heart strong and to give them courage" (Where the Two 40).  These are not merely tokens, they are internal recognitions; they are transitions in themselves towards allowing and accepting these strong forces at work.  This is not something to be shown but known within the warriors.   The reliance is to be on this force of life that will see them through and that is also waiting and a trust in these forces at work.  Life, and especially that of the life-renewing force of the heroic, is being protected and guided in this way towards being.  The journey is not about death, but death of the ego and the death of being only "one" separated out; it is the complete realization of the universe and of life, to be ultimately in equal interplay of which they become a powerful force.

As they go on their dangerous journey it seems they will be cut to pieces, crushed, and stabbed by circumstances and forces around them.  These are thoughts of which they are afraid.  The feathers from Spider Woman along with their own breaths and songs given to them by Little Wind get them through along with other supernatural aid such as from Rainbow Man, now the counterpart of Rainbow Woman who helped on this leap before.  The beauty of what has been given to them from Spider Woman does indeed help them through.  When their own songs do not work, in an episode in which seemingly happy and playful Water Bug People act like they are going to let the heroes cross water but instead surround them and refuse to let them pass, the heroes' hear a song being sung.  It is the feathers from Spider Woman singing next to their hearts.  After the songs, the heroes were then able to do as Little Wind said and blow the Water Bugs away with their renewed life forces.  The presence of what Spider Woman has supplied is a force of life that empowers their own.  In the very next moment they come upon where the large body of water meets the sky with the four sacred mountains and are told to recognize the first mountain as Mountain Woman and then the water as Water Woman.  In this important meeting place of earth and sky, where life meets the spiritual, the recognition is of the feminine in visible form and in it is a deep gratitude and a beholding of the beauty for what life holds.

On the water and yet in the sky is the Sun's House.  The Sun's daughter, like Nausicaa in The Odyssey, is young but moves to help them.  She will not only help them through the House of the Sun, but, like Nausicaa, will also assist them in their new identities.  Odysseus reveals his identity there in her father's house and then is ready to be helped home.  It is here where the twin heroes, coming close to their arrival with their father, the Sun, are tried in their character and substance.   Passing the "purification" with the help of the Sun's daughter and not being killed by poison with the help from an inchworm, among other passages, the twins are starting to take on their true identities:  being associating with their colors (and thus true natures), the older brother with black, the younger brother with blue.  The Sun's daughter's help extends later to being the one who shapes their new bodies and features to be her siblings like the Sun.  In this way she shapes their new way of physically being in the world.  This shows, then, that the feminine is a presence for the entire journey.  This is part of making it to the realization:  that there are indeed forces at work and that before, merely by themselves, the heroes had been limited and small.

Back on earth the feminine in these aspects will be realized and it will bring their world to life.  For not only has this journey been a trial to the House of the Sun for the heroes, it has also been a trial of that which is heroic of life itself, both male and female, thus making equal the feminine presence to now be recognized as the immense and very strong expression of life.  It will doubly be known as place as the point of origin of this supernatural life on earth.  It is to become the physical equivalent to all that has been realized in this supernatural help.  Here in the physical it is the earthly-universe seen as the goddess/mother and now also lotus/mountain which Campbell compares to Mount Sumeru of the Hindus that symbolizes the realization of these aspects in being.  This mount, in representation, is "shaped like a pyramid broken off at the summit" . . . a "vast four-petaled lotus of the world" where the "earthly universe being located within the goddess-mother at about the level of her waist.  In the lower portion of her body are the underworlds and in the upper the heavens" (Where 66-67).  It is the spiritually animated, always moving universe now seen alive where it could not be seen before.  What was physical before was just a body.  Now it is a fully alive universe working as a whole and knowable in these human passing and changing forms.  It is a complete transition from the imbalance that Campbell demonstrates in his lectures when he stated that:  "Modern culture has desanctified our landscape and we think that to go to the holy land we have to go to Jerusalem.  The Navajo would say, 'This is it, and you're it' (Goddesses 19).  Its aliveness has been beyond comprehension, yet not seen until these complete transitions of the psyche to seeing what is and what can be.  

The Western Dynamic

It is not in our western nature to be subservient to lessons that are seemingly simplistic and beneath us or to put in the time and grinding down necessary and this is another aspect that has to be rethought for these rites to be able to speak the unimaginable volumes that await.  It also shows why it is even more necessary.  While the initiates are being shown the heretofore unknown dynamics of their own inner workings that are tied to the natural way things work on the largest and smallest scales, there could be rejection because the initiate wants to do life a certain way, by his or her own choosing, to express individuality.  There is most definitely the personal dynamic that will complete the warrior, determining the strength of character and what is required for what Campbell calls the "leap" one must take for the adventure to be undertaken and the dynamics of what is to later come.  The leap is one's own life.  Campbell states the answer this way:

". . . a conformity with the deep sense of nature yields strength, victory, and wisdom.  But this sense of nature is not easily won . . . The problem, indeed, is to win to a zone beyond every thought of convenience and to become therein established; a zone past the battle prejudices of the demons and gods, where all will be understood in terms of the cosmic scope of the drama.  The hero . . .  returns thence for the purpose of playing his role, with a conception of its place in the total structure of the piece and confidence in its function . . . " (55).

Therefore the self has to be subdued or this point cannot be reached.  The personal dynamic plays a role in the execution beyond this coming to know the source of power and true identity.  It is in this way that Campbell says:

Since early ages, and throughout the world, it has been a function of myth and rite to bring the human mind and heart into concord with the mighty Will.  An individual or a community knowing such concord becomes—according to ancient wisdom—a conduit of world-renewing power (54). 

Next to this immense strength and the gained vigor through clear and unmistakable seeing, the individual will is substandard, minuscule, lost and weak and, according to the medicine man, doomed to a "short life" and furthermore, eaten away by anxieties and internal monsters that cannot be overcome.  The process shows:

It is one of the functions of rite and myth to bring the mind of the individual into concord with the total process, and this concord is joyfully experienced as a release from the deluding fears and hopes of one's particular ego.  An overconcern for this ego throws the individual off balance; he loses touch with the harmony of the whole; he becomes a monster of self-aggrandizement—but also of morbid terrors; for, in counter play against his disharmonious stress upon the fixities of his own existence-form, the energies of his primal deep, in fluid, titanic counterpoise, have been piling up against him.  By his very fear of them he has conjured them in full force against his way of life (86).

For the initiate warrior, however:

The hero of right mind and heart moves with the rhythm of destiny itself; his intention and full possibility of the moment are identical.  Time collaborates with his epoch-revealing course.  Through him the world-intention comes into human statement.  Thus Fate herself, the world mother, in control even of the movement of the sun, is patroness of his unerring action (64).

Navajo Transition

For this complete fullness to be realized the entire journey must be accomplished all the way from starting out on their own initiative to arriving at the father's recognition—and back.  Each step is important in itself because of how the initiate reacts to it and what is taken from it.  For Monster Slayer and Child Born of Water, one of the first of their trials is in encountering the monster Sand Dune Boy at the white sands, that as Campbell points out represents "the bounds of the living-realm of the Navajo.  Beyond is unknown.  Mythologically, Sand Dune Boy is here the world-guardian . . . Passing him, the heroes went beyond the limits of human control" (69).  How they get passed the first of four hills is that they sing and pray to the monster.  "As he had never been treated like that before, he let them go over the first hill."  In his discussion of The Odyssey and in relation to other Greek epics and tragedies, Campbell points out that this treatment of the other side with respect and humanity is "typically Greek" (Goddesses 155).  In the war-filled Iliad, he shows it is different, with degradation of the fallen, as it was in the war-filled Old Testament.  Campbell also points out that in the declaration of war in the Bhagavad Gita there can be no fear or desire because "That which no sword can touch, rain does not wet'" (qtd. in Goddesses 157).  This is how the twin heroes had gone past the monster in this internal knowledge.  The twin heroes here are assured in this and in their help in getting by.  In his commentary on Where Two Came to Their Father, Campbell shows, "Against those unfit for the passage the watchers on the horizon present an unsurpassable obstacle, but for the hero, birth-centered in the Mountain Around Which Moving Was Done, the passage is surprisingly simple" (69).

This is how they make it over the next consecutive three hills, numbering them, and this, importantly, is "where the first numbers were made . . . one, two, three, four; and since four was the last of these numbers, it is the most powerful" (37).  Rainbow Goddess is there to take them over the hills.  So as each of these tests are encountered, the heroes are demonstrating their own awareness, making it past a human barrier reserved for those ready, already are learning how to approach the situations, learning to recognize and accept help but of which they must be the propelling force, and are learning how things can flow.  Significantly, it is at this point where numbers get created and named—upon leaving the human realm and entering into the newly spiritual realm.  Thus they become significant spiritually.  This will also show the import of their own names that are obtained last and that they become the strength of four warriors.

While they increase in knowledge, they increase in ability in outward deeds, one enabling the other.  Of this Campbell wrote:

The songs and prayers to the monster showed that the heroes included in the field of their wisdom an understanding of the cosmic dignity of this guardian creature, had gone past him, that is to say, in their knowledge and thus were eligible to go past in deed (69).

Each step is indicative of "what they find without is a token of what they are realizing within" (69).  They begin passing obstacles that would be completely barred to lesser heroes—past the Reeds the Cut, the Rock the Clasps, the Cat Tail People that Stab, and the Water Bug People that close in on them before even the tests of the Sun.  What is more, they are destined to surpass the monsters outside of this trial because they know the "higher secret and thus demonstrates the mere mirage-character of the fears that limit life," internally becoming much more, and according to Campbell, it is destined this way, for the monster is "only an inferior aspect of the divine" (70) and sees only reflections and puts him or herself to killing that.  It is not the real the monster can see for this is the trial about distinguishing and becoming the real—trials and transformation the monster could never pass.  "It is the nature of monsterdom to mistake the reflection for the thing.  Displaced emphasis is the very sense of a monster's life.  Indeed, the monsters of the present tale were themselves conceived and born of displaced emphasis" (77).  

It is after all of the trials that the larger picture begins taking shape.  As the microcosm comes into balance within the initiate, the larger ramifications of the heroic deeds are magnified in energy and scope—the heroes do not receive their armor alone, they receive it with two Thunder People standing directly beside them and being dressed in their armor by the Sun, all four the same, now signifying the heroes' equal attributes with those of the Thunder People.  Even the statures of the heroes, whose muscles and physical features have been strengthened and enhanced, show that the change—while internal—is both knowable and visible. The heroes are being shown what they truly are now that they have left behind their smaller, weaker, limited perceptions.  When they are taken into a room of such dynamic, sparkling colors that "it was so strong that when you looked it could be for only a second" (45) it is clear that the transformation is beyond at which a human can look.  The presences of the Thunder People are powerfully intimidating—as the heroes' presences now are.  Their awarenesses fully opened, they are past their former limitations; they now know they, like the Sun, have these natural potent powers.  Jeff King is careful with the order as he describes the armoring:  

Sun told Black Thunder to stand on the left side of the elder brother and Blue Thunder to stand on the left side of the younger.  He brought in all the armor from the room and laid it on the ground.  Sun dressed Black Thunder first, in flint shoes and armor, then the older boy; then the Blue Thunder, and the other boy; until they all had flint shoes, caps and armor (46).

This specific order shows emphasis in what aspect is to be the center:  it is the more contemplative Blue younger boy dressed last.  The strongest point of this dynamic is to come from this deep state of able to gently be and able to reflect and calmly know—all attributes like that of "being born of water."  In the initiate of this ceremonial rite—who now has the strength and identity of all four warriors—this order and emphasis is to be understood.  It is this that could also possibly help make visible and understandable the apparent fully realized kindness and gentleness of the medicine man and his ceremonies.  His potent power and understanding is coming from a reflective, connected, inward place.  He is so fully aware of his place and his "counterparts" that his deep flows the deepest one can flow, complete with all of being.

While the heroes are now perceiving their counterparts and understanding a completely new realization of totality, in this is the dimension of all that is being counter-parted and compounded.  They are told by the Sun to stand for this on two buffalo rugs—showing the counterpart in their own world of the symbol of what is real in this spiritual realm.  After they are dressed in armor with the Thunder People, and in this order, now the Sun then gives them the internal token, their inward spirits, the younger brother coming last here also:

Sun took a jet image of a man, about four inches long; it could move but not talk.  Her put it in the older brother's mouth, to swallow; and the Sun held his hand on his chest and pressed it, so that it would stand straight within, and stay in this place.  He did the same with the younger brother, only the image was turquoise.  Sun said, 'From now on, this must never be done to people in this way.  But you can give them a small piece of jet, or turquoise, to swallow" (46).

Each step is a new recognition.  They are told to walk around to get used to their armor (and realized presences) directly before they are given their names—Monster Slayer then Child Born of Water.  This is the moment of realization of "This is who and what I am" with the deep awareness of how far it reaches.  There is now such a depth of being that this state is one of complete composure and assuredness—of both ability to action and the unsurpassable inner equanimity.  This is a state which is harmonious with all of being.  When they are leaving, they are four, also, as two more come: Reared Underground and Changing Grandchild, their dynamics and their colors, now with yellow and white, doubled.  The twin heroes are told:

'When you go down to earth and start killing the monsters, you must not do it without my permission.  And after you kill all the monsters, I will help you again.  Go outside and stand facing the east in single file.' The older brother said, 'That is what we wanted you to say, Father.' And the second brother said the same, only he addressed Sun as Grandfather (46).

Nothing has mattered but the transformation of their inner states and from this, there is no disorder.  It is the most powerful state of being.  Campbell describes it as, "the soul-manikins of their highest potency, the name-souls that have from all eternity awaited them in the mansion of the Father, their proper stature, their proper colors, their glorified, divine forms, are all now in their possession" (75).  While everything else has had to fall away for the transformation to be possible, orienting back into their own world is to be done in a harmonious way because it also has counter-parting:  their inner states have been the transformation so that they can see what is.  This is shown when they have to be able to identify the mountains of their world before re-entering.  They are now able to know themselves, their identities and understand their names, and likewise they must know the counterpart of this state of being.  They have to know which mountain is which because they will now come to identify with the standing and grounding of their own place in important ways:  Place, as Campbell states, is "acting upon us" in unseeable ways of being, stripping preconceived notions of dominance and the reliance on reason in ways of knowing, the elements moving strongly in their own way of influence: internally, on the psyche.  Place shows silently and over time how to be one with place and what they really are in relation to it.   Campbell describes the specific influence of the American Southwest when he says, "This is a tale built out of a wonderful interaction between the cactus-mesas, the great landscapes and colorations of the primeval silences of America, and the human soul" (62).  His descriptions show the deep and profound effect: 

The unchanging contours of the world of the Navaho few of us have known.  Mount Taylor, Black Rock, Black Water Lake, Blanca Peak, San Francisco Peak, and the La Plata Mountains do not confront us, night and day, with their unfathomable silences.  We do not hear the yelping of the disreputable coyote.  The varieties of lightning, rainbows, and thunder do not come before us as signals from an obscure, all-guiding power:  we have explained them mechanically; they are to us no more mysterious now than the universe itself (61). 

This unrecognized "world intention" has to be aligned the "human statement" in their actions.  It is internally the powerful place to act from.  This environment informs, sustains and protects their souls so that they do not act out of fears or desires of other outcomes.  Depths of being have been re-ignited and this alignment with place enlivens with its powers that eternally act deep in the psyche and across humanity with the powerful forces of that "forgotten dimension of the world we know" (Hero 217).  Their mountains naturally elevate to the skies, touching what is eternal and are also immovably grounded.  Its forces are alive and cannot be assumed to be empty:  all forces move together towards being on a different plane of existence that is aware and composed.  This realization, too, comes before action because it aids them.  As their own centers had to become known, so too their homes that will now resonate with the depth of connectedness and power.  By knowing their point of origination—back to being from the girl born of darkness and dawn and who has been in danger from "displaced emphasis" and its monsters, back to being born of the Sun and of moving water ("the field of highest energy" 72)—and all that that means—they know they are born to this place, time and role and all now have understood spiritual import, much larger than the former human ego or will. What they will bring to it is this creative/spiritual expression for which the soul has now been made ready.  With this is a grounding in imperturbability and an elevation—strength and centeredness like their own mountain, the lotus of the world, of which they now have been given literally for this expression:  the expression of all the world.  All of this has occurred before they will be handed their "weapons" or what can be seen as the tools necessary for their tasks which will now originate from the inside.  Little Wind tells them how to recognize and identify the four directional mountains first: the colors of the fog over each of the east, south, west, north, but it is the fifth mountain which is theirs.  Little Wind tells them its name and how to identify it:  "On Mountain Around Which Moving Was Done it will be sparkling fog; and tell him this is where you started from and are going back to" (47).  Tasks could easily become about "outside" for purposes other than from the center of being and then actions remain outside of this composure for this or that purpose, outside of working internally for finding yet another reason or thing to do because it appears to be pressing or important.  Going back to the center forms the keystone, the base of operating from a place that is not divided but is always the place where all things are entirely one.  They give the right answers and the Sun knows they are ready for their weapons, and what is more, on earth.  He now tells them:  "I will give you my wisdom before you go down.  You must always use it and hand it down, so that my wisdom will always be on the earth."  This is not a command but a release:  it will guide them in their expression to continually know the power and connectedness of all that they say, touch or do.  Their potency is given a direction.  It is now that the last act before leaving is that they "had a feather given to them by the Sun, and it was not like the one Spider Woman had given to them."  Whereas the first feather had been "a vehicle to the upper world" (70) to protect them and help them, the feather from the Sun signifies the transformation:  it is "converted energy, will clarified of mortality, life-dynamic entirely purged of earth-bound dross, now free to conduct the released spirit to its goal."  It signifies that the heroes are now "internally qualified" and ready and able to fulfill their destinies.  Their beings are mountains yet are also now a part of the skies, and are even the skies themselves.

There is balance and completeness in the microcosm, within the being who is now aware of the ramifications of such a state, and now so in the macrocosm as it always has been:  they are one and the same.  Medicine man Jeff King says, "The House of the Sun . . . is the same as Changing Woman's house" (78) and this realization puts all as one, with all of its potency:  they always have been together and were never separate, only in the mind.  Going back to their homes, then, is an all-powerful state.  As in place, also in time:  wherever they are, there is this totality and in every moment, for what is a ceremonial passage here across perceived time and space is actually "eternally and instantaneously present everywhere at every moment."  Action then takes on very different import and comes after all of this.  The roles to be fulfilled are first grounded in eternity.

Within this cosmological import Changing Woman's mountain with her "four-petaled" hogan becomes the world "lotus-mountain" (66-67) and their own centeredness and the home to which they will return takes on this new, now visible, vitality:  this central point "is the midpoint of the universe; they were born at the world navel itself, from the beginning perfectly centered in the form of their own and their people's destiny at the growing-point of all life" (67).  This is both figuratively and literally speaking.  This does not make them better than anyone, for this point is possible everywhere.  Their actions will now create life in new, unforeseen ways.  It opens up.  Through this internal transformation all is now centered and it is from that point from which there is harmony both inside and therefore in the works outside.  This center, which is first eternal and internal and which is the grounding of all things, had been tested again and again so that it had reached the point of knowing this first, required completeness.  They are expressions of the universe.  This is the entirely indestructible internal place—this "place of peace" or "place of safety or protection" to also be understood in their mountain, which is both in place and everywhere.  It is this that comes into alignment with other world thought and religions:  that state of complete awareness that unites all of humanity and from which harmony emanates.  It cannot emanate from any other center and this is why the twins are continually tested and have to know where they are returning before they are allowed to return.  The "return" is the completion of awareness, operating from that awareness, and stepping back into their roles in humanity.  As Campbell points out, not only is this "coming to the father" mythology common across time and cultures, this place of awareness is also common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity, in the book of Job², for example, and more evident in the Gnostic Gospels.³  This, then, lets the mountain take on its counterpart significance:  the place to which the heroes return and the point of centrality on earth "around which movement is done":  the center of eternal awareness given physical time and place.  For once the twin heroes have gained their internal stature, then physical, and are aware of this central counterpart in life:  the order and vitality of the universe is no longer empty or is animated and their roles and identities are no longer unknown or haphazard.  It is revealed as orderly and very much alive.

The Meeting of the Western Mind with the Navajo

The Emergence of the Feminine in The Odyssey and in Navajo Myth

The question then, with the greatest similarities being common to humanity and being central to harmony, comes back to what is different about the American Southwest and its mythology that would have caused it to die off and not previously been strong and influential, although many of the great minds such as Joseph Campbell fell in love with its mystery early on.  Just like in its legend of "coming to the father," in American consciousness the new identity has been impossible; it has not been able to exist as an understandable thought—it did not leave its place of origination to come to know.  Therefore, it cannot see its own mountains.  It does not know home.  It does not know its winds.  It does not know its own internal voice or listen to the movements of its winds or oceans.  (In fact it defiles its winds and oceans precisely because it does not know them.)  It does not know itself.  Monsters of rationalization and broken refractions exist.  There is complete disharmony.  Southwestern mythology looks empty in this view, and play-acting, like the doll.  Like the landscape, it looks stark, unrelenting, inanimate, and empty.  It is this young American cultural viewpoint that indeed would have to take the trial of arriving, at all cost, to the Southwestern "Sun" and be stripped of previous conceptions of self and identity internally.  (This can be said to have begun in the reality-redefining of the World Wars and in subsequent pride- and identity-confusing wars such as Vietnam and the Korean War.)  Southwestern mythology itself had to undergo a cultural stripping of identity—tested completely in its endurance—but then clearly demonstrating that which of it is eternal that cannot die:  the spirit and its connectedness to all things, which is vastly more important than to have survived the American brutality, economy and imagination, which is indeed rough child's play—or the trials of the father (depending upon the arrival).  Importantly, the western mind has not been able to fully romanticize Southwestern mythology in the imagination or incorporate it into a constructed, inanimate identity.  It has remained untouchable, eternal, and out of the reaches because its depths have been heretofore unrecognizable and unidentifiable.  It was only partially and sub-standardly profitable with European/North American culture having little to no idea of what was possible.

What Southwestern mythology also does is return to the female.  In a discussion on male/female cultural imbalance in the Iliad (which Campbell points out as male-dominated) and the Odyssey (rebalancing with the female powers), Campbell writes, "We're thrown out of the normal life, because something is missing—namely, a proper relationship of the male to the female" (Goddesses 162).  He states that there must needs be "the visionary journey of reintegration of the male and female into a reciprocal relationship" "what I call an androgynous relationship—in which the male and female meet as co-equals" (161).  In his commentary on Where the Two Came to Their Father, he writes of this in Southwestern mythology in particular:

But in many Southwest tales the guide is the voice of Spider Woman.  Indeed, it is difficult to draw a line between the range of her assistance and that of Little Wind.  He is, so to speak, one of her agents; or again, he is the essence of her guidance, but in a concentrated potency; as though the masculine character of Little Wind and the female of Spider Woman were two aspects of the one male-female path.  This path lies under the brothers' feet.  Everything in the world represents the interworking of the two.  In all the Navajo rites it is male corn and female corn, male prayerstick and female prayerstick, male feathers and female feathers; the two are everywhere present, the two are in all things.  A Navajo singer told Miss Oakes he had been taught that both the sun and the moon were both male and female.  And the brother heroes, though they are spoken of as masculine, are really both male and female; they are both of the male and female colors [black, blue, yellow, white].  It is a powerful trait of Southwest mythology, this recognition in everything of the equal interplay of the two.  One thinks of the Chinese Yang and Yin.  One thinks of the Hindu "Lord" and "Shakti."  That final Void—or All—which is beyond all pairs of opposites cannot be male, cannot be female; is both Both and Neither; is neither Both nor Neither.  But in the realms of manifestation the two are equally present.  One may even conceive of the highest manifestation as androgynous, male-female.  Or one may split the highest manifestation into the two, equally potent, equally effective; but potent and effective only in cooperation, antagonistic cooperation, as an electric change is potent because of the interplay of positive and negative poles (78).  

The twin heroes are not given their "lightning arrows, spears, and weapons" until they are back in place:  which would be this charge of both the male and female creating the potency of lightning, only available now in the realm of manifestation.³  They now have both the male/spiritual and female/earth potency, the electricity of life.  While they have not yet returned home, as they have a deed to carry out with their new powers, to that center is where they are going.

The Problems of Combining the Two in the Superficial Situation

Now having been shaped and burned into spiritual substance by the trials, returning to their world is necessary to complete their journeys, to be complete and to complete their world by bringing the Sun and the realizations and identities home where they are most necessary to an incomplete and inanimate world.  There is, however, an immediate, pressing danger before returning home that is a symptom of the imbalance and the disharmony and that must be killed and that they are now able to take on.  Because illusion reigns, the Giant Monster is able to exist and feed on the fears and desires of this disharmonious "displaced emphasis" in a world that has lacked knowing what is real.  Giant Monster cannot see these things that are eternal as the heroes have become in their trials; although he is also a son of the Sun, he does not know himself nor can he see substance—ever.  It has no meaning or existence to him, only illusion matters because that is how he has his appetite and power.  He only sees the heroes' reflections and outlines and he tries to kill that—how they appear to be.  He only sees these appearances—like what is seen in a mirror, or at looking at the inanimate doll and not knowing the difference.  He thinks they are "pretty."  The heroes think he is "large."  Giant Monster does not want the world balanced, he wants all the power and to be the only one, to dominate, even though he is illusion and rationalization on the inside also.  Being fear and desire itself, he actually breeds fear, desire and discontent.  Giant Monster will fight for the illusion of himself, no matter what the cost.  This monster is an external expression of the imbalance that has been bred internally, now externally evident.  To kill this monster is to take out the ideology that enables crushing life into an inert form and refusing, based on self, the powerful circle of growth and new way of being.  

When the heroes return home, the realization will be brought full circle.  In this completion, the sexes will be co-equal in their tasks—that of the heroes, the guiding of Spider Woman, the created place of origination of Changing Woman, and of the place that is their home that encapsulates both the sky and the earth.  Home is to be a fully realized mountain—both on the ground and elevated, which gives birth to life with this new understanding of what they came to know in the House of the Sun and what they will now know in the House of Changing Woman.  The female element has importantly been present all along, as the origination point and as a guiding force.  As Campbell writes, "The hero brothers were severely tried, but, with every aspect and agent of the female principle working counter miracles in their favor, they survive" (74).  This makes all in one accord with the entire universe and evokes a previously unknown harmony in all things emanating from this center.  Not only in themselves, but now in their home and mountain that indeed would be incomplete without them and the Sun.  

To get there, they have to know how to battle the illusions.  It is most important that the heroes stay centered in the complete knowledge of oneself as eternity (for which they have been given their feathers from the Sun) when they reenter the world of which dissonance has imbalanced the harmony.  Within them all illusions have been shattered and they know their identity with the Sun.  The centeredness and the direction it is heading is now going to be tested as illusion.  The tools and instructions they are given, then, when they leave the Sun and arrive at Hot Springs on Mount Taylor where Giant Monster lives are specific in how to operate in order to end the power and threat of this monster.  They are at a source of life:  waters coming up from the ground and they are on a sacred mountain.  Here they are not represented in their black and blue, but in their yellow and white:  both male and female.  Each sacred mountain is protected by a rainbow.  These are all things that the heroes can trust in.  They are given thunderbolts that shatter illusion and flint knives to cut to the heart of things and to also plant in the ground to stop the flow of the monster's life-force, his blood that cannot be allowed to pour forth (in mis-leading thought or further rationalization).  They are to stay centered (using their feathers from the Sun) when thunder arrows are shot at them by the monster, but then they are to make sure to collect those that have been thrown at them that were intended to dispel themselves as illusions—but they are of substance now and they must show it by dispelling that attempt at making them anything less than real.  Seen in this sense as a spiritual warfare, they have to avoid illusion, then pick it up to take away its power.  They have to wait for the Sun to shatter illusion, always speaking just subtly enough.  To the monster, there is something immediate that must stop everything; the heroic spirit, on the other hand, listens to the power and strength of the internal voice.  The arrows flung are aiming at fears or hopes, which if they exist need to be gone.  They are limited and tiny compared to what is.  The heroic spirit is already become eternal and knows the direction towards the center.  The heroes know that there is strength and power in the songs.  The Sun is the reminder of the larger life eternal rising daily; the Moon, the changing life, becoming again, the nights of transformation, what is required to get there.  The heroic leads to knowing home.  They then do it themselves, first Monster Slayer, the hero of action, and then Child Born of Water in his ability to establish what is real.  Cutting to the heart also means firmly planting their tools, the flint knives, in the ground where it will stop the flow of misguided, unfounded thought with real actions and these will grow into elevation—like small exalted mountains.  They are to destroy the flint cap, that firm resolution to illusion in the mind of the monster, that has been armor on the monster's head by taking away any thought that this holds truth.

Their roles now are done within this state of oneness.  Although they are not the identity of this role, the hero "returns for the purpose of fulfilling his role—whether he seem to be the neighbor to be fair or foul—is the True Son, The Emissary.  Such is the view represented in the mythologies of all peoples."  What then ensues is much greater than could have been realized by the heroes on their own.  Staying centered is the grounding of the battle, as the "hero of the highest virtue shall become the vehicle of highest energy" (55).  Staying centered means not thinking of appearances or illusions, of things made up, or of planned outcomes, but keeping to the tools and insights they are given to follow through on shutting down the force of the monster to prey on these things—if the fears and desires are not there, they cannot be preyed on.  These directions are specific in order to get them through and for them to then know life in its realness: on the other side of this. 

The types of weapons and the order for which the battle is to take place reveals that the heroes have to be centered in eternity but headed towards home, armed with both the ability to shatter appearances by actions, and also at the ready with what must be done that will grow and affirm complete life.  Campbell states,

A transcendent resolution of the counter play is the implication of all myth, but the myth itself can reveal only the ground forms of the dissonance to be resolved.  It remains for the the initiate to leap, in his own experience, past the limitations of the antipodal, self-contradictory statement to some unifying realization.  He will then bear in his own hands, left and right, the thunderbolt and the healing balm, as well as in his heart the knowledge of when and how to employ them.  He will then have become the competent agent of the Lord of the World (75).

In a world where the mirror of life—art—had even taken on illusion and the real not seen through it, no longer a conduit of what is eternal but mirroring what was ego, and where then popular belief was the source of dissonance and not unity, centeredness could not be known and had no place.  The necessity of the heroes is then obvious.  The pollen paintings from this Navajo ceremony carry the power of the medicine men, and thus are the acts and creations from their own knowledge of the Sun and their actions out of that center—but they could not be created if the medicine man had no knowledge of the Sun and his own identity and then role in the eternal.  The paintings could not be created or act powerfully out of a center of "self."   This is also why the Giant Monster will be taken down, because that imbalance of ego is a restriction of consciousness that withholds the life to be fully known on the mountain that creates from its powerful center harmony that enables the generation of life in all its forms.

One real life example of this kind of monster is what Jeff King mentions when he is telling of the legends.  He compares Giant Monster to Hitler (who was still alive at the time of giving these ceremonies in 1943).  Seeing not human lives but appearances and something to gain and acting out of extreme self-interest, Hitler played off of the view that the Treaty of Versailles was an injustice against Germany and won popular support.  (Scholars do agree that the treaty was harsh in holding Germany accountable.)  Blaming financial devastation of WWI on "others," even within his own country, he was able to convince through propaganda that there should be only "one" special race of people and everyone else should be killed.  World War II took the lives of over 55 million people, but his goal during these deaths was to steal and hoard the world's greatest art for himself—art he could not actually "see"—with its depictions of the passing pricelessness of life.  What is surprising is that this medicine man would be aware of the ego monstrosity that at the time of these ceremonials was causing this damage in human history and that he was also aware that Hitler could not see anything but appearances and illusions—at all cost.

It is the essence of being that makes all the difference.  Navajo Singer Jeff King shows this when he points out the important difference between the spiritual readiness of Changing Woman when she conceives of Monster Slayer and Child Born of Water and that of the impetuous girl who births Giant Monster.  The monsters are complete "ego-indulgence" and this is what they are born from:  from the ego-indulgence and impatience of girls who only seek to satisfy themselves and, what is more, also seek to hide this.  "They think this will remain forever hidden and without result, but they are wrong.  For nothing remains without result.  The fruit of wrong accent . . . is wrong accent seven fold" (87).  Giant Monster is the fifth monster born, making it a spiritual question:  It, too, is conceived of the "truant" Sun, but the readiness is all.  The moment of meeting the Sun is completely different in "her spiritual attitude toward the unnatural-supernatural experience" (87).  The mother of Giant Monster is described as "impudent" and "ritually unprotected," showing she had no concern for the transitions of becoming.  For Changing Woman, however, Campbell describes that she "in her turn—properly composed in body and soul, ritually prepared to meet the power of the shining heavens, chaste as the buds of blossoming spring, and innocent as the lotus of the world—would conceive of the holy light."  This movement within the mythology of Changing Woman is very similar to other world mythologies that show that the essence of being, in the readiness, brings the spiritus mundi into motion:

The world of human life is now the problem . . . the field of consciousness so contracts that the grand lines of the human comedy are lost in a welter of cross-purposes.  Men's perspectives become flat, comprehending only the light-reflecting, tangible surfaces of existence.  The vista into depth closes over.  The significant form of the human agony is lost to view.  Society lapses into mistake and disaster.  The Little Ego has usurped the judgement seat of the Self.

This is a myth in a perpetual theme, in the voices of the prophets a familiar cry.  The people yearn for some personality who, in a world of twisted bodies and souls, will represent again the lines of the incarnate image.  We are familiar with the myth from our own tradition.  It occurs everywhere, under a variety of guises.  When the Herod figure (the extreme symbol of the misgoverning, tenacious ego) has brought mankind to the nadir of spiritual abasement, the occult forces of the cycle begin of themselves to move.  In an inconspicuous village the maid is born who will maintain herself undefiled of the fashionable errors of her generation:  a miniature in the midst of men of the cosmic woman who was the bride of the wind.  Her womb, remaining fallow as the primordial abyss, summons itself by its very readiness the original power that fertilized the void (Hero 308).  

The literal translation of Changing Woman's name is "A Woman She Becomes Time and Again" (62).  Because she is "warmly human" she is "much closer to us than Mother Earth, the cosmic female."  According to Campbell,

She encompasses all the mystery and paradox of the coming of eternity into the net of change.  She is the transmuter, changing timelessness into time.  She is the fluidity of life, the Heraclitean flux, the ever-ripping Veil of Becoming, changing the white light of Unchanging Being into the colors of the living world (63).

She spiritually brings life into life.  The deeds are very different between the conceiver of Giant Monster, whose breeding of ego seeks to feed on life.  The results of Changing Woman's state of being leads to a very different existence:

Changing Woman's deed would return to harmony the earth thrown into dissonance by the departure, in primeval times, from the pollen path of beauty.  The fruit of her womb would restore by its perfection the concord of the world . . . And her warrior sons would be so centered in the image of perfection that they would be fit to represent the justice of the father; the deadly flight of the lightning arrows would destroy the rugged brood of selfishness without precipitating any new disorder.  Their arms would be the arms of cosmic law; their deeds not for self-aggrandizement, but for the establishment on earth of the way of beauty.

. . . it is the way of supernal beauty.  It is the full harmony of the soul made visible and available to the intellect (87).

The symptoms of internal dissonance are destructive beginning on the inside, making "place" inside or outside impossible.  Place outside radiates from inside.  Monsters appear to impose illusion and close off the realization; to instead draw one in to those illusions, to take over what the hero knows is real.  Any hopes or fears are of the hero being trapped in childhood where the landscape was previously unknown and was unable yet to make the necessary transformative journey towards what is real instead of safe, to be relied-on, and make-believe.  The hero has to know the internal voice so well as the weapons of the monster of illusion cannot hit and also perform illusion-dispelling actions.  The monster, because unrealized, appears because of the "special vitality" that the heroic must come into through the hard internal journey.  The monster has sensed the opportunity in the heroic from the first moment of learning about its existence.  That opportunity and vitality belongs to the heroic, but the journey has to be taken to know it and to understand what it is and how things work to return with this change.  This is one reason Hitler hoarded art with its ability to point towards expressing the inexpressible, to obtain by lesser means (instead of the hard internal journey) the ability and triumph that the art represents—that which has continually risen above circumstance to create; to unrightfully claim "art's eternal victory over the human situation."  He then, out of emptiness, overwhelming fear and desire, seeks to have "strict surveillance" over the heroic spirit (67) that can live and create and "aware of [his] own portended doom, move[s] immediately against" it.  This is the dissonant force that pushes the heroic to actualization from the internal force that wells inside.  It moves the heroic towards the transformation, more towards the center of everything, more towards the center of being and of home, which are all one.  The supernatural also compels towards this center, towards wholeness and towards life.  The feminine moves towards rebalance because it is the vitality of the expression of life.  The transformation makes the difference between actually being able to see and know what is alive, authentic and untouchable that has been made real within the heroes which only then can become visible in their deeds.  It also marks the difference of why the heroes can only move forward in a centered and healing way.

This also shows how internal dissonance leads to extreme disorder outside of it.  The heroic act, then, is, first in internal harmony with the realization, in one's own life moving past the "gate guardians" in understanding.  This means understanding the illusions self-created and given power by any conjured fears, hopes or desires and once those fears and hopes are recognized in understanding, then able to move past in deed.  In this movement and direction, the heroic is assisted.  It is internally speaking that the journey is taken, and then in one's own life.  These illusions first within one's own mind, once surpassed, allows what is real (which speaks far more subtly than fears and desires), by listening, to establish the internal voice of what is centered and how to get there.  Qualified then, as no human would have been before, to move beyond this point, as can be seen, it is done through acts of the heroic now made eternal.  Any personal demand of itself before this would have been stopped before it reached this point—nor would it have been assisted--it would never have made it this far.  The process is where "one by one the resistances are broken.  He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty, and life, and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable (Hero 108).  The "gate guardians" into the final state are testers of completion of this:  one cannot be crushed if only the spirit and the natural world still exists.  These guardians are testers on coming the furthest that one can come in becoming whole.  This is how they are "the watchdogs" of the gods.  The monsters on earth, on the other hand, prove their ability to operate out of such a state that has now been realized.  Stepping back into the body and into the role of being, these encounters have the effects to bring this harmony into the world. 

Moving from Duality

The medicine man doesn't pose as an "artist" of these pollen paintings or invent symbols to further his ego or agenda.  He doesn't choose a place and try to give it significance.  He doesn't spend his time and energy posing as a medicine man for self-aggrandizement.  He starts at the point of origination and tells of the heroes' transformation and return to that center.  He gives this power in his words.  Everything he creates is from this center and is powerful and real—and also healing.  His creation of place is internal and thereby his mountain is real, inside and out—both soulful and on the ground.  He is one with it as his place of being.6  It is the center and originating point of creation.  This powerfully incorporates the spiritual and the supernatural in a real and knowable way.  The mountain then becomes the true world navel, the beginning of life and all things lead home.

The female symbol of true being that has this power to "throw off shadow and be reborn" like the moon, night, creation and all of life, "which this world navel represents," is able to demonstrate the internal process of this deep and knowable transformation and bring it to life itself in interplay with the masculine.  It is done in the "dark of night," in the deep recesses of the soul, where the earth meets the sky, in the internal creative process of oneself and creation.  It is then left to the heroic will, always balanced, aided by all the forces at work.  It is an internal harmony and force that generates privately and close to the heart its continuance and labor towards life, but its revelations are life itself.  It protects and heals and makes the transformations of life possible, it brings them about, then visible in the transformation and in the heroic.  By her, things invisibly become whole.  Her heart secretly loves a warrior, that infinite expression of life in its fullness.  One can know her love by her actions.  

Differently, In western culture the symbols have been about the afterlife instead of life in order to control life now, instead of going the hard road of getting past this illusion.  This is a complete diminishment of all that is.  This is the state of the hero before the journey.  Feminine symbols have remained in utero, visibly frozen in time for five thousand years as purity and as temptress—which are not feminine but controlled "restrictions of consciousness" (Hero With a Thousand Faces 121) that cause one not to see past the surfaces of humans into the All.  It is the thought that the problems "are the fault of some unpleasant someone else" (122).  Out of fear, the culture disallowed the transformation of the feminine into harmonious, centered vitality thus capable of life and creative power that sustains and builds life on a higher, spiritually-infused plane because it would seemingly limit the reach of the male ego.  In this view, the feminine is something to be surpassed to get to life beyond life (122).  This, too, shows, that the hero has not yet been through the internal journey towards enlightenment to all things and therefore cannot truly live.  He does not recognize his own existence; he is also unable to know the feminine.  The male image, the trials of life of the journey to the father, as in Christianity, are seen in western thought as to be put off until later for everyone else, to be experienced in death and there is little comprehension towards the realization being right in this moment.  Both male and female images remain waiting the hard transitions of each into moving vitality with the feminine guiding towards All that is, guiding towards powerful life.  When steps towards transition are made, as in the Navajo legend, on either and both parts, forces are there to immediately move in assistance towards that goal.  As Campbell points out, it is an initiation on the part of the female as well as the male (Goddesses 161).  Changing Woman, like Penelope, has had to go into hiding and to come out, she as well must become one with all that is.     

The thing to be brought to life by both is the center, brahman, "life consciousness of which we are all manifestations" (Goddesses 29).  Life moves towards the harmonious whole.  This is the diamond, the lotus, the center past the gate guardians (those former threats of how grand and powerful illusion and displaced emphasis were that had to be dispelled first on the inside to move beyond them), but centering himself to return, and she herself towards being in eternity, and the whole by both their actions, is already in creation—expectant and moving—and this cannot not be—it is already in motion and ALL forces working towards it.  It was in motion from their births, even thousands of years before their births with nothing out of order.  When the heroes are centered, both male and female, the energetic, propelling forces are able to move and assist towards this new way of being.  The heroic acts, the vitality, then brings it to fruition.  This is the transformative movement harmoniously required to reach "the thing itself" (Goddesses 29). 

The Fall in the Garden was into duality (Goddesses 185) and thus illusion but the return shows not illusion, but transformation, and thus the heroic realized in action, both what was seen and what was not seen in the process of coming face to face with the nature of all existence.  This is what the transition is for:  the change it creates and what it makes possible now in the field of place and time.  Four thousand years of matriarchy, with an alive universal goddess gave way to a journey of five thousand years of the heroic.  Arriving here after many bloody and tumultuous wars to get here, it is now met in our time with a possibility of the return of the heroic from its journey and to what has been a hidden, silenced feminine.  The role of the feminine, of art and artists, and of medicine men is to guide to growth and life much larger than what has been perceived.  The transformation is not intended to be death—although one must come face to face with the eternal—but to guide the growth and change that has to happen:  the process of becoming, the power of being, then of powerful ability to create to be moved with this vitality.  The entire basis of western thought is also, importantly, that of awaiting the return.   There is no story without completing the circle wherein life and the eternal triumphs in place and time, in the moment of realization.  The efforts are always towards life in its complete aspect, visible in its arrival.  It is then that those efforts of the feminine, artists, medicine men of protecting and guiding life become knowable and are realized as expressions of all that is.  What is important is that they move in this vital way.  What has been done in the quiet recesses is what brings about this immense change to being.  It cannot have been accomplished anywhere else than in the private recesses.  In his commentary Campbell writes it

is not an easy thing to be gained; is not to be hit upon in occasional moments of silent prayer or edifying reading; is not to be spilled out for mass consumption in public places . . . The mysterious deep within the protean cell, the germinal glow therein, the fire that brings forth, preserves, and annihilates existences (88). 

Known for oneself, then, powerfully, the expressions are not visible through illusion, but through strong and substantial acts from the soul that transform and generate composure, strength, wisdom, deeper insight and celebration of being.  This is the way of and movement towards "human wholeness, which for millenniums have been held the most treasure of the possessions of man" (88).

Campbell points out that in the world of The Iliad, there is complete imbalance with war and degradation of the feminine—both are usurpation of life in the field of time because ego has covered up the eternal as controllable.  The journey taken in the The Odyssey, like that in Where Two Come to Their Father, is a rebalancing of the feminine principle (Goddesses 178) with the feminine acting as "revelatory power" (179) towards the world soul that has become unknown.  The masculine takes the journey that transforms all of his understanding of himself and all that is to bring it back.  Campbell writes, "The effect of the successful adventure of the hero is the unlocking and the release again of the flow of life into the body of the world" (Hero 40).  Changing Woman cannot live without the illusion being dispelled, as Penelope cannot:  existence is death, war, power, fear, desire, degradation, and control.  Once coming face to face with the father, thus all of eternity:

 . . . the hero as the incarnation of God is himself the navel of the world, the umbilical point through which the energies of eternity break into time.  Thus the World Navel is the symbol of the continuous creation:  the mystery of the maintenance of the world through that continuous miracle of vivification which wells within all things" (Hero 41).

This is his return to the mountain.  What was not seen—life in all things—moves into being; what was seen moves into internal transformation for the harmonious rebalancing required to know and experience existence in all its fullness.  The feminine is the revelatory force because she is the expression of All in place and time. The feminine principle assists towards and reveals brahman, just as Spider Woman and the Sun's daughter assist towards the Sun, but then it all also moves towards life: the awaiting Changing Woman.  One half cannot be known without the other.

During the war between good and evil in the Kena Upanisad, Campbell points out, the goddess shows what Atman-Brahman is (Goddesses 179).  Campbell says these two texts, The Odyssey and the Kena Upanisad rebalance the female principle and that is what is necessary.  Imbalance causes illusion to take over.  Maya (or Uma) is the guide for the gods to spiritual knowledge beyond all power.  With the eternal understanding, everything can come to life.

The story takes on new understanding upon the return, that for which Changing Woman and Penelope have been holding on.  The female is a much deeper revelation than she was before:

 . . . the Church very carefully distinguishes between the worship of God and the veneration of the Virgin.  She is still human; yet in the fact that she is human and achieved such sublime realization, she actually represents a higher Bodhisattva symbol than the divine Christ himself (Goddesses 187). 

This is because it is brought to life where it is desperately needed in place and time and realization, where everything was defeat before.  The journey, where they also came into alignment with their own internal voices, will not be complete and harmony not possible until they have returned to their home, their point of origination, the physical center and manifestation of the spiritual center: identifiable in the reunion with the female "Changing Woman" and their mountain.  They will not know that "something that was missing" until they get home and know it face to face in person, a complete circle, completed from being face to face with the father.  To stay with the father would have been imbalanced, as it was imbalanced in identity before they left.  It all has to be made one.

Much has been written about the pivotal internal, creative role that Penelope plays In The Odyssey providing the base and frame of the transformative epic poem along with Athena, Hermes, and others that centers the structure to make visible the powerful, life-potent, creative forces at work that would under normal circumstances be invisible—as supernatural and internal forces as images normally are.  Metaphor gets frozen as fact in this way because the internal process is not recognized.  Penelope's creation process is also along the lines of this supernatural activity because of the depth of the center from which it is forced and from where it must come.  This draws attention to the fact that creative work, like pregnancy, is done in the deepest recesses of the body, and here, spirit.  In Where Two Came to Their Father, the legend of Changing Woman is often accompanied by Talking God and the arrangement of such suggests a way to view the effects of her presence that would not be recognized if she appeared solely in person—and was mistook as merely "female."  This "two aspects of the one male-female path" shows both a spiritual entity present and a person in body form.  An equivalent to this is a creative work that speaks without the person being present.  As the Navajo Medicine Woman and Dreamer so aptly stated, "No such thing art.  It's spirit."  Making the internal recognizable is the very purpose of conveying the rites and stories, to give presence of the internal and make it external.  The steps of creation are first and foremost internal, with the then heroic leap to creation.  It is then knowable as the external spirit in which they appear.


This internal center, this "place of peace" is externally equal to the center, the external male and female in balance and the mountain "around which moving is done" in the physical world.  So not only is it a "place of peace," first internally, it is knowable and identifiable on earth in their reintegration with the female.  This is done in the return, the coming home.  In the Odyssey as Campbell shows in two different books, Where Two Came to Their Father and Goddesses, it is the combination of forces guiding back to the reintegration with the co-equal female, all forces moving towards this profound, resonant center.

While the going was of utmost importance, upon the return, all four directions, all four winds become of vast vitality and importance.  Within, and now so without.  Previously self-centered and holding static to oneself, now actually centered, the directions emanating out take on great significance.  The Little Wind which in microcosm is "the breath of life" is now also the "four winds of the four quarters" the "manifestation of this vital principle" (77).  It is the breath of which the body and the world is animated, a vital ocean of breath, moving in both, alive and able.  The female, place, and earth, like the twin heroes, are centered and balanced upon the return.7  The movement from disharmony to this powerful way of being, the transition can cause major change but opens what was frozen into movement.  Campbell writes:

The conclusion of the childhood cycle is the return or recognition of the hero, when, after the long period of obscurity, his true character is revealed.  This event may precipitate a considerable crisis; for it amounts to an emergence of powers hitherto excluded from human life.  Earlier patterns break to fragments or dissolve; disaster greets the eye.  Yet after a moment of apparent havoc, the creative value of the new factor comes into view, and the world takes shape again in unsuspected glory.  This theme of crucifixion-resurrection can be illustrated either on the body of the hero himself, or in his effects upon the world (Hero 329).   

Any action now is completely different from before and it is at this point of realization that the warriors are handed their weapons.  Campbell likens it to what is stirred in the "mysterious deep . . . when men are prepared to love or prepared to go forth to war"—now not guided by rationalizations for "rationalizations are reflected images, it is for monsters to mistake them" (88).  Action instead will come from this center that is both within and without.  Grounded in place and in seeing the totality, during this ceremony the initiate is made a pollen painting—at dawn.  Whatever the action, it is now done with the understanding of a medicine man who has a creative soaring soul and knows home.

The Talisman

As Campbell shows in his portrayal of the return of the heroic, there is the problem of returning to the world of common day and of monsters and disbelievers after this journey to at-one-ment and of the particular challenges that in the realm of humans seems nearly impossible to bring back what one has realized.  The time "gone" or hidden out of view can be marked as time as creating, practicing and coming to know—that place within the artist or the medicine person of becoming and of giving oneself to his or her handiwork.  In the expanse of time that the heroes have been gone—and the feminine and universal forces hard at work and the female (and artists) of time and place enduring, protecting and creating "in a room of her own," it appears that what has happened has taken place merely on the mundane level, in a room writing or practicing piano, for example.  That it has not been merely the mundane is key to the transition into the light of day and it is the key to the heroic—for only the hero will actually hold the key.  In folk tales, this is a talisman like a ring brought from the other side, proving where the soul has been.  In the Navajo it is a pollen painting that witnesses the healing and transition and brings the power back with its condensation of the power and vitality of the natural world.  But how is one to communicate in normal terms, in common daylight, this time spent with the wildly active and immense cosmic ocean?  What is the key and the talisman that one will hold after "plumbing the depths" or as the poet Adrienne Rich wrote of it, "Diving Into the Wreck" when she wrote: " . . . the thing I came for:/ the wreck and not the story of the wreck/ the thing itself and not the myth/ the drowned face always staring/ toward the sun . . . "  It is not to bring back the story of how one searched for the wreck, for there are a million stories just like it, but what one actually found.  And since it cannot be put into words and only creations, it has to take the form of that which is, like a newborn baby "a wonder whose origin is not known."

Where the heroes have been is in that realm where "the heart has long been beating before the brain invents a reason for its pulse" and now it has to come into place and time seemingly into a world that, on that mundane level, seeks to consume and destroy what has been learned because it is the most priceless realization and is the key to living and creating.  What has actually happened, while it seems as if time and place were suspended or not suspended and appeared as the mundane, has been the creation of something new that now will come to life, its origin from these deepest recesses and in that, identifiable of where one has been.  The work is the talisman.  No biography necessary, at least very little, for as Campbell shows, "the hero is champion of things becoming, not of things become, because he is" (Hero 243).  The identity now is not limited to the superficial.

A first consideration is that the place one has been has been an unseeable cosmic place, set aside from normal activity and suspended from time and place that does not need to be documented as a physical visit nor an absence from the commonplace.  The important factor is that the heroic has explored that dimension (217).  The story "on earth" does not need told, but what does happen is the bringing back of a talisman from that other realm that proves what is where one has been.  This is done in that creation of something new informed and enlivened by that place that one has now seen.  This journal, Books of the Southwest, for instance, is the talisman of years in absence reading books and writing that no one may have noticed.  It has been a creation of something new, a gestation of a birth of oneself that is not reliant on story of self or biography.  Where I was may be documentable as Texas and New Mexico, but where I was is actually only recognizable in the words formed together in these articles that stand as rendering of what was seen in that exploration of that which is the universal, the whole, the tremendous, alive and well, and in this, the return, the creation of something new and its coming to life in my arms so much so that I look at it and think of Leslie Marmon Silko's words, "she's so beautiful I don't know what to do."  My heart was very aware of where I was in that time—five years or 44, or eternally, however one wants to describe it.  What is identifiable, even as a person and not just in this writing, is that a new place of origin—outside the rational mind—is evident and thus becomes evident in all that is.  The talisman is in the creation, in being able to write.

Shiloh Richter

April 7, 2015

Sierra Blanca Mountains, Alto, New Mexico, Home of the Apache Legend of White Painted Woman who gave birth to Child of Water and Killer of Enemies



1.  Campbell writes of Odysseus' "succession of divestitures as he goes into the abyss" in Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine, Collected Lectures, p. 163.
2. Campbell quotes Job (Quoted in Hero With a Thousand Faces, Job 40:7-14 and continuing here with verses 15-24) as an example of "coming to the father" but added here for this essay is the continuation of the verses which demonstrate the immediate following internal place of peace or "the hidden place" both inside the Behemoth and outside in the description of place.  This is acquired afterward in the direction from God.  Beginning in verse 15 this place is described as the Behemoth standing in the river Jordan: “Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you declare to me. 8 Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? 10 “Deck yourself with majesty and dignity; clothe yourself with glory and splendor. 11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger, and look on all who are proud, and abase them. 12 Look on all who are proud, and bring them low; tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 Hide them all in the dust together; bind their faces in the world below.[a] 14 Then I will also acknowledge to you that your own right hand can give you victory. 15 “Look at Behemoth, which I made just as I made you; it eats grass like an ox. 16 Its strength is in its loins, and its power in the muscles of its belly. 17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are knit together. 18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like bars of iron. 19 “It is the first of the great acts of God—only its Maker can approach it with the sword. 20 For the mountains yield food for it where all the wild animals play. 21 Under the lotus plants it lies, in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh. 22 The lotus trees cover it for shade; the willows of the wadi surround it. 23 Even if the river is turbulent, it is not frightened; it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth. 24 Can one take it with hooks[b] or pierce its nose with a snare? Footnotes: Job 40:13 Heb the hidden place; Job 40:24 Cn: Heb in his eyes." New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
This quote is also the numbers spelling "Shiloh" (upside down in 407145), or Job 40:7-14, 15 which is the word found in Genesis 49:10 meaning both the return and place of peace or safety.
3. Quoted in "Art as a Revelation" in The Atlas of World Mythology the Gnostic Gospel According to Thomas. "His disciples said to Him: When will the Kingdom come?  Jesus said:  It will not come by expectation; they will not say:  See, here,' or: 'See there.'  But the Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth and men do not see it."
4. Joseph Campbell makes note in Hero With a Thousand Faces (87-88)  that "The thunderbolt (vajra) is one of the major symbols in Buddhist iconography, signifying the spiritual power of Buddhahood (indestructible enlightenment) which shatters the illusory realities of the world.  The Absolute, or Adi Buddha, is represented in the images of Tibet as Vajra-Dhara (Tibetan: Dorje-Chang) 'Holder of the Adamantine Bolt.  In the figures that have come down from ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer and Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria) the thunderbolt, in the same form as vajra, is a conspicuous element; from these it was inherited by Zeus.  We know that among primitive peoples warriors may speak of their weapons as thunderbolts.  Sicut in coelo et in terra:  the initiated warrior is an agent of the divine will; his training is not only in manual but also in spiritual skills.  Magic (the supernatural power of the thunderbolt), as well as physical force and chemical poison, gives the lethal energy to his blows.  A consummate master would require no physical weapon at all; the power of his magic word would suffice."
Campbell also references the thunderbolt in his discussion of the Shinto tradition of Japan and the return of the sun-goddess Amaterasu and by "the august shimenawa she is prevented from disappearing permanently" (211).  Upon her drawing out there is the mirror (the field of the reflected image, in the field of manifestation), the sword and the tree (World Axis). Campbell states, "The sword is the counterpart of the thunderbolt" and the straw shimenawa (which displays the thunderbolt) is "the graciousness of the miracle of the light's [sun's] return . . . "it denotes the renovation of the world at the threshold of the return" (213).
5. "Flint in the Bible abounds in all the plains and valleys of the wilderness of the forty years' wanderings. In Isa. 50:7 and Ezek. 3:9 the expressions, where the word is used, means that the "Messiah would be firm and resolute amidst all contempt and scorn which he would meet; that he had made up his mind to endure it, and would not shrink from any kind or degree of suffering which would be necessary to accomplish the great work in which he was engaged." (Comp. Ezek. 3:8, 9.) The words "like a flint" are used with reference to the hoofs of horses (Isa. 5:28)." Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. "flint." Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. 18 Mar. 2015. <>.
6.  This is the one painting, Plate XII, that Jeff King withheld from Maud Oakes until later relenting.
7.  In ancient Israel "Shiloh" being a city or place of safety or "place of peace" and also referencing a return found in Genesis 49:10 "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." King James Version (KJV) or "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him;[aand the obedience of the peoples is his." New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) with notes:  "Or until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh or (with Syr) until he comes to whom it belongs." 
Works Cited
Campbell, Joseph.  Goddesses:  Mysteries of the Feminine Divine edited by Safron Rossi.  Joseph Campbell Foundation, New World Library, Novato, California, 2013.
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: MJF, 1949. Print.
King, Jeff, Maud Oakes, and Joseph Campbell. Where the Two Came to Their Father: A Navaho War Ceremonial. 3rd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1969. Print. Mythos. 1991


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