Is this my amduate? No. I have no book of the dead, no roadmap out of this terrain of terror. I have no stories, even, of others who have successfully passed the guardians, tests, and challenges and won through not only to hades/hell, but back out to the surface as well. I will tell some stories, perhaps, of my own but I will also search for the stories of others who have made or are making their own way through the underworld I have seen. There is such a difference in the mindset necessary for searching out others’ stories, the analysis of old stories in the mythologies of religions from Christianity to the Greeks’ beliefs, and that necessary for the expression of my own experiences. The physical trials of an outward journey can be more easily described than the trials of an internal journey. It seems to me that allegory may be the best way to express the experience, especially if I want also to communicate my [obviously limited] understanding of any meaning that there may be to my experiences. A flat description of my experiences would be tedious and meaningless without my perceptions of meaning, connections, and patterns; it may be that my skill as a writer will determine whether my story breathes on its own or comes stillborn into this world. Creation. A human ability that connects us to the divine in a specific way… what I bring forth as a result of my journey through the underworld shall be (one of) my act(s) of creation. If I don’t make it all the way through? Well, I shall create what I can along the way… perhaps the act of creating is in fact one of the tests I must pass, one of the spells I must perform. Our culture has no clear image of the guardians of the gates, so our tests remain unclear. Are they the same tests that the Greeks faced? I know each individual’s journey is unique, but if the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Tibetans, and even the Christians could have their guidelines, their ‘books of the dead’, does that not imply that there is a pattern that can be learned, and followed? Are our ‘modern’ tests and challenges really so different? And if they are, isn’t it possible that the very multitude of stories in publication, online, and verbally told might form the basis for such a guideline in our times? I find I want the stories of heroes to inspire me, to comfort me when I feel utterly alone in my journey. I turn to those stories I find on the internet as well as the myths of Inanna and Persephone as I make my way through the cobwebs of my understanding and my strength, as I try to return to the surface once again. Each descent is as difficult as the others; each feels like the one that will not be survived. But I have won through so many times before… I am tired, but surely not mortally so just yet. Just a few more tests – a graduate degree in life, perhaps?
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