What is your personal mythology? What is your real personal history, the one you don't openly reveal? Only you really know.
We tend to mark our course as a collection of wins and losses, the result of living in a society that pushes competition as part of its engine. As a result, we tend to think in terms of competition, not cooperation. We don't help the competition across the finish line, we do all we can to beat them to it.
Our personal mythology is comprised of our unconscious level's interpretation of our actions in the conscious world. It is the engine that drives us personally, giving meaning to our actions even when we are unaware.
Think of the major turning points in your life. It may have been a terrible experience or it might have been quite wonderful. Those events set the table for your character arc. You are not static, you change over time as your story unfolds. Those major turning points are defining in many ways, but all the things we consider more minor are just as key. Those major events stick out most clearly, like mile markers on the road we are traveling.
You can find plenty of books out there on interpreting symbols and whatnot and they are mostly crap. Why? Because symbolism and metaphorical language is not universal. The same symbol can have very different meanings to different people and in different contexts. It can be a good starting point to see how the symbols are used and presented as a way of seeing if we identify with that. No matter what some dillweed who wrote a book on what symbols mean. If it doesn't fit your context, you need to try something else.
We generally adopt the symbols and metaphors that held special meaning for us. Maybe there is a reason we aren't aware of that leads those symbols to have special meaning, but what matters is that we have processed these things and they now find their way into the unconsciousness. The language of the unconscious depends on relaying information through metaphorical language, so it absorbs these things and uses them to communicate with our conscious mind.
Why are the three queens so prominent in my death mythology? When I was in my early teens I was obsessed with the stories of King Arthur and his crew. Examine the stories of the death of Arthur and then my death mythology. Carried on a boat. Three queens. Traveling into the light and then through a wasteland. It isn't exactly the same, but it borrows heavily from Tennyson:
Then saw they how there hove a dusty barge,
Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern,
Beneath them; and descending they were ware
That all the decks were dense with stately forms,
Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream--by these
Three Queens with crowns of gold: and from them rose
A cry that shivered to the tingling stars,
As, as it were one voice, an agony
Of lamentation, like a wind that shrills
All night in a waste land, where no one comes,
Or hath come, since the making of the world.
Idylls of the King
The Passing of Arthur
The symbolism of this is strong because of the time I spent reading and studying Arthurian mythology in my adolescence. Someone who was not exposed to this literature or tale is not going to interpret the symbols the same, nor is it for someone who only casually dipped into the ocean of stories of Camelot and the knights of the round table. It made an impression on my unconscious to where it adopted the symbolism in order to motivate me on the journey forward, and I needed some serious motivation. I'd just ended my own life because I felt there was no point and that my life had no meaning. My unconscious decided to throw the kitchen sink at me. All of the symbols of my death mythology point to the same thing: "You stupid git, I'm going to prove you wrong and set you out on a course of discovery and adventure that will eventually wake you up to the realization that your life has meaning and purpose. I'm going to hit you in the face with it so hard you will never forget it."
And so, to begin to make sense of the metaphorical soup of your unconscious, you have to know your sources. What has had the most profound impact on you? Think of the books, stories, and characters that you have strongly identified with, especially in your youth when things made the strongest impressions. What were you most motivated and inspired by? What influenced the use of certain symbols and language used by your unconscious to attempt to communicate with your consciousness? For me, there is no doubt that I was strongly influenced by the Arthurian Romances.
I cannot write someone else's mythology because I don't understand their unconscious language and I don't know how they feell about pretty much anything. A person only tells you what they want to tell you, what they feel safe and comfortable telling you, and they aren't going to reveal their innermost secrets to you, even though they often try to throw you a bone by pitching out something they've kept secret. There is a lot more, but those are in the vault. Those are the things your unconscious likes to bother you about. It is why you feel so unsettled when you are keeping too many secrets. It irritates the fuck out of your unconscious when you hold too much inside. Your unconscious wants to start a garage sale as soon as possible.
The symbolic language of your unconscious is not created in a vacuum. I believe that our consciousness is immortal. Our physical being in this place is temporary. People seek enlightment and to attain a higher level of consciousness, and yet they already have. We chose to become meat. This is role playing game. Our consciousness exists in a lonely place, in a void where only we exist, and it is a wasteland where we are all powerful and perfect, and it sucks, so we create these little role playing games so we can interact with each other, have experiences, and have little adventures of self-discovery. Welcome to samsara, where we make ourselves miserable as an escape from loneliness. We chose to become weak. We chose to be open to temptation. The game is no fun unless it can destroy you. It has a little system of rewards and consequences. It is a nice vacation from being the god of your own vacuum.
Life goes on and the losses start to mount, as do the victories, but not in a sense of competition. Those losses and victories are personal with their own meaning for us. Two people lose a parent to cancer. They react differently. Why? Isn't there a standard, programmed response to the death of a parent? Some will tell you how you are supposed to act and feel in such circumstances, but every person processes events in their life differently. What was their relationship like with the parent who died? Were they close? Was there an unresolved conflict? How do they feel about death? There are too many variables, but such an event influences your mythology. Those who struggle with processing an event such as the loss of a parent find themselves reading books or watching movies about people who lost a parent. They are looking for someone to identify with. They are looking for an archetype to serve as a model for dealing with their grief and sorrow.
Pop culture likes to simplify the heck out of archetypes, making it sound like there are eight or twelve archetypes set in stone and you must find out which one you are. That isn't Carl Jung, it is the same oversimplification that produces fortune tellers and horoscopes. Everyone wants everything simplified, put into bite-sized pieces, but archetypes are expansive. Every character in every story you know and love is an archetype that you can adopt as an inspiration or influence. Archetypes are also evolutionary. Archetypes of another age can be adapted for a more modern setting. They do it in movies all the time. "A modern version of a classic story." Nothing can be explained to you via a standardized list of check boxes and multiple choice questions. Your mythology is personal and your use and interpretation of symbols isn't wrong. If someone says, "That's not what that symbol means," hang up the phone and go get yourself some ice cream.
Rancho Nuevo and Avalon are the same place, but evolved from a wasteland through my own actions in this role playing game. We're world building in the world of our unconscious consciousness. It is what we do. This frame was created out of someone's mythology in a frame we aren't capable of seeing, and there was a reason they wanted so much chaos and disorder. How are you going to have meaningful adventures prancing around in a garden of cotton candy and peppermint trees? You'll be sick by nightfall.
Who does all the crap jobs in Rancho Nuevo? I do. I'm pretty much the only one who is actually there. Everyone else is a representation of how I interpret them in the context of my story. So, if there are shit jobs, which there really isn't in a world that is the creation of your unconscious mind (unless you are obsessed with tales of janitorial excellence or something like that), I would have to do them. It isn't really anything more than a metaphysical scratch pad. It is sandbox mode.
Take the most meaningful and significant events of your life, the ones you interpret as meaningful and significant, and the people who have had an impact on your over the years, and you get the backbone of your mythology. It is generally the unresolved events and relationships that haunt us. Our unconscious self demands resolution in some form. It doesn't always have to be direct. The unresolved eventually becomes regret. That regret then becomes a burden, it becomes a weight, and we can only carry so much weight before we crack under it. The physical body is driven by a desire to remain alive and functional. The unconscious is driven by something more. My deep regret over turning my back on someone who had been there for me in my darkest hour could not be directly resolved because the person is no longer accessible to me, but nearly two decades later I see the same pattern emerge. Someone I worked with helped me through my last year working while very sick and was there for me at every turn. When I stopped working, I made a point to show her my appreciation and we have since become very close friends. This was the resolution my unconscious sought. For the unconscious, the specific details aren't important, it is about you as a person. Was I the type of person who turned his back on a friend who needed me because it was inconvenient for me at the time? That was not acceptable.
The fortune teller, the palm reader, the tarot card dealer, are all reading your reactions if they know their game well. They might be bunk, but they have a certain value. They can help you shake loose something as long as you don't get lost in the specifics and try to assign meanings to things that do not fit.
A couple months ago I met a tarot card reader while out having drinks with a friend. I let her do a reading and then did hers. She stared at me and asked, "How do you see all that?" It wasn't a question of me reading her fortune or telling her about her past. The entire time she did my reading, I was reading her, from the way she said things, to her confidence in what she was saying, and her reactions to things I purposely said and threw out in response to her reading. And then I told her what motivated her to do readings. She was struggling for a way to figure herself out, and in "helping" others figure themselves out she was able to feel a certain sense of accomplishment or purpose. It wasn't all she did, it was a hobby and not a profession, but I was able to read her motivations through observation.
"I just do what you do, but without props, and I do it for different reasons," I told her with a smile.
The props are helpful and very useful if you don't literalize them. You use them to shake loose some frame of reference for your symbols, most often relayed in dreams when our conscious mind shuts down and the unconscious takes over. The key is not figuring out what someone else makes of these symbols. The key is getting to their origin in your personal experience and interpretation of them through that personal experience.
The road you are marching down is constructed out of the bones of your past. All the wins, losses, and ties we tend to keep track of are there, but that which remains personally unresolved is what comes to the surface. The bones remnd you of what is dead and gone. The past cannot be changed, but we can be changed by it. What are we driven to do? Are we constantly avenging ourselves? We're trying to find a way to live a happy and meaningful existence. What interferes with that is what must be resolved. Some see that as a call to destroy what affects their happiness and sense of meaning, but all that does is create more that is unresolved. Our unconscious knows that we lifted ourselves up by stepping on others, declaring that our happiness and our sense of purpose was more valuable than someone else's.
The true nature of the challenge of this frame of existence is to do it without stepping on others and lifting them up rather than pushing them down. When we think in terms of winning or losing, putting forth one idea or ideology as superior over another simply because it works for you and those you are aligned with. Competition is a game with winners and losers. Cooperation goes against the nature of playing games, but we're pretty much told to scrap that after kindergarten. We forget all the lessons about sharing and being considerate towards others by the time we reach adulthood and are told we have to compete to have value. And this competition is not always the obvious kind. Accumulation of stuff, of status, of money and power, is all part of competition. Why would someone spend hundreds of dollars on a gold chain to wear around their neck when they can't afford to pay the rent? Competition. Status. Projection of financial security. An attempt to fit in with a gold chain wearing crowd. It doesn't make sense to most people, but it has meaning to the individual. They could have done something else with that money, and while paying the rent would seem the rational choice, it generally doesn't feel like you've accomplished something or made a statement when you do so.
I can't write someone else's personal mythology not just because I can't translate it, but because I do not have the right. Some years back I was reminded by a noder here that I have no right to share the personal stories of people I've encountered, and I don't aside from how their stories interacted with mine. In the past I made that mistake and thankfully someone reminded me and gave me perspective.
Your bones are your bones, and the road behind you is made up of them. It is a book you can pick up and read, but it has already been written. You've already started on the sequel and all that stuff from the earlier book is now canon. You can reinterpret it, examine it and find different interpretations, but it can't be rewritten. It is very educational, however, and so is reinterpretation.
If you stick with a set, static definition of something and you refuse to change with new information, you aren't learning anything along the way. You can go back in my mythology to 1997 when I believe that Tina was the literal reason I did not leave this place in 1994. At the time I thought that this woman specifically was the answer to everything. She gave me the answer, but it took me years to understand it. First, I had to get past literalizing her meaning in my mythology. She showed me that I could have a positive impact on others, that I did have a meaningful life, and that I had been wrong in my reasonings at the time of my suicide. It could have been any woman who was struggling in her life at that point.
That did not invalidate her as an individual. It made her into an archetype that is a very powerful symbol in my mythology.
The new information that put this into perspective would come years later, when I found myself working with people in crisis. Because of the experience with Tina, I felt confident that I could be of use to these people who had been traumatized and thrown into chaos by events in their lives, often events they had no control over, often perpetrated by other people who had power over them. Most of the people I worked with were adolescent females. Do I walk into that feeling a lack of confidence that I can actually relate to and help these people find ways to help themselves? That is where I would have fallen down.
Which means that the Tina archetype was what empowered me to believe that I could work with adolescents in crisis. Without the appearance of Tina and the formation of the archetype, I don't go into that line of work because I wouldn't have believed myself capable of doing it. This is the power of the symbol, the metaphor, the archetype, and why literalizing it disempowers it.
The events and people of our lives have a chain reaction throughout our history. One thing begets the next and influences the one after that. Your Aunt Ethel choked to death on a chicken wing in 1974. Forty years later you see someone eating chicken wings and they seem to be in distress. You'll probably be the first person to react. You've seen this shit before. You are not going to let this person be like Aunt Ethel. You've just resolved an inner conflict you didn't realize you had going on. You were troubled by Aunt Ethel's death and why no one seemed to intervene as she choked. Well, now you've intervened, and it is amazing how our unconscious finds peace in that. The specifics don't matter. Your actions in response to those specifics matters.
So, I can't write your mythology. You can. Put on your lipstick. Get in the ring.
This is my fulfillment of reQuest 2019
Items #3, #4, and #5