On The Importance Of Imagination, Archetypes & The Mythic

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I often joke about wanting to be Arwen from Lord of The Rings. I use the word ‘joke’ loosely, because potentially, if given the option, I would seriously consider it. I talk about her to my horse, Merc, so much that he’s really started to buy into the whole situation also, despite being slightly concerned over basic logistics, like if there’s hay or hard feed available in Elven Kingdoms. I tell him of course, and hope that I’m convincing, because the reality is I have no idea myself.

The thing is, if you were to question me about Arwen, tried to nail me down on all of the specifics, subjected me to a pop quiz, I would most likely fail the test. Because I don’t know that much about Arwen at all—what I love is my idea of her, the archetype of Arwen and all that she represents. I’ve seen her flash across my screen, bow and arrow in hand, horse with mane streaming, powerful, fast, determined. I see her and a jolt flashes across my adult, childlike heart that sings in universal recognition. She taps into a part of me that I wish to bring more to the surface. I want those things expressed in me.

Stories, mythologies, and archetypes have existed for millennia as portals for humans to express their fears, longings, and desires. As ways to shape and conjure what we experience as a collective. We have been influenced by them to negative effect- a long and extensive conversation for another day- but we have also been empowered, uplifted by them. We cannot separate ourselves out from our mythic imagination, from our dreams and hopes that express in the imaginative collective.

I see imagination devalued generally as a tool- and there have been times when I’ve rejected it myself- but now I strongly rally against this. For better or worse, we are where we are because of our imagination. Understanding the power of symbolism, of images, of our ‘first thought, best thought’ that lies just under the surface of our skin, is an important piece in understanding our creative potential, of how we can use our imagination as a way in to deal with things that feel challenging, hopeless, or cause us to be overwhelmed.

I recently read a post that wasn’t horse related from someone who had been in a tough situation and had instantly fallen into self-blame. My intuitive self felt the limpness of her spirit in that moment. A common situation that I’m witness too more than I would like. There was much to say from a logistical position that may or may not have been helpful, and plenty were offering that advice. But my heart suspected they needed something more. They needed the spark back that makes someone entranced by Wonder Woman as a child, that leads us to believe in fairies, that sees an Astronaut shoot off into space—the part of us that believes it’s possible to do the same.

I said to her: I think we need to go a little bit women who run with the wolves on this.

My point: Imagination, archetypal imagery may not be the entire story to bring the help you need, but it IS part of the story. Often a big part. Do not be talked out of the magic and mystery of your imagination. If you feel you have lost that side of you, conjure it back. Invite yourself to read stories, look at art and imagery that uplift and inspire you. Let yourself be Arwen. And don’t let anyone tell you it should be any different.


❤️ Jane

Pictured is Merc, starting to tune out after I tell him for the 1,000,000th time how we need to be like Arwen.

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