“January takes its name from Janus, the old Roman god of gates and doorways and thus, thresholds and transitions. Most depictions of Janus show two faces looking in opposite directions, representing past and future, the old and the new. As ruler of endings and beginnings Janus was invoked at all major turning points in life. Thus, Janus was particularly present when time turned over in the long, dark nights where the end of a year comes around and a New Year begins it all again...” M. Meade
2018 – THE YEAR 11. It is very interesting year, as I reflect about it, that the ancient god Janus has two faces and the numerologists say this year is 11 or two aspects. In numerology, the energy of the Universal Year (the calendar year) weaves a universal theme of potential through our lives. How you then work with the energy of the Universal Year will be dependent on your own Personal Year.
The number 11 is the most intuitive number and is a clear channel to the subconscious. It is the number of leadership, personal power and spiritual truths. The number 1 by itself represents leadership, initiative and new beginnings (2017 was a Universal ‘1’ Year in Numerology) … thus two number 1’s together opens a gateway of potential far greater than the sum of its parts.
So, I am taking a second look at those of us that are psychotherapists and healers. We are either fated or trained – or both – to enter the Universal energy of intuition, leadership, personal power and the spiritual realm and the soul.
In this century, we are called more and more to renew what is the understanding of the meaning of being human in a widely diverse world of cultural, religious and environmental shifts and changes. Thus, it seems that we must take an ecological and holistic look at the Human Psyche (Soul). James Hillman, one of the most prolific writer about ‘soulcraft’ states:
“While nineteenth century investigators were following the archaic, natural and mythical in the outer world, Psychology was doing much the same the archaic, natural and mythic within. We invented psychopathology and thereby labelled it “memoria”- the soul’s house. We invented the diagnoses (DSM V) with which we declared ourselves “insane”. We therefore are summoned to re-vision ourselves and seek a shift of consciousness to embrace wholeness – Human, Natural and Ecological”.
So, it seems that the key to re-shaping (or shifting) ourselves in the New Year is not only suppress our psychological symptoms with tricks (witness the mad rush to swallow pills), recover from all sorts of addictions (notice the failed ‘war on drugs’) treat traumas, manage stress, or correct dysfunctional relationships, but rather to involve ourselves in the larger story of humanity and the environment. We must develop visionary skills that will revitalise our damaged and endangered world.
How to develop your visionary skills?
Bill Plotkin, the author of “Soulcraft” (already mentioned in my previous blog post), presents a nature-based map that identifies the various resources we possess or can re-discover. He borrows the idea from many Wisdom Traditions and develops his model, here it is:
THE HORIZONTAL PLANE
THE HORIZONTAL PLANE
THE SELF: This aspect contains the four set of resources. Together they are called the self. These four aspects are connected to the four directions, well known to the ancient cultures: The four seasons, the four times of the day, the four poles - North, South, East and West.
THE SUBPERSONALITIES: These represent the ‘immature’ or underdeveloped aspects of the Self. They may be wounded parts or fragmented /split parts.
THE VERTICAL PLANE
THE VERTICAL PLANE
SPIRIT: This aspect travels in a forward or outward direction. We identify with God, mystery, magic, and the non-natural. Michael Meade, the mythologist, calls this aspect “the upper world” and is also connected with the heavens and the whole Cosmos.
SOUL: This aspect reaches downward and is identified with the Soul. It is our unique and deepest individual identity. This ‘downward or inward’ direction is known in mythology as the Underworld, Hades, and the Fertile Ground of Being and it is connected with the Heart.
THE EGO: This aspect represents the ordinary, everyday world or Middle World. It is the world of family, economy, education, cultural and ecological life.
Read more in: “WILD MIND - a Field Guide of the Human Psyche” by Bill Plotkin.
The time has arrived when Psychotherapy as it is practiced today and for the past 100 years, is coming to an end. Institutes, Training groups, all sorts of courses (many online) are no longer the ‘flavour of the month or year’. Perhaps the new technologies usurping the above work that emerged from the Human Development movement of the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 90’s. At that time, open groups were common, sex encounters, group encounters and more were populated by hundreds of participants. Today some blame Google, YouTube, Facebook and the many interactive online courses as the harbingers of the demise of human development.
On the other hand, we may re-vision our therapeutic practices in a way that brings SOUL to the picture – a SOULCRAFT METHOD is needed. The real gift we receive from the journey into the Archetypal and Mystical worlds become the gifts we offer our clients and that means an ecological care of the WORLD that will continue to heal the Earth and all its species – that is a big task and a big ask – but really possible.