Myth Making and the Medieval Magician
Updated: Jul 19
The creation of myth fascinates me.
What was the ancient Irish bard thinking that night as he strummed his harp by the fire? As he crafted a song and story of the Goddess Morrigan and her only child: Meche with his heart polluted by three adders. Legend promised that if the adders ever burst from his heart then they would pollute and poison all of Ireland with their venom; Which left the Morrigan with no choice but to kill her only son so that Ireland would not be destroyed.
Was the Greek storyteller putting a little last-minute polish on his tale before he spoke to the eager crowd before him? Did the storyteller increase the tempo of his words as he spoke of the Minotaur clomping closer and closer to Daedelus and Icarus as they struggled to fasten their wings so that they could escape the labyrinth before the Minotaur found them?
What visions danced before the eyes of the medieval magician as he sweated before a roaring fire? How long had he been fasting? How many potions did he guzzle as he waited for the secret knowledge of the names of spirits and their corresponding rituals to come spilling into his eager mind?
These stories, these myths, these legends make their way to us through the long thread of millennia, passing through the minds and tales of so many as they made their way to us. They possess a certain magic bestowed by time and distance, but once they were fresh and new from the mouths of poets and bards.
Was the Morrigan a long-forgotten Irish queen that lost her only child to a devastating illness? Did she evolve into a powerful Goddess of Death as she once mourned the loss of her son?
Was Daedulus a scientific genius whose inventions were transformed into something bigger and even grander over the course of many tellings? Were more exciting details added as the story grew and evolved? A tale of invention crafted into a supernatural legend of spine-tingling horror?
Did the medieval magician summon the spirits of his visions? Were the creations of his imagination transformed by drugs and hunger into something more powerful and more magical?
How do we pick up this thread of myth and legend? How do we move ahead to take these old stories and transform them in powerful new ways? How can we take old tales and give them new meaning in our modern life?
I love the idea of this: taking something old and crafting it into something fresh, something that speaks to me and my experiences.
The books of the medieval magicians contain lists of names and sigils and rituals. How can I take these brief descriptions and make something that resonates with me?
The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans has an exhibit devoted to the animals of South America. I've been there many times and every time I've been by the jaguar cage, the jaguar has been pacing. They are beautiful animals. All velvety softness and lush fur but the power and the pacing speaks to raw inner anger and fury.
In 2018, that jaguar escaped from its enclosure and killed eight other zoo animals; not because it was hungry, but because it wanted to.
When I think of Flauros, who prefers to appear as a leopard with burning eyes, I think of that jaguar: so graceful, so elegant, but full of dangerous burning passion.
The Fallen Angels of New Orleans Oracle Deck is about the creation of myth. It's about looking within ourselves and exploring what lies underneath.
If you possessed the grimoire of a powerful medieval magician, what spirit would you want to conjure? What would motivate you to undergo the fasting rituals, the cleansing and purification process so that you could perform a ritual to speak with a spirit?
What would motivate you? What power do you want? What would you be willing to risk everything to learn? What secret knowledge do you long to possess?
As I work my way deeper into the Oracle deck, I am thinking. I am trying to reframe myth in a more modern and relevant way.
What if Lilith were to walk among us in the here and now? Would she be wanting to save us as she may have once tried to save Eve from the patriarchy and the oppression of male power? Or is she still blind with anger over her treatment and wants nothing more than to hurt others as once she was hurt?
Would she meddle to help, to nurture and guide? Would she interfere for the pure sake of wreaking havoc? Or, maybe, a little of both?
Flauros: Fallen Angel of the Element of Fire
Stop holding on to your anger. I know that you have been wronged. You have been betrayed. Others acted against you, but holding on to that hurt indefinitely, hurts you more than they ever could.
That gaping wound of pain: stop nurturing it. Stop feeding it anger. Stop feeding it hatred. The only way forward is to hea.
I know its not an easy road. Recovering from pain and betrayal is hard, but the longer you carry that weight of pain, the longer you will hurt. You deserve better.
Working with anger can be hard. Learning to control and redirect that anger feels impossible.
It won't be easy. It won't be fast, but you deserve better than this. You deserve to move on to a better place where there is a chance for new happiness.
Sit with your pain. Process those feelings of hurt and betrayal and let the healing process begin. Purge all the old poison out of the wound.
Move forward and find the happiness that you deserve. Let go of the weight of your anger and embrace the lightness of letting go.
You don't have to forgive them, but learn to forgive yourself and move toward something better.
Even those you believed you could trust may not be as they seem. Think long and hard before confiding your thoughts and feelings. Hold tightly anything that could be used against you.
When Flauros appears, we are reminded of the fiery nature of that anger. .
Watch the leopard pace. Gaze into his burning eyes. The leopard is beautiful, but so dangerous. All velvety softness over a shell of steel; teeth and claws always at the ready. You don't need to exist is this form any longer.
Release that feline fury and move forward toward a healing space.