The Women of Andromeda – Brigid Lynch

 

A Core Person

One of my readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called referred to Brigid as the “flaming haired assassin-for-good”. I have to confess I’m not entirely sure where she came from. Each of the Andromeda women seemed to show up unbidden. Of course, as a psychologist I understand they don’t materialize in the author’s mind our of the ether.

My initial concept of Andromeda was not that these women were ruled by men. That is not exactly how the world of the Tethyans is. What fell into place was that the warrior women had to have some form of autonomy although clearly there would be some form of organization. It was all curious because they had a mission but it was not like they came from a corporation or an established government. So Brigid was chosen as the early leader and she had relationships with other leaders among the people.

The Tethys, or cities in the sea, were reasonably autonomous, certainly from each other but there was some form of general independence among other parts of the Tethyan people. I have to admit I’m not sure how this all came about.

Brigid as a Symbol

Certainly Brigid was needed as a warrior. There would inevitably be considerable conflict and leaders had to exist or emerge. As the story developed it was clear that Gaia had to be giving some guidance and where Brigid was placed suggested that she was part of that guidance. In the story she is indicative of women who are strong and independent and it was apparent to me that she probably had to have a troubled history to push her into this position. So she was a symbol of the strength of women and their dedication.

Curious Origins

I’m still trying to figure out where a lot of this came from and specifically what the origin of Brigid is. It was only later that I found Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. As I’ve said elsewhere, I thought Amazons were mythological. And I came to find out that they were real.

In the ancient world the women of Greece were subjugated but just outside of that region were the Steppes of Asia. And on that plane were nomadic and semi nomadic tribes. The warrior Amazon women rode with their men into battle. They were skilled archers and excellent horsewomen. Women seem to have an edge in horse management as we see today.

And before I knew about the real Amazons I chose her to be a flaming redhead. Such hair color speaks to origins in Scotland and Ireland but what I learned was that the Amazon women were often redheads.

Something Else

And then later I learned about my own genetic heritage. My most prominent group is made up of people who were celtic,viking and saxon followed by a generic far northern European people. It included 5% neanderthal. That’s right, we now know their genetic code and are finding they are among us. When I looked farther back I could see that these people from whom I was descended came out of near Asia as the last ice age ended. In short they were part of the tribes made up of Amazons.

What I had done was create a character who was clearly from my own background when I didn’t even know about my background. It becomes kind of creepy.

Knowing that I wanted this woman to do battle with the Overlords I wrote (in my head) a background in the estate of a brutal Overlord who abused her mother. Finally her mother committed suicide which devastated Brigid. She was cast out of the estate and was taken in by the Tethyans.

Another Book

As you can see the story kept growing. It is clear to me that I may well be writing books about each of the lead women of the Andromeda. A similar process occurred for each of them and their stories continue to unfold in my head.

Have you had similar things emerge from inside of you?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Mermaids and Mermen

Who do you think mermaids are?

Fundamental Myth

Some stories or concepts we call myths are more widespread than others. I’ve always been fascinated by the widespread stories about the sighting of mermaids. In one form or another they show up in an amazing array of cultures. Which led me to ask why? If mermaids are real, why do they exist? And if they are pure myth, what is the true meaning of the myth? Since I’m inclined to speculation I would speculate.

I should also note that mermen are nowhere nearly as prevalent. And I can’t recall being especially intrigued when they do appear. It seems that this myth has something special to say about women. For one thing they are pretty routinely not evil although they may be powerful or at least lovely and endearing. They tend to enrapture men. And naturally these women appear in water. Water bears on the meaning of the myth.

Mermaid Meaning and Power

I don’t know of a really good way to research the true meaning of a myth so I’m going to throw out some thoughts. These women of the waters are generally benign or very positive. They may be love objects with endearing powers. And often they are innocent. I think of the status of the mermaid sitting on the rock in Copenhagen harbor.

But they do not just come to us lovingly. Power seems implicit. And to me the water theme suggests generative powers and birth. After all it would seem that life came from the waters. I think we are seeing a powerful theme which touches upon an inherent positive view of women and it suggests considerable power of various kinds.

Being Endearing

The nature of the mermaids in the myths begs for involvement. On occasions these women may be threatening but generally they are not threatening. There is surely a deep feeling, a conveyance of what might be. In the water they do not often challenge men and in these myths we see caring and loving possibilities along with all the special creative and endearing parts of women.

It Could Happen to You

There is a song in which the singer tells us, “It could happen to you.” The listener (most likely a man) is instructed to run when church bells ring and the meaning is that the woman will surely draw him into marriage. But why should a man run? Is it so bad to have it happen to you? But the involvement indicates change and there is an inherent power which the woman has. And men don’t like to give up power.

Going Deeper

It was these perceptions which led me to see women of the sea as being not just powerful but possibly representing a route to a fulfillment of a transformation of humankind. Women are rising across the world and holding out to us the possibility of deep and fulfilling partnership on a broader level. The prospects are truly intriguing and exciting. I could not resist building a mythologically based trilogy to portray wonderful stories of women rising for this transformation for humankind and in true partnership with men at last.

What of this have you experienced?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Life Wins Almost Every Time

 

What sudden shifts have you experienced in your life?

Clarity Versus Reality

We may maintain contradictory beliefs at the same time. We often “know” about our future and what we want one moment at a time. But life has a way of having other “thoughts” for us. A trip to Washington, D.C. and the halls of Congress is instructive.

A Political Environment is Almost a Life Form in Itself.

There is a class of political beings clearly to be seen. Almost routinely they are clad in dark blue or black suits whether they are men or women. These are the aides and the employees of the members of Congress. Many of them fought hard to get their jobs. Sometimes it wasn’t a matter of simply applying. Often it involved service in successful political campaigns. In some cases they had to serve a number of times before their candidate won and they could join him or her in government. They could then come along for a glorious career.

Except there is a sobering note. There is an age group missing in DC. The dominant age group jumps from twentysomethings to middle age. Why is that?

Along Comes Destiny

The problem is that fabulous face. It is seen across a room at a party or a gathering of some kind. Two people enchant each other and then the most terrible thing happens. They desperately want to be together and that generally leads to a passionate involvement, marriage and children. Setting up the appropriate household and managing the insistent newcomers are all consuming. And so the careers are interrupted or end. The political passions are replaced by the personal passions and associated needs.

It often seems that this almost inevitable human event was not foreseen. The focus was on the moment and the excitement of the career. At some point we once again see the insistence of a reality we live on the edge of. Isn’t it amazing how we can evade the almost certain element of life which is just waiting out there? We do an extraordinary balancing act with these various facets of our lives. The adventure may only be for a time. Or at least that particular adventure. And often the fiction writer plays out the scenarios for us. Perhaps we should pay more attention to fiction.

What is your style in pursuing fiction? Do you consider it or experience it?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

America – Addict Nation Pt 2

 

A Call for Help

Shortly after I left my job working in inner city poverty in Baltimore I got a call from a good friend who had been a community organizer in that program. He had become an administrator at what was referred to as a Methadone treatment program. The treatment providers were recovering addicts and social workers. They were under the supervision of psychiatrists. Those supervisory relationships were not working well. I was familiar with that problem because the administrators of the program in Baltimore had been psychiatrists and the rest of us in the treatment delivery teams had to fight them constantly so that we remained focused on the real needs of the community we were serving and how those needs were addressed. What my friend wanted was someone who could address the needs of the incoming clients to the staff in a way that meant something to them. Long term intensive psychotherapy did not. Since I had been on the street with him and other staff I could talk the language of his staff and relate to their perspective. The staff needed a down to earth approach.

A New World of Problems

So I came on board as a clinical consultant. New clients were routed to me for an evaluation. In spite of my time on the street I was surprised at who was coming for help. I had been relating more to community services and the drug world was a different place. I expected to see heroin addicts arriving to take methadone. The people who came had many different problems. Some weren’t even what I would call “physiological” addicts. One nineteen year old had been using hallucinogens for six years. He wasn’t physically addicted to anything but had missed his adolescence.

I won’t go into all the details except to say that it made me aware that drug issues rarely stop at the matter of physiology. There are developmental issues, marital issues, education issues, job issues and on and on. There was absolutely no way to address everyone in the same way. It became a matter of designing approaches and determining needed resources for a broad range of needs.

Treatment Chaos

If we think anything else, we are deluding ourselves. As we begin to look at our opioid crisis there evidently are burgeoning treatment programs but some of them are shady and shabby enterprises. Just recently we learned that Google raked in over $1 billion in ad revenue related to advertising for treatment services. It seems there is insufficient regulation or attention to what needs to be provided and what is provided. We are missing the needs point. There is shouting about the addiction problem, but I’m not hearing a whole lot about a comprehensive plan or even a plan for working on having a plan.

Many Other Needs

One issue alone is illuminating. It is clear that a lot of these opioid drugs have flowed into Appalachia. This is the area where people have labored in coal mines, been injured, and suffer from chronic pain. The coal industry is clearly dying and there is little attention to what needs to be done for the economies of such areas. This alone tells us that we have a lot to study and work to be done. And much of the work needs to start today.

The Bottom Line

In some ways this blog post is nothing other than a warning. We have been diverted by political and ideological infighting. It is time to go to work in a more focused and cooperative way.

I’m going to close this post out now because this subject deserves study, certainly a book, or maybe a library of books. And we are not doing enough that is effective. We have a national scandal at many levels. We need to search and study our world.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Who We Are, Versus Who We Think We Are

 

A Challenge for Each of Us

Our personal identity is a constant challenge for each of us at all levels. We have to assume an identity in order to function but, in fact, we may have a very different identity from that assumed by other people. On a day by day basis we can’t trouble ourselves with these matters. Why would we? So we make an assumption and forge ahead.

The fact is that most of the time we probably think not at all about issues of identity unless we are challenged or face a problem. Sooner or later there will come an event when someone will ask “Who the hell do you think you are?” The question may mean the person is offended by a position we have taken or it may be a more fundamental challenge. If it is the latter then we truly are challenged.

Our Personal Identity

And sometimes we are perfectly clear about who we are but are in hiding. Others may think they know us but do not. There may be a fundamental mixture of comfort and pain.

Now, with these questions, if you are confused or feel lost then you thoroughly understand why we do not dwell on such questions most of the time. It is only at crisis point that we must attend.

And Then One Day…

And writers of fiction often come to the point where they wonder who their characters really are or where they came from. One of the reasons to have an outline and a firm understanding of the story is that it keeps us focused rather than letting us get lost in a fantasy related to a character’s identity or our own identity. Or is that the point of writing fiction? Can we expand our world and our identity? Are we often asking questions we want to explore.

Different Kinds of Meaning

The fact is that we who write fiction are almost surely not simply engaging in an interesting exercise or a labor of love. It seems likely that our engagement goes much deeper. As a psychologist I know that what we are doing is often a reflection of our personality. Those of us who engage in speculation and fantasy are different creatures from the people who focus on the glory of the turn of the phrase. In my dissertation I sought to answer the question “does the painter’s work reflect his personality?” The literature was full of unfounded psychoanalytic speculation.

But Carl Jung gave us a magnificent personality typology free of bias and authority. I found the personality of the painter was clearly displayed in his work. In discussing my dissertation results with artists I could see their focus and how their personality identity shaped their work. A study with writers would probably uncover some interesting differences. As I step back and look at the characters in my Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I see a melange of parts of me, people I would like to know and layers of identity issues.

What do you see when you take this viewpoint into the act of creation?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

America – Addict Nation Pt 1

 

A Recent Discovery It Seems

The discovery that we have an opioid addiction problem in the United States is getting considerable news coverage. From the noise and amazement, it would seem it just started up.
Of course a problem of this magnitude didn’t just happen overnight. And, in fact, over 60,000 people died from it and related issues last year. That’s more than the 58,000 people we lost in all of the Vietnam War and more than the 37,461 deaths from car accidents in 2016.

Dealing with Scope and Reality

I couldn’t resist the headline because it is typical of the way major issues are suddenly hyped. Reality is often even more insidious. This is not to suggest that we should dismiss the issue. It is indeed serious, but it deserves a much broader form of coverage.

There Are More Than a Few Questions at Issue

I have a few questions and comments. First some questions.

As a member of the “helping professions” my lead question specifically is “What the H..L were the medical communities doing?” Is it conceivable they really did not see how many prescriptions they were handing out with little understanding of the needs of their patients and what was underlying the requests for medication? There needs to be a major discussion among those professions.

Next question relates to big pharma. What we know already is that there were massive shipments of addictive drugs and that many of those shipments were concentrated in areas such as Appalachia. Are we expected to believe that the pharmaceutical companies had no awareness? The bottom line is that this involves criminal behavior. They need to be held accountable. And that in turn should open the scandal of drug prices in this country and the patent need to regulate the pharmaceutic industry in a much more effective and comprehensive fashion.

Next question relates to Congress. Are the member of Congress living off planet? The silence on so many issues is outrageous. There is not nearly enough attention to this crisis in Congress. We should be overwhelmed by their outrage and efforts to look into it. Or, is this another indication off the corruption of big money in Congress?

What Should We do?

Right after we address the above questions we have to go to work. One of many things which distresses me is that I’m hearing little or no talk about what we actually need to do for the sufferers from these addictions. And yes, it is addictions—plural.

Some action is being taken and some of it is at the community level. We have a scandal of large magnitude on our hands and it is ours as a nation. In my next post on this issue I’m going to go into the matter of some of my history as it relates to this problem. We truly have our work cut out for us and it is not just a matter of addressing addiction. Along with those issues we must attend to the larger dysfunction of our nation. We all need to be distressed about what has happened to our country and make a commitment to do something about it.

To Be Continued.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Creation of Gaia’s Majesty – 2

Creation with Design

How do you approach a creative endeavor?

The books of Gaia’s Majesty were not entirely designed. It felt more like they unfolded. The concept began to “occur” and then I did do construction and outlining.

My wife, Mala, and her writing partner Laura write screenplays. Some might say its not the same thing as fiction writing but they have a lot in common. There’s only so much writing by pure inspiration which can be done. I learned about the story arc and used Dara Marks’ Transformational Arc for each of the books and for the trilogy as a whole. (see http://www.DaraMarks.com). I found a rigid application was not possible (it never is in a creative process) but it proved very helpful. There had to be departures since people are people and stories are stories in the creative process.

Life Takes Over

From there the characters took on life and the “what if” came to life as well. I found things coming from out of my past. There were universal forces which presented themselves. I brought in the Mysterium as a creative force of the universe. It is the force most beautifully displayed by women which fosters bonding and fulfillment. When I finally decided to go back and googled it I ran across details about a board game. Seriously? Then I dug deeper and found material about the Mysterium Tremendous which I covered in my post of January 18, 2016 with a further commentary on January 20th. It turns out I had filed the term in my brain fifty years ago when I was deep into the works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

I also brought in the Maelstrom. The name is probably much more familiar. I saw it as the destructive force in the Universe but felt it had a creative side as well. Even as galaxies collide and suns are built and destroyed there is creation. And out of the explosions of suns come stardust from which humankind was built.

More Speculative Elements

From there came further speculation. As the myth of the story developed I found I could not look away from the possibility that there were other types of life forms. Our senses have a specific focus for our life and survival. We might be missing something. After all this room in which I sit is alive in its own way and I can’t feel what is transiting until I pick up my cell phone or use my computer. What else have we been missing?

And, of course, I had to ask the question, perhaps the universe is not just the universe but may it be a life form in itself? For the longest time we naively thought Earth contained the only life there was in the universe. We are seeing evidence which points far beyond our planet. And currently in our life on earth it is hard not to speculate about a coming denouement and the possibility of transformation. And within each event were waves. (More on all of these possibilities later.)

Experiencing the Speculation

A central issue, of course, was creation and whether it had coherence and direction. But, in the end, it is the exploration process which I find most interesting. And the wonder of it all is that we are getting to see how it all plays out with humankind. At least for now.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt