Who has not heard about the stories of King Arthur and the Round Table?!
They are known as the most famous mythology of the Western world. From the times that these poems were written (around the crusades), until this very day, they leave deep psychological messages in our unconscious. You could say that these myths are still alive and reaching us through books, films, art, but surely as well, through our own being!
Myths have a function, did you know? They are not just bedtime stories, or what some people would call “lies”. Myths have different functions that have to do with being human. Joseph Campbell mentioned these four functions as the social, psychological, cosmic and mystical functions. They reach from the external circumstances of life to the deepest inner experience. Of course, what is needed is to understand the language of the myth, which does not speak in direct, intellectual language, but in metaphors, symbol and analogies.
As I work often with people who are at a turning point in their lives, and do not know where to move, I use the myth to explain the situation they are in, using the Grail romance and its rich symbology. The passage in the Grail myth, where King Arthur as a teenager, pulls the sword from the stone, signifies an act of will and fate. The stone itself is the fixed materialisation of our lives (we are stuck to the ground like a rock) and our inner (and outer) life has stagnated. You could also see the rock as stability, but with the sword as a symbol of personal, free will, being stuck in it, the myth tells us that our free choice has been caught and become unmovable.
Most of the time, it takes a desire and/ or a necessity (crisis) to move again, and like King Arthur, take back our sovereignty and autonomy, by drawing the sword from the stone. Arthur is a youngster, which tells us that we should be receptive, innocent, and courageous, as the adult life may mean physical maturity, but also the possibility of becoming stagnated in life (life has dried up). As we all become physical mature, there is always that child inside us that looks for adventure and beckons us to the authentic part of ourselves. Often, we have forgotten about that part, but for many, the “sword calls out to us”, saying: “draw me out”!
This means, that our own inner King or Queen calls to our own Royal Life and birthright to become who we wish to be! The sword is that symbol of free will and autonomy, and should not be mistaken with egoism or agression. Every human being has an authentic center, which is identical with the self of our human nature. To live someone else his life, is to follow someone else’s sword (will). Is that what you want? Of course, the sword is always there, waiting, for the right time to be taken, by the hand and heart of the true King/ Queen. Make your way… your Destiny is calling…
This post is also available in: Dutch