The Uninvited Guest
“I am the Fairy Uglyane! Pray where are your King’s manners, that I have not been invited?”
Thanks to Walt Disney, almost everyone is familiar with the story of Sleeping Beauty. Although the highlights may be on Prince Charming, love’s first kiss, and happy ever after, the action of the tale, the event that really gets things started, comes from the curse of the uninvited guest--the 13th fairy. It is this neglected enchantress, disgruntled by being ignored, that causes the entire kingdom to fall into unconsciousness. What an interesting metaphor!
There is another tale that comes to us from Homer’s Iliad. Here it is the tempestuous goddess of strife, Eris, who has also been overlooked. When she fails to receive an invitation for the event that all the gods and goddesses are attending, she crashes the party. Eris then stirs things up by tossing a golden apple down the banquet table. Bouncing and crashing through the crystal and fine china, it ultimately falls to rest midway between Hera, Queen of the gods, Athena, goddess of wisdom, and Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. Around the golden apple is inscribed “for the fairest” and of course, each of the three deities reach for it.
Zeus, sensing trouble, quickly calls upon the young mortal Paris to decide which of the three goddesses deserves the apple--which is most fair. Paris may or may not have realized the dubious nature of this honor. In any case, it seems he had no choice. Each goddess paraded in front of him, as seen in the Rubens above, offering reward after her own fashion—Hera offered power, Athena offered strategy and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen. Paris chose Helen and thus began the Trojan war.
The result of this event was the destruction of Troy (a synchronicity foretold by his mother's dream) and enormous loss of lives all round. Helen and Paris had a very hard time, as did her Greek husband, Menelaus, and all because nobody thought to include the goddess Eris to dinner. In the words of Richard Idemon, 'There is a message here.' (Idemon, 1996)
The message has to do with the results of neglect and the kinds of synchronicities that may be evoked by the 'Trickster'. This is not a reference to neglecting health, diet or exercise and then suffering the physical consequences. This is about neglecting the needs of our own innate energy, our inner world, and the results that oversight may bring.
If inner needs are ignored, we only have to look to fairy tales and myths to find out what can happen. In human nature, the worst punishment is ostracism and the outcome of such an exclusion, even self inflicted, is often self-destructive. The inner life of the psyche has its way of being felt, for better or for worse. One way an uninvited element of the unconscious may manifest in life is through dis-ease (strife) of a physical or emotional nature. This can be experienced as a synchronicity, especially if the illness prevents forward movement, changing a job, relationship or location and forces one into self-reflection. Synchronicities may come at times when inner reflection is most needed.
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