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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Archetypes for Dummies


Some symbols are found all around the globe and throughout time, and yet they maintain their meaning. Images can have a great impact on the viewer, can be associated with mystical power and magic, and powerful illustrations are used in storytelling, folklore, myths, and fairy tales.  These symbols are archetypes, defined as a very typical example of a situation, person, or thing. Archetypal symbols are those which represent things that have been observed or experienced throughout human existence – such as mother and child or the sun; they are visions that are universally recognized. When an artist or author uses these symbols, a fundamental meaning is transferred. Archetypal language is eternal.


One such concept is the hero. Whether presented as a knight in shining armor, warrior, fairy godmother, god or goddess, they are still heroes. They can be imaged in countless ways, described in fairy tales of different cultures and languages, but the basic idea is the same; worldwide and through the ages, a hero represents the rescuer, the protector, the savior. Many fairy tales have a hero-knight, and the Knights of the Round Table have enthralled generations of readers; the origin of these popular heroes is likely based on the efforts of conquered kingdoms to re-claim their wives and daughters from enemies who made off with them.



The tree of life is another archetypal image. According to Duncan-Enzmann, Yggdrasil is the oldest known image of a Tree of Life, originating more than ten thousand years ago, arising from human observation. Animals often eat in the shelter of trees, leaving what they do not want to “melt” slowly into the ground. Animals can die under trees, their remains also melting into the ground, nourishing the trees. Thus nourished, the trees grow and bloom, again providing shelter and food for the animals. The ancients noticed this cycle - death provides food for the tree, which in turn thrives and provides more food for the living - and a symbol was born.


Our planet is covered with water. Rivers were the life source and communication routes of ancient civilizations. They are boundaries between countries and also represent the boundary between life and death. Water is a vehicle for cleansing, which is necessary for the process of healing - the legends of the fountain of youth are based on the healing properties of water. Water, especially the ocean, is associated with the Great Mother; many creation mythologies represent the source of life as water, which is understandable if only because of the water that accompanies birth. In Celtic mythology, lakes and sacred wells are the dwelling places of supernatural beings and are sources of mystical wisdom. Old wells and springs are places where miracles occurred.


Maidens and damsels in distress are fundamental archetypes in fairy tales and children’s stories, along with heroes, wicked queens, little people, and villains. All are caught in situations and happenings common to humanity. Sometimes the sweet damsel is kidnapped and locked away in a tower, sometimes exiled, or sentenced to death. Sometimes she is caught in a life which is not where she should be. In all cases, a hero rescues the maiden and restores her to her rightful position. Young girls are considered vulnerable and in need of protection by fathers, brothers, or mothers. Most fairy tales originate from a time when young girls were precious, and women were greatly treasured for their role in continued cycles of life.

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is the founder and VP of the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. She is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder

See more like this at www.enzmannarchive.org and find Michelle's books at their store. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Happy Fathers Day

Mother and child is a powerful archetype. Since the first birth, through millennia of human existence mothers and children were seen, and hailed as the continuation of the species. This image is found in every culture and every religion, and all around the world it is universally understood. It stands for the strongest love known and for the miracle of new life.   

But what of the dad?

Dads are the child’s first hero. He is there, providing and protecting both the mother and the child. Sweet little princesses hold their big hero-dad’s finger, and learn from him how it is she should be treated by future princes in her life. When a tiny prince is born, he learns from his dad how to be loyal and brave, work hard, dream of better things, and achieve them. He watches how his hero-dad treats the precious mom. And make no mistake; she is all important to the young prince. He is watching.

Like Father Like Son is a popular phrase. Perhaps it is used by those who want to place responsibility for a son’s actions onto the father. There is perhaps some truth to this, although it is not always accurate, and not always fair. But, genetically speaking it can be so. The young prince has inherited the looks, traits, likes, and dislikes of the parents. He learns habits and world view from those who raise him. 

Being a dad is a huge responsibility. It is a lifetime commitment. Your lifetime. Till you die, you will be a father, grandfather, and perhaps great grandfather. Children grow to adults, and still you are their father. Some men choose not to become fathers. Some become fathers without choosing. 

Having children is how humanity continues. Like every other species of plant or animal, fish or reptile, humans must procreate. It is part of being human. Some may choose not to, and that is ok. But to those who make the leap into fatherhood, I hail the tremendous courage it takes to be responsible for the life of a teeny tiny human. A lifetime of caring, providing, helping, teaching, training, housing, feeding, and loving is ahead of you. But there is no greater accomplishment. And just to be clear, some fathers sacrifice their lives to protect their own. The ultimate act of love is to protect at the cost of your own life. 

So, to all those fathers out there, be blessed, be proud of yourselves, and as I heard someone say, don’t weaken. You will reap rewards unavailable to those who do not know what fatherhood is.

All you fathers deserve a day off to be home instead of at work, to listen to the kids fight instead of to your co-workers bitch, and to experience the family you provide for. And remember on this day for dads, you would not be here without one. If your hero-dad still lives, be sure to thank him for taking the leap into fatherhood. The rest of us should remember that although the woman conceives and carries, gives birth through labor, and is generally responsible for diapers and food, without a man there would be no new life. Thank him for his hard work out in the tough world to make a living, to pay rent or mortgage, and standing up for his family when necessary. 

Happy Fathers Day!!!


Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is the Founder and VP of the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc, (FREA). She is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She earned her MPhil in Divinity at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California.  

Michelle Paula Snyder

Michelle Snyder is the founder and VP of the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. She is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder

See more like this at www.enzmannarchive.org and find Michelle's books at their store. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Thank you for treasuring freedom



Memorial Day is about remembering. It’s about appreciating the sacrifice of others who had a vision of freedom for a whole nation. This vision was not embraced lightly – they knew that freedom would be obtained with great difficulty and that it could slip away easily, quietly in the night. These warriors who fought to support this vision died hoping that decades down the road they would have made a difference. They admonished us to be ever vigilant.

What we can ponder upon as we enjoy the sunshine this weekend is: what is freedom? Do we have the same vision as the great ones whose vision resulted in America?

This is a great country. Not perfect, but great. We may be called upon to make sacrifices to maintain our freedom. Perhaps even asked to die for it. Would you?        
     
Thank you to all who serve in our national defense system. Thank you to the families who have lost loved ones for the sake of freedom.  No, we are not perfect, yes we make mistakes. Leaders are human. It is up to the PEOPLE to make sure that our leaders are wise and have the vision to move us forward, to create sustainable relationships with other countries, and not to be deceived.

Thank you to those who sacrifice time with loved ones who are in active service.

Without you, we would not be free. 

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is the founder and VP of the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. She is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder

See more like this at www.enzmannarchive.org and find Michelle's books at their store. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Mothers

Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, 1755-1842
Mothers are worshiped and feared, loved and resented, emulated and ignored. They are powerful storytellers, hard workers, and resilient human beings.  

Where would we be without mothers? Truth is, we wouldn't be. Mothers have been around since life began. Children are the hope of the future, and mothers bring forth children. A female’s ability to produce new life was worshiped as sacred in the oldest civilizations. The future of the human race depended - depends - upon this blessing.

Have you ever seen “cookie cutter” kids? You know, a mother with kids in tow, and they all look like mini versions of her, all copies of each other? What an amazing sight. Our hair, skin, and eye color all come from our inherited genetics. Likewise, centuries of cultural tradition and millennia of human behavior deposit genetic memories - images, symbols, called archetypes – which carry ghosts of culture and tradition. The oldest and perhaps most powerful of these symbols is the mother, a vision seen since life began. A mother’s love is said to be the most prevailing and powerful emotion.  

Inscriptions from 14,500 years ago, translated by Duncan-Enzmann, tell of mothers caring for children. Daughters were precious because they could produce life, assuring another generation and thus hope for the survival of the human race. Celebrations of Mother are found in ancient Greek and Roman festivals dedicated to the goddess Cybele. These festivals were in honor of motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” That is quite a responsibility. Today much of it lay with daycare mothers - but mothers none the less.

Scripture admonishes us to honor our mothers. An old holiday called Mothering Sunday was celebrated in Britain, a day the Church set aside during lent in which children returned to their home church, usually taking their mothers with them. In 1913, Miss Anna Jarvis instituted a day to be set aside in honor of motherhood, and since then Mothers’ Day has been celebrated both here and in Britain, eventually replacing Mothering Sunday. Mother-in-law day did not have the same success.

Today, Mothers’ Day honors love for and of mothers around the world. Husbands and children express appreciation for the endless flow of motherly love with symbols of affection: phone calls, cards, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and framed pictures of the kids are among the most popular in the West. Taking Mom out to eat is traditional, relieving her of both cooking and cleaning up. Some children present Mom with handmade gifts or write poems for mom in cards they make. 

This Mother’s Day why not start a family tradition of your own, make a phone call, make a card, make a cake, but make it special. Be thankful for your mom - without her, you would not be. 



Happy Mother's Day, Mom. 

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is the founder and VP of the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. She is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder

See more like this at www.enzmannarchive.org and find Michelle's books at their store. 

t Dragon