“Know thyself, and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the Gods and of the Universe.”
Temple of Apollo - Delphi.
Why should we considerer our body our Temple, the Sacred Space and Instrument through which we can accomplish the “Great Work” and achieve any transformation in our life, inside and outside ourselves, and even support other people in their achievement of transformation?
Why involve our body in-motion in this kind of “work of knowledge”?
As a transdisciplinary teacher and practitioner who integrates various fields of knowledge and experience, I noticed how much “self-knowledge” and "inner work" is sometimes misunderstood as "mental" and not inclusive of the body. We do our best to "understand" archetypes and symbols in order to reconnect with ourselves and with Nature, but we don't do enough, in my opinion, to embody those archetypes and recognize their impact on our body, health and lives.
So, once I noticed this (more than 20 years ago), I started to lead groups and give sessions aimed to acknowledge how those symbols and the forces they carry work through our body.
But… why recognize, awake and integrate the archetypes of the Elements of Nature and Moon phases, corresponding to the functions and features represented by different aspects of the Goddess (and by different Goddesses) in ancient times, and even by the secrets of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life - through movement?
Let’s tell a tale, which I believe to be very clear. It is about a Rainmaker, and it comes from a story from Jung, told to Jung by Richard Wilhelm.
So, this is the story of the Rainmaker of Kiaochau:
‘There was great drought. For months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers and the Chinese burned joss-stick, and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, "We will fetch the rainmaker." And from another province a dried-up old man appeared. The only thing he had asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rainmaker that Richard Wihelm went to ask the man how he did it.
In true European fashion he said, "they call you the rainmaker, will you tell me how you made the snow?"
And the little Chinese man said, "I did not make the snow, I am not responsible."
"But what have you done these three days?"
"Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came".’ (C.G.Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis pp 419-420).
According to the rainmaker, he did nothing to cause the rain to fall. Arriving in the village he had perceived that a state of disharmony was present, and the natural order was not operating. He was affected by this and retired to compose himself. When his internal order, balance and harmony were restored and equilibrium established, everything started flowing again and the rain fell.
The word “internal” doesn’t mean that the work has to be done “in the mind”. The so called “mind” doesn’t exist without a body. Our “inner work” has necessarily to involve, and to pass through, our body: our body is our Temple, the Altar on and through which we can perform our rituals in order to harmonize ourselves with the Universe surrounding us.
The old man didn’t “cause” the rain to fall. He didn’t even attempt to “restore” harmony to the environment. Apparently, there was no “magic" involved, no external manipulation of forces. In his own way, the rainmaker simply aligned himself with that fundamental order, balance, and harmony, to make things flow again. And it began to rain. We can call it “synchronicity”, of course. We can think of the famous quote from the Smaragdine Tablet, or Emerald Tablet: