The Goddess Path  Issue #18

Memory and the Goddess

June, 2004


This Issue: Table of Contents

Mnemnosyne and the Muses
A Day In the Life Of a Crone
"Split Personality" ?
The Muses In Our Midst
Eye Candy for the Soul
Checked Off The "To-Do" List


As we celebrate Memorial Day in the U.S., a day we remember our ancestors and the warriors of earlier times who fought for liberty and peace, it seems fitting to honor the goddess of memory in this newsletter.

Her name was Mnemosyne, and she is the Goddess of Memory. The "art" of memory, once vastly important, fell into horrible decline when it was rendered "obsolete" by the invention of the first artificial intelligence device,  the written word. Today Mnemosyne is mostly known only in her role as the mother of the Muses.

Interestingly, the "art" of memory is beginning to make a return, thanks to the findings of contemporary psychologists and brain researchers.

Much of the time we take memory for granted, giving little thought to the myriad of ways it is expressed in our daily lives. Were you aware, for example, that the experts now believe that the reason that time seems to go by so much faster as we grow older is due to memory?

Memory organizes time in the human mind. We perceive or "register" the passage of time when we are actively engaged. It is as if time does not pass when we're not paying attention, we're "off the clock", so to speak.

If something is so well remembered, so familiar, that we don't consciously attend to it, we're on auto-pilot and don't notice the passage of time.  This phenomenon explains why the drive home often seems shorter -- you noticed the uprooted tree and the garage sale sign on your way there so you mind doesn't even bother to notice them on the way back, and voila, you get home faster (psychologically faster, that is).


And another thing . . . memory, like touch, is one of the important things that creates "bonding" in a relationship. It's supplies the connection between love and sex, for example. Simply put, we have a tendency to fall in love with those with whom we have sex because it creates a "pleasure bond".

It's not as important that you always have good experiences together as that you create good memories of your experiences -- even if the memory itself is just a good story about a bad experience, it creates a powerful pull.

Put another way, it is important to our futures how are memories are framed, how our stories are written in our souls. Spend time framing them well.

And when the going gets rough in a relationship, bring out those photo albums and spend time together re-membering!


Mnemosyne and The Muses

Mnemosyne, Greek goddess of memory, was undoubtedly considered  one of the most powerful goddesses in her time. After all, it is memory, some believe, that is a gift that distinguishes us from the other creatures in the animal world. It is the gift that allows us to reason, to predict and anticipate outcomes, and is the very foundation for civilization.

Mnemosyne was a Titaness, a daughter of the first generation of deities in Greece.  Her parents were the rulers Cronus and the goddess Gaia.

Mnemosyne is usually depicted with a full mane of luscious hair, often a rich auburn in color.  There are few stories about her even though she is often mentioned by the ancient poets who recount her awesome gifts to mankind.


Once an important goddess in her own right, Mnemosyne is largely remembered today in her capacity as the mother of the Muses, the nine Greek goddesses whose role it was to inspire poets and musicians and to promote the arts and sciences.

After Zeus had led the war against the Titans and established himself as the leader of the Olympians, he feared that, even though he might be immortal, his great victories and decisions might soon be forgotten. 

Longing for a way to preserve the memory of his many great feats, he dressed as a shepherd and went to find Mnemosyne. They slept together for nine nights before he returned to his home on Mount Olympus. (By the way, Zeus was still single so this was not one of his famous extramarital affairs.)

Zeus got his wish. Months later Mnemosyne gave birth for nine days, each day delivering a daughter. Collectively they were known as the Muses and were described as "having one mind, their hearts set upon song and their spirit  free from care". 

No banquet on Mount Olympus was complete without them. Seated near the throne of their father, they entertained the guests, singing not only of the greatness of Zeus, but about the marvelous feats of the Greek heroes and the creation of the heavens and the earth and all its wondrous creatures. 

To read more about Mnemosyne and the muses click here:
Mnemosyne


A Day in the Life of a Crone
(If I couldn't laugh, I think I'd cry.)

The myths of Mnemosyne are far and few between -- an unfortunate circumstance because we have little information to explain the reasons that her gift of memory suddenly begins to play tricks on us when we become "women of a certain age" (e.g. 55+). Obviously, there is a story about Mnemosyne that would explain it all . . . but we'll just have to wait till some archeologist discovers the all-important parchment tucked away inside an urn that's yet to be discovered.

And the archaeologists had best get a move on because, now that thousands of baby-boomers are joining the ranks of crones each month, the problem of memory is becoming a social issue of major import.

The problem has become so widespread that it is finally getting the scientific attention that it deserves. As a result there is a new medical diagnosis on the books, AAADD (Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder). Those of you who can "identify" might wish to check out this humorous description. If nothing else it will assure you that you are not alone.  AAADD  

We were quick to label a whole generation of younger folk as "Slackers".  Perhaps apologies are in order. Maybe they were just "old beyond their years" . . .


"Split Personality" ?

From time to time we receive email that poses specific questions about the Goddess Quiz that might be of general interest. We've been on the web for 1 1/2 years now, and this question has come up a couple of times..

The question is about an interesting phenomenon in the field of personality testing . . . what it means if you get "different" results when you take a personality type test on more than one occasion.

The answer is that there are two reasons why this happens:

First, there is one goddess type, a Persephone, that is prone to this happening. Quite simply, the Persephone personality (and especially the personality of a young Persephone) is very receptive, more easily influenced by mood or by the impact of others in her environment, than that of any of the other personality types.

Persephone types often have "boundary issues" and are prone to being "victimized" or "led into trouble" as a result . . . on the positive side, they are the most easy-to-get-along-with, friendly and adaptable type.

Remember the old Carly Simon song, The Girl You Think You See, that started such a furor with its lines "I'll Be Anyone You Want Me To Be"? That could have been an anthem to Persephone. Trying to please others is her natural bent.

Not surprisingly, developing some interpersonal 'boundaries' and a strong sense of self is a major developmental task of a woman who is a Persephone type.

The second reason is less common, occurring in less than 2% of all individuals. It is a situation where the "true" personality of an individual is actually on the border between two types, causing even a very small change in a couple of answers (e.g. from "always" to "usually) to actually shift them to another, related goddess type. Such small changes in the answers can be the result of recent experiences or mood changes...few of us would actually choose the exact same answers every time, but it would only cause a "change" in the goddess type if you were right on the border between the two types.

And that's not at all a bad thing to be....it generally signifies that you are "strong" in two areas, and have increased psychological flexibility. The ability to switch from the strengths of one to those of the other as the situation calls for it is a valuable "gift" that comes with psychological growth.

A sign of psychological maturity, it is more common in well-put-together souls and tends to become more common as we grow older.

 
You might want to visit No Personality? at the website to read about a friend of mine who tends to test "on the border". By the way, she was taking the famous "Myers-Briggs" test. One of the things I like "better" about the Goddess Quiz is that the reports actually go into some detail about you on every one of the personality factors so that you get a report that is really specific to you, not just a "general" report that fits the "typical" person of that type.

(Technical Note: Though a few individuals may "change" types, studies of any test with a scientific basis should indicate high reliability overall.)

We've even had several customers who have taken the Goddess Quiz and come back to take the God's Quiz to "Discover Their Inner Male", and more than a few who've taken the "God's Quiz" for their partners (yes, Virginia, there are silly men who are afraid of doing such things on their own!) 

For those of you wanting to order a  God or Goddess Report (or to take the Goddess Quiz again) we're offering Gift Certificates to take the Goddess Quiz at $12 each (a 30% discount):
Goddess Quiz Certificates


The Muses In Our Midst

What creativity! What talent! How inspired!

Almost 200 entries were received in the "Searches for Sonnets" competition associated with the Special Advertising Edition. The panel of judges truly had their work cut out for them.

The challenge, to create a poem using only the words given on a magnetic poetry page, was not an easy one. We were amazed at the variety and the inspiration that emerged.

Be sure to visit the winning entries. To view them in all their glory, just click here:
Muses In Our Midst


Eye Candy for the Soul

The license on the free Goddess Screensaver lapsed last month -- rather than renewing it we decided to do a new one that's even more spectacular. Designed by Mindy at Peapod Design, it is absolutely awesome!

Stunning classical images of "The Lady" spiral across the screen in a never-ending series of transitions . . . some innocent and playful, others moody and mysterious, and others self-possessed and radiant, each bringing inspiration in her wake.

It works on Windows and is easy to install and uninstall. Find the free download using the link below. Invite the presence of the goddess into your daily life:  Goddess Screensaver


Off the "To-Do" List . . .

Spring cleaning was the order of the day at the website this month. We crawled under the beds and dusted out every nook and cranny, fixing broken links and throwing away early editions of pages that were no longer in use. 


In closing, a reminder to ....

Make good memories,

Sharon

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