Pandora's Box, 1871, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.
Pandora’s Box, 1871, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. PD image courtesy of Wikimedia.

“If everything is uncertain, then the future is open to human creativity, to possibility and therefore to a better world.” ~ Immanuel Wallerstein

We don’t normally see chaos as an ally, because it seems so, well, chaotic. Uncertain. It feels uncomfortable and thus unfriendly.

It freaks us out when ‘real life’ starts going all Salvador Dali on us and melting and shapeshifting whether we want it to or not (and often, we don’t, even if we sort of do).

But can we really make friends with the chaos that comes with change and (most certainly) transformation?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been taught that change is bad — that we’re supposed to create things that have ‘staying power’ and just keep on growing and expanding endlessly in the form that we envision.

The 1897 painting of fighting "Laelaps" (now Dryptosaurus) by Charles R. Knight. PD-US, Wikimedia.
The 1897 painting of fighting “Laelaps” (now Dryptosaurus) by Charles R. Knight. PD-US, Wikimedia.

When things start changing, the dear, sweet Lizard brain gets all stirred up and we fall easily into fear (because we think it should stay the same) and we cling to what’s dissolving. Understandable, but not particularly helpful (and I speak from experience!).

Given that everything seems to be shifting around us at the moment, constantly and in a freakishly accelerated way, it seems timely to take a fresh look at chaos, and explore making it our ally.

In various timeless, Indigenous and/or Ancient Wisdom traditions, all is energy, and energy is always moving, transmuting, morphing, and shapeshifting.

Energy becomes one thing, then falls apart or dissolves so that the energy is freed to become something else.

The ancients saw this as Life expressing itself in endless varieties.

Galactic Center, Milky Way. Hubble-NASA, Chandra Xray. PD-US.
Galactic Center, Milky Way. Hubble-NASA, Chandra Xray. PD-US.

For ancients and alchemists, chaos is the very center of creativity — the pure pool of creative potential that ultimately finds expression or takes a particular form. One might say that chaos is the wellspring of manifestation. That definitely makes it an ally!

Instead of panicking because energy has become stagnant and wants to move, which means something is going to fall apart or dissolve, we can look through the appearance to the energy of creation behind it, and know that it’s going to become something new, and often much better if we allow it and work with it rather than struggling against it.

But how do we remember our innate capacity for co-creating with chaos, for opening into a conversation, a dance, with that Source energy of creation … particularly when the Lizard Brain with its ‘negativity bias’ is a part of us, and an ancient, deeply conditioned part of us at that?

There are many paths and many practices, from a variety of traditions, yet the crucial elements are finding the stillness within you, a portal for working with the energy of creation.

I’m not saying that’s easy — for me sometimes it flows gracefully and sometimes, often, it’s deep practice.

And Then There’s Pandora …

So what does all of this have to do with Pandora and her famed ‘box of ills’ (aka chaos)?

Quite a bit.

Pandora, 19th century, by Charles Amable Lenoir. PD-US, Wikimedia.
Pandora, 19th century, by Charles Amable Lenoir. PD-US, Wikimedia.

Pandora, starting with the Greeks, became a feared force that ‘opened the box’ and unleashed all manner of horrors upon poor humans.

This, as it turns out, was Pandora’s story as rewritten in support of an emerging Patriarchal worldview – change the myths, and you change the culture.

Sort of like Lilith, Mary Magdalene, Medusa, and more than a few other Mothers.

Very tedious, but there we are.

We’re in reclamation mode now, though, not weeping endlessly over spilled milk mode (though neither are we denying that milk was, indeed, spilled).

Originally, though, Pandora was another face and name for the Great Many-Named Mother, Sophia, Gaia, Cybele, and many more, who provided all that was needed, and provided it generously and abundantly.

Pandora as Great Mother had her jar — shaped like a womb — from which all abundance grew.

Pandora, 1881, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. PD-US, Wikimedia.
Pandora, 1881, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. PD-US, Wikimedia.

Pandora’s story reminds us that the chaos we fear is actually full with abundant new possibilities, creative inspiration, and ample energies in support of positive change.

Pandora, like chaos, can once again become our ally as creative artists of our own lives — and of a new ways of being, living, and working that serve all.

Sure, it’s deep practice, but so is much that is worthwhile … and the creative process itself stirs out of that same chaotic, unformed energy and spirals into expression in and through and around us.

By delving back into a remembrance of the gifts of what has been called the Sacred Feminine, or reclaimed Feminine, we open the jar of (healthy, grounded, inspired) hope and true abundance.

You’ll find a plentiful and abundant offering of musings on the Reclaimed Feminine in the ‘reader favorite’ Deep Feminine Mysteries page here at Sophia’s Children.

Another favorite on this theme: Uncertainty & the Spirit of Creative Adventure, from The Wake-Up Juice archives.

Big Love and Blessings on the Way,
Jamie

In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

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