Mer / Arcane Artwork

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  • #12320
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive
    • None of what follows needs to be accepted as 'true', nor does it need to be canonized as it represents nothing more than my subjective attempt to capture the Sacred in the form I understand it.

    This is part 1 of 8. This is a long term project with no deadline, no obligation to anyone and no incentive other than my own need to give it life. It may take years to complete-- depending on how the waters move through me, and what I share here will be in low resolution, to preserve the copyright of the originals & allow for the possibility of producing an actual canvas set when complete.
    But it's my hope that something with wisdom beyond me will shine through these hands-- and anoint my gift to the world and to you. All works in this set are hand drawn by myself. Thank you for reading. 🙂





    Mer ( /mer/ )
    Spiritual Experience of – Ne
    A child holding a golden egg in one hand and stars in the other. It has six wings – two of a butterfly, two of a bird and two of a bat. It has stars in its hair and butterflies for eyes. Behind it is a spherical maze of interconnections woven around small speckles of light. Around the spherical maze are butterflies landing on it and scattering out into a star field.
    Symbology –
    The central figure is the puer aeternus; the eternal divine child. The six wings represent levity and a removal from the terrestrial world. Mer is a chimera; having the wings of three different species. The front wings are those of a butterfly, representing transformation, delicate flight in small places and rapid birth & death. The middle wings are those of a bird, representing flight in high elevation and open sunlight. The back wings are those of a bat, representing flight in hidden places and in darkness. Together the three wings allow flight in all conditions, representing Mer’s capacity to explore in every dimension.
    The golden egg represents good luck, fortune and miracles. It also represents rebirth, new life and optimism. The stars in its other hand represent wishes and dreams. The stars adorning its head represent a dream-like consciousness. The butterflies it has for eyes represent the whimsical and fluttery pattern of flight its eyes have. These eyes are the same eyes that hover in the star field, as each butterfly is an eye with wings. This represents Mer’s curiosity, which sprawls into all places and is always watchful for new sparkles of light to bring into its collection.
    The sparkles of light contained within the maze of interconnections represent existing and treasured ideas. The butterfly-eyes landing on the maze represent the gathering of new sparks of light into the maze from far off places. The star field represents the unknown and the unconscious.

    #12321
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Elaborations

    I am not a mythologist, and I surely fail to grasp the full significance of the archetype but I will attempt to unpack some of my notes with you here.

    The Golden Egg

    This is a powerful symbol in the life of an Ne user, especially if they're Ne fixed. The golden egg can manifest in things like the belief in winning the lottery. The "lottery" in this case is the golden egg. It's been my experience with Ne users that something in their life will have the quality of the Golden Egg. For example, FeSi Barack Obama and his hopes/wishes for the world. FeSi Bernie Sanders and his promises to America are golden eggs.
    Fundamentally, it is a miracle. And Mer is the holder of miracles. There are two hands. On one hand Mer holds the wishes/dreams (stars) and on the other it holds the granting of miracles (the egg). This is symbolic of how Mer is not only capable of generating wishes for magic, but also in making them attainable, and in this way Mer is literally magical. One way to think of this is as the self-fulfilling prophecy of "hope." If enough people believe, it will happen. Another manifestation is seen in the Law of Attraction.
    In other senses it can manifest as an "ideal solution" for the future. In my life, transhumanism has taken this role. The belief that "we will be immortal someday!" is a kind of egg (an un-hatched dream of magic) that promises to solve our problems.
    Mythic Examples:
    Mythological examples of the golden egg can be found in genie lamps. The egg is essentially a wish-granting object. Another contemporary example can be seen in the dragon balls of the Dragon Ball franchise. They are "wishing orbs" and are called this sometimes in the show. They are golden colored, spherical and have stars (wishes/dreams) in the center. The dragon balls are one of the most archetypally significant symbols I've ever found of this. They are gathered by the Eternal Child Goku (who flies on a magic cloud). And it's no coincidence that upon gathering them, a mythical dragon (ouroboros) comes out. The hero's task is to gather these magic orbs to have the "eternal dragon" grant any wish.
    And lastly it can be seen in Jack and the Beanstalk as the "magic beans" as well as the goose who lays golden eggs that is found in the sky. I just realized that Dragon Ball also has magic beans (senzu beans) that can cure any injury. This is also why Mer is a Deus Ex Machina, in the literary sense for those who are familiar with theater.

    #12325
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    The Stars on its Head

    These represent dreams/wishes, but more specifically a dream-like or fantastical state of consciousness. There's a focus on "what might be" above what "is" -- and just as the stars are not the earth, Mer lives in the heavens. The thoughts of Mer are thoughts of anything that isn't here. It's necessarily a different place. I'm delighted that @faerie recently shared this video with Tolkien and him describing this very same sort of enchantment. I will let Tolkien do the honors of explaining the rest of what this symbol means.

    Spoiler


     

    [collapse]

    Mer is a surreal, star-gazing dreamer and that same quality translates to those enraptured by the archetype. The existence of "faerie" in this sense is the Ne world; Wonderland. The stars on Mer's head represent having one foot (or both) in wonderland.

    #12330
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    The 6 Wings

    The first pair of wings is the most significant, as it signifies transformation. A caterpillar turns into a pupa and then into a butterfly. And in this sense the moth/butterfly is a symbol of metamorphosis. Mer as an archetype is metaphoric; ever renewing itself, ever re-birthing. Butterflies have a quick life cycle - just as most insects do - and this fleeting element is in line with Mer, who is constantly reinventing itself.
    The second and third pairs of wings represent domains; the sky/light and the night/dark. Mer is capable of light but also darkness and subterfuge/trickery. In general wings are associated with messengers such as Hermes, a "divine trickster", and represent quick travel. They represent the ability to soar around obstacles, rather than needing to go through them.
    But what is most symbolic about the six wings is that Mer is chimerical; an amalgamation or composite of things. Mer is a man, a woman, a child, an adult, and a little bit of everything. Mer as a narrative character is a shapeshifter. We see contemporary examples of this in "Beast Boy" from Teen Titans, who is himself a Puer/Trickster able to take any shape he needs to flexibly meet the demands of his environment.

    #12345
    Aletheia
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    What a beautifully detailed work of art @auburn 😀 <3 Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
    The symbolism is very appropriate I think, and rich with so many layers. One thing about the six wings, that number especially is related to divine messengers (or as Jung described them, potent messages from the unconscious). The Seraph is a six winged angel, and in cultures with Judaeo-Christian underpinnings they represent high-ranking messengers of God. In general when someone has a dream or vision of a seraph, it denotes an important/pressing message from the unconscious, or the culmination of a paradigm-shifting insight.

    #12348
    Celeste
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Indigenous people also have their own version of the trickster which I think it embodies puer aeternus even more. They're usually used in stories to transmit knowledge and for entertainment purposes as well.
    This interpretation of the archetype can either have a light/dark form and it's either child-like and foolish or wise and witty depending on the situation (Si/Ne?). They travel between the human and spiritual world never staying in one for a long time and they're anthropomorphic Gods that shape into animals to give lessons about life but they can also give and take away wishes.

    #12349
    Rua
    Moderator
    • Type: NeTi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    THE STOLEN CHILD (by W.B. Yeats)

    Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we've hid our faery vats,
    Full of berrys
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
    Away with us he's going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He'll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest.
    For he comes, the human child,
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

    #12357
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    @rondo - Yes, exactly! Wow great find-- thank you for sharing. It's the same place (Faerie) Tolkien described, and is also Peter Pan's "Neverland" wherein are the Lost Boys.
    I forgot to mention but the stars in Mer's hand are also symbolized by faerie/pixie dust which, when sprinkled on things, has the same good-luck effect as the golden egg.

    @celeste
    - Yes, that's precisely right. What you shared is almost identical to what I say of the Puer/Pe myth in this article.

    Spoiler

    Archetype: Puer/Puella
    In mythology, the explorer function is symbolically represented as the Puer/Puella archetype; a wayfaring eternal god-child that carries no shackles or responsibilities to life. The Puer roams the world freely, always on the move and on the lookout for new subjects to dally with. Because of this nomadic nature, making contact with this god is always a chance encounter, and can signal good fortune or the beginning of chaos. One example of the Puer can be seen in the story of Peter Pan, whose arrival foreshadows great adventures filled with magic and wonder. Another example of the Puer can be found in Pan, a half-goat Greek god of fertility and sex who roams the fields while playing music on his pipe and who incites crowds into mirth and dance. Pan is a depiction of the Trickster, who also appears as a crafty and mischievous fox/coyote who plays tricks on others simply for his own amusement. Unlike other gods who boast temples of worship and carry great power, the Puer is a different kind of deity which is easily underestimated. While not being physically strong, he relies on cleverness to upend things and get his own way. The Puer represents the necessary chaos that the world needs to function, and exists as an eternal challenge to the King’s order.

    [collapse]

    The puer aeternus and the trickster are aspects of the same root archetype (Puer) in my view. But the way I've framed it in CT is that the Puer Archetype is Pe, and that subdivides into:

    • Puer Aeternus - Ne
    • Trickster - Se

    However there's some trickster-ness in the puer aeternus and vice versa, as some have pointed out. And I think that's probably ok as mythology doesn't exist rigidly as a realm of mutual exclusivity, but as one that is additive and has dynamic symbolic interpretation. Still, to avoid confusion I think I'd frame it as saying that "Mer" is a standalone archetype that is approximated best in existing mythology as the puer aternus, and "Ver" is a standalone archetype that has best been approximated by the trickster in existing mythology -- but neither are perfect or fully pure representations. It's partly my aspiration, by threads like this, to paint as "pure" an image of the Mer archetype as I can. 🙂

    @alerith
    - Thanks. <3
    Mer as messenger from the unconscious, and bringer of paradigm-shifting insights: yes yes yes. We haven't even delved into the psychoanalytical implications of the archetype. I'm excited to share my thoughts on that next! And I'm sure you have some insights on that too-- with your own experience of the archetype.

    #12385
    Sander
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    As already mentioned above, I miss a reference to angels. Apart from their wings and heavenly home, the word angel literally means 'messenger' (in both latin and hebrew). They're often introduced with 'do not be afraid' and then bring good news (vs bad news/warnings from Ni prophets). Such a dramatic reframing of reality often gives a new sense of purpose (a "calling"). Listening to what's meaningful seems too naive for many; so, that may get surpressed until it gets projected onto (imaginary) others.
    Both Ne and Se pursue freedom, yet for Ne that's the freedom to explore what's meaningful whereas for Se it seems to be the freedom to explore what's pleasureable. Ne's flow provides eternal life, whereas Se's play provides timeless presence.

    #12412
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Regarding Angels...

    I just finished watching a movie @rondo recommended and so much just clicked! Holy crap. Yes, @sander and @alerith you're both right. But the kind of angel that Mer is, is like the fairy godmother in Cinderella. She's literally the Mer archetype:

    She materializes out of stars, in a response to squelched hopes. In this way Mer materializes as a response to disenchantment and provides hope where there appears to be none. This is one of the psychological functions Mer can offer, and it can be a very poignant experience. Like feeling there can still be light in the darkest places or darkest times.
    She then proceeds to grant her wish (genie)

    So I think it's less about Mer being an angel or not, and about what type of 'angel' it is --and in what myth we're talking about. The fairy godmother is a type of angel imo, but one of providence. We see another example of Mer in Pinocchio as the blue fairy:

    Although in both of these cases we are looking at Medaer (NeFi) as a pure archetype. The story of Goku and the dragon balls is alpha while these two above are delta-- so there is Ne+Fi influence.
    Note the symbolism; star dust, butterfly wings. The wand in this case takes the same role as the golden egg as the wish-fulfilling object. I wasn't even consciously thinking of these examples when I drew the image but maybe it was affecting me unconsciously. In any event it compels me to feel even more sure that this is capturing a legitimate phenomenon.
    PSYCHOANALYTICAL IMPLICATIONS
    It's my understanding that Mer has the capacity to repair a weary heart. If one gets in touch with the archetype internally (and this is where I start sounding woo-woo) one can find this sort of wish fulfillment to happen at the level of the soul; through a transformation of character or a revivification of hope in life, love, marriage, purity, etc.
    But I really fail to grasp the full extent of what this experience is like, as I've suffered in my own relationship to Mer and am often doubtful of its suggestions of hope. I have much spiritual work to do in this department before I can speak properly about it.

    #12535
    Tea
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I love the drawing, Auburn!
    Angels seem to be something so many SeFi colelect and talk about. Look into the Fi + Se <3 angels deal. It's very real.
    I much more relate to the fairies, yes. As you know, I resonated with the characters in Pinocchio since I was like 2 or 3. Something else from my childhood (that this drawing encapsulates) is the UmbilicalSphere aspect of NeSi. I'm stealing Umbi's name because it works. Between the ages of maybe 3-6, I'd imagine being a pregnant cat or also a kitten about to emerge into life. I loved both the role of mother and child. Pinocchio does that from a more masculine standpoint, I think. But there is something about Ne that is very pregnant.
     
     

    #12554
    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    Mhm, I think angels are a broad class of deities/demi-gods, like the catholic saints, that cover a range of expressions and topics and can't be lumped into one nature. Which is why I don't think Mer=Angel, but Mer can manifest as a certain kind of angel (of providence, or a messenger like Hermes). I don't know enough about all the types of angels there are, though. So I digress.
    Oh yes, the fetus-in-womb. The egg is actually an unborn. And the sphere around Mer looks placental; I'm glad you picked up on that. ;p Some of the symbology of the image quite honestly goes beyond my explicit articulation. But it felt right to draw it that way.

    #12557
    Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Exactly! That stirs my soul and I dream of being that angel for others

    I just processed you are NeFi. This is so cute ! I see Tea doesn't completely agree with the Ne angel idea, but, to be honest, many NeFis here have been like angels to me ! <3
    And looking back to some harder moments in my life, I can say many times Ne leads were the ones who kept me on track/stopped me from doing destructive things and simply showed me the bright side of life. 🙂 I usually am good at this on my own, being Pe lead myself, but I sometimes need a bit of support, hey, nobody is perfect. You guys are very good at providing this type of support !

    @animal
    - I just want to confirm that I don't consider myself a pleasure seeker either.  I actually seek meaning more than pleasure...or maybe it is rather beauty than meaning? Beauty is somewhere at the crossroads between pleasure and meaning, I guess.
    @Tea - I also thought of Umbilical Sphere when I saw the drawing ! 🙂
    About SeFis and angels...this idea was surprising for me, because I always pictured Se as incapable of flying.
    But Fi is connected to the emotional sphere and the highest emotional vibration is that of unconditional love. Which is similar to the essence of angels. Combined with Se, this energy would be convergent, so you'd get something like a personal guardian angel. Who would focus only on the human he protects. And then, there are the Ni worries, which would make this more earthy angel also wary of dangers. I can imagine how this could work psychologically but I can't picture Se flying. Oh, but a Guardian Angel doesn't really need to fly... Since his mission is to protect his human, he can be earthbound. So...this is amazing but I can imagine the SeFi variety of angel too. 🙂
    I think there is also a lot to say about SeFi's interest in angels. Maybe this is one of the things to discuss in a future SeFi Crystal Witch thread. 🙂

    #12654
    Sander
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    "That stirs my soul, and I dream of being that angel for others"
    (I wrote this in a post that was moved to another topic)
    I feel called to volunteer meaningful resources. Part of why good-news bringing angels resonate more, is because angels are more often male whereas fearies are usually female.
    And in the masculine version, it's a seed, and a divine spark.

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