Contemplating the Staff of Mercury
Signs of early spring here at Taruna show us that nature is again in movement, a gentle out breath beginning as the quiet inwardness of winter comes to an end. A theme our 'Art of Well-Being' course has been exploring is how we can 'stay upright and keep heart' in the face of our often busy, complex lives. One recent source of inspiration has been the Staff of Mercury with its two inter-twining snakes actively moving upwards around a winged staff, which in Greek mythology was carried by Hermes (Mercury), messenger of the gods.
In many cultures a 'talking stick' continues to be an important means of invoking presence and power in social situations. It can help us claim our higher self and access our own wise knowing as we articulate, affirm and acknowledge what is truly essential in a particular moment. This 'staff' or rod is perhaps then a picture of our upright, awake ego force. So what might the snakes to be? We can imagine them to be a representation of our mobile soul life. One aspect of this, and one that we pay particular attention to on our Taruna adult education pathway, is that of our 'reactor self', those quick to surface responses and oppositions we make without pause or thought. Looked at in this way, the staff then has the potential to tame the snakes, to notice polarities and bring them into harmonious upward movement, a vortex that opens out and enlivens our energy and responsiveness. The invitation to each of us is to take hold of our own staff and to work with the uprightness and presence it offers, as we harness the creative energy that spirals around it.
In approaching Seminar 3 for each the Certificate of Rudolf Steiner Education and the Art of Well-Being, we will further explore the nature of Mercury as we work with the soul qualities that shape and influence our everyday interactions. Such investigation together helps us get closer to the central question of what it is to be truly human.
As Springtime creates her outer garment of beauty and hope we wish you a renewed sense of inner centred-ness and balance.
With warmest greetings
Lauren, Deb and Rosie