This myth is about those who used to travel to Athens on foot and to whom Procustes would offer shelter and food. Once they were lying in bed, Procustes would tie them down and check if they fit the bed. If they didn’t, he would cut off the body parts which were too big for the bed or would strech them painfully in case they were too small.
This story is a metaphor about a part of our life. Athens is the symbol of our goals, of our success, which is the result of both our dreams and our parents’ ones. In fact, our parents want us to achieve what they think is best for us.However, often their dream doesn’t meet our abilities, individuality and personal traits, which Astrology teaches us to identify. Their baby is only a projection of the ideal child they would like to have, far from the real and living one.
So Athens is a metaphor of hapiness which varies according to the culture, social status, gender, religion, upbringing we are born in.
We are pushed to Athens from the moment we are born; we are taught to do it, moulded, punished, and rewarded during the different periods of childhood and adolescence. At first because of family, school then, group of friends, we get moulded according to behavioural patterns in search of hapiness, success, approval and love.
This process of psychological self-mutilation happens to us unconsciously mostly: when our family doesn’t understand some of our attitudes or traits of character; when our social group rejects us because of our personality; when we are humiliated because of our looks; when we fear to be abandoned because of an attitude of ours and therefore we fear to take action; when our memories hurt us and we push them into the very bottom of our hearts; when we act in certain ways so that we will not lose our jobs or to get a good career. Cutting off or streching bits of ourselves,we head towards Athens, the one we have dreamt of, the promised land.
The moulding process – by means of punishment, prize, humiliation, fear, guilt, social judejment, pain – to the size of Procrustes’ bed is painful as we give up on some parts of ourselves, forgetting others inside us, and thus sacrificing ourselves beyond belief. We do all this not to be abandoned, rejected, humiliated, to be happy, successful and loved.
In time we stop being sincere, getting away from our free, loving and divine nature. We get stuck to Procrustes’ bed. We risk becoming insecure, afraid, anxious, bitter, intolerant, losing bit by bit our self-esteem. We get more and more lonely lost in ourselves, believing that we’ll never be able to reach Athens, even though it still means the promised land, until it becomes a distant blurred image. When we go through deep and serious inner crisis, we are invited to reach our deepest inner self. There we look at ourselves and we can see us crippled, limping along, unable to keep our balance while walking. Sacrifice and exhaustion has dried up our soul. Years of fear, guilt, humiliation, sorrow, resentment, anger have added up to what has been left of ourselves. We look at the ripped off pieces of ourselves that we have left behind, thrown away, forgotten.
An inner crisis may be a healing process of our being to find our lost authenticity, to rediscover our divine nature. We only can initiate the change, we only can free ourselves from the mutilation process which we accepted to submit ourselves. We only can get free from what is limiting and hurting us. We only can dream of Athens again but according to what we really are, to what we really value, to what is real and authentic for us, to what we love. We only can give us back our whole being again.
in Rosacruz , year 84º, no 393 ( July Agust, September )