February 24th, 2012
At the moment, I am working on and writing up a powerpoint workshop on the archetype of Superhero that I will give to a client team in Toronto next Tuesday. For days, I have been researching classical and contemporary legends of heros, superhero icons, historical and famous contemporary figures that Americans and Canadians find to be their personal superheroes, and looking at brands that represent a Superhero archetype.
I am also considering applying for the doctoral program in Depth Psychology with emphasis on Jungian and Archetypal Studies, at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California, where there will be a major emphasis on archetypes and mythology as key to my Ph.D. I am in the decision stages, and actually am writing now from Santa Barbara where today an interview with the head of the department JS will take place.
Two days ago while running along the Hudson River in New York City–after a silent request to the Universe to please help me figure out the Superhero presentation, which is complex and related to a specific brand that I’ve done a large ethnographic study on, as well as to help me figure out what to do about the doctoral program and if I should go ahead–I saw a truck that said Hercules prominently on it. Hercules Cleaning is its full name. Apparently, Hercules Cleaning is a cleaning company that promises strength of cleaning results, but the important sign for me was the name Hercules. Then another truck with Hercules on it came into view. I walked by another one. Another passed me on the street. Then another. Yet another.
With my mouth agape and my mind astonished at this visual synchronicity, I witnessed seven Hercules trucks within a 10 minute period of time–parked, moving, in traffic, going by me, in front of a warehouse, etc.–they were all different and all these signs of Hercules were occurring within a very short period of time.
As almost everyone knows, Hercules is a great hero from classical Greek and Roman mythology, celebrated as a contemporary icon, appearing within adult and children’s movies, and used as common parlance to mean superstrength. “A Herculean task,” etc. Hercules is the original legendary hero known for his half-god/half-human origin, his mighty superhuman prowess, his many feats with other superheros, and his ability to perform tasks of impossible difficulty. The 12 tasks of Hercules are archetypal. One day I’ll note them in a posting if it seems relevant.
So, with my iPhone on me that morning, I quickly and intensely photographed these seven Hercules truck sightings. Realizing the dramatic news and sign represented by so many Hercules appearing to me, I am now seeing–while developing this post–that a) the Superhero presentation in Toronto will go well, it will have strong results for the brand, corporate team, if followed will enjoy success in the marketplace, and be a strong connection between archetypes and my mythological/brand work, and b) I need to and can take seriously a positive decision to accept the doctoral program on mythology and archetypes within a depth psychology perspective were it offered to me.
Superhero strength like that of Hercules will be required, but it is sure to become available.
I am posting several photographs of these Hercules sightings, but remember, there are actual seven sightings. There were more than seven but some “got away” from me because I couldn’t get my camera out in time, assuming each time I did a photograph of a truck with Hercules on it, it was the last. And, then I saw another. And another…
Seven is the number of Explorer-Adventurer/Chariot archetype, which implies movement within stability, the time of the new adventure, with total permission to be exploring new worlds.
Signs like these act quickly and with great focus during a time of intellectual ferment. The owl seems a fitting symbol of ideas and thoughts rushing in from self, others, and from what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, that vast storehouse of legendary wisdom underlying spiritual and powerful symbolic iconography with synchronous events appearing with meaning in the world. Classically, the snowy owl is associated with Athena, the Greek goddess/archetype of wisdom. Remember the snowy owl flying in with the letter for Harry Potter to announce his entrance to the school of magic in the first Harry Potter movie? Athena also appears visually in my powerpoint presentation, the expanded version, as a model for contemporary female icons like Wonder Woman and perhaps a building block for target audiences related to the brand I’m working on.