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Reply To: Merlin . . . & the Lost Art of Mentorship, with Dr. John Bucher


Hi Shaheda,

It was wonderful hearing your lovely story the other evening in our chat, and here I love too all the extra details you have provided that really put in into context and create strength in sense of place. It all sounds like a historical novel with all its romance of one’s memoirs. And yes, when I brought up the senex/crone/Hillman I also included the reference to James N who brought it up and discussed it in this forum. I have to say thank you for being open to sharing some of your personal myth with us in this story. The railroad is such a powerful symbol/metaphor in and of itself and so is perfume/fragrance, and psychologists have mentioned that one’s sense of smell is the most powerful memory-bringer that we have, as you and most here are probably aware of already. Whenever I smell roses, I think of my grandmother, for instance, sinch she always had rose water and roses around.

As children we sometimes have less impulse control to resist something so aesthetically pleasing as a bottle of perfume that not only smells good but is most likely beautifully designed as well! I suppose we adults still have a bit of that lack of resistance in us when we see or smell chocolate and we eat it, but are by then less apt to eat it if we would have to sneak it out of our uncle’s coat pocket or from his dresser! You say you and your uncle were opposites when you were that age, yet knowing you now, I would find it so difficult to believe that you were so totally without ethics back then (as you say he was ethical and you were not at that time, and that you lacked nobility). Children all slip off and away with their hands into the mysterious world of discoveries of all the things they have to touch, smell, taste, and experience while still learning so much about our sensory world. I question if such nobility as yours (as I know you to possess) could grow out of the 12-year old child you were who you say had no nobility. And your uncle was in on the secret, which I find so sweet and endearing! It was obviously excused!–at least by your uncle.

From what you told me about him, he seemed to have impeccable taste, and a certain sensory appreciation of life, which you have seemingly obviously inherited.

You reminded me of how much I loved the smell of my grandmother’s rosewater.

I don’t know how many of us could resist opening the genie bottle! Perhaps your daimon needed you to open the bottle and let her out! Let us chat some more soon–I have a collaborative idea. This is so numinous to me that you write about this now when I consider an experience I had the other day that I have been meaning to blog about. It is about a message in a bottle. I will include a photo with the story here below if I can. I just love it when the archetypes in myths become part of our personal myth(s).

So here is the story in a nutshell, or the Message in the Bottle Blowing in the Wind:

The other day the wind was very strong. It had that lake effect, when/where it blows in from the south and wraps around the lake atmosphere somehow to circle back from the north making leaves and everything else in its path swirl around, like little mini-tornadoes that can lift small objects off the ground. When I went outside on the porch, I saw a glass bottle that had been sitting on the ledge “caught” by the thin rope that pulls the blinds up and down, and it was hanging there in suspended animation swinging back and forth in that wind and sometimes bumping into the wooden porch fence rail. I hope my photo below will “stick.” I could also try to upload the video I took of this. In regards to mentors, when thinking of the daimon as one’s genii, I hope I have not steered too far off the forum topic (as I do tend to free associate a lot).

"Message in the Bottle Blowing in the Wind"
Message in the Bottle Blowing in the Wind
(Photo taken my M. Bencivengo, mid-November 2020)

What messages are waiting in the bottle, whether from genii or magician mentor or human mentor? I have been wanting to write on this as I meditate on it. 

(Oh, and if anyone is wondering, that is an old delivery truck with historical plates–it comes in handy now and then, and we had wanted to have it converted into a camping/RV type van by now! Sorry I did not move the trash can out of the pic but it was one of those spontaneous pics. I figured maybe the genii wanted to tell me about all the things I could use less of in my life, all the things I could let go of!)

–Mary Ann

(I know my name spelling  is confusing–I recently switched the spelling of my name to “Marianne.”  I will try to change it here on this website/forum, too. )