I’m fascinated by stories of women from Greek mythology and Pandora’s Box has long been a myth that has captured my imagination. Whilst it is commonly known as a box, it was actually a jar, having been mistranslated at some point along the line.
The myth was used to explain why evil is present in the world. The world was occupied by men only and the first woman was created by the gods as a punishment to men for their lack of respect. She was called Pandora which means “All-Giving”.
The world of men was ruled by Prometheus who offended the god Zeus. Zeus planned his retribution by creating a woman in all her beauty and presented her to Prometheus’ brother, Epimetheus. Whilst Epimetheus had been warned about accepting gifts from the gods that could be punishments, he could not ignore the beauty of Pandora and took her as his wife.
Pandora came with a gift from Zeus, a jar which was said to contain all the beautiful things in the world. The jar was fitted with a lock and the key given to Epimetheus with strict instructions never to be opened.
When Pandora was created by the gods, she was given many talents and gifts, one of which was curiosity. With her god given gift, curiosity soon got the better of her and whilst Epimetheus slept, she stole the key and opened the jar. All the ghosts of evils of the world flooded out yet, all was not lost as at the bottom of the jar was the ghost of hope. Pandora was not punished by the gods for they knew all along that she would open the jar.
You may have heard the saying, don’t open Pandora ’s Box! A phrase used to describe an action which could be a source of worry and trouble.
From my own experiences, this myth speaks to me of awakening to our truth. The masculine in the world represents the mind and the box the subconscious fear and conditioning we all carry from our experiences. Pandora represents the feminine energy that we all carry and that we need to throw the lid open and delve inside our subconscious to clear away the thoughts, feelings and conditioning that holds us back from being all we can be.
What I have taken from this story is that, whether the ills of the world were inside or outside of the box, they were still the ills of the world, hidden or unhidden. They existed and until Pandora’s Box was opened and the knowledge of the ills of the world released and known, then hope would continue to be buried underneath.
We all have our own Pandora Box inside of us made up of negative experiences and feelings, fear conditioning and so forth and it’s a heavy box to carry. Every community, society, country, race and the world itself have their own collective box.
If we keep our Pandora’s Box shut tight because we are afraid of what we might find instead of flinging back the lid, the ills of our individual worlds stay inside causing internal damage, affecting our lives, our relationships and separating us from our truth and each other.
The pain, sorrow and trouble the box will cause by being kept hidden and manifesting in our lives will far outweigh the pain of sorting through the contents of the box and exposing the ills of our individual and collective worlds.
Only by facing up to what’s in the box and dealing with it head on can the ghost of hope appear. And it is only with this hope can we free our wild and live our lives as we please.
(C) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.