We began the workshop weekend by opening a whole can of worms.
Gilgamesh, Lord of the mighty city-state of Uruk, stands within the temple of Ishtar, face to face with the High Priestess, Shamhat, and demanding her favours, and when that fails, commanding her obedience. Shamhat refuses; within the temple, her obedience is owed only to the gods.
She is no longer one of the harimtu, the priestesses who offer their bodies to all supplicants as a portal to the goddess. She has served at each of the seven altars of the gods, holding the hues of their power for the sacred act that opens a portal to the stars and beyond; she has earned the right to choose.
“Is it not the law that the priestesses must offer themselves to all who ask?”
“No, Great One, it is the law that they must offer their bodies to all who worship here…”
Gilgamesh does not see the distinction between the physical and subtle. He wants none of her ‘underlings’. Each day he has visited the temple with his demands and the priestesses of the seven gods have offered their gifts to him. As Shamhat tells him of those gifts…the dreams, insights and strengths each would bring… Gilgamesh dismisses them. Those, he believes, he has no need of, or can have for the asking.
The one thing he is denied has become the focus of his desire. Sensing a power within the priestess that he neither understands nor owns, he is determined to prevail. But, says Shamhat, High Priestess of the Temple of Ishtar,
“I am Woman, and I serve no man.”
The existing fragments of the original story, that has come down to us through the millennia, are missing many of the human motivations that tie the tale together. We had to try to understand and create, from those fragments, a workable narrative that would illustrate the principles taught within the Silent Eye , while staying as true to the original as possible.
We chose to present the story as a series of vignettes and, between each of them, show the wheels of creation in motion as the Fates walked the Hexaflow, the paths between the points of the Enneagram. These paths represent process, which can be defined as an “interlinked and interdependent set of actions that transform input to output”. Within the Silent Eye, we use it to symbolise the evolution and alignment of the personality. Within the workshop, we used it to portray the process of the ‘cosmic machinery’ in motion. The two are not so very far apart.
Continue reading at The Silent Eye