It's a glare that many won't see past, or can't as the case may be -- the media circus that has become Charlie Sheen's life. Despite the revelations of addiction, sobriety, polyamory, and yes, being a warlock (his words, not mine), Sheen's is just the latest shadow blown up on the big screen for all the world to mirror.
Celebrity culture is a funny thing to me and it's a slice of modern life that I circle marginally. I intentionally minimize my exposure to the news and it trends, because that's all they are -- passing fascinations. What I seize upon is what those trends are reflecting in our collective consciousness, what patterns we're playing out as a culture.
However symbolic or literal, the argument stands that back in the day, we engaged in that reciprocal process more easily, when [mythological] gods and goddesses walked among us. We had larger than life living archetypes playing out their dramatic shadows on the world's stage. We don't have earthly gods and goddesses to look up to anymore, but we do have the next best thing -- celebrities -- seekers of fame and fortune, whose lives are thrown into the awareness of almost every living creature in the modern world. In that light are celebrities that different from the deities of yore?
Consider, for example -- the truth-seeker stringing himself upside down on a tree for nine days and nights, to journey into the dark center of the Unknown, in order to enlighten himself. He returned with the Runes, gifting him prophecy, enlightenment, thus power. That guy was Odin, Norse god of one of the Nine Worlds, survivor of a harrowing ordeal of the Yggdrasill, the World Tree (or Living Cross).
What about the offspring of a sister who married her brother that was killed by a jealous brother, who strew his body parts all over the Earth. The wife then collected the parts and resurrected her husband so that she could conceive the baby, whose magickal conception lent him extraordinary powers between the worlds. That's tabloid-worthy stuff. Mom and Dad were Egyptian divinity -- Osiris and Isis, brother, Set, and baby, Horus.
Consider the little girl who was playing in a bed of flowers one day and was kidnapped to the underworld to be bride to a really bad old man. Her mother searched for her for years, and when she finally found the little girl, she was so changed by her ordeal that being in just one world didn't work anymore. She had to spend part of in the light with her mother and the rest in darkness. The little girl was Persephone, mother, Demeter.
Another little girl, a daughter of gods, fell madly in love with humans, so much so that she decided to eschew her godling status and live on Earth among them only to find that they wanted nothing to do with her. That was Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, who if we are to believe interpretations on the author of the Gospel of Matthew, was an incarnation of Yeshua Ben Joseph -- Jesus.
What does a self-sacrificing masochist, a conjured baby, a daughter standing between worlds, and renouncing wisdom have to do with Charlie Sheen? The moral all of these stories is that power is in the eye of the beholder, and regardless of the details of Sheen's personal life, his story is working the mass consciousness. We all know his name, and we all know he's on a path to radical change. To what end remains to be seen.
So maybe during Sheen's blinding emergence into or out of darkness, depending on how you look at it, instead of quibbling over his fitness as a parent or prowess with his "Goddesses" we could take the time to put on some shades, step back, see the divinity in our own lives, and consider that despite all of our crazy, shadow-filled personal stories, what power we hold and what we can do with it.