• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 02
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Mirror of Amaterasu

Save limitlessness for Superheroes. Even Olympian Gods have struggled with battles of misogyny, injustice and humiliation. The winter solstice celebrates the rebirth of Amaterasu Ōmikami, the Sun Goddess of light and hope. Desperate, she hid away, bringing darkness to the Earth. Fleeing exhausted.

Inexhaustibility is a childhood fantasy or by-product of materialistic wealth and decadence that fuels the flame of life. Desire for fame, money, recognition is a locomotive that runs as a circuitous Möbius strip, disconnected from nature. From birth the torch ephemeral flickers, its boundaries stretched and tested. Controls to protect each fire of life are imposed by the gaze or sound of the other. Fear of financial, family or religious ruin twinned with laughter and smiles, reinforce success. Culturally choreographed waltzes of age appropriate guidelines form walls and networks of prohibiting signifiers. A maze to be deciphered, as pre-school lessons begin with the first breath, the first cry.

Our androgynous joys of youth burn, until laws of difference are recognised, adhered to, accepted and forgotten. A merging of you, me, we, before the emergent question of, “who am I?” Imagine Piaget’s sixties child at seven, skipping, catching, kiss-chasing, tree climbing and conquering. Dressing up boxes beckoning, full skirts of enticing pantomime-dame cross-dressing. Games of hide and seek with camp fires burning. Shrill voices sing with unbroken innocence. The cudgel of Punchinello is a shadow of social power-play, now tamed within a cybernetic bully-free zone.


Mirror of Amaterasu

Pre-teen choice is still Hobson Choice, yet oversized stilettos, lipstick and snapchat provide a secret rush for wannabe rule breakers, those cannot-help-themselves pirates, magicians and unicorn tamers, do help themselves. Or they fill themselves with candy-crush.

Can an archetypal god or goddess wield power without using beauty, intelligence, strength or charisma?

All grown up, childhood dreams are faded, realised or still work-in-progress. Jammed like a wrongly placed jigsaw piece, the adult role leaves no room to breathe. Up against a mountain, the schedules press, inching closer. Digital diaries reduced to arial narrow, font size 6, flashing dates, appointments, management meetings on Skype. Never a free window, all hours consumed. Lucky to grab a colleague as cover for a toilet break and lunch is two mega-bites with extra cheese, between zip files. Like a pac-man fleeing the ghosts, workers’ space is shrinking, closing in by a lurching creature that devours oxygen. Squeezes vital organs and nags at the waking mind. A sleep deprived consciousness measured by the fitbit. Holidays marked with an X on the iphone. Burning the candle with wifi by the sea.


Mirror of Amaterasu

No different to us, Amaterasu chose to be shut away in a cave, a reclusive protest against the vile behaviour epitomised by her brother. Her retreat from Gaia plunges the earth into darkness. Hypnotised toward mid-life we cannot remain hermits allowing our life force to be subdued; awaiting Amaterasu’s mirror to realise our worth. Listening out for the bawdy dance of Amenouzume to flash and shake her bristols and stir us into action. Act now and shine with pride.