I am extremely excited to depart on this new journey with you, discovering the meaning of myths and the deities of the world, month by month. In 2019 we will discuss the first emperor of Japan, the goddess of the hunt, the highest spirit being worshiped, the goddess with the golden hair, and many more.

Do these stories carry meanings that are relevant to us today?
When I read myths and legends, they seem to whisper between the lines and answer questions I never knew I had, ones that seem very relevant in today’s world.

When reading about our January hero, Jimmu Tenno, who according to legend is the first Emperor of Japan, I found myself immersed in a story of courage, battles and a sense of mission. Here are some of the answers he whispered to me… 😉

Are we divine beings with human characteristics or humans being with divine ones?

Jimmu Tenno became legendary as both a human and a divine being, so maybe we can as well! We have the ability to conceive our identities, create stories, speak to each other (and sometimes understand each other as well ☺).
These are such amazing abilities that we could call them divine, couldn’t we? Seeing ourselves from this perspective makes it easier to feel in awe of life. While driving in traffic, we can witness ourselves as mere humans (and frustrated ones at that), but the very fact that we invented cars, making travel so much faster, is a characteristic that could be identified as divine. This is how it is in so many aspects of our lives, and God only know what our limits are!

We are here to claim new lands

Jimmu Tenno had a mission: claiming the lands of Japan and ruling over them. If we were to think not only in geographic terms but psychological ones as well, what we are called here to do is to conquer new and unknown lands. Only you know what that land is for you. For some people, it is conquering the capacity to speak in public. For others, it is conquering shyness in relationships. For some, it is to become independent. Each one of us has our own piece of land to conquer, and doing so makes it accessible to everyone. So, what are you waiting for, go out and conquer your piece! ☺

Are we peaceful or are we warriors?

Peaceful warriors. A contradiction in terms, or so it seems. No one wants to be in conflict, but it seems impossible to escape it in this world. Reading stories about courageous heroes like Jimmu Tenno, who fought more wars than we can count, makes it easier for us to approach conflict in a noble manner. We fight for what we believe in, not against someone else. We have clarity in our hearts about what is important, and we know when to bend down and when to stand tall. Jimmu also taught us that we might be descendants from the Goddess of the Sun -well, at least he is ;)- but she will not protect us from conflicts.

Politics as a divine act?

With the politicians currently ruling the states, it is hard to imagine that politics can be a spiritual, divine act. However, Jimmu Tenno shows us that in its primordial meaning, politics is divine. It is the capacity to translate spiritual concepts into a way of living. Creating a society based on spiritual values is what we are doing here as a species. It is in the translation that we are lost. What we have learned is that translating ideals into practice is not easy. Usually parties in contraposition each have valid arguments, and taking both sides into account, well… that is an art!

Have you ever read about Jimmu Tenno or other warrior-like heroes from mythologies?
What did you learn from them? Please share with us in the comments below.

~ Bertuccia Bietola