Are Elders Wise or Wyrd?
“Although an infant becomes a child simply by aging, a person cannot become an elder by simply becoming older. Elders fall into the category of things that are made, not born. Becoming an elder is not a “natural occurrence;” the qualities needed don’t simply develop from physical changes brought on by aging. Rather, there is something meta-physical involved; something philosophical and spiritual that is required. Old age alone doesn’t make the elder." - Michael Meade
Mythologist Michael Meade is my muse. His recent podcast on The Call of the Elder introduced me to a “wyrd” word, meaning fate or personal destiny. We’re often so obsessed with fitting in, we lose our inner essence, our “wyrd-ness.” Meade suggests that elders act as the bridge between the visible world and the unseen realms of spirit and soul. An old idea suggests that those seeking an elder’s guidance should look for someone weird enough to be wise.
Elders often have one foot firmly in reality, and the other in the realm of great imagination. The elder archetype becomes a source of imagination and vision as well as a resource of resiliency and endurance. It’s wisdom that helps them know the perfect alchemy of reality and vision, gravitas and levity, and curiosity and insight that is necessary in the present moment. Elders are most needed in paradoxical times as they have more than one tool in their toolbox.
Meade suggests, “Being connected to the sage in the heart, elders become instinctive humanitarians who can embody wisdom and serve the highest ideals of humanity. Having survived their own troubles, elders are not shocked or overwhelmed by the crises and conflicts that exist in the world. Having repeatedly seen how things fall apart, elders have also witnessed the uncanny ways in which both nature and culture find roots of renewal. In the dark times, the archetypal energy of the elders tries to awaken and help find ways for creation to continue.”
Hope you enjoy the podcast.