All ancient peoples had someone who represented this archetype of the Bard, the storyteller, the singer of songs. In those societies, Bards were highly honored, and they had the power and the responsibility to influence their people's beliefs. In our modern culture, our singers and storytellers are still honored with money and fame, although not many are worthy of being called True Bards. Those who are in it for the money and fame are the ones we call entertainers. Because most entertainers don't take their responsibilities as Bards seriously, we sometimes forget that our artists really have this power to teach us about our world, for the power of the Bard resides in the Imagination.
The 60s Matrix: Yellow Submarine
The Beatles were true Bards. There's no question about that! Their music was one of the most important sound-tracks of the 60s, and their musical imagination helped shape our response to life. Their music still shapes our imaginations and opens us to possibilities. Imagine our life now without the Beatles' influence. Would we want to "give peace a chance', believe "all you need is love' or even "Imagine'?
While their music shaped our lives, the stories they told showed us our journey. From Hard Day's Night to Help! we saw 4 guys from Liverpool dealing with modern life and celebrity with humour and charm, intelligence and feeling. But it was Yellow Submarine that let us in on their secret. We all discovered that we each had a yellow submarine inside us, and we all took a dive into the collective unconscious to explore that unknown realm in the hopes of re-animating the music of life.
1968's Yellow Submarine was not only a visual and musical eye-opener, it was a psychological masterpiece. It's hard to believe that most people in the 60s didn't even know about the psyche within each of us, or that we could become aware of who we are by looking within. Our western culture had lost touch with the inner world in its search for outer facts. The big revelation of the 60s was that we had an inner aspect of our personalities that needed to be explored and understood. The 60s were all about a collective awakening that gave us tools for self-awareness. What was once the province of religious dogma became the individual need to take an inner journey of self-discovery. The Pluto/Uranus conjunction took place in the sign of Virgo, the sign that propels us to self-knowledge. It is the sign that tells us how to belong to ourselves. And that's really the message of Yellow Submarine: it is up to each one of us to stop our inner blue meanies.
Back in the 60s, there was no Oprah or Dr. Phil to turn us onto new tools for self-awareness. Our musicians did it. Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkle, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Beatles -- to name a few. They gave a shape to our new experience of freedom and self-awareness. They helped us define ourselves as different from our parents.
Yellow Submarine did even more. It gave us a whole story to understand the changes going on within our culture and within ourselves.
The story is mythic. It begins in a paradise of affirmation and music, Pepperland. Life is sweet. People are content. But then the Blue Meanies come along -- the patriarchal bankers and politicians who take away our sense of community and possibility. They turn everyone to stone, separating us from each other and from the music of life. How many people are taking anti-depressants? Or are on heavy-duty drugs? The Beatles got that one right!
Eleanor Rigby becomes the epitome of these frozen Pepperlanders. " Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been, Lives in a dream. Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door. Who is it for? All the lonely people. Where do they all come from? All the lonely people. Where do they all belong?"
It's Ringo, the lonely one, who "misses me mom' and has "a hole in me pocket', who can empathize with Fred, the captain of the Yellow Submarine, who is sent to find help for Pepperland. Inner and outer meet and become aware that something is wrong. Ringo brings Fred to the attention of the other Beatles, who are engaged in their own experiments in consciousness. All those doorways leading . . .to worlds upon worlds.
When the Beatles go with Fred in the Yellow Submarine, they encounter parts of themselves, past, present and future. And all the memories and monsters that inhabit our psyches. And of course, that's where they meet the NoWhere Man: the pure intellect which often only spouts gibberish. But he's lonely too, and compassionate Ringo brings him along to Pepperland. This left-brain bore can help them, but only by mistake it seems.
Once back in Pepperland, Fred and the Beatles find the Blue Meanies have total control over the population. And it's only the Beatles and their music which can stop them. When they awaken all the Pepperlanders from their collective blue meanie sleep, colour comes back into life and eventually, even His Blueness, the head Blue Meanie, is transformed by LOVE via our little nowhere man.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE becomes the battle cry as the Beatles re-awaken the archetypal band, St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A worthy anthem. One we'll need as we face the dying patriarchy in these next years of social unrest. It echoes the June 5th, 2012 major Venus transit to the Sun. This cosmic happening brought back an awareness of the Goddess' love and signals that the Goddess has regained her voice! So remember to speak with love in your hearts if you want to create change. The Goddess is watching!
The last image in the movie is of a lotus growing and glowing with possibilities as the Beatles sing: "When I look into your eyes, your love is there for me. And the more I go inside, the more there is to see. It's all too much for me to take. The love that's shining all around you. Everywhere, it's what you make. For us to take, it's all too much."
The Beatles got the message right. We are losing our sense of beauty and community to the corporate story. The Blue Meanies are once again attacking our way of life. It is through fearlessly confronting these negative energies that destroy life -- confronting them with Love -- that we will win the day.