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Tygress and Tyger Initiation Courses.

The Moon Tygress and Burning Tyger Initiation courses are a series of workshops, radically revisioning the narrative of women and of men, through an archetypal lens. The teachings are both ancient and modern. The structure follows the mystae and epoptai initiations of the old Mystery Schools, anchored in mythology, while the processes embody the post-modern insights of image-based Archetypal psychology. The four experiential courses that make up each programme, one for women and another for men, are conducted over 9 months, with some months between each gathering. The course is essentially one single continuous ritual, separated into four parts, so as to allow for the assimilation and integration of each stage of the process. While there is a clear focus on deep learning and archetypal studies, the primary consideration is towards direct and embodied experience. The three non-residential weekends culminate in a 5-day residential ritual and the completion of this initiation.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
                 The Tyger by William Blake

Did you notice the one-word change in the first and last verse? In some ways, that’s the key to the poem. A tiger, like other powerful and awe-inspiring forces, combines elegance and beauty with terrifying and ruthless intent. How such refinement and brutality could co-exist is part of Blake’s rhetoric with God.

Here we are a little closer to grasping why, in mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and sensual love, is the lover and beloved of Ares, the god of war and untamed violence.1

All behaviour, no matter how wild or driven, profane or religious, presents a pattern of imagination. This insight has important implications. ‘Acting out’ may therefore no longer be conceived as simply forgetting images at the cost of soul. Rather, acting out must be considered as a mode of ‘doing imagination’. It is a style of remembering that reconnects us with what is repressed and forgotten. So long as we condemn acting out rather than trying to see through it, we stay stuck in repression of the thymos2, our vital life-force.’3

See calendar for details. For more information, contact workshops@tamboo.co.za

1. Ares represented the blood-lust side of war. His sister Athena was the war strategist. On the mutual attraction between Love and War, cf. James Hillman on ‘Aphrodite and Ares’.
2. The primary life-force of the individual body. Cf. R B Onians ‘The Origins of European Thought’.
3. Siobhan Brodie. ‘Thymos in Torso’. Personal notes for one of the Tygress workshops.