Eris is the Greek Goddess of deception and discord. She was the one who threw the golden apple inscribed with the words “for the fairest” between Athena, Aphrodite and Hera. According to mythology, this action was part of what lead to the Trojan War. Eris also represents one of the main archetypes, or Divine patterns, that I carry and the first I’m going to explore. While I generally do not enjoy creating conflicts on a large scale, I do quite enjoy other aspects of this trickster goddess.
Eris comes out in me when I am in groups, particularly with friends both new and old. Usually I am the first to throw the golden apple, but the golden apple I throw is to break down boundaries. I’ll be one of the first to start telling boundary-pushing jokes, or taking my shirt off at a house party, or grabbing my breasts in public and throwing off the folk singer facing me (more details below). I then sit back and watch while I enjoy how far others ride the wave…or laugh as others squirm in their seats.
Another role I quite enjoy and have learned to temper is that of Devil’s Advocate. When I feel someone is being closed-minded, I will present to him or her counterpoints, even when I may be in full agreement with his or her viewpoint. I quite enjoy watching someone’s paradigm shifting. It’s fun to see the lights turn on in new places.
Eris’ love for discord also seems to play a part in how I seem to be uncomfortable with the status quo. When the sun is shining, I look for the clouds. When the rain is pouring down, I look for the silver lining. Perhaps these are my ways of finding balance? Or perhaps it’s just another way that Eris shows up within me in the form of discord.
It has always been fun for me that my age is indeterminate for many. When I was a minor, I looked older, luckily I never got any sailors in trouble for that… Now that I’m 41, many believe I’m in my early thirties. It can be a blessed curse, as I find it difficult to judge the ages of others.
The other trickery I enjoy is acting and appearing innocent, then making perverse or lewd comments. Recently, while seated in front of center stage with friends at an Irish Pub, I grabbed my breasts and threw off the Scottish folk singer. This then started a “one upping” by several friends. What I started others finished. Naughtiness is a such sweet nectar for my inner Eris.
I also feel this aspect is part of my creative side, as Eris enables me to look outside of the box for solutions. Her tenacity is the trait I carry when I view a patient’s issues as a unique riddle to solve. Perhaps Athena and Hera are also involved here.
Then there’s the shape-shifting. This can sound bad, and depending on how far I take it, it can be. As an empath, I can pick up the energies of others. This can be a challenge with lovers, as I can often see their fantasies. This is great when it’s done in a healthy way, yet I must be careful to remain grounded in myself lest I try to become a lover’s living fantasy. It’s not my goal to be deceptive, as this can be dangerous for both of us. Yet the allure of acting out a lover’s fantasy can also be quite sweet.
Shape-shifting can be very useful professionally as it allows me to tolerate quite a bit of gruff from clients without it affecting me too much. Yet this also means that I must later find an outlet to discharge some of the pent up emotions. Shape-shifting allows me to act brave when I’m emotionally affected or even unsure. This is a very important part of any professional practice.
The darker aspects of Eris have been apparent in different times of my life. In middle school, I was one of the “mean girls” who pitted friend against friend. This taught me at an early age to avoid such conflicting roles. Now I use this aspect to help reveal to others their own inner conflicts.
More than I may have liked to admit before, I see how much I can enjoy a bit of discord. For to be too comfortable with the status quo can lead to stagnation. Without some degree of discord, we’d always choose to remain the same. As such, Eris has played an integral role in my path to freedom and living through a heart that is increasingly unfiltered.
Yet I also find it a challenge at times to be at peace with myself. Always striving for more and for better can be exhausting; in this way, there is always another bridge to cross or peak to conquer. Ultimately, I believe that it is when I can fully accept myself that I will finally be home in my own skin, it is in being at peace with all of who I am that sets me free. Owning my own shadow means accepting this stereo’ed paradox.
By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Golden apple, anyone?