Cinema of the weekend, we go to Moana (sure value: the children will love and we will have a good time, given the prices of places, we do not chip).
Well, the stunning images of the trailer had titillated us …
Yes good ok, I like the Disney’s movies!
And I was not disappointed by that one, oh no! (hence my great desire to write about it!)
I’m not going to get into the movie, I reassure you right away. What transported me are the multiple symbols of female initiation (we are on sheartswild or not ?!)
They are numerous, they are deep. So, yes, I know that it was written everywhere that Disney continued to change course with princesses who think of something other than their prince and that there was talk of individual achievement. It was even said that it was an initiatory narrative, I do not invent anything!
Yes, yes, yes to all that …
I just wanted to know more!
What is this story about in feminine universality? Because, like any initiatory tale, there are several degrees of reading …
So I typed in my search engine (ecosia, to feed my virtual-ecological fiber) these keywords: moana + initiatic.
The results are raining and I choose a few tens of pages … each one goes from his little sentence “Moana, the initiatory tale of Disney, blablabla” but impossible to know more …
Great fan of Clara P. Estes, Markus Kraneburg and other Marie-Luiz von Franz, I naturally stay on my hunger!
So I decided to make my own interpretation. I’m not a specialist, but I wanted to practice my mini-knowledge by letting myself be guided by the chronology of the film (and therefore: SPOILER ALERT).
The story begins with a story (INCEPTION !!!!!!!) where a grandmother tells the cosmogony of her people to the new generation (still wearing diapers), not forgetting the little details that make young people shudder ( and inscribes the legend forever in their minds by the way !!) It is about the heart of a goddess (represented by a stone) that was stolen and lost. The concern is that the goddess, deprived of her heart is no longer able to create, nor to ensure the subsistence of what she has already created … in short, we will soon realize that on the beautiful island, food will come to miss. But for now, life is still flourishing.
Moana (Vaiana in french… why ???), scarcely standing on her feet, sets out to meet the ocean. It seems to call her and she will respond with the enthusiasm of a child. This is the first call we encounter in all initiatory narratives.
But this momentum (the ocean will offer Moana the vanished heart of the Goddess) turns badly. Soon her parents arrived and, in the name of her safety (and the visions they bear for her), took her to the village. The blood tie is strong here and removes the heroine from its realization … for the moment it is not very serious, Moana is only a toddler who still needs their care. She has to grow …
Alone, the grandmother, symbol of wisdom will recognize the meaning of the stone and gather the heart of the Goddess. She will keep it secretly for years.
Transcribed on the level of consciousness (that is, each character in history represents a part of ourselves), this means that we succumb to our need for security (our ego who sees danger everywhere) but that wisdom in us, keeps the treasure offered of this first call, well at the bottom.
The heroine grows and arrives at the age of choices … stay in what society has decided for her (leader full of responsibilities) or answer the call that she alone can hear?
A heroine is a heroine only if she answers it! So she disobeys, takes a canoe … but it’s not as simple as she thought! It is even very difficult, risky, dangerous … her innocence and her naivety that had pushed her beyond her comfort zone, breaks. The first step (the end of innocence) is achieved.
However, she sees only a failure in this attempt.
She initiated her initiation. She responded to the call. This first failure is the normal course of history and prepares her for the first test: that of fear.
Oh how easy it is to dare when you do not see the danger!
Henceforth, the time of naivete is surpassed. Moana knows (she bits into the naughty apple!)
And what can we do now? Accusing the shock!
She will return to her comfort zone: her village, her parents.
She will even begin to take on her role and ignore her little voice that brought her continually to the ocean. It is only a murmur after all and it is easy to zap it.
Many heroes will thus ignore again and again this murmur which eventually goes out. The great story ends there.
After all, Moana’s father was also a hero. He also received the call and launched (towards the barrier reef), lost his innocence (the death of his friend). His path of personal fulfillment will not lead him further … the hero can not confront his fears and renounce adventure.
Will it be the same for our Polynesian beauty?
For to this fear is added another obstacle: the bond of blood.
In history, they are strong. Her parents are alive, they are loving. Moana is not a Cinderella or a Mary of Gold that has a stepmother easy to leave. However, the link will not be broken by the death of the latter.
It is the grandmother, this symbol of wisdom in this tale is also that of the wild woman. She is after all the sweet madwoman, who allows herself to dance barefoot in the ocean.
It is not the link between her and the traditional world that breaks. But paradoxically, the one which kept her in the wild world, in the world of woman. She could have rest for a long time on her grandmother to nourish her soul, still a little, of this authentic feminine nature. It would have been simpler to live her life as a chef with this grandmother, a true portal to the wild woman!
The grandmother is sick. The portal can close forever. The call will simply stop. The little voice, shut up forever.
But Moana feels that the closing of the portal would be the anticipated death of her soul … it is an extreme choice whether to kill her wild wife or kill her ego (her fear and her need for security are barriers)
And she chooses to seize this last call!
If it sounds scary, you should know that jumping into adventure, into the unknown does not happen alone.
Besides, she has scarcely begun, when the spirit of the grandmother joins her. The wild woman passes from one form to another to be able to accompany her who has had the courage.
Yes, the helpers and guides who act from the other world (the ancient Greek muses) offer themselves to those who respond to the call. And now ! The grandmother acts from the very first seconds of her departure in precious help (crossing the barrier reef). Without their invisible aids, it is almost impossible to navigate the stormy regions of our unknown.
And finally, Moana is helped by the feminine principle itself (the grandmother but also the ocean, oh how feminine in most cosmogonies) to help the feminine principle (put her heart back to the Goddess!)
And now I take you into the exciting field of chakras! Of course, there is the heart (the stone that SURPRISE! Is green like the heart chakra !!!!!!) which serves to ????
Yes, of course to love 🙂
But, here, more particularly, we will give us a much less known information on the chakra of the heart.
For without this stone, what happens? This is rather terrifying, since it prevents the goddess from creating and keeping alive …
So the chakra of the heart would be connected to that of creativity. It is enough to understand that without the impulse of the heart, any creation (from birth to the finalization of an artistic project) that has a meaning is impossible !
Moana therefore leaves to discover her chakras and their bonds (which is also one of the stages of initiation).
But of course, the road will not be easy. We will have to go through some milestones.
To begin with, the heroine will have to find her animus (sacred masculine) personified by the demi Dieu Maoi.
It is found, but it is not yet acting … it lacks its sacred tools to be able faithfully to serve the feminine vision (let us specify that the opposite is done for the masculine initiation, the Anima to serve his acts).
To make the animus of the heroine active, she will have to dare the descent (we see this moment in the trailer!)
Descent … is the other name of female initiation.
In Moana, the descent is symbolized by … a literal plunge (easy to recognize.)
And in ?
In the unknown!
It is Maoi who jumps first (logic, it is the active but also planning part of our heroine) and both arrive in the world of monsters, located under the ocean.
And yes, the initation, always passes by that moment when the heroine crosses the mirror. She will make a visit to the other world, the world of the dead, like other heroes and heroines before her (Inanna, Persephone and Orpheus in particular). It is the heart of initiatory mysteries …
There, they paradoxically confront the incarnated world, the material world (all that shines). It is the attack of the last part of ego that wants again and again a very quiet life (but where all creativity is dying). The animus weapon is hidden among all that bling-bling … and the fatal blow is given. The couple goes up, winner of one more test.
It remains the ultimate goal of their adventure: to find the Goddess.
It is there, again and again, that the will of each one will be put to the test. But it is also there that each one will learn from the other: the masculine intelligence that will serve the feminine to learn to navigate towards her vision (it is not beautiful) and her masculine part, to dare to look at the painful events of the past and integrate them (by responding emotionally).
During the journey, the heroine also learns to know her ancestors (one of the key learnings of feminine initiation!) whose incredible knowledge has been lost by the last generations (the father who has not realized).
The navigation continues and they arrive before the lava monster (Hecate), worthy symbol of our zone of shadow. All this way to finally come face to face with this monstrous power. The hero expected it, he was even afraid (to the point of giving up to serve the feminine by shooting himself !!!!)
And yes, it is not easy to see its shadow and confront it! It is even the most difficult test! The first time our heroes encounter the world of darkness, the shock is terrible. To the point of separating.
What a frightful vision is this part of shadow that we all possess. It contains everything we have ordered that we did not want to see on ourselves. All our fears. All our weaknesses. All our failures. All our abandonments. All our faults. All our shortcomings.
Everything we never wanted to confront and eliminate from our sight to strengthen our ego (and remain all-beautiful-all-shiny characters, PERFECT characters in safety in their comfort zone!)
And now is the time to look at ALL OUR WASTE in the face.
The will is put to the test again. Either we will have to give up, or we will have to continue and meet again our share of shadow. What a difficult choice! But still, there is help in the spiritual world, we’re not alone. And we have our free will, always. And she choses to continue, because, she can remember herself. She is goddess. SHE just IS.
Here again, the heroine throws herself and surpasses her shadow. She’s on the other side of the fence. But instead of finding the long-awaited victory, she finds nothing.
She then realizes that it is in her shadowy part that is the purpose of her mission.
She turns around again. She asks the help of her ocean guide to accomplish her last gesture. She is sure of herself. This time it is even she who calls her shadow!
In the face-to-face, none of them flinch. The heroine is no longer afraid. She understood.
She puts her heart back to the goddess.
She discovered, that gold is IN the monster.
She discovered that the monster IS the goddess.
This is the secret of life-death-life that only women can hold. Moreover, it can be noted that at this precise moment, the masculine principle is discarded.
It is also ancient knowledge (especially in India) where the goddess has several faces. That of the creator, but also that of the destructive (Kali). It is these two ensembles that form the true essence of the Goddess.
At this point the heroine has understood this essential truth and instead of fighting her share of shadow, she accepts it and even hands her heart back (you would give your heart to a monster?) What confidence! What an act of wisdom!
Instantly, the Goddess reveals herself. Moana find it … she is at the end of her initiation! GLORY time : seeing the pure beauty of the Goddess.
What is left for her to do?
Well … she could just stay there, in the ultimate, in the illumination! But she is an incarnate being, so she must return to her home;)
This is not a step to neglect! She is as difficult as all the others … who possessed all this knowledge, being against the opinion of all, how to return to the material world? How will others ever understand it?
The legend of Buddha tells of the difficulty of the latter to return to the “real” world.
Yet, she embarks for the return trip, happily finds her parents, her island. She accomplished the great journey of her life.
But she’s not going to sunbathe, no! She will be able to assume totally who she is: the wild woman and the animus (which one sees at the end) pursue, in her, her great creative vision WITH HER.
Moana is not only a pretty Polynesian tale with beautiful images.
This is a REAL narrative initiation FEMININE (and they are few …)
So, yes, I must admit, it is not the most difficult initiatic story to interpret (I would never have rubbed the exercise if the codes had not been so clear). We are far from the texts of initiates of the kind of those of Moses (for whom the initiation was reserved to few chosen, thanks to Genesis incomprehensible).
We are well into the era of the popularization of mysteries!
Initiated by Pythagoras (who made them public through his academy) and then by Plato (first written traces no longer using obscure hieroglyphic symbolism: see the Timaeus) we go through a new path: that of cartoons for children …
As if the guides of the other world gave the mark of individuation to the future generations, way 2.0.
As if, Disney went beyond the bling-bling era to serve as forgotten lofty knowledge (without slaughtering it like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or the Little Mermaid).
You know the way : go through fear, through failures, count on spiritual helpers, meet your animus, affronts your darkness, remind you who you are (a Goddess incarnate) and open your heart to return and lead your world. Be a heroine at your turn !