Follow the White Bull

Psyche as Poet
How To Defend Yourself Without Even Trying

Follow the White Bull

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Each Moment A White Bull Steps Shining Into The World

If the gods bring to you

a strange and frightening creature,

as if it was one you had chosen.


Spare no expense, pay what is asked,

when a gift arrives from the sea.

–Jane Hirshfield

(ten poems to change your life again & again by Roger Housden, p. 44)

I am using 1½ stanzas of the Hirschfield poem. In Greek mythology, Europa was abducted by the Greek god Zeus in the guise of a white bull. Thus, in Hirshfield’s poem, the white bull is symbolic of this wild, divine energy.  And the “gift arrives from the sea” or the deeper realm of the psyche and is shining or divine. Wildly divine. Dangerous.


In the movie Act of Valor, a Navy SEAL is reminiscing over what his father said to him. His father said (my interpretive paraphrase), “I’ll know I’m old when other men no longer find me dangerous. To be dangerous is sacred.”  A white bull, no matter how sacred, and under the right circumstances, could be a hunk of fury. A warrior.

The Price

What is the price of this gift? To walk the razor’s edge in life. To be a spiritual warrior, a warrior of the heart. White bulls don’t let fear stop them . . . no matter how frightening the situation. Walk the spiritual path fearlessly. Follow the white bull.

Photo Credit:

Photo by George Groutas

Flickr CC License

Psyche as Poet
How To Defend Yourself Without Even Trying

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