"In ancient Greek stories, Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, the King of Troy. The god Apollo gave her the power to see what would happen in the future, but he also made sure that no one would believe her, so when she warned her father that the Greeks could use the Trojan Horse to take control of Troy, no one believed her. Struck by her beauty, Apollo had provided her with the gift of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo's romantic advances, he placed a curse ensuring that nobody would believe her warnings. Cassandra was then left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions."
If we are going to open up our psychic senses and unlock our personal medicine, we must understand the Cassandra Complex. Each of us has the Cassandra archetype within us - we are a seer but are cursed with not being believed, and most importantly, not believing ourselves. And this does not just mean with our intuitive abilities, our Patriarchal culture brainwashes us not to believe women (and this distrust grows in relation to your lack of privilege based on your gender identity, race, class, etc.) when it comes to just about anything.
To open up our intuition means we must do healing work around the core collective wounds that tell us to minimize ourselves, our power, our knowing and our gifts. We wonder if our intuition is anxiety because we have been taught to discredit ourselves. To play it safe. To pad our statements with things like:
- "I think"
- "I'm no expert"
- "I'm being irrational"
- "I feel like"
- "does that make sense?" (I'm maaaaaaajorly guilty of this one)
But if we are going to be able to trust ourselves - for our own wellness, and especially if you are going to do this as work, we need to unpack what it means to be "psychic" and integrate our Cassandra.
Does being psychic mean being believed? Does it mean that there is validation at some point? If no one ever believed you, would you believe yourself? Can you stand in opposition of others and still believe your personal medicine? The herd mentality is hardwired within us, to embrace the unseen is to step away from the herd. We must follow our own internal compass, even if we have no fucking clue where it is leading us. It is anything but safe and comfortable, and sometimes it is dark. But it is worth it. And it absolutely increases your chances of finding the people that do believe you.
Reflect on these questions:
- Why do you want to unlock your intuitive power?
- If intuitively you felt you needed to quit your job and move, and those close to you had problems with it, how would you respond?
- In what ways do you need external validation? Who do you go to, how often do you go to them and in what situations?
- In what ways do you play it small?
- How do you minimize yourself - to yourself or others?
The Modern Implications of Cassandra
For those who are not cisgendered white men, the concept of being undervalued lives deeply ingrained within us. Undervalued by family, by partners, by friends, etc. As children, we subconsciously absorb society's messages around what qualities are valued and what types of people are valued. We begin to compartmentalize ourselves subconsciously by putting the parts of ourselves that are not "acceptable" into our shadow while we idealize the "masculine" qualities that are acceptable. In essence, we embrace the Apollo's within us while casting off Cassandra. But Cassandra living in the shadows is not always quiet - we still hear her, we still can sense some wisdom lurking but because it doesn't "fit" into what is valued, we are unsure of what to do with her. She may manifest as somatization (physical pains), mood imbalances, mental health issues, acting out, shutting down (to name a few). Our job as seers is to become whole and to integrate Cassandra - so that we can believe ourselves.
As mentioned in the Boundaries segment, it is not our job to save everyone. That is a heavy burden to bear and one that can enslave us. If we can release ourselves from outward focus, the life as a seer is filled with wonder and satisfaction in our personal journey. Keep in mind that intuitive work is diving into liminal space - we may feel very clear about what we see, but the future can always change. We must use that mystery to continue our own personal work. If you can begin to trust your knowing, you are already on the way to taking your Cassandra shackles off.