V: The Mentor

An initial description:
A large tiger striped cat with a white belly stands in a forest. His belly is white and he wears a large blue hat with two white feathers. His eyes are bright and clear, and there is a smile upon his face. Around his neck is a green cape, and slung across a shoulder is a pouch. He wears one brown leather glove and holds a burlap sack in his right hand. Around his waist is a wide black belt with a large silver buckle and three brightly colored rainbow feathers are tucked in it. On his feet are a pair of brown leather boots that are knee length with shiny buckles. His left foot is raised on a large flat stone (think the captain morgan pose). He appears to be standing on a path that is lined with boulders and pebbles. The path leads into a vine covered wood that appears to be in the autumn season. To his left is a large oak tree with bare limbs and vines wrapping around it. Beside it is a green bush with vines coming off of it.

Preliminary meanings:
The cat appears to be intellectual far beyond the norm of cats. His clothing provides an air of culture, and sets him apart. The mentor is one who has things to teach you, and the cat is a prime example of this. He is the pinnacle of what cats are known to be- cunning, smart, excellent hunters. The feathers in his belt are a symbolic example of this.

The basic fairy tale from once upon a fairy tale (Puss in boots):
A miller died, leaving his three sons. The eldest got the mill, the next, the donkey, and the youngest, a talking cat. He got the cat boots and a pouch. THe cat kills animals and brings them to the king in the name of the lord, the marquis of Carabas. After some time he sets it up so it seems like the young son was drowning, right as the king and his daughter drove by. Then the cat ate up a shape-shifting ogre and took his lands for the son, who marries the princess.

personal significance:
Cats have always been worshipped and feared as wise creatures. This cat is a mentor because through his wit and cunning, as well as the use of his intelligence, he makes life better for himself and his master. This is the goal of every magician, and to call him the mentor really fits.

book symbolism, etc:
The cat guides us with its cunning and wisdom. THe woods are hidden obstacles. The cat is strong, masterful, individual. He is fundamental knowledge, a symbol to embrace our inner instincts.

variations of Puss in Boots:
-Costantino Fortunato (Italy): Woman soriana had three sons: Dusolino, Tesifone, and Costantino Fortunato. D got a kneading trough when she died, T got a paste board, and CF got a cat. The cat was a fairy in disguise. The cat brings the king animals often, who rewards him with food. The cat had the boy go into the river and the king dressed him after the cat said he was robbed. CF marries Elisetta, the king’s daughter. And sets him up in dead Signor Valentino’s castle. He become king.
-The Earl of Cattenborrough (English): Three sons: Charles, Sam, and John. The miller and his wife die. Charles gets the mill, Sam gets the donkey, and John gets the cat, who catches food for both him and for the king. They fool the king into thinking he’s been robbed, and he marries the king’s daughter. The cat convinces the ogre to shrink and eats him.
-The story of a gazelle (Swahili): A poor man found a small silver coin and then saw a man with a cage of gazelles. The gazelle speaks to him. It finds a diamond and gives it to the sultan as a token for his daughter. The gazelle beats him and claims robbers did it. The man marries and the gazelle goes to the home of a great seven headed snake and kills it. The man lets it die, and everything resets.

Traditional meanings of the heirophant (From Gray’s book):
The counterpart of the high priestess. THe right pillar is law and the left is liberty (obey/disobey). A master of sacred mysteries, three is an important number, representing spirit, soul, and body. He represents traditional teachings and external religion. He is the need for social acceptance.

Parallels:
Both wear a fancy hat.

The Heirophant (From Journey of the hero):
Responsible for the three levels of body, soul, and mind, as well as heaven, earth, and hell. This is where our hero learns the difference between good and evil. He reminds the hero to look at both what is invisible and apparent. He is the search for meaning, and is the compass pointing the way. Reversed is hypocrisy. Archetype is the saint.

Related to the Mentor:
The cat teaches the son how to survive in the wild, and shows him the way to success.

Meditation/writing jump off:
The cunning cat stands on the path, one foot cockily placed upon a large stone. He waits, beckoning you down the path. He has the tools of his trade; knowledge, cunning, wit, skill, and perseverance, and holds the offer out. If you follow, we will go down the path through the woods and be tested on survival skills. Are you ready??

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