Start from the Beginning/Last Song
Any Way the Wind Blows
The next song is only on the Broadway album. Any Way the Wind Blows really gets us attuned to Eurydice at this moment in time- her struggles, her perspectives, her desires. The song is sung by Eurydice and The Fates. On first glance it is obvious that Eurydice is a climate refugee (as is apparent in an earlier version of this song from Anais Mitchell that was adapted for Hadestown), the “wind blowing” being unnatural weather patterns making work unpredictable and needing to “hit the road” for survival. But then upon reflecting on the “wind” from an elemental perspective of “mind” or “thoughts,” and remembering from the previous song that the fates are “always singing in the back of your mind” I pick up on a deeper level in this song, of how impossible it is to escape or transcend our negative thoughts. The fates sing this song *with* Eurydice, but remember that their function in the musical is an “internal monologue.” The song, in most other musicals, really would be a monologue . But in this format, we can really investigate and ponder the difference between Eurydice’s intrusive thoughts versus beliefs. And by paying special attention to when we hear from the fates may help us track Eurydice’s mental wellness. (A deeper level of investigation that I absolutely love about this musical!)
Note: I want to elaborate here that part of my analysis for this song and many others in this series will include some “elemental insights” (as in “Air, Earth, Fire, Water”) as well as some Tarot connections. I am a curious and new student to Tarot and want to help build my relationship to the tarot archetypes and patterns by connecting it to my ongoing passion of Hadestown. My hope is that I will gain a much deeper understanding of *both* and that some greater awareness will emerge by stretching myself to relate them with one another. Feel free to add any insights in the comments! 🙂
Okay, so let’s look at the lyrics while we listen!
“Oooooo” : (The fates are singing an “oooo” melody together, which *is* the wind, physically and mentally).
Hermes: “Eurydice was a hungry young girl, a runaway from everywhere she’d ever been. No stranger to the world, no stranger to the wind.”
Eurydice: “Weather ain’t the way it was before, ain’t no spring or fall at all anymore, it’s either blazing hot or freezing cold, Any way the wind blows.”
Fates: “And there ain’t a thing that you can do when the weather takes a turn on you …. Said go hurry up and hit the road any way the wind blows
Wind comes up…”
Eurydice: “Do you hear that sound? Move to another town. Ain’t nobody gonna stick around”
Fates: “When the dark clouds roll. Any way the wind blows”
I will interject quickly here, my love of the lyric “a runaway from everywhere she’d ever been… no stranger to the wind.” The Tarot card that comes to my mind is the 8 of cups: Eurydice is disappointed, escaping, abandoning her past lives. Again, notice that she is simply noticing the weather, but the hopelessness comes in when we get a glimpse into her thoughts via the fates “there ain’t a thing you can do…” The key phrase I sit with here from Eurydice herself is the belief that “ain’t nobody gonna stick around.” My reflection on this is that Eurydice has either been abandoned before, or is deep down seeking connection with someone (and of course, both are true for her). Either way, she is that person in the 8 of cups, with “flight” as her go-to trauma response.
Hermes: “You met the fates, remember them…always singing in the back of your mind. Wherever this young girl went, the fates were close behind”
This just brings to my mind the 6 of swords so beautifully. In those times when we try to move past some troubling situation, but past baggage (the swords in the boat) and in Eurydice’s case- intrusive thoughts come with us. Healing can’t come from trying to escape some external situation, but from unpacking our internal anguish, that wherever you go, there it will be.
Meanwhile, Eurydice has the lyric “Anybody got a match?” and Orpheus comes up to her with one that she grabs from him. As I suggested, Eurydice is not just searching for literal heat, but also that archetypal “fire” of purpose, a passion for living life. We are introduced to this downtrodden Eurydice who is bereft of Spirit energy, but encounters an eager Orpheus, happy to be her spark. So for now, let’s remember that Orpheus is serving up some Ace of Wands energy.
Eurydice: “People turn on you just like the wind, everybody is a fair weather friend. In the end, you’re better off alone…anyway the wind blows.”
Fates: “When your body aches to lay it down, when you’re hungry and there ain’t enough to go around. Ain’t no length to which a girl won’t go…any way the wind blows. Wind comes up…”
Eurydice: “And sometimes you think, you would do anything just to fill your belly full of food. Find a bed that you could fall into…where the weather wouldn’t follow you. Wherever you go… Any way the wind blows.”
OOOOF!! We see that Eurydice is clearly feeling some abandonment wounds, and is dealing with insecure attachment (because we see that she flees from connection, for the sake of the argument let’s say she is “avoidant”). She believes that she is better off alone, because people can’t be trusted. This is heartbreaking, 3 of swords energy (I am also picking 3 of swords because there are three fates and it sure seems that their function in Eurydice’s life is keeping her down!).
Also, we know that *materially* speaking, Eurydice is financially struggling, isolated, worrying about how she can provide the basic requirements of her own survival (Earth element). I have selected the 5 of coins tarot card for Eurydice here. Notice how the fates first mention food and rest, and Eurydice then reiterates that same message preceded by “and sometimes you think” (I just love how we are already privy to what she is about to say because the fates allow us to “read her mind”) but Eurydice maybe doesn’t know that, because she is also telling us that she would do anything to eat and rest, AND **quite notably** go “where the weather wouldn’t follow [her].”
Again, on first pass we hear how Eurydice is just aching for the weather patterns to return to their natural state so life may be more easeful, but when we remember that the fates are that “wind,” that mental anguish, those intrusive thoughts, we see that Eurydice is already contemplating suicide (which of course, is absolutely interconnected with Eurydice’s difficult life). And in case that isn’t enough foreshadowing, we hear Hermes on the outro…
Hermes: “Now Orpheus was the son of a muse, and you know how those muse’s are… sometimes they abandon you! And this poor boy wore his heart on his sleeve, you might say he was naive to the ways of the world… but he had a way with words, and a rhythm, and a rhyme, and he sang just like a bird up on a line. His mother was a friend of mine, and I liked to hear him sing, and his way of seeing things…so I took him underneath my wing…And that is where he stayed until one day….”
So yeah, we have your basic “boy meets girl” meetcute, right? We have Eurydice, full of abandonment wounds and attachment injuries, who is no “stranger to the world,” who meets Orpheus who is “naive to the ways of the world” and was abandoned by his own muse of a mother, and is a muse himself and we are told quite explicitly that we are going to witness another abandonment of sorts because it’s what muses do, right?!?!
Personal Reflections on “Any Way the Wind Blows”
I am reflecting on just how much despair Eurydice feels due to being so isolated, the very response to her abandonment trauma being the very thing that keeps her feeling hopeless. In biology, this is referred to as “positive feedback” where the end product amplifies the cycle that produces it.
What are those thoughts and patterns that may have served a purpose, but no longer support my thriving??
After beginning therapy, I am really beginning to cherish time alone with myself. By gaining secure attachment with myself, I am less demanding of others to have my attachment needs met, but/and/also what is my relationship to being in relationship with others if it is no longer grasping and clawing for my needs to be met? My goal is no longer “acceptance” so I no longer need to engage my fawning people-pleasing habits. I used to feel lonely in group settings because my anxious attachment was very sensitively worried about being “too much” or “never enough,” so how can I condition my nervous system to allow for safeness and security to seep in?
How attuned am I to how my body responds when with others in community vs when by myself?
How can I bring an awareness to, and separate from mySELF, my intrusive thoughts and harmful patterns?
How can I “lay down my swords” and travel lightly (calling back to that “6 of swords” card… those thoughts/patterns that travel with me) and just BE with mySELF in COMMUNITY??