3. Seth: The Initiator
The image is of an Urperson who is your initiator, expander of your heart. This Urperson, with a staff, scepter, walking stick standing upright between a bear and a dog, with one foot forward, could be walking, dancing or standing still. The top of the staff is the 2 pointer-stars of that are at the edge of the Big Dipper/Drinking Gourd. The tip of the staff is Polaris, the North Star. The gentle wobbling of the Pole Star indicates the invisible Source of Living Waters. With a hand upon the heart. The Living Waters flow from the indicated Source and they flow forth to nourish the heavens. The Urperson is the Caller and the Called. Seek beyond and within at the tip of the staff near the Pole Star for the galaxy, NGC 3172. It is also known as Polarissima Borealis. The meaning here is that there is an invisible heart-felt image that is near our Deepest Reason for Being. That image holds us to our Path, keeps us near the unseen Source. It marks our Gift, our Incurable Mad-spot, Thorn, Sacred-La, Tessitura or Acorn with both Primal Remembrance and woundings. Our wanderings here on Earth meander about that unseen Center where who we are here to be is in the poetics of our birth charts, experiences of Enchanted Land, dreams, visions, both trauma (piercing) and awe – all condensed into our Hidden Name/Symbol. Though our inner guidance nudges us with grace and affliction, that the hidden image is near the Center implies that centeredness and balance are our responsibility. We must live through it, yet not for it.
Seth is any loving teacher who brings you awareness of your Name, awareness of who you have come here to be. Seth is any initiator who inspires you to increase the capacity of your heart. This ur-constellation is Uranima and Eagle-headed Harp understood inwardly as psychologically true. It is knowing through direct, inner experience and/or ritual enactment. This kind of knowledge was once called, gnosis.
HEALING APOCALYPSE, THE WEST”S RITE OF PASSAGE
In men’s work, there is a saying that when a man is unconscious of his wounds he makes them visible on his children and family. If we amplify that idea into a cultural unconsciousness, then a culture unconscious of its wounds makes them visible on other peoples and the Earth. Where we go as a culture, entire ways of life developed carefully for centuries are destroyed – we bring apocalypse to other cultures wherever we go. As cited above:
There is a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and
visionary wisdom. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the
imagination, an oral and written language composed of the memories of
countless elders and healers, warriors, farmers, fishermen, midwives,
poets, and saints — in short, the artistic, intellectual and spiritual
expression of the full complexity and diversity of the human experience.
Quelling this flame, this spreading inferno, and
rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity
of the human spirit as expressed by culture, is among
the central challenges of our times. (p. 34)
Our collective unconsciousness is a blindness towards the collective unconscious/archetypal depths, the numinous precincts, or ethnospheric unconscious. We don’t recognize the numinous in other cultures because we do not know it in ourselves. The wound is out in the open now with the growing public awareness of Standing Rock. The Great Sioux Nation is a post-apocalyptic culture who has already lived through the end of their world, yet have found re-birth in the sacredness of their ways. It is this post-apocalyptic rebirth that is at the heart of the strength at Standing Rock. They’ve already lost everything many times before. They know from experience that their ways are sacred and life-giving and can’t be destroyed because they are protected by Earth and Sky – they are written in Earth and Sky. The planet is a participatory source of sacred texts of human beings. As I made a pilgrimage dedicated to remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce one hundred years after that night:
“The song, “Silent Night,” was the trigger of peace all along the Front so long ago. As I walked on December 24, 2014, I saw how the hope expressed in the song was like a prayer that had been answered. It shone forth in the healed fields and restored nature around me. It had all come true. I stood in the radiant stillness of the night sky resonating with the words of that peacemakers’ song. It seemed so evident that for 4.3 billion years now, our Earth has been a student of life, modeling all the cherished virtues of humanity: integrity, generosity, wisdom, love, creativity, authenticity, healing, harmony, truth…no single human faith or ideology has any claim, text or ritual that entitles its followers to privilege. The virtues, like the Earth that spread before me, are possessed by no one – our entire planet belongs to all, not just human beings, all living things – in that sense, I had the insight that the starting point for peace on Earth returns again each year with the announcement that –
All Creation is no man’s land.
How could the soldiers not sing together that night?”
The person in my life who suffered most with our collective apocalyptic wound turned inward was my Gramdmother. Grandma was never able to be free from the possessive terror of the End Times that runs through the 2000 years of Western Christian history. Born into a 7th Day Adventist family, she came by this terror honestly. I would find her weeping over it, year after year. Though she was silent about it, I know that she was grieving the idea that those she loved most were not saved. That same kind of grief lived in my dad, but to a lesser degree. I suffered with it myself in 1980 when I lived through the trauma of the death of my friend, Dale “Butch” Fisher. A dimension of my response was the re-emegence of the same apocalyptic fervor that afflicted by grandmother’s family. I was swept into the other-worldly comfort of the idea of everlasting life and the idea that we are in the End Times. For 2 years, it seemed clear that the righteous were being gathered. From that experience, I can understand why zealots sacrifice themselves for a cause. It’s still embarrassing to share it.
Over the years, many Ohioans I have met along the way told me about the same passage. Spending time in an apocalyptic mind-set is part of the psychological geography for millions of Americans. The way that I made it out from the End-times mentality was through education, in the soul-sense of the term, educare = to lead out from. I was soul educated by Paula’s loving kiss to the center of my chest in 1982, Elaine Pagel’s writings on gnosticism, my own songwriting, journaling, conversations with other orphan souls, and dreaming.
In Arguing the Apocalypse, O’Leary (1994), too, worked to offer a corrective, which he hoped would be a cure for our cultural apocalyptic tendencies. He wrote:
This study has shown that apocalyptic myth functions in our culture as a well of metaphor, a subterranean spring of symbolic resources drawn upon by those who seek to define and construct their own historical epoch, and that this well of metaphor is capable of sustaining attitudes toward history that range from political passivity to triumphant nationalism. The book of Revelations has been employed in the service of diverse ideologies, by imperial monarchists, and by revolutionary communists; its powerful images have provided a symbolic ground for the religious pretensions of state power as well as for the critique of such pretensions. But whether it is employed in the service of power or in the critique of power, the recurring fallacy of apocalyptic eschatology seems to rest in a human tendency to identify the particular with the ultimate; to identify this or that nation or ruler as an embodiment of ultimate evil or divine righteousness, this or that moment in time as the inception of ultimate catastrophe or millennial bliss. (p. 219)
In the face of this tendency, O’Leary closed by encouraging us to not speak of demythologization, but of deliteralization. As an example of what he meant, he modeled the behavior to how one might respond to those who
ask about the final days.:
It has already occurred; it is always about to occur; it is here now and has always been. (p221)
What Steven D. O’Leary described in his closing paragraph was an archetype of the End and New Beginning. As an archetype, it is a living power in the collective unconscious for human beings and their cultures. Thus, it would make sense that you would find it looking at the ethnospheric data.
I offered maps from our past and described the important differences between the colonial grid and the ‘grid’ of the medicine wheel:
I was at Sacred Stone Camp on the Cannonball River and participated in a prayer on land just across the Cannonball River from the razor-wire and guards defending the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is the same pattern as was in place when the Pilgrims arrived with their own apocalyptic vision of a world to come.
I shared above how I was healed of the teaching of Original Sin as I broke from my piercings as a Sun Dancer. The depth of the curse against embodied life, the Grandmother and Earth, ran so deep in me that only by stepping outside Western culture was I able to heal. In 2010, the first time I was invited to witness a Sun Dance, I caught a glimpse of what runs at the heart of the West’s chronic apocalyptism. At the close of the Sun Dance, I had the experience of feeling proud to be a human being who had taken his place in right relationship with life. It was the end of one world and the beginning of another, but more humble. It was the end of one year and the beginning of the next. However, there is one important difference.
There is a teaching that comes with a sweat lodge that the way the fire burns is the way the lodge is going to go. The water pourer who leads the ceremony inside the sweat lodge will ask the fire-keeper about how the fire burned. By 2010, I had spent time on both sides of this relationship – fire-keeper and water-pourer. This manner of foreshadowing in symbolic form what is to come is common in not just sweat lodge. It recurs often ritual space as one of the gifts of the experience.
Knowing this, consider that a Sun Dance is more than getting things right with the past (atonement) with all our relations. It is also a map of the year to come in symbolic form. Sun Dance can be imagined as a collective waking dream. Western Christianity lacks this kind of collective ritual that ends the world (year) and begins the world (year) to come. This is at the heart of our archetypal blindness. It blinds on both sides. For believers, you are held in a perpetual state of waiting for the End. For those who reject the teaching, literal fears of ecological apocalypse can become prone to strident righteousness – a quasi-religious tone. We have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
We know that the actual sun will come to its end and expand in size beyond the orbit of Earth. Our star is an average star, so we know that it has lived 4.6 billion years so far and has another 5 billion or so to go. There will come final days, but not for a very long time. In the meantime, because wherever Western culture goes it brings apocalypse to others, making its own wound visible, because throughout the centuries Western persons get swept up over and over into the End Times mentality, because all enduring cultures have some kind of yearly end of the world(year)/beginning of the world to come (year in symbolic form), we do well to recover our own soul-based collective ritual of atonement.
If there was ever a ‘dragon’ to be ‘submerged into the abyss’, it is Western collective unconsciousness about the relationship between the cycle of the seasons of the year and the cycle of our cultural collective soul. Ironically, we don’t need to invent anything new, just revision all we have inherited. In Christianity, the end that is the new beginning, is Christmas. To heal Apocalypse, all we need is Christmas.
However we are called to celebrate in such a way that we realize that are we connected to all that is and our sense of separateness — dissolves. When we get Christmas right, we feel extended beyond the borders of our awareness and in a mystical union with both space-time and Eternity. [Olin Hitt, (2011), A Fish Made of Water]
We have had a taste of what this could be on December 24, 1914.
Western culture has a lot of work to do besides remembering the true meaning of its own holidays. It is to exponentially increase the value of all the days of the year – Magnification. When you get down to it, the transformation occurring is rather simple. Humanity and Earth moved from being “fallen” beneath the image of eternity to being “raised up” inside it. This can also be imagined in the opposite fashion — that the image of eternity descended and embraced Humanity and Earth. Since the 1610 ‘Fall of the Immortals‘, metaphoric expressions and concepts like; Highest God, Father On High, Ascension, ‘upper and lower’ chakras, Highest Heaven, Bowels of Hell, Rising up into the air, Jesus returning through the sky in the clouds — any prayers or teachings or rituals that feature a space-ship or mighty fortress, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-beneficent God who looks benevolently, yet alien, upon Creation from above, a Father who does periodically cleanse the vessel, yet never participates with it, as in any self-reflection, any idea that there is a power over our home aquarium or terrarium from above, etc……all went out of sync with the fundamental human boots on the ground. In Western culture, Earth is a celestial archetype. The entire planet is Holy Water, Holy Land, Holy Atmosphere.
In the market place, awareness of this shift exists already.When there are stories that concern the dead on television, the stage, in film, the way the scenes are portrayed is by a crossing over or going across. If there is any verticality, it is just up a bit to the right or the left.
Here is from mainstream American media’s Wayne Dyer talking to Anita Moorjani about her near-death experience. She speaks in terms of expansion and crossing over and not in terms of rising in the vertical direction on high:
Under the old sky, the passage at death went up in to Heaven or down into Hell. In many European traditions, persons considered evil were buried face down for this reason. Here are 2 famous images based on the old sky. El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz, which shows the soul of the pious Count rising up into the celestial shore.
Michaelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, of course, also shows this same kind of old sky mythology. He painted the bodies of the resurrected dead rising up to meet Jesus in the air, while others were on their way down to the Lake of Fire under the ground.
The El Greco was painted in 1586. According to eye-witness accounts, the people gathered saw the Count’s soul rise and the skies open. That may be possible, because Copernicus’ book, De revolutionibus orbium ceolestium, which was published in 1543, may not have made its way to the Count’s community. Even then, as I’ve been stressing, the dead-line for souls rising up into the skies is 1610 with its Galilean empirical proofs for the Copernican theory.
The Last Judgement was completed in 1541, so, I think it’s safe to consider the magnum opus as the closing tip of the hat to the geocentric world view of the last millennia. Here’s a medieval image of the same old sky.
Where did the dead go and how did they all get here?
The old European allure of going someplace far from Earth and singing with the choirs of angels forever and ever has been losing its appeal. Also, currently in the market place is a more indigenous view of the Ancestors. In the Dave Stamey’s Vaquero Song,
My name is Juan Medina. A vaquero once was I
Now I live in the air above the pepper trees…
…you may see me in the dust, that shimmers in the half-light
or hear me in the whisper of the grass so green and tall… I am still here.
Malidoma Some, in his book, Ritual: Power, Healing and Commmunity, he offered an articulate answer to the question that question above,
Where did the dead go and how did they all get here?
The ancestors are not dead. They live in the spirits in the community.
They are reborn into the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the stones to
guide and inspire the community.
The Highwayman Song, written by Jimmy Webb and sung by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson, described death this way:
I fly a starship
Across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again
In the second example, notice the joy for life over many lifetimes and the Spirit of adventure. This is more in alignment for most other cultures of Earth and for Earth itself. It’s just mean-spirited and goes against all virtues of life that in a 13.82 billion year old universe on a 4.3 billion year old planet that the Master of Life would pursue a one and done rule of life for human beings only.
Most of the Earth enjoys season after season, year after year. Trees bring leaves forth in Spring, grow and produce fruit/seeds in Summer, offer it all all as Gift in Autumn, then they release everything to round the cycle of the year with the Deep Rest of Winter – again and again and again and again….
The 2012 film, Cloud Atlas, directed by Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski and the 2016 , Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, both express life-time awareness and multi-dimensional, spacio-chronic, awareness that has been coming forth the past centuries.
Listen for the archetypal notes when the space-traveler, Cooper describes what he learned from the 5 dimensional wormhole after entering into it, becoming it. When he was asked, Who sent the wormhole to help us? He replied:
The new sky is in our films, in our music, in our books, in the experiences that millions of persons are living. It’s already here.
It’s already in our theology as well. All chakras are equal in value. Both theologian Amelia Delio’s 2008 book, Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth and Matthew Fox’s 2000 text Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Lessons for Transforming Evil in Soul and Society made this point. The dawning understanding is whether a chakra is shallow or deep, with depth being the direction of wholeness. To enter into the light of unknowing, the dark of unconsciousness and become aware has been the invitation to humanity for roughly 3,504,000 hours.
It’s no longer a time for the goal of our souls to get high.
It’s time for our souls to go deep.
I invite you to watch Highway Home again – depth of soul goes in all Directions. Brent Tully shared the line he traced through the cosmos. He chose the path by moving through what he felt where the most interesting things.
This is why we begin by moving towards the Orion Trapezium, into and through the stellar nursery, now named, The Pillars of Creation.
To feel into the light of unknowing, the dark of unconsciousness and become aware is now written in ur-constellations are an update of the our mesocosm in ways beneficial to all humanity and all life surrounded by and reflected by our greatly increased mirror of eternity.
Our rite of passage is to move from here,
This is to be done together, as peaceably as possible, without profound degradation to the planet our children and grandchildren will inherit!
Another way to the task we face is to transit as a species in a sustainable way from a cosmology that was imagined like the illustration below.
In the now-dissolving cosmology shown above, our collective goal was to share a heart intelligence like our star around which our Earth, Moon and Solar system revolved. Our single sun, metaphorically reflecting one truth, one light, one way, was a heart mirror that looked like this. We were invited to have hearts this big:
Our new home to looks like this:
The photo below is of the stars of our galactic center. They invite an expansion of our heart’s capacity for enduring, generous, emotional-relational intelligence. All that we once knew of Earth and stars, even our once greatest sun, has been, is and will be guided by this center.
We are just getting started becoming conscious of, feeling into and receiving heart centers as big as this. There is a supermassive black hole at our center. Each point of light is a star. We are invited to have hearts and consciousness this complex, gentle, expansive and deep – we have hearts that can imagine trillions of years of lifetimes and smile.
Depth psychology has already been saying this and there is enough clinical and empirical data to support it. A single heart’s intelligence can realize or recollect, to use the old word, that there is an immensely more ancient, enduring galactic heart intelligence that has been invisibly guiding and supporting. There is an immense new gravitational solidity to the individual heart and when awakened, it is no longer quite so easily influenced. This was a fundamental message of C.G. Jung’s 1958 (!) book, The Undiscovered Self.
The “I” of our daytime minds is a ‘self’ with the small ‘s’ and that self carries inside it and is surrounded by a deeper, often unconscious, therefore unseen, “Self” with the capital “S”, thus the title of the book. Among Jung’s points in the text is that an individual with no sense of Self is easily possessed by and swept up into mass movements. He stressed that the cultivation of an inner knowledge of Self that can anchor the individual has been the primary goal of religions and that a society that is prone to mass emotion is one in which the religions have failed the people. Yet, it is also a society where the people have not taken it upon themselves to do the inner work, the taking inventory, respecting their own dreams and visions as being of God as much as the dreams and visions of any so-called Godman or Godwoman, Superman or Superwoman solemnly raised up before us or shoved down our throats.
Our collective right of passage mirrored by our solar system’s unseen guidance of the many that are also the wholeness of the galactic center is to encourage and remind always that deeper rooted-ness and delight in being comes in the cultivation of the sense of Self, a sense of the wholeness that guides our being. In our Christian mythology, this is a passage through the Messiah complex into an awareness that resonates with the compassion Earth has towards human beings – all beings are unique and complex Messiahs.
The above image is attributed to Siddartha, the Buddha. It includes his past lives over many lifetimes, including one where he was a stag that saved others by sacrificing itself. It is often used when teaching about being unconsciously bound to the cycle of birth-death-re-birth. In my own life, the way this idea is developing includes Christianity and the Messiah complex. I recollect lives as a Crusader severely wounded in Antioch during the 1099 approach to the siege of Jerusalem, as a Jesuit missionary in the 1630’s trying to convert the Haudenosaunee, as a French Revolutionaire disillusioned by the horrors of La Terreur, as an Abolitionist Yankee whose certainty died at Shiloh, near Corinth, Tennessee, as a soldier in the trenches of World War One, as a young Nazi who turned against the party’s genocidal acts…and others.
For me, Siddartha’s art resonates and I understand some of what is intended. I have been too often swept along by the enthusiasm of the masses in order to die what I felt was a hero’s valorous death. The struggle has been between instinctual, reflexive reaction v. reflective, wise – response. There is a theme of the noble cause turned bad to which this soul in which I am now making my contribution has so often been problematically bound – noble self-sacrifice for God, King, Queen, Royal Family, Church, The People, the Movement, the Great Cause, etc. In this life, it has only been since entering the 5th decade that I have begun to un-bind myself from feeling and immediately reacting to the bedazzling and possessive powers of collective consciousness and unconsciousness. Not that I have a ton of reflective freedom, but I have managed enough to not get caught once again in some mass movement to redeem the world – yet, I own that this runs all through my writings.
I was relieved to find that what I described above, Jung called the greatest danger affecting human beings and the planet — psychic epidemics. He warned:
–and these epidemics are infinitely more devastating than the words catastrophes of Nature! The supreme danger which menaces both the individual and the populace as a whole is psychic danger. With regard to this, our understanding proves to be quite powerless, which is explained by the fact that rational arguments act on the conscious — but on the conscious alone — without having the least effect on the unconscious. Consequently, a major danger for man emanates from the mass, i.e. the crowd, at whose core the working of the unconscious accumulates — first muzzling, then stifling the pleas for reason on the part of the conscious. Every organization of a crowd constitutes a latent danger, like that of piling up dynamite. Because it produces effects that no one wanted and that no one is able to hold in check.
For this reason, one must ardently hope that psychology — knowledge of psychology and achievements in the domain of psychology — will spread on such a scale that human beings will finally understand the source of supreme danger hanging over their heads. It is not be arming themselves to the teeth, every country of itself, that nations will be able, in the long run, to preserve themselves from the terrible catastrophes occasioned by modern war. Accumulated weapons demand war! On the contrary, would it not be preferable, in future, to guard against and to avoid the conditions delineated at present — in which the unconscious breaks down the dams of the conscious and dispossesses the later, making the world run the risk of inestimable devastation? [pp. 404-403 in L’homme a la decouvert de son ame, 1944]
There is medicine in this, also a warning. Jung wrote:
Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is
as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.
Why this is important is because it keeps the sense of “I” that is “We”, that experience of the collective, from becoming tyranny. To avoid mass possession, a deeper Self awareness is the vaccine. What this means is that my individuality feels just as nourished and supported by the inner persons, personified inscapes, the persons of the 4 Directions, Gramdmother Earth, Grandfather Sky, the solar system and galaxy, the Ancestors and all sacred beings who are my Self, especially when I am alone. In fact, once this kind of Self awareness is known, one hungers for seasonal retreats into solitude. I would like to draw out that it is important to discern between a Self within and a Self Beyond. Michael Olin Hitt’s book, Fish of Water, offers instruction in the difference:
So, there is the self, the self within, and the Self beyond. My children, listen well: To be fully human is to be aware of the Self beyond the self. It is a selfless Self, a sacred Self. You may wonder how can the Self be selfless? It is an identity that stretches beyond imagination, beyond reason, beyond sensibility, to fearsome extensions. When you come in contact with the sacred Self, you realize that you are indeed connected to all that is, and your sense of self appears to disseminate, and you extend beyond the border of your awareness. It is a mystical union with the Holy.
To surrender the self and receive a selfless Self is the heart of all religions. [Fish of Water, (2011) Olin Hitt, M. pp. 76-77]
To understand the shift into a culture that uses the galactic center as an image of the heart center, the individuality of “I am” that is interdependent with all other “I am’s” is to be restored and encouraged as lived experience. Diane Pinchot’s image above: River through the Sun, offers us a Zen koan for contemplation as to how to live the single sun of our personal identity self and yet be in relationship with the guiding and sustaining more encompassing whole(s). So, with a tip of the hat to Steven Forrest, I’d like to offer a guess before getting whacked with the Zen stick:
The Sun is the Secret of Sanity.
The Moon is the Secret of Happiness.
The privatization of I as a Cogito , ergo sum. is psychologically too shallow and paranoid. There is enough historical data to show how human beings die in great quantities when the Self of the collective unconscious takes possession of a mass movement with its Great Leader. The 20th century was a laboratory for the experiment of The Savior of our Nation. Yet, the collective movement with its Great Leader, is an archetype that we live more humanely with appropriate symbolic arts and ritual.
Any cultural ritual the represents the end and new beginning is what I mean. Sun Dance is certainly one of those. The collective heart and love of the community are focussed on restoration and the co-creation of the good year to come. The Sun Dance Chief is the Great Leader, yet he is one who holds a responsibility to the entire community. He is the last to pierce and offer his own blood to the Tree. It also means that he is set free from the Self-possession that could come from the same kind of energies in an un-contained space. The Sun Dance Chief, himself, is supported by past Sun Dance Chiefs and the Medicine Person who is the keeper of that particular Sun Dance. The only collective rituals of this stature that Americans have seem to be sports and going to war, which might account for how much time and energy we spend on them.
There was a moment that opened in the American Myth on 911, when everyone paused and many other nations of the world stood silent as well. Though the opportunity was missed, the 2 fountains that pour into the abyss with water and light, even the term, Ground Zero, perhaps offer a foreshadowing of a new kind of national ritual where we dedicate ourselves to the waging of creation and peace with one heart and one mind.
Now that we have passed through attempts that have been made to impose a single way, a single hegemonic metanarrative, as post-moderns say, of a Great Leader and an ‘ism’ upon the Earth, is it already too late that we open our hearts and minds? Here, again, is our inherited cultural problem with time-illness, the chronopathology that I described at the opening. There are more clues if we look at Giovanni Riccioli’s map of the cosmos which was used to refute Galileo’s support of the Copernican system, there is wealth to be mined for insight.
His was a hybrid of the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems. In his hybrid, Jupiter, the Sun and Moon orbited Earth. Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter Mars all orbited the sun. The call to animate the mythic qualities of Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, as well as the stars were all in play. His hybrid offered us a stepping stone through the portal opened by the Galilean theocide. The place to pry open in Giovanni’s cosmos is the planet Saturn – out of the heavenly Saturn and into the guiding mythology of the Great Time-Keeper.
Here, consider again James Hillman’s essay, On Senex Consciousness:
Personifications of this principal appear in the holy or old wise man, the powerful father or grandfather, the great king, ruler, judge, counselor, elder, priest, hermit, outcast and cripple. Some emblems are the rock, the old tree, particularly oak, the scythe or sickle, the time-piece and the skull. Longings for superior knowledge, imperturbability, magnanimity, express senex feelings as does intolerance for that which crosses one’s systems and habits. The senex also shows strongly in ideas and feelings about time, the past and death. Melancholy, anxiety, sadism, paranoia, anality and obsessive memory ruminations reflect this archetype. Moreover, the main image of God in our culture: omniscient, omnipresent, eternal, seated and bearded, a ruler through abstract principal of justice, morality and order, a faith in words yet not given to self-explanation in speech, benevolent, but enraged when his will is crossed, removed from the feminine (wifeless) and the sexual aspect of creation, up high with a geometric world of stars and planets in the cold, distant night of numbers…
The high God of our culture is a senex god; we are created after this image with a consciousness reflecting this structure. (p. 14)
By congealing the infinite depths of the collective unconscious/Cosmic Memory Field with Saturn, the West has not been able to let its God-image die.
I wrote above how Saturn/Chronos’ element, lead, has been been our culture’s way of cursing. This has been true probably since Egypt when new Pharaoh’s would curse the Gods of their predecessors. In Roman times, this was called, katadesmoi katadeseis. It literally meant “binding”. (Hillman, 1970) A curse was written on a piece of lead and then it was symbolically bound in a cursing ritual to the person, family, culture targeted..
I have a personal connection to this. I am the 3rd F. C. Reynolds in my family that has been a series of 3. During the time of my grandfather, father and myself, we have moved from out of under the malefic influence of Saturn’s Christianity. There is a clue to this if you look again at the text of the Old Testament in the First Commandment. For Yahew, as Belevolent as they say He is, curses anyone who leaves His fold:
8 You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Based on this, I think my great-grandfather, Isaac Roberson Reynolds, lost his faith in God after growing up during the American Civil War. He witnessed his grandfather and 3 of his uncles fight for the North and 3 fight for the South. He watched the sorrow of his own grandfather, Isaac Clements Reynolds, who died during Christmas, 1866, a year after the War. He witnessed how the Southern soldiers came into his home and mistreated his mother, Mary Polly Brown, who appears here:
Part of my writing is to ease Isaac Reynolds’ pain as well as his mother, Mary’s. For all my Ancestors I seek to answer their unanswered questions of why they suffered and to make it known that the binding curse that is contained in the Bible, may, in fact, have some psychological wrath in it. I think for modern persons to truly leave the patriarchal Abrahamic faiths may be a question of 3-4 generations of lead to work through. In our family’s experience, the work of the first generation is to confront the threat of eternal damnation for leaving the faith. If you are raised within the Christian faith, this is a very real experience. It is not only your own fear you have to confront, but also the fears of all who love you who are certain you are going to go to hell. It is no small task to make this move and it requires a courage that those raised outside of a tradition do not understand.
The second generational curse that was surmounted was that it is possible to love someone whom the old faith condemns. For 2 centuries, the Reynolds, like many other colonists were virulently anti-Catholic. In some cases, the teaching is that Catholics follow the Pope who is the anti-Christ. This teaching is still around, by the way. My grandfather was an atheist. This caused a lot of stress to my father and uncle who were sure he was going to go to hell. On his death-bed, my grandfather shared with my uncle why he was an atheist. He said that when he fell in love with a Catholic, he knew that it would cause a rift in his family that would be made worse if he converted to Catholicism. I decided to be nothing and that’s what I did. I was nothing. My grandfather did accept Catholic baptism 2 years before his death – not so much for himself, but for his sons and wife who had always feared for his soul.
The third generational curse that was worked through was addiction and co-dependency. Alcoholism cannot be cured by Catholicism, nor any faith for that matter. The needs are deeper. Once my father got sober, he stopped volunteering at St. Mary’s. Father Shenk asked him why he wasn’t volunteering. HIs response is famous in our family.
Father, the Church may have saved my soul, but Alcoholics Anonymous saved my ass.
I need to add here that the night my dad got sober, my mother prayed for the family and felt the presence of her grandmother and a teacher who had passed. She said that the message was to be at peace because she was the calm at the eye of the storm. As Recovery moved into our family, my mom shared how she felt she was bringing an answer to troubles her grandmother had but could never solve during her own life.
In my lifetime, I wanted to begin where my father left off. Our culture has no sacred connection to Earth, to Ancestors and is split from the stars. We seldom honored dreams nor had much awareness of how stormy spiritual awakening actually is. This has been my work to move Recovery forward during my time on Earth – to restore a sacred relationship with Earth, the Ancestors and to help the stars to touch the Earth again.
This wife-less God who loves those who are hermetically sealed inside His saving container does offer a thousand generations of love, but woe to those who care more than He does about women, girls, indigenous wisdom, LGBTQ+ persons, any person who masturbates, those who eat bacon or cook shrimp on the Bar-B, disobedient children, illicit lovers, Beloveds in sacred sexual union and the Wisdom, Love, Humility, Truth, Courage, Respect, Honesty of Earth.
We forget that, though He stayed the hand of the man who was going to sacrifice his only son, He did not show the same interest when the person being sacrificed was the daughter, as with Jepthah’s little one. This same God who killed animals to offer their skins as clothing to Adam and Eve made no mention of the animal, did not honor the spirit of the animal, did not even mention the name of this particular Earth-angel. He cursed the serpent, cursed Eve, cursed the ground (Earth). After 7 generations of trying to make the Biblical text work in this part of the world, after suffering through the generations of the curse, seeing the curses unconsciously put upon women, men who don’t measure up, children, all ecosystems and the Earth, I think there is enough evidence in our family as well as in the families of others to share that the Bible contains both wisdom and curses. It’s time for our texts to come back down to Earth and get some humility.
Giovanni Riccioli, in 1651, offered image above to make the step into the new cultural mythology by understanding that all the former ruling powers of the above were to be taken inward as psychologically true and myths to live by. That was not his actual goal at the time. He was trying to make sense of all the astronomical information coming in at that time. His astronomical error, he made a number of them, was that he took forward Galileo’s planets, but did not take forward the stars — the proto-ur-constellations of Orion and the Pleiades. His map stops at the same curse-inscripted hermetically lead-sealed dome of the stars in place since 150. Why that is important is that there is no leverage point with which to dissolve Chronos, Time, in his own substance, Deeper Time. If we take his work as unconsciously and simultaneously mythic, it is a treasure-chest.
Failure to inform Saturn with the actual stars of the day truncated, even amputated the cultural notion of time of the West. A central message of this writing is that when we let Saturn/Chronos go into the Depths unto timelessness, the blessing of the God of order and laws can return to us as a new and abundant Saturnian/Medicine Wheel awareness. It is already going on, in particular as regards the age of human awareness in the universe.
It’s not easy to get Saturn into right relation with the Deep Time of current cosmology. We are not dealing with merely the psychological carrier of limitation but also with Jehovah of Judeo-Christian mythology. Perhaps when we include that 3-4 generational curse on those who leave His realm offers we can gain a more patient understanding why it has been so difficult for us. To fully enter and embrace an infinite universe where all life is evolving and participating, where even God loves all the learning going on, requires a rejuvenated more expanded Chronos-ology.
Riccioli’s model offered advice as to how to move forward as one of the many cultures of the human species of Earth with its particular gifts and problematic issues. To read his cosmology archetypally and as poetry.
The Sun is the Secret of Sanity
The Moon is the Secret of Happiness
There are at least 64 gender phases of the masculine Mars.
There are at least 64 gender phases of the feminine Venus.
Human beings are a wholeness of all of them.
Human beings can love in many, many shapes and forms.
Lovingly, clearly express these values in all of your communications (Mercury)
Use the stars to set your cultural Saturn’s clock for the imagination of time
Offer 4 times the Jovian (Jupiter’s) abundance of your cultural imagination to all peoples.
This is the harvest of the Immortals and the days of the feasts are all re-declared.
Dissolve immortality in the evolutionary sacred marriage of the Eternal and the Time-bound.
As you travel through the galaxy, know this pattern as you move from planet to planet.
For other “Earths” beyond number are spread far and wide.
Your own Sacred Home, therefore, is also what you have called, a ‘celestial archetype’.
May you always know how beautiful you are and ever remind each other.
From another angle, since Einstein’s Theory of Relativity of 1905, space and time are qualities of the same reality. Setting our collective soul clock to the oldest time can also be said, live in the largest idea of space that your cosmology proves.
Because space and time are qualities of living on a planet, set the clock of the soul to include as many life-supporting exoplanets as possible. Around each star, there is a habitable zone, where we have been searching for liveable planets in earnest since the the founding of NASA’s Kepler Mission in 2009. We are currently at 3374 potential future Earths and counting.
The transformation we have been attempting these past 4 centuries includes central questions for the feminine to see through. Here’s Hillman again:
The urge to “build cities” and “mint money”, the deep-seated concretization of the senex impulse may very well be taken as an attribute of this mother-sister-wife complex…this senex preoccupation with property, with the things and matters of the established order, its hoarding, and its greed, derives not from the ‘excess of pneuma’ and the exaggerated irritability of the vis imaginative, that is, Saturn’s own native spirit, but rather from the feminine side of this structure, the earth, and its materialism to which its ties are reinforced in triplicate.
By showing saturnine traits, senex femininity presents unpleasant, even maleficent, aspects of the feminine. Here we meet her mad moodiness, her peculiar fascinations with the occult or with power and possessions, or with the ‘way out’ of things of prisons, sewerage and magic. A state of mind occurs that seems obsessive, not anima and not feminine as we prettily conceive those notions. Senex femininity seems rather the crone side of the mother archetype. As if as we grown older not only do we whine and need helping, but use our infirmity for power. (p.25)
This is the theme in Lord of the Rings and in Harry Potter as concerns the invincible power of the one ring or the one wand as a literallized (Chronos) controlling power (Sun) – which Hillman called, the deep-seated concretization of the senex impulse. Have we had enough of suffering yet to put to rest the temptation of establishing a mono-culture of an literalized invincible sun upon the Earth through brute force?
What Our Lady Galadriel is doing can be imagined as moving through her Savior/Messiah complex. She has loved and learned enough in her life and she honors her own life enough to pass this initiatory ordeal where she became The Chosen One. This is the dark side of the Christ Energy and this is why the Savior/Messiah person needs both a Betrayer and a Beloved — just in case the influx of the Harmony of the Sun becomes too much. Actor, Cate Blanchett, portrays a woman who passes through a state of Self-possession, with the capital“S”. It’s possible to see through her performance to become aware of persons who are the followers of a Great Leader. They, too, are Self-possessed, but in a form of tyranny where the flames of emotion are directed towards ‘outsiders’ or ‘illegal aliens.’ Turn the sound off and watch her portrayal to note the behavior. Then, watch persons who are followers of someone who they consider a Great Leader. There are persons who become the lightning rods and channel the voice of their People. It is a prophetic person who has a big heart that can hold everyone. While this person can be Beloved of all, in the event of a sequence of triggering events, the same individual can become a tyrant or establish a fascism of personality.
David Koresh was a most recent version of this American Tragic Tale. The continent is littered with Chosen men and women who were unconscious of their own Selves within which were also Selves beyond.
In those times, what was once a gentle sun over a lush planet transforms to a brutal fiery destruction, ashes and cinders. We keep forgetting that the tyrants of the 20th century were often beloved of their people during their rise to power.
Even after having spent time with this One Power, the cultural carrier of it never quite gets over it. Here, again from Lord of the Rings, is the character Bilbo who is still possessed by this collective Self:
Europe too, is littered with the Chosen, the planet, really. To be Self-possessed as a leader of Self-possessed followers is a human complex, a Messiah Complex, which when not ritually contained takes on the guise of an institutionalized Military-Industrial Complex, something you can observe in the character Darth Vader and his Empire. His name was a hint that this is the dark side of the Father, I’ve heard George Lucas say in interviews.
Mao’s leadership in the Four Pests Campaign, where he encouraged his people to kill all sparrows by any means necessary, created an imbalance in his country’s ecosystem. Without the sparrows to hold them in check, locusts and other insects devoured the nation’s fields. Numbers vary, and there is also denial about this event, but Chinese citizens in the millions starved to death.
There are ways forward through the temptation of the One lived out by persons who have done their personal psychological shadow work in order to be more immune to Self-possession.
Krishnamurti, proclaimed by Annie Besant to be the Chosen One, famously refused to take the bait of becoming the World Teacher for the Theosophic Society and earlier, Rudolf Steiner was kicked out of the Society in response to his refusal to accept that Krishnamurti was the Maitreya. The movement lost many followers once Krishnamurti refused the bait.
As Americans, in fact, is it not a Messiah complex that is at the heart of our own cultural mythology. As cultural artifacts like the painting, The Apotheosis of Washington, show our Empire of Liberty, as Jefferson was fond of saying, has not been immune to its own Self-possession. There was plenty of enthusiasm for making Washington the first King of America. In our story, as it is told, he refused numerous times. When he stepped out of power he said:
…having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from
the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate
farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so
long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave
of all the employments of public life.
It’s good to remember that in the midst of what we now call the Renaissance, Savonarola, whipped Florentines into such a frenzy that they burned their own cultural beauty in Bonfires of the Vanities. Even Botticelli burned a copy of his masterpiece, Spring, it is said. There is another heart-breaking example of this in the person of Sabbatai Zevi. We of European ancestry have buried intergenerational trauma as regards the 17th century and the end-times energy that was associated with the date 1666. It’s not a question that is settled, but at the height of his historical moment, Zevi converted to Islam. (Personally, I think he pulled a Krishnamurti and stepped down from the temptation.) When he was Self-possessed Zevi allowed this to be written about himSelf.
“The first-begotten Son of God, Shabbethai Tebi, Messiah and
Redeemer of the people of Israel, to all the sons of Israel,
Peace! Since ye have been deemed worthy to behold the great
day and the fulfilment of God’s word by the Prophets, your
lament and sorrow must be changed into joy, and your fasting
into merriment; for ye shall weep no more. Rejoice with song
and melody, and change the day formerly spent in sadness and
sorrow into a day of jubilee, because I have appeared.”
I’m hoping that these were not his own words, but words someone else put into his mouth. Based on all the problems caused through humanity’s eras of Self-possession, it would be wise to consider that the oft-quoted words from Jesus in John 16:33:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
are only half of the whole picture. For how can we discern whether the world that was overcome in those sentences was the inner psychological world or the outer cultural collectivity of humanity? The other half I mean is that it would be good to know that Jesus was also able to listen to friends and get over himSelf. So, the text would continue just a bit:
And know that any trouble I might cause you,
don’t worry too much. I have gotten over mySelf.
The rest of the story opens up when you study how joyful are those who have stepped away from or moved through the temptation of being the Savior who is going to fix everything for everyone. They were able to keep a sense of humor and humanity about themselves. “I promise I will try not to be an asshole.“, is the second half of the teaching, to be blunt and brief.
Without this knowledge, millions of human beings end up sacrificing themselves for the Chosen One thinking they are doing good. The Father that can’t get over himSelf is a Madman who speaks in a gentle fatherly voice. There is an example of this in Joyeux Noel, when the Bishop prays with the soldiers about to go to the Western Front. He sound grandfatherly, gentle and wise, but he is out of his mind.
Here is Harry Potter saying the same thing about having the courage to get over himSelf when he breaks the Elder Wand:
J. K. Rowling shared a fascinating insight about Voldemort, who
would not have broken the Elder Wand. She said that if he faced
a Boggart. A Boggart in the Harry Potter series,
according to the character, Professor Lupin:
“So the boggart sitting in the darkness within has not yet assumed
a form. He does not yet know what will frighten the person on the
other side of the door. Nobody knows what a boggart looks like when
he is alone, but when I let him out, he will immediately become
whatever each of us most fears.”
J. K. Rowling said she thought that Voldemort’s boggart would be his own rotting corpse because he feared his death most of all. That is a helpful clue to the cultural awareness that is of the galactic center. To be rooted in and nourished by the ground of life is to know from direct experience that dying is being born into the invisible and being born is dying from out of the invisible. Voldemort offers an character lesson as regards the usefulness of teachings about immortality. That you never see Voldemort laugh gives you a clue about his Saturn-possessed consciousness. It’s getting to be a cliche, this new wisdom regarding immortality. (X Men Apocalypse has the same kind of character who goes on living for 1000’s of years, a parasite to life who never knows any joy.) Death is not the opposite of life, it is the opposite of birth, I’ve heard storyteller and author Michael Meade say many times. A people who know how to die with dignity and awareness know how to be reborn and live that way.
In this, I think, is Harry Potter’s inner wisdom. Because Harry died and crossed over, because he met again with Dumbledore who continued to guide him in death, because he was able to witness the tragic lot of Tom Riddle’s death and realize that the evil he had been fighting lived in himSelf, the allure of the Wand was not so tempting.
Our stars, too, have been telling us for some time that we are late for our own new birth and the message is all around us. If you watch the film, Sully, which is about the pilot who landed a passenger plane in the Hudson River, at the end, he does not take all credit for himself – he states clearly in body and being, we are all in this together and I did not do it alone. Even the teaching of the boggart states this. It’s best to face a boggart when you are with another person because the boggart is easily confused and shapes itself into a meaningless combination of the fears of those present, then it is easily defeated.
Our cosmos is inviting us to dream in ways never before imagined. We require a mirror comprehensive enough so the soul can do its homework with useful mesocosmic symbols. That which was shattered in 1610 can come back into harmony again. We need those mythic starry teachings that lead to experiences as spacious as our space-time so our chronopathology can heal. The goal we are aiming for is for our mesocosmic cosmology, spirituality, psychology, architecture and art — consciousness and cosmos, to re-harmonize in such a way that the laws that come forth from the recovered wholeness guide us as mercifully and as justly as humanly possible.The sky heals the big picture is what our sky has been saying since the revelation of the galactic center in 1974. Here’s the wiki text, to give another example of how the message of the new sky is already openly available to the general public:
Karl Jansky was the first person to determine that a radio signal was coming from a location at the center of the Milky Way, in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius. Sgr A* was discovered on February 13 and 15, 1974, by astronomers Bruce Balick and Robert Brown using the baseline interferometer of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The name Sgr A* was coined by Brown in a 1982 paper because the radio source was “exciting”, and excited states of atoms are denoted with asterisks.
There is a deep well-spring of symbolism once the galactic center is integrated into our human Self-image. Because all that we observe that is light-years away is a past that has already occurred, the galactic center is inviting us to a remembrance of life before there was a sun. That there are new stars being born that we can observe at their beginnings millions of years ago, we know that those stars are going to continue burning long after our own sun has gone into supernova. We are being invited to imagine a future more abundant than in any previous generations. The presence of the excitement that came forth with its discovery has set the emotional average for our human and biological journey. The galactic center is literally in relationship with the time before our time, all that has even been and will be, so far as we humans have known, and it is in relationship with the time when our solar system will be no more. Yet, the message is that life continues and is as exciting a journey as the whole universe. It’s a wonderful synchronicity that this new Heart of the Self came forth into human awareness on Valentine’s Day Eve, in the culture who established its existence. The West, more than other cultures perhaps, has an obligation to Love. These are the exciting days of future past.
The goal for humanity since the discovery of the galactic center in 1974 is peace on Earth.
I am humble enough to know that there is more to peace on Earth than updating our sky. However, it is possible to remove layers of the urge to violence, the ecocidal and genocidal patriarchal rage that we have lived within for 25 centuries. With better sky stories, we can breathe better and put in a lot more effort in the cultivation of an atmosphere congenial to kindness among all nations.
As gently as I can offer this, also with the knowledge that this is given in the spirit of give-away, so take what may be helpful and leave anything that is not. The goal of both Christianity and Islam is to be free from the effects of Self-possession. The struggle has been that when the leader gets Self-possessed for a Self-possessed collective, tribe or nation, a violent turn comes forth due to a confusion between overcoming the world or making other submit and Self-surrender because of compassionate love.
And know that any trouble I might cause you,
don’t worry too much. I have gotten over mySelf.
Pictured above are 2 half brothers who did not know they were sons of the same father. They are Perceval, the Christian knight and Fierfiz, the Muslim knight. The scene above happens just before the marriage that will restore the Grail. Perceval, the Grail Knight, confronts a Muslim warrior and they fight each other without either one getting an advantage. They both agree to stop, to lay down their weapons and masks and talk to each other. As they converse, they slowly realize that they are brothers. If both men are representatives of their cultures, then Perceval is Christianity and Fierfiz is Islam. If Christianity and Islam share the same father, then, one teaching is that it would be the Judaism. The deeper teaching is that all human beings share the same Loving Father, regardless of religious tradition or lack thereof.
The moment of living faith for Jesus was his moment of surrender. Islam, while often translated into English as submission, is better understood as surrender. This kind of surrender, I put bluntly above as, I promise I will try not to be an asshole. As blasphemous as that sounds, because there is humor, it’s actually rather close to the point of both teachings. We confuse surrender with weakness, but in this reading, surrender means vulnerability and openness to being informed by the Self-within, yet open to listening when becoming Self-possessed. Salaam, Shalom, Peace, these are all expressions of peace, yet, with a sense of humor and openness to the tragedy and suffering of the others. Ironically, if human beings were able to surrender in the sense of openness, vulnerability, and informed by the Guidance of the deeper Self, the planet would actually get a lot more peaceful.
I would like to close this chapter with words from the 2016 film Arrival, which was based on Chiang’s short story, The Story of Your Life, adapted by Heiserer and David Mitchell’s prophetic Cloud Atlas and where the tyrannical One of Self-possession is called, Unanimity.
“In war there are no winners, only widows.”
Here is Sonmi-451’s Revelation Speech from Cloud Atlas:
To be is to be perceived. And so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other. The nature of our mortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, that go on and are pushing themselves throughout all time. Our lives are not our own, from womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.