Earthbriety, Archetypal Ecology and The Age of Magnification
Copyright 2017 by F. Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed.
Earthbriety is a unification of the Recovery Movement and environmental movement with Indigenous wisdom. It allows them all to join forces to work together for the future generations. In particular, using the idea that in our trauma is our curriculum, the work together is to carefully unpack what caused us harm, locate or create a healing curriculum/art/music/response to end suffering.
The goal is to transform what has endangered our world. May the cycle of violence end with our generation. We are birthing together an ethical Western culture that can live in right relationship with the rest of the planet.
The structure of a sweat lodge is a mirror for the whole human being, Earth and All that is:
In Cosmos and Psyche,
Richard Tarnas described our primal wholeness as:
The Primal World View
In the primal world view, intelligence and soul pervade all of nature and the cosmos, and a permeable human self directly participates in that larger matrix of meaning and purpose in which it is fully embedded. [Figure 1]
The primal world view includes a psychologically experienced reality that rounds out human awareness. Beneath the surface of the lodge, with humans sitting in the center of all that is — a complete sphere is imagined:
This simple lesson states that human beings are by nature, bi-polar beings, which means that in the daytime, we say that we have had a dream. At night, it is the dreaming that has us. James Hillman intuited this indigenous way in his book, The Dream and the Underworld.
In Dream and the Underworld, Hillman re-indigenized our way of working with dreams, as well as, our curriculum when we teach persons to dream. There is the daytime reality of ego – the I-who-dreamed – or who we are when we tell someone that we have had a dream. There is also a nighttime ego, a dream ego - a dreaming-who-“I”‘s. Those are the 2 poles of the primal human self – Spirit-self, I-who-dreamed and Soul-self, a dreaming-who-“I”s.
Use the above image to reflect on Hillman’s call in 1983. The “I” of our daytime mind is not the “I” of our nighttime mind. Failure to make this distinction has led to disrespect to dreams and dreaming. He wrote:
…the sublte dreamwork of the night has been captured by the gross and undifferentiated concepts of the dayworld and made to serve the monocular “basic view”. Dreams have become distorted and condensed, as the theory states.
So, if our therapeutic job is to walk the ego back over the bridge of the dream, to teach the dreamer how to dream, we cannot use these terms for the work. We must reverse our usual procedure of translating the dream into ego-language and instead, translate the ego into dream language. This means doing a dream-work on the ego, making a metaphor of it, seeing through its “reality”. Let us then, suspend and entire range of ego-operations, the ego-work, the modes by means of which the ego has been approaching the dream and performing its translations.
causalism (seeing dream sequences in causal connections);
naturalism (assuming dream events should accord with the upper world of nature);
moralism (seeing moral positions in the underworld and the dream as compensatory expression of self-regulatory conscience);
pesonalism (believing the realm of the soul to be concerned mainly with personal life);
temporalism (connecting dream events with the past or the future, either as recapitulations of what happened or foretellings of what is to come);
voluntarism (seeing the dream in terms of action which requires a response in actions — “dreams tell us what to do);
humanism (that the dream is primarily a reflection of and message for human affairs);
positivism (reading the dream as a positing, a positional statement, to which positive and negative judgments can be applied);
literalism ( taking any dream or aspect of any dream with singleness of meaning, thus forgetting that every bit of the dream, including the dream-“I” is a metaphorical image).
The dream is less a comment on the day than a digesting process of it, a break-down and assimilation of the day-world within the labyrinthine tracts of the psyche. The dream-work cooks life events into psychic substance by means of imaginative modes — symbolization, condensation, archaisation. This work takes matters out of life and makes them into soul, at the same time, feeding soul each night with new material.
…the dream itself is wholly subjective. What walks through my dreams is not actual other persons or even their soul traits mirrored in me (ikons or “simulacra” of them), but the deep, subjective psyche in its personified guises. A dream presents “me” subjected to “my” subjectivity. I am merely one subject among several in a dream. In sleep, I am thoroughly immersed in the dream. Only on waking do I say, I had a dream. A true subjective level of interpretation would have to keep me subjected to the dream…The “I” who wakens and remembers is left with traces of all sorts, but the remembering I goes on in a different place, maybe in a quite different person.
What we have been articulating all through this essay as “dream-ego” and “imaginal-ego” refers to the psyche-soul of primitive experience. The other perspective, waking consciousness in the daylight world, is what this school of ethnology describes as life-soul, body-soul, ego-soul. The hyphen in all these terms keeps us aware that the ego too is a soul.
Anima Mundi and Axis Mundi
Because the sweat lodge is also a monthly ritual intended to put persons in right relationship with the season of the year and the season in life, a proper mirror for human beings is one of bi-polar, seasonally affected balanced, whole participants in that larger matrix of meaning and purpose. Our planet, too, is a soul.
This image can be a mirror that describes how it is possible to feel and be in relationship with with Ancestors, Sacred beings like animal powers and angels, the Beauty and Person of Earth, dreaming, meaningful symptoms, unconscious complexes, archetypes, solar system, galaxy, the rhythm of day and night, the seasons and creativity and conceiving the new – this is a wholeness that is in rhythm and in right time and timing with all that lives. There is a collective bi-polar cycle in rhythm with a 4-fold, seasonal affective patterning.
The Modern Self In the Primal Mirror
Modern World View
In the modern world view, all qualities associated with purposeful intelligence and soul are exclusively characteristic of the human subject, which is radically distinct from the objective non-human world.[Figure 1]
A good person to reflect the effects of the shift from the primal world view to the modern is Rene Descartes. First, here is the discription of the shift:
In the evolution from the primal view to the modern, the human self has been radically differentiated from the world, and the ground of meaning and purposeful intelligence has been relocated from a now dis-enchanted cosmos to an empowered autonomous human self.[figure 2]
A mirror to the Modern World View where the relationships with Grandmother, Mother, Gaia, as the ground of meaning, with the dream ego, the dreaming-who-“I”‘s, Ancestors, Sacred beings like animal powers and angels, the Beauty of Earth, dreaming, meaningful symptoms, unconscious complexes, archetypes, wholeness, cosmos, the rhythm of day and night, the seasons and creativity and conceiving the new are all absent. There is a bi-polar and seasonal affective disorder caused by a split from the Earth.
This has been the crippled condition of the West since the 17th century. Descartes’ dream from back then can give a sense of what it is to try to live in this manner. This is reported in Marie-Louise VonFranz’s book, Dreams:
Descartes tells us that when he lay down to sleep on 10 November 1619, he was still filled with enthusiasm and was completely absorbed by the thought of having that day discovered the foundations of a ‘marvelous science.’ During the night he had three consecutive dreams, which he thought could only have been inspired by a higher power. Having fallen asleep, he imagined he saw ghosts and was terrified by these appearances. He walked through the streets, and he was so horrified by the visions that he had to bend over on his left side in order to reach his objective, for he felt a great weakness in his right side and was unable to hold himself up.
Ashamed at having to walk in this fashion, he made great efforts to straighten himself, but he was struck by a violent wind. The wind seized him like a whirlwind and made him spin round three or four times on his left foot. It was not this, however which frightened him most. He found it was so difficult to advance that he was afraid of falling at every step, until, perceiving the gates to a college standing open on his path, he entered, to seek refuge and help with his affliction. [Dreams by Marie-Louise von Franz, p. 119]
The Late Modern Self through the Primal Mirror
Of the late modern, Tarnas commented:
Late Modern World View
In the late modern post-Copernican, post-Nietzschean cosmos, the human self exists as an infinitesimal and peripheral island of meaing and spiritual aspiration in a vast purposeless universe signifying nothing except what the human self creates.
In the Archai Journal vol. 3, Beyond a Disenchanted Cosmology,
Joseph Kearns in his essay, The Shape of Nihilism: A Cosmological Exegesis of Nietzsche’s “The Madman”, shared how at age 14, his brother asked him if what came after death was nothing, just empty, blank meaninglessness? Once the question was in his mind, though he tried to dismiss it, he slowly became obsessed with it. One night, under the stars, he let himself think on Nothingness. He wrote how, to his dismay, all meaning, purpose and love slowly drained out of his universe, and worse, he was participating in it. He felt a sense of dread rise up as infinite space was devoid of loving care. (Kearns’ experiences sound like what Pascal wrote about in 1637 in his Pensees – Ces espaces infinis m’effraient - “These infinite spaces terrify me.”)
Kearns wrote poignantly:
God — a childhood fantasy perpetuated by adults who were either irresponsible or thoughtless — was no longer there: He had died. What remained was a stark world governed by natural forces that were oblivious to the anthropomorphic projections of desperate humans. Embroiled in such a savage and impersonal reality, I thought the most pressing law must be the survival of the fittest. Morality had no greater sanction. Selfishness was, at root, the primary human motive. (p.148)
He went on to write:
I felt as if I had woken up from an illusion that still held countless minds captive, but I had woken up into a nightmare. p. 149
What Joseph Kearns described has been an epidemic for some time now. After my 30 years as a secondary school teacher, as a father, a friend, and during my growing up, my greatest sorrow has been to witness this adolescent drop into the suicide level with no means of interrupting it.
Holden Caufield described this same experience to his sister, Phoebe, in Catcher in the Rye:
“You know that song ‘If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye’? I’d like – ”
“It’s ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye’!” old Phoebe said. “It’s a poem. By Robert Burns.”
“I know it’s a poem by Robert Burns.”
She was right, though. It is “If a body meet a body coming through the rye.” I didn’t know it then, though.
“I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,'” I said. “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”
Signal Tree in Akron, Ohio. Created by those who lived here before us, The Signal Tree, a burr oak over 300 years old, still marks a crossing point or portage between the Cuyahoga and the Tuscawaras Rivers. Erie, Seneca, Shawnee, Ottowa, Delaware, Mingo and other tribes once passed this place. It marked a land-bridge where courtesy and peace where expected.
Earthbriety is a unification of the Recovery Movement and environmental movement with Indigenous wisdom. It allows them all to join forces to work together for the future generations.
HEALING THE FIREWATER AND THE BURNING RIVER
The bioregion of northeast Ohio, especially the watersheds of the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers is the ecosystem to which both the 12 Step Recovery Movement and the environmental movement belong. On June 10, 1935, now known as Founders’ Day, AA began in Akron, Ohio, not far from the Cuyahoga and Little Cuyahoga. The Cuyahoga River caught fire and burned on June 22, 1969. The Cleveland’s Burning River became the rallying point for American environmentalism. The first Earth Day soon followed on April 22,1970.
The Gate Lodge at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. Henrietta Seiberling’s involvement with the Oxford Group, a religious fellowship movement, confirmed her belief that ordinary people had the power to change their lives. On Mother’s Day 1935, through mutual friendships, she brought together Mr. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, both admitted alcoholics. Their discussion in the Gate Lodge resulted in identifying the principles that were to become the cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous.
As the clear-mindedness and sanity of Recovery have moved outward through persons, couples, families, neighborhoods, the number-line of the 12 Steps has taken on the shape of the circle of the Medicine Wheel. What began as a major First Step of the 12, — admitting to powerlessness in life — over the decades has become a rhythmic cycling that leads to deep wisdom. One begins to move through the Steps like moving through seasons of the year. The sanity and happiness deepen, then, with the seasons of life.
As the beauty of thriving biodiversity, healthy water and land have returned to once-polluted ecosystems, that same sanity and clearmindedness of the Medicine Wheel found in Recovery has also resurfaced in environmentalism. Since the Cuyahoga burned, we have re-learned that there is no such thing as a private watershed. Persons downstream suffer when those upstream pollute. Our great-great-grandchildren will suffer should we poison the waters they shall inherit in the future. When considering the environment, We are all related, the foundational teaching of the Wheel, is an accepted fact.
There are now a number of persons and communities who are 12 Step-Red Road – not only here, but nationally. (The Red Road or Good Red Road is the traditional way of life) The sacredness of Earth and right relationship through teachings, rituals, songs, art, dances, poetry, books — an entire new culture is emerging. That new culture is an unexpected Beautiful Way of Life. Those who find the Red Road after finding sobriety often say that the Red Road was what they were always searching for but did not realize it.
The old saying in Recovery to stay with dry people in dry places, came from another era. Since the 2016 events at Standing Rock, North, Dakota, a critical mass was reached in the bioregion of the Great Lakes. Healing persons and healing environments are calling out. A whole way of life is inviting and welcoming all who wish to come out of violent soul poverty. There is growing care to no longer allow any violence move forward into the future generations. It is a dry culture that is emerging and it is shouldering up with the ‘wet culture’ Europeans brought here.
FOUNDATION ON THE ROCKS OF ROCK-BOTTOM
Recovery and environmentalism are both the result of hitting rock-bottom with no further options but death. After the first generation of those 2 personal and environmental turning points in a life, a couple, family, a clan, a tribe, a community, a city, a bioregion, it is no longer necessary to continue such an extreme way of life. It would be a failure in eldering of our grand-children and in stewardship of the Earth to allow any violence and ignorance that made us sick to continue.
The life destruction of chemical dependency in self-medications and the environmental ecocide of petro-chemical dependency, when studied, can be traced to how we practice religion and carry out education. More deeply still, if you carefully consider our religious and educational issues, you will find psychological poverty. Psychological poverty has ruthlessly narrowed our understanding of soul and our culture’s poor soul image has distorted, destabilized life and ecosystems.
EARTHBRIETY: PERSONAL, COLLECTIVE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITY
The Medicine Wheel that is emerging through Recovery and environmentalism is still in labor to come forth. A whole and balanced way where our children and grandchildren no longer have to hit rock bottom, is the goal, a cultural goal.
Earthbriety offers an advantage in that it creates a no man’s land into which the Recovery community and the medical community can enter, stand and communicate. I entered Al-Alon as part of our family coming to the 12 Steps in 1976. Since then, most persons in Recovery who I have interacted with feature the psychology of Cartesian modernism – meaning that the ‘higher power’ is often considered outside time and beyond. I shared above this mirror for such a mindset:
In the medical community, the notion of a higher power of Recovery is not valued as much, in fact, it is a bone of contention. I understand this contention because far too often, the idea of a higher power has been claimed by Christians, maybe due to the 12 Steps origins in the Oxford Movement, which was a Christian one. The use of medications and behavioral methods generally fails to rise above the suicide level.
At this time, both Recovery and medical communities do not include a healthy relationship with Earth as the source and support of sanity and happiness. They work indoors, in basements, inside.
Further, as both the Recovery and medical communities wrestle with their differences, in the bioregion where I am, the ecologists and activists proceed as if their own work has little to do with the questions of addiction and co-dependency. Sustainability, in the primal world view, has never been a question of reasonableness and common sense. It has always been a question of Beauty. By Beauty, I mean the awe of direct experience of the persons of Earth. The old prayer goes:
It was because of Beauty that this world was created.
It is because of Beauty that this world is sustained.
In Beauty, it will finish.
The same no man’s land that calls to Recovery and medicine also calls to ecologists and activists. It is the sovereign Beauty that sustains the world and belongs to all.
Outside, for thousands of years, the teaching has been that human beings are 4-fold: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. More than that, we are only the most recent arrivals living interdependently on Earth, water, and all life. We breathe together with the seasonally affected consciousness as we orbit the sun. Wholeness, happiness, sanity, joy, are bound to the bipolar and seasonal affective rhythm of our Home. Earthbriety invites faith and science outside themselves.
Once condemned to the underworld as Gaia 2500 years ago and now rising once again through Recovery and environmentalism is our Grandmother – the one who only knows how to give away.
Earth is the Living Source that Indigenous wisdom has loyally honored. Our culture, after hitting rock bottom, has turned from ruinous habits and has learned that ordinary people have the power to change their lives. Since 1935 and 1969, we have been learning once more how to share in a good way a sane and happy life in a Beautiful world. We have been learning from the Indigenous how to hear the voices of Earth.
Earthbriety adds Indigenous wisdom to sobriety and environmental sanity because that is a description of what has been happening here since we hit rock-bottom.
Earthbriety is a unification of the Recovery Movement and environmental movement with Indigenous wisdom. It allows them all to join forces to work together for the future generations. In particular, using the idea that in our trauma is our curriculum, the work together is to carefully unpack what caused us harm, locate or create a healing curriculum/art/music/response to offer the children and grandchildren so that the cycle of violence ends with our generation.
EARTHBRIETY IS A PARTNER TO WELLBRIETY
The same kind of restoration of humanity and the environment emerged through the Colorado ecosystem where Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other tribes once gathered for the abundant springs. Indigenous communities are deepening the 12 Steps to include the Medicine Wheel under the title of Wellbriety.
In Wellbriety, Unifying the Steps and traditional culture is bringing about a cultural healing, especially to the intergenerational trauma. Native persons are recovering the wisdom of their ancestors by un-earthing and healing the wounds of 5 centuries of colonial genocidal violence. A key element of Wellbriety is forgiveness: forgivenss as an attitude, forgiveness for others and self, and forgiveness for the un-forgiveable. The sacredness of the environment and its care remains a tenet of tribal wisdom. With Wellbriety, recovery of culture is automatically recovery of environmental stewardship.
Water is not a resource, water is The source.
You will hear this fact expressed as, Mni wiconi!, (Water is life!) when you pray, act and do ceremony with water-protectors. For First Nations persons, the notion that Earth is a book of wisdom is evident. Imagining that human beings are mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual, just like all of creation, is the norm. All members of our ecosystems, the land, water, and air as well, have their voices, songs, dreams, medicines, teachings, relatives, troubles, gifts.
All that is has a voice. All that is has its special ways of listening and responding. Wellbriety is a way that First Nations have been getting over us. For the past 5000 years, our ancestors judged the Earth to be fallen and inferior. in Indigenous communities, there is less of a need to re-learn how the Earth, the Grandmother, is a living holy person.
EARTHBRIETY OFFERS A WAY TO GET OVER OURSELVES – THREE STEPS
The power to change our lives as well as our relationship with the planet can be done in 3 steps:
1.) We work together to expand our understanding of soul through an archetypal ecology.
Archetypal ecology is the uniting of the written and oral traditions found in Jungian psychology, transpersonal psychology, archetypal psychology, archetypal astrology, archetypal cosmology, spiritual psychology, eco-psychology, creativity-studies, evolutionary astrology, Hermeticism, and Indigenous ways of wisdom.
Archetypal ecology affirms our planet as Gaia – Grandmother and Ouranos – Grandfather, to the planetary family of celestial archetypes. Our wholeness is seasonal and bi-polar.
Perhaps the most important information in that long string of depth psychologies that honor the unconscious, has come down to us through an oral tradition that runs alongside the publications and public events. Western psychology is not whole so long as its own oral tradition is left out. Our own soul tradition cannot be learned from books alone.
For example, when C. G. Jung’s Red Book was published in 2009, what it made clear was how much Jungian psychology as it is currently practiced is a derivative of the primary material from which it was drawn. James Hillman and Sonu Shamdasani’s book, Lament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung’s Red Book, touch upon this very matter. In the book, Hillman shared that he himself did not get to see the Red Book until its 2009 publication. This points to an oral tradition that has always accompanied the restoration of soul that any who would read the texts would do well to seek out.
The writings of one of my mentors, Eugene Monick, express only part of his soul-knowledge. Central to his experience were a number of visionary moments in nature and under the ground in a Cro-Magnon cave.
The images below offer a way to imagine the goal of archetypal ecology. It is to restore a whole cultural way that is at home in its planetary source, galactic home and cosmos.
I am indebted to Becca Tarnas who first coined the term, archetypal ecology, in her 2015 paper, Archetypal Ecology: Drought in a Rhythmic Cosmos Though she considered drought on Earth through the discipline of archetypal cosmology, she opened a bridge. It is possible to cross into an archetypal ecology by which we wholly return to Earth — to once again lovingly listen and respond to the source of all life — To walk again into a Beautiful World.
It is possible to expand our consciousness to become aware of how our collective happiness calls us to claim our own voices and honor all voices that live – Thomas Berry called this, biocracy. Flourishing is to be shared with all life on a bipolar and seasonally affected planet. It is possible to educate our children in new ways.
2.) For us to get over ourselves is to accept an invitation into the journey that archetypal ecology opens to us. We can become conscious of how the violence that we brought to the American continent was once done to us. We do this in order to heal and decisively end the intergenerational violence.
The oppression began 5000 years ago with a shift into literacy, numbers, mathematics, geometry, harmony, agriculture, awareness of the cyclical patterns of sun, moon, planets, and stars – the Heavens and its Music of the Spheres — the Almighty God on High, colonization and slavery.
The shift to the order of the Heavens as the source of political, economic and religious authority made us deaf and numb to the songs, dreams, medicines, teachings, relatives, troubles of not only ecological life, but to any other human beings who continued to base their cultures on right relationship and learning how to sing, to dream in concord with all those Relatives. It was by virtue of that same power that we assumed power over other peoples.
Here is Tarnas again in Cosmos and Psyche:
I know it’s small, he wrote in his figure 3:
In the Western religious world view that emerged between the primal and the modern, forming a link between them, the human self bears a unique relationship to a transcendent divinity that is separate from and sovereign over the created world, a world that is increasingly perceived as devoid of meaning and purpose other than that associated with the human self.
Authority from On High causes surrender of all the voices of Earth. Political, economic, religious authority sanctioned from Above is patriarchy. It is patriarchy that causes addiction because it self-righteously paves over originality. The Latin, dict, in the word, addict, also found as diction, dictate, implies voice. The ad, in addict, means, to give over or to surrender. An addict has surrendered her voice
In the primal mirror, the Western religious world view that emerged between the primal and the modern was a split from the loving relationships known as Mother.
It was a split from here:
Such is the portable wifeless “brand” that can move overland with no relationship with the ‘below’ other than one of taking from it. This floating world “hangs on a thread.” The Ancestors, Angels and Presence all experienced as outside and beyond the experiencer do remain. These are Ancestors and powers that have nothing to do with persons who are not of royal families, chosen scribes, priests and priestesses — all those who are educated into the letters, numbers, language and cosmology. The patriarchal brand also has nothing to do with the wisdom of the local ecosystems over which it rules.
This psychological interpretation of the sky is the religious underpinning or superstition that to this day continues to enforce fascisms of the many ‘isms’. (Superstition means to stand over) To follow Tarnas’ lead, the first kings and queens of terror who came from the sky claimed a unique relationship to a transcendent divinity that was separate from and sovereign over the created world, a world that was increasingly perceived as devoid of meaning and purpose other than that associated with their own royal selves.
Where you find dominion, even damnation, over Earth and life as property, there is an old habit of mind that still invisibly hangs in the air.
4 layers of intergenerational violence in our collective unconscious
The cultural climate that first encouraged voice surrendering and control, colonization and enslavement has gone through 4 transformations. First, came the rise of the planetary gods, goddesses, sun and moon, as superior to earth. (Ur, Egypt, Greece) We still carry remembrance of this in our myths of the how to gods defeated the titans.
You can recognize the vestiges of the 4 Directions, the Grandmother and the Grandfather in the names of the titans who were condemned to a place that Hesiod declared was as far beneath our feet as the sky is overhead:
Ouranos = Father Sky
Gaia = Mother Earth
Hyperion and his sister, Theia = East
Koios = North
the Titan, Iapetus, the piercer, might imply the West
Mnemnosyne = Memory and Remembrance — the Oral Tradition.
Khor Rori and Al Baleed in present day Oman were ports connected to the kingdom of a people called Hadhramaut, which in arabic means, death has come. Current thinking is that the Hadhramaut were fierce warriors who left many dead whenever they invaded. That is why they were called the-death-has-come-people.
Theirs was a monarchy of a God-King whose power was derived from the sky and the moon. The death-has-come sky people colonized, enslaved and brought death with great prejudice to other peoples with an assumption that their sky power was superior to all other powers. Both locations were chosen because they had water sources that were taken over as property.
At the gate of Khor Rori, there are inscriptions to the king and inside, there remains a temple dedicated to the male God of the Moon, Anzu – (sky-knower)
Here’s from wiki:
He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means “lord of wisdom”. During the period (c.2600-2400 BC) that Ur exercised a large measure of supremacy over the Euphrates valley, En zu (Sin) was naturally regarded as the head of the pantheon. It is to this period that we must trace such designations…as “father of the gods”, “chief of the gods”, “creator of all things”, and the like. The “wisdom” personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astronomy or the practice of astrology, in which the observation of the moon’s phases is an important factor.
What began with the moon in Khor Rori, shifted to the sun and Cairo in Egypt and following them, the highest God because Plato’s transcendent One. That One found a home in Alexandria.
The Wifeless Father and fatherless Son
Next came the ascending of Christianity over the earlier divinities – a Most High, All Powerful and All Good God. (Christianized Empire)
The image above is carved into a mountain in Germany. It represents a 2-layered patriarchal imposition of power. Here, it is not the Gods and Goddesses who are ascending, but God the Father and his Son. The sacred tree of the German peoples is bent over and Nicodemus stands on it as he takes Jesus down from the cross.
Saint Boniface and others imposed Western patriarchy in the same 2-layered way:
The second layer I am talking about over the gods and goddesses is in the Bible in Acts 14: 12-15
12 And they called Barnabas*, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. 14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
Next came the modern shift of meaning inside human persons with the Most High even further away, out beyond a clockwork cosmos – The Great ClockMaker. (Descartes in 1634) The Modern found its full attainment over Christian patriarchy in the Enlightenment and the Revolutions that imposed nation-states over the power of the Churches.
Finally, the absolutely remote ClockMaker was set aside and all authority placed inside isolated human beings, who are believed to be fundamentally absurd in an absurd universe. (Nietszche in 1851) In this high-tide of patriarchy, meaning in life only comes about through heroic and superhuman action alone. There is no moral authority, only power through the capacity to use economic, technological, and military force.
This kind of patriarchal system is most clearly seen in the multinational corporation that operates outside the boundaries of nation-states. Here is a list of some of the top ten:
Dow Chemical (USA)
ExxonMobil Chemical (USA)
LyondellBasell Industries (Netherlands)
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Saudi Arabia)
Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan)
Sumitomo Chemical (Japan)
Chevron Phillips (USA)
Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation responsible for the Dakota Access Pipeline had the power to hire local law enforcement to protect their private financial concerns.
This kind of 4-layered patriarchal violence appeared in James Cameron’s 2009 film, Avatar
In the Avatar universe (set in the year 2154), humans have achieved a technologically advanced, post-industrial society dominated by powerful corporations and industries. One of Earth’s most powerful corporations is the globally integrated Resources Development Administration (RDA), a quasi-governmental organization that possesses a monopoly over all resources in the Alpha Centauri system and any other non-Earth location.
The Interplanetary Commerce Administration granted these sole rights to the RDA under the stipulation that the use of weapons of mass destruction of any kind are to be strictly prohibited. Known RDA personnel on Pandora include head administrator Parker Selfridge, Colonel Miles Quaritch, Private Sean Fike, Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, Dr. Max Patel, Dr. Grace Augustine, Dr. Norm Spellman, and Samson pilot Trudy Chacon.
In the film, we were told that the Earth is a dying world where humans have killed their mother. In this most alienated form, Napoleon’s modern critique of religion as the opium of the people, turns inside out – Opium is the religion of the people.
Recovery, both for persons and the environment, began with willingness to exchange the deafness of alienated self-will and/or religiously-sanctioned permission to control, for the sanity of right relationship in care for others.
An important reason why Recovery works is because to lovingly listen and respond to another are gifts you receive by giving. To get over ourselves, we, too, must take up forgiveness as is done in Wellbriety: as an attitude, forgiveness for others and self, and forgiveness for the un-forgiveable.
IN THE AGE OF MAGNIFICATION
3.) As we un-bury entire regions of our cultural soul, psychic energy that was once expended in the repression of forgotten interngenerational trauma comes back online for us. We are suddenly quite awake to how what we face is a transformation of our entire species on a scale not seen before. A perspective whole enough gives us a sense of direction with trustworthy guiding stars to remind us where we are going. The word, Renaissance, was created after that period. The leaders during the Renaissance knew that they were living in portentous times, but did not have a name.
There are other authors who have named this period, Joanna Macy called this The Great Turning, Thomas Berry called it the opening into the environmental age. I call our time of history, The Age of Magnification because of how our cosmology was definitively changed by magnifying. The date the Age of Magnification began was March 13, 1610. It began that day because of Galileo’s publication, The Starry Messenger. He reported to our ancestors that there was no authority on high beyond the dome of the stars.
He wrote that what he saw was innumerable stars.
Using this date and name get right to the issue that has caused and continues to cause suffering, namely that after 1610, the spiritual and the scientific ways of knowing were forced into a split that has yet to heal because of magnifiying. I call this split, chronopathology
VOCATA – VOCATUS
In summary: The ground-zero of the Recovery and environmental movements is in northeast Ohio, in the watersheds of the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers. In both movements, there has been an emerging return of Indigenous wisdom. That wisdom can be symbolized by the Medicine Wheel and though each movement enjoys its particular understanding, both agree in the fact that we are all related and live best when we live with this principle.
Earthbriety is a unification of Recovery Movement and environmental movement with Indigenous wisdom. It allows them all to join forces to work together for the future generations. Earthbriety requires a new definition of soul understanding, an archetypal ecology. Archetypal ecology is the uniting of Jungian psychology, transpersonal psychology, archetypal psychology, archetypal cosmology, spiritual psychology, eco-psychology, creativity-studies and Indigenous wisdom. Earthbriety and archetypal ecology are both attributes of the transformation of Western culture that began in 1610. Due to how magnification resolutely expanded our knowledge of the cosmos, the time-period we are in is The Age of Magnification.
WHEN OPIUM IS THE RELIGION OF THE PEOPLE
The photo above is one of the many wake-up calls going out across the United States. Overdose deaths in 2017 are up 30% compared to 2016 in Ohio. Earthbriety is important now because political, economic, and religious solutions that do not include the holistic awareness, the collective bi-polar and seasonally affected wisdom, the originality of all voices and ways of listening, perpetuate our addictive-co-dependent habit of polluting the future.
September 11, 2001, was an earlier wake up call. For a brief period, nations of the world stood together and it seemed that a peaceful way forward together was possible. However, choices made since then have driven us further into global conflict. The years since 9/11/2001 have resembled the decades of The Thirty Years War in Europe from 1618-1648.
Of that war, Dame C V Wedgewood wrote:
Many of my generation who grew up under the shadow of the First World War had a sincere, if mistaken, conviction that all wars were unnecssary and useless. I no longer think that all wars are unnecessary: but some are, and I think that the Thirty Years War was one of these….The dismal course of the conflict, dragging from one decade to the next, from one dead-lock to the next, seems to me an object lesson on the dangers and disasters which can arise when men of narrow hearts and little minds are in high places. [The Thirty Years War, 1938]
The soul is safer outside.
Surrounded by so many deaths in overdose, environmental degradation and un-neccessary wars, the time is ripe for us to see through the out-of-date world-view that still encourages such meanness from above. The men of narrow hearts and little minds in high places are still with us. The very same patriarchal world that propelled the violence of the Thirty Years War 400 years ago is still doing its thing, but it now has 2 more layers ramping up its self-will-run-riot.
The power from above way of living is based on a tiny view of the cosmos that you can see with the naked eye. In the image below, the sphere in yellow is the cosmos our ancestors could see with their eyes. The narrowness of soul in all their notions of culture, soul, spirit, life, divinity, were based on it:
We now know that there is no sky dome.
The Big Dipper, for example, though appearing flat in the photo above, actually looks like this:
The heavens described in all of our inherited sacred texts disappear into the expansive depths of 2 trillion galaxies of the space/time universe we inhabit.
Our imaginings of the highest order are now dissolving into a new awareness of the depths of culture, soul, spirit, life, divinity the cosmos calls us to create.
While C V Wedgewood wrote of life when narrow hearted, small minded men are in high places, in his 1988 book, The Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry clarified how it might be that persons like that could continue to have so much influence over the lives of so many and silence so many voices. He wrote:
We are just emerging from a technological entrancement. During this period, the human mind has been placed within the narrowest confines it has experienced since consciousness emerged from its Paleolithic phase.
SEEING THINGS THROUGH
In The Dream, Berry repeated again and again that the change we now face is a change in an order of magnitude never before attempted. I wrote above how I chose to not use his “opening of the environmental age” instead use The Age of Magnification. When we focus on magnifying and its impact on us, it distills many issues into understandable parts. In Earthbriety, archetypal ecology in the Age of Magnification, to magnify is to be defined as:
To see through the apparent to the depths within, beneath and beyond, to amplify, to understand more deeply, to celebrate and acknowledge what was, is, and is coming to be, to awaken together in the dream.
The essence of magnification is – Become psychological.
For us, the real is a bi-polar and rotating planet wrapped in an atmosphere that is seasonally orbiting a bi-polar sun. Our sun is a star at the center of a solar-system in inside one of the arms of a bi-polar galaxy. Our guiding star, itself held and sustained through relationship with the wider whole, is in a 226 million year orbit around a galactic center, the heart of which is a supermassive bi-polar black hole. Our galaxy is a conglomerate of a larger galaxy that is currently incorporating 2 dwarf galaxies. In our reality, we are in a galaxy with many Earth-like exoplanets that is in motion with millions of other galaxies, in a cosmos of 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies.
Ours is a chronically expanding quantum cosmos so vast that all descriptions of it fail to encompass its Mystery.
TO CREATE THE PATH OF EARTHBRIETY AND ARCHETYPAL ECOLOGY BY WALKING
I have witnessed and experienced too much educational and religious suffering caused by our psychological poverty. The best, brightest, most loving and generous souls I have known had no psychology by which they could be understood. The list of psychological disciplines: Jungian psychology, transpersonal psychology, archetypal psychology, archetypal cosmology, spiritual psychology, eco-psychology, creativity-studies, are all lacking in the harmonious wholeness expressed by the Medicine Wheel and the Healing Lodge pictured below:
I mentioned above how for thousands of years, the teaching has been that human beings are 4-fold: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. More than that, we are only the most recent arrivals living interdependently on Earth, water, and all life. We breathe together with the seasonally affected consciousness as we orbit the sun. Wholeness, happiness, sanity, joy, are bound to the bipolar and seasonal affective rhythm of our Home, once condemned to the underworld as Gaia 2500 years ago and now rising once again as Grandmother.
A whole and balanced way where we can flourish in right relationship with All Our Relatives is the goal of Earthbriety, Archetypal Ecology in the Age of Magnification. We no longer have to hit rock bottom and can choose to not repeat old habits.
Recollect the indigenous wisdom of the West.
This is the astrological tradition of the zodiac, the houses and the planetary archetypes. Around the outer edge are the 12 signs of the zodiac. The numbered slices of the pie are the houses, each house in the chart below is placed with the sign of the zodiac associated with it. The original revelations as to how this way of understanding was conceived are lost to us. We do know its literacy, numeracy, astronomy, came forth in Ur/Chaldea/Babylon 5000 years ago:
If this is the first time you are reading about astrology as a cultural value indigenous to the West, perhaps you may scoff, as I did, when I heard the idea proposed. However, if you approach the tradition in a good way, as if you would any other indigenous tradition, you will not be disappointed. Just another reminder that to approach the sacred in a good way is to approach it in soul, thus, shift into that mode that recognizes all realities as relational, primarily symbolic or metaphorical and in service to the relationships by which the past and present are honored and through which the future is brought forth. Depth psychologists have been using birth charts for more than 100 years already, though under the radar.
There were sound reasons for Jung to write:
Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.
Cosmos and Psyche, the text I’ve been quoting,
represented Tarnas risking his entire academic credibility in order to restore the lost sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity. He is not a lone-wolf, but part of a century long unfolding effort to heal our culture of its unconsciousness. If you are new to this idea, I encourage you to step forward into the riches of our own psychological inheritance.
There are 2 steps that need to be made in order to bring the ancient knowledge of the West into relationship with the planet. It is because when the art of heavenly correspondences was conceived, it was in Ptolemy’s universe – a flat Earth society.
Restore the Sky to Earth like this:
The chart of our zodiac is backwards as regards east and west. To bring the sky back to Earth, the directions need to be flipped and the zodiac turned inside out. To flip the zodiac inside out is to admit that we are now beyond the sky under which the heavenly 12 were conceived and set forth. An inside out zodiac is psychologically accessible and has room for new ideas. It looks like this:
Restore the Sky to Earth like this:
This properly aligns the sky constellations of our cultural inheritance with the seasons, the 4 Directions of Earth-based wisdom. May this shift be an atoning symbol to confess and admit that all the heavenly virtues that were projected into the sky by our ancestors were always present and available to all persons in all places and in all beings, native to Earth, our Mother.
Second, a flat-world is hidden in the assumptions about day and night in what are called the 12 houses of a birthchart. The concept of the houses is based on how the sun of the northern hemisphere of the planet of Western culture appears to move across the sky. In the daytime, the sun is always in the south. Even at summer solstice, there is still a tilt to the south. This is why moss grows on the north side of trees. It is because the north side is most of the time in shadow. A birthchart features the sky as south and ‘under the world’ as north. A great deal of the Egyptian imagination of the soul, the soul of the Pharaoh, the souls of the people, had to do with the passage of the Sun Boat up into the air to the south and under the world to the north beneath.
So, on a birthchart, the assumptions from the past are:
North and south are no longer as above, so below, but are the 2 poles of our axis mundi. Axis Mundi, the invisible center-line of the rotating Earth, brings about a next step in re-orientation. The image below describes how day and night do not happen to the Earth. It’s the participation of the planet that makes it so:
The above image, in order to be adjusted to our cosmology, requires an arc in order to include Earth, its axis, atmosphere and orbit (cause of the seasons) Where we now live, though the experience feels like above and below, we are really located on the side:
To complete the update of the houses, is to return them, also, to the proper ownership of Earth. The rhythm and pulse of the day and night, the poetics of it, are known because of the 4.3 billion years of turning and nurturing life our Home has done.
The great advantage of the oral tradition is that it is able to evolve whenever new knowledge is gained. All that I’ve expressed above, how Earth participates in day and night, how the seasons and the stars, the 4 Directions, the above the world, the undertheworld can all be reflected in the image of the Lodge I shared above:
Restore Earth to Sky like this:
Our forgotten astrological tradition has created the unconscious boundary that holds us to the past – Ptolemy’s Egyptian heavens:
There is a version of hell where the suffering is endlessness. In my opinion, we could imagine that for the past 5000 years, souls who thought they were being saved by achieving immortality, were in fact in a form of galactic time out. Author Ann Rice has been brilliant in this.
In her Queen of the Damned, there are Egyptian immortals who are in an unchanging sleep. Perhaps this is the risk of bargains for immortality split from the evolutionary love-bed of Earth – there are Earths spread through-out the entire cosmos.
Perhaps we could let these ideas go now?
Perhaps we can shift to an archetypal awareness of an adaptable galactic human culture that knows itself, both its advantages as well as its dangers?
It would look like this:
Restore Earth to Sky like this:
Sky to Cosmos like this:
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
Before closing, the actual locations of the signs of the zodiac have shifted from when they were first placed in the sky 5000 years ago. Around the year, 150 CE, there came a realization called the precession of the equinoxes. It is that apparent motion of the zodiac over the centuries that is the source for our Ages – like the Ages of Pisces, and Age of Aquarius. When this fact is brought to archetypal and evolutionary astrologers, that their sky is out of date, the response is that the signs of the zodiac are based on the 4 seasons of the year.
In this is a last bit of evidence how heavenly wisdom was originally derived from Earth-based wisdom. Also, it can act as a reminder to those who would turn astrological ideas, even expressions of ponderous wisdom, into dogma, to not take themselves so seriously – after all, archetypal and evolutionary astrology, the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity, is an artform, metaphoric, symbols, of soul, one way among the many of humanity, of the Life of Earth.
I’m inviting you into an adventure of the first of the 3 steps of entering into Earthbriety – to work together to expand our understanding of soul through an archetypal ecology. I invite you to walk with me through stories and the recollecting, the making, of psychological ideas on behalf of future generations.