THE CELESTIAL ARCHETYPES OF EARTH AND BODY
7. The Lamp of the Archer
Can you see that Lamp that lights the way?
Follow the Dreaming Gourd.
Release and receive that invisible Flame.
Follow the Dreaming Gourd.
Follow the Dreaming Gourd.
The Lamp of the Archer (Sagittarius with the Galactic Center) was created in 2003. I put forth the Lamp of the Archer, a Light for our world now, a Light showing the Cultural Foundation, the initiation and the Blossoming of the West in the Age of Magnification.
Delight in Being! Delight in being in relationship at the growing edge or the marriage bed where the Timeless merges with life in the phenomenal world. This is the Coronation of Matter. The Eternal expands and is transformed by every individual living in the phenomenal universe. The Un-created finds Its Delight and Self-reflection where the Eternal and space-time intermingle and become what-has-never-been. That is to say that the Un-created Delights in Creation. The Original Being Delights in our being original when its rooted in Sacred Purpose. Such is the meaning of the word, incarnation. Every individual has a birth-right to this Delight.
To re-set the sky to fit these times, form the ur-constellation of Lamp of the Archer by including the galactic center, a black hole named Sagittarius A*, by cosmologists to the constellation of Sagittarius. Although Sagittarius was imagined as a centaur drawing an arrow in its bow, the stars of our inherited constellation have the appearance of a tea pot. Just beyond the tip of the tea pot/arrow is where the center of our galaxy is located.
According to Wiki, 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.
Sagittarius A* is a black hole with the mass of 400 million suns, a dark center that can be perceived only by magnification through a radio telescope, for it is clouded over to in the visual spectrum of human eyes. Only by hearing within and beyond the invisible. More than 100 billion suns orbit that Center, whirling in the Flow in the circulation of the complexity of this recently realized Center. Our sun and family of planets are soaring through the heavens at 135 miles per second, but not unguided. we are orbiting Sagittarius A* once every 226 million years. That visible Center’s emergence into human awareness mirrors an expansive potential for inner awareness or magnification for the West.
The shift from the sun as the source of cosmic order to the galactic center as the source of cosmic order is a symbolic rendering of our culture’s rite of passage and new Foundation. Completion of our Passage shall be symbolized by the 100 billion suns and black hole of the galactic center. The metaphor of light now available to individual consciousness indicates access to higher levels of energy, information and relations within and beyond, both psychological as well as galactic and literal. The magnified awareness shall be known and felt. Feel it lead us beyond ourselves though it surpasses all description.
Let us face the ordeal of the release. That task is for our souls to surrender, as flying arrows surrender to the Direction of their flight (Lucretius) and awaken within the evolving goal of the expanding universe. Pain and joy both are part of the passing through as we approach and understand the new Center. Let us laughingly, humbly realize that our inner our outer possession of one truth, one law, one divinity was too small, grim and mean, only a seed of the Divine. Let us realize that our historic sense of magnitude in the West was quite miserly compared to the generous abundance of the 13.82 billion year old universe that magnification has revealed.
Let us no longer be satisfied by the isolation of absolutism. Let us seek instead, the embracing of a unity of relatedness. Let us no longer be satisfied by the destruction and degradation of the wholly other. Let us be moved to the give and take, the respiration of the unity of rhythm, of playfulness. May our hearts now prefer the Glow, Warmth and Closeness of the 100 billion. The many lights are sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, Messengers, guides – all fellow Travelers on the Journey. Let us no longer fear big numbers of distance, of speed, of size, of energy, nor of age. Even the decoding of the human genome shows that we are more alike than we are different. I am re-presenting an old pattern that assumes the passage of individual consciousness to the realization that it is one among many, at home in its universe and reconciled to its own Source, reconciled to its Beginning, Purpose and End.
A way to imagine our cultural, even planetary rite of passage is a collective shift from the sun as the image of a guiding and illuminating center to the galactic center as the guiding, illuminating center. Imagine that the loving capacity of the human heart is much more complex, intricate, enduring, guiding and generous than ever imagined in the past. We are all capable of this kind of expansive, mutually respectful love and culture. Each human can tap into this kind of depth and when lived, you can recognize it by the gentleness, peace, healing, music, art, culture, and justice. We are at a time of the Coronation of Matter,
the time when she who was crownless has been crowned.
THE CELESTIAL ARCHETYPES OF EARTH AND BODY
In Western culture, Earth is a celestial archetype. The entire planet is Holy Water, Holy Land, Holy Atmosphere.
The journey of these pages are meant to lead us home – here and now, alive and well, wide-awake and walking, deeply, restfully dreaming, upon a living sacred Earth. Ancient enduring cultures have not forgotten this, but our culture did during its evolutionary drive towards a new individuality that is in participatory service with the Beauty that sustains the world.
With the 3374 exo-planets, many of them Earth-like, Earth has become an archetype, an enduring planetary pattern through the heavens, found far and wide throughout space-time. Earth, as Gaia in union with Ouranos, is an archetypal pattern of divinity. It is both celestial and Celestial. We have always been living in a sacred world and when it is not the case, it is our natures that have gone out of line.
Water is an important key to coming home to Earth. There is a teaching that water is the First Medicine. The same idea is expressed in the Water Protectors’ call – Mni Wiconi – Water is Life. Human beings have direct access to the healing power of water through our tears – the tears of sorrow and the tears of laughter. Right relationship with the waters of our ecosystems is directly connected to right relationship with our tears – both faces of them.
Here are words from my 1999 release, Unio Mentalis: The Mind of the Land:
I dreamed of seeing again a small pond south of Norwalk, Ohio, that I knew as a child. The forest around it had been bulldozed for a housing development. The life of the pond was dried and dead. I began to weep because the grief I felt was so deep. My cry was unexpectedly taken over by another voice from inside my body. The best way to describe it was that it felt like a sickly infant was crying me — a neglected, orphaned child.
Since then, I have met many whose souls were crying like that. It is lamentation. The lament is about some personal nature lost, not belonging anywhere, not being good enough to keep, having an orphan soul. Where I live, a small forest disappeared from the Hickox land in a single day. The Comstock farm, the land along West Street, Bagley Road, Route 71 as it heads south, have all been cleared for subdivisions or commercial spaces. In the face of the de-naturing of Earth,
I believe that lamentation becomes a revolutionary act . It is a move that gives way to the restoration of the dignity of the non-human world. May the voices of Dreams, Hawk, Cardinal, Bluejay, Robin, Dog, Deep Space, Amphibian, Crow, Ritual, Symptom, Great Lakes, Ancestors, Telecommunications, All my Relations and Local Divinities become angelic, message-bearing, and echoed in this music.
May we relieve the burden of Jerusalem by restoring the sacred tissue in our own land. In strength, may we establish a culture of wholeness right here — Harmonize the Mind of Place.
This is how I returned to a feeling relationship with the land of Ohio near Lake Erie. The dream above was deeply healing through the water of my tears. In this, a warning is appropriate, that if you choose to enter into right relationship with Earth, it opens you to deeper emotional capacities that require Earth-based practices where you pray with the Persons of Earth.
There is a lot of good grief work that has developed over the last 20 years. The first time I heard of such a thing, there was an Inca man who came to teach here who told everyone that our culture carries too much grief. By refusing to weep, we are a culture that refuses to praise.
Give your grief to the Earth, to the rivers and lakes, to the stones, the trees, the mountain.
Healing tears of laughter are also of Earth. I was in a ceremony led by Malidoma Some where each man dug his own grave in order to be buried in it – not entirely, his head remained above the ground. The men who participated in this ritual were completely prepared to pour out tears of grief for Grandmother Earth. An unexpected thing happened. During the ceremony that evening, things were very focussed and very serious. Out of nowhere, one of the men started laughing hysterically. The laughter then spread all through the ritual grounds. It was non-stop, deep and hearty laughter that the men said they could feel rising up through the ground. Perhaps you might imagine a night with 30 heads poking up from graves under the full moon with mouths wide open wagging in laughter unto tears. We learned that Grandmother Earth is much more resilient and joyful than we Westerners might have imagined. The healing was through and through. Soul-relief flowed through the healing waters of tears.
When my father died suddenly in 1995, I was able to spend some last hours with my father as he was dying. For nearly 3 hours that February, I helped him by participating in the preparation of a sailboat for a sail. He would sit up and fold his bedclothes which was folding the sails. He would check the IV tubes which was securing the lines. He would hold the sides of the bed which was ensuring that the boat was secure. He would lay back and rest for a few minutes.
When I asked what he was doing, he responded incredulously – I’m securing the ship! I was able to spend those hours playing along with him – I’ve got these sails, Dad. Then, All the lines are secure, Dad. And last, The boat is prepared, Dad. He would smile and lay back to rest – then, right back at it.
He passed later that evening when I was on my way home. I came back to be with him. Fortunately, Carl, my brother-in-law, was there too. I asked him to sit with me as I wept for my father. We were in the empty hospital room where Dad’s still-warm body was. I touched his arm and poured out the depths of my grief. In a sad twist of fate, he and I, after a life-time of struggle had just that year gotten to a place where there was no more unfinished business. We were at a new beginning point. I dove fully into the sorrow of my dad being gone. A wide dark abyss opened and I plunged to the bottom with my tears. In the darkest depths of that grief abyss, there came a deeper darkness to meet me – and then, it was funny.
I did not know that in the abyss deepest grief, when we follow our tears downward, there is laughter. I felt myself rising upward, now carried by tears of laughter. I know at this point I was hysterical, but I was holding honestly to the direction of my tears. After the first dive and re-surfacing – Carl and I spoke for a bit. Then down I went again – tears of sorrow-tears of laughter. I cycled like this until my body felt clear and as if there were winds blowing through me.
The story of my dad’s death goes on after this, of course. My point is that the West does have a teaching about the healing power of water as it appears in human beings. The tears of sorrow and laughter that heal the soul through catharsis belong to our divinity, Dionysos, God of Wine, Patron of Theater.
In the 1990’s I heard a teaching attributed to Fool’s Crow where he said that this world shows itself through 2 faces. One of them is crying, the other one is laughing and they are both telling the truth.
It is possible to de-colonize the God of Wine by remembering that wine is mostly water. In our turning inside out, perhaps there is wisdom when we turn wine back into water. What does that even mean?! I think what this means is that, collectively, we have lost the notion that communal rites of passage need to occur before private self-medications. Where I grew up, drinking, drugging and manhood are too closely bound up together.
I had an unusual series of dreams when I was 13-14 years old. In the dreams, there was a speak-easy beneath St. Mary’s Church. The secret door was in the back of the closet where the servers’ garments were hung. In the first dream, when I was hanging up that long black cassock and white surplus, I noticed how the boards in the back of the closet were pushed aside. I stepped into the closet and found that through the back there was a passageway that led downwards. Following the passage down under the church, I arrived in a large closed bar room that had all the chairs up on the tables. The dream was fascinating.
It was so compelling that I snuck over to church the next day to see if the boards in the back of the closet could be moved – no luck. Soon after the first dream, I dreamed I was in the speak-easy during a very busy time. The place was packed and boisterous. I had a good time. Then, later, I dreamed I was in the speak-easy many years later when it was in ruins. That year, I spent a lot of times in different time periods in the speak-easy under the church. I could not make sense of it.
A few years later, after my dad got sober, I heard him share in his lead how the first time he got drunk was with altar boys with a priest. They were in a basement. He said he got so drunk that he could not walk. As he crawled around, he accidentally hit his head on the support pole in the center of the room. It made a loud ringing sound. Everyone laughed, so did he. He started banging his head over and over on that pole.
I think my father and I both were blocked by the same obstacle of not being able to get beneath the church into right relationship with sacred Earth and Water. Without that, the boundary seems to be held by Dionysos in liquid form. Beneath all American churches are sacred waters. Those sacred waters, for men, belong to the archetype of the primal masculine, the shamanic axis mundi which is phallos in all forms for men. My father’s head that rang the pole that supported the church was a symbol for a young man’s desire to have his mind and body connected to the deeper, healing waters of his own body and of his own land.
What separates the Dionysos of wine and the First Medicine of water is a difference between their private vs. collective natures. A drink or drug is for personal use. Water in our ecosystems connects us all. We are, once again, in the region of the fatal flaw of the West as regards a private soul that is set apart from the collective soul. Rites of passage are for the collective good. It is because to be an adult human is to be participate in the collective good. Yes, personal responsibility and gifts to share are all important. Adult emotional life has collective dimensions. Women who live together will all hit their menstrual cycle together. Men who live together feel the emotional atmosphere of the house. Adults feel the ecological health of the land around them and are in feeling relationship with its waters.
Ecopsychology has restored the ecological unconscious to us. Young persons can’t initiate themselves – but they can medicate themselves. To separate the water from the wine is to understand the difference between initiation into full participatory adulthood in the collective good and self-medication of the private agony of the collective’s pain.
I wrote in the chapter, Healing Apocalypse, how, in my spiritual/emergecy, there was a central element of recovering right relationship with the stream buried in my own back yard. It was about getting right with water both in myself and in my own household. What I learned is how important it is for our homes to serve the Beauty of the land and to consciously participate in it. As the bread-winner, what that meant was that I shifted my allegiance from the inside hearth of the home, as beautiful as that was, to serving the Beauty of Earth upon which our home depended.
Luckily, for me, before my shamanic passage of July, 1992, I had read Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis, edited by Stan and Christina Grof. What the knowledge did for me was to give me the imaginal eyes and understanding that what I was going through was what had been making my people and community sick. With that collective awareness, it was easier to approach events, as if I had a map of the terrain. In the unfolding of events, I was told:
Heal the sacred relationship between your culture and the Earth.
Heal the sacred relationship between your culture and the Ancestors.
and, the words –
Help the stars to touch the Earth again.
In this theme of separating private wine from collective water, in spiritual emergency, much of the process is theatrical, acting out mythic themes. It’s much like my father did when he was preparing his boat. In the same way he was enacting the preparation of the Vessel of his Crossing Over the Waters, I enacted a series of myths. I can never repay Paula’s courage then. She played along, at times without understanding, the psycho-dramas being performed. Her love came as grace during the most intense transformation of my life.
Culturally, we do not discern between private soul suffering and spiritual emergencies in which the individual is engaged in a transpersonal, collective attempt at healing the whole. We are quick to medicate what are sacred Dionysian soul performances. I spoke at St. Vincent’s Charity Hospital in Cleveland to persons who work with those in psychosis. The question came up as to how is it possible to tell the difference between spiritual transformation and mental illness? They share many qualities, both being a kind of mania, in the Platonic sense. At that time, I shared that it’s not easy to discern, but what helps most is for the person to be allowed to move through the entire psycho-drama safely in a safe place. It also vital to continually seek knowledge on the subject.
First, it makes a big difference if you know are familiar with the myth that is being enacted. In my father’s approach to death, I could be with him in soul because I was familiar with the naval vocabulary and the images in which he was participating. It helps if you can find which story has possessed the consciousness of the subject. We return again to the profound value of the ethnosphere and understand that ethnospheric wisdom is of the collective unconscious/cosmic memory field. Myths are the access points to the Living Waters that nourish in soul. Here are the 2 again. It works well to imagine the reality of the ethnosphere as the protective, life-sustaining, invisible, breath, spirit, mind that is Earth’s atmosphere. The Akashic or Cosmic Memory Field is best mirrored by the full expanse of the space-time cosmos.
By enthnosphere, I mean the living diversity of human wisdom, 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.
The Akashic experience comes in many sizes, forms, and flavors to all kinds of people, and all its varieties convey information on the real world — the world beyond the brain and the body. The experience ranges from artistic visualizations and creative insights to non-local healings, near-death experiences, after-death communications, and personal past life recollections. Notwithstanding the great variety in which it occurs, the Akashic experience has strikingly uniform features. Whatever else it may contain, the Akashic experience conveys that the experiencing subject is not separate from the objects of his or her experience — the sense that “I, the experiencing subject, am linked in subtle but real ways to other people and to nature.” In deeper experiences of this kind, there is a sense that the cosmos and I are one.
When you are in the liminal space of spiritual emergency, you are also in a mythic enactment – an actor in a play that seems to be emerging from the background depths of reality itself. It is truly a Dionysian performance with comic and tragic implications. Starting in the DSM-IV-TR, Western psychiatry began to allow for what the Grofs, Jungian psychology, archetypal psychology, transpersonal psychology, archetypal cosmology, spiritual psychology and indigenous cultures understand as:
…the dramatic experiences and unusual states of mind that traditional psychiatry diagnoses and treats as mental diseases are actually crises of persona transformation, or “spiritual emergencies”. Episodes of this kind have been described in sacred literature of all ages as a result of meditative practices and as signposts of the mystical path. [p. x]
The DSM-IV-TR is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that includes all currently recognized mental health disorders. The DSM-IV codes are thus used by mental health professionals to describe the features of a given mental disorder and indicate how the disorder can be distinguished from other, similar problems. On page 741 under the heading of V62.89 Religious or Spiritual Problem, there is the following:
This category can be used when the focus of clinical attention is a religious or spiritual problem. Examples include distressing experiences that involve loss or questioning of faith and the problems associated with conversion to a new faith, or questioning of spiritual values that may not necessarily be related to an organized church or religious institution.
There are 10 forms of spiritual emergency that offer their own mythic maps to the liminal terrain.
1. The shamanic crisis
2. The awakening of Kundalini
3. Episodes of unitive consciousness (“peak experience”)
4. Psychological renewal through return to the center.
5. The crisis of psychic opening.
6. Past-life experiences
7. Communications with spirit guides and ‘channeling’
8. Near-death experiences
9. Experiences of close encounters with UFOs
10. Possession states.
As of this writing, the most dependable tool to discern, believe it or not, is an astrological chart read by an evolutionary astrologist. Every person — each one I’ve spoken with since my own passage found that the life-changing event aligned with the archetypal dynamics expressed in their birth charts. Richard Tarnas shared at a conference that what they found in their research with holotropic breath-work and LSD therapy that the best predictor of what occurs in the non-ordinary state is a birth chart. He said that they had hoped for something less controversial, but that was the case. Francy Jacquot, shared with me that in a hospital in Nantes, France, they have been using birth charts for some time to good effect as regards times and dates for surgery. If you have access to indigenous shamans and rituals, these are more time-tested resources to help soul awaken into the living beauty of Earth.
In Western culture, Earth is a celestial archetype. The entire planet is Holy Water, Holy Land, Holy Atmosphere. Our bodies are authentic and whole, as innately virtuous as the Earth to which we belong.
I did not know until in my 40’s how the sexual energy of my body and the Earth’s energy are the same energy. I did not know that Earth and body energy are spiritual energy. This was not an easy lesson for me. I learned it by being pierced deeply by Eros and fell in love so deeply that it was like having a burning spear in the center of my chest for 18 months – day and night. During that time, any of the unexpressed love of my entire life that was still held in my body needed to be expressed or kill me. Creativity, dreaming, song-writing, ritual, Earth, travels, books, heart-to-heart talks, poetry, internet – all of these were needed to make it through. Without those resources, I think my only other choice would have been to find some way to self-medicate. During that 18 month time, I went to pray one day with a dear friend. I laid down on my back on the ground near the Rocky River. She did Reiki on me.
During the prayer, I felt the land we were on enter my body. I allowed the person of the land to become me. Earth looked through my eyes when I opened them. I could feel the planet remembering itself through me – that’s what I look like! It’s been so long! The merging of the land of the Rocky River ecosystem with my consciousness continued for about 40 minutes. I knew then how joyful life can be when we participate with the life of Earth in lovingkindness and generosity.
I have learned over and over how human beings are Earth. To know Earth intimately, to be and to become Earth, is to participate as a person within a Collective Greater Person. Look again at the opening image from Gail Alber. It offers a way to imagine the sacred masculine. He is not alone, nor isolated, but is We.
Monick offered that the way for men to move through the implosion of patriarchal manhood was through Phallos that is informed by Axis Mundi. I concurred with him and pushed him further into relationship with Anima Mundi. My point is that:
…it will be through an engaged, dependably functional, precarious, heroic and shamanic Axis Mundi as the partner to Anima Mundi that we can complete the full recovery of Earth as sacred.
The sacred man in Alber’s image is engaged with Axis Mundi and it appears in his phallic softness. This is how a fully embodied man who is completely vulnerable and intimate with his Beloved looks when he is rooted in his masculine strength.
When the sacred masculine comes forth to protect the sanctity of intimate relationship, a man will find himself gone soft. This is a way to imagine him at his most receptive, most vulnerable, most responsive embodied moment, in touch with the gentle receptivity of his natural masculine depth. Even in the fear, he forgoes the urge to cover up and offers himself in a risky loving invitation to deeper intimacy. At this moment, he is a we. Here is a way to imagine the masculine as yin, as Earth.
Richard Wllhelm’s words from chapter 4:
…the dark, yielding, receptive is the primal power of yin. The main attribute is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of The Creative the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative but completes it . It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal…Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses. But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles.
In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good.”
Awareness of right-timing is necessary to understand Alber’s art. Her man is not frozen in a permanent condition. This is no default setting, for man, too, is a river flowing and any image is a snap-shot within its wider riparian environment.
Repressing and oppressing the sacred energies of Earth and Sky, left-handedly tossing them into our unconscious does not make them go away. We sometimes live in buildings that suffer disturbances due to the many ways ignored powers seek to get our attention. We do well to re-learn the songs, stories, medicines, rituals, star-stories, herbs, animals of those who lived here before us. We do well to re-store through our creativity new soul-tissue with our ecosystems, new relatives through songs, symbols and teachings that come to us through dreaming, visions and afflictions. The persons who this helps the most are the children because they are dreaming with the Earth wherever they live. There are 3 examples I’ll share to explain what I mean.
My cousin invited me to visit an artist couple in Arkansas where they had been having disturbances in the home. There was trouble sleeping at night. When we examined closely where the most activity was in the home, it was in 3 separate rooms. Seen from a wider perspective, there was a circular area beneath the house which seemed to be in separate rooms, but was the same circle divided by how the house was constructed. Not far from their housing development is Toltec Mounds, a sacred site to the Mississippian culture for centuries. (They were not Toltec)
What seemed clear was that the developer did not take into account where the homes were constructed and they were imposed over the formerly sacred lands. The disturbed house was over an ancient ceremonial portal. When asked for more details about the experiences, what the home-owners described were persons and animals moving in and out – in particular, Jaguar. Though the home was full of religious imagery from European culture, Jaguar was not honored anywhere. We did a small ceremony together to honor the Portal and I invited them to become stewards of the powers there by asking those energies to bless all the family and people.
Andrea Lynn (Lynea) Strnad was one of the brightest students I taught over the years. She entered my classroom as a 7th grader when she was still small in stature, a free spirit. In the middle of her 8th grade year, she came to me worried about a dream she had that the world was ending. Though I wanted to, I was not able to share any concepts from depth psychology that may have been helpful. She joined with a fundamentalist Christian group for a time. I did not see her for the next 3 years because I was at middle school and she moved on to high school. When I moved to teach at the high school, I saw her again, she was grown, a robust young woman who slept in class all day. She was failing subjects, in and out of school. Andrea disappeared for a month or so and when she came back, she shared how she had watched the film, Heavenly Creatures. The film is about 2 teen girls who are gifted, spiritually inclined but who murder the one young woman’s mother. The impact on Ms. Strnad was so profound that she began to weep and could not stop.
I was able to share at that point about spiritual emergency, archetypes and healing. She devoured all the books she could find and began to heal. She conceived of a theory that what had happened in Heavenly Creatures was that the girls had accidentally entered into an ancient mythology that was still present in Christchurch,New Zealand. They had enacted a mythic event literally. The question burned so deeply in her that she went to New Zealand in order to find the answers to her questions. She was able to find what she had been seeking by talking to persons about Maori mythology and sacred sites. There is an area called, Red Rocks, that is still sacred to the Maori.
She was told that Maori shamans to this day maintain the site and mostly because people who don’t understand what the land is, stumble upon sacred portals that are there. Andrea said that they told her Maori healers go monthly to honor, cleanse and re-seal those thin places. In the story of Heavenly Creatures, the girls shared an experience that they cryptically named, The Fourth World.
In her un-published monograph, The Archetypal Images and Mythological Paths in the Case of Parker and Hulme Andrea Lynn Stnrad wrote. She and I had an ongoing dispute about underworld and ritual space. You can still understand her connection of soul and land:
There are 2 reasons why Pauline and Juliet ended up killing Pauline’s mother. The first is literalization of the myth. They had no guide, no one to show them how to deal with the forces that they had come upon, and therefore, they dealt with it the best way they knew how using literal thinking to understand symbolic happenings. They used the thinking that the topside world uses, but which is useless in the underworld. The second is isolation from the world. The return and bringing back of the gift is something that must happen. One cannot remain in the underworld forever, and when the two cannot be reconciled and integrated, the result is death.
The pathologizing of the gift is what caused its destruction. James Hillman writes that: there is a god in the disease trying to tell you something, the problem is, you take it literally.
Third, during the 2nd Great Awakening of American Christianity, at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, there were a number of enactments due to the spiritual influx. These are know as The 16 exercises, weeping, singing, jerking, swooning, running, barking, jumping, rolling, falling down, rocking, among others. These were all collected into a single Christian interpretation when perhaps archetypal, Dionysian eyes could have seen things more clearly.
Barking has roots in the Hebrew term, navi, prophet, which takes in words like navach, to bark. Rabbis with the prophetic gate of the Holy Spirit were also called ‘barkers’ according to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Still, it is worthwhile to seek the actual ecosystem to look for who would be a prophetic animal spirit barker in the Shawnee tradition near the Ohio River.
I think it would be Fox, who is not only a teacher, but also a Messenger. As far as I am concerned, the work of American Christianity will not be completed until it can open to Earth-based teachings, stories and powers that have been honored and included in life for centuries before European arrival. This cannot be done as a universal, sweeping code, but is unique and endemic, like plants and species to the dreaming of the people which is Earth dreaming through them.
The 16 spiritual exercises that were part of the Second Great Awakening are examples of becoming, or knowledge by identity. The de-colonization of American Christianity includes connecting the exercises to the patterns, styles and ways of the spirits of the local ecosystem.
There is an awareness that I have named, The Enchanted Land. It is an updated version of ancient wisdom that Earth loves us and wants us to have a good life. We are cared for not only in body, but in meaning.
An experience of Enchanted Land is when nature comes forth to you in a way that is one-of-a-kind and unexpected. It has a necessary synchronistic quality whereby the entire experience is to be interpreted like a waking dream. In those moments, Earth reminds you of who you are. In this way, human beings are eldered by Earth and Sky.
Most all persons I meet have had this experience and those who say they did not also say at the same time that they don’t remember their childhood. My Enchanted Land experience happened with my brother and a neighbor when we were playing in a tree near the cornfield by our home in Norwalk, Ohio. A red fox came out of the field and began to play with us. It would jump on us, let us hold it, nip at our fingers and then run into the rows of corn. It would wait until we went into the field to look down the rows and find where it was. We played with that fox for over 2 hours. It still wanted to play when we went home, but we were worn out by that point.
We told our mom and she was worried that maybe it had rabies. We insisted that he didn’t. Years later, as I was doing my genealogy, I realized what had always been before me, that our name, Reynolds, is related to the French word, Renard. In fact, our family crest has 3 foxes on it.
As in all soul moments, our Enchanted Land experience expressed the world to come in symbolic form. The reason I am so connected to Le Petit Prince, Le Serpent, Le Renard, et L’Eau, is because I enjoyed the great gift of teaching Le Petit Prince for 16 years in French 4 at then Berea High School. My connection with fox has continued to unfold and is unfolding in yet a new manner as I write and as you read.
Over the years, I have heard many Enchanted Land stories and they quite often feature some ancestral quality of letting the person know they were seen and that there is joy — enchantment, that she or he lives. Dr. Vocata George, a person who was central in bringing the ideas of Jung to the Cleveland Area, shared a story with me from her childhood. She grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. One night, she was walking home with her father through the dark “holler”. It was so dark, her father needed to use has flashlight. She held his hand as they walked together. When they arrived at the back porch of their home, father and daughter were both held in awe as his light shone on the door. The entire entryway was fluttering and covered with giant luna moths. This was an Enchanted Land moment. Neither one had ever experienced a similar moment before or since. Here’s what luna moth looks like, with gratitude to Jay Huggins:
In his own back yard of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Dr. Warren Grossman, was healed by the Earth. In this way, he became a healer. As the author of To Be Healed by the Earth, Dr. Grossman tells the story of how he was once a Western trained conventional psychotherapist when he got deathly ill in Brazil. Because he was expected to die soon, he asked if he could go home. He did not die, however.
After fading in and out on the edge of life, he asked his wife to take him outside to rest within the beauty he saw outside his window. Unexpectedly, he could feel the energies of Earth. Those energies had a curative effect on him and over time, he was literally healed by the Earth.
This is the classic shamanic path – to suffer the sickness, to find the healing and to bring it to the people. As Warren’s story continues, when he interacted with the public again after his cure, the greater the amount of Western medical and psychological education, the less the capacity to understand what he was talking about.
There are now millions of hidden stories similar to Warren’s. They generally follow the same pattern that Western culture is either illness causing or pathogenic or a person suffers from an illness that the Western late-modern mind can’t perceive, nor recognize. What is required is an openness to all cultural paths to wholeness. The website: The Four Winds: Where Modern Science Meets Ancient Wisdom, is just one of many where shamanic healers, teachers and singers are gathering for the good of Earth
James Beard, aka. Noodin’s book, White Mocs on the Red Road, tells the story of how he was transformed through learning the Red Road after gaining his sobriety and seeking deeper ways of the Spirit.
It was through Noodin that I first learned the Ojibway 7 Grandfather Teachings and how the People were told to move from the east. In the traditional ways that still endure around the Great Lakes, Earth is Earth, a heart, a drum and a sacred fire from which the virtues can always be recovered.
Compare that ancient teaching with Mellen-Benedict’s NDE:
The center of the Earth is this great transmuter of energy, just as you see in pictures of our Earth’s magnetic field.
I’ve been making a case that Westerners need to recover their own archetypal persons. Yes, it is the Dark Madonna, it is also the planetary archetypes, the Gods and Goddesses of archetypal cosmology and psychology. I have made the case that we also must recover the primal powers demonized as titans – Ouranos, Gaia, Mnemnosyn, and so on. They are the archetypes whom the ethnosphere has honored all along. The living diversity of human wisdom, 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 — has always kept some form of the 7 Directions, medicine wheel. In the introduction, I wrote:
It is symbolized by the Medicine Wheel of 7 Directions, the Ancestors and sacred persons of Fire, Water, Wind, Lightning and Thunder, all biological life, the stars, all that is — all that is Earth, Sky, East, West, North, South, centerless Center.
I will prove that the Earth has motion and surpasses the moon in brightness and is not the place where the dull refuse of the universe has settled down. I will demonstrate this with 600 arguments taken from natural phenomenon.
I shared earlier that our science has learned that nearly half of the water of Earth is older than the sun. There is water stretched through the galaxy that was present before our sun and solar system’s birth. It has been and will be present throughout the life-bearing years of Earth. It will be there still after the solar end. Besides being of a similar pattern of potential life-worlds, the galactic water of Earth includes us in the celestial local eco-system. This is another reason why Earth is to be included as a member of the planetary archetypes though we have yet to learn how our own water joins us to the wider galactic drama of multiple solar systems.
In May of 2016 was the first ever Western/Christian ceremony dedicated to healing our relationship with water and to healing our water. It was a Cosmic Mass from the Creation Spirituality tradition organized by Pastor Carol Vaccariello. Matthew Fox, founder of Creation Spirituality, came to Cleveland for the ceremony.
The photos above are from the Cosmic Mass dedicated to Healing Waters at Trinity Cathedral.
Soon after, Water Walker, Sharon Day of Nibi Walks, came to facilitate a healing ceremony for the Cuyahoga River. This was the first time since the Greenville Treaty of 1795 that our river was offered spiritual care. As in the water ceremony at Standing Rock, the leaders of the Water Walk were women and 2-spirited persons.
Arnold Mindell’s, The Shaman’s Body, all of Joanna Macy’s work, Sharon Day’s work with water, 2-Spirits (LGBT), Thomas Berry’s Opus, Malidoma Some’s work, Martin Prechtel’s work, Diane Pinchot’s art, Greg VonGehl’s and Pam Stropko’s work on recovering the songs coming out of the Earth in northeast Ohio. Kathy Mead Skerrit’s art, Michael Olin Hitt’s writings and Braided Way Media, Gennie Brukner’s transformations of Authentic Movement, Larry Nusbaum’s healing circles, anything Ray Grasse, David Fideler, Steven Forrest, Keiron Legrice, Richard Tarnas, Chris Bache, Stan Grof, James Hillman, Michael Meade, have written/published, Marni Binder’s and Pastor Vaccariello’s HeartSpace UCC community’s work with the labyrinth and the Medicine Wheel, Betsey Merkel’s work in connectivity and open source economic development, Marie Battiste’s and Don Jacobs’, aka Four Arrows’ work in decolonizing education, Creation Spirituality and theology of Matthew Fox, Wicahpi Koyka Tiospaye, The Minnesota Men’s Conference, Holistic Learning Community, Tyrian, Warrior’s Journey Home, Mankind Project, the 12-Step Recovery Movement, Rock and Recovery Radio at 91.3 in Akron, Sustainable Cleveland 2019, even Pope Francis’ 2015 Laudato Si…the list of those who are now in motion, walking out of shallow, disconnected, chronopathological lives and into the fullness of our Age represents the largest movement in human history. Once you have begun the road to Freedom, the many other persons who are already on that camino appear obvious. While you are still bound to the world view that is passing away, the transformation is hard to see. Paul Bela Ray’s song, Spirit People expresses this.
Enchanted Land - Reynolds 2002
There’s an old country road by the 4-lane highway
Near the old tree, there’s a stone pile
Roll down the windows, let’s drive awhile
An orchard once grew here and I still remember
The sunny day that cleared all them trees away
Anyway, come on and drive
Right there was a corn field where a red fox one day appeared
You know, I held him close in my arms
He played with us awhile and then he disappeared.
It was strange.
My Enchanted Land
You can’t explain away
What we saw that day
My Enchanted Land
Please won’t you,
Please won’t you stay?
The Crick is over yonder and once, the water ran clearer
Me and Phil and Ben for hours
Hunting the snake and the salamander
Come on and drive
It hurts to find this road here, o more winter wheat or clover
where the Monarchs once flew over,
there were more butterflies than you could number
Come on and drive.
So, one day, I reached down
into a spring of frogs, under the ground
It felt like a touched a giant bullfrog
The next day, with my friends
we never found that spring again, never again
My Enchanted Land
You can’t explain away
What touched me that day
My Enchanted Land
Please won’t you,
Please won’t you stay?
My Enchanted Land
You can’t explain away
What we all felt that day
My Enchanted Land
Please won’t you,
Please won’t you stay?
There’s an old country road by the 4-lane highway
Near the old tree, there’s a stone pile
Let’s stop the car and walk.
Walk with me awhile.
Mni Wiconi. L’Eau est la Vie.
Tu ne dois jamais oublier cette Vérité./strong>
(Water is life. You must never forget this Truth)