Station 8: Recollector




Orion to Mayas






8. Recollector
(Orion along with the stellar nursery of the Trapezium)

After long consideration, I moved the work on Orion that Galileo began those long years ago one step. Add to the 4 stars of the Orion Trapezium the stellar nursery that magnifying has revealed. New suns are being born as I write and you read. It will continue that way for millions of years into the future. The constellation Orion, transformed by the addition of the stellar nursery, is Recollector.

I chose this name for the ur-constellation, in part as an answer to the closing chapter of James Hillman’s book, Re-visioning Psychology, where he wrote:

The occupation — or is it vocation? — that emerges from our work in these pages is one of recollecting the Gods in all psychological activity. This is what archetypal psychology implies at its most fundamental level, and why archetypal psychology is necessarily nonagnostic and polytheistic. The images to which it turns and which give faith in psychic reality invoke the powers of religion just as images have always done. By entering the imagination, we cross into numinous precincts. And from within this territory all events in the soul require religious reflection. (p. 226)

Because I have dreamed how I dream, because I’ve lived what I have lived, I’ve been forced to move out beyond the temple walls of the Gods for which Hillman spoke so well. I’ve had too many experiences of the Grandfather, the Grandmother and the Goddesses to live well inside the literate walls of the polis. In composing Recollector, I included indigenous wisdom.

This Recollection, then, includes not only the Gods in all psychological activity, but the forgotten and condemned Four Directions, Earth, Sky and Creator.

This takes the chains from the enslaved elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. What I mean is, just because you can take a partial understanding of the electrical force of lightning, that does not mean you understand its totality. For the Thunderers are persons too, which have always continued to do their work of cleansing the world.

Fire, is more than the flames mastered by Vulcan’s or Hephaestos’ forge, Fire is a person who is the Oldest Being in the Universe who knows all that is going on, among other personified Presences. You only need to make a Sacred Fire together in a ritual way and spend time with it, learning from it, to re-cover the understanding why in the ancient tales, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers are always staring into the fire. The stones are more than the raw material out of which to sculpt statues and shape temples, baths, theaters and amphitheaters, for they are the beings who remember everything and who have given away everything to become only their essence. Time in the sweat lodge with those Grandfathers and Grandmothers can open hearts to recollect the Stone Wisdom. Water is Life.

Water is The First Medicine. It is much more than a commodity to be bought, sold, channeled, put to practical use. One day as a Sun Dancer with no water makes it clear of the actual structure of life. We are all dependent on and called to be stewards of clean water.

Earth, as Gaia, is not Titanic, though She moves with forces that we, as human beings, do well to live in wise relationship with as opposed to seek to master and over which to hold dominion.


Join with us, for there are many walking now.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

–JRR Tolkien

To those august words, we are called to include:

The crownless again shall be queen.


Historically speaking, this part of the night sky, especially the 3 stars we call, Orion’s Belt, has been associated with restoring broken life to new wholeness. The seasonal disappearance and return not only reflect the seasonal death and rebirth of nature, but allude to a personal and collective psychological, spiritual fact. Recollector re-affirms the inherited context of renewal, but also invites us to a greater wholeness being born and living into the future.

What was seemingly dismembered and dead can be restored to wholeness and renewed.

There are several ways to understand this. First, our own lives, families. and culture periodically suffer fragmentation. The ur-constellation during its months of absence is the recognition of loss, the lament for what was lost, and the deep desire to be whole again. During the months of its return, the symbol is a confirmation of wholeness regained. Second, the lament for our loss, the longing for wholeness, and the celebration at the achievement of wholeness recollected does not belong to us alone. It is as if there is a mythic mover of the personal and cultural soul, often feminine, who, because She loves us, faithfully intercedes on our behalf. When we seek or celebrate Recovery, we know Her. When we are lost and broken, there is a Holy Voice crying out for us. In this sense, Recollector reminds us, opens the door to psychological and spiritual help that come through prayer, medication, dreams, ritual, therapeutic spaces, flashes of insight due to psychologizing, awakening together within the dream because of creativity shared, and mergings with the Sacred.

Third, the Orion Trapezium, as a birthplace of stars, some of which are surrounded by polyps, rings of material from which solar systems are formed, announces the enduring beauty and stamina for life lived within solar systems, which is the galactic mode of becoming. This is the Creation Story of the Age of Magnification. Ours is a 4.56 billion year old solar system orbiting within a 13.6 billion year old galaxy within a 13.7 billion year old abundant cosmos.

Such grandeur, never before imagined by our ancestors, mirrors the grandeur of Soul and Spirit that Recollector invites us to know as lived experience. That lived experience IS the individual and cultural renewal that this ur-constellation invites, confirms, sustains and urges onward.

The Messenger said:

It is a time of convergence of sight, of seeing the connections.
It is not a new awareness.
It is an ancient awareness cycling through experience.
The time is coming for receptivity.
In the ancient traditions, the people shall find new life, new direction.
They shall realize that the lost can be found.
What is taken can be given back.
What is broken can be healed.
That which is evil can be redeemed.
That which is in bondage can be delivered.
The world ends, the world is re-born,
again and again and again and again and again.

Station 9: The Highway Home