To form the ur-constellation of The Dreaming Gourd, add the 7 Directions of wisdom of the heart of Earth to mark the location of ‘the most important image of the universe ever taken’, the Hubble Deep Field (HDF) image that was made in December, 1995. Though still contested, this image offered proof for what is called the cosmological principle by comsologists – that principle, first suggested by Copernicus, is that the universe is isotropic – appears the same throughout.
For human beings, this image, which was created by Hubble gazing into a region that seemed to contain nothing, offers us a shared cosmological point of reference that invites us all to a new vision of the worth beyond price of our planet and each other. As Plato suggested, the heavens are our moving image of Eternity, our moving image dissolves all attempts of description – it is an image that invites us to remember that all knowing rests upon metaphor. It is centerless, full of ever-expanding possibility.
A location was chosen near the constellation Ursa Major
The shape below is the form of the HDF:
The image that resulted from looking into what at first seemed to be nothing is full of galaxies – 1500 +.
The Medicine Wheel reminds us that Earth is of the Urground. It reminds us that all the virtues of the wisdom of Earth are spread throughout the cosmos. It reminds us how the cosmos is looking back at us, with reverence and the Heart of All that Is.
Jane Houston Jones has written of our Big Dipper as Ochek Atchakosuk:
Atchakosuk are the spirit lights up above. “All people of the Earth have stories of the stars. The First People of North America are no different” – Wilfred Buck, Cree Science Educator.
The late storyteller Murdo Scribe told this story of the big dipper: Ochek Atchakosuk are the fisher stars in Cree legends from Northern Manitoba. (The fisher is a small fierce relative of the wolverine.) This legend tells us how summer was brought to the north country. Long ago there was no summer in northern Manitoba. (This may be a living memory of ice ages.) Certain animals were selected to bring summer to the northern hemisphere. The Ochek, the fisher, was given this task and in honor of this, the Creator placed the fisher in the sky to remind the people of what “was”, what “is” and what “could be again if we do not respect what is loaned to us.”
Joseph Campbell in Creative Mythology offered a teaching about the word, AUM from the Mandukya Upanishad. He offered it as a way for us to imagine 4 layers of consciousness – the letter “A” as waking consciousness, the letter “U” as dreaming consciousness, the letter “M” as undreaming consciousness, also known as deep sleep. Campbell described deep sleep as:
the state of the mystical union of the knower and the known,
God and his world brooding seeds and energies of creation.
Yet, we are called to go deeper still, to merge with the depths beyond and within all that is the Silence of the Unbegotten Source out of which all rises and to which it all returns.
The pattern of AUM + Silence as the map of consciousness is mirrored by our knowledge of the sky. Our sky rhythm between night and day, the round of the seasons, is sensually beautiful to behold, we feel it all and we all participate in an emotional climate that sets the tone for being each day and night of the year.
With this pattern in mind, consider the blue sky of day as the space-time of waking consciousness = A.
The dark starry heavens of ur-constellations express the visible lights of dreaming consciousness seamlessly merged with the hidden lights of undreaming consciousness = U & M.
The mysterious ground, the Urground, out of which our universe emerged and into which our universe is expanding is the Unbegotten Source, Cosmic Mother, Cosmic Memory Field = Silence.
In the depth psychology of our day, waking consciousness derives its root from an a personal, familial and cultural dreaming unconscious, which itself is rooted in a universal, archetypal un-dreaming consciousness, which is rooted in the Unbegotten Mystery all around and within – the Cosmic Memory Field.
As a psychological mythology, the entire cosmos is psyche-somatic, which is derived from psyche = soul and soma = body. It is fundamental to the human condition to have an unconscious mind. All persons in all cultures share an archetype of unique and equal access to ‘God and his world of brooding seeds and energies of creation’. (Campbell, 1968) Knowing by direct experience or gnosis that waking consciousness derives its root from an a personal, familial and cultural dreaming unconscious, which itself is rooted in a universal, archetypal un-dreaming consciousness, which is rooted in the Unbegotten Mystery all around and within, returns us to the beginning and the Beginnings. By this, I mean that I opened these chapters with a story of a gnostic aesthetic arrest before the numinous, aka. an Akashic experience. I also mean Beginnings with the “B” as in Source – psyche somatic, so, yes, psycho-somatic, in the traditional sense of the unconscious manifesting, pathologizing, in a physical symptom, yet, more expanded to include all in which we participate. The more expanded experience of body means that you can feel your own body resonate, take a shape, grow aroused, still, undomesticated, yet Eartlhy-wise.
Psyche-somatic, thus, is a variety of religious experience. (James, 1905) The opening of the heart to the awe to follow the iridescence of a living myth. (Campbell, 1968)
When imaginal archetypal depths are consciously brought to surface awareness, it is as if the archetypal waters of Life reanimate our nighttime sky again. As we enter the daytime arc of our lives, we feel carried wide-awake within the dream with the dreams of the night loyally inside of us. The stars come closer.
The planetary respiration of the video above and our own dreaming share this same rhythm of the year. Our surrender into and our rise from the depths of sleep into the days are also embedded in the archetypal themes of the 4 seasons. Yes, there are times of the year when we surrender to the depths of these stars:
and awake in the morning to find the grasses covered with dew:
And as the season turns, our nights speak in the new poetics of:
We rise from the waters of the night to the give-away of the autumn:
As the time of stars grows longer and our dreaming stretches more deeply:
And the lengthening days bring forth what has never been:
The dreams on Earth, for the West, find their proper home in the beneath. They are of the night within the Underworld. Because the night is full of stars who follow their paths according to the season, dream, starry Underworld and the seasonal mirroring round of birth, becoming and death all resonate together.
“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.
For all ego-consciousness is isolated; because it separates and discriminates, it knows only particulars, and it sees only those that can be related to the ego. Its essence is limitation, even though it reach to the farthest nebulae among the stars. All consciousness separates; but in dreams we put on the likeness of that more universal, truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkness of primordial night.
There he is still the whole, and the whole is in him, indistinguishable from nature and bare of all egohood. It is from these all-uniting depths that the dream arises, be it ever so childish, grotesque, and immoral.
And here’s Jospeh Campbell again, along the same lines:
The secret of dreams is that subject and object are the same. The object is self-luminous, fluent in form, multivalent in its meanings. It’s your dream, the manifestation of your will, and yet, you are surprised by it. This is the relationship of ego-consciousness to the unconscious. Ego-consciousness has to learn about the unconscious and dreams are the vocabulary of the unconscious speaking to the conscious mind, yet in dreams and in vision, subject and object are the same. Dream, vision, God–God is a luminous vision.
The image of God is equivalent to the dream vision…Write down your dreams. They are your myths.
(from The Vitality of Myth, 1974)
To follow the Dreaming Gourd, is to take the journey of making the unconscious conscious. Here’s a good description of that journey into the dark from Marie-Louise von Franz. This journey is imagined as beginning with the shadow:
If someone who knows nothing about psychology comes to the analytical hour and you try to explain to them that there are certain processes at the back of the mind of which people are not aware, that is the shadow to them. So, in the first stage of the approach to the unconscious, the shadow is simply a “mythological” name for all that within me about which I cannot directly know. Only when we start to dig into this shadow sphere of the personality and to investigate the different aspects, does there, after a time, appear in the dreams a personification of the unconscious, of the same sex as the dreamer. But then, this person will discover that there is in this unknown area still another cluster of reactions called the anima or the animus which represents feelings, moods and ideas, etc.: and we also speak of the concept of the Self. For practical purposes, Jung has not found it necessary to go beyond these three steps.
When we speak of the shadow, we have, therefore to bear in mind the personal situation and even the specific stage of consciousness and inner awareness of the person in question. Thus, at the beginning stage we can say that the shadow is all that is within you that you do not know about. In general, when investigating it, we discover that it consists partly of personal and partly of collective elements. Practically, when we first meet it the shadow is simply a conglomeration of aspects in which we cannot make out what is personal and what is collective. (p. 4)
I found out the hard way that leaving the idea of our psychological being at the Self with no further clues as to what is beyond the Self-within is problematic. Jung and his inner circle had many experiences that they did not share with the public due to the times in which they lived. In his Memories, Dreams and Reflections, especially in the description of his near-death experience, there is important information as to what Ervin Laszlo called, Akashic Experience, in which, “I and the cosmos are one.
This same experience appears in Michael Olin-Hitt’s Fish Made of Water, where beyond a self-within, there is a Self beyond or selfless Self.
The goal of the Urground Railroad takes us into that expansive depth of knowing and feeling of being related to all that is. This journey of making the conscious conscious can be imagined as going into shadow, anima/animus, Self within to Self beyond. It can be imagined as awakening into participation with the soul of the world and axis mundi. Hillman described this as:
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.
In our Western cultural inheritance, this journey has been preserved in the images of Tarot, especially the Marseilles Tarot Deck, in which the goal is union with and participation in The World.
Here in Ohio, it can be imagined as a journey of freedom of soul awareness taken in the company of friends with friends, guided by the Dreaming/Drinking Gourd: