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. 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 and starting during the Christmas season in 1995 – December 18 – December 27 – Hubble kept its eye open.
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 Cosmos. 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.”
1. The mystical function:
If you take a penny and hold it at arm’s length in the area marked by the Medicine Wheel of The Dreaming Gourd, a remarkable meditation is possible. Using Lincoln’s portrait, consider that the Hubble Deep Field image is a photograph that inspired an entire new generation of astronomers and astrophysicists, is a space no larger than his eye.
When a person is so inspired as to dedicate her entire life to the stars, when a person is so moved as to devote hours of his life to read, when a person is so stilled by the Beauty, they pour forth with lyrical poetry and fall in love with the dark and starry Magnificence, this is an active and very much alive mystical function.
2. The cosmological function:
Sky maps for which our ancient ancestors would have given right arms are now in the palms of individuals. The image above is an example. The teachable moment with the image is that this constellation is present day and night. There is no time on Earth when you could not use your app to find it. However, during the day, the starry heavens disappear and are behind, beyond our planet’s protective atmosphere in all directions. This is a new reality for which our ancestors had no language. What I am describing is the difference between solar time – the time of day or night marked by the clock on your wall or on your arm, and sidereal time or star time.
If you are looking at the clock and it is 8:08 in the morning or evening, the time as measured by the visible stars is 8:12. Sidereal time is always 4 minutes ahead because our planet is in orbit. Our ancestors did not live under this kind of sky – a split-time sky. Our sky for the past 400 years has been telling us all to become psychological because we are psychological beings. Our psyche’s are reflected in the cosmos in which we live. Our daytime minds all rest upon an empirical unconscious in the same way as the daytime sky ‘rests’ upon the endless depths of the cosmos. What is surrounds consciousness on all sides is just ahead of us, knows what’s just ahead and what is ahead long-term.
Though the Mesmerists knew of the unconscious and used it in hypnotism, full repeatable proof for the existence of the unconscious mind came thanks to the word association tests. Using the test, it was possible to show how as a person tries to respond over time, something ‘beneath’ their awareness interrupts and distorts what they are attempting. It is the odd, wrong, rhyming, missing answers on a word association test, that also happen to synchronize with changes in body, that show how a person’s unconscious is ‘constellated’. We all are full of complexes that constellate in our symptoms, dreams, creativity, inspirations. Complexes are constellations — personal and personified constellations.
The cosmological function of a living myth states that our souls are mirrored by our sky – in daytime awareness, we are perhaps forgetful of the trillions of galaxies that surround us. Yet, each night of our lives, when we dream, we drop into those depths as our solar-time-mind can be seen through. Further, there is the nuance since 1609, that beyond our personal, naked-eye awareness of the constellations, if we use a telescope we can see there are endless depths and motions that affect even our once-mighty sun. We live under a sky that mirrors unconscious depths far beyond the reaches of our personal unconscious — the collective unconscious or the archetypal unconscious or the transpersonal, transbiographical depths of consciousness.
That our cosmos is expanding and showing no signs of stopping – that nobody knows what we are expanding into – that there is no story that can account for the mystery of our universe, reflects the fact that the profoundest ground of soul is that it is rooted in, nourished by and delights in the expressions of Mystery. The best we can say of ourselves is that we are birthed within a Mystery
Psychological understanding can be drawn forth using our astronomy as metaphor – as quality experiences we have of life
A Lesson from the Upanishads
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)
All persons can now realize by direct experience or gnosis that waking consciousness derives its root from an a personal consetllation of unconscious complexes shaped by familial and cultural dreaming unconscious. Those cultural narratives themselves all point to a universal, archetypal un-dreaming consciousness. That those 3 layers find their home in an ever-expanding cosmos that is the mirror the Unbegotten Mystery (Urground) all around and within, returns us to the beginning and the Beginnings that are always with us.
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)
3. The Sociological Function
The structure of society reflects a living mythology and sustains it by the Beauty of its institutions. It is true that patriarchy in the West has now in decline. However, patriarchy and subjugation of the feminine has not been unique to the West on the planet. All cultures have been working through their own shifts into a new, more balanced social order. The ecocidal violence of the West belongs to what Leo Frobenius called Monumental Culture.
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 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.
Our Father, Who Art Holding Space and Protecting All Life — Atmosphere, Axis, and Orbit
However, the soul’s power that Renaissance musician, teacher and healer, Marsilio Ficino called, the seminal rationes, that regenerate the Soul of the World, or Anima Mundi, has shifted out of the sky to Earth. This shift is due to the proof of orbit, axis mundi and atmosphere. It was Copernicus’ book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium in 1543 that established an empirical basis for the orbit of our planet. However, oxygen was not named until 1774. The stratoshpere was announced in 1902 and the ozone hole was first noticed in 1985. Currently, our collective awareness is that our planet is surrounded by a life-sustaining atmosphere that has the layers of troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere.
The speed of rotation on an axis mundi was not known until Foucault’s Pendulum in 1851:
Axis, orbit and atmosphere and the participation of Earth as a planet are the foundations for what Thomas Berry called, biocracy – a way of life that honors all voices of all living beings.
In our own mythology, there is a story of how Chronos came to power. He was given a blade by his mother and he castrated his father, Ouranos.
He tossed his father’s genitals into the sea with his left hand and from the froth rose Venus. What does it mean to cut off the potency of the sky father? It is possible to make sense of this if we consider the unfolding history of our understanding of the changes in the seasons.
In the primal world view, it is most often the stars that mark the seasons.
The constellation of The Fisher, for example, would turn and cause the coming and going of each season. For the Mayan’s it was the changing orientation of the Milky Way. This power to cause change on Earth is the potency from above. When the potency of the stars was cut off, it was when the planetary gods and goddesses ascended. I think it is fair to suggest that Chronos’ mother’s blade was the cycles of the moon. And the power of the stars to change the seasons was shifted to the actions of the moon.
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.
Considering the idea that shifting to the ‘power of the moon’ it’s worthwhile to not that 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/Controller 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.
The orbit of the Earth and its atmosphere make for the changing of the seasons now.
In the last 400 years, human beings have been coming to terms with the idea that Earth is a planet. We can find the way forward by going back a bit.
In our own classical tradition, Harmonia is the love-child of the union between Venus and Mars. In the present reading, to update our mythic text, all that was said of Harmonia is now to be attributed to Earth, in particular, that love that unites all people. In our cosmos, Earth orbits in the Goldilock’s zone, between the planets of venus and mars. Harmonia is Earth.
Further, Marsilio’s Ficino’s reflections during the Renaissance on Jupiter’s powers are all attributes of our own planet. It is Earth itself that is an active participant who has a voice the changes of the seasons. All life of Earth is now in this image, directed from within with a particular Purpose and participating in the co-creation of what is to come.
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.
3. The Pedagogical/Educational Function
We have moved out of Monumental Culture into a time of World Culture in our quantum physics, cosmology, psychology, ecology, sociology, films, arts, literature, music, and philosophy. Yet, the Monumental Culture known for letters, numbers, livestock, patriarchal hierarchy, coercive education, economy, government and religion still threatens the planet.
In our times, we know the sun is in a 226,000,000 year orbit around the galactic center –
The stations of the Urground Railroad are a running, a curriculum to be used to empower communities to claim and defend the authentic voices of all life. As was discovered in the 12 Steps, ordinary persons can liberate themselves from surrendering of voice in all the meanings implied.
More than any culture in the past, we are called to make our unconscious conscious, our collective unconsciousness into a collective consciousness – a global climate change.
Pennies from Heaven…