Friday, December 31, 2010

Alchemically Speaking: The Past Two Months

 "Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news."
                                        -Chogyam Trungpa

      The past two months have been very strange for my husband and I. In October, I was battling my second round of bronchitis. On the 28th, the hot water pipes exploded in our shower while I was standing there. Within 45 minutes, our home was flooded. Within 8 hours, we were evacuated to a hotel 10 miles away. Then things became even stranger: the very day the work on our home was to be completed, the hot water heater exploded on the man who was finishing the tile work in the kitchen. (I am grateful he was not hurt.) This created a second flood which covered area of the new floor and walls just completed. It also flooded the only space that wasn't flooded in the previous incident. Also curious: no personal items (furniture, books, clothes, guitars, computers etc.) were destroyed by the flooding itself. When the work was finally done on our home on December 16, we moved back in. The adventure didn't end there.
               As this drama was unfolding, I was asking myself  "What does this mean?"  Trish MacGregor reminded me to analyze it like it was a dream....and I finally had a "light bulb"  moment. All of it can be explained through the language of alchemy. In particular, the stage of dissolution! Jung wrote several books on the language of alchemy as a metaphor for the individuation process.  
          Some of symbols representing the alchemical dissolution process include: whale, fish, toad, dragon, a stag in a forest, flooding, breaking apart, rivers, streams, tears, pools, warm bath, baptism, dissection, dissembling, dismemberment, the near death experience, mid-life crisis, lungs, the color blue, the metal tin. The first alchemical apparatus for use in experiments with water & dissolution were invented by a Jewish alchemist named Maria Prophetissa, sometime before 100 B. C E. Maria Prophetissa is considered a female Hermes (Hauck/1999). Hermes is the mercurial trickster force behind the alchemical process. The alchemical bath has since been called the bain-marie (French for Mary's bath). This process can be repeated- solve et coagula: dissolve and solidify -- several times before it's done.


              Prior to the flooding, I was battling bronchitis: a lung disorder. I have several problems with my immune systems as well as ME/CFS, so any illness can create complications.
             The first person on the scene to help me after the hot water pipes exploded was a woman named Mary.
            When my husband and I first walked into the lobby of  the hotel that would be our refuge from the flood, the first thing we encountered was a giant whale sculpture. The lobby was also decorated for Halloween with pumpkins, skeletons, and skulls. During the first 3 weeks of our stay, the maid assigned to our room was named Maria. The room was decorated in blue. The view outside the window was a of a surrounded courtyard with 3 heated pools. During this period of time I read The Millennium Trilogy, by Steig Larsson. The main character in this trilogy is Lisbeth Salandar, aka "the girl with the dragon tattoo".
          During this time I had 3 dreams about shamans. In one dream I was traveling over water on a boat in the Florida everglades . (See Trish & Rob MacGregor's blog, Synchronicity, for more about this dream.) I had 3 dreams that involved structures dissembling. I also had 3 dreams where I was communicating with people who have died.
During the 3rd week of reconstruction, the hot water heater exploded, creating more flooding. At this point, we can say that the 2nd process of alchemical dissolution had begun. The day after Thanksgiving, we went down to the lobby. The whale in the lobby now had antlers and a sweater, decorated for Christmas.



Our alchemical whale had become a reindeer/stag. The following weekend, we we moved to the fifth floor, into another blue themed room. This time our view was of a steep, forested hill. It was in this room a celebrated a mid-life birthday. 

       During a dissolution phase of psychological alchemy, one finds oneself in a position of having no control over one's life passage. When my husband & I entered the hotel, we no longer had our own identities. For 6 weeks, we became anonymous. Even the account at the hotel was done by a third party. We became Mr. & Mrs. Page, the displaced couple. We had none of our usual props in our daily lives. Very little belonged to us. We didn't have our usual daily routines. We were living amongst a sea of anonymous, transient people. Even though we had computers, the hotel had very limited internet contact. The TV had very few channels (unless you paid extra). Larry's job was the only thing that remained constant, but even that was effected by the dissolution process. On one particular day, he went work to find corporate personnel in the office. Several of his co-workers were gone, either transferred or let go. There was no warning for this incident.
   
           We were going through the dissolution together as a single body: the Sun/Moon, or King/Queen. (Larry & I have a natal (his)Sun/Moon (mine) conjunction in astrological charts.) We were removed from our collective body, our home, and taken to an anonymous bardo, or transition state, while our body (home) was dismembered and reconstructed. This is similar to a shamanic dismemberment & initiation. The point of this whole process is to learn to live in the moment. 
Just this... Now.

         We were finally able to move back in to our home on Dec 16. The alchemist would ask at this point: "Will the newly constructed vessel be able to contain without leaking?"
      On December 21st, there was rare eclipse (sun/moon, or king/queen)-- last seen in 1378. On Dec. 22nd, San Diego was hit by a storm that would bring record rainfall and flooding. On Dec. 23rd, we awoke to standing water-- up to 8 inches -- surrounding 3 outer walls of our condo. This had never happened before. The men who had just spent 6 weeks working on our home  happened to be on the grounds already, so we were able to work fast on preventing damage to the interior of  our newly remodeled home. 

Christmas Day was celebrated with family and friends.  I received a beautiful golden bronze stag as a gift from my friend Teresa. 


On the morning of December 28th, I pulled back the curtains to find many doves sitting outside my front picture window, looking inward at me. Usually there is only one or two, not several.  The dove is prominent above the heads of the King and Queen in alchemical imagery-- after the dissolution was complete. At this moment I knew all was exactly as it should be. The storm on Dec. 29th did not cause any further flooding. The work of this phase of the alchemical process was complete. I hope we don't need to repeat it.




           


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Following Reindeer Woman: Pazyryk Priestess & Deer Artifacts

Pazyryk mummy tattoo
In my post "Reindeer Goddess, Axis Mundi, & Axis Shifts" I began my journey to blog my findings regarding a reindeer goddess. Since then, I have come across reports of amazing finds throughout the EurAsian Steppes.

        The first picture on this page is a copy of a tattoo on the shoulder of a well preserved female mummy found by archeologist Natalia Polos'mak in a kurgan in Pazyryk. Discovered in 1995, 7,500 feet above sea level, the mummy was named the Ice Princess or The Lady. (This same tattoo design has been found on other mummies, both men and women in the Ukok Palteau.)

         The kurgan  and it's contents are at least 2,400 years old. The Lady was buried in a coffin carved from a larch tree trunk. The exterior of the coffin was appliqued with a leather deer design, the antlers moving back like the ones in the tattoo above. The chamber of this full burial was 7.5 feet by 11 feet and contained everything The Lady would need to continue her life in the Otherworld: clothing, food and furniture.  Astoundingly, buried around the chamber were 5 horses, each ornamented with reindeer antlers and elaborate deer embossed bridles. Quoting an article posted Mary Lynn E. Turner  : Culture on the Hoof: Kurgan Woman of the Pazyryk: "It is thought, though, that although the horses were symbols of the sun, the antlered headdress were a kind of throwback reminder to the the days before herding horses, back when people of the Steppe herded reindeer instead."

Pazyryk Horse/Deer Headdress
  These photos came from an exhibit in the State Hermitage Museum. To visit the site click here.

Pazyryk bronze mirror backing
In her book, The Deer Goddess of  Ancient Siberia, art historian Esther Jacobson traces the progression of the ancient Neolithic reindeer rock art images through to the the Bronze age, and into modern era. This progession of images also paralells the transformation of the the Reindeer Goddess as Animal Mother of a culture of matrilineal descent into the male dominated form of shamanism that we read about today.  (For more information on the roots shamanism in ancient women's mysteries, read The Woman in the the Shaman's Body by anthropologist  Barbara Tedlock, PH.D.) In Jacobson work, she repeatedly finds the deer antlers representing the Tree of Life. The Lady was buried in a tree trunk, ornamented with antlers. She was also buried in a 3-foot-tall pointed hat with gold foil images of branches, trees and cats. Was The Lady a priestess of the deer goddess as tree of life, a wisdom keeper? Is this hat the origin of the pointed "witches hat"?

        The bronze mirror above was found in another Pazyryk kurgan on the Ukok  Plateau. The Lady's coffin also had a similar deer decorated bronze mirror. In fact, these type of mirrors were found all through the EurAsian Steppes in Scythian, Pazyryk, Samaritan and Saka burials. (The Amazon women of myth and legend were also Samaritan. And, Buddha himself was a Saka prince.)   Reindeer images were also found on fabric and carpets. Other images include griffins, panthers, lemurs, house cats &  birds. These images are also created as combined, morphing hybrids.

            Interestingly, or tellingly, is what The Lady is not called. A male mummy nearby, with a less ornamented burial, is called a "tribal chieftain". The Lady is called "unknown woman".  Writer Vicki Noble (2003) calls her a "priestess shaman" and noted the parallels between The Lady's artifacts and those found in stories of Tibetan dakinis and yoginis. I agree.

             When I had my first dream/vision of  reindeer woman, she was showing me that there was going to be a pole shift & a severe earthquake. At that time, I had no knowledge of a "reindeer goddess" image. Through research I found that she is a ancient , pre-shamanic deity that is associated with a warning to humanity: if we stray from balance in our relationship to the earth, she will cause the earth to quake.  Coincidentally (or should I say, sychronistically?) I recently discovered a curious news story about The Lady. When her tomb was disturbed, and her body moved to a museum, the local Altai desendants of The Lady were very upset.  After she was removed from the tomb,  there were frequent quakes in the local area 2-3 times a week. The people warned the government that her removal from the tomb was the cause of the quaking. They felt that if she was placed back in her kurgan the quakes would stop. So far, the government has refused to take her home.

               Symbolically, The Lady's tomb and other tombs like hers represent the North Pole, or the spiritual orientation of the clans & tribes. This idea is found throughout EurAsia, Mongolia& Tibet. Disturbing the tombs is a metaphor for the loss of Spiritual North. Though I can't say that moving The Lady has caused the earth to quake, I can say that the people of earth have collectively lost their North Star & their spiritual orientation. All is not lost , though. There still remain Those Who point The Way.



         

           

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, My Grandmother's Birthday & Her Spirit

   Halloween was my grandmother Mary's birthday, so it became my favorite childhood holiday. It was a birthday she'd share with her best friend for life - Emily.

   We were very close when she died in my late 20's (late 1980's). We had made an agreement, and renewed the agreement many times: whoever died first would contact the other. The week before she died she called me (in San Diego) from her home in Toronto, Canada. "Debra, I want you to promise me that if I die, and you have made plans to be somewhere, or do something, don't cancel the plans. And don't bother sending flowers. I won't be there to see them anyway." (She had always felt that flower arrangements were a terrible waste of money.)  I was a little perplexed as to why she said these things, but I gave her my word. With her, if you gave your word you had to carry it through!

The next weekend, my husband and I had reservations to attend a Medieval Times event in Los Angeles on Saturday. On the Friday night before , my father called  and said "Your grandmother is dead."  No details... nothing. I was in a terrible  state of grief. I told my husband about my conversation with her the week before, and we agreed to attend the event, as I promised her.

     That night I fell into a fitful sleep. Suddenly, I found my self in a lucid dreaming state, and my grandmother was standing there. Don't ask me why, but I blurted out "Gram, why are you in a hospital gown?
" "Because I died in the hospital," she replied in a matter of fact way. At this point it was clear that our relationship was exactly the same... nothing had changed due to her new "condition". She waved her arm and was shown real-time scenes of my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in her condo in Toronto, Canada. They were sorting things things into boxes to keep, or give to the Salvation Army. Then the scene changed, and we were on a boat crossing a river. There was a beautiful glass or crystal city on an island in the distance. Halfway across the river, she said (in her no nonsense way); "This is as far as you can come with me." I started crying as she enfolded me in her arms.  I woke up in my room, smelling her rose perfume.


       We did go to Medieval Times, which is something my grandmother would have loved. She was very into all things British, especially the Queens. It was very hard for me to go through with that day. I kept crying. On Sunday, my cousin, whom I had seen in the vision, called to give me the Memorial details. I told her I wouldn't be attending. I also told her about my grandmother's visit and what I had seen her and her family doing in the vision. She gasped, and said that it was true... and they did give boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army.

        Time passed. Then, I started having repeated visits from my grandmother. She kept showing me the same scene: In a dresser drawer there were many envelopes and small boxes. She urgently wanted me to see something.
This was repeated periodically for over 11 years. I had no way of knowing where this dresser was. I knew it wasn't something my cousins or my father knew anything about. The only remaining relative in Canada was an uncle who was somewhat reclusive, and I had no way of contacting him.

       On February 29, 2000 (leap day), a small package arrived via US mail. It was postmarked Toronto, Canada. Inside was a small blue box containing silver medallion of Queen Elizabeth, commemorating the 1976 Montreal Olympics. There was a very sweet note from my elusive uncle. "You grandmother always wanted you to have this. You were loved very much."  I knew this would be the end of the repeated dream episodes of urgently searching through the drawer.
     Though those epidodes were over, Mary still visits me. I can feel her loving presence and  smell her rose perfume.


*The above painting was done by myself. Oil and acrylic on canvas. It was done tongue in cheek pointing out the tradition of La Mort in still-life painting. Very Halloweeny and Day of the Dead!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Ordinary : Connecting with Nature From Your Own Doorstep

I feel it is so important to connect with nature, especially in your own neighborhood. Each neighborhood is it's own ecosystem, whether it's in the country, or in the city. I live in a densely populated urban area. I am constantly amazed by what appears... often literally on my front doorstep.

I also strongly feel that visionaries, artist, poets  and people who study shamanism and archetypal psychology need to interact with Earth and nature. This helps to ground the mind in reality: as it is. It's very important not to be caught in the ideal of something  (for example an "animal spirit messenger") without having practical knowledge of it's real nature. Often, messages from other dimensions or the spirit realm come to us in the ordinary setting of our everyday lives.

Here are some photos of the visitors to my own home area. (All photos copyright Debra L. Page.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bird Encounters

On Wednesday of this past week (08/25/2010), my husband and I drove an injured dove to a wildlife rescue center. The dove lives on our condo association property at the far end of our building.  It's mate has been staying near the place where I picked up the dove for the past few days. This little dove has been heavily on my mind, and I may not know for another week if it survived it's injury.

Yesterday, just past noon. I sat in my love seat near our front windowed wall which borders our partially enclosed patio. There is a roof that slopes down and 3 walls surrounding the patio.  You can only come onto the patio from one direction. I was sitting down to finish a book: The Portal; An Initiate's Journey into the Secret of Rennes-le-Chateau , by Patrice Chaplin. ( I was drawn to this book because of my interest in the  Reindeer Goddess. See my prior post here.) Before I could open the book, I was startled. A hawk had swooped under the roof over-hang, and landed on the back of patio chair. S/he sat there calmly staring at me through the wall length window. It was no more than 4 feet from me and level with my face. I was stunned. Then it turned, lifted off carefully, and glided down & out of our small patio space. I have not seen large birds on this patio before. It is very small,  9" by 9". The hawk definitely knew what it was doing: it didn't appear to be startled upon landing.

I wonder if what I was reading was part of the bigger picture in this encounter? Later that afternoon I read this passage in the book: 
"I talked about a french composer, Oliver Messiaen, and his music celebrating birds, his understanding of their existence as being partly in the realm of spirit." (page 312)
Also, the book is about ancient inter-dimensional doorways. I was sitting in a liminal space, inside looking outside.

Or could be part of the sequence of bird encounters I've had? In the past, this patio has been used  for hummingbird rescue and triage (see here) . The dove we drove to the wildlife rescue center was briefly on the patio table nestled in clean linens.

Does anyone have ideas what this encounter means?

*Above painting by Susan Seddon Boulet*

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reindeer, Queens & Crowns, Part II






This is a carving of 2 swimming reindeer, in Ivory. It is 13,000 years old. It was found in a cave shelter in Montastruc, Tar et Garoone, France. It is currently in the British Museum.
Ont he British Museum's site, they speculate:
"Was the sculpture a group totem, a shaman’s wand or the focal point of a story based on a journey in or between real and supernatural worlds?"

It's been awhile since I posted Part I of this article. I have been very sick and it's been a  difficult struggle. I thought I knew exactly what Part II of this post would say, but I had an uplifting dream recently that changed everything:
                                    Larry (my husband) and I moved into a beautiful cabin, which we had purchased from the prior owner. The cabin was made of beautiful , highly polished wood, and was filled with luminous light. The master bed was on low wooded pedestal. I found little drawers all around the pedestal. I opened one, and discovered a wonderful secret: the women who lived here before was a gifted writer, and she had left me some tiny rolled scrolls. I pick one up, and I see that it has "Rennes-le-Chateau written on it. I unroll the scroll. The author tells a story about a very precious friend of hers, a female reindeer. I feel filled with joy when I read about this secret."   Then I awaken and write the dream down.

                         Rennes-le-Chateau is a notorious place in France, filled with many mysteries and surrounded by myriad legends. The name is very curious: it literally translates from French into English as "Castle of the Reindeer".  Historically, the Magdalenian Period (approximately 16,000-10,000 BC) was also refereed to as the "Reindeer Age". The land that later became France had  reindeer herders since before the Magdalenian Period. There have been ancient reindeer artifacts (reindeer bones, and art depicting reindeer) found throughout France.

    Rennes-le-Chateau was made famous in recent times by Holy Blood Holy Grail, and the Da Vinci Code , which both indicate a hidden Goddess tradition.  Near Rennes-le-Chateau is Rennes-les-Bains (the Baths of the Reindeer), known for it's healing hot springs and legends of appearances of the Goddess. Often Rennes-le-Chateau is called the "Queen's Castle" and Rennes-le-Bains is called the "Queens Bath". "Queen" in French is "La Reine". How did "le rennes" and "la reine" become interchangeable? And is it a coincidence that a modern mystery regarding the return of the sacred feminine involves a place called Rennes-le-Chateau-, or Castle of the Reindeer? Quoting Elisabeth Van Buren in her curious volume on Renne-le-Chateau, Refuge of the Apolcalypse (page 177) :
"Rennes is the Goddess. Why is she portrayed as a reindeer?"
Very good question, and one that is not directly answered in her book.

I find clues to the answer to this question in many sources regarding the presence of an old reindeer/deer cult in Old Europe:

"The relationship between Finn Mac Cumail, his family, and the Irish Fiana, with the cervidae (antlered animals) is yet more proof that this very old clan was heir to the prehistoric occupants of Ireland from the era of the reindeer hunters." (Markale/1995)
Markale also repeatedly points out that the Druids and the Merlin tales come from the same tradition of the reindeer hunters. (Markale/1999).

Clarissa Pinkola Estes points out that: "In the sacrifice of the doe we see more of the hem of the old religion. The sacrifice of the deer was as ancient rite meant to release the deer's gentle yet bounding energy." (Estes/1992)

The myths of the Calleach (wise old hag) in Scotland are also found to be connected to an old deer goddess tradition (O Crualoich/2007, McHardy/2003). One of the oldest cultures in Scotland is the Picts, and they have reindeer artifacts, both art and bones. Reindeer were herded in ancient Scotland as well.

I've already quoted the works of Esther Jacobson and Linda Scherise Leonard in prior posts showing the Siberian clan connection to the Reindeer Goddess. I also talked about the possible connections of the Scythian, the Pazyrk, and the Bonpo to the ancient reindeer/deer cults. (click here, here, here, &  here)

For me, the above mentioned dream confirms the path I'm on. Perhaps the writer who gifts me is my own ancestor. My genetic family has ties to the Scottish Tribe of Mar, Pictish descendants . My genetic family are also descendants of the French duchy of Anjou.
I have more work to do, more digging to do.... and more dreaming to do.

To see Part I of this post, click here.


 Sources:
Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes: page 443 
The Quest for the Nine Maidens, by Stuart McHardy, page153
Merlin, Priest of Nature, by Jean Markale, page 162
Women of the Celts, by Jean Markale, pages 103-111
The Book of the Cailleach , by Gearoid O Crualaoich, pages 124-125
Refuge of the Apocalypse: Doorway to Other Dimensions, Rennes-les-Chateau, The Key, by Elizabeth Van Buren , page 177









 
















     

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reindeer, Queens & Crowns: Part 1

This crown is in Russia's State Hermitage Museum.  (click to view the page about it.)

           This crown is a beautiful 1st Century BCE artifact from Khokhlach Burial Mound, near Novocherkassk. The web page (see above) states that it was ritual piece used for fertility rites.
             In my search for information about the Reindeer Goddess after my personal experiences (See links below) with the image of a Reindeer Woman, I came across many beautiful images from archeology and art of Siberia, Mongolia, and Europe. This crown is one of the most stunning pieces I have seen yet. It contains many symbols of an ancient tradition.

        The crowned queen/goddess has a tree growing from her crown chakra. The tree represents Cosmic Tree/Axis Mundi the gives the empowered  shamaness/priestess access to the other realms and dimensions. This same cosmic tree is found even today on the Evenk shaman's drum. Jacobson/1992) The Evenk rhythmic drumming mimics the sound of the running reindeer. The reindeer is the Evnek magical steed that flies the shaman/shamanka to other dimensions (Leonard/1995). The Saami also believe that the female reindeer antlers (the largest of the herd) are one with the Cosmic Tree's branches (Leonard/1995).  Here, we see the correlation of the reindeer antlers with the cosmic Tree and Otherworld journeys.  The Cosmic Tree is also a symbol for subtle body anatomy: the spine is the trunk of the tree with the branches symbolizing the brain.

        A gold crown is symbolic of the luminosity of illumination. In the old religions, the "Illumined Ones" were the "Wise Ones", or the "Ones Who Knew". In art history we see a golden orb painted around the head of the Enlightened Ones to represent their spiritual attainment- also called their "glory".  The first physical crown created by man has been speculated to be a crown of antlers to represent the sage's illumination and access to the Cosmic World Tree. After mankind developed metallurgy, the crown was made of gold.  We see similar symbolism in the Kabbalah. After the destruction of Solomon's Temple, the "glory" no longer illuminated inner sanctum of the temple. Gradually, the Ark of the Covenant became dark, no longer communicating with the people. In the Kabbalistic teachings, the Sheckinah is the Glory. The Sacred Feminine, or the Shekinah Glory is in exile from the people and the land. Illumined living cannot return until the temple is rebuilt. The people MUST reconnect with the heart of wisdom (communicate with the Imaginal Realm).  The ruler of the people cannot truly wear the Crown of Glory (Wisdom) until the Shekinah Glory returns.


Part II with show us the connection between the sacred feminine, the queen (reine) and reindeer (renne).


*Synchronicity: As I was writing this blog post, my mail arrived. There was a package from  my paperback swap book order, containing 2 books.  Witness to the Fire: Creativity & the Veil of Addiction by Linda Schierese Leonard, whom I quote in the above blog post. In this book is the original purchase receipt from Moe's Bookstore on Telegraph in Berkeley for 4-30-1992. I was working in Berkeley in 1992 for a professor who lived just above Telegraph, and I was often in Moe's Bookstore.  The second book is , Six Myths of Our Time, Little Angels, Little Monsters, Beautiful Beasts and More by Marina Warner. I had never seen a copy of the book before. On the cover is a woman laying on the ground in a forest with antlers coming from her head.

Links to my other pasts on this subject:

Reindeer Goddess, Axis Mundi & Axis Shifts

Following Reindeer Goddess: an Inner Journey

Incubating Reindeer Goddess & Baby Blue

Reindeer Goddess & the Imaginal Realm

 


 

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Becoming the Bridge

"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees .." - Joe Strummer

Indigenous peoples, artists, visionaries, poets, musicians, have been informing us (for quite some time now) our current cultural values indicate a loss of soul.  This idea is made even more apparent by seeing (with the heart) the images of the devastation caused by the Gulf Oil Disaster. For me, these images instill a sense of urgency within. How can we (whose hearts ache) do anything to help? Besides the obvious: raising money, calling government officials, raising awareness, we can take this opportunity to become the bridge.  We can commit to entering a soulful life. A soulful life is one that views all manifestation as part of a living energy field.  In his book The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram calls this process "reinhabitation". People "have begun to apprentice themselves to their particular places, to the ecological regions they inhabit." (pg 271)  This may sound simple. It is simple, but it is not easy. Apprenticeship means having to work. This work is nothing less than altering the collective consciousness through deliberate action. We will be moving against the stream of materialism, consumerism, and the stream of our own culture.

       In my mind, I see that if we all start at home, in our own place, and reconnect with the living energy field around us, we could create miracles. If whole communities were living this way, from an organic movement (not contrived), it would naturally follow that events like the Gulf Oil Disaster wouldn't happen. Our values would be different, so our consumer habits would change. The living energy field is the Imaginal Realm (the world of Psyche) I've talked about in past posts. (see below)  According to Abram: "By acknowledging such links between the inner, psychological world and the perceptual terrain that surrounds us, we begin to turn inside-out,  loosening the psyche from it's confinement within a strictly human sphere,freeing sentience to return to the sensible world that contains us. Intelligence is no longer ours alone but it is a property of the earth; we are in it. of it, immersed in it's depths. And indeed each terrain,each ecology, seems to have it's own particular intelligence, it's unique vernacular of soil and leaf and sky." (pg 262)

     In making a commitment to become the bridge between our current exiled (from the heart) state and the Imaginal Realm, we become a conduit for healing. Communion with our own place in the "Now" creates community, in the truest sense of the word. Start at home, honoring the soul of the home: the local Spiritus Loci (spirit of the place). Offer up just one flower in a bud vase... and next? The world.

Past blog posts regarding these matters:

Reindeer Goddess, Axis Mundi & Axis Shifts

Liminal Living- Borderlanders

Nature, World Soul & Gulf Oil Spill

What Dark Alchemy is This?

Reindeer Goddess & the Imaginal Realm

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reindeer Goddess & the Imaginal Realm

Communicating with the anima mundi, Psyche, the Soul of the World--- whatever you call her, requires a different perception than our everyday way of seeing. To quote human ecologist Tom Cheetham; "To keep our internals open, we have to learn to read or write ourselves out of ourselves, and uncurl ourselves back into the world." (1) 
He also talks about "reading the world" (2), as the Sufi's have in their dialogue with  Khidir- the Green Man, the Angel of the Earth. Khidr, says Cheetham, is a "messenger from far beyond". (3)  This realm, this "beyond", is the Imaginal Realm or mundus imaginalis. "If we recognize the realm of the imaginal as the  mediating world between the purely physical and the purely spiritual, the  schism between them can begin to heal".(4)  The outward manifestation of the this schism manifests in the battle between technology and nature. (There isn't a clearer example of this schism than the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Man's titanic egoism (man acting as a god) has destroyed an ecosystem crucial to the Atlantic Ocean, perhaps crucial to the World, by building a proverbial Tower of Babylon.(5))

         My own experiences with the Reindeer Goddess seem to reflect Tom Cheetham's ideas.  She is from the Imaginal Realm. She is an aspect of the World Psyche which is the matrix for our own reality. We humans don't   "have a psyche" (she is not a "thing"),  we are immersed in Psyche. This is an living energy field. The modern world is in danger of losing it's very lifeline by disconnecting itself from our very source and matrix. This is what the prophecies (6) that the Reindeer Goddess left with the people of Lapland were warning us about. In those communications from the Reindeer Goddess, it is clearly stated that she is the "heartbeat of the world".(7) 

An ancient , primordial deity has reached out to modern humanity to help them help themselves. I am  not the only person she has contacted, and she is not the only primordial deity to contact the modern world. Anyone who hears the messages, and listens, enters upon journey of the heart. They become an alchemist, a poet, a visionary, a prophet, an ecologist, an artist, a musician -- one who speaks, and hears, the language of the heart. The journey of the heart is a path to authentic living, being real. This is not at the same as being literal. Literalism is materialism. Materialism is the worship of man as god: the worship of man-created things.  
I choose HEART. 

Notes:
Painting of Deer Woman by Susan Seddon Boulet
(1) Green Man, Earth Angel, by Tom Cheetham, page 113
(2) IBID, page 114
(3) IBID, page109
(4) IBID, page113
(5) my blog post here
(6) my blog post here
(7) IBID

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What Dark Alchemy is This?



"Nature be your guide; follow with your art willingly, closely."-  Maier: Atalanta Fugiens
..the alchemist is advised to co-operate with nature.." (1)

Alchemy is the ancient art of turning base materials into gold. In spiritual alchemy, we transform our every day consciousness into the gold of illumination. The Deep Water Horizon Oil Catastrophe seems to be an act of the darkest type of alchemy. In the process of extracting black gold (oil) out of the prima materia (the ocean) for the sole purpose of self-gain, BP had managed to sacrifice many lives (human and otherwise) to the dark god of greed. Somewhere in the morass of their twisted thinking, they had the right to take these lives for the cause of the almighty dollar. They even had lawyers calculating figures on the appropriate amount of collateral damage they could allow before their agenda was affected. From what I can extract from various journals and analysis, that figure has not been met yet. This means that BP has not fully felt the consequences of their folly. Obviously they are oblivious to the signs all around them.
The photos of the poor , suffering creatures in the ocean and along the Gulf Coast tells a very sad story. In alchemy the pelican is depicted piercing her breast to feed her young. This symbolizes abundance as the alchemical process reaches it's culmination. (2) The current state of the pelican in the gulf tells us that the "experiment" is a complete failure. The alligator (3) represents the mercurial sun of wisdom in the alchemical process. The current state of the alligator smothering in oily mud shows us that the "experiment" has no light.
The color black (4) in alchemy represents the process of putrefication (5): the break down of the old body to make a vehicle for the new body. Yet, BP's reverse alchemy has resulted in the purification of the the "womb of life"... the result being an environment where no transformation, or new life is possible. In alchemy, angels represent the movement of air or breath which is the spiritualised product of the alchemical process. With BP's resultant smothering dark ooze, no breath can be taken... no beautiful wing can take flight.....

Dare we even label this catastrophe an act of the Dark Alchemy?




(1)A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery, by Lyndy Abraham, page 11
(2)Ibid, page 143
(3)Ibid, page 48
(4)Ibid, page 26
(5)Ibid, page 26
(6)Ibid, page 7

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nature, World Soul & Gulf Oil Spill



Only as the written text began to speak would the voices of the forest, and of the river, begin to fade. And only then would language loosen its ancient association with the invisible breath, the spirit sever itself from the wind, the psyche dissociate itself from the environing air.
page 254 The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram/1997

I find myself , at this point in the journey, at a loss for words to embody the fullness of what I feel. I'm not talking about emotions. I am talking about the deep felt experience of an inner world.
Just before the Gulf of Mexico was poisoned through acts of human error (motivated by unadulterated greed). I had realized that the image of Reindeer Goddess as she presented herself to me in 2004, was an encapsulated teaching regarding the Anima Mundi or World Soul (part 1, part 2, part 3). Her image is one of the oldest images we have representing man's communion with nature. Art historian Esther Jacobson has outlined the progression of the deer goddess image in Siberian, Russian, Mongolian and European history. (Jacobson/1993) As I research through the labyrinth of art, anthropology, history and religion, I am excavating through the collective unconscious.
This is one point where words seem to fail completely.... This inner realm is so rich, so vast and so alive with Psyche's language of symbols and archetypes. I will try to say more about this in a future posting.

The environment where the the remnants of the neolithic clans who revered the Reindeer Goddess are in the modern Arctic, Alaska & Siberia. The politics of these environs are ruled entirely by the oil industry. The reindeer, caribou and their habitat are endangered by Big Oil. This brings me to the second thing where words escape me: The Gulf Oil Disaster. Having been touched by an aspect of the World Soul in her form as Reindeer Goddess/Animal Mother has put me in a very sensitive spiritual space.

Prior to the Gulf Oil Spill, I had a nightmare from which I awoke grieving horribly.
There are flashing red lights, an emergency.Suddenly a group of people run towards me from a crowd that is watching an unfolding crisis. They grab my hands and my arms, pulling toward the area that is down a slight incline that I know is at the water's edge. But I still cannot see what the tragedy is. They pull me, urgently, toward the drama. "One whose marriage you are a party in is mortally wounded!", one man says while pulling me down the hill. I KNOW that someone I am deeply connected to is dying, but it hasn't been revealed to me WHO. The crowd parts to let me through while flashing red emergency lights move through the vista. Just as they are about to bring to a clear view of the situation, I awaken.

I sit up in the night crying, not knowing which deeply loved being is so wounded. My self-centered thinking was limited to individual people in my life. It was days later that I realized the mortally wounded being was Nature and the critical incident was the Gulf Spill. Now, one doesn't usually go around thinking "I am married to Nature". I had never thought of my relationship with nature this way. Looking back through the years to my childhood, I can say it is true. The thing is: it should be true for every human being.
We are a part of nature. Yet, having an element of conscious and the ability to communicate makes us the guardians of nature. Historically, the concept of ruler-ship (Kings, Queens, & Presidents) was based on a marriage to the land. Sovereignty is a goddess of the land that the ruler has to protect and cherish. The crown upon the ruler's head is the Glory, the Light of Wisdom, the deep knowing that only communion with the World Soul can bring.
So what can be done now? How does humanity restore divinity?

Nature as mother is the World Soul. The womb for all life on our planet is the ocean.She is mortally wounded. Now is the time to remember who we really are. We need to hear the voice of the forest, the cries of the ocean, the pleas of all creatures.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daughters of the Sun

Below is a beautiful meditation of the nature on reality written by Parmenides (5th Century BCE). Peter Kingsley translated this piece in his book Reality. No matter where I go in my inner journey, I always come back to Peter's writings. It clarifies so much for me... reminds me of how tricky our perceptions are.... reminds me that "mind" and "matter" are not separate. Clarifies, with each reading, the teaching of the Goddess whose veil we wear while we are in our bodies... for this is her world. In her world, Wisdom is what is required to skillfully navigate the sea of our illusions. (In Parmenides day, they called it metis and it means so much more than our English word "wisdom".) No matter where I get carried away to, I come back to Parmenides & Peter Kingley's Reality.

This time, I returned to the daughters of the sun while following the reindeer. Before the mares that carried Parmenides, the reindeer carried the wisdom holder while her antlers carried the sun that illuminated the darkness. The reindeer was the first domesticated animal, and mankind's first "chariot" on both the inner and outer journeys. And no matter where mankind goes, the Wisdom Teachings remain the same.


"The mares that carry me as far as longing can reach
rode on, once they had come and fetched me onto the legendary
road of the divinity that carries the man who knows
through the vast and dark unknown. And on I was carried
as the mares, aware just where to go, kept carrying me
straining at the chariot; and the young woman led the way.
And the axle in the hubs let out the sound of a pipe
blazing from the pressure of the two well-rounded wheels
at either side, as they rapidly led on: young women, girls,
daughters of the Sun who had left the mansions of Night
for the light and pushed back the veils from their faces
with their hands.

These are the gates of the pathways of Night and Day,
held fast in place between the lintel above and a threshold of stone;
and they reach up into the heavens, filled with gigantic doors.
And the keys — that now open, now lock — are held fast by
Justice: she who always demands exact returns. And with
soft seductive words the girls cunningly persuaded her to
push back immediately, just for them, the bar that bolts
the gates. And as the doors flew open, making the bronze
axles with their pegs and nails spin — now one, now the other —
in their pipes, they created a gaping chasm. Straight through and
on the girls held fast their course for the chariot and horses,
straight down the road.

And the goddess welcomed me kindly, and took
my right hand in hers and spoke these words as she addressed me:
'Welcome young man, partnered by immortal charioteers,
reaching our home with the mares that carry you. For it was
no hard fate that sent you travelling this road — so far away
from the beaten track of humans — but Rightness, and Justice.
And what's needed is for you to learn all things: both the unshaken
heart of persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals,
in which there's nothing that can truthfully be trusted at all.
But even so, this too you will learn — how beliefs based on
appearance ought to be believable as they travel all through
all there is."
---Paramenides, translated by Peter Kingsley
from Reality pages 26-27 2003 Golden Sufi Center

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Incubating Reindeer Goddess & Baby Blue



This is Blue. He is the first wild reindeer born in England since the ice age! He was born on May Day (May 1, 2010). See his story here.
Photograph: Adam Gerrard/SWNS





"Reindeer Stone with Flying Reindeer Over the Moon"

Click here to see part 1 and here to see part 2 of this story.

I apologize for not posting sooner. It seems that following the Reindeer Goddess is nothing less a task than going to the moon. I have been digging through academic texts, mythology, the internet. I have traveled to the Arctic, Alaska, Mongolia, the Russian Steppes, Scotland--- mentally, of course. The story of the Reindeer Goddess is at least 18000 years old. This means the stories are not spelled out for us. We have to perform nothing less than an excavation of the mind stream of the human race. Indeed, during this process I have dreamt of rich earth incubating life in a "mind/mine shaft". (Psyche loves puns and riddles!)

I have tried active imagination, engaging the image that came to me before the 2004 Sumatra Quake and resulting axis shift. "Keep digging." she says. "Incubate, grow this image." she replies.
I have found very little said about this mythic image. In desperation, I turned to words like "stag", "hind", "deer" and "antlered" in texts on myth, religion, Jungian Psychology, art history, and archetypes. The Scythians had an abundance reindeer/stag images on petroglyphs, clothing, gold crowns, gold pins & golden statues. But why?, I ask.

I have found that Christianity has not been kind to the Reindeer Goddess. Theories about her are not popular among academics. I do know that what little evidence there is regarding her existance shows that reindeer people of all countries were originally matriarchal. Whatever practices her priestesses had were taken over by the males shamans. (Shamanism as we know it originated in Siberia.) We have alot of writing about shamanism these days... I want to know more about what came before shamanism. Hints are left to us in the Nordic myth of Freya: she was the source of seidr - the powerful tradition of Norse magic. She gave the teachings to Odin.

There are clues to this ancient deer goddess tradition in Tibetan Bonpo teachings. From the Indus Valley we find remnants of an ancient priestess-hood that left us images of the horned goddess as tree of life. These images show us the roots of vedic alchemy, as well. Priestesses called yoginis, dakinis, and yakshas gave the sages the secrets of herbal medicine, and teachings of human transformation. After the Brahmins (a male dominated system that denigrates woman to this day) took over, these wise women were called witches, untouchables & whores. I am grateful to have encountered some of these ancient teachings in the Nyingma (Ancient Ones) texts that my own lama gave me. Of course,at the time I received the teachings and the empowerments (formal ritual of receiving) for the teachings, I had no idea where they would lead me!

In a prior post, I quoted a prophecy from Lapland. Reindeer Goddess gave humanity a warning: not being in harmony with nature will lead to our destruction. In spite of her fierce warning, there is also also the promise of regeneration. The antlers... they bear the tidings of new birth. I will talk about this more in a future post, after I incubate.

Friday, May 7, 2010

We Are PPI 2010.mpg

Watch carefully in the sequence with the four poster bed.
When PPI Jason leaves the room,
the flashlight turns on by itself.
This is in my home.
PPI was able to talk the "spirits" into doing this
on camera on four separate occasions

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Following Reindeer Goddess: an Inner Journey


(This is an image of a Scythian reindeer from 5th century B.C.E.)
On March 25, 2010, I wrote a blog post about my experience with "reindeer woman".
To read that story click here.
Since posting that story, I've had a few synchronicities involving the reindeer motif. One happened when I was at a nearby Borders store in the anthropology section (which is very small). I picked up a book up at random. The title was Inside the Neolithic Mind by Davis Lewis-Williams & David Pearce. I opened to a page at random and I was very suprised to see the heading on the page that the book opened to (pg 161): Inside the Cave of the Reindeer Woman! It is a Samoyed story of the initiatory journey of a shaman. The axis mundi/tree of life was inside this cave, along with many numinous beings. In his relationship with the imaginal realm (inner world), the shaman was able to develop powers (siddhis) that enabled him to serve his community. After the initiation, he returns to the cave of the reindeer women in times of need, to access the imaginal realm an find ways to restore balance to his people.

Also through synchronicity, I discovered another connection to the reindeer goddess and the earthquakes that I wrote about in my former posting. I found the Lapp people's story about the creation of Earth in the writing of Linda Scheriese Leonard. (Creation's Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit). In this story from Lapland, the creator uses the body of his favorite creature, the reindeer doe, to create the world. He hid her still-beating heart in the centermost depths of the Earth. Here I will quote from Ms. Leonard's book:

"The vaja's (reindeer doe) heart would be the heartbeat for the earth, so that when peace and love reigned the reindeer doe's heart would beat with joy. But if hatred and greed disrupted the earth's harmony, her heart would convulse in pain and tremors would shake the earth from top to bottom." [page 30]

It seems that the reindeer goddess speaks to some of our current worldly issues. Besides the mythic connection with earthquakes, the reindeer's natural habitat is being destroyed through weather changes and the oil industry.

A very dear and close friend brought me a special gift last week, when I was too weak to leave my home: it was a handmade bracelet of reindeer antler, made by the Saami people. It has Saami runes on it. Since I've had such a powerful set of encounters with the reindeer goddess, I have decided to follow her on an inner journey and see where she may lead me. I am too physically incapacitated to travel in the outer world to follow the reindeer. Perhaps my illness is part of what enables me to mine the inner world for riches. I hope that what I may find serves others as well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Naga Encounter


(This image came from www.cranedance.net)
I grew up on the American-Canadian border, in the St. Lawrence river valley. My child hood was very isolated, and I spent most of my time alone with nature, the woods, and the river.
My very first experience with otherworldly beings happened when I was less than 2 years old. One night, I woke up in the arms of an immensely muscular being. He was cradling me as he, and others like him, were gliding through the field towards the woods behind my home. I remember how hard his arm and chest muscles were, yet I also knew I was safe. I dosed off briefly, and awakened to a luminously glowing room that seemed to be in a cave, or under the ground. That is when I saw that the beings I was with were half human and half serpent. In my child mind I called them the dinosaur people. I had no other context for what they were. They were tending to my battered and bruised body after an incident of severe abuse. One of them said to me "This is going to be a very difficult life for you. But- you do not have to repeat the behavior that you witness." I knew he meant for me not to hurt others the way I was being hurt. I also knew that this life was an assignment that I had to complete. I felt very precious in the presence of these beings, like I was a jewel. I did not feel that way among my birth family. I awoke the next morning and tried to explain to my mother that the dinosaur people had visited me. I told the story to my beloved grandmother as well. They both thought I had a vivid imagination!
Life was very hard for me, but I never forgot what these beings had told me. I never saw them again face-to-face, but I felt them near me often. It wasn't until I was 35 that I finally found the name for what these beings were: Nagas and Naginis. I discovered a beautiful tale about and 8 year old Naga Princess who had attained enlightenment under the tutelage of the Bodhisattva Manjurshri. There were many years of naga synchronicity following my discovery that my dinosaur people were nagas. (That is another story for another day.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

7.2 and a Cluster of Quakes

Last night I started having dizziness, headaches and a feeling of malaise. My ears felt plugged. I had a disturbing night, and felt terrible when I woke up. I told my husband that something was very wrong with me, but I didn't know what it was. I even felt disconnected from my body. We agreed that if it got any worse we would go to urgent care. Then I did something I rarely do: I went back to bed. I couldn't function! I dozed in and out all afternoon. I had earplugs in so I didn't have hear the neighborhood noises. Late in the afternoon I was alerted by a sound that was similar to wind chimes. I knew there are none nearby, so I ignored the sound. Then the bed started to shake. I realized we were having a quake, but this one wouldn't stop. I got out of bed and opened the bedroom door. My husband wasn't home... he had gone to the store. I heard the whole building CRACK. I ran outside to find all my neighbors outside as well. The shaking kept going on. When the ground stopped moving we all went back inside.
This quake was 130 miles away and it was a 7.2. We're still having aftershocks with different epicenters up and down the fault line that the original quake was on. This is the worst quake I've experienced and the first major quake in my local area since I became sensitive to quakes. To read more about these experiences click here and here. Trish & Rob MacGregor have written about others who are sensitive to earthquakes on their SYNCHRONICITY blog: click here and here.
Damage assessment is still in progress, and reports from the epicenter in Mexicali are just starting to come in.
I didn't see Reindeer Woman (which may signify an axis shift)-- unless you count the book Creations Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit, by Linda Schierse Leonard. It was in may mailbox late yesterday afternoon...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Liminal Living- Borderlanders

In my search for an explaination to unusual phenomena such as the premonitions I have before some natural disasters, I read a lot of material. Below is a quote from a fascinating book by a Jungian analyst who spent many years among the Navajo, just listening. Living in the Borderland, by Jerome S. Bernstein.

"Borderland people personally experience, and must live out, the split from nature on which the western ego, as we know it has been built. They feel (not feel about) the extinction of species; they feel (not feel about) the plight of animals that are no longer permitted to live by their own instincts, and which survive only in domesticated states to be used as pets or food. Such people are highly intuitive. Many, if not most, are psychic to some degree, whether they know it or not. They are deeply feeling, sometimes to such a degree that they find themselves in profound feeling states that seem irrational to them. Virtually all of them are highly sensitive on a bodily level. They experience the rape of the land in their bodies, they psychically , and sometimes physically, gasp at the poisoning of the atmosphere. Often they suffer from "environmental illness". This psychic identity with the animate and inanimate objects of nature is a phenomenon that anthropologist Lucien Levy-Bruhl (Levy-Bruhl, 1966) recognized among native cultures, and which he called participation mystique. It is a psychic identification from which , up until recently, westerners have been totally alienated." -Jerome S.Berstein Living in the Borderland (page 9)

Reindeer Goddess, Axis Mundi & Axis Shifts



This image is of a Scythian reindeer pole, representing the Goddess as Earth's Axis and the World Tree. It is part of the archeological finds in the Pazyryk Valley of Ukok Plateau in the Altai Mountains of Southwestern Siberia, Russia. The finds were dated 6th-3rd century BCE. The mummies at this site were c tattooed with images of reindeer. Click here to visit the site this image came from.


On the night before the tragic Sumatra Quake in December 2004, I had a wild dream encounter:

I am facing a goddess. She is half human , half reindeer. She is a mixture of skin, fur and hair. She has enormous antlers. She is very powerful. She is flinging my body around, like a lasso, holding it by the hair. My body's orbit stays the same, until she shifts it slightly, subtly. Then my body's orbit changes. I just know somehow, that she is Reindeer Woman.

When I got up that morning I saw what had happen during the night. Sumatra had an unprecedented quake, with ensuing destructive tsunamis.

Earlier in the week, My husband and I were out running errands. Suddenly , my left ear had a long, sustained ringing and I had simultaneous visions of destruction and flooding. I knew many would die. This was one of my first encounters with this type of visionary experience. I was disoriented and my husband had to hold me up until it was over. I told him what I was witnessing. I felt horrified. I knew it would happen in 3 days time, but not where it would happen.

Then came the above dream. I had no idea who Reindeer Woman was. I did correlate my body in the dream with the Earth. I mention in my profile that I have a complex of autoimmune diseases. I had, long ago, come to a conclusion: the illness of my body is somehow directly linked to humanity's damage of our environment and that my condition was a mirror of a larger issue regarding the whole planet. Consequently, in the above mentioned dream, my body was the Earth. But who was this powerful goddess?

Many days after the horrific event in Sumatra, scientists announced that the earth's axis had shifted.This quake was the 2nd strongest ever recorded and the Earth continued to oscillate for four months after the initial event. When reading about the Sumatra quake causing a shift of the Earth's axis, I realized that Reindeer Woman was somehow link the axis. I did some library and internet research, but found nothing regarding a reindeer goddess and the axis of the earth. At the time, the only material I could find on reindeer goddesses was Linda Schierse Leonard's book Creations Heartbeat: Following the Reindeer Spirit. Leonard feels the reindeer is an excellent motif representing the re-emergence of the Goddess.

On February 24th, 2010 my husband and I were in a thrift store. There was a rather dog-eared, hard covered novel on a shelf. I noticed there was a sketch of a rock with a pictograph of an antlered woman on the cover.(I can't remember the title!) I handed the book to Larry and said; "The last time I saw reindeer woman, the Earth's axis shifted." He knew that I was talking about the Sumatra quake. He asked me if I wanted the book. I said no.... I didn't feel very well and the store was very busy. I needed to leave. I didn't dream about "Reindeer Woman" that night, but I did have a difficult experience the following night, as described here.

On February 25th, Chile had an 8.8 earthquake off the coast of the Maule Region, with tsunami warnings issued for the Pacific Rim. On March 1st, scientists declared that the quake caused another axis shift. My heart sank when I realized the significance of coming across the image of the reindeer woman yet again. Now, I was determined to find the connection between this image, and the Earth's axis.

I discovered the research of art historian Esther Jacobson. In her book The Deer-Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief, she documents the transformation of the image of the pre-shamanic, neolithic reindeer goddess as Axis Mundi (world tree), through time and history. The qualities Jacobson linked the reindeer goddess to Included: (Jacobson/1997)
* deer mother as tree of life
* source and end of each clan's lineage
* beginnings endings regeneration
* her sacred places include heavenly bodies,rivers, mountains ((Jacobson/1997)


According to the Global Action Network, reindeer were domesticated as early as 7000 years ago, before the horse was domesticated. The reindeer is the only species where the antlers are larger on the female and she is the leader of the pack, making this image of the Great Mother Goddess par excellence.

Her image has been traced repeatedly on stones, in caves and among standing stones. Originally she was portrayed as the axis of the Earth, with her tradition being rooted in an ancient identification with cosmogenesis. Her images were dynamic, in motion, half human into reindeer with the antlers morphing into birds & griffins reaching toward the sky. She was often portrayed with a mirror, representing the concepts that Earth is a mirror of the Heavenly, and the afterlife a mirror of earthly life (in reverse). Her morphing form with antler branches represent the whole Tree of Life. She has been found tattooed on the mummies of the Pazyryk Valley.

Jacobson's work also shows where the tension between the sexes began, in the Iron age. This is shown through the progression of the images of the deer-goddess on rocks and in caves. As time went on, the reindeer goddess image degenerated into a cult object. Then she was replaced by male shamans, who wore her skin. Drums made from her skin replaced the rhythm of the riding of the reindeer. She went from Lady Owner of the Universe to a guide between the living and the dead.

I also found remnants of the reindeer goddess in the history of the Bo and Bon traditions, the shamanic roots of Tibetan Buddhism. In this tradition the pole star was called the deer star, long before it was connected to the image of the bear.(Ermacov/ 2008). We see this reflected in the goddess Artemis whose name comes from an Indo-European word for bear, yet she is pictured with a deer and a lion.

Reindeer Goddess is so ancient that she has very few written names. Herodotus writes that the primary deity among the Scythians was the deer-goddess Tabiti. Among the Evenki people of today she is called Bugady Enntyn and her title is "Lady Owner of the Universe." There are traces of the deer-goddess in the Scottish Highlands in the ancient tradition of the Calleach, wise-woman.

How does a modern person come to be connected with ancient primal deities? Why did a neolithic Reindeer Goddess show up in my dreamscape? More specifically, why did she assert herself into my consciousness twice, before an axis shift? Jungians, pagans, Sufis, Kabbalists all believe in the "return of the the goddess". It seems to me, she never left. I am going to make a more conscious effort to connect with Her.

UPDATE: 11/17/2010 Please read my latest blog post: Following Reindeer Woman: Pazyryk Preistess & Deer Artifacts

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ryan Bingham in El Cajon, CA



The above photo is a copy of the photo Ryan Bingham signed for us last night. I don't know who took the photo. It was given to us will we we standing there.

Last night, my husband I went over to our local Borders, which is just down the hill from our home. We watched Ryan Bingham perform a 4 song set, including the the song "The Weary Kind". Ryan and co-writer T-Bone Burnett received an Oscar for this song this past Sunday. It was sung by Oscar winning actor Jeff Bridges in the movie Crazy Heart.

This event was not widely advertised. I did receive an e-mail notice last week from
Lost Highway Records, before Ryan won the Oscar. Borders did not advertise the event, and this particular Borders has never held an event. A local radio station, KPRI, sponsored the event, though I didn't hear any promotion for it on the air.

For Larry & I it was unusual: to walk into our regular haunt and have something amazing happen. There were only about 60 people there, so the atmosphere was intimate. Ryan is a very heartful singer, and an amazing guitar player. His lyrics have depth, delivered with a gritty voice full of longing. (He used be a bull rider!) Afterward, he talked with everyone- one at time. He was extremely humble and gracious. He put his arm around me and a press photographer took our photo. I wish I had a copy!!!

I highly recommend Ryan's CD's... music homegrown here in America: Mescalito (2007) and Roadhouse Son (2009).
Visit His website here.


I hope all Ryan's dreams come true for him.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quakes, Visions & Dharma Practice



Last night was a night from hell. I dreamt about crumbled buildings, disasters, and immense suffering. I woke up several times with demonic type presences in the room. So I did my Lion Faced Dakini practice when I was conscious, between disturbing visionary states.

Since 2004, my left ear registers high pitched rings prior to earthquakes all over the globe.

I didn't get any ear ringing for the 8.8 Chile quake (which is up to 52 50+ aftershocks, and counting). Instead, I was very dizzy, with severe ear pain yesterday. I spent the afternoon and evening on the couch. With the Haiti quake and aftershocks, I heard the ringing in the left ear, but I did not have visions.

All of this is very frustrating to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chained Angel II: a painting



This is a painting about my struggle with chronic illness (CFIDS/ME). The angel's dress was inspired by the Horse Head Nebula.
Her wings represent Deep Space. She is chained in a cave deep within the Earth/matter.This is a paradox.
Feathers fly around her and she cries tears of blood.

Painting has been a healing and cathartic experience. It has given me a way to express the inexpressible. Painting is also a way of moving the feelings through the body, instead of just holding it in.

To read more about my illness on my other blog, click here.
To see the companion painting to Chained Angel II click here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just a Thought

We are suffering beings in a suffering world. This is why we must have compassion for our suffering. We are trying to bring the Divine into this suffering realm. This requires a great amount of attention, a process called mindfulness. This is not an easy thing to do. We are overcoming instinct and habit. This is the way to true freedom.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pacific Paranormal Investigations

This past Friday, I did get to spend time with a wonderful group of people. They have accepted me , illness and all! Pacific Paranormal Investigations is a scientifically based, open minded group that aspires to help people deal with unusual phenomena.They are non-profit and they do not charge for their services. Being in this group is fulfilling a life long dream for me. I had decided to be a paranormal investigator many years ago, in 5th grade. I needed to find answers to my strange life experiences.
Visit our website here.(While you're there, you can join us on our bulletin board.)
Follow us on Facebook here.

For those who are new to my blog, I met PPI when they investgated my own home. Read about it here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Excellent Article on Psi & Consciousness

Researcher David Luke has written an article about the six years he spent studying yogis and Tibetan monks doing meditation. He explores the different levels of consciousness that the yogis and monks access, as well as the practice of meditation and it's affects on psi. Click here to read his study: Shifting Consciousness: Six Years with Yogis and Tibetan Buddhists posted on Brainwaving.com.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Personality Types & Paranormal Experiences

Below is a revised copy of a post I made recently on a web bulletin board.

This is brief and general overview of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) and the personality types that are most likely to experience paranormal phenomena.

History: the modern theory of temperament/ type was developed by Carl Jung. He was a long time apprentice to Freud. He was expected to inherit Freud's legacy. However, Jung had a series of paranormal encounters. It was his need to understand these that lead to his notorious split with Dr Freud. (See Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl Jung. For details and works of art produced because of his paranormal encounters see the recently published The Red Book, by Carl Jung). Jung then developed a theory of temperament & type to help Psychiatrists and therapists to better understand their clients. This became our modern Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ( MBTI) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator , and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter: http://www.keirsey.com/default.aspx .

Method: Each person is given a questionnaire. Depending on the answers to the questions (preferences), an individual will be determined to be one of 16 possible types. This is determined using a scale of 2 sets of four qualities.

How you become energized:
Extroverted---------Introverted
Extroverted keywords: outgoing, social
Introverted keywords: being alone

How you take in information:
Intuitive------------Sensing
Intuitive keywords: seeing the big picture in a non-logical way, psychic, imaginative
Sensing keywords: tactile, practical, detail oriented, logical

How you base decisions:
Thinking----------------Feeling
Thinking keywords: logical, fact-based, not personal
Feeling keywords: empathy, decisions made in a personal way

How you organize time and energy
Judging------------Perceiving
Judging: closure, conclusions, completion
Perceiving: open-ended, alternative perspectives, variety

Your type will be based on the following options:
ST’s (sensing thinkers) ISTJ ISTP ESTJ ESTP this group makes up approximately 30 % of the population.

SF’s (sensing feelers) ISFJ ISFP ESFJ ESFP this group makes up approximately 43.4 % of the population.

NF’s (intuitive feelers) INFJ INFP ENFJ ENFP this group makes up approximately 16.3 % of the population.

NT’s (intuitive thinkers) INTJ INTP ENTJ ENTP this group makes up approximately 10.4 % of the
Population.

Of all possible type listed above the ISFJ,s make the largest group (13.8%) and the INFJ’s (1.5%) make up the smallest group.

The above statistics are from Wikipedia


Findings: Repeated studies have indicated that the Intuitive Feelers have the highest reported incidences of reported paranormal experiences. A 2004 study done by Richard Broughton from the University of Northampton, England, narrowed the particular quality to Intuitive, with all others not being statistically significant (Radin 2006). Dianna Arcangel (1997) did a study of 68 individuals who had after life encounters. 96% of these individuals were NF‘s (Intuitive Feelers) on the MBTI.

Within the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, one the qualities of the INFJ is “psychic”. This is the smallest percentage of the population at 1.5%.

In conclusion,  through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsy Temperament Sorter , we find that there is a personality type that is more prone to paranormal experiences. It is found generally among the Intuitive Feeler, and more specifically among the INFJ’s (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judger).

Information:
To see a copy of the MBTI online see: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp


To see a copy of the Keirsy Temperament Sorter see the book Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey
And the website: http://www.keirsey.com/ .

Note: It is best to have this test administered by a professional. If you decide to self test, answer the question based on how you actually are, and not on how you wish you could be.