Monday, February 28, 2011

The Questions of Maat

"In Ancient Egypt, it was said that in the Underworld Maat waits before the door all souls must enter. She holds a scale and a feather. Maat weighs hearts, and none may pass until they have answered her questions, and their hearts are as light as the feather of truth. Can each answer "yes" ? How heavy is each heart? Because to dream a new life, you must know the life you have lived, forgive and be forgiven." **

I've been reading several books about "underworld" Goddesses, a very common theme in early cultures, because the underworld was understood as  the womb/tomb of the Great Mother, the place of return and rebirth.  To the Greeks, she was Persephone, Queen of the Dead and  Hecate, Guide of Souls.  To the Norse, Hella, Lady of the realm where  souls were healed of life, and awaited rebirth. In Egypt, Maat, who was also the Goddess of truth and law.   I don't know why I've been thinking about Ma'at, but following those threads, I found an excerpt from a 2002 performance, and some writings in my journal from several years ago. 

It's interesting that Truth and Justice should be linked in Egyptian mythology with the underworld - the womb of rebirth.  To enter that realm, one's heart must be as light as the feather of Ma'at.  If a soul is too "earthbound", too heavy with materiality, the crocodile that is shown below her scale awaits to seize it. If a soul is too untouched by life, too light because there is not enough of life's experience that have been digested, the hawk  will seize it.

Maat's name, literally, meant "truth".  Her questions do not "damn" those who wait before the door....but without answering them, without finding the examined truth of one's life, no passage to other the realms was seen as possible. Maat's questions are the questions each person must answer sooner or later: "Who or what have I not forgiven?" "What have I done or not done that I cannot forgive myself for?" "What part of my life story have I not been able to forgive?"  "What am I unable to let go of?"  (And having been through therapy, which is a kind of "incarnate life review", I might add that another question would be:  "How have I distorted the memory of this experience so that I no longer know what the truth is, but continue to react to it anyway?")

Language can reveal ideas that are we unconsciously take for granted every time we open our mouths. (and each language has its unique cultural flavors of  meaning). In English, to "fore-give" is to do just that - to give the energy forward. To the future, to new possibilities.  When we don't "fore-give" we're left dragging around psychic baggage, grey thought forms, stories told so many times they have lost any semblance to the truth.  We're psychic hoarders.

I am not saying that fore-giveness is not a complex process. Sometimes it involves working through unconscious layers of experience, telling a story over and over until it can be seen, and that's why one often needs help from an impartial listeners.  I think that is what Ma'at also is - the One who Listens.   But ultimately I believe fore-giveness comes from being able to gain a wider perspective, a perspective beyond the narrow confines of the personality, to the Soul's perspective. Being able to see the broad weave of our lives, the ways we were challenged and deepened by our experiences, our betrayals, our failures, our losses, our ignorance, as well as our gifts, abundance, and the love we were fortunate to be given.

I think of so many times in my life that things I thought were unfair, or misfortunes, in fact were blessings. Maat's Truth is often a paradox. A Buddhist I met once told me that we should cherish all sentient beings, because, from the perspective of  Buddhist ideas of reincarnation, any sentient being you meet has at one time or another been your mother, brother, lover, enemy, has been your food, or has devoured you. 


One thing is certain. When we don't "fore-give" we are unable to move fore-ward because we are stuck in the strange bardos of the past. 


** This was from the play (excerpt below). The actual questions of Maat vary depending upon the translations - some of them were recited in the background, in English and in Hebrew (since we lacked a native speaker of ancient Egyptian) while a Sharon Kihara danced as the "Muse" for the Writer, performed by Dorit Bat Shalom.  






Thursday, February 24, 2011

Video from 2005 of Masks of Goddess Project

I finally figured out how to do UTube, and had fun putting this video of my MASKS OF THE GODDESS Project, made in 2005.  I sold the collection in 2008, after they traveled throughout the U.S. for almost 10 years.  It was a great privilege and honor.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Angels in Nebraska revisited

I ran across this story in my files, and felt like sharing it. 

In 2005 I was driving across Nebraska from an east coast residency, and stopped in tiny Cozad to visit the Robert Henri Museum, and the 100th Meridian Museum, which I just couldn't resist.   The founder of the "Ash Can" school of American realism, Robert Henri was born there, and apparently never went back,  preferring New York City and Paris to Nebraska.  Cozad forgives him.

I remember, afterwards, sitting in a diner and fretting as usual about what to do with my life.  I know I was doing this, because I have it on paper in my journal.  I also remember looking up at a flashing sign on the bank across the street.

That got my attention.





 "I let my life be guided by a strange language that I call “signs”. I know that the world is talking to me, I need to listen to it, and if I do so I shall always be guided towards what is most intense, passionate and beautiful. Of course, it is not always easy.  If you trust life, life will trust you."

        Paolo Coelho

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2011

The Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2011
www.goddessconference.com


Tuesday 26th -Sunday 31st July
Now five full days of celebration!!
with Fringe events from Sunday July 24th


I'm delighted to be able to attend and be a presenter this coming July!  I'll also be attending the Glastonbury Symposium***   which should give me plenty of opportunity to learn about crop circles to my heart's delight.  I have no idea where cheap lodging can be found for all of this (if anyone reading this has any ideas, all lead are most welcome!)  I'm so happy to be able to participate in this wonderful conference - here is further information:


 Celebrating the Great Mother of Water at Lammas
Details are now online:  www.goddessconference.com

We are happy to welcome for the first time from the USA two pioneers of the Goddess movement –  Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Motherpeace Tarot, and  Zsuzsanna(Z) Budapest, Founder of the Dianic Wiccan Tradition!  With Conference Favourites: Anique Radiant Heart, Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, Carolyn Hillyer, Julie Felix, Kathy Jones, Lydia Ruyle and Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson.

Plus Presenters: Lauren Raine,  Amanda Baker, Annabel Du Boulay, Anna Saqqara Price, Charissa Schipper, Caroline Lir, Deonesea la Fey, Emma Rose Knight, Erin McCauliffe, Ganga Ashworth, Georgina Sirett-Hardie, Graell Corsini, Heloise Pilkington, Isabella Verbruggen, Isis Queen, Jacqui Woodward-Smith, Jennifer Cooper, Katinka Soetens, Kaye Cooksey, Koko Newport, Lisa Newing, Louise Bell, Louise Tarrier, Lydia Lite, Marion van Eupen, Mary Bruce, Michelle Patten, Miriam Raven, Morgaine, Noam Zimin, Oshia Drury, Rose Flint, Roz Bound, Sally Pullinger, Sharlea Johnson, Shirley-Ann Millar, Shoshana Horobin, Sophie Pullinger, Sue Quatermass, Tegwyn Hyndman, Thalia Brown, Tiana Pitman & Tina Free,

With Ceremonies and Praise Songs to the Great Goddess of Water, She who is the Source and Womb of all Life. Participate in moving Sacred Ceremonies, take part in inspiring Workshops, listen to fascinating Presentations, see beautiful Artwork & Stalls, Performances, Music, Song, Poetry and Dance. Visit the Holy Wells of the Goddess in Avalon, cleansing and immersing yourself in Her Healing Waters. Join one of Nine Wells - circles of support and participation in Conference Ceremonies. Dance the night away at the Goddess Gala Buffet and Masque, and join our Goddess Procession through the Landscape to the River Brue with a Fruit Feast!



To reserve a place:  www.goddessconference.com



--------------------

*** The Glastonbury Symposium    

An annual three-day conference
of mysteries, truth and new frontiers:
 crop circles - environment - liberty issues - 2012
earth mysteries - new science - metaphysics
consciousness studies - UFOs - alternative health 

Meditation in the Abbey Park
Friday-Sunday, 22nd-24th July 2011
Town Hall,Glastonbury
2011 is the Symposium's twenty-first year!
One of Britain's longest-established
and most acclaimed 'alternative' conferences

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Bucket List

The world is not with us enough
O taste and see the
subway Bible poster said,
meaning The Lord, meaning
if anything all that lives to the imagination’s tongue,
grief, mercy, language, tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite, savor, chew, swallow, transform
into our flesh our deaths, 
crossing the street, plum, quince,
living in the orchard and being
hungry, and plucking the fruit.

Denise Levertov "O Taste and See" **
 I've been dealing for about three months now with the issue of whether or not I had cancer.  Two weeks ago I had a process (I believe it's called a cat scan) right out of sci-fi whereby they shoot you full of some dreadful radioactive stuff, and then put you in a long tube where you get color coded by some kind of process I frankly don't understand. I take it purple is an especially bad sign.

Needless to say, I've been doing some evaluation these days.  Yesterday the day finally came when I was to get the news, so I dressed in my favorite royal purple outfit, put on my ruby necklace, and sat in front of the doctor's office thinking things over.  I was terrified, in spite of all my "mature realism".  I found myself praying to Tara, Creator, and, because it was handy, a large cactus right in front of me that I figured did very well as a representative of Gaia.  Here's more or less what I said (not out loud):  

"I know you've heard a lot of people bargain, and it's probably ridiculous, but it's worth a try.  So here's the deal:  if you'll just please let me not be ill, I promise I'll go back to work.  I'll return to the work I was doing for the Goddess, and I'll finish my book.  Further,  I'll offer whatever gifts and abilities I may have to help or inspire others, and I'll leave it up to You to determine just who or where I may land with that.  And I promise to get myself out of the way toward that end (as much as an ordinary  human being with the usual neuroses, etc., can.*)"

(*I think it's always good to have a frailty clause, otherwise you set yourself up for perfectionism, which is a recipe for failure. Self-forgiveness is written into the contract.)

Then I sat in an examination room. The only magazine to read,  Time Magazine, seemed rather ironic, and the stuff within it (if I was to soon begin the process of leaving the world) seemed stupid and abstract. Is most of this stuff really what we spend all our energy on in the brief little bit of time we so generously get to be here? Good grief, just look at it.   I tried to imagine how doctors must feel having to give bad news to people - no wonder they get so detached and cold.  What else can they do, I suppose? 
Since (most) medical clinics aren't famous for their psychological and spiritual sensitivities, I sat there for about 45 minutes, sweating.  I thought about one of my favorite movies, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's "The Bucket List".   What was mine?  ..........Lose 30 pounds.  Go see the Callanish Stones and the Hebrides.  Get a Spider Woman tattoo.  Volunteer in an orphanage.  Go back to Bali.  Go back to Yosemite.  Eat a fabulous chocolate cake with my hands and wash it down with champagne.  Look up Kerry Macneil (no, cross off that.  He'd probably be bald and ill tempered)....and so on.

So.  The doctor came in, that long hour ended.  After I left I immediately drove to the Safeway, bought a huge piece of gooey chocolate cake and ate the entire thing (with my hands on a picnic bench).  Messy, fabulous.  A kid with chocolate all over their hands and face is cute.  I'm sure the sight of a 60ish woman like that  is outright scary - which made  me laugh.  Who cares!  I later went to the movies, and capped off the evening with a bottle of champagne.

Now, since I promised ....... back to work.   I declare myself un-retired.  I don't have cancer.  But I'm glad I made my bucket list.  I think everyone should make a bucket list.......and do it before they have to sit in a sterile examination room like I just did.   The Callenish stones are next.

Life is good, my friends.


**"The poem begins with an ironic reversal of Wordsworth’s lines: "The world is too much with us late and soon." The problem as Levertov sees it is that "The world is / not with us enough. / O taste and see." The poem calls sleepers to awaken to life."   

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sig Lonegren on Spirit Paths and Ley Lines


My introduction to Earth Spirituality and Earth Mysteries was Sig Lonegren, who I met, completely by accident, at the NEARA conference in Putney, Vermont in 1982.  Sig assumed I was with his class, and I assumed I was invited to join the friendly group I blundered into when I went to the Putney Inn for a cup of coffee......and the next thing I knew, I was at an ancient monolith site hidden on Putney Mountain, and learning to dowse for ley lines. I find his weekly articles fascinating, although I suppose this is pretty obscure for those who aren't familiar with dowsing and geomancy.  But I felt like copying his article here because  of my long interest in these ancient sites, and also because I can attest to having experienced, and located with many others, the energetic phenomenon of  leys and ley crossings - and I've also taught ley dowsing to people who found them without even "believing"  in them.


Tip o' the Week #86 - Doodwegen/Dead Straight Lines

As I write this, I am in the Netherlands, east of Amsterdam in an area called "Het Gooi"  (pronounced: the 'G' in "Gooi" is pronounced like the 'ch" in the Scottish word 'loch', the 'oo' like the 'oa' on 'oat.').  It consists of a number of towns that are essentially suburbs of Amsterdam.  Among them are Bussum, Laren and Hilversum.  These three towns surround a large bit of moorland - the "Bussumerheide" and the "Westerheide" (in pink on the map below).

These moorlands have a number of perfectly straight prehistoric lines/paths that converge at St. Jan's Kerkhof (St. John's Cemetery).  Straight lines that converge like spokes on a wheel at a sacred site.  Humm… that sounds familiar.  Actually on the map below, I have hi-lighted six lines that converge on that cemetery that have energy leys ( six to eight foot straight beams of and energy that have a direction of flow) running along them.

These lines are called "doodwegen."  One line is a "doodweg" (pronounce the "o" in 'dood' as in 'oat', 'we' as in 'vet", and the 'g' as the 'ch' in 'loch.' 
In English, "Doodweg" is "dead way or path," In the past, the dead were carried along these paths from their home towns to the cemetery at what is now St John's Church Cemetery.  There are many Bronze Age round barrows in that area.  (There is a similar dead way at the Rösaring northwest of Stockholm in Sweden where there is a dead straight path leading from a charnel house to a series of round barrows and a fifteen circuit labyrinth.)

 Bussum




Nieuwe Crailoseweg




Hilversum
Doodweg Map  Laren













Six Prehistoric Doodwegen (hi-lighted in orange) converge on St. John's Churchyard/Cemetery 

Niewe Crailosweg (hi-lighted in green) runs diagonally, and is much younger
I walked the Bussumer Doodweg, and while there are slight deviations due to the thousands of years that they have been used not only for spiritual purposes, but now for walking, horse-riding and and bicycle paths, it is an essentially dead straight line from St. John's Cemetery to Bussum.
Three pictures of the Bussumer Doodweg.   In the bottom picture, you can see two horseback riding trails running parallel  with the foot/bicycle path.

While I was walking the Bussumer doodweg, I was reminded of Kubler-Ross' book on Death and Dying, and the straight path one takes from this life to the next.  When Terry Ross (no relation) taught me how to assist lost spirits to the other side, he described the same straight path, "Don't look to the left or the right; keep going straight ahead; do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?; go for it!"  These Doodwegen are portals, paths to the other side.

There is one very straight line running diagonally near the top of the map (in green) called the "Nieuwe Crailoseweg" that is a much more recent "weg," but its first bit, "Nieuwe" shows us that it is much more recent than the "Doodwegen."  While it doesn't go to the St. John's Church, it does seem to be carrying on the tradition of straightness.

Nieuwecrailoswegen
Nieuwe Crailosweg
 
A painfully obvious connection between the Dod Man in England and "Doodwegen" in the Netherlands struck me that I had, for some unexplainable reason, never thought of before.  Back in the seventies, when Paul Devereaux was Editor of The Ley Hunter, there was a comic strip in most issues called "Dodman."  'Dod' is a local British vernacular word for a land snail, the "Helix pomatia".  The comic strip was the story of a snail that had long antennae, and ongoing adventures in sacred space.  This snail was a caricature based on the Dodman, best known as the chalk hill-figure known as the Long Man of Wilmington.    According to Wikipedia, "the 'inventor' of ley lines, Alfred Watkins, thought that in the words "dodman" and the builder's "hod" there was a survival of an ancient British term for a surveyor. Watkins felt that the name came about because the snail's two horns resembled a surveyor's two surveying rods."

IMHO, at a time when leys are under attack, these doodwegen are some of the best bits of evidence that these spirit paths are real!

sig's sig
Sig Lonegren
SunnyBank
9 Bove Town
Glastonbury
Somerset BA6 8JE
England
http://www.geomancy.org
http://www.sunnybankglastonbury.co.uk
+44 (0)1458 835 818

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sabino Canyon Reflections

 "I hold the most archaic values on earth ... the fertility of the soul, the magic of the animals, the power-vision in solitude, .... the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe."

Gary Snyder 

"We will be passing from the terminal Cenozoic into what I call the Ecozoic.  And the primary principle of the Ecozoic is that the Universe - and in particular planet Earth – is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.  If we don’t learn that – nothing is going to work."

Thomas Berry
 
 It was a magnificent day yesterday, so I took a long hike up Sabino Canyon, something I haven't done, I'm embarrassed to say, for years.    It was not long, as I got into the canyon, before the energy of the life there, so close to Tucson and yet so graciously well preserved, thanks to the State Park System, brought all my love of the area back.
About half-way up this 5 mile trail, I was struck to notice that more than half of the people making the excursion were running up the trail.  Outfitted with water bottles and Nikes, and plugged in to stop watches and earphones, they all looked stressed out as they puffed and sweated (some looked like they were downright suffering) up the trail, deadly serious, and as ungreetable as a wall of laptops at a wifi cafe.  I felt not a drop of guilt as I meandered,  stupidly blissed out in the sunshine, talking to early butterflies and birds, and trying to not get run over by the thundering but fit hordes.  There's something so very American about that - get out into nature, and achieve!  Compete with yourself! 

And now that I've got that off my chest, I have to add that as a kind of benediction for all those suffering runners, I made it a point to sit for quite some time on my plump rear on a boulder, eating bagel, and thinking of absolutely nothing.  I had some fine encounters with hawks, especially hawks seem to be speaking to me of late.  And one comical roadrunner - I find the birds much more of a contrary than any serious, determined coyote I ever met.  I have nothing magical to report to this journal today, just the magic that is already abundantly there.  I wish, for those friends who are suffering the cold, I could bring this warm day to you.
 
"In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks."
John Muir

"When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world."
John Muir

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day


I realized it's Valentine's day..........I figured I should try to dig up something that relates to the occasion.  I found these poems, alas, the residue of a long ago love affair..........  
BIRD OF PARADISE


I pause at the door, key in hand.
Breathing in the last of you.
Pleasure that pierces heart and reason
All I can give
is to give it back.

World, here is my heart's unspoken delight.
I offer it back to you
to light among the dappled leaves

I open my hand
a scarlet bird
flashes among the trees.


Fly free,
Bird of Paradise,
into the morning
from the other side of forever.

IN CONSTANT FLIGHT

The road twists before me
a white line, a black stream

Hello and Goodbye live in the same house
I examine myself, knowing
that a woman of 40 years
is old enough to expect nothing.

On a whim, I stop for coffee
in Scotland, Pa.
Population 2,500 souls
and write in my journal:

    "Kiss the joy as it flies
     and live in eternity's sunrise"


Thank you, William Blake.
I am driving west now
where the sun before me
continues to set.

A painting I once saw comes to mind
two hands lying, side by side,
not touching
a kind of moving electricity
holding them
together,
and apart

from somewhere in the area of my chest
a secret electricity expands behind me
like a ribbon in the wind,
a silver cord
crossing the Pokanos,
the Catskills,
mountains, oceans, lifetimes.

Pull the cord,
and I shall surely know it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The "Akashic Experience"


"Weavers" (2009) (Detail)






I've been reading THE AKASHIC EXPERIENCE by Ervin Laszlo, systems theorist once nominated for the Nobel Prize.  He is a founder of the newly formed GlobalShift University, author of 83 books, and president of the international think tank called the Club of Budapest.  Laszlo is an amazing visionary.  His term for non-local consciousness, the integral field, as it manifests in human consciousness is "the Akashic Experience". In this collection of essays, he invited articles from colleagues in science, psychology and the arts to write about their "akashic experiences", within their research or their personal lives.

I guess my own term would be "Spider Woman's Web"  for this concept which is also an experience - Spider Woman's threads have inspired so much of my artwork. 

One of the articles I particularly found interesting was by  Stanislaf Grof,  who with his wife Christina Grof has been on the leading edge of consciousness research for 35 years, beginning with research into psychotropic states and LSD.  He's developed something called Holotropic Breathwork to help people enter into altered states.  I myself did some breathwork (not with Dr. Grof) years ago.


In my own experience (in 1993) I encountered what I called the "Mask Deva".....I saw a mask face becoming hundreds of colorful, fantastic faces, shifting and opening like a flower in fast forward.  I can honestly say that I've made hundreds of colorful, evocative masks since, including the Masks of the Goddess,  and my students and apprentices have gone on to continue the journey......so perhaps the Mask Deva is pleased with me.

Dr. Grof numerous times encountered past life memories in his work, although he didn't call them that at first.**  In his article, he recounts the past life Christina returned to numerous times, a life in Salem, Mass. where as a young girl she was drowned for "witchcraft".  (Dr. Grof notes that historically there was a female slave from Barbados, Tituba,  living in Salem at that time, who probably influenced some of the girls by introducing her indigenous shamanic ideas - an experimentation that led to altered states, with disastrous results in that violently repressed community.


Later, the Grofs decided to make  a trip to Salem, where Christina was able to identify the pond she saw herself being drowned in, a former grove of trees, and other significant details.  But what was especially striking about this trip was that Stanislaf Grof learned that the original site of  old Salem, where the historical events occurred, was now called Danvers.

"That came as a shock to us" he writes.  "Danvers was the place where we had held a large conference of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) in 1978.  There we presented for the first time our concept of spiritual emergency, implying that many episodes of non-ordinary states of consciousness that mainstream psychiatrists diagnose as psychoses and often treat with drastic methods, such as insulin coma and electroshock, are actually psychospiritual crises."

 "In our lecture in Danvers, we had suggested that - properly understood and supported - these crises of spiritual opening can actually be healing, transformative, and even evolutionary.  We had given the talk in a hall from which we could see, on the other side of the valley, an old-time psychiatric hospital that had one of the worst reputations in the country.  They were still using shock methods, which bore great similarity to the practices of the Inquisition and similar witch hunts."

"We were stunned" Dr. Grof continues, "by this incredible synchronicity.  Of all the possible locations, we presented our modern plea for a radical change of attitude toward non-ordinary states of consciousness in a place that, unbeknownst to Christina, had been the site of her past life memory in which her suffering and death has been caused by misunderstanding and misinterpretation of non ordinary states of consciousness."

The Circle Returns!


*The Akashic Experience, edited by Ervin Laszlo -  with contributions by Stanislof Grof, Stanley Krippner, Edgar Mitchel, Alex Grey, others. (2008) Inner Traditions Publishing

**I myself have done past life regression, in particular to a lifetime in 17th century France as a nanny.  It's interesting to note that, although I lack vocabulary, I can speak what French I do know easily, without much in the way of an accent.  And I've never had the desire to raise children, which is kind of odd.  Couldn't stand even baby dolls!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas the Twin

 
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save 
you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring
forth will destroy you." 
   
 The Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi)
  
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."
 
The Gospel of Thomas 
The first quote above,  from the Gospel of Thomas (found in 1945 with the Nag Hammadi Gospels, which were very early writings from the advent of  Christianity and apparently hidden because they were considered heretical)......came into my mind yesterday,  very clearly. When that happens, I figure it's worth meditating on. And there are some very personal reasons why this is important to me right now.**

I have not thought of this beautiful quote for many years.  When I began my "vision quest", shortly after graduate school,  to learn about art and spirituality I wrote this quote into the margins of notebooks.  The second quote also, I feel, contributes to these reflections.

According to Wikipedia, the introduction to the Gospel of Thomas states that "These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down." Didymus (Greek) and Thomas (Aramaic) both mean "twin".   Some scholars have pointed out that there was a widespread tradition in early church documents, as well as some surviving Christian traditions, that Jesus had a twin brother, by the name of Didymos Judas Thomas, but most feel this is unlikely.   My sense is that the meaning of "twin" can be understood, from the vantage point of the early Gnostic Christianity, as a metaphor.  All are  "twins" of the great teacher, with the same potentiality and the same  origin - this idea, of course, along with most of the Gnostic sects,  would have been highly heretical as the church became an institution and developed the latter idea of Jesus as divine savior, with it's hierarchy .
"Gnosis (from one of the Greek words for knowledge γνῶσις) is the spiritual knowledge of a saint or  mystically enlightened human being. Within the cultures of the term's provenance (Byzantine and Hellenic) Gnosis was a knowledge or insight into the infinite, divine and uncreated in all rather than knowledge strictly into the finite, natural or material world. Gnosis is a transcendental as well as mature understanding. "  Wikipedia
I've been thinking a great deal about what Jung termed "Shadow" recently.  I believe this  saying from the Gospel of Thomas  is significant to an understanding of this concept.  I carried it about as an encouragement to be an artist, to affirm deeply the life-affirming creative impulse. But one does not have to be a professional artist to "bring forth that which is within".


"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you."
 
We are all creative, in fact, the need to create may be our most profound human drive, right up there with sex and reproduction (which, if you think about it, is all about creation as well).  We come into the world with this energy, this drive, some even say we each come into the world with a creative destiny, a "soul purpose".  We are channels and depositories of creative energy, and through expression of creative energy we are affirmed, healed, we learn, we connect with the world and each other, and we're inspired.  It's the life force.  An individual's unique integrity, personal truth, is also deeply connected to the creative force.

"If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Creative energy denied becomes toxic, stagnant, destructive. I believe Jesus was truly revolutionary in this profound statement. To live without responding to one's authentic creative impulse and innermost truth is to live with despair that can become carcinogenic, a breeding ground of physical,emotional and psychic disease and destructive social harm. When we deny our authentic expression, when we lie, we do a great disservice to ourselves.

"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven."

This also is a revolutionary statement for the time Jesus lived in, and a revolutionary statement for our time. To "do what you hate" is to live a hateful life, without personal integrity.

"For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered." 

Here the Gospel of the Twin is saying that we live in a Quantum universe.Nothing is really hidden. What is denied (or unconscious) will still manifest, what is seemingly hidden from ourselves or others is nevertheless perceived on unconscious levels.  We're all connected, integral, telepathic.   All things manifest through the creative potential we possess  - we are all creative and collectively co-creative.  But those forces are neutral - they can manifest as positive or negative, consciously or unconsciously.   We need to take responsibility for the font of creative force that each of us is.


**I've been going through MRI's to determine if I may a disease, and I reflect that this quote has particular meaning for me in terms of how I muster my energies for healing.   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Human Heart

"The Heart Sutra" (2009)
THE HUMAN HEART

We construct it from tin and ambergris and clay,
ochre, graph paper,
a funnel of ghosts, whirlpool
in a downspout full of midsummer rain.

It is, for all its freedom and obstinacy,
an artifact of human agency
in its maverick intricacy,
its chaos reflected 
in earthly circumstance.

Its appetites mirrored by a hungry world
like the lights of the casino
in the coyote's eye. Old
as the odor of almonds in the hills around Solano,

filigreed and chancelled with flavor of blood oranges,
fashioned from moonlight,
yarn, nacre, cordite,
shaped and assembled valve by valve, flange by flange,

and finished with the carnal fire of interstellar dust.
We build the human heart
and lock it in its chest

and hope that what we have made can save us.


Campbell McGrath

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Rainbow Bridge Tarot

I recently was contacted by a woman developing a Divination site about a long, long abandoned project, my "Oracle deck".  I tried for years to get it published, to no avail.  Her encouragement resulted in my putting together  a Rainbow Bridge Blog with the cards, and I find myself having a lot of fun now writing about the images..........who knows, maybe one of these days they'll end up in a deck at last.  Just felt like sharing them here..........**

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE 
 Oracular Cards Inspired by the Tarot

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because
the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.”

---Black El

The great Dakota seer and Medicine Man Black Elk  had a vision, when he was a young boy,  he later called "the Hoop of the Nations".  Although he saw the "hoop" of his  own Lakota people broken, he also forsaw a future time, symbolized by a great Circle of interlocking hoops, when many people,  from the world’s four directions,  would come  together  to form a "great hoop".  A world united.   Black Elk's vision has been called by some the "Rainbow Tribe".  The evolution of a global tribe is our greatest challenge and our highest hope.  The Rainbow, to me, represents the emerging global paradigm, which includes a multi-cultural vocabulary for the sacred. 

As mystical traditions of East and West join with the teachings of indigenous shamans, Goddess ways, New Age, contemporary psychology, Quontum Physics and modern science, and the universal language of the arts, a RAINBOW BRIDGE is forming to unite humanity with each other, and with other dimensions of spirit.

 The Rainbow Bridge is really an  Oracle Deck, although it was inspired by my many years of reading the Tarot.  In Tarot, the Higher Arcana is a progression through what mythologist Joseph Campbell called the "Hero’s Journey".  The first card in the traditional deck  is The Fool (Innocence) representing the openness with with we incarnate into this world.


The last card of the Journey is The World, the return Home. 



**(and as I was manuvering these images through the still not understood mysteries of html, the "Contrary" card decided to end up at the top, and I can't seem to get it back in it's column unless I delete it.  Go figure.  Spider Woman's little "web" joke......)

 13 Card Reading

THE CARDS  (some of them)

































i









 











 


 




 


 Prints are available at $20.00 each plus $8.00 shipping.  Some are available as high resolution Giclee prints at $40.00.  They may be ordered from the artist.  Contact:
  Lauren Raine (laurenraine@aol.com).


All artwork is copyright Lauren Raine MFA (2011)