Tuesday, September 28, 2010

La Mariposa

by Lauren Raine (1997)

Once upon a time, in a dusty village like any other village, a village with three good wells, fields of blue and yellow corn, a white church, and a cantina, there lived a woman who was neither young, nor old. She was brown of skin, and eye, and her hair was as brown as the sandy earth, and her clothes were brown and gray as well.
She was neither beautiful nor ugly, neither tall nor small, and she walked with a long habit of watching her feet. 

One day, she saw a tree alight with migrating butterflies. Their velvet wings fluttered in the wind of their grace, and one circled her, coming to rest upon her open hand. She thought that her heart would break for the power of its fragile beauty, and she held her breath for fear of frightening it.  La Mariposa was as orange and brilliant as the setting sun falling between indigo mountains, as iridescent, as black and violet as the most fragrant midnight. 

 At last the butterfly lifted from her hand to rejoin its nomad tribe, and its wings seemed like a whisper that called to her: "Come with us, come with us..."

The next morning they were gone. She held her hand out to the empty tree, as if to wave farewell, and saw that where the butterfly had rested, there remained a dusting of color, yellow, like pollen, the kiss of a butterfly wing. And she thought something had changed. 

She went to the well to draw water, and saw her face reflected there. She was not the same - there were now minute lines, hairline cracks, along the sides of her face, at the corners of her eyes. Later, she noticed little webs of light beneath the sturdy brown skin of her hands, barely visible except in the dim twilight. This was a frightening thing. She drew her skirts more closely around herself, pulled her scarf over her eyes. But as time went on, there was something that kept emerging, something that would not be denied. She was peeling open. 

At first, it simply itched, like a rash, like pulling nettles.  But as weeks went by, what had been easily born, what could be endured, became painful, became an agony. Try as she might, as tightly as she wrapped herself in her cocoon of shawls and skin and silence, as tightly as she wrapped herself within the comforting routines of her life, still, colors emerged from her hands. Colors spilt from her mouth. Colors and tears, deep waters that seeped from within, washing away the dust of her life. 

Soon, sleep became impossible. Standing by her window one day, shivering, she shook with fear. "Please help me", she cried, "I'm not the same". 

Then she noticed a beam of sunlight that fell across the floor of her little room like honey. Motes of dust gathered in the golden light, becoming a flurry of butterflies. Butterflies, dancing through an open window, a window opening into a sky as blue and as vast as forever. 

And La Mariposa opened her arms, took the gift of wings, and rose. 

When her neighbor came to walk with her that evening, she found only a dusty shawl and an old brown skirt upon the floor, the early stars glimmering through an unshuttered window.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time is changing?

My friend Fahrusha (the name means "Butterfly" in Arabic) is a well known psychic in New York City. She has a fascinating blog, Fahrusha's Webblog that often deals with issues and controversies of the paranormal, consciousness, as well as contemporary issues and culture. In the midst of my recent flurry of "Butterfly" synchronicities, Fahrusha sent me this article about the sun affecting the decay of radioactive matter - in essence, certain scientists are saying that the rate of decay is speeding up.
I know this post is far from being about art, but I was so stunned by reading I felt I should share it.
"In fact, some evidence of time dilation has been gleaned from close observation of the decay rate. If particles interacting with the matter are not the cause—and matter is being affected by a new force of nature-then time itself may be speeding up................Researchers have correlated the anomalies in the decay rate to a 33-day period. That time frame matches the 33-day rotation of the solar core. Such a match strains credulity as being a mere coincidence."

Here are some other articles about this phenomenon, for anyone who might be interested:

Is the Sun Emitting a Mystery Particle, Ian O’Neill, Discovery News

The Sun Influences the Decay of Radioactive Elements,Tudor Vieru, Softpedia

Mysteriously, Solar Activity Found to Influence Behavior of Radioactive Materials On Earth, Rebecca Boyle, POSCI

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I am a lover of the steady Earth
and of Her waters

"Let the light be brilliant" She says,
"for those who will cherish color."

What if there be no heaven?

"Touch my breasts",
She says,
"the fields are golden."

From "The Song of Mabon" by Robin Williamson

Mabon is a time to give thanks for the bounty of the harvest, to give thanks to Mother Earth, and falls on the day of the autumnal equinox. In 2010, the equinox falls on September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. Bright blessings on this auspicious day to all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another note on the "Butterfly Man"

Well, darn, this is getting interesting! Here I am thinking about butterflies again, and wouldn't you know Alan Moore (the Butterfly Man) leaves a message on my voicemail to call him. Haven't spoken to Alan in about 4 years.

I'm fascinated with the "Butterfly Man" gigantic crop circle that occurred last August in the Netherlands. There is controversy as to who made it; I can't seem to get any clear answers in my Internet search, although have found lots of mystical types who are having a great time with it. But whether "The Da Vinci Butterfly Man" was made as a work of art by a group of very determined and inspired people, who somehow managed to create it in the dark, or it was made by artists from rather farther away with a bit more technology.......it is amazing.

It's interesting that the same month (2009) a new book was released by Dr. Bruce H. Lipton
called "SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION", and the same image is on the cover of the book. If this isn't a miraculous synchronicity (or symmetry), then it's certainly a heck of a good advertisement for the book.

"According to pioneering biologist Bruce H. Lipton, (rapid evolution on a cellular level) is not only possible, it’s already happening. We are surrounded by the proof that we are poised to take an incredible step forward in the growth of our species. In Spontaneous Evolution, this world-renowned expert in the emerging science of epigenetics teams up with political philosopher Steve Bhaerman to offer a new and hopeful story about humanity’s evolutionary destiny."

Dr. Lipman is one of the keynote speakers on the 25th of this month, at the International Conference in Moscow, Russia, "New Human, New Earth". That would be a fascinating event to attend!

Here is Jose Arguelles modification of a Mayan symbol, "Hunab Ku". According to Arguelles and colleagues, the glyph represents the "Galactic Butterfly". I personal love this symbol, because it represents the spiral union (to me) of light and dark, an integral symbol.

Arguelles and others have asserted that Mayan cosmology was based on, or included, the existence of Hunab Ku at the center of the galaxy, and that the Mayans were able to demonstrate the location of the galactic center; as a result of his book "The Mayan Factor", this symbol has become associated with the Mayan Calendar, which predicts the end of a cycle in the year 2012. There is, of course, a lot of controversy concerning "2012"**, from the Apocalypse to the New Age to the "Rapture".

I don't actually care whether the "Butterfly Man" was man made or not, and I don't think it matters whether Jose Arguelles, a fantastic visionary and artist who has been very influential in creating new spiritual perspectives, is correct in his ideas and scholarship, or not. He is a true visionary - and has done what artists (I think) are supposed to do - be a myth maker. In an other time and place he would have been called a "seer". The point for me is that this is significant for our time, important mythos for our time. "2012" and the "Cosmic Butterfly" are perfect metaphors for our evolutionary crisis. Whether we speak of our environmental crisis or the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we do indeed stand poised at the edge of unprecedented disaster, not just as little tribes or even unique civilizations, but globally. We also have unprecedented possibility for physical, technological, social, intellectual, and spiritual transformation and evolution. The "5th World" is already here.

According to Wikipedia:

"The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012 which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae related to this date have been proposed.

A New Age interpretation of this transition posits that during this time Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios posited for the end of the world include the Earth's collision with a passing planet (often referred to as "Nibiru") or black hole, or the arrival of the next solar maximum. Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of catastrophe in 2012. Mainstream Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the existing classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Green Caterpillar Synchronicity

(it looked kind of like this)


This morning I went to my mother's house to prepare her breakfast, and beside the door, on a "cat rug", was a strange looking fat green thing, curled into a little spiral. At first I thought it was a bit of plastic the cat had dragged home, but then it moved! Keep in mind that I live in Southern Arizona, where it is currently about 102 degrees, and there are very few leafy trees. I've never seen a caterpillar like this here, although obviously they must be  around.

I put it on a potted plant, the only thing I could find it might like to eat, although, sadly, the poor thing looks none too well for its encounter with a cat.

Can't get over the fact that just yesterday I was writing about, and reading about, "The Chrysalis Effect" by sociologist and visionary Phillip Slater in my previous post!

Here's from the Harvard Magazine Review of Slater's last book (he died in 2009).  It is ultimately a hopeful book, a visionary book, from the premiere American sociologist who wrote The Pursuit of Loneliness: America's Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal   so many years ago, pointing out the continuing drift toward isolationism, distrust, and loss of community in American culture in the early 1970's.  
"Always adept at spotting patterns before others notice them, Slater here describes cultural styles that play out on a macroscopic, Toynbee-like level, while stitching these massive systems closely to the facts of daily life.  Many of today’s jarring dislocations, he asserts, stem from the clash between the ancient system of control culture and a newer pattern: integrative culture. “Incivility and chaos arise when an old system is breaking down and a new one hasn’t yet fully taken hold,” he writes. The “chrysalis” of the title refers to the transitional state between one life form and the successor that grows out of it.
The ethos of control culture has dominated human societies for millennia, Slater writes, ever since the advent of agriculture: it embraces “a static vision of the universe, a deep dependence on authoritarian rule, a conviction that order was something that had to be imposed, and a preoccupation with combat.” Integrative culture, in contrast, breaks down mental walls and boundaries and celebrates interdependence. “It has a dynamic vision of the universe, a democratic ethos, and sees order as something that evolves, as it does in Nature, from spontaneous interaction.”

It was suggested that I consider what this synchronicity might mean symbolically.  Caterpillars represent, to me, what we are as a global humanity, adolescent, trying to mature, to transform, to become winged creatures. We're presently, like a caterpillar on a leaf, mindlessly gobbling up our world, eating up everything in sight. We confront the "imaginal cell" time, the time when what we as a common humanity are about to become deconstructed.  The hopeful thought is that there is an impulse, a greater force, within our collective instinct that will lead us into, like the force that drives the caterpillar, to the  Chrysalis, the "imaginal" stage. So that we might become, at last, become beautiful Pollinators.......such is my hope.

"Butterfly Man" Crop Circle, Netherlands, August 2009

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Phillip Slater

This morning I walked into my usual early morning coffee shop in Tucson. It is pleasantly arranged, open early, and the only coffee shop in all of Tucson I've found that doesn't blast loud music (and I don't mean the Brandenburg Concertos) at you.

Almost everyone sat behind a laptop, well bulwarked against the world. Many had earplugs as well, just to be sure that nothing external interfered with cyberspace intimacy. As usual, I had my sentimental, grouchy moment of remembering mystical days at Cafe Trieste, espresso machines steaming, poets sitting with books in hand, transparently open to conversation with anyone who cared to ask what the book was about. You kind of went to a coffee shop to meet people, or at least, be surrounded with the hum of noisy, eccentric humanity. I romanticize those days, no doubt, and they seem as ancient as bell bottoms. Books can be transparent......but a laptop is impregnable.

I pull out my laptop, and here I am. Where else is there to go?

Ironically, I have in my bag a copy of Philip Slater's The Pursuit of Loneliness - American Culture at the Breaking Point (First publication 1970, Beacon Press) - I started re-reading it last night. This classic indictment of America's "cult of individualism and isolationism" is, if anything, more relevant now than it was in the 1970's when it was first published. I pulled out the book because, of all things, I was thinking about a proposal for a talk at the next Pagan Studies Conference on community.

In Slater's famous book, he argues that the desire for community is frustrated by the cultural emphasis on individualism and competition, to which our self-perpetuating materialist emphasis contributes. We are preoccupied with insulating ourselves from each other as much as possible, Slater maintains, our technology continually enhancing this "shadow" side of the collective mind. The desire for engagement is further frustrated by the irrational American belief in "independence". Looking through one of his blogs, which shares many excerpts from his new book, THE CHRYSALIS EFFECT, I was pleased to see that he has lost none of his fire:

"We live in a world today in which the problems we face are all planetary. Where hiding behind national boundaries is ultimately suicidal. A world in which conventional warfare -- army vs. army in pitched battle -- exists only in the movies, TV, and video games............Making boys macho today is condemning them to irrelevance." .....from the Huffington Post

"The Rugged Individualist--cheers when needy people are deprived of food, battered women are deprived of protection from brutal husbands, children are deprived of education, etc., because this is "getting government off our backs."(Huffington Post)

As my mother's caretaker these days, I've spent a lot of time watching television with her. It's hard not to become engaged when you're a captive audience; perhaps, as a student of mythology, it's hard not to contemplate this contemporary myth making. I was thinking about why I find the "reality shows" so appalling. Take "Survivor": Put a lot of people on a desert island with few resources, and test their survival skills by making them compete with each other. Now, that is a helpful strategy, should the real thing ever happen. Or "The Biggest Loser": Take a lot of people who are literally eating themselves to death from loneliness, and give them something they deeply long for - a community of kindred souls with a difficult, shared goal. Then make them compete with each other until only one is left.

Or how about the popular sci-fi shows, "Lost" or "Battlestar Galactica"? Whether fleeing the Cyclons as the last remnants of humanity or crashed on a mysterious desert island, none of these characters seem to be able to cooperate with, or trust, each other for any longer than between commercial breaks. There certainly, unlike the hopeful years of Star Trek, is no "ships counsellor" to help them communicate with each other. In the first Battlestar Galactica, Lorne Greene and crew were less complicated, but they were certainly noble, and you knew they'd eventually win; with this bunch of characters, I found myself beginning to root for the cyclons. At least they seemed to have the cooperation skill necessary to rebuild a civilization.

So before I continue down this depressing road to far, I was delighted to see that Mr. Slater (who teaches at the California College of Integral Studies) has written a new and hopeful book called "The Crysalis Effect". I'm ordering it today. It's described as:

The Chrysalis Effect shows that the polarization and chaos we see in the world today are the effect of a global cultural metamorphosis, one that has accelerated so rapidly in recent decades as to provoke fierce resistance. The changes that have taken place in the last fifty years – the feminist movement, minority movements, the spread of democracy, the global economy, the revolutions in physics and biology, the peace movement, the sexual revolution – are all part of this cultural transformation. Contrary to popular opinion, the polarization this metamorphosis engenders is not a struggle between Left and Right, or between the West and Islam, but one taking place within the Left, within the Right, within the West, within Islam, within every individual and every institution.

Our world is in the middle of an adaptive process, moving convulsively toward a cultural ethos more appropriate to a species living in a shrinking world and in danger of destroying its habitat.
Today we’re caught in the middle of this disturbing transformation —a metamorphosis that creates confusion over values, loss of ethical certainty, and a bewildering lack of consensus about almost everything.

The Chrysalis Effect provides an answer to the question: Why is the world in such a mess?

I look forward to getting my copy!

Giant "crop circle" in the Netherlands, summer of 2009.
A hopeful thought, whether from Space, or closer to home!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For 7 Generations

"Gaia Shield" (1994) (with Duncan Eagleson)

Here's a wonderful site I felt like sharing:

For 7 Generations: the Indigenous Grandmothers Film

Mitakuye Oyasin, "all my Relations".

As I sit here considering the audacity of writing an application for a Guggenheim (well, what the heck. It's kind of like buying a lottery ticket, only it takes a lot longer)..........I try to articulate what my theme of a "Webbed Vision" means ..........foremost, it is participatory in practice, and vision: like a web, everything is meant to expand outwards from a center. By enacting and exploring the theme of "weaving a webbed vision", through cross-disciplinary shared art process, it would be my hope that a vision of interdependancy.....could become personally articulated, and practically conceived, as participants engage in a collective conversation.

Dr. Keller's quote has been a long meditation for me. It was the basis for the group sculpture that hangs now in the hallway at Wesley, "Weavers". Dr. Keller derives her term from the name Penelope, which actually means in archaic Greek "with a web on her face", indicating that the name's origins probably derived from the oracles or fates of ancient times. To see world through the lens of a "web" is to see the world within a paradigm built of relationships: interwoven relationships between all things, from the intimate ecology of a community vegetable garden, to Gaia Theory, to family systems, to particle entanglement. "Good
Relationship" thus is a spiritual practice that keeps us connected to a higher order. The "Web" is the underlying truth of being.

"What is the new mythology to be,
the mythology of this unified earth
as of one harmonious being?"

Joseph Campbell

Crop circle, Avebury, 1994

" The new myth coming into being through the triple influence of quantum physics, depth psychology and the ecological movement suggests that we are participants in a great cosmic web of life, each one of us indissolubly connected with all others through that invisible field. It is the most insidious of illusions to think that we can achieve a position of dominance in relation to nature, life or each other. In our essence, we are one."

Anne Baring
Artists are myth makers, but we all have the capacity to be artists; and we all participate in the weaving of today's mythology. The time to think of art as some kind of isolated activity performed by macho, heroic, alienated "genius" is over. I have always felt ill at ease with many "art world" assumptions I got in the course of my education, which is why I so much admired people like Judy Chicago, Daniel Dancer, and Alex and Allison Grey, people who stepped way outside of the "rules".

When Tibetan monks make their beautiful sand mandalas, they are performing a ritual blessing, a prayer that incorporates symbols with a rich lineage and context. When Navajo medicine men make one, they are creating a portal for healing. In traditional societies, masks are meant to be, literally, spiritual vessels for the Gods and Goddesses to enter this world within sacred space, ritual and drama, and commune or bless those present. This was a sensibility that was very clear to me when I created the Masks of the Goddess collection; even signing my name to the masks seemed not quite right, since it was a collaboration on multiple dimensions from the very beginning. I do not know how to demonstrate this, but I see it all the time.

I think I had my first "Spider Woman" epiphany while hiking in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona long ago. In search of petroglyphs, I huffed up the mountain thinking of native American mythology as I climbed. I remember, specifically, I was thinking about a wonderful story from Ursula Leguin's "Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences" * - in the title story, a little girl goes to meet Grandmother Spider Woman. When I stopped to rest, I enjoyed the dramatic union of "red mountain meeting the blue sky". Then, gradually I noticed I was viewing the landscape through a transparent spiderweb - suspended at eye level - from a cactus and chaparral bush before me. Turn slightly, it was invisible. Turn again, there it was, just as plain as day. A "Webbed Vision".

"Spider Woman", Anasazi petroglyph (courtesy Bill Pennington, 2007)

Recently I read the following blurb from a little article slipped in between something about some media star's divorce problems, on the AOL site:

"Human activity such as fishing, agriculture and logging have greatly accelerated the rate at which species go extinct. As of last year, one in eight birds, one third of amphibians and almost a quarter of all mammals were threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature....Alroy's study looked at 100,000 fossil collections spanning hundreds of millions of years, with a strong focus on marine life. He found that dominant creatures can be dramatically affected by large extinctions."

I would think this would be terrifyingly obvious........it is amazing to me that we need, apparently, an expert to determine, from 100,000 fossils, that as "dominant creatures" who are the agent of the 6th Extinction, it just might impact us as well. Why are we so paralyzed? How have we lost "a webbed vision"?

My grandson is going to reach his adulthood in a world without tigers. Snow leopards. Prides of lions. Mountain gorillas. Oh, they'll be around, maybe, in zoos, or in nature preserves. But not in the wild any longer. He will probably also come of age in a world without seafood that is safe to eat without the risk of mercury poisoning or absorbing plastic particles ingested by the fish. A world without many of the songbirds we now enjoy, without many of the butterflies, the frogs. A world where pristine beaches without plastic debris and polluted waters belong only to the very wealthy, a world preoccupied with escalating war as resources continue to become scarce and population continues to explode.

How do we bring alive, now, this new and ancient mythos, this template of relationship ......a "webbed vision"?

“Hope now lies in moving beyond our past in order to build together a sustainable future for all the interwoven and interdependent life on our planet, including the human element. We will have to evolve now into a truly compassionate and tolerant world – because for the first time since the little tribes of humanity’s infancy, everyone’s well being is once again linked with cooperation for survival. Our circle will have to include the entire world.”

Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad
, "The Guru Papers"

**There is also a wonderful story in this collection called "May's Lion" in which an old woman is visited by a dying mountain lion. Leguin shares this scene from the perspective of our contemporary world, and what it might have been like for an old native woman ("Rain's End) in another time and place.........here, the lion has come to her to die, and she is honored by this, offering her presence to the lion, her prayers for it's journey into the next world. When "May", in this time and place, tentatively calls the police about the lion, they shoot it - and in some incoherent way she does not fully understand, May knows this was not right, she somehow lost something important.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"On The Beach"

"Spiral Offering" by Catherine Nash MFA

"Blessed are the Peacemakers,
for they shall inherit the Earth."

(Oct. 11th, 2001)

One month
after the world ended.

The little island world we,
the privileged few, could pretend
was safe, forever, and righteous

The fallen towers,
fiery messengers
of unfathomable destruction yet to come.
Tourists walk barefoot
on the familiar beach.
They came here, I imagine,
as I have, not to forget,
but to remember.

To remember driftwood and high tide.
To remember a red dog, and a yellow-haired child
as they enter the water -
their cries of goodly shock
and honest forevers
always new, always cold, and blue.

A white heron,
balanced in perfect equanimity
on one leg.
Wave forms overlay my feet,
transparent hieroglyphs of infinity.
Her way of speaking.
Her manifest, unspoken words.

A brown man
lies beside the mossy cliff, spread-eagled
between sky and sea and land.

Sand sunk, leaf-molten,
blackberry thorn - into the green.
Toes, fingers, flesh
reaching into the green

the green,
redeeming Earth.
He is rooting himself.
He is taking himself back.

I lie down in grateful imitation, a stranger
in companionable human proximity,
sharing this rite of remembering.

I close my eyes, and see her.
A girl, walking on this very beach
Yesterday, and 30 years ago.
I see her sourcing,
sourcing the one who lives here.
A river Goddess
with no name.

She has made a mermaid offering
of sticks and sand and seaweed.

Companions arrive, offer shells,
and then return to Berkeley.
To Vietnam, the Cold War,
the Berlin Wall,
the war, the wall,
the war, the walls.
The war,
and the summer of love.

("the revolution will not be televised")

A generation to end war, raise hell, raise consciousness,
raise Atlantis, and raise the new and Golden Age

("the revolution will not be televised")

How did we get here
from there?

I call you back, girl.
I call you back.
I am at the other end of this life now.

Your sand prayers
ring here still, still ring true.

The Earth
is my witness.

Lauren Raine (2001)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sig Lonegren

Callanish Stones, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Since I can't seem to finish my latest entry in this journal, I felt like sharing one from Sig Lonegren, who I met many years ago when, quite without any intention on his part, he set me to wandering and wondering on my path. At the time, I was living in Vermont, and wandered down, rather hungover, to the Putney Inn for a cup of coffee. Unknown to me, the New England Archeological Research Association was having its conference there, and before I knew it, I was on a bus with Sig's group, and learning to dowse for ley lines at several of the mysterious cairns and sacred sites that are in the Putney area. A year later I sat with a group of people and watched the Sun rise through two huge entranceway stones aligned with the Summer Solstice.

Stone cairn chamber, Putney, Vermont

Dear Friends,

I have been reading in "
Northern Earth" and hearing from friends in the publishing business that the bottom seems to be dropping out in terms of Earth Mystery (EM) magazines and books. The number of magazines covering this subject are falling here in the UK, and in the publishing business, they are just not bringing out as many books in this area as they had been doing in previous decades. Of course, the recession is responsible for some of this, but also, it is my feeling that a saturation point has been reached as far as the archaeological evidence our prehistoric ancestors have left us, therefore, the speculation as to what they might have been up to. How many more articles like "Ley Lines Really Do Exist!" or "Is Alexander Thom's Work on Archaeoastronomy more than Fantasy?" do you really need to read?

Archaeoastronomy in Sacred Space

How many more pictures of ancient (and new) sacred sites being oriented towards the Sun do we need to convince us that all over the planet, our ancestors gnew something we don't?

We live in changing times. The old paradigms that Western Man's civilisation has been living by don't seem to be working so well these days. Climate change appears to have some validity; the rape of our planet is growing ever more evident. Our economic system ain't doin' so good, and, today, regardless of what you think about 2012, its acceptance is predicated on an awareness by many people on our planet that change in one form or another needs to come. (The New Age movement of the eighties was a precursor of this same realisation.)

So now, there is perhaps a shift from "What were prehistoric people up to in their sacred sites?" to "I do not seek to walk in the footsteps of the ancient ones, I seek what they sought."   (Read: how can I use all of this Earth Mystery information to experience the reality of the Spiritual World myself?)

Our prehistoric foremothers and fathers were certainly in to the stars and other heavenly bodies. Do you know where Saturn or Mars or Venus will be in the sky this evening just after sunset? I'd put money on the reality that your 17,500th Great Grandfather (5 generations a century x 3,500 years) knew just where these planets were. 

So, how did your 17,500th Great Grandma and Grandpa relate to the heavens whilst in their sacred sites? And, much more importantly for us now here at the end of the beginning of our EM journey, might we be able to do the same today?

Of course, there is not one correct way (I'm no Fundamentalist), but I have developed a process that that might help others to experience this directly. I call it, "ArchaeoAstrology: From Knowing to Gnowing," and I will be offering this in a three part workshop at the BSD Convention in Cirencester next weekend.

Sig Lonegren
9 Bove Town
Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JE

+44 (0)1458 835 818

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spider Woman "Crop Circle"....last reflections

West Kennet Long Barrow, April 19, 2009 Photo by Lucy Pringle

“What might we see, how might we act, if we saw the world with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships…as delicate as spider’s silk, yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.”

Catherine Keller, From a Broken Web

I felt like writing a bit about the "Spider Woman" crop circle I found......I was somewhat amazed to find this obscure symbol in a crop circle site! Mr. Silva believes that it is a man made circle, but reminds me that that does not have to negate its power as a symbol, or for that matter, a beautiful work of earth art.

There was a legend that when the world was going to change, Spider Woman would return again to help her Relations, as she has done in the previous worlds.
I have often thought that the World Wide Web just might be Her latest appearance.

I am grateful to Mr. Mark Fussell and the Crop Circle Connector for feedback, as well as "Crop Circles Reflections of a Season, by Mr. Fussell and colleagues.

Below is the "circle" in black and white, and next to it a detail from a pre-historic Mississippian shell ornament. I believe this one is from Spiro Mound in Missouri, although I will have to check my reference books - the ornament, most probably worn on a cord around the neck, would be anywhere from 400 to 1,000 years old.

I see the Spider Woman image in the crop circle (without all of the legs), the cross, the head and "womb" shapes, and rayed "web" or "strands" emanating from the spider/creatrix figure. (There is often an emphasis upon the "womb" center of the spider, as Spider Woman is associated with the Earth Mother/Creatrix, from whose body all things emanate).

To me, obscure as it may seem, these "crop circles", and the interest, even the controversy surrounding them, are important as contemporary icons manifesting within the collective consciousness, "words" from a timeless language, the iconography of humanity. They are communications worth meditating upon.Spider and Cross Gorget, ca. A.D. 1300, Fulton County, Illinois, Dickson Mounds Museum

Whether created by paranormal forces or through the efforts of contemporary "earth artists" who prefer to further controversy about their work.........these are still sacred symbols that exist on many layers of meaning. Mr. Silva is right; the origins of the "crop circle" are not as important as what its meaning for our time might be.

This symbol, with it's origins in the remains of the "mound builder" sites in south eastern U.S., somehow found it's way to Great Britain last summer. No one knows the exact significance of the spider and cross in the ornaments pictured above, but Spider Woman has an ubiquitous presence throughout the Americas. It's generally thought the "Spider and Cross" represents the Great Weaver (Creatrix)/Earth Mother, the cross on her back representing the union of the 4 directions, thus, balance or completion.

Spider Woman's origins go back as far as the Maya. The Spider Woman/Weaver Woman was a goddess of the Pre-Columbian Teotihuacan Maya in Mexico, discovered on the ancient murals there.* I see that I"m moving into a dissertation here, so I'll cut to the chase.

What meaning could this symbol have for us today?

Spider Woman, the Great Weaver, was also called Thought Woman ("Tse Che Nako" ) among Pueblo peoples. She brought all things into being with what she thought about, the "stories she spun about the world" - like the spider, she "spins the world into being" from her own substance. All things are connected upon the Great Web.....and this power to co-create, to "make the world with the stories we tell" she passed on to her Relations.**

To the Navajo (the Dine`), Grandmother Spider Woman is a wise guide whose teachings can be heard in the wind; but she will only offer instruction to those who have achieved a certain level of maturity or initiation. To the uninitiated or immature, she will appear only as an insignificant insect, her power and words unperceived. Spider Woman was responsible for bringing the people from the previous worlds into the new worlds in Hopi mythology.........in some stories, when the 3rd world ended in flood, she help the people to make boats and stepping stones to cross into the new world in safety and harmony.

It's worth noting that it is the "end" of the Hopi calendar as well as the Mayan (2012); the "4th World" is coming to a close. In each previous world, the breaking of balance, loss of harmony, greed and war brought about destruction and chaos. Here's from Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopi_mythology):

"Some contemporary writers tend to posit an absolute importance of the feminine to the Hopi ............In this interpretation, the Hopis traditionally saw the goddess Spider Woman as the creator, "Grandmother of the sun and as the great Medicine Power who sang the people into this fourth world we live in now.”
In other interpretations, Spider Woman is an intermediary between Creator (Tawa) and this plane of being. Generally, it is agreed that in each "previous world" the people fell from harmony, and had come to live contrary to Creator's plan (Tawa)....thus, the people

"were led (usually by Spider Woman) to the next higher world, with physical changes occurring both in the people in the course of their journey, and in the environment of the next world. In some stories, former worlds were then destroyed........whereas in others people were simply led away from the chaos which had been created by their actions." (Wikipedia)
I am trying to understand why I'm so struck by this crop circle, which, like so many others, occurred near old sacred sites of Great Britain, "power centers" of the ancients.**** Perhaps, in this "way of telling, way of praying", Spider Woman is again invoked, to help, to bring us again through the kiva, the "sipapu", the "Birth Channel" of the Mother Earth.....into the "5th World" yet to be.

**Although often referred to as the "Great Goddess" of Teotihuacan, anthropologist Karl Taube was the first to appropriately christen her the "Teotihuacan Spider Woman" in his article in the 1983 edition of The Journal of Latin American Lore after his evaluation of the murals found there.

*** "Tse Che Nako, Thought Woman,
the Spider, is sitting in her room now.
I'm telling you the story
She is thinking". ...........Keresan Pueblo Proverb

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Message from the Hopi Elders


You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell people that THIS is the hour.

And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The Elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the river,
keep our eyes open,
and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history,
we are to take nothing personally,
least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey
comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done
in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the Ones we have been waiting for.

Oraibi, Arizona
Hopi Nation