Sunday, May 22, 2022

La Mariposa

 

Here is a story I wrote a long time ago, at a time of great change.  I was in one of those liminal zones that can be so very transformative - I was living in a little trailer in the deserted grounds of the Arizona Renaissance Faire, months before it would open.  Just me, winter in the Sonoran Desert,  and my cat.  I had left my life in the East Coast, and had no idea, yet, where I would go next.  It had not revealed itself, the "direction of the road", and I was not ready to know yet anyway.  What I found that winter was the solitude and quietude I needed to open to a new life, and to bless and release the old one.   This little story came from that time..........

LA MARIPOSA 
by Lauren Raine (1998)


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.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

"The Four Guardians - Shields"



Inspired by Native American "Shields of Power",  I made these 4 leather sculptures to symbolize and invoke the  Guardians of the Directions:  North, South, East and West,  and the elemental Powers related to each Direction:  Earth, Air, Fire, Water.  I am not sure why I felt the need to make these leather sculptures, but I see now that, with so much loss due to ecological destruction, and climate change, these Powers need to be called upon to Protect the Mother, to Protect the great Hoop of life.    May they live inside of each of us.





 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Jennifer Berezon and Goddess Spirit Rising Conference 2013

I was there...............wonderful Conference.  This montage shows some of the participants,  Lydia Ruhle's wonderful Banners,  Kathy Jones who spoke about Mother World,  and of course Jennifer Berezon's Praises for the World.  Beautiful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzJ0ZdY8Fuc&ab_channel=GoddessSpirirtRising

Monday, May 9, 2022

To Stars

Photo by Mark Andrew Thomas

 

"Who wants to understand the poem must go to the Land of Poetry"

...... Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


To Stars


With age, I've learned to watch my feet.

I've become cautious of falls,

the honest frailty of bones

and equally fragile, the choices

found at every crossroad.


Time makes us bend.

We learn the habit

of looking down.


I was blessedly no where

just some where between 

between "here" and "there"

a truck stop off I-40

falling off the edge of the world

into a nameless desert town,

disappearing

into a sweet black halcyon midnight.


After a summer rain

wet, shining asphalt

the smell of diesel, and chaparral


(below me,  some where between

my feet and eternity) reflected, 

you made your puddled,

gracious descent:


luminous Orion,

and faithful Sirius, the dog star.

Antares, the scorpion's tail,

the Pleiades,

dancing in Indra's shining jewel net.


And the Big Dipper

offering,

offering, 

offering forever


Lauren Raine (2003)

Sunday, May 8, 2022

For Mother's Day: a Poem by Margaret Atwood

 

Girl and Horse 1928

 

You are younger than I am, you are

someone I never knew, you stand

under a tree, your face half-shadowed,

holding the horse by its bridle

Why do you smile? Can't you

see the apple blossoms falling around

you, snow, sun, snow, listen, the tree

dries and is being burnt, the wind

is bending, your body, your face

ripples like the water where did you go


But no, you stand there exactly

the same, you can't hear me forty

years ago, you were caught by light

and fixed in that secret

place where we live, where we believe

nothing can change, grow older.

 

(On the other side of the picture,

the instant is over, the shadow

of the tree has moved.

You wave

then turn and ride out of sight

through the vanished orchard,

still smiling

as though you did not notice)

 

 

Margaret Atwood

 

(photo is of my mother,  Florence Greene,  in 1927, at Griffiths Park in Los Angeles, Calif.)

Monday, May 2, 2022

A Synchronicity from 2011: "Feed and Plant and an Angel"

 

Sparrows and juncos, all hungry
they too are planters of trees, spreading seeds
of favorites among fences.  On the earth
closed to us as a book we cannot

yet read, the seeds, the bulbs, the eggs
of the fervid green year await release
Over them on February's cold table I spread
a feast.  Wings rustle like summer leaves.

Marge Piercy, "Available Light"

I've been thinking a lot about how Synchronicity/Guidance Non-Local and Non-Temporal inspiration might work,  which of course greater minds than mine have puzzled over and come to various elegant conclusions!  I guess what ultimately arises, for me, is the image of the "Medicine Basket",  the woven  Container of one's life,  light and dark strands, making a pattern and a vessel.  A vessel full of mystery.  

I find I look back a great deal these days, and have decided that is ok, that is appropriate, that is about both Grief and Gratitude.   I don't need to be "innovative" and "new".   My time of being "innovative" and "new" and "emerging" is probably over.   I need to learn to be wise, and to pay attention.  

So here is a post from almost exactly 11 years ago,  and I can't believe I forgot all about this synchronicity and brief but magical encounter.  I never forgot that illuminated morning conversation with a man whose name I never learned, or if I did, it's not remembered now.  I do know that in the several years afterwards when I did the show I looked for him, but never found him again, and learned that he was a well known storyteller, and that he had died in 2012.  But he remains in my heart, a passing Angel who left me a gift of Grace.


"Feed and Plant"
April 20, 2011


I've been having tantrums lately, about feeling isolated and alienated and unsure of where to go or what to do.  I share these feelings, with an increased intensity and frequency, with many others these days.  The river is running very fast now.  The river is running like a torrent now.

I also tend to feel that tantrums, as long as they don't hurt anyone or become collectively a war or a riot.............can be very useful.  Children have tantrums;  eventually they exhaust themselves, and sometimes the tantrum's end is about learning new boundaries and maturity.  Tantrums for grownups can also not only vent, but reveal.  We spend so much time in our heads, in the "should be, used to be, would be, could be" realm of experience, which seems real at the time but usually isn't even mildly useful to the what is...... and meanwhile, as a wise angel who briefly turned up recently to set me straight said - "There's the NOW, patiently watching, saying 'well, are you done yet?"

Change is the only certainty.  The NOW is. 

So I had something happen magically, that was profound for me.  Sometimes when these things happen, it's easy to say to yourself, "well, that's silly", but as that Angel ("Angelos", from the Greek, originally meant "messenger") reminded me, "you listen, so you noticed."

I was facing a three day weekend at the Renfair in Los Angeles, selling my masks alone now, and early in the morning went to my car to open the door and hit the freeway, costume and lunch in hand.  Tucked into the handle of the door was a piece of dirty white paper.   When I pulled it out, I saw that it was folded into one of those paper airplanes that children make.  And when I unfolded it, I saw that it had two words, block printed in pencil in a childish hand, one on each side of the paper.  On one side it said "FEED", on the other "PLANT".

"Wow, that's really strange" I thought, and tossed it aside.  Why would some kid put it there?  And on I went to the Faire.


As I was setting up in the blissful quiet before the stampede of merrymakers,  a participant, dressed in a nobleman's costume, with a great burgundy  hat against and a white head of hair, came by and we had one of those brief conversations that can seem divinely channelled.  He affirmed the value of my work,  and the continuity we participate in as creators, whether we remember that or not.   All the people who interact with my masks, all the people who now make masks and wear them.   I needed to hear that.  And   he also reminded me of the inevitability of change, the suffering that comes from not accepting the "what is" of the moment.  Tantrums we can have, or very real grief - but we still have to get up, open up, learn,  grow, and deal.


I have a wrapped quartz crystal - on the first day I gave an extra mask to a man who didn't have much money and wanted one for his partner.  He came back later and presented me with the crystal, which he had mined himself in Arkansas. What a splendid gift!  My angelic friend (I don't know his name) immediately noticed my crystal, and said it was to help me.  So the conversation led into the morning's synchronicity, my little "paper airplane".  I think, had I not encountered this person, I would have completely forgotten about it.

He commented that it was "Written in the hand of a child learning his or her letters, in pencil.  Basic.  Not like the abstractions we "adults" make.  Like the work of real farmers is basic, the ground that supports us.  Without their labor, without the alchemy and generosity of the land and the farmers, none of this" (he made an expansive gesture indicating the vast urban complex called Los Angeles we were standing more or less in the center of) "none of this would exist.  The farmers and land sustain it all.  All the "higher" sophistication of our civilization falls apart when the land fails to care for us, and the true farmers, not those chemical factories, but true farmers..........aren't understood."

I might add that I thought it was Earth Day, and I'd somehow forgotten. I was wrong, but I think that gives further weight to his observation. "Feed and Plant is a profound message for all of us.  Especially now."  And then we shook hands, wished each other a great day, and parted ways.  My energy had completely changed, and I stood there with my mouth open.

"FEED" and "PLANT".   All of my  alienation, loneliness, lack of purpose, all those grand complexities...... if Angels deliver the occasional message in the form of  grubby paper planes, and then send an occasional human representative just to make sure attention is paid - well. that's otherwise called Grace.   I may not be a farmer, but we can all be farmers, literally by planting and growing even if it's a window box, getting our hands in the Earth, connecting with the alchemy and gift of the Earth.  As a universal message, it should be Earth Day everyday.

We all can, and do, "plant".  As an artist, I can plant beauty, inspiration, I can encourage others to do the same.  I can recognize the "trees" I'm planting, and have planted,  in my life.  Feed yourself and others with what sustains and nourishes.  Plant seeds that will feed the future, plant seeds that will grow into trees.  It doesn't need to be complicated at all.  Even sparrows do it.




Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Prayer of Saint Francis

 


PRAYER OF SAINT FRANCIS

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.  

O Divine Master, 

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.


The Mosiac above is  dedicated to St. Francis, and was created by Tucson artist Ginny Moss Rothwell.  

"St. Francis lived his life with joy and appreciation for all things created.   I had an artistic vision of St. Francis surrounded by the animals and birds of the Sonoran desert here in the Southwest. I wanted to show the calm and peace the animals might feel while in the presence of Francis. The beautiful Sabino Canyon and the blue Arizona sky are the background of my mosaic, and I made the tiles so they would  have the texture of rock and vegetation.

I painted the tiles with images of my birds and my lizard “Marco” using my photographs. They are frequent visitors to my garden. My inspiration for the Bobcats and the Coyote were from amazing wildlife photos by Sam Angevine, www.samangevine.com. He has allowed me to use his images for my models. The roadrunners in the foreground, “Bella” and “Edward”, are feathered friends of artist Geri Niedermiller,http://gekkosworkshop.5thelement.com .

    Ginny Moss Rothwell   www.mossrothwellfineart.com  

Monday, April 25, 2022

New Mask Inspired by the Surmis People of Ethiopia

I loved the photography I saw recently of Surmis tribes of Eastern Ethiopia.  They paint their faces, indeed, their entire bodies (they also practice scarification)  and create elaborate headpieces as well, usually from foliage or flowers.  Ethiopia actually has many different tribes and ethnic groups,  which share a certain amount of cultural exchange, but also have very different languages, customs, and religious traditions.  The Surmis have been affected in the past century by evangelical Christianity,  although they retain some of their earlier spiritual and folk traditions.



I wanted to make this mask, inspired by their beautiful faces and head dressing, as a Surmis (or Suris) Spring Fertility Goddess.  But alas, I was not able to find any such Goddess recorded in what little information is available online about their traditional religion.  All I could find is that they do have some practices of certain women (shamans?  Clan leaders?)  becoming "possessed" by spirits (Ancestral spirits?  Elementals spirits?) in order to be Oracles.  

So I decided to call this mask "The Spring Surmis Oracle".  I have no other name I can come up with for it.  For more information about the Surmis or Suris people:  https://www.atlasofhumanity.com/suri



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Butterflies


Here is a whole series of paintings (they're small and displayed all together) that I totally forgot about, even though I look at them every single day, because they are mounted in my living room wall.    I have a wonderful book,  BUTTERFLY, the photographs of  Thomas Marent, which I bought in 2008.  It is one of those rare books I keep on a table to look at when I need an eyeful of wonder and beauty.  My little paintings are from that book......each one is really a meditation on Mr. Marent's photo,  forcing me to really see them.  

I first began painting the butterflies for my brother, who was in a coma for over 6 years before he died.......the metaphor of the butterfly, the transformation of the soul, was important.  Now I just enjoy them for myself, although the metaphor, and the living truth of such amazing creatures.....is more important than ever.


 












Monday, April 18, 2022

A Look Back: Art Reveals the "Oracular"

 

Here's a post I found from 2016,  which I had completely forgotten about, but which reminded me  again of the "threads" that wind through our lives,  the warp and weft that weave life themes together without being hindered by time.  Perhaps,  in exploring myths as a visual vocabulary,  it is about contacting the intelligences of the "archetypes", which indeed do transcend personal history.  I can't explain or justify that comment, but there it is.

"Art as Oracular Process"  (2016)

This started out as a journal, but somehow it's become quite political, and I feel at least today like pulling it back to it's original introspective intent.

Here's a very old drawing I found, which of course I completely forgot about.  I did it when I was just 20 years old.   It's not particularly good, but from the perspective of 45 years later, it reads to me like a prophetic page in the book of my life, and the reason I'm sharing this little story is not so much about the content of my personal story, but the way it illustrates the seamlessness and timelessness that we can touch when we are in creative (and mythic) mind space, which is also where the "oracular" can perhaps manifest.

There are themes that run like threads through the personal saga......

I didn't know much when I was 20 years old  but I loved to draw.  I had not yet encountered feminism, let alone eco-feminism, Goddess spirituality, patriarchy, the Chalice and the Blade,  Lilith, etc. In fact, most of that was still underground everywhere,  and yet to evolve into the public eye.  Those forces were fermenting.  

I had encountered the story of St. George and the Dragon, which is what this drawing was supposed to be about.  

At the time I was living with my first boyfriend, and the face of George is clearly him!  I still remember his angry, bullying face.   He used to hit and humiliate me,  and after I left him I began the psychological quest to  selfhood that most women have to make when leaving such a relationship..........back then the path to understanding and empowerment was not so clear, certainly not so articulated, nor was it so available.  I am fortunate that I lived in Northern California, where the second wave of feminism was making its mark, and "consciousness raising groups" were becoming available, along with the early women's shelters.  

The face of "St. George" was, although I had no such language  for it, the face of male  domination, which was personally playing out at the time  in my own life and indoctrination. 

But looking at this strange drawing,  what was the "Dragon" all about?  It's curious to me, that drawing.  What a sad face that dragon has, not really fierce at all!  And it rises from depths in the earth.  Behind George is a barren kind of landscape, but behind the dragon, rising from the dark as the dragon seems to rise from the below, are  all kinds of foliage, plants, flowers, the abundance and vitality of nature. 

It was years later that I learned about the symbolism of earlier Goddess cultures, the importance of the snake/dragon  as a universal symbol of the Goddess - Earth Mother, the Shakti, the Kundalini force, and the moving forces of nature.  I think of the weaving dragons or snakes  represented extensively both in Celtic art and in Chinese art.  Perhaps the "slaying of the dragon", like "St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland" was an intuiting of the loss of an earlier pagan reverence for the earth and the divine feminine.  

 This intuition was, I see, very appropriate for the world as it is now, a world striving to deal with climate crisis, and a religious mythos that has erased the Divine Feminine. 

And who is the falling winged woman who seems to be part of the dragon? I think she was supposed to be the "maiden" being rescued by "St. George", at least in my conscious mind which was not much versed in mythology.  But a strange maiden she is indeed!  Snakes seem to encircle her as well as her merging with the dragon.........and she does not seem at all happy about St. George turning up.  In fact, she looks quite tragically sad.  

Demeter,   shown with wheat, fruits, and snakes.

From my perspective now, I would say that what we have here is no "maiden" in need of rescuing, rather, she is  really Lilith, the Goddess banished, along with the Earth Dragon or snake in the Tree of Life (Lilith is often represented as a snake in the Garden of Eden) by the self-righteous sword of good old St. George the patriarchal warrior.  



Nu Wa,  primal Chinese Earth Mother/Goddess of nature, shown as half woman and half snake. 
 Often she is shown entwined with her husband, who is also represented as half man, half snake.


I don't know if we can all say that we have (or haven't) "found our life work".  I don't know that I believe in "destiny" which seems awfully egotistic if not downright arrogant as ideas go.  I believe we can have a number of "life works", among them things we have to learn to do our soul making, and these might just as aptly be  called "life themes".  But looking back at touchstones in my own life, I see that the Goddess has always been with me. If I contributed to anything significant in my life, it was my participation in the great wave of women (and men) who have sought to bring about the Return of the Goddess, with all that means, from women's rights  to uncovering the deeply buried past and understanding the lost and buried mythos and overlay hidden underneath the veneer of  patriarchal religion culture. 

It is time for Lilith to return from the wilderness and take her rightful place in the fragmented soul of humanity.  And it is time for the Dragon snake to rise,  and be honored again, instead of driven down, like Lilith, into the underground.  Or "slain".  Which is a negation of the importance and meaning  of this symbol so sacred to our ancestors anyway......... remember, snakes shed their skins.  They don't die, because they are ever  reborn!



Now that I think about it,  the Great Snake wove it's way into my imagination in ways that I did not know  many years later as well, in my 40's.   Inspired by Riane Eisler's Chalice and the Blade, I wrote, with my ex-husband, a story that evolved into a little novel called "The Song of Medusa" (I have posted the entire novel on my website, and it can be read for free).  

I knew quite a lot by that time about the Goddess, and Snakes.  The novel featured an ancient priestess/shaman who went into caverns to "sing", which was a trance that enabled her to prophesy and offer healing for her people at auspicious times of the year, as she communed with the spirit of the Earth in the caverns.  She had endured a difficult initiation to become a Shaman - as the novel opens she says "I was given to the Snake, and I lived".  In later days, after the destruction of her people,  she goes to Delphi to become one of the Oracles there. 

 
                                                    PREFACE
 
                                                 And perhaps a tree
                                                 standing in the forest
                                                 fills its leaves
                                                 with the breath
                                                 of the World
                                                 and we listen
                                                 and we are not alone.

What I did not know, nor did my Ex, was that the Oracle of Delphi went into her trance by sitting above a fissure in the Earth,  in caverns, and by breathing in the fumes was able to prophesy.  In fact,  originally Delphi was dedicated to Gaia, the First Mother of Greek mythology.  And the Oracle of Delphi was also called ......  "the Pythoness"!




Wednesday, April 6, 2022

EARTHSPEAK - Video Presentation for ASWM

 My Presentation for the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, made into a  video.........

https://youtu.be/cetufD32xfY


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Why I Named My Computer Penelope

 

"I was a hidden treasure and desired to be known:
therefore I created the creation in order to be known."
-- Rumi

I have a new laptop computer, which I love!  It's so fast, compared to the former model, although I retired that little computer with gratitude for years of service.  I have named my new computer "Penelope".  Penelope, the "wife of Odysseus" who sat weaving and unweaving a shroud until he should return,  derives her mythic name from most ancient origins, origins that preceed even the ancient Greek stories of the Odyssey.  The name is a name of Weaving and Weaver and Woven.....it means "with a Web on Her face".  Probably this ancient name was originally given to a Goddess of the Fates,  weaving and unweaving the lives of men and women.  It also may have been an honorific name for a Priestess/Oracle, one who in her prophesies "Saw  with a Web on her face".    

It is easy to see the diminishment and co-option of the powers of the Goddess, and hence women, in the fate of poor Penelope,  no longer weaving the lives of men, but simply waiting for her husband to return and save her from a bunch of predatory men!  One of my favorite contemporary renderings of the story of Penelope is, of course, from Margaret Atwood, the PENELOPIAD * .  As the wry and often tongue in cheek Penelope says,  "Now that all the others have run out of air, it's my turn to do a little story-making."

To return to internet savvy computers named in honor of  Penelope,  I thus like to think that some of the spirit of the Oracle, the winding and visionary Pythoness, can come through this particular "Web" that, daily, my  own face is emersed in.  

After all, the "Web" may be the most important living Metaphor for our time.  The  truth of our inter-dependancy and inter-connection with all of life is not only a metaphysical discussion, but, through Physics and Astronomy, Ecology and Earth Science, Consciousness studies and  the evolving Global Culture and our Climate  Crisis which we share with all life......we are all One.  All one in the Web of life.  I personally believe the next human evolution is to fully grasp that and create a culture that embodies that truth.  Can we do it?  I don't know.  

 "I believe that all coincidences are messages from the unmanifest – they are like angels without wings, so to speak, sudden interruptions of life by a deeper level"...... Deepak Chopra

Recently I was interviewed by a woman who is creating a documentary about Synchronicity, something I've written about a great deal in the Blog over the years.  One thing I noted in remembering my own synchronicities was that many of them occured while I was travelling, or in situations or environments that took me out of the familiar containers of my life.     The "In-between", liminal Interstices of life seem to be where there are breakthroughs into, what I like to think of, as the Great Web.  Synchronicities are among those breakthroughs, breakthroughs that can be necessary for growth or evolution.

 "There are references in the Kabala to what is called "breaking the shell". The mind set of "what you believe" is the shell, and (sometimes it's necessary) to break the shell. You have to fall apart sometimes to be put back together; because that's the only way you can be reconstructed. You cannot veneer these teachings on top of who you think or imagine who you are. " 
...........David Jeffers**

Physicist F. David Peat suggested in his book SYNCRONICITY - The Bridge Between Mind and Matter *** that syncronicities are breakthroughs that hint of the deeper, integral nature of reality.  

Carl Jung believed that Synchronicities were always meaningful to those who experienced them.  

"Syncronicities provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and external, objective realities. Within a synchronicity, patterns of external events mirror an inner experience. To distinguish synchronicities from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they must always involve "meaningful coincidence" that lie beyond any explanation involving causal links and connections. In this way syncronicities reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material.".......David Peat

How are we linked, really? What threads are we throwing out and finding resonance with, at any given moment? What "threads of the Great Weaver" within those moments of the Interstices, become visible?  


***"Synchronicities are those mysterious and inexplicable coincidences that occasionally erupt into a life. At times we may feel that those around us are confined to a narrow world of logic and physical law, a world that admits no hint of mystery. This can give rise to a feeling of isolation within an indifferent universe and an increasing complex society whose members are reduced to ciphers. Synchronicities, by contrast, offer a doorway into a very different world. A world that also has resonances with the deep insights that have been revealed by the new sciences.

True synchronicities are more than mere chance occurrences. They are characterized by a sense of meaning and numiniousness. They provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and external, objective realities. Within a synchronicity, patterns of external events mirror an inner experience; likewise dreams and fantasies may seem to flood over into the external world. To distinguish synchronicities from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they must always involve "meaningful coincidence" that lie beyond any explanation involving causal links and connections. In this way reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material.

Synchronicities also act as markers of time, moments of transformation within a life that occur in chairos, when “the time is right”. Thus, while causality ties us to our past, synchronicity can link us to our future. They can also act as significant encounters when a door is opened through which we can pass. One notable encounter took place between the psychologist Carl Jung and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. This meeting of people from two very different worlds led to Pauli’s series of dreams which caused him to explore the relationship between psyche and matter and believe that the time was at hand for the "resurrection of spirit” within the world of matter.

David Peat

 

** David Jeffers, Interview with Lauren Raine, 2001 
 https://threadsofspiderwoman.blogspot.com/2010/11/lilith-as-archetypal-guide.html 

 

* THE PENELOPAID by Margaret Atwood,  198 pages
Published October 5th 2005 by Canongate U.S. 
The Penelopaid has also been produced as a wonderful Play:  https://youtu.be/X9Q2m_CZ5nc