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Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

It’s a great tale told of the Three Wise Men (astrologer-priests) and their gifts; and the star they followed—conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in its evening star phase. In reality, the gifts symbolized spiritual teachings:

Frankincense and myrrh are plant resins, and both have a long history of use as incense. Incense has been used for religious purposes for more than 3,000 years The Maya of Mexico have used resins as incense for at least 2,500 years. The principal use was religious and aimed at establishing interactions with deities and ancestors.

Gold is symbolic of the eternal; the divine spark (starlight) within all things—trees, animals, and so-forth (sentient beings).

Frankincense symbolizes power, sovereignty, and was associated with the masculine energy of the heavens and of life whereas Myrrh symbolizes a feminine and nurturing essence, or energy, which is linked with the earth.

In other words, Gold symbolizes the One eternal Source of all creation, the Absolute while Frankincense and Myrrh represent the Relative: spirit – matter, life – death; beginning – end.

The Winter Solstice, the second night of Yule, is the time from our perspective when the sun seems to stand still. For approximately three days, it appears that the sun does not move. The Winter Solstice marks the time of the longest dark and the shortest light. Symbolically, it portrays, on this darkest of nights, the goddess as the “great mother” giving birth to the young-hero god—the sun god. This is the symbolic birth of the messenger of light. It is the darkest time of the year, the time of the longest night, but there is always the everlasting promise and hope of the return of light. And watching over this eternal process of the virgin birth (Virgo on the eastern horizon) is the Sun Angel—the Archangel Mikael.

This is a time of holly and mistletoe. Both symbolize fertility – the mistletoe berries are white, representing the semen of the god, and the holly berries are blood red, symbolizing the menstrual blood of the goddess.

Decorations during this seasonal celebration are excellent symbols of spiritual truths. The following are just a few:

  • Candles and Lights – remembrance of the gift of fire and light and the divine spark (starlight) within.
  • Mistletoe (seed of the divine) and Holly symbolizing and honoring the faëries and “hidden ones.”
  • Evergreen Wreaths – Symbolize eternal life, immortality and the wheel of time, add pine cones, which symbolize the pineal gland as well male and female and the DNA of life; add mistletoe and holly with berries and you have the sacred semen of the male and the sacred blood of the female.
  • Evergreen Swags – Symbolize eternal life and when put into the shape of the serpent with lights symbolizes death and rebirth, reincarnation, and wakefulness to these truths. It’s important to put a swag over the threshold of your home if possible.
  • Yule Log – a phallic symbol – newborn sun can be decorated with holly, mistletoe, and evergreens to represent the intertwining of the god and goddess. The log may be cut into 12 pieces and burnt each night of Yule. Additionally, on the night of Yule, carve a symbol of your hopes for the coming year into the log. Burn the log to release its power. It can be decorated with burnable red ribbons of natural fiber and dried holly leaves.
  • Julbock or “Yule Goat” was the bringer of gifts to the household. Symbolically represents the goats of Þórr and the gifting of resurrection (rebirth).
  • Evergreen Christmas Tree – Symbolizes the Tree of Life/Light – needs to be alive, honored and lighted and decorated symbolizing the joy of life.

Symbolically the Tree of Life is the central axis of creation. Microcosmically, each one of us is born with this central tree (axis mundi) of light/life (spine), which shortly after becomes the tree of knowledge—of duality—good and evil. Our ever-born quest is to return to our original tree of knowledge of oneness (light/life) within us – our spine. This is an excellent time to dedicate or re-dedicate one’s life to the divine quest of awakening.

 

 

 

The Return of Light

The chill of winter’s embrace enfolds us in an ever-darkening time of anticipation and joy. In all of us, it seems to stir up a caldron’s brew of memories—of times past and possibly of things and moments no longer. The earth waits and waits, as do we, for the promised return of the light. It is a time to feel—to be aware of the fertile dark soil of potentiality that lies within us, as well as the dark, the dark that does not serve us and the dark that needs to be released.

This cycle of light and dark repeats endlessly but each cycle is intrinsically slightly different. Time is cyclical, not linear. There is the past and the present that some indigenous cultures refer to as the non-past. But there is no future only potential ones based on the actions of the non-past influenced by the past.

This is a time of peace and joy—joy as the sun, now far away in the south, begins to travel north at the winter solstice, bringing the wintry earth a new promise of light and warmth.

On the night of the Winter Solstice (December 21/22), the sun reaches its southernmost point. Were it to remain in the south, it would mean death for living beings in the northern hemisphere. Thus we greet the returning sun as a “savior.” On the night when it begins its northward journey, the constellation Virgo, the celestial virgin, appears on the eastern horizon at midnight and is therefore, astrologically, the ascendant. This coordinates with the myth of the various light-bringing saviors of humanity, immaculately conceived and born from a virgin. Later, the sun symbolically sacrifices its life on the cross when it passes over the equinoctial point at the spring equinox, an apparent descent as seen from the southern hemisphere and an ascent in the northern sky.

Historically and spiritually, this is the month (at the time of the winter solstice) of the mythical birth of the light-bringers. These are the messengers of love and light—the hero-shamans that first brought the knowledge of the fire of the heavens, the knowledge of the light in the darkness, to all of humanity. These heroic messengers of light are born of the Virgin—the constellation Virgo. In the heavens Virgo is a Y-shaped group of stars resembling a cup that just happens to rise in the Eastern sky at this most spiritual time of the year. This is the mythic Holy Grail, the Cup of Light, the Bowl of Love that is Light—all the key to the metaphoric message of these virgin light-bringers—that the sun, the spiritual sun—the divine, is contained within all beings and all living things. This is the message that institutionalized religions do not want humanity to hear: that each one of us, like the light-bringers, is also a virginal vessel of love and light. No inborn sin here, just intrinsic love and light.

The winter solstice presents us with the opportunity to honor and to reveal (revelation—lifting the veil) this prime mystery of life. This is the time to honor these heroic messengers and to pay homage to the metaphoric moment of their “virgin birth” (based on the positioning of the constellation Virgo not on an actual physical birth—the actual birth of the prophets and messengers such as Jesus was late summer, early fall under the astrological sign of the Virgin-Virgo). In addition, it is the occasion to celebrate the return of the light foretelling the truth of eternal love and life and to honor and practice the message of the returning heroes—the light-bringers.

The return of light to a darkened world, metaphorically as well as one of reality, is reflected in the myth of the Returning Hero:

A legendary hero is usually the founder of something—the founder of a new age, the founder of a new religion, the founder of a new city, the founder of a new way of life. In order to found something new, one has to leave the old and go in quest of the seed idea, a germinal idea that will have the potentiality of bringing forth that new thing.[i]

The cultural hero, and his return, is one of the most enduring as well as important cross-cultural archetypal prophetic themes known to humankind. Its importance is due to its message of hope and renewal. The meaning stays the same; only the names of the hero change. The best known returning hero is Jesus. Similarly, the Hopi prophecies speak of their spiritual hero Pahana, the purifier or the elder white brother, while the early Hawaiians worshipped Lono as their savior and lord of peace. The returning cultural hero for the Incas was Viracocha whereas the Mesoamerican prophet or cultural hero was known as Quetzalcóatl—the morning star. And to the Maya, he was known as Kukulkán, the Mayan name for Quetzalcóatl—the Feathered Serpent. Kukulkán was known as “god of the powerful voice,” a resurrection deity and master of the four winds.

The enduring teaching and message of each returning hero was focused on achieving a balance between spirit and matter with the additional knowledge that we are all a child of God, divine as well as human. To the returning hero, separateness is the illusion; oneness is the reality—all existences interpenetrate radically non-dualistically (non-dual interpenetration – Oneness).

Symbolically, the return of the hero represents the spiritual concept of the infinite cycle of death and re-birth. But it as well represents the return of light or enlightenment to a world void of love and a humanity that has darkened once again – so true today. The religious histories of many cultures also portray the morning star, the planet Venus, in this same emblematic role of representing the returning hero.

In this time of darkness anticipating the return of light, what inner potential needs to be manifested and what dysfunctional darkness needs to be released? Better to consider these than focusing on consuming some stupid stuff that you probably don’t really need.

[i] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, 136.

The Beast Within

It is best to discover the roots from which dysfunction sprouts and bears diseased fruit. The rampant abuse, the past hidden sickness—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, morally and ethically, the tragic earth shattering for many, and still an unknown number, human beings with the largest abused and belittled being female, has its roots in an ancient indigenous teaching of the Beast Within:

Jesus said: “Blessed is the lion which the man eats and the lion will become man; and cursed is the man whom the lion eats and the lion will become man.” Gospel of Thomas

Metaphorically, our lion (power and fierceness), now tamed, has not eaten the lamb but has lain down with the lamb (compassion and gentleness). The lion and lamb are “one.” With the focus of our lion power now on compassionately creating and not furiously destroying, we are able to journey into the unknown with gentle power and face our fears with compassion. (Do You Like Jesus–Not the Church?)

“The beast within, ignored or turned negative, is the root cause of the seemingly ever-present abuse issues found within all levels and stratums of society… The untamed beast is literally ignorance running rampant… Ignorance is solely a materialistic dualistic view of life… This ignorance results in arrogance and arrogant behavior. This arrogance, in turn, feeds the untamed beast. This is the very same arrogance that turns a blind eye to all forms of abuse, such as sexual abuse…” Do You Like Jesus—Not the Church? By JC

And there you have it – why people in Alabama, such as the female Governor, will still vote for Roy Moore just because he is a Republican.

This is an ancient cross-cultural concept referred to as “the beast within.” The beast is most commonly portrayed as either a lion, a wolf, or a jaguar. It symbolizes the untamed nature of our primitive or hindbrain, where instincts such as survival, dominance, and mating are located. Metaphorically then, our beast is an inner quality that is intimately connected with our issues of safety, security, survival, and sex. All humans have a fierceness and ferociousness within them—the beast within. Consciously, many people ignore this quality of self; many fear it, while others deny it totally. But our inner beast is neutral. It is not, by its nature, solely a positive (constructive) or a negative (destructive) quality. One way to think of our beast is as the sum total of our strength, willpower, and sexual potency. These are important qualities that we need in our lives in order to be fully human, fully healthy, and fully energetic.

However, these qualities and others may be turned negative or destructive through such things and emotions as denial, madness, anger, extreme anger or rage, substance abuse, revenge, envy, hate, jealousy, and fear.[i]  Add to this list the issues of power, greed, and control over others, and it’s easy to see the potential of unleashing the dysfunctional and destructive dark qualities of our beast.

Too often we forget that without the dark, there would be no light. Our lives are usually organized into a separation between the symbolic light and symbolic dark, with the light held up as our ultimate goal in spiritual and religious life. The true secret that most never realize is that light and dark are equal components that interpenetrate as one reality. True spiritual and religious teachings are based on the acknowledgment of the interpenetrative aspect of dark and light within us and then the growth of our light or the divine aspect of our soul from the creative darkness of our humanity.

This is not the Jungian concept of the “shadow” but the actual and physical reality of dualistic concepts, such as light and dark, spirit and matter, that interpenetrate. The dualistic light and dark is the illusion, as our individual sense of reality (of separateness or duality) is an extension of the illusion of our basic core sense perceptions. Our eyes perceive separation between us and all things viewed. This constant reinforcement tricks us into thinking and believing that we are separate and an island unto ourselves.

The reality is that we are not separate at all but deeply interconnected.

Similarly, our symbolic light and dark are not separate but interpenetrate to define our wholeness as individuals. Additionally, the two sides of our inner darkness also interpenetrate. There is no separate shadow, just a darkness that is both creative and destructive at the same time.

The “shadow” is considered an archetype by Jungians[ii] and connected with the unconscious, but Jung advanced no connection to physiological reality. With the concept of the dark, there is a connection to the body—testosterone. This hormone is our bodily source of physical strength, willpower, and sexual potency. Testosterone is the source of our beast within.

This important hormone is made in large amounts by the testicles. But testosterone is not limited solely to men. Women produce testosterone in their ovaries, even though it is only about one-tenth of what a male produces, just as a male produces a small amount of the female hormone estrogen. Additionally, both men and women produce a small amount of testosterone in their adrenal glands, which are the source of our fight-or-flight mechanism—the power of our beast. But “the modern, technological world gives us few positive outlets for this energy, and yet the pressures of our lives are constantly causing our bodies to send us hormonal messages to fight or flee.”

The beast within, ignored or turned negative, is the root cause of the seemingly ever-present abuse issues found within all levels and stratums of society. Abuse is not solely limited to physical actions. The untamed beast is literally ignorance running rampant. Ignorance, not to be equated to educational level or intelligence, is solely a materialistic dualistic view of life, which results in a spiritually unawakened consciousness. This ignorance then inflates and protects the unhealthy ego’s sense of self-survival, resulting in arrogance and arrogant behavior. This arrogance, in turn, feeds the untamed beast. This is the very same arrogance that turns a blind eye to all forms of abuse, such as sexual abuse, especially if reporting or stopping the abuse would threaten the person’s external power or position in the world.

The expanded teaching is to be found within my latest book: Do You Like Jesus–Not the Church?

[i] Abuse, physical or sexual, is a behavior of the destructive side of the beast, which in some cases may have been triggered as a result of the person’s own experience of being abused as a child.

[ii] “Jung appeared to be undecided in his own mind about the question of the ontological status of the archetypes (see e.g., 1968d [1936], 58; see also Dourley, 1993); and this state of affairs has led to considerable controversy. But I believe that the ambiguity was necessitated by Jung’s inability to scientifically reconcile his conviction that the archetypes are at once embodied structures and bear the imprint of the divine; that is, the archetypes are both structures within the human body, and represent the domain of spirit. Jung’s intention was clearly a unitary one, and yet his ontology seemed often to be dualistic, as well as persistently ambiguous, and was necessarily so because the science of his day could not envision a nondualistic conception of spirit and matter.

“Jung’s dualism is apparent in his distinction between the archetypes and the instincts which required for him a polarization of the psyche into those products derived from matter and those derived from spirit. He imagined the psyche as the intersection at the apex of two cones, one of spirit and the other of matter (1969a [1946], 215)” (Charles D. Laughlin,

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_10_3_laughlin.pdf).

Feeding the Spirits

This is my first post since April as I have been finishing our memoirs of this world and the Otherworld due out early spring 2018.

At this time of the year in addition to the “Day of the Dead,” the Northwest Coast “smoke (long) houses” open for their winter dance season. Connected with the openings is the ceremonial act of “feeding the spirits” known as a burning.

A burning is a timeless and most important ceremony that actually involves cooking food and then burning the food so that the substance and energy of it is taken into the Otherworld. This type of ceremony honoring the gods, goddess, and ancestors by a burnt offering is ancient in form and can be traced as far back as the Egyptians. “The funeral custom is almost universal for the mortuary meal to be made to feed the spirits of the departed, and communion with the ancestral spirits was an object of the totemic eucharist. The sacrifices offered to the dead, the burial rites and funerary ceremonies, generally imply the existence of a living consciousness to which the piteous appeal was made.”[i]

Feeding the spirits in the Norse-Germanic tradition was called a blót that consisted of animal sacrifice. As we all know, the destructive incursion of Christianity into Norse-Germanic lands decimated indigenous religious beliefs and practices. Even though this was the case, their practices and ceremonies continued, shall we say, underground for unknown generations. Eventually, any trace of the ceremonies such as blót and the oral transmission of conducting it were lost to the passage of time. To reconstruct these ceremonies would be near impossible and would be foolish to attempt to replicate one such ceremony such as a blót.

A ceremonial burnt offering is also recorded in the Pentateuch, the Old Testament, in the story of Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham is supposed to take his son into the mountains and offer him as a burnt offering to God. At the last moment, God sends an angel to stop him from sacrificing his son. And in the stead, provides a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in the place of his son. This story does point out a sad fact of history where at certain times and in certain cultures, humans have become the sacrificial food of the gods through the corruption of this most sacred ceremony of honoring God and all the unseen reflections of God.

Of course the corruption of this ceremonial practice extends not only to the cultures in the past that have used the deaths of humans as their “food” for the gods but is present today in the Catholic Church rite of communion where the “spiritually blind” participants eat a wafer symbolic of the body of Jesus and drink wine representing his blood.

Many times it is the “returning cultural hero” who brings a new message and method of feeding the Otherworld. Such a person was Quetzalcóatl who brought wisdom as well as peace, knowledge and equality to the people. In his wake, he had substituted a burning, or a gifting to the spirit-world of quail, rabbits, snakes and butterflies, for the priestly controlled brutal feeding of the gods—the blood sacrifice of human beings.

The knowledge and power to conduct burnings was orally passed-on to Sher and me by the late Mom and Vince Stogan who were the revered spiritual healers of the Coast Salish–Musqueam Indian Band. Conducting a burning is very stressful to say the least. There are many tales to be told of burnings, which fly in the face of accepted scientific fact. Since this knowledge was and still is orally transmitted, I can only reveal a few things. Before we open the ceremony by calling in the spirits, I paint myself and my wife with red paint, symbolic of blood. Three plates of food are always required: for the ancient ones, the spirits of the land, and most importantly, the forgotten ones.

In addition to the opening of spiritual seasons such as the opening of the “smoke (long) houses” in the Pacific Northwest for the winter dance season, burnings may be performed for openings and closings including but not limited to weddings, funerals, cleansings of homes and land (the exorcising of spirits that are causing problems), and memorials.

[i] Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt, 159.

Return to a Green Philosophy

With forgiveness our seeds take root and produce the vines that through divine love bear flowers and fruit… with peace and harmony, we tend the flowers and pick the fruit, and with oneness we eat the fruit and share with all others as brothers and sisters. –Rev. Dr. JC Husfelt (1997)

Have you ever taken the time to go out into nature, away from human encroachment, and just sit on the earth and feel the beauty and love surrounding you, and if you let it, existing within you? You have no other reason than to just be part of nature—no smartphones or tablets, no hiking from point to point, but just you and the Great Mother, seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, and even tasting the essence of the kingdom.

When was the last time you viewed the miracle of sunrise, the wonder of sunset, or the magical rise of the moon in its fullness, reminding us of the interpenetration of light within dark? Have you ever been in awe of the darkness of a new moon, knowing that all growth is born out of darkness? When are you going to awaken to the paradise spread before you?

When I talk about Mother Nature, I’m referring not only to the earth but to the whole of the seen and unseen universe. Mother Nature is wondrous, magical, and a miracle of creation. The universe as Mother Nature is a great concept to embrace. It expands our concern and consciousness for the well-being of all things out to the stars.

The superiority of humans over nature is an entrenched mindset of our culture. This philosophy can only result in a separation mentality from the essential paradise that has provided, and so far still provides, humanity with food, shelter and beauty. Why do so many go along with this separation paradigm? How blind can the majority be when “it is as true today as it was in those ancient times, dimly recalled by legend, that Nature can bestow upon human beings great wisdom and knowledge.”[i]

As a society and culture, our separation from nature underlies many of the problems and ills we face today, from climate change to the worldwide abuse and second-class citizenship of women. Being separate from nature, the keys to the kingdom remain hidden, buried beneath layers of church and institutional patriarchal rule.

On this Earth Day change and transformation are needed. A return to a green philosophy is needed. This is an egalitarian philosophy of humanity’s partnership with the seen and unseen things of the earth and nature—a green philosophy.

Furthermore, society has lost many of the values treasured by past indigenous cultures, such as a partnership with nature, truth telling, and elder/ancestor respect and honor. We need to discover meaning in life—not accumulate money and material things. The equality of men and women as well as the equality of all things—as all have the starlight/divine spark within them—needs to be reinstated. These and other lost values need to be reinstated throughout this earth. Nature needs to be respected, loved and cared for by humanity. We need to be partners in relationship with nature, not its stewards.

Listen, Look and Learn

Life doesn’t occur inside the bubble anymore but inside a box! Science and organized religion separated us from nature, but now, technology has separated us from not only nature but each other. The illusion is connectivity, but the reality is isolation—we are boxes unto ourselves. When was the last time you had a conversation with someone heart to heart and eye to eye that lasted more than thirty minutes? When was the last time you sat and listened to the wind blowing through the trees while watching a bee settle its love on a flower? When was the last time you looked up at the cloud-filled sky’s radiant white and blue?

There is great value in the world. Our world of everyday experience is the world of the divine. They are not separate. The cry of a crow is the sound of the divine. The daily chorus of beauty freely given to us by the winged ones reflects the heavenly music of the spheres. Our ordinary world provides us with an ongoing message of beauty, of spirit. But we need to listen—with quiet minds and hearts.

Nature is wondrous, a precious gem to embrace, and one not to be found within your smartphone or iPad. On this Earth Day and every day; your choice—wake up to the beauty of nature and each other, or stay asleep in a self-contained, secure illusion of life.

[i] Paul Broadhurst, Tintagel and the Arthurian Myths, 24.

Fear is a state of separation—Love is a state of unity/oneness.

What can be said? Fear is a reality of human existence. In a few instances it may help us in life by waking us out of a complacent stupor. On the other hand, there is a fear that is very insidious. Daily, it steals a part of our soul. It is the fear that separates—the fear of the unknown.

The fear of the unknown is the fear of death as well as a fear of life, which creates a sense of powerlessness within us. This may lead to dysfunctional behaviors that give rise to an illusionary impression of power. Fear-based belief systems thrive in such a cultural environment as ours. Terrorism is ever present in people’s minds, and this fear drives people to accept the erosion of their freedoms, and to accept unjust religious and greed-based war. This type of fear enlarges people’s unhealthy egos, as their minds need a secure sense of safety, security, and power.

Fear is the opposite of divine universal love. It will keep us from our bliss and an awakened heart. It sees the world as a dangerous place, recognizing not the earthly paradise that is truly laid out before us. Fear, in its innermost recesses, generates greed and the desire for materialistic accumulation. It is the breeding ground for external power and the abuses that go with that power. It is the curse, but then again, the salvation of humanity, as it has the potential to wake us out of the illusionary sleep of separation. When we let go of fear and the unknown, we let go of separation; the veil is lifted and we see and know oneness of self and others. Our light has evolved.

However, there is one important aspect of Love and Fear. It is not a dualistic either – or; one or the other. Within each human they blend together. The key to life is balance—percentage. Even an awakened person still maintains a bit of fear. But the greater aspect of their being is oneness or love. This is an example of radical nondualist consciousness.

Trump’s Wall is a great example of separation and playing on people’s fear. And is the Wall to keep people out or keep people in?

All over this great earth people are experiencing immeasurable fear. This is due to the ever accelerating present world-wide conditions: natural catastrophes, wars, rumors of wars, global-warming, terrorism, the fear of terrorism, disease, depression and the list can go on and on. For many people, these happenings are ever present—a sad reality of life. For others who have not yet been touched by these events, the fear and the dread, of what the future may bring, is still within the fore-front of their consciousness.

For the ruling humanity and their institutions to stay on a devastating path of ecological ruin, materialistic gain and religious conflict will only result in cataclysmic destruction of the earth and its creatures. Not total destruction, mind you, but it will still be a world left “barren” of resources and beauty where our children’s children, and their children, will suffer greatly. All of this is caused by power-driven, greedy-unhealthy-egocentric elites and their capitalistic and religious patriarchal institutions.

Pure and very simply, capitalistic practices and their political cronies, as well as the religious beliefs of stewardship of nature, destroy the bio-sphere of earth. There is no concern for the welfare of the earth and its creatures if they threaten the bottom-line.

The world is a mess. The so-called compassionate foundations of the world are not addressing the cause of the problem. The ones that need to be stopped; the ones “pushing people” into the dark depths of despair by the present currents of life are capitalistic beliefs and practices, the lack of true democracy, and the inequality propagated by the institutional, political and religious elites—and their paradigms of Institutionalized Hierarchal Religion, Capitalism and “Capocracy.”[i]  They are the ones that need to be stopped and their harmful paradigms destroyed. If you agree with me; keep marching, protest, organize and vote in the mid-term elections of 2018.

[i] In today’s world, democracy is not true and pure inclusive democracy but what I call ‘Capocracy’ or Capitalistic-Democracy. Corporations have taken over America and the democracy on which the United States was founded.

U.S. is now a “’flawed democracy’ instead of the ‘full democracy’ ranking it’s held previously, citing the declining trust in government as the cause. The downgrade now puts the U.S. at 21 in international rankings, below Japan and tied with Italy. In terms of rankings, the top three scores went to Norway, Iceland and Sweden.” (Travis Fedschun, US no longer a ‘full democracy,’ report claims, January 25, 2017, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/25/us-no-longer-full-democracy-report-claims.html)

Nature and Women – One and the Same

Philosophically[i] and practically, it makes sense that “the Earth is female, reflecting the consonance between nature’s fecundity and the fertility of women.”[ii] Millennia ago, the earth as divine Mother was acknowledged and honored as truth. This was a time when a human’s consciousness was one of partnership with nature, not one of domination. This predominator mind recognized “our oneness with all of nature”[iii] and “was far advanced beyond today’s environmentally destructive ideology.”[iv] Both men and women worked together in equality and partnership for the well-being of society and the community.

As the wheel of time turned, things changed, and not for the better—for humanity or for the earth. The goddess traditions were gradually replaced with a paradigm of male domination in all areas of life. The serpent honored by the earth-based religions as a symbol of wisdom, prophecy, and death and rebirth was slowly transformed into an image of evilness by the Jewish scribes’ editing of Moses’s oral teachings and traditions and by the liars of Pauline Christianity. According to Riane Eisler’s The Chalice & the Blade, “the vilification of the serpent and the association of women with evil were a means of discrediting the Goddess.”[v]

It is a fact of history that the earth and women have lived under male domination for thousands of years and have suffered, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually, the consequences of this domination. If you dominate women, you feel entitled to dominate the earth, as the earth, or nature, symbolizes the feminine. If the religious dualistic paradigms of the day put forth and endorse the belief that men are superior to woman and rule the earth and all its creatures, the gate of hell on earth flies open to social, economic, and ecological servitude, abuse, death, and destruction by justifying any patterns of behavior toward the dominated. One of the primary means of domination is control of wealth, bodies, reproductive health, and sexual activity.

The church, the mosque, and the temple have all relegated females and the earth to a lesser status in regard to the rules and authority of males— the mandate that is supposedly God-given. Under this mandate, the rape of the earth, overseen by the patriarchal, capitalist religious or industrial czars, is acceptable—all approved by their god of power and greed.[vi] What subconscious message does this mandate give to males?

There are multitudes of examples of the male-dominated religions controlling, or is it dominating, women’s bodies, reproductive health, and sexual activity. These range from the covering of the head or female body in Islam[vii] to the condemnation of birth control as a sin by the Catholic Church. These examples even extend to the founding and subsequent history of Iceland.

The Land of Fire and Ice was founded by the Norse in the ninth century after the courageous Norse pagan purists left Norway to escape from the Christian tide that was overwhelming other pagan cultures and religions. In their new homeland, their freedom of body, mind, and spirit only survived about two hundred years until their Althing, the oldest surviving parliamentary institution in the world, declared Christianity the religion of Iceland. As a concession to the Norse pagans, their beliefs and practices were allowed to go underground. The point of this is that before the church took over Iceland, men and women were equals in society. The primary crime was blood feud. After the church established its dysfunctional beliefs, women were regarded as inferior to men, and the most frequent crime—incest! Men now owned all women’s bodies.

[i] This is excerpted from Do You Like Jesus—Not the Church?

[ii] Brian Leigh Molyneaux, The Sacred Earth, 10.

[iii] Riane Eisler, The Chalice & the Blade, 75.

[iv] Ibid., 75.

[v] Ibid., 89.

[vi] “According to a new report by Rainforest Action Network the banking sector is a major source of climate disruption, perpetuating the reliance on dirty energy sources and enabling polluters. The report states that despite

the fact that the insurance industry has identified climate change as a significant risk of loss, banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase continue to invest in polluting energy industries like coal at the expense of renewables like wind and solar.

“The big banks will do whatever the big banks need to do to turn a profit. And that usually comes at the greatest cost to middle class lives and livelihoods. In that respect Hurricane Sandy is a little like the foreclosure crisis: both were created by Wall Street and in both Wall Street has somehow managed to escape accountability” (Jessica Pieklo, “How the Big Banks Helped Cause Hurricane Sandy,” November 1, 2012, http://www.care2.com/causes/how-the-big-banks-helped-cause-hurricane-sandy.html).

[vii] “Australia’s most prominent Islamic cleric vowed Thursday to stand strong against widespread outrage over his description of women who don’t wear head scarves as ‘uncovered meat’ who invite rape” (Rohan Sullivan, “Rape Comment by Islamic Cleric Stirs Up a Storm,” Seattle Times, October 27, 2006, A15).

The Force

Following segments are excerpted from Return of the Feathered Serpent and Return of a Green Philosophy.

As a thirty-year old, I sat in a darken theater with possibly only three other movie-goers. And then the opening crawl: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” It’s hard to put into words, but what followed vibrated a deep feeling within my soul. Almost forty years later, we have Rouge One, which is the lead up to the storyline of the original Star Wars.

And I must say it had the feeling of the original, I loved it. Since there are supposedly no Jedi around outside of Vader, the manner in which they handled the concept of The Force was very interesting. Throughout the movie, Chirrut, the blind warrior monk, kept chanting the mantra: “I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.” At the very end as he realizes his death is imminent, he slightly switches the wording: “the Force is with me, and I am one with the Force.” I was very impressed with this demonstration of a technique to work with awakening the Force through chant. Except, I would have slightly changed the mantra to—“I am one with the Force; the Force is within me and surrounds me.” This gives a better indication of the Force.

So what is the Force?

To the ancient Maya the Force was known as ch’ulel (soul-force of the Universe). It is believed to be the single, dynamic sacred force or energy that is the unifying totality of all things—a universal life-force. It’s in constant movement eternally self-generating and self-regenerating while encompassing and interpenetrating the whole cosmos. It is immanent and at the same time, transcendent:

Ch’ulel is the word for the inner soul or holiness that resides in all living things, in powerful objects, in sacred places, and in the many energy-laden objects in the Maya world.”[i]

Is the Force magic?

Yes and no; the indigenous power workers, who I have apprenticed with over the decades, never referred to their powers as magic. The reason: in truth, the power exhibited is not out of the ordinary; it is ordinary; it is flowing through all things. To the Norse, it is Óðinn’s unseen power of creation—seiðr. The difference is that the majority of people do not have the radical nondualistic consciousness, power, or strength of heart and mind to access it. But it is there—just feel the force of a storm or observe the beauty of a flower.

This power or “The Force”—the term George Lucas coined in in his Star Wars movies—is the single, dynamic, sacred power or energy that is the unifying totality of all things—a universal life force. It’s in constant movement, eternally self-generating and self-regenerating while encompassing and interpenetrating the whole cosmos. It is immanent and at the same time transcendent. This “Force” is only accessible through direct personal experience and must be awakened. There are seven aspects to this power, which I explain in Return of a Green Philosophy.

This power on a personal level is the inner heat generated by the shaman. Interesting enough, the feeling is one of icy fire. The first time I experienced it coursing through my body, I thought I was having a heart attack. This is the power of creation as witnessed by the Norse creation myth of the blending of fire and ice.

[i] David Freidel, Linda Schele, Joy Parker, Maya Cosmos, 433.

Luck

The following is excerpted from Return of a Green Philosophy.

The majority of people believe that luck is nothing more than chance. If you’re a Christian, not only do you believe in chance but also grace, which is “a Christian theological term denoting divine gifts without which human salvation would be impossible.”[i] Both of these beliefs are external to us and out of our control. They are not dependent on our hearts, our minds, or our spirits. With these beliefs, there is no need to strengthen our mind and spirit or awaken our heart.

These beliefs are not Norse-Germanic. Being lucky or unlucky is not chance but a reflection of us, a reflection of our minds. Accordingly, “the inner state of a man in luck is described in Icelandic as a whole mind, heill hugr, which of course comprises wisdom as well as goodwill and affection. The man of whole mind is true to his kin and his friends, stern to his enemies, and easy to get on with, when lesser men come seeking aid. His redes are really good gifts to the receiver—whole redes, in Icelandic heil ráð.”[ii]

The ancient word rede means “counsel, advice.” It goes hand in hand with luck. It “is a perfect illustration of Teutonic psychology. When given to others, it means counsel; when applied to the luck working within the mind, it means wisdom, or a good plan, and from an ethical point of view, just and honest thoughts. But the word naturally includes the idea of success, which accompanies wise and upright devising, and on the other hand power and authority, which are the working of a sound will.”[iii] Likewise, “a redeless man is weakened by lack of will, lack of power, and lack of self-assertion.”[iv]

Words and actions reflect a person’s luck. A person who continuously lies or tells half-truths would be known to have unluck and recognized as a niðing. This person lacks honor and courage with the connotation of being a villain.

It makes sense then that a strong and powerful mind and a strong will—in other words, luck—are under Þórr’s guidance as protector of humanity and the earth. Once again, we see how the attributes of Þórr may guide us and assist us in overcoming our struggles of life. A mind that is powerful and resolute with total focus, intent, and will, without any extraneous chattering or mind-talk is developed through the practice of becoming one with nature. This ability is cultivated through participation mystique. This is a knowing of the things of life and their inherent mysteries through the experience of the mundane as well as the spiritual. Participation mystique may be as simple as sitting alone under a tree and listening to the sounds of nature and our own hearts, or as complex as dawn bathing in a stream. Additional practices and actions may include such things as fasting and exposure to the elements. When I lived on the coast of Maine, every time there was a Nor’easter, I ran to the edge of the ocean cliffs and experienced through all my senses, absorbed through my whole body, the power of the storm—one with the essence and force of Þórr’s power. Participation mystique is essential and will result in a transformation of consciousness—and magic happens. When we are one with nature, we may elicit acts that others may view as miraculous, such as calming or calling the wind.

However, the present-day technology of smartphones and social media is a hindrance to a strong mind and these abilities. If need be, it would be best to use both sparingly. A strong mind is a mind of luck—a Norse mind, where there is no separation between the soul and the body. This is just not human bodies but all bodies—stones, trees, animals, and so forth. In other words, a strong mind is a consciousness of unity or radical nonduality.

[i] Jonathan Z. Smith, The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, 392.

[ii] Vilhelm Grönbech, The Culture of the Teutons, 90.

[iii] Ibid., 89.

[iv] Ibid., 90.

In this Season of Angels … Where Angels Dwell – Merry Christmas

The meaning of the white feather is revealed in our story of the Visitation told fully in Do You Like Jesus—Not the Church? The following is excerpted from Do You Like Jesus—Not the Church? Jesus: His True Message – Not the Lie of the Church.

Sher and I are living proof of past lives and reincarnation. And this proof was revealed by an archangel and two assisting angels—three energetic Otherworld beings unfolded as three massive pillars of light as answer to one of my prayers.

During the summer we always conduct longer-term apprentice trainings out in nature. This summer it was scheduled to be four days, beginning on Friday, August 1, and ending on Monday, August 4. The theme of the training was initiation, fear, and death and rebirth, including the experiential experiences of a twenty-four-hour solitary quest, a stone-built ceremonial death spiral, and bathing.

Since we mostly take novices into the outdoors, I always perform prayers for safety, love, and power before the trainings. This time I did a different prayer. Based on what I knew within my heart and my vision being the morning star, I prayed for a sign to be given of who I was in my last incarnation: “Let them see a sign knowing that I was [name stated].” I mentioned the name as people would recognize it today. I then let go of any expectations about the prayer. Little did I expect the sign—in reality, signs—that would be given.

Early on Sunday afternoon, August 3, 1997, the day of the angelic visitation, we experienced an otherworldly storm. One moment, the sky was crystal clear, tinged only with a few clouds, and in the next moment, the sky darkened into an ominous, swirling, bluish-black tempest. There was a pause of sound and movement as if a giant were holding its breath. And then…thunder, lightning, and rain. Torrents of rain fell as thunder boomed, and lightning struck all around my wife and me and our twelve apprentices. At the time, we didn’t know what to make of such an unusual natural occurrence.

Approximately eight hours later, with the appearance of the archangel[i] and two assisting angels as three immense pillars of light, the reason for the storm became apparent. The volume and intensity of the thunder and rain and the strength and force of the lightning that struck all around us was a purification of the earth and its elements. A major sanctification had taken place. And the angels could now unfold – see below for meaning.

At the visitation, as messengers of God and in answer to my prayer, the archangel and the two assisting angels announced who I had been in my past life and previous incarnation through their presence and the other signs that were shown along with their appearance.

Why is the Visitation Important?

The majority of people influenced by organized religion, especially Christianity and Islam, believe in a single lifetime on earth with reward in heaven or punishment in hell. There is no concept of reincarnation—a future life on earth. Thus, the rampant destruction of the earth, nature and its creatures, including us, all for power and money.

This dogmatic belief of a one-way ticket subtly insinuates that we are not responsible for the future well-being of the land or the earth and its creatures or future generations, as we will not reincarnate back on earth in a future time. As we are observing in this twenty-first century, this belief has opened a Pandora’s Box of ecological destruction.

If we look back in time, we discover that “by the 7th century the Church had rewritten Catholic dogma to obliterate most of the original teachings of esoteric Christian groups such as the Essenes…Most importantly, they edited out all references to the universal doctrine of reincarnation, a central theme throughout Eastern religion as well as Druidic and early Christian life.

“This had a profound effect on all succeeding ages. Before, people believed that their ancestors were still alive in the Otherworld, and that, like themselves, they would be reborn into the group or tribe to which they belonged. In this way, warriors felt it an honour to die in order to protect their people. But there was a deeper responsibility; if you were to be reborn, then the land must be preserved not only for your children, but for yourself when you returned. Short-term exploitation would have been inconceivable. You and your children were, in a very real sense, the land.

“The replacement of this with a ‘one-way trip’ to heaven or hell forever changed people’s attitude as it permeated into everyday life. Under this doctrine that this life was the only one you were ever going to experience, it eventually became acceptable to seize as much as was possible in the short time available. The development of this impulse in recent times may be held to be directly responsible for many of the critical dilemmas facing the world today…

“How far we have come from the ways of antiquity can be shown by our approach to the land in which we live. Today we think nothing of changing the essential features of the countryside in an effort to maximize the yield we may achieve from it or to make living more efficient, even if it blights the lives of those around and has unforeseen and unknowable consequences.”[ii]

The Effect of the Visitation on Spiritual, Philosophical, or Religious Knowledge

The visitation was a sensory, materialistic, firsthand experience witnessed by twelve apprentices and my wife and me. In other words, we experienced something that few, if any, humans can only believe in and not know. The majority of humanity’s spiritual, philosophical, or religious belief is based on secondhand knowledge, either written or oral, from others who have also based their belief on secondhand, thirdhand, and further-removed oral or written knowledge. For example, the Bible.

This miraculous happening opened the gateway to knowing certain truths concerning spiritual, philosophical, or religious beliefs. I will attempt to lay them out as best as I can. One further note: I believe that the visitation provides Occam’s razor validation for some aspects of physicist David Bohm’s theories.

Knowledge: The Interconnection and Interpenetration of Consciousness throughout the Seen and Unseen Universe

  • David Bohm theorized a new reality of the universe. This reality he named the Implicate Order—the hidden aspect of the universe. “The theory of the Implicate Order contains an ultra-holistic cosmic view; it connects everything with everything else. In principle, any individual element could reveal ‘detailed information about every other element in the universe.’ The central underlying theme of Bohm’s theory is the ‘unbroken wholeness of the totality of existence as an undivided flowing movement without borders.’”[iii] In other words, “within the Implicate Order everything is connected; and, in theory, any individual element could reveal information about every other element in the universe.”[iv]
  • Bohm named the known or visible universe or manifest world the “explicate order.” In the Implicate Order, “everything is enfolded into everything. This is in contrast to the explicate order where things are unfolded.”[v]
  • The visitation would provide proof of Bohm’s theory, as the physical appearance of the angels (immense pillars of light) was due to my prayer. For the angels to respond while in the Implicate Order, they would have to have received the information from me in the explicate order.[vi]
  • After the intense, unusual storm, they were present in the afternoon but hidden[vii] while they were still in a layer of the Implicate Order. It was only in the evening that they became visible to us in the explicate order. In Bohm’s terms—until they unfolded.

Knowledge: Reincarnation

  • Based on what I knew within my heart and my vision as the morning star, I prayed for a sign to be given of who I was in my last incarnation: “Let them see a sign knowing that I was [name stated].” I mentioned the name as people would recognize it today.
  • The angels, as well as other signs, responding to my prayer indicate that I was alive before in a different body, place, and time. I am no different from anyone else. If I have had a past life (lives), everyone else has had a past life. This is proof, as far as we can take it, considering we are attempting to prove the unprovable mysteries of life and creation, that our lives on earth are not a one-shot deal with a result of heaven, hell, or oblivion waiting for us.
  • But it is an ongoing death-and-rebirth evolution of our souls—our golden DNA or divine spark or starlight.

Knowledge (the Most Obvious)

  • Sentient beings, which humanity has named angels, physically exist even though they are usually hidden from sight while they remain in Bohm’s Implicate Order. This leads to a conclusion that other sentient beings exist, such as faeries and, in Iceland, the hidden ones. But once again they are in the Implicate Order and hidden from our senses and sight. 

    May Peace Be Upon You This Season and All Seasons

    JC

[i] The archangel was Mikael, known to most as the archangel Michael.

[ii] Paul Broadhurst, Tintagel and the Arthurian Myths, 99–100.

[iii] Beatrix Murrell, http://www.bizcharts.com/stoa_del_sol/plenum/plenum_3.html.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Bohm’s theory of the implicate order stresses that the cosmos is in a state of process. Bohm’s cosmos is a “feedback” universe that continuously recycles forward into a greater mode of being and consciousness.

[vii] One of our apprentices took a picture of me during the day while we finished building the stone death spiral. No one saw what the camera picked up. The picture is not of pillars of light. It is an intense and immense light off to my left in the woods with two globes of light suspended above. The light has a shape almost like a sword in its center with golden rays coming off of it. It’s been verified that it is not a reflection of the lens of the instant camera that took the picture.