Just wanted to say, thanks so much for the positive feedback to my “Disillusionment” post. I wouldn’t have figured anyone would be around after I slacked all summer, then having the site go down altogether. (How long was it down for? Does anyone know?) You guys make me feel safe & connected.
And a special thanks to Dr. Bardi — I had no idea you were reading my site, it is always gratifying to discover that my rather discombobulated thought processes are interesting to folks with more distinguished track records than my own! :)
I’m encouraged to continue posting, and while my fascination with Western mythology continues unabated, I’m going to expand the stuff I share here to include other, related things that I didn’t think anyone would find interesting. Mostly this stuff revolves around art, the paranormal, and right-brain intuitive stuff more generally.
The paranormal fascinates me. In the past decade or so there’s been an explosion of paranormal offerings in mainstream media, as well as in reports of paranormal phenomena. I believe this is a function of the breakdown of consensus reality — it’s become glaringly obvious that the stories we’ve lived by, the ones that carry the stamp of official approval, are quite simply false; collectively, we’re now grasping for something to replace the official stories.
I don’t necessarily believe in something like alien visitation, for example, but the sheer number of reported personal experiences indicates something profound is going on, and it is a mistake to dismiss these reports out-of-hand. Whether that something is actual alien visitation (which I personally doubt), or something breaking through our collective unconscious to fill the void left by the realization that our collective reality is a lie (which makes more sense to me), I can’t say — but the phenomena are worth investigating either way.
I’ve also replaced my longtime preferred divination tool, astrology, with a new tool: tarot cards. Astrology was becoming too tedious and while I will always appreciate its mathematical basis, tarot cards provide a direct link to the unconscious. A tarot deck is a collection of archetypal images, essentially a nonlinear book written in the language of dreams. A tarot reading works in the same way dream interpretation works: the symbols invite the reader and the querent to project meaning onto them, and in this way can bring to conscious awareness things that have been heretofore inaccessible.
The deck I’m using now is the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, which just came out this year along with the companion book (which I’ve found to be essential for understanding the alchemical symbolism of the cards). I love it! I swear these cards are somehow alive in their own right, and they certainly possess a very different personality from my previous deck, which I used for nearly fifteen years.
Right off the bat, the Alchemical Tarot tied itself in with my interest in ancient Western mythologies. It’s always bothered me that not a single shred of the concept of Elohim/Wakan Tanka/Tao survived into the pagan mythologies of Western civilization. I mean, if one pays attention for even a brief moment, Elohim/Wakan Tanka/Tao seems just so patently obvious… where the fuck did it go? The whole concept of a thing that vast, just gone… really?
Well no, not really. Turns out, the all-encompassing spirit that (so far as I can tell) is universally present in all indigenous variants of animism, does have at least one place in Western mythology. Its name here is anima mundi, which translates as “universal soul” or something to that effect, and fusion with the anima mundi is the ultimate goal of the alchemical Magnum Opus. Which immediately raises a question for me: does the alchemical opus parallel the long line of death-and-resurrection mythologies apparent in Western civilizations? I think it does, and assuming I’m not the first to notice this, that would make two otherwise unrelated strains of Western mythology that clearly demonstrate the fall-apocalypse-redemption inverted bubble.
Something else about the opus that catches my attention is that it does seem to describe the process of civilization, at least so far as I have given it some thought. The opus begins with the prima materia, which is subjected to heat and other processes that break it down into its constituent impurities. This reminds me of complexity — every time some stressor comes along, civilization responds with more complexity, almost like the stressor bakes this particular complexification out of the cultural prima materia. But who knows? It’s something I need to give considerable more thought.
In other news, I’ve been considering offering tarot readings to my blog readers just as an experiment. I have a post started about that, I’ll try to finish it in the next day or so.