Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chrysalis Healing: The Honey House, Subtle Energy and Soul Loss

Image from Chrysalis Tarot's app
Chrysalis Tarot, if only by virtue of its name, implies that it's about personal and spiritual transformation. Any tarot deck that claims to magically touch souls must also be an instrument of healing, for the promise of transformation without compelling healing is an empty promise.

In a tarot reading, The "Beekeeper" Healer (left) cultivates synchronicity to guide lost souls to her Honey House, a spiritual sanctuary and refuge where fragmented psyches can be soothed and healed.

One of Chrysalis' Facebook fans recently commented that The Healer card reminds her of Lily, the main character in the book and film, "The Secret Life of Bees." The story is a maudlin parable about healing, hope, and soul loss. The subtle energy of synchronicity sculps the heart of the parable.

Lily, as you already know if you read the book or saw the movie, is a physically and psychologically abused child who blames herself when her mother, also a victim of abuse, leaves home without her. Lily's mean-spirited, drunken father convinces Lily that her mother, who he claims never really loved her, deserted her.

Synchronicity, an unseen energy that shapes lives, takes Lily by the hand and leads her to the Honey House, where she's welcomed by a maternal sisterhood of compassionate beekeepers. The sisters provide Lily with a nurturing family and the healing love she never had. We discern the helpful hand of synchronicity when we learn Lily's mother also stayed at the Honey House in her childhood. However, only the sisterhood's perceptive matriarch, August Boatwright, is aware of this fact.

Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) at May's wailing wall

While in their care, Lily reconnects with her mother and slowly recovers the lost pieces of her soul. She thrives as a beekeeper. One of the sisters, May, best personifies the healing balm of Honey House. Like our own Chrysalis healer, May is an empath - a naturally gifted healer. Perhaps today we might consider super-sensitive May an Indigo adult, at least I hope we would.

May, you see, often is overcome with the sorrows of the world and the people around her. So often, in fact, that her sisters built her a special wailing wall.

The wall is a sacred space where May can shed her tears and place sorrowful invocations written on bits of paper. "Those bits of paper are all the heavy feelings May carries around. Seems it's the only thing that helps her," August tells Lily. The journal Lily keeps provides the storyline for both the book and subsequent film. The great healers, it seems, often bear the greatest pains.

Lily's heartwarming story underscores an important spiritual truism. The Otherworld communicates via meaningful coincidence, also known as synchronicity. Journaling communicates via metaphorical language in healing parables, also known as the Secret Life of Bees.

The healing mission of the Three of Scrolls  is soul retrieval. The term soul loss implies the brokenness of a fragmented psyche. Soul retrieval makes the self whole again. Fragments of soul can be lost, given away, or stolen. Soul loss, symbolized by the fox's tear, occurs in three ways, symbolized by the scrolls

First, soul loss can result from trauma of any type. Lily's story is a fitting example. A person gives away a piece of soul by engaging in codependent relationships, usually a result of low self esteem. Soul can be stolen by those who drain soul energy, commonly called psychic vampires who zap energy. It's said that psychic vampires are drawn to awakening souls.

More commonly, soul is stolen if a person is disempowered or allows power to be taken from them. An unforgiving person can be an unwitting soul thief. When we suffer soul loss of any kind, we lose balance and harmony within ourselves. We become broken and in desperate need of spiritual healing. Even one's path to personal destiny is obstructed.

Soul retrieval is vital to Chrysalis Tarot's goal of spiritual transformation, which is symbolized by Psyche (below right), the traditional "World" card. Psyche is a gloriously transformed butterfly (you). The word psyche means butterfly in Greek. And it also means soul.

21 - Psyche
A complementary interpretation of the Three of Scrolls speaks of the need sometimes to "let go" of life's many injustices and forgive. By forgiving, you rebuff power that siphons fragments of your soul.

In some instances, however, and for understandable reasons, we can permit brokenness to define who we are. In turn, this begets a false persona and even fosters a psychological addiction to victimhood. Once soul is retrieved and restored, it's healthy to embrace your healing, give thanks and celebrate.

Soul loss is primarily a spiritual affliction. However, left to fester it will likely manifest as physical disease. Indeed, there's a large body of empirical evidence suggesting many diseases are directly linked to soul loss, chronic spiritual disharmony and/or embedded negative energy.

Fortunately, embedded negative energy can be extracted, which essentially involves clearing and cleaning chakras. When healing cards turn up in Chrysalis readings, they may implicate a chakra blocked by embedded negative energy. These blockages, as well as negative emotions and stress in general, vibrate at a low frequency, thereby impeding cellular function.

Healing methods that modify and mollify subtle energies in the body, e.g. yoga, meditation, shamanism, acupuncture, qigong, and, yes, Chrysalis Tarot, all are stress-reducing, high-frequency activities that support the body's natural healing ability, which itself is nothing short of miraculous!  

In the new Chrysalis Tarot companion book (June 2015), I'll delve into chakras, various subtle energy practices and Chrysalis cards with specific healing attributes. Suffice it to say, one root cause of embedded negative energy lies in the conflict between reality and a cherished worldview. This is known as cognitive dissonance, a term that means holding, or struggling to hold, two or more contradictory beliefs in the mind at the same time. One of these two beliefs will eventually become disabling.

The mental disharmony and sheer intellectual stress brought about by disabling beliefs can block activation of your Third Eye chakra, as well your Crown chakra. This condition is rampant in today's world. In changing times, critical thinking skills become hugely important as front-line defense against mind-numbing disabling beliefs.

Seven of Stones
Syrinx, a fair maiden, reflects on the choice she made between external freedom or internal imprisonment (damnation). She now experiences a vague sense of regret, although she doesn't quite know why. Syrinx represents women everywhere.

Briefly, here is Syrinxes story from Greek mythology: The amorous god Pan, half-man and half-goat, pursued Syrinx relentlessly but she courageously resisted his advances. One day, while once again trying to escape Pan, she was blocked by the River Ladon, seen in the background. Helpful Spirits of the River rushed to transform her into a reed just as Pan caught up to her (image below).

Hearing the sweet, whistling song the reed made, Pan fashioned the reed into a flute so he could own Syrinx, if not in love then in music. Syrinx is pictured (left) holding her namesake, a syrinx, which also is called a Pan's pipe.

Sweet story, eh? Well, not exactly. Pan is symbolic of man's violent, aggressive, domineering nature. Syrinx is a symbol of a woman's stolen soul. The choice Syrinx made was straightforward: she could preserve her soul, albeit in music, or see it stolen and imprisoned (Pan would, of course, insist she gave her soul away).

In today's world, women are programmed by the brutal soul messages of a patriarchal society - by its political, social and religious institutions. Those messages are also straightforward: that women are second best; that they are not as intelligent as men; that they're eroticized objects for lotus-eaters to relish and ravage at will, and that they were created by a male god solely to serve men and procreate. The Divine Feminine has been exiled; the Goddess does not exist, indeed never existed. Such repugnant programming of the unconscious minds of women and men has resulted in cultural soul loss.

Pan and Syrinx, Paolo de Matteis 
The Seven of Stones is also is about getting on with life and tossing regret in the river. It's about making courageous choices and spiritual healing, which, in our society, so many women and men desperately need.

Chrysalis Tarot readings harmonize subtle energies originating in the Collective Unconscious. They anchor an effective healing regimen via the Hero's Journey of self-discovery and self-cultivation, a form of soul retrieval.

Transpersonal psychology and shamanic healing in the form of journeying is also effective, especially in cases that involve severe trauma and searing soul loss.

P.S. If this blog resonates with you, please consider sharing it. Also, comments are always welcome.

P.S.S. I am considering using Chrysalis healing testimonials in the new companion book. If you have first hand information and don't object to sharing (fictitious first names only in the book), please let me know. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Storyteller and Chrysalis Wishing Trees

Storyteller is one of the more fascinating, multidimensional characters in Chrysalis Tarot. In addition to being a storyteller, she is a healer, a visionary, a shaman, a channel to your ancestors, a wise counsellor and a wish fulfillment card. Storyteller's magic turns dreams and wishes into reality.

In this narrative, we focus primarily on wish fulfillment.

As you can see, Storyteller radiates energy. The orb she generates is pure energy, which we also could describe as pure, Crystalline Consciousness. A crystalline consciousness state occurs when the microcosm (you) is aligned with the macrocosm (the universe). In this art, universal energy flows through Storyteller to create her transfigured appearance.

Everything in the universe is energy, frequency and vibration (Tesla). Werner Heisenberg wrote, "Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent duality arises in the limitations of our language." We now know that the "emptiness" of space is not empty at all. The vacuum, which comprises 99% of the universe, is filled with energy, frequency and vibration! We also know that protons connect everything in the universe to everything else, and to everyone (quantum physics). Separateness is an illusion, the handiwork of the most proficient trickster in the Universe: the human ego.

When you read, "All the answers are inside you," it's not a goofy New Age platitude. It's literally true. Information, the energy of transformation, flows from the Universe into your unconscious mind and body; transformation at its zenith becomes transfiguration, a phenomenon not reserved only for holy men and sages.

To access and interpret transformative information, we must first know ourselves inside and out and know how to search within ourselves for the answers we seek. This is why tarot is an effective technology for transformation - it traverses the realms, visible and invisible, to access information and alight the inner shaman in your mind's eye. Tarot is often a person's first genuine experience of shamanism.

Storyteller's wisdom teaches that we create our own reality; we manifest into being both those things we desire, as well as those things we'd just as well do without. The Law of Attraction, although I dislike that terminology, requires that we cleanse and clear the body's energy channels, that we mitigate the obstructions and imbalances, i.e. negative emotions, repressed memories, ego driven wants, etc. Visualization and meditation are perhaps the most effective means to accomplish this once the ego channel is temporarily muted.

Emotions and intentions must be properly balanced and harmonized if one expects the Law of Attraction or other such wholesale promises to deliver.

Storyteller, just like every other Chrysalis archetype, which includes The Troupe characters, desires only those good things for you consistent with your personal destiny, which, by definition, is attainment of your greatest potential.

Storyteller invites you to visualize your Heart (Fourth) Chakra connected to her own via one of the energy channels (vines) emanating from her orb. And, in turn, to visualize your own orb of healing Crystalline Light connected to everyone you know and everyone you encounter along destiny's path. She then invites you to balance your intentions (wishes) with the positive emotions this visualization exercise creates.

The following tree cards let you know when the time is ripe to make a wish.

Nine of Mirrors
The two genies from the Golden Flower card were let out of their bottles to affirm that your meditation or spiritual practice has borne fruit. But just who are these two genies?

Well, there's a story there worth telling. In fact, 1001 stories. These two genies were named after famous storytellers: Scheherazade and her younger sister, Dunyazade. Scheherazade is the genie perched on a limb of the Tree of Life. Dunyazade, quite naturally, is seen hanging from a small branch. I write "quite naturally" because she's the character who popularized the cliffhanger storytelling device having taught it to her older sister, the queen.

You might recall that in One Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade's cliffhanger tactic was responsible for having her scheduled execution postponed. The king kept delaying the execution in order to learn what happened next in the spellbinding stories she told him each night.

What happens next when the Nine of Mirrors appears in a reading is the fulfillment of a wish. The Arabian storytelling genies are symbols of re-imagined truth that is recounted in mythology and legend. The two genies, like the storytellers of all cultures, magically bring our stories to life, both the old ones we read and the new ones we imagine.

They accomplish this magic, this re-imagination of truth, by marrying wishes and desires to emotions. This, too, is a storytelling device that manifests the realities mystically mirrored in those nine raindrops. The engine for the manifestation of wishes and desires is therefore emotion and not the thinking self (ego). It is better in life to heed your emotions and reason with your ego.

All tarot cards are interactive, or at least they should be. By interactive, I imply that the cards deliver messages in a reading and simultaneously make a modest request, like Storyteller's request for visualization. Chrysalis cards have been described as "talkative." Indeed, they wish to encourage a dialogue with their users and together write a story.

For example, the Nine of Mirrors and Scheherazade want you not only to express an intention or wish, they ask that you imagine the emotional fulfillment the wish will actually bring. In other words, to feel and experience the story that your wish will bring in advance of its manifestation.

Six of Spirals
The Six of Spirals asks the same thing of you in a different way; it too is a wish fulfillment card.

The pieces of cloth hanging from this hawthorn tree are called Celtic clooties. You find clootie sites all over the British Isles, Ireland and in other parts of the world, although the traditions will vary from place to place.

Clooties may, for example, represent intentions - votive offerings for physical, psychological or spiritual healing - or tokens of thanksgiving for wishes granted. Clooties are tied to trees near Holy Wells and springs in veneration of the local spirit (genius loci) of that particular sacred space. In Celtic lands, the goddess Brigid is often venerated in these sacred spots.

When physical healing is involved, the clootie may first be dipped in the waters of an adjacent well or stream and then used to anoint or bless the affected area of the body. The clootie's then tied to a nearby tree as a votive offering.

The Six of Spirals asks that you create emotional energy for your wish by performing a ritual you're comfortable using. Any ritual will do, even the simplest like lighting a candle.

While this card may have to do with wish fulfillment, it also may allude to a transition of some sort that needs to remain hidden at the present time, as the full moon symbolism implies. Here is a useful link to a full moon purging ritual.

No worries. With proper attention, the circumstances of the hidden transition should unfurl during this moon cycle. The Six of Spirals asks that you express your intentions, or your gratitude as the case may be, in some ritualized way. This is done to harmonize your intentions with the powerful energy of your emotions.      

A Holy Well and clootie tree in Celtic Cornwall
Photo courtesy of Suziebeesieland blog
The picturesque story of one family's vacation in mystical Cornwall.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Mistress of the Labyrinth, the Unicorn and The Pilgrim

13 - Ariadne
This is a true story about spiritual adventures and flights of fantasy; of thinking and acting not simply "outside the box," but outside the boxed-up reality we call ordinary reality, i.e. the five senses.

Non-ordinary reality, the unseen world, permits the Universe to flow through you. It's about imagination and intuition; unicorns and fairies, owls and moonlight. It's about the shaman's magical world that lies beyond the five senses.

It's about the art of letting go and embracing "À Mon Seul Désir." If you connect that motto to a set of 500-year-old tapestries, you receive an A+ in History of Medieval Art! More on the tapestries in a moment. But first a few words about death.

Death is the "inside the box" title for traditional tarot's #13 major arcana card. This fearsome, archaic moniker remains in wide use today, although most tarot adepts downright detest it, while most tarot newcomers hardly understand it but understand it enough to detest it and, worse yet, to fear it.

Ariadne, on the other hand, is Chrysalis Tarot's #13 card. She is tarot's Death card re-envisioned. Ariadne is confidently and wholeheartedly about life. There is nothing foreboding about her.

She's best known as a Greco-Celtic goddess. Before that, she was venerated as Mistress of the Labyrinth in the ancient Minoan Civilization on the island of Crete. We recounted this Ariadne mythology in another blog (here). I'd like to offer an auxiliary interpretation for Ariadne's card that ventures beyond the story of Ariadne's thread.

Ariadne's lover, Theseus, you recall, battled and defeated the dreaded Minotaur who lurks in the center of the labyrinth. This myth is a metaphor for the successful integration of your shadow-self into the totality of your psyche, i.e. becoming balanced and whole, the first step toward spiritual transformation.

The journey to the labyrinth's center symbolizes self-discovery, one's participation in being human (ordinary reality). The return journey symbolizes spiritual transformation, one's participation in the divine (non-ordinary reality). This journey requires divine assistance, which is the lesson symbolized by the ball of thread Ariadne gave to Theseus. The thread of divine assistance allowed him to trace his steps out of the labyrinth.
À Mon Seul Désir, The Lady and the Unicorn
Medieval Flemish tapestry c.1500.

Perhaps a more appropriate title for tarot's traditional Death card would be Transformation. After all, that is the purpose of the Hero's Journey - to evolve and embrace the universe with a holistic perspective, to attain transformation.

The Hero (you, a caterpillar) enters the labyrinth, a metaphor for life's tangled journey, trusting in your five senses and, with Ariadne's thread. You emerge bearing newfound trust in your "sixth sense," which is analogous to your Third Eye. You emerge from the labyrinth a majestic butterfly.

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries celebrate this emergence to higher consciousness in the concluding tapestry (above right) from a series of 6. The first 5, appropriately, each portray one of the 5 senses. The 6th tapestry portrays transformation, a re-prioritization of values, or ascension into higher consciousness.

The lion and unicorn (symbolizing sun and moon respectively) are holding open the entrance to the royal tent (higher consciousness) that displays the motto, "À Mon Seul Désir" - To My Only Desire - the entrance leads to transformation, her only desire for us. 

The lady in the tapestry, for me anyway, represents the Divine Feminine, which could easily be Ariadne or any other theophany of the Great Mother one might choose. The Chrysalis unicorn (below) introduces "the rest of this story."

Two of Scrolls
The Spirit of the Unicorn is spirit that forsakes, indeed renounces, reliance on someone else's spiritual experience in understanding the meaning of life and sets out to experience the spiritual world on their own; to write their own labyrinth mythology and worldview.

In fact, this card in a reading may suggest keeping a Chrysalis Tarot journal to assist you when you write your myth.

We crafted Chrysalis Tarot to help you accomplish this task, to encourage you to hoist anchor and set sail in your own ship, to trust the unseen, non-ordinary world; the changing Winds of Aeolus, and the goddess Ariadne. More importantly, to learn to trust your inner voice (your sixth sense) and then Just. Let. Go.

The unicorn can become a bit of a trickster if time is nigh for you to set sail but you still tarry. He'll jump in the middle of best laid plans and trample them, as he's doing in the card art. His horn, by the way, senses the higher realms. It's Unicorn's Third Eye.

This card allegorizes that part of you that senses a bigger picture, but isn't quite sure how to  find it or what to make of it. No worries, the Divine Feminine will guide you in her own inimitable style just as she guided Theseus and a thousand thousand other seekers.

For example, I myself planned to fly from London to Crete back in 2001 to research Ariadne, who ostensibly was born there, when the travel agent's computer froze up. The agent half-apologized to me, "This has never happened to me before!" I asked if I might take a look at her screen. She spun it around and I immediately noticed the number 222 blinking in the upper righthand corner. "Where's this flight headed?" I asked. She swung her screen around and answered, "To Cyprus."

The number 222 has been an important synchronicity signal to me for many years. I see it every so often. Whenever I do, it serves as reliable confirmation that my last idea, decision or impulse was indeed the correct one. This particular manifestation of 222 irrupted in such an intense way that I didn't give my plans a second thought: the computer had screamed Cyprus.

When I deplaned in Larnaca, Cyprus, I had no idea where to go next. I had no idea why I had rerouted to Cyprus, although I assumed it would have to do with my research in general and to do with Ariadne in particular. She had once been a royal princess on Crete, the daughter, it's believed, of King Minos, for whom Minoan Civilization is named. (We have no sound proof of what the "Minoans" actually called themselves.) I had no sound proof of what Ariadne had to do with Cyprus either, but I would soon find out.

Acropolis of Amathus, founded by Phoenicians, c.1000 B.C.
The Phoenicians traded copper from Cyprus for tin from
Cornwall. Combined, the two metals produce Bronze.
Synchronicity led me from Larnaca to Limassol and then to the Archaeological Museum. At the museum, I learned that Cypriot mythology recounts that Theseus, following his victory over the Minotaur, deserted his pregnant Ariadne on the shores of the ancient city of Amathus, whose ruins, coincidentally, were located only a short bus ride from Limassol and where I was staying.

Mythology also recounts Ariadne died in childbirth at Amathus. Her tomb (right) lies among the ruins on the city's acropolis. I sat near it for an hour or so and returned several times during my brief stay. Cyprus is an fascinating country! It is an ancient crossroads of Mediterranean civilizations.

The Pilgrim
I would never have discovered Ariadne's tomb on Cyprus were I not beguiled by what I call pilgrim spirituality. It's far different than, say, an organized spiritual retreat and far, far different from the guided tours in foreign lands peppered with fine meals and first class hotels.

Pilgrim spirituality, by definition, involves hardship, self-doubt, unknowing, an honest self-reckoning and a substantial degree of trust in your intuition. It's not easy to leave home with little more than a loosey-goosey itinerary, a romantic ideal and a tight belt.

But to earn the rewards and learn the lessons of pilgrim spirituality, you first must let yourself go and learn to trust the Universe and the signposts along the way put in place by synchronicity's hand.

As I've written elsewhere, pilgrim spirituality also requires kenosis - self-emptying. Neither the Divine Feminine, nor anyone else for that matter, can fill a glass that's already full. Reluctance to self-empty of your own free will when the unicorn calls will surely result in your being brought to your spiritual knees, if that's what hearing with an open mind requires. Destiny is active cooperative creation with unseen forces.

Harvest Home - Four of Spirals
Chrysalis is a spiritually oriented tarot deck purposed to assist with transformation via synchronicity, discernment and heightened awareness. When a tarot adept, whose glass may already be filled with volumes of esoteric knowledge, reversed meanings, arcane symbols, and gnostic, even arbitrary, card interpretations, picks up a deck of Chrysalis cards, we hope he or she will self-empty their glass, even if only a little, and give the cards something to work with.

One empties their glass by fetching the broom off the front stoop of your Harvest Home (right), a symbol of your cozy comfort zone, and then giving preconceived notions and bolted-down ideas a clean sweep. Next, open the picture window (Third Eye) to allow a few fresh ideas inside.

Chrysalis hopes your Harvest Home will be a welcoming port-of-call for Ariadne and the Divine Feminine. Their favorite symbol, the crescent moon, hangs from the sky as your constant invitation. But also be prepared to leave your comfort zone should the unicorn come calling with "a better plan."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spinning Destiny with the Ancestors

I grew up in the deep south, specifically Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is known as the Druid City. My mom would often point to one of the magnificent Druid oaks lining the narrow streets of our neighborhood as a wisdom prop for teaching the "Old Ways." Our woody neighborhood was often transformed into a Druid sacred grove.

Her spirituality, as well as her demeanor, were passed-down virtues decidedly Druidic. She, like our ancient Celtic ancestors, loved and respected nature with rare reverence. There's little doubt in my mind the genes of ancient Druid shamans (vates) found their way into our family's Cauldron of Rebirth.

Jumping ahead to the 90s, I'm not sure what caused that one huge Druid oak in the backyard to come crashing through my bedroom in the middle of the night. It narrowly missed me. I was lucky. The local weather gurus called it a straight line wind - "a microburst," is what they said. Whatever it was, it uprooted only one tree and destroyed only our house, the house I grew up in.

My metaphysical interpretation of that terrifying evening is gnomic: Druid ancestors are helping me steer my Ship of Destiny with her heart of oak.

The Wheel pictured above is tucked away in a sacred oak grove. The Wheel emerges from the Tree of Life, or World Tree as Druids would have said. A figurine of a Mother Goddess, symbolizing protection and good fortune, welcomes the smudging pot's wafting sage vapors. Sage increases acuity of wisdom and the potency of healing. In this sacred grove, the figurine likely would represent Nemetona, Celtic Goddess of Sacred Spaces, or a specific genius loci (guardian spirit).

When Wheel appears in a reading, the querent may choose to imagine and invoke an attendant ritual or ceremony. The ritual could be one of healing, guidance, or just general thanksgiving. Or it could be for private intentions held  in the heart. Other possibilities include ceremonies of offerings to the Guardian Spirit of your personal Axis Mundi (discussed here), or the gathering of an Ancestral Council (discussed below with the Six of Mirrors). Wheel in Chrysalis Tarot emphasizes destiny as a process of choice, not chance.

Our Wheel is the 12-spoke Celtic Wheel of Life, pictured on the right. Wheel in the Chrysalis Tarot card art (above) gathers subtle energy both from earth and sky.

The Chrysalis Wheel then channels this vital, subtle energy into your own natural surroundings, where much of it will become manifest as synchronicity in nature. Like a ship's wheel and unfurled sails, synchronicity is energy that steers you toward your personal destiny.

Beyond keen discernment of life's natural rhythms and synchronicity - discernment to inform your choices - only minor course corrections should be required on your part. Balance and mindfulness produce a psychological condition known as "flow" - you live life fully in the present moment and keep your chakras properly aligned. Chrysalis Tarot helps you achieve both.

The Weaver, a member of Chrysalis Tarot's Troupe, is one of four Troupe muses. She may represent an important person in your life, an ancestor, a particular aspect of your personality that's blossoming, or trying to blossom, or she may offer unique perspectives on an outcome.

In mythology, The Weaver is Clotho who spins the thread of life called sutra, the Sanskrit word for the thread that connects. On Clotho's loom, this thread connects you to your destiny and the subtle energies that assist you in attaining destiny. Accordingly, in a reading The Weaver confirms that you're on the right path. 

The sutra also connects you to your ancestors in a formidable way. The ancestors bear great responsibility and intimately involve themselves in the Hero's Journeys of their descendants (if you allow them to). 

Clotho's dozing cat symbolizes quietness, mindfulness and inner stillness. Specifically, the cat represents sutra that may be visualized as two kundalini serpents, one male, one female, that spiral upward from the root of your spine (Root Chakra) and take flight in the Crown Chakra (see diagram below right).

Kundalini awakening is part and parcel of Third Eye activation as discussed in last week's blog, as well as chakra clearing and balancing. Various Mind-Body-Spirit practices symbolized by The Weaver keep Threads of Life strong and long lasting.

When considering the kundalini serpents, it's helpful to regard the body as an extension of the earth itself and yourself as another link in the infinite chain of interconnected Oneness. This helps overcome illusions of separateness.

Weaving a tapestry of destiny should be seen as a co-creative effort, an effort calling upon the highest states of human awareness. The Weaver's magic is the impeccable spiraling symmetry of two kundalini threads connecting you to everything in the Universe.

The "unseen activities" mentioned in Chrysalis' Little White Book description of the Six of Mirrors are the ancestral influences intimately involved in your personal destiny. In a reading, this card underscores the importance of maintaining balance, harmony and focus when discerning subtle energies.

In addition to the Six of Mirrors, several other Chrysalis minor arcana cards also may implicate direct ancestral energy in readings. I use the word direct to emphasize that no intermediary such as a shaman or medium is necessary.

The cards imbued with "ancestral implications" include the Four of Spirals, Six of Spirals, Eight of Spirals, The Muse and The Mime. All share one of Storyteller's five resonances. Storyteller (below right) should be used as the significator when conducting ancestral council readings (any 5-card spread will suffice).

When you draw one or more of these cards in a reading with Storyteller, the ancestors are likely tapping you on the shoulder.

The beautiful gazebo in the colorful background (above left) conceals a holy well. It's also Chrysalis Tarot's shrine to the ancestors. This sacred space is looked after by a jolly flautist, who is in fact an Irish sidhe - a fairy. Like many fairies, sidhe are shapeshifters. Indeed, the rainbow bird in the scene is a shapeshifted sidhe. She symbolizes ease of movement of subtle energy between seen and unseen realms. In Celtic tradition, sidhe are known as the Shining Ones; shamans often encounter sidhe as wispy luminescent beings. I believe the Celtic goddess Etain was once a sidhe. Etain experienced many kinds of metamorphosis (shapeshifting).

We all mirror our ancestors; our traits were once their traits. The Six of Mirrors memorializes the ancestors with pools of Reflected Memories flowing from the holy well. In a reading, it reminds you to honor your ancestors by practicing recollection - recalling and contemplating positive memories.

You may even consider adding this special card and Storyteller to your ancestral altar during Samhain, a.k.a. Día de Muertos, All Hallow's Eve, Halloween.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Maat and Sekhmet - Activating Your Third Eye Chakra

This piece is about imagination, intuition and the vital role they play in psychic experience of other dimensions. Intuitive tarot reading, for example, is itself an indirect experience of non-ordinary reality, but intuitive tarot reading is only the tip of the iceberg

Like many Chrysalis Tarot cards, the one pictured on the left is multi-dimensional. Maat, the Egyptian Goddess of Justice, has divinatory significance, of course, but she also symbolizes an Otherworld portal that beckons the querent to experience of the rest of the iceberg directly.

In a reading, interpret Maat's wingspan as a portal or psychic Stargate that, as you see, is tended by Sekhmet in her protective lion aspect. Sekhmet symbolizes transformative healing and the fire of enlightenment. Sekhmet also symbolizes the whole iceberg along with the method and energy required to experience it via liminal consciousness. 

Liminal consciousness is not what commonly is referred to as an altered state of consciousness (ASC). Generally speaking, ASCs are triggered by psychoactive drugs, shamanic drumming or deep meditation practiced over long periods of time, etc. ASCs allow the subject to cross the threshold and project into the Astral Plane (below) of ancestors and discarnate spirits.
Astral Projection by Michael R. Jacobs

Liminal consciousness, on the other hand, is a less visual more psychically communicative experience. It can be entered into at will by activating the sixth chakra. That's where your Third Eye, the Eye of Ra (right) is found. The Third Eye is associated with several Egyptian goddesses, including Ra, Bastet, Hathor and Sekhmet. 

Liminal consciousness can be compared to Robert Moss' conscious dreaming and C.G. Jung's active imagination. In either case, the dreamer is not quite awake but not quite asleep either. This is my preferred method because it suits my lifestyle: I'm ambivalent about entheogenic drugs and I don't drum. For me, deep meditation for hours on end isn't practical. However, liminal consciousness is. And it is not the least bit unnerving, only exhilarating and informative. 

The word liminal comes from the Latin word for threshold. I don't believe it's necessary to enter into an ASC to obtain guidance and infused knowledge from the Otherworld (Collective Unconscious). ASCs may, however, be necessary in order to gain the power and authority necessary to heal others physically without recourse to traditional allopathic remedies, a topic we'll examine in a future blog.   

Third Eye Chakra by Mark Duffin
We activate the Third Eye (sixth) chakra by teasing out a naturally produced chemical secreted by the pineal gland known as DMT (dimethyltryptamine). The Third Eye is the pineal gland. The Third Eye does exist! DMT is a natural psychedelic. That's right! Human DNA is hardwired to experience parapsychological (psi) phenomena such as channeling, out-of-body experiences and astral travel, experiences recorded by the shamans in all cultures.

At the conclusion of the blog, there is a 17-minute YouTube merkaba meditation to aid with activation of the pineal gland and sixth chakra. Many similar videos are freely available online. Merkaba is a sacred symbol composed of two star tetrahedrons. It symbolizes all types of mystical travel, e.g. between dimensions, to higher consciousness, astral projection and spiritual ascension.

There are other effective ways to stimulate the pineal gland to produce DMT, which then unlocks the material world's psychic prisons. Any practice designed to heighten intuition and cleanse chakras will stimulate the pineal gland, as will accupuncture, accupressure, visualization and yoga, to mention a few.

Reading with Chrysalis Tarot, or with any other tarot deck created with the specific intention of engendering cross dimensional communication, is also an effective way to stimulate the Third Eye chakra. (Something to consider: avoid fluoride, soda pop and calcium supplements. All have been shown to calcify the pineal gland.) 

Constellation of Orion. The three stars
in his belt align with the Giza Plateau.
I've often wondered why Egyptian mythology is so popular and prevalent in psi circles. One reason, I discovered, is abundant healing imagery - the mind responds to, and connects with, ancient images, and symbols. Ancient Egypt is a foundation stone of the Collective Unconscious.

Another reason is because Ancient Egypt is widely considered by many scholars to be a Depository of Mystical Knowledge. Some think Ancient Egypt's advanced teachers survived the destruction of an earlier, lost civilization. "If truth were told, our land is the temple of the whole world." ~ Corpus Hermeticum 

Before retiring in the evening, I'll often contemplate the emergent paradigm now preparing civilization for an unprecedented leap in consciousness. I then draw a Chrysalis Tarot card to act as a Dream Symbol to stimulate my sixth chakra.

Below is a piece I wrote not too long ago. It's a sequella inspired by liminal experience. The inspiration proceeded from a fully awakened state that then slowly faded into liminal consciousness, which I suppose also could be termed a prolonged hypnagogic state, and then eventually into restful sleep.

The Playwright's Play

In times of unsettling change, I find it useful to sail beneath the surface of my thoughts in search of psychic insight. So to peer, if you will, beyond the veil in hopes of observing the playwright, to ponder scenes yet unwritten; to enter the realm of ancient archetypes, ancestors and arcane symbols, the realm Jung dubbed the Collective Unconscious. And there to listen to words of ancient wisdom.

To behold wonderment and wisdom beyond the purple veil, the Eye of Ra is my guiding light. I should see through my Third Eye more often. Perhaps we all should. Such journeys demand stillness of mind, a rarity in a rattled world.

When silence finally falls, the mind drifts as subtle voices arise. The voices drift effortlessly betwixt and between. Colors thoughtdance all around. I sail by marble headstones of repressed memories, guided by the Eye of Ra, as well wishers whisper silent farewells.

And then, from beyond the silence my Third Eye glimpses the blue globe of the world. And Matt names the globe Justice. And then I notice Maat and Orion the Hunter twinkling in distant stars.

Eye of Ra by Butchen
I notice a river. A river beyond the playwright's veil. Upon the bank, I behold the image of an oppressed voice. He sees me too. He nods and smiles. His half-naked body is little. He is taut yet frail. His spirit illumines the blue globe, the blue globe named Justice.

My heart tells me this is the River Ganges. And there is yet another river. I return the little man's nod and smile and continue my journey, my journey down the Ganges. As I approach, colored rhythms whose names are Tomorrow and Tomorrow, sharpen the formless thoughts of the playwright. Now there is no veil. No differentiation to be found. Only a vast holistic Oneness.

The blue globe, which I perceive clearly in distant stars, now appears to be less troubled. The vast Oneness is animated by the archetypes, by all the characters in the play. By the silent characters in the playwright's play. 

Maat embraces my heart. She speaks to me of her children, the men and women of Justice. Of the whispering well wishers. Of the half-naked little man. She speaks to me of the silent characters in the playwright's play. Somehow, I perceive the Ganges to be the Great River of Spirit and the other river, the River Nile, to be the Great River of Creation. I also intuit a third river. But the third river runs barren. There is no life in it.

These are the symbols and the archetypes and the ancestors that spoke to my heart on my journey down the Great Rivers. On my journey on the Ganges and the Nile into the valleys of Ancient Egypt with Maat at my side. And I see a family.

Pharaoh Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Family
A child sits on Nefertiti's knee. It is a female child. The Royal Wife of Akhenaten tells me her name is Golden. She tells me Golden plays a part in the playwright's play. Golden nods and smiles. Then she bids me gaze back at the River Ganges. To gaze back upon the river of the half-naked man.

I behold a gathering of women from all nations. These women, Nefertiti tells me, are all strong women and she names them Strong Voices. They are the Mothers of Golden and they have a part in the playwright's play. The barren river, she tells me, soon will flood the blue globe with Strong Voices. And the third river is named Renewal. And Renewal flows and foams with tumultuous cascades of firelight.

Ma'at and Nefertiti speak to me in their native sound. In the silent symbols of the Archetypes and the soft sounds of the Ancient Ones. This is a soothing sound, the voices of  Maat and Nefertiti in the valleys of Ancient Egypt.

I should return now from the restrained silence of this land, from the silence of the Great Rivers. Nefertiti bids me write of her child, Golden. To write of Strong Voices. To write of unwritten scenes beyond the veil. Beyond the veil that conceals the playwright's play.

I sail beyond the little man. Beyond the marble headstones. Beyond the landscapes and inscapes. I sail back across the veil, the purple veil that conceals the playwright's play.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chrysalis Spiral Energy - Strong or Subtle but Always Kind

Ace of Spirals
Preceded in Chrysalis by Earth (Stones) and Water (Mirrors), this high octane ace symbolizes the element of Fire (Spirals). Transformative energy, symbolized by a spiral, is essential for ascension to higher consciousness. Without it, the potential of the pupa is unrealized. Destiny is unfulfilled. There is no butterfly, so you may as well discard that Psyche card.

Chrysalis' Suit of Spirals is where the rubber hits the road bound for personal growth and destiny. Spirals are cards of manifestation. They assure that you yourself become Psyche in all her transfigured glory.

As we mentioned in a previous blog, Chrysalis aces can be read as oracle cards as well as tarot cards. Indeed, many cards in our deck offer an oracular layer, usually associated with a power animal or familiar. All Troupe characters, for example, show off their personal familiars.

The Ace of Spirals' oracular animal is the Aries Ram. Most astrologers will tell you this astrological sign has a dual nature - Ram and Sheep. Ram charges down the hill and then looks back to survey the damage he/she caused. Sheep is more cautious and considerate. The Ace of Spirals has blended the two to combines the many positive attributes from both natures.

The Ace of Spirals Ram in Chrysalis Tarot is an agent of growth and change. He relentlessly pursues opportunity. He symbolizes the innocent, vulnerable side of your psyche. Displaying genuine childlike charm and innocence, Ram sports the feathers of a Great Spirit Rainbow Warrior plus a single peacock feather to symbolize your inner peace and glorious ascension.

When the Ace of Spirals appears in a reading, the time is ripe for setting goals aimed squarely at personal destiny.

Three of Spirals
This Buddhist monk from the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat (wat is the Thai word for temple) symbolizes the contemplative practice of meditation. Indeed, this card in a reading will remind you to recharge your spiritual batteries on a daily basis.

To do so insulates your psyche from the mundane noise and pollution commonplace today. Quieting the mind and stilling the soul (psyche) is essential to good health, both spiritual and physical. It also is essential to hearing sacred music, the Music of the Spheres.

Angkor Wat represents Sacred Geometry, a similar concept. Like Sacred Music, Sacred Geometry refers to mathematical ratios - wisdom gifts from the Pythagorean Academy.

The geometry at Angkor Wat is a mandala, symbol of a perfected world. The temple itself, built in the 12th century as a Hindu temple, is the world's largest religious structure. Today, it's a Theravada Buddhist temple, the oldest form of Buddhism still practiced. (Hindu, of course, is Buddhism's parent religion.) Directly beneath the tallest of its five spires was Vishnu's sanctuary. The temple's mandala-like architecture, a series of five rectangular enclosures, is discerned by a bird's eye view. Five, of course, represents the Primal Elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Spirit.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat at sunset

Face Tower, Angkor Wat Complex
In the last blog, we discussed earth energy and the Dragon Line that spans Great Britain. Placed along the Dragon Line's energy, we noted numerous megalithic monuments and sacred sites were built.

Angkor Wat also was built on such an alignment, but one that spans the circumference of the globe. Within one tenth of one degree of latitude we find the Great Pyramid, Machupicchu, the Nazca Lines, Easter Island, the lost city of Petra, the ancient Sumerian city of Ur and the temple complex at Angkor Wat.

Many para-anthropologists well versed on ancient religious sites and sacred geometry argue for the existence of "cosmic portals" along this global alignment. They speak of a New Golden Age.

Whether true or not, futurist Diana Carter in her book  Birthing a New Civilization: Transition to the Golden Age in 2032 writes, "The portal at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, will help people develop friendships on a physical level and also connect with friends in spirit, including the angels. More importantly, it will help people access their own inner wisdom."

Our Three of Spirals monk holds the same great expectations for Chrysalis Tarot.

Nine of Spirals
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind. ~ Bob Dylan

I'm fond of relating these Dylan lyrics to tarot, especially the Nine of Spirals. Yes, we do know the answers are "out there." We sense it. We feel it. We anticipate it, whether our answers are "out there" or "in here," closeted in the unconscious. Or both, which is our philosophy.

Tarot assures us the answers lie somewhere. Tarot helps you look for them and, in the process, discover yourself. But to find the answers you do need to search for them. You do need to take the Hero's Journey literally, or metaphorically using Chrysalis.

As with all tarot cards numbered nine, this card foretells completion. The Nine of Spirals anticipates completion of one of a countless number of life-cycles. It also symbolizes the transition from Fire energy (Spirals) to Air energy (Scrolls), depicted here in the form of wind.

When you receive this card in a reading, get out your compass. Determine which cardinal wind direction (in a particular reading) appears to be guiding your current life aspect, i.e. mental, spiritual, emotional, physical.

To appreciate all the implications and correspondences, a medicine wheel comes in handy.

Medicine Wheel, by Holly Sierra

North, Guardian of the Air and Wind: Growth of wisdom, reason. Adulthood. The color white. (Suit of Scrolls.)

East, Guardian of the Fire: spiritual growth and healing; rebirth. The color yellow. (Suit of spirals).

South, Guardian of the Water: self-acceptance, humility. Childhood. The color red. (Suit of Mirrors.)

West, Guardian of the Earth: life examined, introspection. Adolescence. The color black. (Suit of Stones.)

Center, Guardian of the Spirit: the balance of beauty and kindness; transfiguration, ascension.

Aeolus, the ancient wind blower pictured on the Nine of Spirals, is accompanied by four ravens who symbolize the four cardinal winds. This Chrysalis card has great affinity with Elpi (The Star), where the cardinal winds are symbolized by four steeds (the Greek Anemoi). The steeds imply the powerful and ubiquitous hopefulness of spiritual energy, of the wind.

Birds in flight between heaven and earth also symbolize the presence of powerful spiritual energy, unlimited freedom and opportunity. Air and Spirit are often the most undervalued elements, perhaps because we can't see them or don't see them.

Black Elk, 1863-1950, Oglala Sioux
Medicine Man

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

The Sky is round, and I have heard 
that the earth is round like a ball, 
and so are all the stars.

The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. 
Birds make their nests in circles, 
for theirs is the same religion as ours.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mesmerized by Standing Stones, Gemstones and Other Stones

Ace of Stones
My heart has two homes. One is my physical home, which is wherever I happen to live. My spiritual home is the other. That's a mystical portal connecting my 8th chakra to Universal Oneness.

Your 8th chakra, and other higher realm spiritual chakras (there are five in total), are, like all chakras, unblocked by meditation, Chrysalis Tarot, shamanic and crystal energy healing, chakra work, and various other methods uniquely fashioned to heal the psyche while instilling inner peace and well-being.  

Best of all, you can place your allegorical portal anywhere in the world, e.g. Jerusalem, Stonehenge (pictured on the Eight of Stones), the Giza Plateau, the cherished altar in your home, or any peaceful garden filled with birds and flowers and nature noise. It's your choice.

Whatever you proclaim  as your sacred space becomes consecrated ground and your personal Axis Mundi, or Tree of Life. And, if need be, you can move it around as life's circumstances suggest. Say you want to emphasize healing. Then you might choose to locate your Axis Mundi at the great energy vortex of Sedona, Arizona, or possibly the River Ganges. Your heart can be your travel guide.

Cornwall, England, is my spiritual home. My Axis Mundi lies half-hidden away near Lamorna Cove on the seaward side of Mount's Bay. Lamorna is an enchanting spot. J.R.R. Tolkien's Gaffer Gamgee character from Lord of the Rings was inspired by an old chap Tolkien met at the Cove with his family in 1932. If you push off from the Cove in a little skiff and hook a right, you'll see a large old stone dubbed Mermaid's Rock. That's my Axis Mundi, my sacred space.

The film Summer in February is a story about a thriving artist colony in Lamorna before WWI. It was filmed there. Years later, in 1938, Aleister Crowley followed the love of his life to Lamorna. But she broke his heart. Writer John le Carré lives up the road in the general direction of the Merry Maidens Stone Circle. It's a magical place, Lamorna, Cornwall.
B and B Garden, Falmouth, Cornwall

Today Cornwall is a just another county in the UK's lush and mystical West Country. As you approach Mount's Bay,  the weather and flora turn tropical - pleasant gifts from warm Caribbean air riding the Gulf Stream north. In olden days, Cornwall was an independent Celtic country with its own language and culture. The mythological King Arthur and his court, along with Merlin, Morgan le Fey and others, ruled this realm (and will again someday, according to prophecy)!

Cornwall was the inspiration for the megalith (large stone) pictured on the Ace of Stones (above left). For me, the Ace of Stones serves as a mandala, cousin to my own Axis Mundi. Jung wrote, "It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the path to the center." Like the other Chrysalis aces, this card can be read as an oracle; it, and others like it throughout the Mystical Isles, are earth-energy centers, a truth easily deduced from the art.
Energy patterns detected
by professional dowsers using
electromagnetic equipment.

Dowsing for earth energy is a huge hobby in the UK. Every August professional dowsers cross over the River Tamar, which separates Cornwall and Devonshire, to enter the dragon's heart of Celtic myth and mysticism. They come to detect ley lines, subterranean streams of earth energy that criss-cross the county and other areas of the U.K.

Lesser ley lines radiate like river tributaries from two intertwined major ley lines - one male, colored red; the other female, colored white. Combined, they form what is known today as the Dragon Line. It runs from Land's End right across Mount's Bay to England's East Anglian coast.

You can't see the energy, but you can certainly feel it. You can dowse it. The Dragon Line accounts for countless pagan standing stones, stone circles, monuments, Holy Wells, and, yes, also churches dedicated to St. Michael (said to have slain the pagan dragon). Fortunately, that's a good deal easier said than done!

We tried to imbue many Chrysalis Tarot cards with "gradients" of nested meaning (polysemous). Like an onion, if you peel back one layer, you bring forth another layer of meaning. The painting below wonderfully depicts the Earth's feminine energy, one of the gradients of the Ace of Stones.

The Ace of Stones represents new beginnings and fruitful abundance. As a suit, stones symbolize the material realm. The Ace of Stones exemplifies Gaia's omnipresent spiritual energy that, like King Arthur and his court, rules the material realm and floods the Earth. The painting below articulates this mesmerizing energy better than words possibly can.

The Crow, the Megalith and the Moon,
by C.J. Lucas

Of all the Chrysalis archetypes, mythological figures and high-energy healing cards, few can match the healing energy or synchronous phenomena generated by the Ace of Stones. Welcome it to your readings.

Six of Stones
The Tree of Life on the Six of Stones symbolizes outward manifestation of inner beauty and karma. The tree also is a resonance of the Hrit Chakra, the wish-fulfillment chakra. The stones fastened to its lower limbs are the talismans of good fortune and harmony.

The golden colored beryl gemstones are called heliodors - Gifts of the Sun. The green beryl stones are emeralds, known as the Stones of Successful Love. Emeralds are associated with the Heart Chakra and represent the vitality of the human spirit called Caritas, which is Latin for charity. Caritas is unconditional, spiritual love (agape), as opposed to steamy, romantic love (eros).

Put another way, the seeds we sow by giving of ourselves to others (the heliodors) are returned to us two-fold or more by the universe (the emeralds). Golden gifts of ourselves could be one's time, material resources, or by simply demonstrating compassion and kindness.

Emeralds symbolize intuition, wisdom and balance. Both emeralds and heliodors are well respected for their robust healing energies.

Like all the cards in tarot numbered six, the Chrysalis Six of Stones is about restoring harmony and balance. The Anahata energies - Heart Chakra - aid restoration of harmony through acts of compassion, generosity and kindness for others (and for animals). The symbol at the center of the Heart Chakra mandala (right) is the Sanskrit letter Yam. It mimes the sound of the chakra's mantra.

The two intersecting triangles symbolize balance and harmony, as do the latticed coils of earth energy nourishing the Tree of Life on the Six of Stones.

If there's something in the material realm that feels out of sorts, you might consider meditating on either the Six of Stones card or the Heart Chakra mandala. Chakra work unblocks the natural flow of your body's energy centers.

Ten of Stones 
This little sprite is happy and balanced, but not because he has more quartz crystals than the Joneses. He does love his quartz, though! His prized collection of quartz crystals, symbolizing his material possessions and wealth, represents the fruits of his labors; he earned them through hard work. This card would never begrudge that.

It's his hair that concerns us. You see how earthbound it is? All that earth energy flowing directly into his Crown Chakra? If he's simply recharging his love of nature and the higher things, this card is a good omen. He can recharge and proceed through the archway to the next cycle, having completed this cycle.

But is looks as though his hair (his value system) may be, well, permanently entwined, so to speak. It's all twisted up like a Gordian Knot - impossible to unravel without magic. Fortunately, Chrysalis Tarot is filled with magic. All he need do is unravel the knot, reorder his priorities and salvage his values - channel some of that earth energy flow to his Heart Chakra. Loosen up. Tease your hair.

This card is about choices, not fate. Chrysalis Tarot strongly renounces notions of disempowering fate so that we may empower notions of personal destiny instead. Destiny: the result of choices in life made freely. That message is underscored by a symbolic Wheel (of Fortune) atop the archway behind him.

The Ten of Stones was drawn recently by a Chrysalis fan in a tarot forum. She offered this valuable insight: "I knew what I had to do if I didn't want to become stagnant. I can just imagine the little guy smiling over his hard earned gems and polishing them and forgetting that those stones aren't the whole world."

This fellow, and our fan, will be just fine. It was simply a particularly bad hair day for the Ten of Stones. It happens. We're all human here, right?