The Age of Aquarius

Aquarius, Dutch modern artist Johfra Bosschart

Paul Levy, who I quote extensively below, is a pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. Among his books are The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality and Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil. An artist and author, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over 35 years.

As we enter the nascent phase of the Aquarian Age that includes the corrective and final gasps of the previous Piscean Age, we simultaneously enter the paradigm shift that was the impetus for Chrysalis Tarot.

A paradigm is defined simply as the framework for understanding reality. The dominant Piscean paradigm is the Eurocentric, Biblical worldview. It regards evil as an external reality, i.e. the devil.

In fact, evil is an intrinsic aspect of every individual’s psyche. It exists in the shadow self. It is a mind disease Paul Levy calls wetiko, a Cree word meaning evil spirit.

In actuality, wetiko is a far worse demon: “Wetiko is the overarching umbrella that contains, subsumes, informs and underlies every form of self and other destruction that our species is acting out seemingly uncontrollably in our world today on every scale,” according to Levy.

When wetico’s scale of infection leaps from individual to species, from micro to macro, it becomes a phenomena called Mass Formation Psychosis, a term attributed to author Mattias Desmet. The spectre then becomes “madness on an industrial scale, as we see evidenced all around us in the world today,” as Levy notes in an article he wrote for Kosmos Journal.

“Wetiko can be conceived of as being an evil, cannibalistic, vampiric spirit that inspires people under its sway to take and consume another’s resources and lifeforce energy solely for their own profit [or emotional satisfaction], without giving anything back of value from their own lives. Wetiko thus violates the sacred law of reciprocity in both human affairs and the natural world as a whole.” Because it is vampiric, it is also toxically narcissistic: the unawakened are self-absorbed yet not self-aware. Consequently, they are easily manipulated, intimidated and controlled. They believe what their peers insist they believe thus forming a collective, undiscerning hive-mind.

Have you watched mainstream news lately? Wide scale violence is escalating, as is palpable fear. Not only does corporate media confirm the above quoted assertion by Levy, it both promulgates and justifies it. The mainstream media is part of the problem.

Art by James Piper

As I previously mentioned, I don’t intend to write a great deal about wetiko or about what is really going on in our world in this Chrysalis space. Instead, such pieces, often harrowing, will appear on my new Rational Spirituality substack. I invite you to subscribe – it’s always free. You will be provided with critical information and spiritual guidance you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

The evil spirit animating wetiko has been creatively symbolized in as many ways as can be imagined by many great artists, scientists, thinkers and philosophers, and certainly by every spiritual wisdom tradition known to humanity, notes Levy. Carl Jung referred to the wetiko mind disease as “totalitarian psychosis.” The trend toward totalitarianism in the U.S. is astounding; consider the lockdowns, mandates and pervasive censorship. We are truly entering the Orwellian dystopia.

The great imperative is this: we must fast awaken to this threat and seek to understand it. There is far too much groupthink and far too little critical thinking in our society. “Wetiko, though originating within the human psyche, reveals itself via the medium of the outside world. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is reflecting—just like a dream, where the outer dreamscape is a symbolic expression of the inner state of the dreamer—an unconscious process that is happening deep within the human psyche. It’s like Covid is something we collectively “manifested into existence.” (Levy)

Chrysalis was created as an antidote to the mind virus. Our great defense against wetiko is self awareness, which must include our shadow self; the shadow is where wetiko lurks with impunity. We all must incorporate our personal shadow, regardless of our deplorable it may be, into our conscious awareness and own it! It’s the only way I know of to effectively fight back. The universe is a living organism and offers everything we need to wake up and develop eyes to see.

Jung felt that the catastrophic evil manifesting in our world today is an archetypical expression of the process of humanity’s transition from one epoch—and lower state of consciousness—to another epoch and higher state of consciousness.

The dark side has it’s archetypes and we have ours! My favorite Old Testament prophet is Ezekiel, who wrote: “Son of man, you’re living with a bunch of rebellious people. They have eyes but don’t see a thing, they have ears but don’t hear a thing. They’re rebels all.” (Ezekiel 2:22, MSG)

Mundo Icayari, by Luis Tamani


© R. Toney Brooks, PhD, 2023

Chrysalis Cosmology

“In ancient Egyptian culture, owls have long been seen as a symbol of darkness and supernatural wisdom protected from those who do not deserve to receive this knowledge. Their dark qualities were celebrated because they were said to link with the unknown mystery of the hereafter.” From Bird Watching by David Swanson.

In Chrysalis Tarot, a good deal of the symbolism represented in Janie Olsen’s art (left) is expressed on the Celtic Owl card; in traditional tarot this card is called The Hanged Man.

In fact, in our Little White Book. a guidebook we include with Chrysalis decks, I made this observation, “The unseen world remains dark to many because its reality if doubted or denied.” And therein lies the rub: materialism – the abject denial of God, spirituality and what Chrysalis terms the Unseen or Otherworld.

Chrysalis cosmology posits a duality known as Manichaeism: good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, spirit vs matter. Indeed, by definition as a tool for divination, tarot appeals directly to this Unseen World, a world that adds meaning to life.

Divination is distinct from fortune telling, which is a debasement of tarot. Divination invokes divine guidance and protection. It cloaks tarotists with an ability to best use their innate faculties of discernment and intuition – faculties materialists and other non-believers eschew and ridicule.

It’s useful, I believe, to revisit three basic beliefs essential to understanding Chrysalis Cosmology and to efficiently invoking Chrysalis methodology:

  1. Panpsychism. This is the belief that everything possesses some inherent degree of consciousness.
  2. Non-locality. This is the belief that consciousness itself is not simply an emergent property of the human brain but is rather what theologian Paul Tillich termed, “The Ground of All Being.”
  3. Interconnectivity. This is the belief that all things both in the seen world and in the Unseen Otherworld are interconnected. All cosmic information therefore is accessible. In her Celtic Owl art, Holly chose the Celtic Knot to symbolize this universal interconnectivity.

Around the same time we published the Chrysalis Companion Book, I put the finishing touches on an academic paper titled Evolution of Consciousness and the Emergent Aquarian Paradigm. My thesis was that the upcoming Aquarian Age will shepherd a quantum leap forward in human consciousness. I’ve long felt Chrysalis would play some modest role in that evolution. In the paper, I quote Indian philosopher and mystic Sri Aurobindo: “Man may help or man may resist, but the Zeitgeist works, shapes, overbears, insists.”

Zeitgeist is a fun word. It refers to the invisible agent or Daemon that comes to dominate a given historical epoch such as an astrological age. Carl Jung saw the advent of Christianity as one dominant theme in our present Piscean Age, which appears now to be in its archetypal death throes. The Daemon of the Piscean Age therefore would have been the Image of the Divine writ large in humanity’s Collective Unconscious, to tap Jungian terms. That “image” would include Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and to a large extent Greek Philosophy. Humanity has made unprecedented advances over the last 2,000 years.

J.W. Waterhouse’s painting of the The Tempest came to mind when I penned the “death throes of our current Piscean Age.” Certainly the 20th century was haunted and traumatized by one version of the Apocalypse followed by another. Now firmly in the 21st century and staring down nuclear holocaust, we have suddenly become Miranda: We all beg our father to save the men at sea and still the sinister storm that has beset our times.

“Man may help or man may resist, but the Zeitgeist works, shapes, overbears, insists.”

We make life easier for ourselves and for the paradigm shift into the Aquarian Age when we discern and cooperate with the nascent Daemon rather than misperceive and resist it. Such a cooperative effort requires profound critical thinking and acute self-awareness. Too many are in denial. Too many are still asleep.

© Toney Brooks, 2023

Hope and Wonder

This is a guest blog from Caitlin Johnstone. Her Substack can be found here. Caitlin’s Substack newsletters are particularly relevant during these trying times.

I often hear talk of how depressing it is to learn the truth about what’s really going on in our society and in our world, including in the comments sections of the places my own writings appear. I’m always being asked for advice on how to keep going on when everything seems so dismal.

This blog has largely functioned as a space where I document the ongoing expansion of my own awareness and understanding of the world and all its ills, an education which I suspect will continue for as long as I have a functioning brain. But to be honest in the six plus years I’ve been working at this project I’ve never once experienced a moment of the despair and depression I hear people talking about, and it’s never once occurred to me to give up or stop fighting.

When people ask me how I keep my head up and keep plugging away day after day I usually say something about the importance of inner work, healing old traumas and purging the many illusions which distort our perception of reality. And to a certain extent that’s true; such work gives you a foundation of inner peace from which to function and a clarity of perspective that makes it much easier to see through the bullshit. How anyone manages to engage with this stuff from day to day without a rigorous discipline of inner work and self-examination I’ll never know.

But upon reflection I think equanimity when dealing with harsh truths also comes from a much simpler foundation: that there is always hope, and that there is always wonder.

Hopelessness, when it comes to the fate of humanity, is an irrational position. The belief that we’re all inevitably going to destroy ourselves or keep marching into the depths of dystopia to the beat of the propaganda drum assumes a level of knowledge that nobody can possibly have. Nobody could possibly have enough information to draw that conclusion with any degree of confidence, and believing that you have is actually a bit arrogant.

You don’t know what the future holds for our species, what unpredictable sociological, technological, environmental or situational surprises lie in wait that could cause a radical deviation from the norm. Not only do you not know what the future holds, you don’t even know what the present holds. You don’t know what latent potentials might exist within humanity which could one day be unlocked. You don’t know what reality is ultimately made of or what unknown forces may have been driving this human adventure. Only by crunching the possible down to the teeny, tiny confining bandwidth of the known can you proclaim that our situation is hopeless.

And if you’ve done a lot of work exploring your inner dimensions you’ve probably got at least an inkling that there is much, much more to humanity than that tiny confining bandwidth. You’ve probably become at least somewhat aware that there’s a whole lot more going on inside you than you would gather from conventional narratives about the human experience. Speaking solely for myself I’ve discovered capabilities and potentials within me that were totally unpredicted by anything I’ve ever heard or read about our species and what makes us tick, some so strange and unexpected that I don’t generally feel comfortable even talking about them. I’ve no reason to believe such strange unseen potentialities are unique to me, or even rare, or even something that doesn’t exist within each and every one of us.

So from my point of view hopelessness is an illogical position, born of arrogance, sloppy thinking, and a lack of curiosity about one’s own inner processes. Hopelessness is the baseless and irrational shrinking of possibilities down to the spectrum of what’s known. That’s one reason despair never enters here.

Another is that if you really open your eyes, you’ll notice that the world is crackling with so much radiant beauty and wonder that even if we were to lose it all tomorrow, it would have been enough. A lucid perception of reality brings with it an experience of awe, and an on-your-knees gratitude for the fact that there was ever anything at all. From a perspective that isn’t clouded with mental narrative and internal distraction, each moment is too miraculous and too priceless a gift to get hung up on the possibility that it might not last.

Wonder is always accessible, even in the depths of sadness or depression. You might not always be able to find it in the trees or the butterflies, but you can always find it somewhere, often in the sadness itself. Even in the pain and despondency. Even in the car exhaust and the tattered billboards. Even in the background shimmering of existence. It’s always there to be found, you just might have to zoom out or zoom in your camera in order to find your access point to it.

There’s always wonder. There’s always beauty. And thank god, because what a shame it would be if this world did end without our having marvelled at it and appreciated its majesty. That might be our only purpose. Did you ever think of that? Perhaps we’re only here to witness and marvel. Might as well be good at it.

So for one thing there’s no basis for any conviction that humanity is headed toward disaster, and for another the fact that it could all end is a very good reason to throw yourself into wonder and appreciation rather than despair. Either way I see no good reason to let our collective situation leave us paralyzed with fear, hopelessness and depression. There is always hope, and there is always wonder.

~ Caitlin Johnstone

Seshat – Goddess for Our Times

A society which fails to acknowledge the realm of the gods, a society in which the elites in power seize divine blessings for themselves alone, is a society that dishonors the goddess Seshat and embarks instead upon the disastrous path of King Midas.

You recall that everything Midas touched turned to gold, a wish granted to Midas by Dionysus. This unfortunately included his daughter. King Midas was a master of bad judgement obsessed with the trappings of wealth and power.

Virtually all the ancient myths and sacred stories from cultures worldover are based on celestial metaphor calling attention to this fundamental truth: we exist in both a material and a spiritual universe. Both components – the seen and the unseen – must be maintained in harmonious balance lest serious troubles ensue.

The level of reductionist materialism – the view that only matter is real – is now perhaps at its highest in recorded history. In fact, I am comfortable asserting that the last time the world found itself in a similar state of godlessness and shameful decadence, dystopian Atlantis was on the eve of its fatal destruction some 11,600 years ago.

In ancient Egypt some 3,000 years ago, around the time of the First Dynasty, Seshat was tasked with properly aligning all newly constructed temples and monuments, thereby maintaining Earthly harmony with the Spiritual Realm – the Realm of the Gods. We know, for example, the Giza plateau aligns with the three stars of Orion’s belt and that the Great Sphinx itself, which was built several thousands of years before the Great Pyramid, aligns with the constellation Leo the lion. At sunrises in 10,500 B.C. the Sphinx stared directly at Leo. These celestial alignments are paramount to appreciating the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt.

Seshat was also:

  • The keeper of historical records and accounts
  • Guardian of the sacred hieroglyphics
  • The Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom
  • Female Scribe and inventor of writing
  • Goddess of passing time, the lunar cycle and the movement of the stars
  • The goddess of mathematics, astronomy and architecture
  • Mistress of the House of Books
  • The Lady of Builders
  • She who opens the doors of heaven for you

Seshat is a moon goddess, which possibly explains why she is not as well known today as one might expect and also why no Egyptian temples or cults were dedicated to her. Most Mother Goddesses and archetypes of the Divine Feminine are reflective, unassuming and forgo the limelight. Seshat, for example, defers to Thoth, who at various stages in Egyptian history was diminishly known as her husband, father, consort or scribe.

Regardless, Thoth, a moon god, was Seshat’s male counterpart. In Chrysalis Tarot readings, it would be appropriate to associate Seshat with our Moon card, a symbol of nocturnal yin energy, and to use the Moon card to invoke her divine assistance.

Regarding Seshat’s symbology, the seven pointed object in her headdress is not a “seven pointed star,” as is often incorrectly assumed. Instead, it symbolizes celestial alignments, i.e. sunrises, sunsets, etc. The number 7 in this case symbolizes the Seven Heavenly Spheres visible to the naked eye: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Seshat is depicted (top) cutting notches in a palm reed to symbolize some particular pharoah’s allotted time on Earth. Her leopard skin garment indicates she’s a High Priestess.

Interestingly, only exalted priests and priestesses who had defeated the evil god Set were permitted to wear leopard skin robes. This is why I refer to Seshat as goddess and protectoress for our troubled times. It is she who eventually will realign Heaven with Earth and thus restore cosmic harmony. Seshat exhorts us to align ourselves and our societies with the patterns of the divine realm. One commentator noted, “Everything about Seshat symbolizes the vital task of integrating, harmonizing and “tying together” the divine realm and the material realm.”

An excellent book on this subject is “Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt” by John Anthony West.

© Toney Brooks, 2022

The Divine Feminine

Chrysalis art by Holly Sierra

“When the world was born, I came into being. I am the unfading beauty of times to come. In me Grace is at work to divinize the soul. I shall continue to disclose myself to you. I am the Eternal Feminine.” ~ Teilhard de Chardin

One great difference between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity – perhaps even the greatest – can best be understood by examining the very different routes taken in translating the Greek word, theoria. In the East, theoria meant contemplation. In the West, it came to mean theory.

Western Civilization has rigidly theorized, defined and dogmatized almost everything revered by early (pre-Constantine) Christianity. Over the centuries, Christianity has evolved into a horribly out of balance (out of touch with reality) top-down patriarchy. This is why many of us speak of “The End Times.” ‘End of what,’ we ponder? End of an age? That’s for certain! The final, gasping breaths and end of an exhausted, misogynistic Western worldview? Probably. And if so, ‘good riddance,’ but let’s hope Western Civilization can be salvaged by evolving (finally) a more balanced and rational spirituality.

The journey to the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine will involve a conscious act of human spirit and genuine contemplation, not simply memorized “correct beliefs.” Correct beliefs and rigid, impenetrable dogma: these are instruments of manipulation and control. Would that more Christians recognize that. You might recall what Jesus said of religious authoritarians: “For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones…” (Mt 23:27)

Theologians all agree we can articulate absolutely nothing about the incomprehensible essence of God, an eternal, unknowable mystery. And although we can voice nothing about God’s essence (ousia), which is the transcendent nature of God, we can, however, glean much from the experience of God’s activities (enérgeia) on Earth, God’s immanent nature. Some faiths teach God is heavily involved in the world (God’s will) while others extol individual free will, a philosophical disputation for some other time.

Divine Transcendence by Michelle Oravitz

I believe it is imperative to have faith in a personal God with whom one can build a relationship. This automatically precludes gods of abstract forces, concentrations of energy and Prime Movers. We have at our disposal a plentiful inventory of personal Gods to choose from. For me, at the time I wrote Chrysalis and since, my own personal God has been the Divine Feminine. In fact, Jewish mysticism declares that God’s activities on Earth, God’s immanence, are indeed the actions of the Shekinah – “the feminine presence of God who dwells among us.” This teaching is based on writings from the Talmud and Kabbalah.

The Shekinah was in the mist that guided the ancient Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land. Throughout human history there have been many manifestations (theophanies) of the Divine Feminine. Until, that is, she was repressed – some say exiled. “We know and understand by historical and current world conditions, that patriarchy is the force of power and suppression of the Feminine, rooted for millennia in religious doctrine…” (Source)

Orthodox icon of Holy Wisdom (Sophia)

The Greeks knew this mystical feminine presence as Sophia, Holy Wisdom (left). The Romans as Magna Mater – The Great Mother. In ancient Egypt she was first Hathor and later Isis. In the Northern Lands she was Freya; in Celtic Lands, she was known as Danu and as Shakti in Hindustan. In Chrysalis she reveals herself as The Moon, the art adorned with Ishtar’s Eight Pointed Star of New Beginnings. And in Christian mystical thought she is Mary the Mother of God.

I [Sophia] am the breath of the Most High, blanketing the Earth like mist, filling the sky like towering clouds. I encompass distant galaxies, and walk the innermost abyss. Over crest and trough, over sea and land, over every people and nation, I hold sway. ~ Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 24:3-6

In Chrysalis we propagate the “breath of the Most High” as implicating prana or pranic energy, which continuously traverses the seven chakras and reunites with its wellspring, the Universal Soul. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning life force. However, we are unable to evolve a personal relationship with prana in the same idealized way we can relate to Sophia or, say, to the Divine Feminine. Consequently, we tend to ascribe human characteristics to our deities. A process called anthropomorphism.

Those qualities we humans ascribe to the Divine Feminine include gentleness, dependability, constancy, nurturing, compassion and empathy, to name a few. I attach no small significance to the fact that Queen Elizabeth was often photographed wearing a lovely brooch that accentuated the eight-pointed Glorious Star of Regeneration and New Beginnings. In Chrysalis, regeneration is symbolized by the Phoenix.

Will the death of Elizabeth II mark a new beginning and herald a new era? In practicality, of course it will. For me, and perhaps for many others, it is proving difficult to let go of the Elizabethan Era, the only era we have ever known. The Queen provided our material grounding – our refuge from the storms and uncertainty of disruptive change. We shall now rely upon the Divine Feminine more than ever. Obviously, I am an Anglophile, a staunch royalist who values tradition. I once lived in Celtic England (Cornwall) and will forever cherish those days just as I have cherished this remarkable woman.

The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, Queen Elizabeth II

An excellent book by Caitlin Matthews titled Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God is highly recommended.

© Toney Brooks, 2022

The Evil Egregore

John Haverkamp, for Deviant Art

Note: Because of its relevance to today’s spiritual warfare, I’ve republished this Chrysalis Tarot blog from 2018.

An Egregore is often (and incorrectly) referred to as an occult spirit, but in fact it’s simply another archetype or thoughtform. Egregore’s can be positive or negative, good or evil. Chrysalis Tarot itself features only positive archetypes, but this distinctly nefarious fellow pictured on the left warrants a footnote because ‘praemonitus, praemunitus‘ – forewarned is forearmed.

“The egregore connects the people who created it to the psychic energy which created it. It influences others as well. Adolf Hitler used the hatred and anger in the minds of the German people after their defeat in World War I to create an egregore, focusing that energy. A fad in popular culture is a temporary and very potent egregore.” – Wikipedia (Other examples of egregores are Santa Claus and the Devil.)

Like people and archetypes, egregores can have positive or negative aspects; negative egregores seek reflexive control¹ of the human condition. Kali, perhaps the most gloomy and least understood archetype in Chrysalis Tarot, for example, is the Hindu mother goddess of creative destruction. We therefore can assert that this blog’s egregore has affinity with Kali’s negative, destructive aspects. That’s the subject of our blog on alchemy – here.

We often hear talk of spiritual warfare – the forces of light versus the forces of darkness; angels versus demons, good versus evil and so forth, sometimes envisaged as existential realities. Spiritual warfare is a common subject of church sermons. While spiritual warfare may be real enough, the battles are actually fought not in the heavens but in the hearts and minds of everyday people here on Earth.

Remember, we are all connected to one another and consequently to all archetypal cosmic databases. For better or worse, archetypal energy – good or bad – influences our lives on a daily basis.

Mary and Martha by William Hole

One of the recurring tenets of Chrysalis Tarot encourages us to listen frequently to our own inner voice (Divine Child), which is always tranquil, rather than to the multitude of voices, particularly on social media, that are anything but tranquil. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.” (Luke 10:38-42) In the Gospel account, distracted Martha busily scurries about minding mundane household chores while her sister Mary sits contemplatively at the feet of Jesus and listens. Whether you’re a believer or not, there is great wisdom in this Biblical vignette. Can’t you just picture Martha constantly checking her Twitter and Instagram feeds?

Today, many political leaders encourage divisiveness, which they euphemize as “resistance.” It seems they actually want us to be divided, to be “anxious and troubled by many things” and constantly at each other’s throats. Well, a divided population is easier to control. They, along with their lapdog media (read: lying propaganda) outlets, actively promote anger, discord, and confrontation. They engender fear, this evil egregore’s most powerful spiritual warfare weapon. Above all else, this egregore is an archetypal thoughtform of fearmongering, divisiveness and lies.

So what are some other attributes of a nefarious egregore? What is this grotesque looking thoughtform in our blog really about and why is he important? In addition to fearmongering, this egregore is the preeminent energy behind Group Think or Group Mind. He’s a petri dish of mind viruses. When people are fearful and confused, they are more easily controlled and manipulated; they each think what the group thinks. The group mind is comprised of an egregore’s witting or unwitting minions and provides them protection. Lenin termed such minions “Useful Idiots.”

However, “group minds” are not necessarily bad. The symbols, rituals and meetings of spiritual esoteric groups, for example, when repeated over time, develop an egregore or group mind which binds the members together, harmonizes, motivates and stimulates them to realize the aims of the group, and enables individual members to make more spiritual progress than if they worked alone. An egregore can be disturbed if people who are not sympathetic to its aims think negatively about the elements which make and sustain it. Therefore, spiritual esoteric groups try to protect themselves not so much against exposure of doubtful activities, but to ensure that peoples’ negative thoughts do not disturb the group mind or egregore. (From Gaetan Delaforge, Gnosis #6)

useful idiot

It’s mostly the unwitting followers of an egregore who are anesthetized by its powerful energy and tactics. They can be stripped of all inclination and ability to hear their own “inner voice” because the Group Voice (the prevailing narrative) is so dominant, even godlike. False narratives like propaganda require strict obedience (orthodoxy); the narrative’s angry aggressiveness overwhelms tranquility, thereby rendering critical thinking and cognitive dissonance all but impossible.

To be forearmed against odious groupthink – and its egregore – is to be willing to think for yourself – to think critically and eschew, or at least question, all dogma, be it political or religious. To endure a little cognitive dissonance², if only for a little while. Anyone who marches in lockstep with a negative egregore is incapable of true enlightenment, although many smugly consider themselves the most enlightened among us. Their spiritual captain is their own fragile ego.

The first step in becoming truly awakened is to renounce the egregore’s groupthink in all its fetid forms. Strive to be like Mary (thoughtful and reflective) and not like Martha (anxious and distracted).

¹ Reflexive control is a “uniquely Russian” concept based on maskirovka, an old Soviet notion in which one “conveys to an opponent specifically prepared information to incline him/her to voluntarily make the predetermined decision desired by the initiator.”

² In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values in their mind in order to make an informed decision. This discomfort is usually triggered by a situation in which a cherished belief clashes with new contradictory evidence brought to the attention of that person.

Chrysalis Tarot Community’s positive egregore, The Muse.

© Toney Brooks, 2018, 2022

Solve et Coagula

The Alchemist (detail) by Andrea Aste

Solve et Coagula is the preeminent axiom and Great Work of alchemy. It means “dissolve and coagulate,” the process of breaking something down and recombining it into a purer and better form – think the caterpillar and butterfly, for example. Tarot, especially Chrysalis Tarot, is spiritual alchemy, as is yoga, chakra clearing, meditation and Dark Night of the Soul shadow work, plus many other disciplines as well.

The painting (left) by Andrea Aste, multimedia artist, master alchemist and tarotist, depicts an alchemist – a laboratory scientist – in search of the goal of all early alchemists: the quest for the illusive Philosopher’s Stone, believed to be a substance that can transform base metals into solid gold. It’s called a “stone” because the mysterious substance is impervious to fire.

Perhaps from alchemy’s earliest days, or certainly from its recent past, this metaphysical art was recognized as an allegory for spiritual development. In this formulation, “Solid gold” is analogous in Chrysalis to the Higher Self and in other esoteric traditions as ascension, enlightenment or illumination, etc. Psychologist Carl Jung termed the alchemical process in humans, individuation – the fulfillment of one’s personal destiny or full potential.

We shall concern ourselves here, however, with a macro approach: the art of alchemy in world affairs and regard the Philosopher’s Stone as the agent of substantive societal change – as an agent of creative destruction, if you will. Spiritual alchemy, we assert, may be applied to the macro (humanity) as well as to the micro (a human being): by changing ourselves we change the world.

At this juncture, we might well veer off into some oblique, nevertheless interesting direction chasing a mosaic of esoterica and legend associated with Solve et Coagula: Hermeticism, Ancient Egyptian and Greek mysticism, Theosophy and Thelema, The Golden Dawn, Anthroposophy and Rosicrucianism, among others. Along the way we might expect to meet interesting people like Madame Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley or Hermes Trismegistus.

But of particular interest and relevance to this blog, we will instead choose to introduce occult scholar and artist Eliphas Levi (a pseudonym) along with his most maligned creation, Baphomet the Sabbatic Goat. This rather hideous looking art/creature serves today as an unofficial sigil and egregore for the destructive phase of the Aquarian paradigm shift now shaking the foundations of civilization like a Biblical earthquake.

You might immediately recognize Baphomet as the inspiration for the “Devil” card art in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. As you likely know, there is no “Devil” card per se in Chrysalis Tarot. We spurn the devil as imaginary, not as an existential reality, although the reality of evil in our world is indeed omnipresent often palpable: We have met the Cosmic Boogeyman and he is us. You might also notice the word “Solve” on Baphomet’s right arm and “Coagula” on its left, which evince Baphomet’s relevance to this thesis.

It is said that Levi was among the first to assign good and evil attributes to the pentagram symbol, which adorns his Sabbatic Goat’s head. The pentagram in this case points up and, according to Levi, is therefore good. Chrysalis considers a pentagram simply a symbol of the five elements, namely fire, air, water, earth and spirit, and revered by all ancient cultures primarily as a symbol of yin-yang balance or of the Sacred Feminine. Levi himself regarded Baphomet overall as primarily a symbol of balance – the equilibrium of opposites – and vigorously asserted that his image merely depicted the god/idol worshipped by the ancient Knights Templar.

Levi’s magnum opus is titled The Great Secret: Or Occultism Unveiled. He has been described as both the keeper of the hermetic tradition and the absolute renovator of esoteric thinking in Europe in the 19th century.

An association of evil with macrocosmic alchemical change does seem appropriate; there must be an agent of objectionable destruction (“solve”). The Hindu goddess Kali (left), for example, personifies in Chrysalis Tarot the cleansing energy of creative destruction as she restores balance to one’s life or the world. In other words, creative destruction appears to be the preferred cosmic procedure to usher in first-order change; examine the last 100 years of world history!

The “solve” phase, as we noted, is the destructive phase. On a seemingly daily basis we witness dark evil forces of destruction all around us: moral deprivation, incivility, divisiveness on par with barbaric tribalism plus institutional rot in both church and state, to name but a few. Callous destruction of a prevailing social order surely implicates evil. Even worse, this evil often comes cloaked in puffed up pomposity espousing ludicrous moral superiority. Frankly, it’s the conventional lust for power and control – truly satanic.

On an individual basis, the only effective way to mitigate destructive evil in the world is for the spiritually minded to increase dramatically their output of positive energy and raise their individual self-awareness; to have faith and believe in the metaphysical weight of both spoken and written word. It’s essential in efforts to raise individual awareness that we stay well informed of current events so to avoid becoming infected with a mass psychosis mind virus (a diabolical egregore).

Critical thinking requires cognitive dissonance and evokes self respect. The globalists, many of whom literally and admittedly mean to destroy Western Civilization, appear determined to replace liberal democracy and liberty with Marxist totalitarianism and tyranny. These destructive evildoers, some known, most unknown, are godless peddlers of fear and falsehood who are celebrated and encouraged daily by the corrupt corporate media.

We wrote extensively and presciently of this paradigm shift in the Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book: “Change is always stressful. On the magnitude of an age-ending paradigm shift, the changes we will face pose challenges no one alive today has ever faced. In fact, change of this magnitude last happened well over 2,000 years ago. Chrysalis Tarot was created in 2014 for this transition to the Age of Aquarius, not so much for the present Age of Pisces. It was designed to help endure and make sense of the turmoil of transition.” On the bright side, I believe the Aquarian Age presages a quantum leap in the evolution of human consciousness.

Referring to the Four of Spirals (left), artist Holly Sierra’s favorite card, we noted: “When paradigms shift and worldviews change, the adjustments bring about the difficult process of clearing. Clearing energy is one of the subtle energies the Four of Spirals symbolizes in a reading. It is the same renewing energy encountered at an organized spiritual retreat that encourages self -emptying. We call this multi-layered clearing energy regathering. Small, like-minded groups from all over the planet are regathering to celebrate the passion for truth and change.” You may be part of one.


The Zodiac divides The Great Year into the 4 elements (Fire, Air, Water and Earth). Each element contains 3 constellations or ages and each of these 12 ages lasts approximately 2,160 years (the precession of the equinoxes is imprecise). Accordingly, we are now on the cusp of the Age of Aquarius. By my reckoning, the now concluding Age of Pieces likely began around the time the Maccabees restored Jewish rule to the Holy Land c.141 B.C. for the first time since the Babylonians! Jewish rule in the Holy Land, considered by many to include the Axis Mundi, set the stage, so to speak, for Jesus and the Piscean Christian Era, symbolized by the fish.

© Toney Brooks, 2022

St Stanislaus

Photo by Ludwig Schneider

This piece is a mild mannered yet purposeful departure from our regular Chrysalis fare. Today, July 26, marks the anniversary of the birth of St Stanislaus, the patron saint of Poland.

Stanislaus was born near Krakow in 1030. Like St Thomas Becket, whose story is parallel to his in many ways, Stanislaus is remembered as a martyr who fought tirelessly against the evils of government corruption, a crusade that eventually cost him his life.

The Gothic stained glass window pictured (left) depicts Stanislaus. It’s from the Dominican Monastery in Krakow. As you no doubt noticed, the saint’s left eye is shown missing. Whether deliberate or not, this symbolism merits interpretation.

Last year an obscure poster on Reddit noted that left-eye symbolism appears currently to be in vogue in Hollywood, especially in The Conjuring Universe:

“First, The Conjuring. When the sheet rips open during the exorcism, it’s the demon’s left eye that’s exposed. In The Nun, the snake bites the priest in the left eye. In Annabelle – Creation, the mom has her left eye torn out. In Annabelle Comes Home, the babysitter’s friend’s dad is missing his left eye. In The Conjuring 2, Ed gets blinded when hot steam hits his left eye. And which eyeball is broken on the Annabelle doll? The left eye!”

Hollywood aside, One-Eye symbolism has been around for ages from Odin to the All-Seeing Eye of Free Masonry and the New World Order.

“The Supreme, invisible Creator of all things was called All-Father. His regent in Nature was Odin, the one-eyed god.” ~  Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages.

Most notable for our own times is George Orwell’s magnum opus, 1984, a blueprint for elite control and censorship. Appropriately enough, nearly all editions of the book feature an All-Seeing Eye (“Big brother is watching you”).

“The [all-seeing] eye is symbolic of knowledge not perceived by the general public. The public can see the symbolism, but they are oblivious to the truth, ruined by prosperity and deceived by lies.” ~ From The Stranger Fiction.

Every day our media embroils us in lies. We must remain vigilant and resist group-think.

The positive symbolism of the Eye of Horus, which is spiritual enlightenment, has been coopted and corrupted by secret societies and a sinister global elite as the primary symbol of their power. Do not be deceived, this evil global elite is intent on destroying Western Civilization. America is squarely in their crosshairs.

St. Stanislaus, pray for us.

Our Magical Universe

The title of this blog, “Our Magical Universe,” was chosen to distinguish our universe from what’s known as a “deterministic” universe, which is the universe most hardcore materialists and atheists believe they live in. These people deny that we possess freewill and further assert the universe is driven entirely by the cosmic Law of Cause and Effect: every cause has an effect and every effect becomes the cause of something else. In other words, they describe a dead, computational universe not a spiritually vibrant living universe.

Scientific arguments support the atheistic thesis simply because science cannot (yet) account for consciousness, hence freewill. Around the time of Copernicus and Galileo the Church wisely decided it was best to leave science to scientists and in return scientists would then leave spirituality (and consciousness) to the Church. Since then, science has done a splendid job in its domain; the Church, not so much. Sadly, the Church, particularly the Western Church, stresses dogma and “correct beliefs” rather than individual spiritual growth. The Protestant Reformation was the result of the imposition of rigid dogma (and Vatican corruption, which is worse today than ever).

A few thoughts about fate and destiny. Fate is consistent with a deterministic universe; destiny is consistent with a living universe. Chrysalis does not believe in fate, which is a fixed, deterministic construct. We do, however, believe in destiny. Look at it this way: fate is a “done deal” and cannot be influenced at all, while destiny can be. Indeed, destiny is influenced constantly by human choices (freewill) and human agency – the freedom and ability to think and act for one’s self. Fate, by definition, is controlled by a Divine puppetmaster or by no God at all; Destiny, on the other hand, is controlled by humanity in both concert and cooperation with the Divine.

The Fatima Seers: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.

Today marks the anniversary of the Third Apparition of Fatima, which occurred on July 13, 1917, in a series of six apparitions made famous both by the “Miracle of the Sun,” witnessed by a crowd of 70,000 believers and non-believers alike, and by its terrifying prophecies and visions of Hell. During those 1917 apparitions, Mary predicted World War II – “a new and greater war,” just as Europe began to recover from the devastation of World War I. She also shared another prophetic vision with the three young seers: A vision of the Pope, along with other bishops, priests, religious and lay people, being killed by soldiers.

It would be incorrect to interpret this prophecy fatalistically. Pope Benedict XVI himself noted that the prophecy “is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction.” Forewarned should be forearmed but it is abundantly clear that today the “forces of change” are not moving in the right direction. In fact, the apocalyptical path we are now on will destroy civilization as we know it.

This is our editor’s favorite card – the Two of Spirals, which emphasizes the freedom of choice. Most tarot decks promote the ideals of individual choice and freewill, but not all have upheld the spiritual dignity of tarot. The informed exercise of free choice is likely our only salvation.

We sense an impoverishment of spirituality in today’s world; a foreboding of hopelessness amidst insipid vapors of evil as humanity blithely charges head first and helter skelter in the wrong direction.

I encourage Chrysalids to take out their decks and seek authentic direction – spiritual direction – from your Higher Self and the Divine. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at:

“Our society today, which is fully enmeshed in the snares of relativism, demands we tolerate — and even affirm — that which we know is evil, all in the name of individual autonomy. Warnings of eternal punishment are no longer in vogue. Yet how can we claim the notion of Hell makes us too uncomfortable to discuss? Are we more cowardly than three small children who saw its horrors and were filled with resolution rather than terror?” ~ This is a quote from Kelly Marcum, who studied International Politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and received her M.A. from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12

© Toney Brooks, 2022


This artwork (left) is by Italian tarot artist Patrizia Gambari, who lives and works in Vergato, a picturesque commune outside metropolitan Bologna. The painting is titled Hera. It caught my eye while browsing Morena Poltronieri’s Facebook page. Morena is director of the International Tarot Museum in Bologna.

In Gambari’s tarot schema, Hera represents the Empress just as Gaia represents the Empress in Chrysalis Tarot. In Greek mythology the two are closely aligned. Hera was an Earth goddess in early Greek mythology, a role which Gaia later assumed. In some accounts, Gaia was Hera’s grandmother. In the mythological Garden of the Hesperides, Gaia attended Hera’s wedding to Zeus. As a wedding gift Gaia gave the happy couple enchanted trees that would produce Golden Apples .

In Greek mythology, Hera represents the ideal woman. In Greek religion, she was guardian of the family and protectress of women in childbirth. At this difficult and dangerous moment in American history, I both invite and encourage meditation on Hera and her attributes. But rather than propound gratuitous political commentary (plentiful elsewhere), I will offer only additional artwork and its synchronicity to still the soul and salve the conscience.

Hera’s Roman counterpart is Juno, the patroness of Rome. In ancient times, the annual Matronalia was held in her honor in June, the month named for her and the reason we regard June as the most favorable month for marriage even today. Pictured below is Flaming June (1895) by Sir Douglas Leighton, one of my favorite paintings. June is fast asleep but brimming with energy.

Greek mythology was often featured on Black Figure Pottery, which dominated the Mediterranean pottery market for over 150 years. The piece below is now in the Louvre. It shows Hercules, come up to the Garden of Hesperides to pinch some Golden Apples.

The painting below is by Ricciardo Meacci (1894). It depicts the three Hesperides in their garden. The three are sometimes called Western Maidens or Daughters of Evening. In Roman mythology, they are Daughters of Hesperus, personification of the Evening Star. Their mission was to mind Hera’s orchard, to prune and water the trees. The apples would bestow immortality on anyone who ate them.

Protecting the Golden Apples was a job Hera gave to Ladon, a hundred-headed serpent-like dragon, who, according to Greek art, was for the most part friendly to humans.

We can glean the parallels between the mythological Garden of the Hesperides and the Biblical Garden of Eden; Zeus and Hera as types of Adam and Eve. In Genesis Eve was called the “mother of all the living” and Hera was called the “mother of all” by the Greek poet Alcaeus.

Our age-old dilemma dramatized in both the Garden of Hesperides and of Eden is self-evident: Ultimately, we each must decide what our source of Truth will be – the Creator or the Serpent.

Choose wisely.

© Toney Brooks, 2022