Tips on Making Wise Choices


We supersized the Two of Stones to make it easier to spot the ethereal spirals between the two boulders. One way to interpret these subtle spirals is as Otherworld energy that informs the bear’s decision whether or not to proceed forward.

Similarly, spiral energy – dynamic energy of change – informs every decision we make. Some of this energy is self-generated local energy and the remainder is nonlocal energy, which is generated outside time and space in the Otherworld. This Phi energy from the Otherworld was the subject of last week’s blog, which you can find here.

How do we discern what Phi energy is saying to us? How does it inform our choices?

Interestingly, one of the best books written on this subject was composed in the 16th century by a Spanish knight turned priest known today as Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatian spirituality has had a profound and guiding influence on my own life and, consequently, on Chrysalis Tarot’s methodology of discernment.

the-weaverFor example, the Seven of Mirror’s keyword is discernment; the Two of Spirals is a card that encourages us to analyze spiraling energy carefully, and Clotho, The Weaver (pictured left), connects you to your destiny through a succession of choices, crossroads, steps and missteps.

  1. The logical first step in making a wise choice is “to weigh the pros and cons in the matter before you.” ~ LWB. Weighing pros and cons and organizing your thoughts represent local energy, but local energy can be like a full or new moon when tides of emotion run high. Weighing pros and cons has the added benefit of calming you down and protecting you from decisions made solely on emotional whim.
  2. The next step is to submit your decision/intention to the Otherworld for confirmation and then meditate upon it as you find time. Answers are often found in mediation. Some people prefer to ritualize the act of submission, although that’s not really necessary.
  3. Confirmation will occur in one or more ways: Consolation (Six of Scrolls); Intuition (Ace of Scrolls) – you’ll know because it “just feels right,” but beware of confirmation bias, which is churned out by the ego; Synchronicity (The Ravens, The Green Man and numerous other cards that evoke synchronicity, which are called “nonlocal correlations” in quantum physics); Revelation – your choice may be unwittingly confirmed by another individual acting as an Otherworld messenger. If communicated wittingly, it’s someone giving advice and should be so regarded. Dreams, Locutions and Infused Knowledge are additional avenues of confirmation. All confirmation produces consolation – feelings of confidence, inner peace and well-being.
  4. If, after a few days, you don’t feel that you’ve received sufficient confirmation, then don’t be reluctant to return to the pro-and-con drawing board for further reflection. Your choice may be correct but the timing isn’t, or your may have overlooked an important consideration and simply need to slow down a bit. Working with the Otherworld usually requires patience and persistence.
  5. Sometimes we second guess our choices even after they’ve been confirmed. Ignatius was quite clear about this: a choice confirmed by consolation, or by another method and accompanied by consolation, can always be trusted. So stick to it, even though you may be going through what Ignatius termed a “time of perturbations.” Perturbations are fear and anxiety fueled by self-doubt. If perturbations persist, you may have blocking issues in need of healing. The Otherworld often will use perturbations to prevent an unwise decision, so never force things.

Simply by opening yourself up to the Otherworld and inviting it to influence your life’s choices guarantees spiritual reward. Furthermore, co-creative cooperation with the Otherworld is probably one of the most effective chakra clearing exercises I know.

Speaking of chakras and choices, the three most important chakras in decision making are #7 Crown Chakra, #4 Heart Chakra and #3 Solar Plexus or Gut Chakra, sometimes referred to as the Second Brain. While it’s important to keep all seven chakras (energy meridians) in healthy yin-yang balance, these three chakras are the primary processing centers of Phi integrated information (previous blog) that propels you toward destiny, so trust your gut.

It’s my personal belief that when we are well grounded and our chakras are clear and balanced, making difficult choices isn’t all that difficult.

lcd_galaxies_615                Image credit: Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine

© Toney Brooks




Sixth Sense Technologies of the Ancient World



Healing Power of Energy

I decided to reprise this piece from a few years back for a couple of reasons. First, to remind Chrysalids how important it is to protect their boundaries and personal space. Secondly, because of the scientific advances and understanding made in epigenetics since this article was written. (The link is to a video by author and lecturer Dr. Bruce Lipton.)

People Can Draw Energy From Other People The Same Way Plants Do
by MICHAEL FORRESTER, reprinted from


A biological research team at Bielefeld University has made a groundbreaking discovery showing that plants can draw an alternative source of energy from other plants. This finding could also have a major impact on the future of bio-energy eventually providing the evidence to show that people draw energy from others in much the same way.

Members of Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse’s biological research team have confirmed for the first time that a plant, the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, not only engages in photosynthesis, but also has an alternative source of energy: it can draw it from other plants. The research findings were released [in 2012] in the online journal Nature Communications published by the renowned journal Nature.

Flowers need water and light to grow and people are no different. Our physical bodies are like sponges, soaking up the environment. “This is exactly why there are certain people who feel uncomfortable in specific group settings where there is a mix of energy and emotions,” said psychologist and energy healer Dr. Olivia Bader-Lee.

Plants engage in the photosynthesis of carbon dioxide, water, and light. In a series of experiments, Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse and his team cultivated the microscopically small green alga species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and observed that when faced with a shortage of energy, these single-cell plants can draw energy from neighboring vegetable cellulose instead. The alga secretes enzymes (so-called cellulose enzymes) that ‘digest’ the cellulose, breaking it down into smaller sugar components. These are then transported into the cells and transformed into a source of energy: the alga can continue to grow. ‘This is the first time that such a behavior has been confirmed in a vegetable organism’, says Professor Kruse. ‘That algae can digest cellulose contradicts every previous textbook. To a certain extent, what we are seeing is plants eating plants’. Currently, the scientists are studying whether this mechanism can also be found in other types of alga. Preliminary findings indicate that this is the case.

“When energy studies become more advanced in the coming years, we will eventually see this translated to human beings as well,” stated Bader-Lee. “The human organism is very much like a plant, it draws needed energy to feed emotional states and this can essentially energize cells or cause increases in cortisol and catabolize cells depending on the emotional trigger.”

Bader-Lee suggests that the field of bio-energy is now ever evolving and that studies on the plant and animal world will soon translate and demonstrate what energy metaphysicians have known all along — that humans can heal each other simply through energy transfer just as plants do. “Human can absorb and heal through other humans, animals, and any part of nature. That’s why being around nature is often uplifting and energizing for so many people,” she concluded.

Here are five energy tools to use to clear your space and prevent energy drains while releasing people’s energy:

Stay centered and grounded. If you are centered within your spiritual self (instead of your analyzer or ego) you will sense right away when something has moved into your space. If you are fully grounded, you can easily release other people’s energy and emotions down your grounding cord with your intention.

Be in a state of non-resistance. What we resists sticks. If you feel uncomfortable around a certain person or in a group, don’t go into resistance as a way to protect yourself as this will only keep foreign energy stuck in your space. Move into a state of non-resistance by imagining that your body is clear and translucent like clear glass or water. This way, if someone throws some invalidation at you, it will pass right through you.

Own your personal aura space. We each have an energetic aura surrounding our body. If we don’t own this personal space we are vulnerable to foreign energy entering it. Become aware of your aura boundaries (about an arms length away from your body all the way around, above and below) as a way to own your personal space.

Give yourself an energy cleanse. The color gold has a high vibration which is useful for clearing away foreign energy. Imagine a gold shower nozzle at the top of your aura (a few feet above your head) and turn it on, allowing clear gold energy to flow through your aura and body space and release down your grounding. You will immediately feel cleansed and refreshed.

Call back your energy. When we have our energy in our own space there is less room for other energy to enter. But as we focus on other people and projects we sometimes spread our energy around. Create an image of a clear gold sun several feet above your head and let it be a magnet, attracting all of your energy back into it (and purifying it in the gold energy). Then bring it down through the top of your aura and into your body space, releasing your energy back into your personal space.

Michael Forrester is a spiritual counselor and is a practicing motivational speaker for corporations in Japan, Canada and the United States.


Dreamwork and Storyteller

burning man poster

Burning Man poster by Cory and Catska Ench.

“Occasionally something will capture your Dreammaker’s heart and you are given a numinous dream. You awake knowing you have come into contact with the presence of divinity. It’s important when receiving such a dream to take a step in the direction of its prompting, offering physical gratitude or a leap of faith, inviting the symbol to come on stronger. Soon, those numinous moments turn into hours, eventually days and, with enough fidelity to your path, a new life is born.” ~ Dreamwork with Toko-pa.

To read more from Toko-pa, sign up for her free newsletter.

I stumbled upon this powerful image and its accompanying text on Facebook about the same time I answered a question about Storyteller here on the Chrysalis website. (You can see the exchange here.)

In the above poster we see an embryo being transformed through a Third Eye experience by what we could call spiraling liminal energy. That would be the “energy of liminality” experienced in a hypnagogic state such as deep meditation or in a dream. It’s hypnagogic because experience of the numinous or divinity is considered a threshold or liminal experience. In the Chrysalis scheme of things, divinity is synonymous with your own Higher Self (destiny), or your transcendent Divine Child (sacred inner voice).

9 - Storyteller

Regardless of terminology, the point is that such liminal states, whether they be sleeping dreams, waking dreams or dreams experienced during deep meditation, all originate in the same place. In Chrysalis, we call this originating place the Otherworld in order to simplify terms and grant weighty religious fiddle-faddle a wide berth.

The Otherworld is what was once known as the aether before general relativity came along. The Sanskrit word for aether is Akasha. The Otherworld, therefore, can be described as a quantum field or network of interdependent energy (information) possessing an infinite number of nodes and nexuses located throughout the cosmos that are capable of communicating with and inspiring all sentient beings, not through words but through symbols, archetypes, power animals, memories and imagination, etc. (Plus other people!)

That’s why we believe it’s important when using tarot to allow the ego-oriented conscious mind (self with a little s) to wander off and commune in the darkened forest with egoless unconscious intuition, imagination and inspiration (Self). That’s where “numinous moments turn into hours” and consciousness gracefully morphs into Higher Self.


Is gender inequality man-made?

Reprinted from BBC Two.

People have long accepted that political power is man-made rather than god-given. But it’s been different for gender equality. History, religion, science, everything in fact, has seemed to condemn feminism for being against the natural order.

 Are there examples of true gender equality in the history of mankind? And if so, how far do we have to go back?


Catalhöyük – aggressively egalitarian?

It’s hard to get one’s 21st century head around the Catalhöyük settlement, which existed from approximately 7500 – 5700 BC.

The Seated Woman of Catalhöyük (6000 BC)


Its early inhabitants lived at the dawn of agriculture. They had semi-domesticated animals and were learning to sow crops. Not only did women have the same diets as men and inhabit the same physical space, but there were no wider hierarchies in the community.

Professor Ian Hodder explains, ‘there is no evidence of a big ceremonial centre or a chiefly house. We see these houses that look like they could produce more and could become quite dominant but there seems to be a cap that stops them doing it.’

The Mother Goddess

Catalhöyük has a special significance for anyone interested in women’s history. It is the lynch pin in the Mother Goddess argument. According to this theory Stone Age society was matriarchal, peaceful, spiritual and sexually uninhibited. Women were respected for their life-giving powers, and the feminine mysteries were worshipped.

In the 1960s, the swashbuckling archaeologist James Mellaart found at Catalhöyük one of the most powerful representations ever made of female divinity. Known as the ‘Seated Woman of Catalhöyük’, or more popularly the ‘Mother Goddess’, it is a clay figurine of a corpulent woman sitting on a throne, flanked by two large leopards, who appears to be giving birth. As he continued his excavations Mellaart unearthed a treasury of female imagery and figurines.

For Mellaart, and many others, this was the confirmation they sought for the Mother Goddess theory. Catalhöyük was proof that patriarchy was no more ‘natural’ than the pyramids.

When Professor Hodder took over the site, it wasn’t his intention to be controversial. Nevertheless, his findings have been revolutionary. His team dug through 18 levels, covering about 1,200 years of uninterrupted habitation. They found no evidence to support the claim that Catalhöyük was a matriarchy or that female fertility was worshipped over and above that of phallic or animal spiritualism.

But, Hodder insists, the question should never have been posed as an either-or issue. He argues that his team’s discoveries are so much more significant than anything previously imagined. Catalhöyük was a place were true gender equality flourished.

Read more: Dr Amanda Foreman discusses what we can learn from Catalhöyük


When did women’s rights begin to be restricted?


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When did civilisation begin to restrict women’s rights?

In 4,000 BC women had equality with men in Ancient Sumer, now modern-day southern Iraq.

In ancient Sumer – now modern-day southern Iraq – women enjoyed the same privileges as men in both society and commerce. But when the Akkadian King Sargon conquered, and Sumer became a Vassall state, the outlook for women drastically changed. 

The patriarchy promoted by law


When civilisations begin to write down their laws, this is when the patriarchy becomes enshrined. There is a phrase on the Enmetena and Urukagina cones – the earliest known law codes from circa 2400 BC – that says “If a woman speaks out of turn, then her teeth will be smashed by a brick.”

It was routine for women in ancient Greece to wear the veil
If a woman speaks out of turn, then her teeth will be smashed by a brick.
Enmetena and Urukagina cones (2400 BC)

Later, the Code of Hammurabi (circa 1754 BC) of ancient Mesopotamia proved a mixed blessing for women. The laws recognised the right for women to own property, while also forbidding arbitrary ill-treatment or neglect. In widowhood, wives were allowed to use their husband’s estates for their lifetime.

However, the code was a blow to women’s sexual freedom. Husbands and fathers now owned the sexual reproduction of their wives and daughters. This meant that women could be put to death for adultery and that virginity was now a condition for marriage.

The Veil

Some of the starkest double standards exist within the Assyrian laws from 12th century BC. Husbands could abuse (and even pawn) their wives freely, with the only restriction being they couldn’t kill them without cause. Women in Assyria had no rights and many burdens. If they have an abortion they can be executed, if they commit adultery they can be executed. And if their husband commits a crime, they can be punished in his place.

Within these laws there are the earliest examples of enforcing the veil, long before it was adopted by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Christians and Muslims. However, not all women are required to wear one.

The laws specify that wives, daughters and, indeed, concubines of the upper classes should not go outside uncovered. On the other hand prostitutes were not entitled to wear the veil, and any man seeing a prostitute wear the veil is to arrest her and she will receive ’50 lashes with a bamboo cane’. If a slave-girl is seen to be wearing a veil, she too is to be arrested; in this case her ears will be cut off and the man who arrested her may take her clothes.

Read more: BBC iWonder on what the veil means to different people and throughout history

The Ascent of Woman on BBC Two

Dr Amanda Foreman covers and explores the above topics in episode 1 of Ascent of Woman: ‘Civilisation’ on BBC Two 2 September at 9pm. The episode will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer shortly afterwards.

Dr Amanda Foreman

Episode 1 synopsis

In Anatolia, she visits Catalhöyük, one of the world’s earliest settlements, which archaeologists believe held remarkably different notions of gender. From Mesopotamia, she explores the world’s first law codes written to regulate women’s status and behaviour, including the world’s first known veiling law, two millennia before the advent of Islam.

Across Europe and the Near East, she uncovers a group of extraordinary women who created their own routes to power in male-dominated worlds. These include Enheduanna, the world’s first recorded author, the Ukok Ice Maiden, one of the great archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, and Hatshepsut, one of ancient Egypt’s most successful but most maligned ruling queens.

Crucially, she also explores the darker legacy of gender inequality in ancient Greece, whose influential ideas on the inferiority of women have cast a long shadow over women’s lives across the globe to this day. Amanda’s approach aims to profoundly alter the accepted view of civilization once and for all.

Book Review of the Chrysalis Tarot Companion Guide

by author Benebell Wen

Chrysalis Tarot 01

I reviewed the Chrysalis Tarot deck by Toney Brooks and Holly Sierra earlier this year and now I’ve got my hands on the incredible companion guidebook. For so long tarot readers have been pushing for a companion book to the Chrysalis Tarot deck and now we’ve got one. This 216-page book by U.S. Games is a must-have for anyone who works predominantly with the Chrysalis.

The creator of the deck Toney Brooks opens the Introduction with a backstory of how the deck was conceived and the grueling yet spiritual process of creating a tarot deck. In his own words:

This companion book to Chrysalis Tarot details a mental and spiritual journey of resonating frequencies. Tarot refers to this journey as the hero’s journey, a catchall phrase that has been a feature of humanity’s stories since the time of Gilgamesh nearly 5,000 years ago. In our own time, the whole of humanity is embarking on an epic journey of self-discovery and a collective re-examination of values and priorities.

Chrysalis Tarot 02

The guidebook is subdivided into two parts. The first part is general, addressing spiritual theory, creation myth, and the interplay between mythology and psychology, and how both are woven into the Chrysalis Tarot. Part One covers Papa Legba, Gaia, Merlin and the Holy Grail, Tarot and Magic, and so much more. Part One was an incredible read for anyone interested in the woo.

Chrysalis Tarot 03

Part One is mostly authored by Toney Brooks, where we’re covering the theoretical premise of tarot reading. He associates the word “magic” with “synchronicity” and defines both as “meaningful coincidences in life that cannot be explained.”

Chrysalis Tarot 04

In Part Two, the illustrator Holly Sierra’s voice comes through in first person when you see the italicized passages. We get to hear from the artist about her perspective when she created the art for Chrysalis. Part Two is a practical guide to reading tarot and more specifically, interpreting the 78 cards of Chrysalis. Here, we also learn that the deck creators do not recommend reading with reversals when using the Chrysalis. The deck is intended to be read with upright cards only.

Chrysalis Tarot 05

Part Two is well-organized and comprehensive. Each card is covered over the span of several well-detailed pages, in both creator and artist’s point of view. You get both. You get the backstory for how each card came to being. You also get the reasoning behind the imagery and symbolism and, for the Majors, the archetypal attributes that had left many confused in previous years. Now all of it is illuminated and explained.

Chrysalis Tarot 06

Those with a contemporary sensibility of New Age spiritualism are going to fall in love with this companion guidebook and find it indispensable when working with the Chrysalis Tarot. Brooks and Sierra have a New Thought new consciousness point of view when it comes to spirituality that is resonant with modern perspectives blending mythology and psychology, following the paths of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. The penetrating perspective of Brooks is balanced out by the soft, whimsical, and poetic art of Sierra. It’s no surprise that the Chrysalis Tarot has been recipient of many tarot awards.

The companion book to Chrysalis that Brooks and Sierra have produced is a well-written documentary of how this deck came to be, of the mythical and psychological basis of tarot, and a final thesis that encourages the belief in magic. Altogether a beautiful book that is sure to please.


FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received the Chrysalis Tarot Companion Guidebook from U.S. Games for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.

You Must Die to Live

Reprinted from Science and Nonduality


“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
― Adyashanti

Awakening is not a walk in the park. It is a ride through hell. It is the tearing down of all of your cherished beliefs and everything you thought about yourself. There is no way around this. We must come face to face with our shadows. It is there that our false ideas of who we are are shattered. It is there that all of our false beliefs are destroyed. We must face these false notions and see them for what they are. This is the only way to heal, to become whole again, to live in integrity.

exploded_mindIt is a complete surrender, a process of brutal self honesty. It is a path of complete acceptance of the truth, no matter how difficult it is to bear. We go through life with so many false notions – of the world, of spirituality and of ourselves. We build up masks and we believe the facades. It’s all a charade. It is all based upon illusions and deceit. We deceive ourselves at every moment, and the world also deceives us at every moment. We live in perpetual cognitive dissonance, justifying the most absurd things in our minds. We constantly lie to ourselves…. and we believe it.

To awaken to the truth that you seek, you must tear down the lies. But we are too attached to the lies. We want to hold on to the illusions and to become enlightened at the same time. That is not possible. But there are hundreds of phony gurus and “spiritual teachers” that will tell you it is. They offer you processes to become happy, fulfilled, calm, find your soulmate, be positive, get the right job, make lots of money, balance the chakras, become healthy and whatever else you may be desiring. This has nothing to do with awakening. This is only polishing the ego. They all lead you right back into the matrix. You may even be lucky enough to get a golden cage, but it is still a cage, and you remain imprisoned in slavery. This is the road that most people choose to follow. This road is well traveled by the herd.

It takes courage, discernment and self honesty to walk the road to truth and freedom. Not many people have that. We have been weakened by the onslaught of programming since our childhood. Most people want to remain in the herd, as they find comfort in the company of other deluded souls. It takes a certain individual to break free of the herd. The Siddhartha road is not easy. It is a treacherous road that will shatter every part of your existence. No, it takes a certain type of person to walk that road; a person that is willing to give up everything to find his true Self.

But when you do awaken, and you do see the world with new eyes, you soon realize that no one else is seeing the same thing. I tried to tell a few people what had happened to me, but no one believed me. They thought that perhaps I cracked under the pressure of suffering and had gone crazy. No one wanted to hear anything I said, as it exposed their false beliefs. So I remained quiet for eight years.12730078_f520

“I awoke, only to find the rest of the world still sleeping.”
– Leonardo daVinci

When one decides to take the Siddhartha road to the Self, he soon realizes he is alone on that road. The herd is going in the opposite direction. One must be prepared for that, to find comfort in being alone, not understood by others.

As Eckhart Tolle has stated, you don’t have to wait for the dark night of the soul to dismantle your false notions, your false self, your life story. You can consciously take that road. But it demands courage, discernment, and a brutal honesty of yourself. The mind is a very tricky opponent, and will deceive you at every step, as your awakening is the end of its control over you. But it can be done. Nisargadatta Maharaj did it. You must simply allow Grace to act within you.

“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.”
– Eckhart Tolle

So the choice rests with each of you. No one can do this for you. All I, or anyone else, can offer you are sign posts, pointing in the direction. But you, and you alone, must take that road. It does little good to read my writings and not act upon them, to not take that road yourself. Otherwise, you are only hanging out at the signposts, believing that you have already arrived at the destination.


This road is not for the timid or the faint of heart. not at all. But there is no other road. No one will simply wave a magical wand over you. It is a road of destruction and the question is, “How much are you willing to give up? How much can you endure?” Because on this road, you must give up everything. Every piece of you will shatter. Can you endure that? As the great Bhaktivinode Thakur has written, “You must die to live.” So how serious are you? How much do you want it? How much will you pay for it?

This article is adapted from Awakening is a Destructive Process by Greg Calise.

Reprinted from Science and Nonduality

Alice and The Pilgrim

C77“Alice” in this blog’s title could easily refer to the Alice of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Pilgrim spirituality certainly has a quirky rabbit hole quality about it; one never knows what to expect next. Pilgrim spirituality is also spirituality that requires extraordinary faith in the unseen world and an unquenchable sense of purpose that escapes easy explanation.

This faith may be interpreted as faith in one’s inner voice and instincts, in the Law of Attraction, in the ancestors, or in the Higher Self’s inexorable pull on your psyche. Alternatively, it could imply faith in the infinite wisdom of a hookah-smoking caterpillar. However contextualized, it’s faith in the mystical apparatus of synchronicity that guides The Pilgrim along her journey toward personal destiny and self-actualization.

Any attempt to define or dogmatize this faith only strips it of its beauty and sovereignty. There is a great deal of difference between religiosity and spirituality.

Our blog’s Alice is the nickname of a small town in central Australia officially called Alice Springs. In 1977, in the spirit of Doris Lessing, with four camels and her faithful dog, Diggity, Robyn Davidson began a 1,700 mile pilgrim’s quest from Alice Springs through the rugged interior of Australia’s Outback to the Indian Ocean. Against all odds, the pilgrimage took over 7 months and earned her the nickname, “The Camel Lady.”

In the less arduous interior journey of Chrysalis Tarot, The Troupe cards like The Pilgrim are there to remind us of the spiritual axiom that no one ever walks alone. The Troupe helps us allegorize our own spiritual progress and discover the underlying purpose of our quest, a purpose that often comes as a complete surprise. Pilgrimage spirituality assures us that we will meet the right people and receive the right inspirations along destiny’s road at the right time.

Davidson said she felt the trip work magic on her in strange and unexpected ways. ‘When there is no one to remind you what society’s rules are, and there is nothing to keep you linked to that society, you had better be prepared for some startling changes.’ (Photo by Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions)


“She [Robyn Davidson] was a good woman. She had a dream about a kind man who would help her find her way, then she met my father [Mr Eddie] near Wingellina. He knew that country and he helped her. When she wrote her book, Tracks, my father was in there.” ~ Jean Inyalanka Burke, 1945-2012

Mr. Eddie (actor Rolley Mintuma) is pictured with actress Mia Wasikowska, who played Davidson in the filmed version of Tracks, now available on Netflix. This is a link to the book, which I highly recommend.



robyn double mia wasikowska
(Left) Robyn Davidson with Diggity, her dog, in 1977 (photo by Rick Smolan). (Right) Mia Wasikowska is seen with the movie-version of Diggity at Ayers Rock in 2014.

In memory of storyteller Jean Inyalanka Burke.



Chrysalis Spirituality

21 - Psyche“The point is that you start with any image … Contemplate it and carefully observe how the picture begins to unfold or to change. Don’t try to make it into something, just do nothing but observe what its spontaneous changes are. Any mental picture you contemplate in this way will sooner or later change through a spontaneous association that causes a slight alteration of the picture. You must carefully avoid impatient jumping from one subject to another. Hold fast to the one image you have chosen and wait until it changes by itself. Note all these changes and eventually step into the picture yourself, and if it is a speaking figure at all then say what you have to say to that figure and listen to what he or she has to say.” ~ C.G. Jung

The process Jung describes in the above quote is called active imagination, the key to personal transformation. Active imagination produces a rich, fanciful dialogue between the personal conscious and unconscious minds. Via the unconscious, this conversation acquires a third party – the Collective Unconscious, which Chrysalis calls the Otherworld. It’s the divine cosmic realm of archetypes, gods, goddesses, demigods, angels, fairies, spirit guides including animals, and the ancestors. While transcendent, the Otherworld is in no way supernatural. The Otherworld is a spatiotemporal aspect of the natural world, albeit a mystical one.

PapaLegba appActive imagination dialog weds psychology, particularly archetypal psychology, with mysticism, the experience of liminality watched over by Papa Legba. In Greek mythology, this liminal threshold or boundary between worlds would be presided over by Hermes. Both he and Papa are liminal gods or archetypes.

The ultimate goal of active imagination is to enable you to synthesize an alternate reality that exists for the sole purpose of moving you toward your Higher Self, ultimate truth and personal transformation (telos). It is the Hero’s Journey of emergent Self that requires strength, an open mind and courage. You may need to overcome any disabling beliefs currently holding you back.

Jung calls this synthesis the transcendent function. It’s transcendent because it rises above both the conscious and unconscious mind. In Chrysalis, the root metaphor for this function or synthesis is personal transformation – the butterfly or soul as symbolized by Psyche. Both those words translate as butterfly in Greek. In this instance soul is a perspective or viewpoint, not an etheric substance. Conversations with the unconscious – the transcendent function – are cathartic and healing, as well as transformative.


Jung’s familiar quote, once the depth of its meaning is fully grasped, aids our understanding of destiny, the realization of one’s full potential. By raising the unconscious mind to the level of conscious awareness, we are able to free ourselves from the shackles of burdensome rationality and self-imposed limitations. We become the captains, not slaves, of personal destiny.



Review – The Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book

A wonderfully insightful look at Chrysalis Tarot by Bonnie Cehovet from her review of the new Chrysalis Companion Book.

Perspectives On Tarot

Chrysalis Tarot –
Companion Book

Author: Toney Brooks
Artist: Holly Sierra
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1-57281-798-2

Chrysalis Tarot book cover

The “Chrysalis Tarot” is the 216 page companion book for the Chrysalis Tarot deck. The cover illustration shows a cosmic version of the Nine of Spirals, featuring Aeolus, Master of the Four Winds. The reader’s eyes are immediately drawn to Aeolus face, with the eyes connecting on both a real-time and a soul level. It is time for each of us to re-examine our own world view!

In his introduction, Brooks talks about how creating a Tarot deck is a transpersonal process, including imaginary conversations with the characters in their “dramatis personae”. In retrospect, he realized that perhaps those conversations, at least in part, were not so imaginary after all. The Chrysalis companion book is then not only about the Chrysalis Tarot, but also about his efforts to uncover the hidden realities…

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