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, c. 11,500 BC.

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 the greatest – can best be understood by examining the very different routes taken in translating the Greek word, theoria. In the East, it meant contemplation. In the West, it came to mean theory.

Western Civilization 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 a more balanced and rational spirituality.

The journey to the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine will involve a conscious act of spirit and genuine contemplation, not simply memorized “correct beliefs.” Correct beliefs and rigid, impenetrable dogma: these are the instruments of manipulation and control. Would that more Christians recognized 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, which is the transcendent nature of God, we can, however, glean much from the experience of God’s activities 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 ever 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 in 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, as Danu and as Shakti in Hindustan. In Chrysalis she reveals herself as The Moon 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 the Divine Feminine. Consequently, we tend to ascribe human characteristics to our deities. A process called anthropomorphism.

Qualities we humans ascribe to the Divine Feminine include gentleness, dependability, constancy, nurturing, compassion and empathy, to name a few. Personally I can think of no public figure who epitomizes those qualities more than the late Queen Elizabeth II. I attach no small significance to the fact the Queen 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

egregore_marki_by_magbhitu-d5b2k4h
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.

martha-and-mary-william-hole
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: toney@chrysalistarot.com

“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

Hera

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

The Gaian Invocation

“There slumber in every human being’s faculties by means of which he can acquire for himself a knowledge of higher worlds. There remains only one question -how to set to work to develop such faculties for this purpose.”~ Rudolf Steiner in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

The Chrysalis Theory or philosophy of Tarot objectively differs from traditional tarot. When I was first introduced to tarot many years ago, the conventional belief held that each card had a unique, salient meaning and that an unidentified mystical force or forces arranged the cards in a particular order to address the querent’s question, thereby allowing the reading to be decoded, usually by someone skilled in reading tarot – a “tarot master,” of sorts.

The Chrysalis theory takes exception to that idea and holds that tarot layouts are random and that cards provide overall themes and meaningful symbolism to be interpreted rather than hard fast meanings. We assert that during a reading the querent’s consciousness enters into mystical communion with Universal Archetypes, personal Guardians and often Ancestors. We further assert that each card in the deck can manifest specific guidance for all querents, but that some cards will resonate more than others depending on current life circumstances and the issue at hand. In other words, tarot readings are fluid not fixed. “Answers don’t have to be real and accurate, they only need to fill the abysmal void of fear, confusion, anxiety, insecurity, doubt and discomfort of the unknown.” ~ Source

A brief word about consciousness. In Chrysalis philosophy, Consciousness is non-local. In other words, it exists everywhere throughout the universe. This concept is known as panpsychism. “Panpsychism is the idea that consciousness did not evolve to meet some survival need, nor did it emerge when brains became sufficiently complex. Instead it is inherent in matter — all matter. In other words, everything has consciousness. Consciousness is not limited to humans and other animals. Plants have it, too.” ~ Discover Magazine

The Chrysalis approach to tarot engenders self-examination, self-acceptance and self-awareness in addition to spiritual growth. In short, it is ~50% self-administered Jungian psychology and ~50% divine guidance. As a querent becomes more proficient – more self-aware; more spiritually mature or adept – the psychology aspect decreases and the clarity of divine guidance increases. After all, this is what both Chrysalis and traditional tarot approaches seek to attain – divine guidance or divination.

We consider tarot to be a form of contemplative prayer. I hasten to add that divination is not fortune telling. It is “… a really beautiful aspect of spirituality. It asks us all to remove our egos, clear our minds and trust in the intuition [we all possess] to reveal and manifest the secrets of life, nature and the universe.”¹

To whom then do we pray? What is divine? When using Chrysalis we invoke Universal Archetypes as well as the Higher Self, our angelic or spiritual personal mediator and advocate. When we use the word divine, we implicate a Divine Other. We accede to each individual their right to define Divine Other; we are not religious dogmatists, nor is it terribly important how precisely the term is defined. What is important, however, is that Divine Other is seen as wholly separate from ourselves yet intimately accessible. It is at once paradoxically immanent and transcendent; within and without. When working with Chrysalis Tarot, we draw near Divine Other through Universal Archetypes. For this blog the archetype we invoke is Gaia.

Chrysalis Art by Holly Sierra

The Gaia Hypothesis, later the Gaia Theory (scientific), was developed in 1972 by scientist James Lovelock. It states, “…that the Earth’s [biosphere] is maintained in a habitable state by self-regulating feedback mechanisms involving organisms tightly coupled to their environment.” The biosphere is defined as the Earth’s surface plus that portion of the oceans and atmosphere that accommodate life.

We believe Gaia’s “self-regulating feedback mechanisms” are today being compromised and eroded by the prevailing emotional environment on Earth. I call this developing thesis The Gaian Principle, which the Gaian Invocation introduces. “An emotional environment is one that promotes emotional wellbeing and provides stability for the children according to their individual needs. A good emotional environment will provide children with adults who will provide them with emotional support, understanding their feelings and showing empathy.”²

Are we as a society providing emotional stability for children? Are we promoting an overall healthy emotional environment tethered to reality? If you’re unsure, scan today’s headlines for clues. The free-floating anxiety we live with on a daily basis is off the charts. Even worse, this condition is being exploited by bad actors. One can sense dark forces hard at work, a topic we discuss in later blogs such as Solve et Coagula and The Egregore.

Here’s a helpful piece on emotional wellbeing. The banner image of this blog is an illustration of the electromagnetic brain. This link is to an excellent book on this subject written by an acquaintance, Shelli Joye, PhD. The resonances brought about by electrical currents of varying frequencies in the brain can weigh significantly or even dictate on our daily emotional status. These resonances alone can cause “bad days” and blasé feelings of malaise and hopelessness.

I believe it’s more important than ever to invoke Divine Other however you prefer to do so, as well as to take steps to safeguard your own emotional health. I highly recommend invoking Gaia for divine guidance and reading up on Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. There’s no reason to fret about some “catastrophic anthropogenic (man made) climate emergency.” That’s pure fiction and hubris; Gaia regulates CO2 on Earth.

Abstract Blue Cosmic Gaia by Santosam81 for Deviant Art.

¹ https://welldivined.com/divination/

² croneri.co.uk

On Tap: Symbolic and Abstract Art as supersensible gates to Higher Consciousness.

© Toney Brooks, 2022

The Dark Night of the Soul

Chrysalis Tarot Art by Holly Sierra

The Greek word for messenger is ángelos (angel) and the angel pictured on our Nine of Scrolls bears an important message for us. These troubled times are punctuated by free-floating anxiety that often morphs into devastating despair. Since our anxiety is likely to get worse – much worse – it may be somewhat cathartic to step back, meditate and focus on what is really happening – the proverbial “Big Picture.” Perhaps by doing so we will become less afraid of the unknown. In these times, fear is our greatest enemy.

I underscored cathartic above to highlight my intention to return to the concept. Catharsis can be nuanced in many ways. In both psychology and spiritual formation the term implies releasing repressed fears, along with other unhealthy emotions, notably guilt, into the luminescence of conscious awareness where they can be examined.

In spirituality this process is called The Dark Night of the Soul. It is a controlled crisis; the painful death of an individual’s ego symbolized by the tombstone pictured (above left) and then followed by a whole new understanding – a rebirth. The Dark Night teaches us how Divine Guidance – not we ourselves – molds and shapes our lives – giving birth to a completely new perception of reality.

I described this process of self-emptying (kenosis) in the Chrysalis Tarot Companion Book: “The objective is to overcome the belligerence of ego by baring the heart to inspiration from the Otherworld. The unseen realm wills nothing for us; it simply desires to be heard so it can guide us.” A hardened ego prevents us from hearing our own inner voice.

We must understand that everything – our thoughts, words, actions, memories, etc. – are pure energy and influence reality. As Einstein put it, “Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” This is why it is so important to keep negative emotions in check.

The mythic Hero’s Journey as explicated in Chrysalis Tarot is a spiritual journey to transformation called metanoia, a Greek word that implies dramatically changing one’s worldview or Zeitgeist – the ‘Spirit of the Age.’ The ego is ill-equipped to deal with the disorder of chaos and today’s dizzying change, much less the deceptions and manipulations that characterize and threaten our present age. The ego wittingly opens the mind to all sorts of nonsense and foolishness. The armor required to come to terms with today’s crazy world is to choose a spiritual discipline such as meditation, prayer, yoga, or tarot that will help you to evoke order from chaos and hear Divine guidance spoken to you from beyond this world.

A further note regarding energy. As Einstein noted, everything is energy, particularly electromagnetic energy/radiation. The Earth’s magnetic field, for example, is weakening at what was previously thought to be 5% per century. In reality, it’s 5% per decade.

The magnetic North Pole is moving at an alarming rate of 25-miles per year. It’s wandering off toward Siberia. There are signs of a polar or geomagnetic reversal, a phenomena that has happened 183 times over the past 80-odd million years of Earth’s history.

There’s a reason I delve into electromagnetic energy in this blog about the Dark Night of the Soul. I’ve been developing a thesis I call The Gaian Hypothesis. We find ourselves, I believe, at a inflection or tipping point in human history, a concerning imbalance between positive and negative mindsets and unhealthy (electromagnetic) energy such as fear, hate and anger.

Viewed as the monomythic struggle between Good and Evil, evil is very close to overtaking good on a global scale. This has far reaching implications for our species and planet. The Dark Night is the Atonement* encountered at the 11th Stage of the Hero’s Journey (see chart below). In order to return to our Normal or Ordinary World (12th Stage), we must become transformed into a better version of ourselves; into a greater self-awareness called higher consciousness.

Collectively humanity must endure a Dark Night of the Soul. Our guardian angel is Gaia.

More about The Gaian Hypothesis in our next blog.

  • Atonement means to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant; to reconcile our consciousness with a Higher Consciousness. (Don’t dwell on the religious connotation of forgiveness of sin. Regard atonement as positive affirmation not negative indulgence.)

© Toney Brooks, 2022

Wetiko – The Mind Virus

“Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.” ~ Carl Jung, The Symbolic Life

The Native Americans called the evil spirit that invades the human psyche thereby causing negative psychic epidemics, Wetiko. We’ll return to this concept directly.

“Shatter the frozen sea inside us.” That’s how novelist Franz Kafka described what may be called a disabling belief system. The disabling beliefs that concern us here are those unconscious ones planted in our minds by bad actors who employ mind control techniques to manipulate individuals, groups and societies.

A significant portion of the adult population in America harbors disabling beliefs of which they are mostly unaware – beliefs that obscure truth. The common beliefs or thought forms among this minority impede their attaining higher consciousness and enlightenment for they no longer possess critical agency, having wholly succumbed to groupthink. It is self-evident that groupthink suppresses individuality and creativity. It obfuscates one’s sense of self and stunts spiritual growth.

“Man does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious,” wrote Carl Jung. In other words, we must summon these sinister and controlling programs from the darkness of the subconscious mind into the light of universal consciousness. Those experiencing at least some degree of cognitive dissonance and haven’t made up their mind on climate change, for example, should consider this in order to expose new ideas to reason, logic and critical thinking. (By the way, the carbon-driven “climate emergency” is the greatest scientific fraud in history.)

Many, perhaps even most victims of mind control, are simply unwilling to change. They are fearful of the inevitable pushback. They grew comfortable nursing their groupthink delusions and prefer not to be rattled. They have fully compromised their self-identity. Fair enough: examining one’s unconscious mind is at best disturbing and can even be painful. Chrysalis Tarot was crafted to engender introspection increase self-awareness.

Other people are different. They invoke the advice of Einstein: “Question everything.” Being told what to think is anathema to them, especially when things just “don’t add up.” They willingly risk being censored and gas lighted on social media and ostracized by friends and family. Only they can hope to attain true enlightenment, the “narrow path” that alludes to reality-based objective truth, e.g. only women have human babies, and not reality subjugated to false dogma demanding ‘correct’ beliefs.

“Gratitude and positive thoughts build on each other, creating a positive, upward spiral.” ~ Physicist Nassim Haramein

“Wetiko is at the very root of the collective madness and corresponding evil that we, as a human species, are collectively acting out on the world stage,” wrote artist Paul Levy. “Our sense of identity molds us, while we are at the same time the ones crafting our identity. What we don’t want is to let Wetiko forge our identity for us.”

How does one defend against Wetiko, against its lies, deceptions and disabling beliefs? By rejecting the false-self and asserting our own true nature, which is spiritual in essence. By remaining positive in a pernicious sea of negativity.

Levy advocates developing your innate creative gifts: “For once we connect with our calling, find our authentic voice and express our creative nature, Wetiko has no place to stand.”  

In addition to Paul Levy’s excellent piece on Wetiko, which is here, writer William Hubbard, from whom I borrowed this blog’s title, also penned an informative and interesting article on Wetiko that can be read here. I highly recommend both to you.

To “shatter the frozen sea inside you,” I also recommend meditating on this Chrysalis card, particularly this symbolism. Herne’s right hand, the one holding his sword, points to three stars. That’s part of the constellation Orion, an asterism known as “Orion’s Belt. These three stars point to a dimmer star called Sirius, which was hugely important to the Ancient Egyptians.

In addition to meditating on Herne the Hunter, I invite you to research Orion’s Belt and Sirius and see what you come up with. Please share your insights in the comments section and please consider subscribing to the Chrysalis Tarot blog by entering your email address below. WordPress will never spam you.

© Toney Brooks 2022, Chrysalis art by Holly Sierra.