The Chrysalis Nines

Tarot cards numbered nine traditionally indicate successful completion of a cycle. But that interpretation may not serve you well. There’s still work to do. The nines actually presage an opportunity for you to successfully complete a cycle that requires making tough choices. Those choices demand that you recognize and personally adapt to a particular dynamic of change. We’ll detail those dynamics of change directly.

But first, a word about what contributes to Chrysalis’ uniqueness. It’s goal is to help you attain higher consciousness – a greater awareness of the material world, of Self, of the unseen world and of your healing ministry. You would not be reading this unless you have a healing ministry – for yourself and for others. The Nines symbolize the four cornerstones of Chrysalis.

The Nine of Stones bolsters your courage, the courage you need to renounce material attachments and grow indifferent to ego gratification. Material attachments are by definition ego-driven attachments. They are obstacles to personal and spiritual growth.

The Nine of Mirrors engenders peace, joy and self-reflection, the external peace we experience in nature’s beauty and bounty and the internal peace we experience in joy and surrender of control.

The Nine of Spirals is Chrysalis’ icon for reorganization and perseverance. Aeolus, the master of the four winds, appears on the cover of our Chrysalis Companion book. The companion book attempts to dispense with gnawing tarot superstitions by offering for consideration the science of interconnectivity and oneness. Quantum physics shows that our universe is an infinite storehouse of information¹ – of all the information ever generated by thought, word, deed and emotion. The permanency of what we might term cosmic consciousness references an early Buddhist belief known as the Akashic Records.

The Nine of Scrolls is Chrysalis’ Dark Night of the Soul card. This card depicts the despair often suffered during times of intense spiritual growth or personal transformation. It’s allegorized as the darkness a caterpillar experiences when encased in its chrysalis before becoming a butterfly. The Dark Night of the Soul points to the process of becoming.

¹ The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution

Images of the Chrysalis Nines were taken from the Chrysalis Tarot app by The Fool’s Dog.

~ Toney

Happy Lammas!

C03This week’s featured Chrysalis Tarot card is Gaia, the primal Mother Earth goddess of Greek mythology. The occasion we celebrate today is the Festival of Lammas, the first of three annual harvest festivals on the Chrysalis calendar. The others are Mabon and Samhain.

Lammas means loaf mass. Its origins can be traced to the mythology of the dying god of light, the son of the Sun whose (self-sacrificing) energy produces life-sustaining grains, fruits and vegatables (resurrected) annually.

In Gaelic lands this First Fruits festival celebrates the funeral rites of Lugh, the Celtic god of light. It’s called Lughnasadh meaning “assembly of Lugh.” In Judaism Shavuot celebrates the wheat harvest and concludes a 7-week celebration that begins with the barley harvest at Passover. On the Jewish calendar this event occured this year in June.

The dying god archetype is universal. The Haida people of the Pacific Northwest believe that salmon are supernatural spirits who assume fish-like form to sacrifice themselves annually for the benefit of humankind.

Whether you bake a loaf, make a corn dolly, take a nature walk or go fishing, Happy Lughnasadh this August 1st! Fall is in the air.

 

Salmon art by Haida artist Bill Reed

Corn dolly by Brandon Thatchers.

Watchers – The Prophets of Our Time

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For this week’s Chrysalis card I chose The Watcher, our resident prophet archetype. But first a few choice words about prophecy.

Prophecy, at least in the Classical sense, is not about painting a perfect picture of the future but about a fresh interpretation of the frayed canvasses of the past. Watchers envisage the future not as a product of causal, linear progressions but as an emergent property of recurring cycles.

A watcher’s mind projects the Big Picture of an “Eternal Now,” where past, present and future are simply convenient and mostly meaningless human constructs.

Prophecy is not a “gift,” but forthrightly an acquired skill set. Most adults can become adept at reading cyclical patterns and “predicting” the future using little more than synchronicity, creative imagination and solid historical perspectives.

Bear shaman viewing butterfly . Norval Morrisseau

In Norval Morriseau’s painting, the bear-shaman converses with a butterfly, the preeminent symbol of the psyche. Psyche is not something within us; we exist within psyche. Our common goal is to become one with psyche, one with higher Self.

When Self has become fully formed and informed by psyche, when Self looks destiny in the eye, only then can we humans, strapped to the straight-backed chairs of mortality, leave the chrysalis.

Watchers, shamans and countless other soul-butterflies have left their chrysalis behind forever and discovered their destiny. They are the prophets of our time.

When we Westerners think of prophecy, we usually conjure up a familiar Bible story from Sunday School, church or Charlton Heston. A case in point:

Regardless of whether you believe in a monotheistic God (the Chrysalis schema embraces spiritual naturalism), at least to some degree the mythology of Jesus the Hebrew Prophet has helped shape your worldview. Jesus made many predictions. For example, he predicted that the Jewish Temple would be destroyed: “Not a stone will be left unturned.”

Many Biblical scholars regard such predictions as prophecy historicised rather than as history remembered, an important distinction. The former implicates disingenuous 20/20 hindsight; the latter genuine 20/20 foresight or true prophecy. Let’s choose foresight. How could Jesus, an obscure prophet from Nazareth, as well as many other Hebrew prophets, have foreseen the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple?

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Well, a Talmud scholar would explain simply that the Jewish Temple had been defiled and, accordingly, would certainly be destroyed. But the temple was not defiled by hardworking money changers, who were an important facet of temple life and commerce. A foreign Jew on pilgrimage to Jerusalem was unable to buy doves for sacrifice using foreign currency. He first had to convert it to shekels.

The Herodian Temple became a symbol of self-righteous power and gross indulgence rather than of holiness, perhaps not unlike like today’s Vatican. Jesus’ tirade was not aimed at money changers, per se, but at the ungodliness of what Herod’s Temple and King Herod himself represented  – a den of corruption, greed and power. By tossing a few tables and bird cages about, Jesus in fact mimed the destruction of the temple. That act of sedition was not lost on the Pharisees and Romans.

That contrived act itself was both prophetic and purposeful. In Roman law, sedition was punishable by death. Jesus didn’t “lose his temper,” regardless of what Pastor Tim may have you believe.

Beyond the Wall

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One of my great delights in watching Game of Thrones for 6 seasons going on 7 has been watching Arya Stark, as played by Maisie Williams, grow up physically, mentally and spiritually. I find Arya to be absolutely enchanting, as would any devout Jungian.

Arya littlerally transforms from a little lost girl into a warrior woman on the archetypal scale of Boudicca, Brigantia and Diana/Artemis, the great huntress moon goddess who has informed the female warrior archetype for ages.

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In Chrysalis Tarot, warrior goddess attributes are manifested in Morgan le Fay, the Sorceress, although our deck is chock-full of other strong female archetypes. C02That’s one of the qualities that sets Chrysalis apart.

I’m also an Arya Stark fan because, in the New Paradigm to come, it is strong women who will trailblaze the future of Western Civilization. Our civilization is presently in decline, as foreseen by most philosophers of history worth their salt and aware of historical cycles. But eventually it will give birth to a new civilization heralded by a Second Golden Age of culture.

A strong woman, mind you, is not a woman whose heart is set on being and behaving a man, like Cersei in GoT, but one who is fully and truly female in her own psyche.

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Pictured above are Morgan le Fay. the Sorceress from Arthurian legend, and Queen Boudicca. The majestic statue of Queen Boudicca, Queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe that defeated the Romans, is located near Westminster Bridge in London.

 

“Nattering Nabobs of Negativism”

9 - StorytellerWhen William Safire sent those biting words into the mouth of Spiro Agnew back in 1972, the barb was aimed directly toward Mainstream Media (MSM). In those days, many Americans, specifically what was then called the “Silent Majority,” were becoming disillusioned with mainstream media, which for most of us consisted of three network tv channels and our daily newspaper of choice.

Two generations on and America has watched the nascent disillusionment of the 60s and 70s grow and metastasize into an ugly malaise of profound distrust and resentment.

And rightfully so! MSM no longer can legitimately boast of any  pretense to objectivity when it opines on matters of great importance to the corporate/political establishment (“the swamp”) that controls it. For truth, one must reject the swamp and its obsession with greed and power.

Fortunately there is a survival strategy. While journalistic integrity as we once knew and admired it appears to be dead and buried, MSM itself now grows less and less important by the day as more Americans are bristled by its outright lies and subtle deceptions and turn instead to alternative media for information. However, the death of disillusion is part and parcel of evolving a personal worldview. This is where Chrysalis Tarot comes in. We created Chrysalis to help confront and survive the difficulties and stress of a paradigm shift. And to overcome chronic negativity, which is a low-vibration, unhealthy emotion.

One has two obvious choices when confronting truths that fly in the face of a cherished worldview. The confrontation is called cognitive dissonance – uncomfortable weighing of contradictory thoughts. For example, one can retreat into denial and cling mightily to old preconceived notions, ideologies, etc. While affording a sense of comfort and joy, denial of reality can often lead to delusion and eventually depression. Alternatively, one can construct a new paradigm – create a new map of reality. In other words, discover and embrace the larger picture.

Companion book cvrThe gentleman who graces the cover of our Chrysalis companion book is Aeolus, Master of the Four Winds and Great Cosmic Organizer (and Reorganizer). He’s the fellow whose fair winds saw Odysseus safely home to Ithaca.

In one way or another, we’re all just trying to return safely home to Ithaca, a metaphor for finding one’s true Self. Tarot allegorizes this Hero’s Journey, this epic quest, that animates the spiritual life of countless seekers of truth.

Tarot allegorizes the Hero’s Journey through a particular type of meditation. Meditation techniques have many guises, one of which is called “guided meditation.” This type of meditation, which includes tarot, is more active mentally than Zazen (Buddhist), Yogic (Hindu) or Taoist (Chinese) meditation practices, to mention a few. Meditation using Chrysalis is active participation in writing one’s own personal mythology of self-discovery.

We believe that personal introspection is essential to the Hero’s Journey and that personal introspection requires an honest effort. A Chrysalis Tarot reading of only one card a day can be transformative. It can help one gain perspective; discover and embrace the larger picture, which is benefit #52 of the 100 benefits of meditation. The entire list of 100 is available below in .pdf format courtesy of the Lotus Temple.

Denial is a function of the egoic mind; the more threatened the ego, the more stubborn the denial. Enlightenment (higher consciousness) is a function of surrender and acceptance of change (#97).

“If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know the opposite: what Truth is. This Truth would liberate us from slavery.” ~ Boris Mouravieff

100 Benefits of Meditation

“Useful Idiots”

saul-alinskyA slight departure now from our customary Chrysalis-focused writings with but a single purpose in mind; namely to shed light on the agitating racket and disharmony as the inauguration of Donald Trump approaches.

As I’ve written before, the world is experiencing the birth throes of a new paradigm. This truism has been proclaimed far and wide for many years; it has been anticipated by those with “eyes to see and ears to hear.” A search for “paradigm shift” on Google returns over 8-million hits.

It remains to be seen if the new paradigm is born healthy. If so, her birth will herald a new Golden Age. If not, the pain we will inflict upon ourselves depends upon how hard we as a species – and particularly as a nation – push back against the inevitable winds of change. Clearly, even those with stunted spiritual antennae accept that humanity’s present course – the status quo – is unsustainable.

Since the politics of the day is incendiary, I shall reflect on the politics of the past to make needed points. This is where the somewhat sinister looking character pictured above assumes center stage. He is Saul Alinsky, who died back in 1972 at age 63. As spiritual symmetries and synchronicities would have it, Alinsky’s story includes intriguing parallels to today’s perturbed political landscape. Synchronicity should always inform us as well as entertain us. It’s more than meaningful coincidence. It’s backward causation through time.

Alinsky was born in Chicago in 1909 to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Wikipedia calls him an “American community organizer and writer.” He wrote a book in 1971 titled, Rules for Radicals, which is considered the Bible for community organizing. William Buckley called him an “organizational genius.” Alinsky is not the villain here, only the foil.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley on Alinsky, but let’s not entwine ourselves in that political kudzu. Instead, we’ll just recount a few of Alinsky’s ideas he termed “power tactics,” as outlined in his Rules for Radicals and draw our own conclusions.

I’ll pick and choose 5 from his list of 13 (the emphasis is mine):

  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  • A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
  • Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Alternatively, perhaps it’s better simply to accept legitimate change, adapt and move on. America, by the way, also has a Bible, along with a few rules for being a “good American.” It’s known as the Constitution. Dissent and civil disobedience are Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights we all cherish. Wanton disrespect and lawlessness, not so much.

16-kaliWe live in the Age of Kali, whose ongoing cosmic mission is change via creative destruction. “May you live in interesting times,” the sages say. Chrysalis Tarot fans are intimately familiar with Kali, even if they sometimes don’t fully understand her intent or immediately spot her spiritual footprint.

For those who are unfamiliar with her, Kali is an archetype. Chrysalis Tarot is first and foremost “archetypal psychology” designed to increase self-awareness and, therefore, consciousness (symbolized by Kali’s chain of skulls).

The “tower” in the image symbolizes the human ego, which is in constant tension with the Higher Self. As ego decreases, Higher Self is able to increase. This can be described as spiritual growth or enlightenment, which are essential to seeing things clearly – to think clearly and critically.

Since the word Bible came up a couple of times in this stream of consciousness post, it calls to mind the theological doctrine of eschatology. In metaphysics, as opposed to religious dogma, this doctrine simply refers to the study of, and the reasons for, profound change that precedes evolution of consciousness; you cannot separate eschatology from paradigm shifts and evolution of consciousness. Eschatology is, therefore, a macrocosmic absolute that informs microcosmic religious dogma, which is fluid.

Two thousand years ago there was another birth – another paradigm shift – that gave name to what we call the “common era (CE).” Back then, before the present era was common, the eschatology of John the Baptist, a Jewish prophet, was apocalyptic. The eschatology of Jesus, also a Jewish prophet, was the coming of a New Kingdom (new paradigm) – a new Golden Age, as it were. Paradigm shifts will always reconcile and reset the tension of opposites. “A tension of opposites is like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.” ~ Morrie Schwartz.

It is not my intention to parrot some facile Christian Sunday School lesson with references to John and his cousin Jesus – I’m a spiritual naturalist, after all. I simply wish to remind the reader that at its core, the situation in America and the world today is spiritual in nature and far more complex than tedious left vs. right politics or sectarian religious zeal might have you believe. This brings me to the title of this blog: What on Earth is a “Useful Idiot?” Well, these hive-minded folks abound and abide and are “having a ball.”

“In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.” ~ Wikipedia

In other words, a useful idiot is a tool for Kali.

© Toney Brooks

The Warrior Archetype

tammo-warrior“A dark and powerful warrior’s face in blacks and reds. He wears a steel helmet, broad square face, open mouth with square teeth and a full black beard.” That’s Tammo de Jonge’s description of the Warrior archetype from his The 12 Faces of Humanity artwork.

As we all know, Chrysalis Tarot may correctly be called a “feminine tarot deck.” Traditional tarot, by contrast, is decidedly masculine and patriarchal. In Chrysalis, we emphasize the Divine Feminine, Earth-centered spirituality, healing, intuition and, above all else, balance.

In our schema, we emphasize many other attributes commonly associated with the Divine Feminine: goddess archetypes, anima and yin symbology, and the importance of the right brain to spiritual growth. In other words, Chrysalis relies upon symbols, patterns and free-flowing feelings, emotions and correspondences.

You will find the exact opposite characteristics in the Warrior archetype. Warrior energy is more commonly associated with the left brain: controlled feelings, logic, and rigid structure. Tricksters have warrior-type characteristics and are generally male figures because tricksters are antistructural agents who help restore balance by restraining or derailing the status quo. This is not to suggest the Warrior archetype is inherently negative. Not at all; he is a transitional archetype who manifests negative energy only when ungrounded.

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Herne the Hunter fulfills the Warrior’s role in Chrysalis. He himself is a facilitator of change and well grounded Gatekeeper of Higher Consciousness.

For thousands of years, most of humanity has been living a patriarchal paradigm that has no firm grounding in Divine Feminine attributes. Consequently, we witness rampant aggression, oppression of women, endless wars, and heavy-handed religious dogma instead of holistic spirituality marked by interconnection and a commitment to personal growth.

Fortunately, things are rapidly changing. Once the dust settles, consciousness will  evolve to unimaginable new heights and the world will be a better, more balanced place. This will happen in part because women themselves will form the vanguard of a new warrior class called Rainbow Warriors.

rainbow-warriors“There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go. Many creatures thought to be extinct or mythical will resurface at this time; the great trees that perished will return almost overnight. All living things will flourish, drawing sustenance from the breast of our Mother, the Earth.” ~ from the Rainbow Prophecy as purportedly passed down by women of the Cree Nation.

Collective Unconscious archetypes provide filters and focus for our lenses of perception and imagination. As the Warrior archetype completes his mission and subsides, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction and balance is restored. Remember, the reemergence of the Divine Feminine does not mean a return to Minoan Civilization matriarchy; quite the contrary, the essence of the Divine Feminine seeks eternal balance.

(This blog is the 8th in a series inspired by artist Tammo de Jongh’s, “The 12 Faces of Humanity.” See the “Recent Posts” section below for the previous blogs.)

© Toney Brooks

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Art by Darrell Driver

The Joker Archetype

tammo12 “A picture in bright reds and yellows is of a smiling twinkle-eyed Harlequin with his typical gold-stuccoed, triangular hat,” is how artist Tammo de Jongh described his Joker archetype, commonly known as the Trickster.

Archetypes are multivalent fields of information that exist in tandem in the human psyche and the Collective Unconscious. They count upon reflexivity to acquire meaning.  This is to say they reflect nuanced attributes and values to whomever mirrors them. Archetypes are psychological chameleons. Getting your head around the Trickster archetype, for example, can be like fumbling your way through a hall of mirrors. The Trickster is elusive, cunning, deceitful, wise and bizarre.

Trickster, joker and jester archetypes are known as liminal figures; they exist in the margins, the numerous betwixt and betweens experienced in life. It’s the Trickster’s role to jump boundaries and expose inconvenient truths in hope of changing perspective. He is the pin that pricks the bloated balloons of ignorance and delusion, thereby advancing understanding, individually and collectively, and evolving consciousness; awakening new truths.

It ain’t often pretty. Take the recent  U.S. election for example, which has Trickster markings all over it. Manifestations of the Trickster, “generate ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty; they provoke feelings of unease, worry, and even paranoia,” noted George P. Hanson in his book, The Trickster and the Paranormal. Hanson is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

There are other familiar examples of the Trickster in history. Quick-witted Will Sommers, who was King Henry VIII’s personal fool or court jester, said outrageous things to the king that no other members of the court would dare say and expect to keep their heads. The trickster has a knack for imparting wisdom and challenging the status quo. He is the quintessential agent of change.

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We recently celebrated Guy Fawkes Day. You recall: “Remember, remember the fifth of November; gunpowder, treason and plot. I can think of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” The phenomenal Guy Fawkes’ mask art (above) is by Alex Grey. Fawkes indirectly inspired the movie V for Vendetta as well as the Occupy and Anonymous movements that challenged government tyranny.

Many believe the gunpowder plot to blow up parliament was a false flag operation, and that Fawkes along with his co-conspirators were mere patsies. Tricksters often blur distinction between good guy and bad guy. Eventually, history chooses a narrative – the narrative intended by the trickster all along.

corsairbwChrysalis is filled with trickster magic. It is imbued in cards such as the Ravens, The Corsair, Kali, Three of Mirrors, The Illusionist and, of course, Merlin and Morgan Le Fay. As I wrote in the Chrysalis companion book, “When the world needs to change, the world turns to tricksters. We could no more excise tricksters from magic than trees from forests or stars from heaven.”

The trick to understanding the unseemly messes made by tricksters is to elevate your perspective (The Acrobat) and discern the bigger picture. As the Somali pirate said in the film Captain Phillips, “Everything gonna be okay.”

(This blog is the 7th of a series inspired by artist Tammo de Jongh’s, “The 12 Faces of Humanity.” See the “Recent Posts” list below for our previous blogs.)

© Toney Brooks