Days 7-9 – The Morrigan

morrigan laura daliganWe conclude the final 3 days of the Brighid Novena with the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess Morrigan, presented in each of her tri-fold, triple aspects – one for each remaining day of the novena.

Day 7

Because the Celts kept an oral history, and because much of it has come down to us through the mesh of Catholic monks, there’s a great deal we don’t know about Morrigan. Further exacerbating this lament is that Morrigan herself can only be understood and appreciated when viewed in cyclic time, the way the ancients reckoned time.

The aspects of all Triple Goddesses are mother – maiden – clone. Morrigan, however, is better understood using her aspects of warrior – protectress – prophetess. She is frequently identified as a raven goddess owing to her warrior aspect, but presented in this image (above left) as a protectress. Ravens and the entire gang of corvids – crows, choughs, magpies, jackdaws – are associated with battlefield carnage and Morrigan is seldom pictured without them.

“She who walks the Warrior Path, Great Morrigan, Red Queen! I greet your beauty, your shadowed jewel At the height of your Powers. I greet you with a rite in your honor, Lady of Many Forms. Tri-fold Lady; With your sisters at your side I would honor you, And call you to join us this night.” ~ Sacred Wicca


morrigan Magdalena Korzeniewska
Morrigan, by Magdalena Korzeniewska

Day 8

This unique art presents Morrigan as a bloodied Irish warrior. Today’s Celts are identified with Ireland but they dominated Europe for 1,000 years from their native Anatolia and across Austria, where two famous archaeological digs reveal the beauty of ancient Celtic cultures of Hallstatt and La Tène, and on into Northern Europe. A Celtic torque unearthed at La Tène is pictured below.


O Morrigan, we call your name Across the dusty years.
You speak to us, of blood and lust. You show us all our fears.
You are a goddess, old and wise. Of holy power you have no dearth.
Beneath your wings : Black, Red and White, We learn of death and birth. ~ hymn by Isaac Bonewits


morrigan prophet
Morrigan, by Emily Balivet

Day 9

As a prophetess, we call on Morrigan in this novena for clarity as to the true nature of reality and for a framework in which we can comprehend the chaos of today’s world, which I fear may only worsen.

Our reality, our worldview, is rapidly changing – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse; indeed, it is not only changing, but is threatened with false beliefs. We witness a pernicious movement advocating a collectivist worldview at every turn. This is a movement toward big government, power and money, totalitarian in nature, that seeks to control almost every aspect of daily life.

The spiritual battle we fight today is one of individuality vs. globalism. Our country is at the vanguard.


The Wind from Hastings , by Luis Royo


You can follow future Chrysalis Tarot blogs by punching the button below. Previous blogs in this novena series can be accessed below beneath the label “Recent Posts.”

© Toney Brooks, 2019

Day 6 – Hail and Be Welcome to the Feast


Hand in hand, with fairy grace,

Will we sing, and bless this place.

The title of the beautiful painting on the left by Sophie Anderson is a mouthful:

“Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things,” (c. 1869).

Sophie Anderson lived in an affluent artist colony on the Italian island of Capri when she painted this portrait of a fairy. Sir Frederick Leighton was also a member of the colony at that time. You know Lord Leighton’s work, even if you don’t immediately associate his name with them. He was one of the Pre-Raphaelites who resided in London in the mid 1800s. This one is a favorite of mine. It offers a hint of the direction we intend to pursue with this (mostly visual) blog.

Flaming June – Frederick Leighton, (1895)

The rhyming couplet that introduced the blog is from Titania’s instruction to her fairy train at the conclusion of Shakespeare’s A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. My favorite illustration of that particular scene was created by one of my favorite poets, William Blake. We might mention here that one of Brighid’s many titles is Goddess of Poetry.

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing c.1786 by William Blake 1757-1827
Oberon, Titania and Puck with Faeries Dancing – William Blake, (c.1875)

Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies, are on the left. Puck, the trickster and perplexer of mortals, faces us. The fairies Moth and Peaseblossom are easily identifiable. We’ll guess the third fairy is Mustardseed.

The Queen of Elphame, my original title for this blog, translates as the Queen of Fairyland. She is associated with the Tuatha Dé Danann, the mythological family of supernatural beings in Irish folklore. While Brighid’s family was indeed the Tuatha Dé, she was never, to my knowledge, proclaimed Queen of Fairyland. That is, not until now.

The Arrival of the King & Queen of Fairyland – E Stuart Hardy, (c. 1895)

The attributes of the Queen of Ephrame – magic, childbirth, poetry and healing – are attributes commonly associated with Brighid, as well as with several of her counterparts such as the Norse Goddess Freyja. Lush red hair appears to be a common attribute.

I’ve always believed that artists, well, many artists, receive inspiration from a obscure mound of dirt – a fairy mound – tucked neatly away on some mossy knoll of the Celtic Otherworld. After composing this blog, I’m rather convinced of it!

Titania ~ Frederick Howard Michael, (1897)

Know that everyone, including the beings of the Dragonfae, is delighted and happy to know of your ability to delight in your own self. Celebrate, and we celebrate with you. Hail, joyful kindred spirit and be welcome to the feast! ~ Titania, as channeled by Lucy Cavendish in Oracle of the Dragonfae.

brighid card“Dragonfae are powerful and bring deeper understanding and clarity to all things…they tend to come into our lives to remind us who we really are and to active aspects of ourselves that we may have forgotten…Dragonfae help us to access knowledge from deep within.” – from the Dragonfae companion book.


You can follow this novena’s blogs by punching the button below. Previous blogs in this series are linked below under the label “Recent Posts.”

© Toney Brooks, 2019

Day 5 – Daughter of the Dagda

Brighid’s Well in Kildare

The Three-Fold Fire of Brighid

Fire in the forge that
shapes and tempers

Fire of the hearth that
nourishes and heals

Fire in the head that
incites and inspires.

We mentioned in our Day 2 blog that Brighid – Pagan goddess and Catholic saint – is titled, “Daughter of the Dagda.” The Dagda is the supreme deity of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the tribe or people of the Goddess Danu in Irish mythology.

The Tuatha Dé, like all the old gods and the new, were considered supernatural beings who inhabited the Otherworld. There they interacted with humans. This 4,000 year old profession of faith effectively correlates the unseen Otherworld with Collective Unconscious archetypes, a spiritual awareness rarely found in today’s worldview dominated by scientific materialism.

While this novena’s primary intention is to seek clarity as to the true nature of reality, it offers thoughts and prayers for a rapid end to today’s antiquated, discredited and narcissistic worldview that insists physical reality is all that truly exists.

Holly Sierra art from the Chrysalis Tarot app.

The Chrysalis Tarot card chosen to represent this plight of ours is Celtic Owl, a card fitting for a novena invoking a Celtic goddess and Catholic saint.

These are the most important symbols found in the Celtic Owl image:

1. The endless knot symbolizes connectivity of everything – Individual consciousness to the Collective Unconsciousness (Otherworld); Individual consciousness to Cosmic Mind, and the present to past and future.

2. Owl symbolizes both the Otherworld and keen sight (and insight), even in darkness. Owl also is a symbol of spiritual growth, wisdom and psychic ability, particularly clairvoyance.

3. The crown chakra, a symbol of higher consciousness, is a dominant feature in Holly’s Celtic Owl artwork. Pranic energy enters the crown or seventh chakra portal and proceeds to flow through the other energy meridians before returning to the eternal aether. Pranic energy, the energy of pure consciousness, is the life force that changes desire into reality.

Toroidal pranic energy

 I am Owl,
Swift creature of the dark night
Guardian of the Spirit’s flight

Herald of new direction
Ancient wisdom in reflection

Nature’s shy and silent one
Who sees beyond the setting sun.

From Wisdom of the Four Winds Oracle
©by Cecilie Okada & Barry Brailsford

and with special thanks to Beth Owls Daughter for The Wisdom of Owls

Fairys Dancing
Fairies Dancing by Tina Higgins Art

You can follow this novena’s blogs by punching the button below. Previous blogs in the series can also be found below under the label “Recent Posts.”

© Toney Brooks, 2019

Day 4 – The Nature of Reality

5 - Divine ChildSpiritual awareness begins not when we blindly pledge allegiance to arcane religious dogma but when we finally are led to utter the words, “I Am.”

I Am responsible for my own spirituality and my own spiritual growth.

I Am is a declaration of spiritual freedom. Only with spiritual freedom are we, as individuals, able to achieve our full potential and chart the course to destiny.

Carl G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, coined the oblique term individuation to describe the spiritual quest allegorized by the tarot. Jung taught that birth is analogous to a photographic negative. The fullness of life must be developed over the years, as well as lived.

As the psychic process of individuation advances, as the photographic negative is developed, the self assumes form, intelligence and personality. Color and detail is added, as symbolized (above) by the Divine Child’s palette. The frog and butterflies are universal symbols of transformation; the candle, of the essence of being.

In the final analysis, how we develop has as much if not more to do with physics than with religion, although religious metaphor plays an important if intermediate role. Individuation is a completely natural process, although not one we are able to accomplish on our own. We require divine assistance! We require divine assistance to keep us from exiting the train named Destiny at the whistle-stop named religion, as so many do.

The traditional name for this particular tarot card, as noted above, is The Hierophant. Before that, in the Tarot of Marseilles, the card’s title was Le Pape – “The Pope.” In other words, in traditional tarot this archetype always has bowed to the authority of institutionalized dogma and appealed to religious absolutism. A change was necessary.

Being by Artist Mario Duguay

The Divine Child refers to that inner voice we all know and recognize as a phenomenon fundamental to our own unique being. This inner voice was once called a homunculus – a “little person” inside the brain. (I added the link just for fun. It’s not particularly relevant.)

Anyway, a more accurate term for this inner voice is clairaudience, meaning inspiration from the spirit world and divine assistance in the form of spirit guides, animal totems, ancestors, nature and Higher Self.

Chrysalis defines the Higher Self as something  exterior, existing only in the Otherworld (as beautifully depicted on the left). The Otherworld, however, is not supernatural, it is very much an unseen part of this world, as we shall see.

We are all psychic (clairvoyant) and we are all clairaudient to varying degrees whether we realize it or not, just as we are all intuitive. Everyone has a Sixth Sense or Third Eye.  As the individuation process evolves toward higher consciousness and enlightenment, our spiritual abilities come sharply into focus.

Eye of Horus

I mentioned that physics (quantum not classical) explains the thoroughly natural characteristics of these and other spiritual abilities. In metaphysics, we no longer refer to them as paranormal but as anomalistic psychology.

Let’s draw an analogy between, for example, a material self (little s) on one hand and its spiritual Higher Self on the other to two quantum particles, say protons. Once entangled, they cannot be properly understood independently. They forever remain entangled as a composite whole. The self, by analogy, becomes an emergent property of Higher Self. Emergence implies that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Amazingly, should you create some vast distance between those two entangled protons, which have intrinsic spin – either clockwise or counterclockwise – by placing one proton in your pocket and the other on the opposite side of the universe, and then spin your proton clockwise, the other one will spin counterclockwise. Instantaneously! Accordingly, quantum mechanics can easily account for the “little man in your brain” and assures us that we are, indeed, connected to everything and not alone in the universe.

To our list of intentions in this Novena to Brighid, let us now add “clarity as to the true nature of reality.” And please add your own intentions.

Spiral Matrix by Sam Brown

You can follow this novena’s blogs by punching the button below. Previous blogs in the series can also be found below under the label “Recent Posts.”

© Toney Brooks, 2019

Day 3 – The Gatekeeper

Image taken from the Chrysalis Tarot App

Papa Legba is one of Chrysalis Tarot’s most popular cards and personalities. One loyal fan even had Legba’s art tattooed on his arm!

Papa, consciously or unconsciously, facilitates the user’s connection and conversation with the Otherworld. Tarot works best when this connection is a conscious one; too many tarot readers believe they’re decoding a message since tarot cards have fixed meanings. They do not.

A tarot card’s meaning is derived from the contents of the user’s unconscious mind and the resonance engendered with one or more archetypes, in this case Papa Legba, Brighid and, as we shall see, Janus.

Papa is an archetype that always runs in the background like an app on a computer. That’s because Papa represents what is known as a Gatekeeper between worlds. He is always present to assist your creative imagination and raise your level of consciousness.

All mythologies feature a gatekeeper, although he or she may be more readily recognized by other attributes. Hecate, a gatekeeper, is perhaps best known for her magical attributes. Gatekeepers are the deities of transitions, passages, thresholds, change, crossroads, beginnings and endings, to mention a few. Papa is depicted seated at a crossroads; the telephone poles in the distance symbolize communication with the Otherworld.

Janus by Jeff Simpson for Deviant Art

For our Brighid novena, perhaps another gatekeeper worth mentioning is Janus, the Roman god with two faces; one which looks toward the future, the other askance at the past.

Once your consciousness enters the threshold of liminal space, past, present and future dissolve into an Eternal Now – the state of pure possibility that exists (metaphorically) betwixt and between the two faces of Janus.

Liminality is one reason dreams should be interpreted subjectively, just like tarot cards; transitional experiences are deeply personal and timeless. You have to be there.

Invocation to Janus via Papa Legba

Hail, Lord Who Looks Both Ways!
Hail, face of the past
Turned towards memory!
You see all that has been,
Not only our beginnings,
But our past deeds
Which have brought us to this day.
May we learn to take responsibility for them.

Hail, face of the future
Turned towards possibility!
You see all that might be,
A multitude of choices,
Yet that multitude is pruned
Back to a likely few
By the deeds of the past.

Hail, Lord who stands at the boundary
Of then and now, of there and here.
We stand also at that boundary.
Teach us to see how the past
Shapes the future in its hands,
That we may not be blind to our own divinity.

Papa Legba, open the gates for me so I might go through. 

This invocation to Janus from the Pagan Book of Hours is particularly relevant to our novena since tomorrow’s card will be Divine Child, a card unique to Chrysalis. Divine Child symbolizes a lesson we infrequently hear and often resist: that we indeed can become “blind to our own divinity.”



© Toney Brooks, 2019


Day 2 – Behold Thy Mother

Holly_Sierra-MoonThe Chrysalis Moon card is an appropriate symbol for the Celtic goddess Brighid. Here’s the reason why.

The ancient Indo-Europeans and Proto-Celts knew the goddess as The Great Mother. Since those days she has been known by many other names. The Israelites call her The Shekinah, the feminine presence of God. The Celtic tribes that left Anatolia in Eastern Turkey to migrate throughout Europe and beyond knew her as the Goddess Danu. They named the River Danube for her.

The names of other Celtic tribes are similarly recognizable by place names on modern maps such as the Parisii (Paris), the Belgae (Belgium) and the Britannia, Galatians, Gauls and the Hibernians (Ireland), who today still celebrate both the Old Gods and the New. Brighid, pagan goddess and Christian saint, belongs to both camps.

The Catholic Church, as we all know, sought to stamp out paganism wherever it was found. They built churches on top of pagan holy sites and made saints out of goddesses that were particularly difficult to get rid of. The goddess and the saint were, as we say, syncretized.

The supernatural family of the Celtic Danu was known as the Tuatha Dé Danann – the People (or tribe) of the Goddess Danu. The Tuatha were highly skilled in the magical arts and were banished from Heaven because, well, they knew too much. Among the deities that came down from Heaven on a cloud of mist was Brighid who, like many other goddesses, is akin to The Great Mother – the Shekinah or Divine Feminine.

The principle attribute of all Great Mother goddesses is the Moon just as the Sun is the principle attribute or symbol of their male consorts. The return of the Divine Feminine to share dominion with the masculine are central themes of the New Paradigm – not to replace the patriarchy, mind you, but simply to restore proper yin-yang ☯ balance. You can easily anticipate how much turmoil such “balance” might create in the corridors of patriarchal power, most notably The Vatican.

St.Brigids-Flame-Christmas-2009Brighid is the Goddess of Home and Hearth. In olden days she along with her 19 priestesses tended Brighid’s Flame, a tradition that lives on. Today Brighid’s Flame burns bright in a town square in County Kildare (left).

Throughout the British Isles and Ireland you will come across Holy Wells and other monuments dedicated to Brighid. Many wells are decorated with “clooties” like the ones on the Chrysalis Six of Spirals card. The clooties represent the intentions of the faithful.

My personal favorite Brighid tradition is her Cauldron of Rebirth, which is actually a Welsh tradition. Like Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Scotland the Isle of Man were once Celtic countries.

We celebrate Brighid in February because according to the Celtic lunar calendar Feb. 2, 2019, is Imbolc, one of the major festivals of the year. From the link:

“It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle. It’s a good time for wish-making or making a dedication.” Or a novena!

Imbolc art by Nicol Skaggs

© Toney Brooks, 2019


Day 1 – Novena to Brighid

Chrysalis Tarot art by Holly Sierra

A novena is a 9-day mindful supplication made on behalf of a particular intention, grace or favor. Among religious types, it’s a 9-day prayer frequently bedeviled with sin, sacrifice and a general sense of unworthiness. Among spiritual types, on the other hand, it enlivens the beautiful image of Chrysalis’ Lovers card (left) – airy, worthy and free.

In either instance a novena carries a sense of urgency and focus. The supplicant wants answers! Personally, I’ve found that novenas always produce answers and quite often in less than 9-days. So please add your own intentions to this novena.

Over the next 9 days our blogs will feature Chrysalis cards whose specific intention is clarity. We seek clarity of understanding about what’s really going on in our turbulent world.


Tarot is especially useful in attaining such clarity and, of course, so is prayer, meditation active imagination and lucid dreaming. Tarot is especially useful because it is a dialog – indeed a union – between the supplicant and the Otherworld.

The depiction in the lovers card, rich with nature’s symbolism (Tree of Life, Sun and Moon), is of a marriage – a union. On the microcosmic profane level, this card can be interpreted as the apotheosis of Arthur and Brighid, whose special day was February 1. (Tomorrow’s novena will center on Brighid.) Merlin performs the microcosmic ceremony as High Priest.

hieros gamos
Link to Amazon listing

On the macrocosmic sacred level, the lovers’ wedding feast depicts the union of Heaven and Earth, of the seen and the unseen. It’s known as the Hieros Gamos. This is important because unless we as taroists recognize that our discipline necessitates mindful dialog across the threshold and into the unseen world to engender ascension or Higher Consciousness, then destiny becomes simply a 7-letter skeleton holding a deck of tarot cards – a mere chrysalis of potentiality frozen in time.

Higher consciousness is the fulfillment of destiny. It allows us to burst forth from the chrysalis into eternal time.

Please pay particular attention to the Music of the Spheres during this novena. By that I allude to synchronicities, symbols, oddities, dreams, etc. This novena is composed to reveal not only clarity for the here and now, but also to glimpse forward into the next 9 years.

It is during these coming 9 years that a new paradigm will replace the old. The thoroughly refuted scientific materialism worldview – the notion that if you can’t measure it, then it must not exist – will give way to a holistic worldview that integrates, rather than separates, consciousness and matter. This new paradigm will herald the most exciting evolution of consciousness in human history!

Please do add your own personal intentions for clarity on any matter to this novena. You can have novena blogs emailed directly to you by punching the Follow button below.

Art by Josephine Wall

© Toney Brooks, 2019

The Origins of Panspermia

This is a guest blog by Christian Orlic first published on January 9, 2013. (Edited by Toney Brooks)

panspermiaThe Earth is beaming with life and yet there is no consensus on how life arose or what life is. The origin of life is “one of the great unsolved mysteries of science” (Crick, F.Life Itself). While there is no accepted definition of life, most of us (humans) can easily discriminate the living from the non-living (Iris Fry’s Book is a good primer on ideas regarding the origins of life). Questions about the origin of life became more prevalent after Pasteur and others showed that life did not arise spontaneously.

The discovery that the raw components of life are present throughout the universe suggests that life could exist elsewhere, and that the origin of life as we know it may have depended on materials that arrived on Earth via inter-stellar travel. Some scientists have speculated that life itself originated elsewhere and made its way to earth.

In 2012 a movie called Prometheus was released. In this stunning movie human scholars find similarities between archaeological sites from ancient civilizations separated by centuries have drawn the same pictogram. The archaeologists conclude that the pictogram must be a map, an invitation, from the “engineers” who not only designed us but have intervened in our affairs. The movie is set in 2093 and researchers decide to go and find them in a quest to further understand the origins of mankind. Despite its several and severe scientific flaws, Prometheus is an interesting film because it addresses that ever mysterious quest to unveil not only how we came to be but how life began.

mars roverLife in space has been making the news, and on November 20th 2012, NPR reported that NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover had gathered important data. Mars holds a special place in our world. The principal Mars’ rover investigator, John Grotzinger claimed “This data is gonna be one for the history books. It’s looking really good.” He refused to give any more details because his team had to confirm their findings. In general, this is good practice because scientists want to avoid finding superfluous results and correlations; however, in this case, it heightened suspicion.

Shortly thereafter NASA tried to downplay Grotzinger’s statements, pointing out that it was the mission which was historic rather than a specific finding. Despite this backtracking some speculated that organic compounds had been found, some claimed that it was life that had been discovered. On December 3rd NASA confirmed, Curiosity had found Organic compounds but it was uncertain whether they were indigenous to Mars (or had been brought by Curiosity).

Most of the speculation had suggested that organic compounds were the “historical finding.” These are also important because they confirm that the stuff of life, the raw materials, are far more common than originally thought (as corroborated by the discovery of signs of water and organic molecules in mercury), or the finding of organic molecules in meteorites. Like the discovery of extremophiles which showed that once life got started it could be found in unexpected places; the advances in the search for extraterrestrial life suggest that the stuff of life, and hence life, could be commonly found throughout the universe.

Francis Crick (who co-discovered the structure of DNA with James Watson) and Leslie Orgel once proposed that life on Earth was the result of a deliberate infection, designed by aliens who had purposely fled mother nature’s seed to a new home in the sun. Crick repeatedly addressed the question of the origin of life between 1971 and 1988 (I am currently working on a historical study of Crick and Orgel’s theory of Directed Panspermia and its reception).

crick-and-orgelCrick and Orgel proposed their Directed Panspermia theory at a conference on Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, organized by Carl Sagan and held at the Byuraka Observatory in Soviet Armenia in 1971. This theory which they described as an “highly unorthodox proposal” and “bold speculation” was presented as a plausible scientific hypothesis. Two years after the conference they published an article in Icarus on 1973.

Crick and Orgel were careful to point out that Directed Panspermia was not a certainty, but rather a plausible alternative that ought to be taken seriously. In the paper Crick and Orgel recognized that they “do not have any strong arguments of this kind, but there are two weak facts that could be relevant”. The 1973 paper focuses on the universality of the genetic code and the role that molybdenum plays in living organisms (I am likewise working on a history of molybdenum and the origins of life) which is more than one would expected given the abundance of molybdenum on the earth’s crust.

Crick and Orgel used the universality of the genetic code to support the theory of directed panspermia because if life had originated multiple times or evolved from a simpler genetic code one could expect living things to use a slew of genetic codes. Further, if there was only one code, Crick and Orgel reasoned that as organisms evolved they should evolve to use the same codons to code for different amino acids.

Molybdenum_crystaline_fragment_and_1cm3_cubeTheir most convincing argument was the importance of molybdenum in organic processes and its relative scarcity on Earth. They had argued that living organisms should bear the stamp of the environment in which they originated. Organisms, Crick and Orgel held, would be unlikely to develop a dependency on elements that were extremely rare as organisms that relied on elements which were more abundant would be favored by selection. An organisms that was able to substitute the rare element for one which has similar biochemical properties but is more frequent would have a clear advantage.

Crick and Orgel pointed out the “anomalous abundance of molybdenum” in organisms made it possible that life arose in an environment rich in molybdenum. The abundance of molybdenum in living organisms suggested that life started in a molybdenum rich environment and they found that the Earth is not sufficiently rich in molybdenum (this was later challenged as the amount of molybdenum found in the ocean is higher than in the Earth’s crust). Thus, they suggest that this difficulty could be resolved if life began in a molybdenum rich environment. Likewise, the fact that all organisms use the same codons for the same amino acids could be explained if life had arisen elsewhere and the organisms which were used to infect lifeless planets shared a language.

Crick and Orgel also suggest that the universe is sufficiently old that other intelligent civilizations could had arisen elsewhere. One of these other intelligent civilizations could have built a spaceship and seeded the universe with life. One can easily imagine a not too distant future where humans accept that our planet and all that lives within it will perish. In the unlikelihood that this is the only planet that harbors life in the universe its demise would leave a lifeless universe.

This is an illustration showing the cosmic epochs of the Universe.

The demise of our kind is hard enough to accept but the prospect of a lifeless universe, a universe that could never come to know itself, a universe so grand and yet with no one to admire it or even dwell in it could be too much to bear. In order to save our kind we can envision our zealous and hard working descendants endeavoring to colonize other worlds (by sending microbes through interstellar journeys). Microorganisms are easier to transport and could more readily adapt to new conditions; sending larger organisms would be too difficult (Crick and Orgel pointed out).

The origins of life remains an unresolved mystery. I argue that Crick and Orgel’s paper was meant both as a serious and plausible scientific alternative and as a means to criticize concurrent origins of life. Considering the life arose elsewhere could also free scientists studying the origin of life from trying to imitate the alleged conditions of a pre-biotic Earth.


anima_and_animus_by_pockacho-I don’t want this piece to devolve into dry psychological theory, so I chose this lovely art by Madison Simpson to spruce it up. She goes by the persona Pockacho on Deviant Art and this piece is titled Anima and Animus.

The Anima, as you probably know, is the unconscious female aspect of Self inherent in men. Likewise, the Animus is the male aspect in women. Both are archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, upon which Chrysalis Tarot is based.

In other words, when we use Chrysalis, we communicate with other Collective Unconscious archetypes via these two. Chrysalis, somewhat intentionally, engenders this communication by redefining the unhelpful reputation tarot has acquired over the years away from a woo-woo contrivance akin to a Captain Midnight Decoding Ring toward honest, forthright, fun conversations with the Unseen World. Carl Jung, who defined the Collective Unconscious, calls such conversations active imagination. They are essential to enlightenment (self-awareness).

The Anima and Animus represent the persona, the public masks we wear when interacting with others; we see ourselves one way, others see us differently. Together, these two archetypal symbols, along with the everpresent shape-shifting shadow, formulate the archetype of Self.

Chrysalis, as I noted in a previous blog, was designed to increase self-awareness. Here’s an example of why that’s important.

patton-1970-george-c-scott-sicilyIn the movie Patton, the famous general’s aide (far right) reminded Patton that his subordinates (staff), who’d just been severely scolded by him, often did not know if he was acting or if he was serious. Patton replied, “It’s not important for them to know,  it’s only important for me to know.”

Patton was a great general, one of America’s greatest, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that he was keenly self-aware: he held in his consciousness a clear demarcation between his persona and his true Self – a key to attaining one’s destiny (self-actualization).

Self-awareness is a rare commodity in today’s world. That’s because self-awareness creates existential anxiety, sometimes called the “trauma of non-being.” Non-being implies we no longer choose to hide behind the comfy mask(s) of persona.

15-bella-rosaOur politically correct pop-culture, as well as pop-psychology itself, promote self-esteem rather than self-knowledge. We are encouraged to avoid “negative” thoughts in favor of a delusional “feel good paradigm,” as author Neel Burton phrases it.

He adds, ” Facing up to non-being can bring a sense of calm, freedom, even nobility and—yes—it can also bring insecurity, loneliness, responsibility, and consequently anxiety. But far from being pathological, this anxiety is a sign of health, strength, and courage.”

Self-aware reality vs. self-deceptive delusion.

© Toney Brooks, 2018

Making the Unconscious Conscious

PapaLegba appThe main goal of Chrysalis is increased self-awareness. You’ve heard many times assurances that “all the answers are already inside us.” We just have to coax them out. Tarot is one of many modalities people employ to achieve this highly desirable goal.

Increased self-awareness = spiritual growth and higher consciousness. This is one reason Chrysalis is widely recognized as a “spiritual deck” – one that promotes “active imagination.”

I recently ran across a piece that speaks eloquently to the quest of making the unconscious conscious and I would like to share it. The author is Doug Hilton, a frequent contributor to Quora.

To the question of how to make the unconscious conscious Doug writes:

The unconscious does it for you. We are the subconscious/unconscious, which does the data processing, and has no awareness.

What is conscious? It helps to direct our senses, by constantly providing feedback to the subconscious.

Being able to remember the exact sequence of events, cause and effect, is vital to survival. In theory, every bit of long-term memory has a sequence code, or something that performs the same function. If you are not consciously aware of something, then it cannot have a sequence code, and cannot be stored long-term. That includes thoughts, decisions, everything ever imagined, and data from out senses.

How we cope, with an ever-changing world? We make predictions, in order to make choices.

How do we evaluate all things, in order to make choices? Emotional value, which is determined by a combination of our genes, knowledge, experience, the environment, our emotional and physical state, and more. Google brain chemical reward. To a great extent, these chemicals determine human behavior, by determining emotional values.

In order to make predictions, the subconscious must run simulations for every choice. That includes every physical movement. It calculates the best outcome (highest emotional value), or least negative outcome (pain, fear, shame, humiliation….etc), and decides. The decision is passed on to conscious. At times, other choices are included, which gives the illusion, that the conscious is making the decision.

The subconscious is capable of mixing and matches a million bits of memory. Imagination needs regular exercise. Search the web for subjects, that excite your brain, because you will remember more details.

Absorb as much information, as you can. You will eventually be able to ask intelligent questions. If you can’t find the answers, then press your brain. If possible, become obsessed, with discovering the answers. They should be the first thing on your mind, when you wake, and the last, before falling asleep.

Your brain will eventually deliver something. If you continue pressing it, your imagination will be “on” full time. You’ll have inspired thoughts, inspired dreams, and inspired questions. You’ll see connections, that others miss.

jung unconscious
© Toney Brooks, 2018