“In ancient Egyptian culture, owls have long been seen as a symbol of darkness and supernatural wisdom protected from those who do not deserve to receive this knowledge. Their dark qualities were celebrated because they were said to link with the unknown mystery of the hereafter.” From Bird Watching by David Swanson.
In Chrysalis Tarot, a good deal of the symbolism represented in Janie Olsen’s art (left) is expressed on the Celtic Owl card; in traditional tarot this card is called The Hanged Man.
In fact, in our Little White Book. a guidebook we include with Chrysalis decks, I made this observation, “The unseen world remains dark to many because its reality if doubted or denied.” And therein lies the rub: materialism – the abject denial of God, spirituality and what Chrysalis terms the Unseen or Otherworld.
Chrysalis cosmology posits a duality known as Manichaeism: good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, spirit vs matter. Indeed, by definition as a tool for divination, tarot appeals directly to this Unseen World, a world that adds meaning to life.
Divination is distinct from fortune telling, which is a debasement of tarot. Divination invokes divine guidance and protection. It cloaks tarotists with an ability to best use their innate faculties of discernment and intuition – faculties materialists and other non-believers eschew and ridicule.
It’s useful, I believe, to revisit three basic beliefs essential to understanding Chrysalis Cosmology and to efficiently invoking Chrysalis methodology:
- Panpsychism. This is the belief that everything possesses some inherent degree of consciousness.
- Non-locality. This is the belief that consciousness itself is not simply an emergent property of the human brain but is rather what theologian Paul Tillich termed, “The Ground of All Being.”
- Interconnectivity. This is the belief that all things both in the seen world and in the Unseen Otherworld are interconnected. All cosmic information therefore is accessible. In her Celtic Owl art, Holly chose the Celtic Knot to symbolize this universal interconnectivity.
Around the same time we published the Chrysalis Companion Book, I put the finishing touches on an academic paper titled Evolution of Consciousness and the Emergent Aquarian Paradigm. My thesis was that the upcoming Aquarian Age will shepherd a quantum leap forward in human consciousness. I’ve long felt Chrysalis would play some modest role in that evolution. In the paper, I quote Indian philosopher and mystic Sri Aurobindo: “Man may help or man may resist, but the Zeitgeist works, shapes, overbears, insists.”
Zeitgeist is a fun word. It refers to the invisible agent or Daemon that comes to dominate a given historical epoch such as an astrological age. Carl Jung saw the advent of Christianity as one dominant theme in our present Piscean Age, which appears now to be in its archetypal death throes. The Daemon of the Piscean Age therefore would have been the Image of the Divine writ large in humanity’s Collective Unconscious, to tap Jungian terms. That “image” would include Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and to a large extent Greek Philosophy. Humanity has made unprecedented advances over the last 2,000 years.
J.W. Waterhouse’s painting of the The Tempest came to mind when I penned the “death throes of our current Piscean Age.” Certainly the 20th century was haunted and traumatized by one version of the Apocalypse followed by another. Now firmly in the 21st century and staring down nuclear holocaust, we have suddenly become Miranda: We all beg our father to save the men at sea and still the sinister storm that has beset our times.
“Man may help or man may resist, but the Zeitgeist works, shapes, overbears, insists.”
We make life easier for ourselves and for the paradigm shift into the Aquarian Age when we discern and cooperate with the nascent Daemon rather than misperceive and resist it. Such a cooperative effort requires profound critical thinking and acute self-awareness. Too many are in denial. Too many are still asleep.
© Toney Brooks, 2023