Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Journey

Life is a constant never ending journey, and to answer the call and partake in this journey is our first obligation. Life seems to be never stable or sure footed for me lately and I have wasted a lot of energy fighting it instead of just closing my eyes and believing and taking that first step into the unknown. Life has been very quiet, peaceful and all my thoughts are inward. Trying to understand. So I have been quiet and enjoying the peace and tranquility of my new home tucked away "into the woods".

 I visited this wonderful place that has lots of tricky quirky fortune telling messages. The Zap Oracle told me this was where I was and what I needed to understand.

1. Defining where the querent is right now.    
Answering the Call to Adventure
The hero's journey always begins with answering the call to adventure. The journey will always involve a descent into darkness, but it must be undertaken if we are to fulfill our destiny. As Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

Many of the worst regrets are not for what was done, but for what remains undone. And remember that the call to adventure comes in very unexpected forms and makes demands that may be offensive to rationality, practicality and "good sense." If you've read Tolkien's The Hobbit, you may remember how one part of Bilbo answered the call to adventure, while another part, the sensible, respectable middle-aged property owner part, resisted at almost every step.

Joseph Campbell wrote,

"This first stage of the mythological journey - which we have designated the "call to adventure" - signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown. This fateful region of both treasure and danger may be variously represented: as a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight. The hero can go forth of his own volition to accomplish the adventure, as did Theseus when he arrived in his father's city, Athens, and heard the horrible history of the Minotaur; or he may be carried or sent abroad by some benign or malignant agent as was Odysseus, driven about the Mediterranean by the winds of the angered god, Poseidon. The adventure may begin as a mere blunder … or still again, one may be only casually strolling when some passing phenomenon catches the wandering eye and lures one away from the frequented paths of man. Examples might be multiplied, ad infinitum, from every corner of the world."

Campbell also wrote about what happens if the call to adventure is not answered:

"Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless - even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration."

Depending on the position of this card, consider whether this may be the time to answer the call to adventure.
Read an excellent article on the Monomyth the universal mythic structure which begins with the call to adventure.

In my most autobiographical essay, The Path of the Numinous, I write about several calls to adventure and how I answered them.
So I took that first step and entered and anyone who enjoys the journey is welcome to join along

Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or the hero's journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).[1] An enthusiast of novelist James Joyce, Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from Joyce's Finnegans Wake.[2]

Campbell held that numerous myths from disparate times and regions share fundamental structures and stages, which he summarized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

    A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[3]

Campbell and other scholars, such as Erich Neumann, describe narratives of Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Christ in terms of the monomyth and Campbell argues that classic myths from many cultures follow this basic pattern.
 I am not exactly sure "where" I have arrived other than most days it is quiet, peaceful and incredibly rich. Due to money matters we left our home of almost 30 years where most of our life was spent raising children, working for a living, and learning to be a good person and re-discovering the love for all the people that share my life story. Compared to many my life has been relatively peaceful but at times it has felt that some evil gremlin is hiding and laughing as he rips the floor out from underneath my feet. Life always seems to catch me unaware of the impending dips and journeys into darkness. But I feel all those hits and knockdowns were indeed gifts to wake me up and realize the "other" that is hidden within us. I have grown more and more in love with the earth, and more in love with our shared life with our neighbors of animals, birds, fish and plants and...................forests, oh yes!
Many, many things have changed for me. Some of them very peaceful and quiet and joyful. One needs a quiet place in the woods, to look inward, to recharge and take that leap of faith to find the courage to open the next door. And to also come to grips with the fact that the only person you can save is yourself. It is a journey that one takes alone sadly. This upsets me. I want to pack all my family into my boat and bring them with me. But their journey is their journey and my journey is my journey. And this realization is very, very heartbreaking.

My recent reading of the Tarot Cards.......................
Years ago I found it easier if I only picked 3

Four of Swords

The card of the Four of Swords portrays Orestes in exile in Phocis. He sits peacefully on the ground, contemplating four swords which lie in a pattern before him. Behind him can be seen a pale, quiet sky with little puffs of cloud, and a vista of snow clad peaks.

The Four of Swords

The Four of Swords represents a quiet time of withdrawal and contemplation. Here we see Orestes in the place of his banishment. He has not yet received his command from the god Apollo, and so he is at peace, although he is not permitted to go home. The Four of Swords suggests a period of introversion and reflection, of emotional recuperation after the outbreak of conflict in the Three. The poison has been released and there is now an opportunity to reflect upon what has happened. This is a period of preparation before the task of making what changes are necessary in life as a result of the conflict. There is a building up of strength, a marshalling of inner reserves in a situation of stillness and introspection.
We instinctively seek this place of quiet after some major disruptive or painful event has occurred in our lives. The individual who has gone through separation or divorce or even a bad quarrel, often needs time alone to examine the pattern of what has happened; so too does the person who is bereaved, or thrown out of work, or parted with a friend or loved one. Often we do not recognize the value of this time of quiet, but try to rush out and surround ourselves with people who will make us feel better and help us to forget what has happened. But Orestes banishment is a forcible one, and in some ways we are forced into introversion by the discovery that all the frenzied rushing about does not cure anything at all. We often feel worse, until we can recognize the need for silence and solitude before going out into life again. Such reflection can reveal the meaning underlying the separation or conflict, because any difficulty reflected by the Suit of Swords will inevitably point backward to some stage where a new view of life has begun to emerge and is upsetting all of our pre-existing patterns of living.

On a divinatory level, the Four of Swords heralds a time of quiet recuperation and introversion, where the individual can build up strength in preparation for further efforts. If this card appears in a spread it is perhaps wise to accept solitude or withdrawal, and seek to fill the time with activities; for some stillness is needed to marshal ones’ thoughts and order one’s life.

 The card of the Nine of Pentacles portrays Daedalus standing with his hands folded in a posture of satisfaction, a self-congratulatory smile on his face. He has discarded his tunic and leather apron, and is now clothed in a rich ochre-colored gown trimmed with gold. On his head rests a laurel wreath. On either side of him, richly laden vines climb up a wooden trellis, while in the distance can be seen green mountains and a calm blue sea. Beside the craftsman, piled on the ground, are nine golden pentacles.

The Nine of Pentacles portrays a state of great self-satisfaction. Daedalus has gambled on a dangerous venture, worked hard to develop it, taken the risks and suffered the attendant dangers, and now stands admiring the rewards which he has earned. What is important and different about the Nine of Pentacles is that the pleasure the craftsman feels in his wealth is not due to anyone else’s applause or validation. This is the solitary enjoyment of good things, the pleasure in self-sufficiency and accomplishment which can only come from within oneself and which one offers to oneself. Daedalus can here justifiably say, “I did it my way”, for his pile of wealth is really a symbol of the sense of self-worth which can only be acquired from within. Not only has this craftsman made peace with his shadowy past and his period of loss and exile; he has also outwitted King Minos, who became his enemy because of his decision to assist in the queen and follow the will of the God Poseidon. The danger is now in the past; the craftsman can feel satisfaction that his efforts and his wits have ensured his survival and wealth and position for the rest of his life.

Thus the Nine of Pentacles is a card of reward and achievement in one’s own eyes, and we know that even if no one else acknowledges the value of what has been achieved, it is worthy because we know it to be so from within. There is a permanence and indestructibility about the satisfaction embodied in the Nine which is not present in any other card in the Minor Arcana. This satisfaction is dependent upon nothing and no one outside oneself. Once built, it cannot be destroyed, even if the pile of wealth were to be taken away. The Nine of Pentacles is more than a card of wordly achievement. On a subtler level, it implies the finding of a deep and permanent sense of self-value, which has been earned through the hard work of meeting life’s challenges on a material level and somehow surviving them all.

On a divinatory level, the Nine of Pentacles augurs a period where one may be justifiably pleased with oneself and with what one has been able to achieve. There is often a strong sense of solid identity, a feeling of one’s unique abilities and the worth of one’s life. This is not inflated, but based on a realistic appreciation of one’s skills. This card reflects the solitary and self-sufficient enjoyment of good things, which does not depend upon anyone else’s agreement or validation to provide pleasure and deep satisfaction.

Ten of Pentancles
The card of the Ten of Pentacles portrays Daedalus as an old man, his brown hair now literally streaked with grey. He is comfortably seated with his children and grandchildren around him, the patriarch and founder of a line. On either side of him, mounted on vine draped columns, hang ten golden pentacles, five to his left and five to his right. In his lap nestles an infant playing with a golden rattle. To his left stands a woman of around thirty, clothed in green and waring a beautiful golden necklace. At his feet, a boy of ten plays with a toy golden horse. In the distance can be seen a landscape of rich green mountains and calm blue sea.

The Ten of Pentacles portrays a situation permanence which outlasts the life of a singleindiviual. Here the craftsman secure in his position at the court of King Cocalus of Sicily has at last put down roots and founded a dynasty. Not only has he accrued wealth and power but he can pass his achievements on when it is his time to die, secure in the knowledge that his work will outlive him. The golden objects which he has made – the rattle, the necklace, the toy horse – are his gifts to the future, so that the process of manifestation which is embodied in all the cards of the Suit of Pentacles achieves it’s natural conclusion in an image of permanence which forms the individual’s contribution to future generations. In some ways this is the deepest meaning of the process of manifesting creative ideas in form, for all individual life is transient and no man or woman lives forever; yet a sense of profound satisfaction and fulfillment may be achieved by the realization that one has built something enduring for the world which will come after. To the Suit of Wands, immortality lies in the imagination, and to the Suit of Swords it lies in the divine power of the mind; and to the Suit of Cups it lies in the experience of love which touches on the transpersonal. But for the Suit of Pentacles only what is here is real, and it is this feeling that one has left a mark of some kind – that one’s passing through life has not been a meaningless flicker that too soon vanishes – that often forms the kernel of what we call worldly ambition. Thus the apparent crass materialism and ambition which are often associated with earthly endeavours may have at their core a profound human need to offer something of oneself to life as a permanent marker of one’s voyage through it. A life fully lived, as Daedalus’ life has been, with both good and evil in it and a willingness to to take on life’s challenges fully regardless of the consequences rather than rotting peaceably in one’s bed, can often lead to this experience of having fulfilled a destiny and left something which can be passed down to future generations.

On a divinatory level, the Ten of Pentacles suggests a period of ongoing contentment and security, and a sense of something permanent having been established which can be handed on to others. This may be a material inheritance of wealth or property, or it may be an artistic achievement such as a book or a painting which one knows will live on and offer it’s value independent of one’s own span of life.

Perhaps I can share my journey, and it will enable others to open that very first door to step into the unknown and take their journey. I hope so.

Becoming a Sorcerer
It is through interplay with the world that you'll notice the universe taking action. Connect with life. If you study deeply enough, you'll see that all plants and animals have something in common. You can also learn this through studying alchemy. Wizards are always hooked with nature in some way. Try to feel close to nature in ways that others don't. A connection to nature doesn't necessarily require veganism or an end to stepping on ants, just know that every living thing has more value than all the world's diamonds.
  • The same elements that make up the universe make up us. That is, we are the dust of stars. Quite literally! That's not magic -- it's science. If anyone tells you differently, refer them to a textbook. There's a basis for this belief!
·         “Every one of us human beings has two minds. One is totally ours, it is like a faint voice that always brings us order, directness, purpose. The other is a foreign installation. It brings us conflict, self-assertion, doubts, hopelessness: it’s ourselves as the ‘me-me’ centre of the world.”
·         Thus spoke Carlos Castaneda in ‘The Active Side of infinity’ which is part of the ‘Teachings of Don Juan’ series. And I’m going to give you more excerpts from The Active Side of Infinity. Because I believe that these writings present Shamanic teachings to us in a direct, powerful way – and at a time when we most need them.
·         The deft fusing of spirit and earth which rises up out of these writings, is a powerful native tradition in South America – as it is also amongst the native North American Indian tribes. Jumping into Castaneda’s writings is special, maybe particularly because they go straight to the gut, whereas many more contemplative esoteric traditions (of East and West) tend to home-in on the intellectual and heart chakra levels.
·         I believe we need a good dose of gut centred experience at this particular time, so as to get anchored and earthed – while all around mind oriented activities are throwing-up a thousand refractions of information – that in the end clog the neurons of the neo- cortex and render us permanently on the brink of overload

At times like these one needs to reconnect with an older, native kind of intuition that has its nest in the solar plexus; the place where the umbilical cord once bought essential nourishment to our tiny forming bodies.
“Infinity is everything that surrounds us: the spirit, the dark sea of awareness. It is something that exists out there and rules our lives. My steps and yours are ruled by infinity. The circumstances that seem to be ruled by chance are in essence ruled by the active side of infinity: intent. What put you and me together was the intent of infinity.  It is impossible to determine what this intent of infinity is, yet it is there, as palpable as you and I are.”

“Sorcerers say there is a tremor in the air. The advantage of sorcerers is to know that the tremor in the air exists, and to acquiesce to it without further ado. For sorcerers there is no pondering, wandering or speculating. They know all they have is the possibility of merging with the intent of infinity, and they just do it.”

To know the tremor in the air – and to acquiesce to it. That is a great call.  It is that ‘tremor’ which guides our inner and outer ‘intent’, as Castaneda names it. I experience it as a subtle type of tension which keeps one on one’s toes and open to any eventuality.

Read more here -

Funny that I have become pretty much a vegan, and rescue every single ant, lady bug, fly, spider, even wasps that I can. It's so funny to reach this plateau where it just seems a horror to injure any creature. One can slip into madness here though so you must be careful.

The beauty and joy of this, is that like Alice and you take that first step into the wonderful world of the unknown to follow that White Rabbit, oh my the adventures that await.