Liber Novus: The Red Book

Tags

, , ,

20jung-500

Exciting times!  Via various sources, including the intrepid Wild Hunt, I have been made aware of a new book being published by one of my most influential mentors and heroes.  “The Red Book” by Carl Gustav Jung, is the magnum opus of one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.  The Red Book is a richly illustrated and deeply personal text that chronicles the individual journey of Jung into the depths of his own psyche and the Underworld itself.  I have been a fan of Jung ever since I was introduced to him during my college years by Colin Smith, a counselor of some local renown in Durango.  Jung’s emphasis on dreams, mythology, vision, and spirituality resonated with me on a deep personal level that has helped to shape my own worldview down to the present day.

theRedBook2Being dubbed, “the Holy Grail of the Unconscious”, “The Red Book” has been in the stewardship of Jung’s family for close to a hundred years.  Since the text is such a personal account of Jung’s inner life, the Jung family has resisted all attempts at publishing the book for years.  After, however, some bits and pieces of the book were found in other locals, the risk that the book would be quoted out of context has made the Jung family rethink it’s secrecy.  I think to the benefit of all.  I can, however, understand the Jung families reluctance  to publish such a personal journey of one of their kin.  It cannot have been an easy decision.

The saga of the books origin and it’s history to publication reads almost like a Dan Brown novel.  An excellent account of it has been written up in the New York Times, a very worthwhile read.  I think this book has real potential for changing human consciousness, and can’t wait to immerse myself in it.  One of the quotes by Jung himself that may shed some light on how he viewed this book really struck home:

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . . . Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

The Red Book sounds like it literally is one mans account of his own soul.  I am immensely grateful to Jung for leaving this account behind.  As a recent student of Faery Seership, I was struck by the fact that this chronicles a seven year descent into the Underworld/Innerworld.  The seven year initiation period is a frequent motif in stories about seers and I was amazed to see it pop up with Jung as well.

Great video of an interview of him here about death, as well as a bit of a documentary on Jung here.  Well worth the watch.

I have a feeling that this book was meant to come out now, and I am interested to see how or if the psychological community embraces it.  I am also interested to see what effect it has on paganism, and the occult in the years to come.

Advertisements

Pure Unabashed Idolatry: Part the Second

Tags

, ,

Wanted to make a quick entry about my progress on my Cernunnos shrine.  I have found the perfect place for the shrine and have proceeded to carve, chisel, saw, and file the alabaster block.   It is amazing at how intimidating the stone becomes the closer and closer you get to the finished idol.  You may be able to discern the shape of Cernunnos seated with hands held to the sides and upraised at this point (with a little imagination).  Hopefully.  😉  I have also laid out my tools for your perusal.  Although I had to replace the hammer with a larger, and harder, steel mallet.  The chisels are tempered to such a hardness that the hammer tip literally started breaking apart!  Working with stone takes a lot of patience, but is so rewarding.

sculpt2

Kaisercartel: Great Music

Tags

KaiserCartel

Kaisercartel

Been meaning to do a blog about this very special duo for some weeks now.  Kaisercartel!  I was oh so lucky enough to meet these two fabulous people back in July at a small concert here in the Springs.  Their music has a certain heartfelt elusivity that I absolutely treasure.  They like to play at a small coffee house here called Shuga’s that lends itself, to well . . . intimate gatherings.  It also makes it easier to meet and talk to the musicians!  They both have a genuinely good time playing that is sooooo palpable.  They are extremely approachable, kind, and just full of good vibe.  You feel charmed, entranced, happy, and may even find yourself blushing.  Weird, I know. Guess you just had to be there.

They ended the concert by playing a song which entails them walking into the audience and singing the last song while looking right into your eyes.  I was able to experience this, and it was an experience I will never forget.  Anyway give ’em a listen, you will be very happy that you did.  Start with these:

Blue Sky:

Oh No:

Okay:

Pure Unabashed Idolatry: Part the First

Tags

, ,

Very excited to be started on a new project, while getting into some long neglected skills.  One of the things I have found that Faery Seership has been doing for me is giving me greater focus and inspiration for living.  I have an amazing creek right behind my house and have picked out a place for a small shrine to Cernunnos.  I have had a nice sized piece of alabaster sitting around in the garage for sometime now, and have decided to use it for the statue (yes *idol*) of Cernunnos.  I have had a few experiences of building shrines in out of the way places, and been amazed at the effect that it has on people who “stumble upon” them.  Even the most simple shrine can make big impressions on those who see them.

I have had some people ask me to chronicle my steps of carving the alabaster and the steps in making the shrine itself.  So here goes.  Like so many projects, it starts in my garage.  I have assembled the following tools:

  • 2 Hand Saws (they cut alabaster even more effectively than they cut wood)
  • Set of chisels (toothed, straight, and beveled)
  • Set of files (ranging from course and broad to small and delicate)
  • Towel (for resting the stone on)
  • Broom and dust pan (hand sized)

With all of these things assembled I took the stone (which screamed Horned God from the beginning) and looked over what was the best way to use what I have.  Here is the stone in it’s original form:

sculpt1

After mulling it over a good long while (your decisions are pretty slow when sculpting stone), I decided on the first few cuts and then inverted the stone once done:

sculpt2

The center stone in the photo above is the piece I will use for the idol itself.  I plan on basing it loosely on the image of Cernunnos from the Gundestrup Cauldron but including some upright man parts in the process, *wink*, and with more lifelike anatomy all around.   Instead of carving the antlers with the rest of the idol I plan on making two small holes in the top of his head where I can put either alabaster or wood inserts of the antlers that I will carve at the end.  Next post will be some photos of where I am putting the shrine and how I am thinking of constructing it.

Idol worshipers unite!  As an interesting synchronicity The Wild Hunt has a post today about idol making in India.  Check it out.

Neolithic “Cathedral” Found in Orkney Islands

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Neolithic Cathedral in Orkney

Neolithic Cathedral in Orkney

Some of you may not know that I have a degree in Archaeology even though I now work in the computer world.  I came across this story on the Pagans for Archaeology blog and was hooked.  The archaeology of Neolithic Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany has always fascinated me.  Particularly when looked at through the lens of “civilization” spreading from the Middle East cradle of Sumeria out and up to the “barbarians” of Northern Europe.  Neolithic Archaeology fly’s directly in the face of this theory and appeals to the Celtic Pagan in me.  You see, the earliest and most impressive examples of large tomb, village, and stone circle construction are found in the northernmost areas of Scotland (appealing to the Scot in me as well) not in southern Britain as one might expect.  It also meshes nicely with the ancient tales of the Tuatha Dé Dannan who are said to have come from a group of four islands “in the north”.

This new find adds to the already impressive array of famous Neolithic sites in the Orkney’s, like Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar.  The sites being so impressive as to have made it a World Heritage Site through UNESCO.  Evidently, this new find, dubbed the “Ness of Brodgar” dwarfs them all:

Measuring 25 metres (82 feet) long by 20 metres (65 feet) wide, the five-metre-thick outer walls remain to a height of approximately one metre (three feet). It is an oft-used phrase, but Structure Ten is truly like nothing found in Orkney, and perhaps Britain, before.

The site looks to have religious and ritual usage written all over it.  Of course, when archaeologists can’t ind an explanation for a site they often scratch their heads and say, “Hmm, must be for ritual use.”  But I think the case of religious use here, is beyond doubt.  The sites stonework is said to be immaculate and visually stunning on the outside, but rather shoddy on the inside.  This leads some to speculate that the interior was kept dark or barely lit, or was for a select number of religious initiates.  The Underworld associations of this site fascinate the Faery Seer in me to no end.  I look forward to seeing some artist mock-ups of what the structure would have looked like in it’s heyday.

Click here for more details on the site.

An Irish Lion

Tags

tedKennedy

I want to honor a great statesman, and one hell of an Irishman today.  Ted Kennedy.  Now I am sure it comes as no shock to many of my readers that I am a Lefty.  The legacy of the Kennedy’s has inspired me for a long time.  Their story is uniquely American, and uniquely Irish.  It is truly a marvel that the grandsons of an Gorta Mór, shot so high and so fast into the arena of American public service and politics.  I am a big supporter of a Public Option for health care reform and can’t help but feel somewhat disheartened at his passing.  I hope that in the end the bill bears his name.

One area of his life that is sometimes overlooked are his stances on freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state.  As a Celtic Pagan, I appreciated his views and ideals on American spiritual life.  Some of you may not be aware that when his older brother Jack ran for President it was considered politically impossible for an Irish Catholic to run for such a high office.  Jack Kennedy proved them wrong.  I wonder if someday, they will say the same thing about a Pagan running for office, and be proved wrong as well.  In one of his best speeches entitled, Faith, Truth and Tolerance in America, Ted Kennedy summed up his feelings on this issue with the eloquence of an Irishman:

I am an American and a Catholic; I love my country and treasure my faith. But I do not assume that my conception of patriotism or policy is invariably correct, or that my convictions about religion should command any greater respect than any other faith in this pluralistic society. I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it? There are those who do, and their own words testify to their intolerance….

Religious values cannot be excluded from every public issue; but not every public issue involves religious values…. Second, we must respect the independent judgments of conscience. Those who proclaim moral and religious values can offer counsel, but they should not casually treat a position on a public issue as a test of fealty to faith…. Third, in applying religious values, we must respect the integrity of public debate. In that debate, faith is no substitute for facts….. Fourth, and finally, we must respect the motives of those who exercise their right to disagree…..

In short, I hope for an America where neither “fundamentalist” nor “humanist” will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of goodwill look at life and into their own souls.

These sentiments, and the sentiments of other Americans before him, make it possible to practice my spirituality as a Celtic Pagan today.  I encourage you to listen to the entire speech or watch it.  His life had it’s share of problems and grief, but he leaves this world for a Tír na nÓg of his own making.  I will drink a parting glass tonight, and pray for his swift journey to the Otherworld.

Farewell Teddy!  May we gulp Guinness together someday!

The Cursed “Cow Tongue” of Colorado

Tags

, , , ,

womanScreaming

Odd story today from out of Colorado.  A cow tongue was found wrapped in plastic and tied with nylon cord.  After the Fuzz called in the bomb squad (in a cornfield! LOL!) to check out said package, and identified it as non-bomb like, it was unwrapped.  Evidently they found a cow tongue inside, with sutures that closed a cavity with some paper with writing in Spanish, different types of pepper (chili?), and a photograph (presumably of a person).  This is definitely one of those “news of the weird” type things.

Although I think this is rather silly news, I can imagine that the farmer probably feels somewhat freaked out.  I was “witched” by a Navajo neighbor one time in the past, not a good feeling.  I had no idea, however, that the “terrerists” were now intent on wreaking havoc on America’s cornfields!  Dear gods!  When will those monsters draw the line!  Is nothing sacred!!!

You can read more about the story here.

Beware the Cursed Cow Tongue of Longmont!!!

***

Dirty Secrets of Paganism: A Rant

Tags

, , , , ,

The Dreaded Monotheist

The Dreaded Monotheist

Why is it that so many pagans feel the need to dump on Christianity?  When did pagans get it in their head that paganism has a less bloody and less violent history than Christianity?  I recently had a rather heated discussion over on the Wild Hunt with some fellow pagans about the various evils of the dreaded Monotheists.  Dum dum DUM! *Scary music and evil laughter echoes in the distance*

I find it very disturbing when individual pagans spew their shadows onto Christians and act as if our movement is without it’s own problems and controversial past.  Many pagans point to historical legacies like the Crusades as proof of how awful Monotheism *evil grin* is.  Yet they conveniently forget famous polytheists like Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan in their list of bad men.  Why is that?  The consensus, if you read some of the replies, is that the act of mass murder is not as bad if you are *not* trying to convert them to your religion.  Seriously?

We pagans have just as much blood on our hands as Christians do.  Period.  One argument was:

I guess what I’m saying boils down to this: yes, we shouldn’t ignore that bad things happened in the pre-Christian West, but you’re simply stating the obvious and trying to equate it to something it is not equal to. Modern Pagans are nowhere near as stained by those past actions perpetrated by unrelated Pagans as modern Christians are by a thousand CONTINUOUS years of dominance and intolerance that has instituted the privilege that they now enjoy. That’s like comparing a valley to Mt. Everest.

First off, I am not sure what exactly connects the modern Christian to the Crusades anymore than the modern pagan to Alexander the Great.  The post seems to be arguing that since a person is Catholic under the modern day Vatican they are complicit by default of the Crusades simply because the Vatican is still around.  I am not defending the Crusades here.  Nor am I defending the Vatican, which I see as a passe, archaic institution that turns a blind eye to very serious problems.  Nor, however, will I defend Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great as somehow better than Richard the Lionheart or other Monotheistic *mwahahahahahaaa* military leaders.  Lets also remember that the Crusades were against other monotheists *cackle*, not pagans.

This discussion began about some of Robert Wright’s opinions on the evolution of religious thought.  Unfortunately it quickly turned into neo-pagans insisting that they were better than Christians and that the atrocities of the pagan past are totally disconnected to modern pagans.  I have to wonder why they don’t give Christians the same pass?  For instance when I pointed out that even the Celts were guilty of large scale military campaigns in the early Iron Age a response was:

“You project too much modern (or Classical) thought of ‘militaries’ on what were tribal societies. Wars were fought for *dominance,* not destruction or conversion.”

And this somehow makes it better?  How?

I try not to put myself on a moral high horse about how one religion is “better” than another. I think that leads down a dangerous path that ends in self delusion and arrogance.  I do not think that attitudes of intolerance and apathy are unique to Christians.  I would think that would be common sense.  I am not sure why it is important to argue that modern pagans are better than modern Christians.  I think it is clear that every religious group has their crazies and we are no exception to that.  It is when we don’t recognize that, or happily cast our shadows onto others that the trouble starts.  I for one do not think that paganism is immune to bigotry, intolerance, and violence.  When we ignore the past and blithely cast evil onto Christians and Monotheists *cackling laughter* we run the risk of becoming exactly what we hate.