"Writing is no answer but when you feel deeply there is little else to do." -- James Baker Hall

Friday, June 10, 2016

Upcoming Egyptian Workshops June-July


I'm sort of turning into a moveable feast this summer.  I have events all over the map, which means that I may be coming to a city or state near you. I hope you will seek out the workshops in Kentucky, New York and Michigan, or online.  When not on the road, I work in Chesterfield Indiana and am teaching some fabulous metaphysical classes in Astrology, Numerology, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Metaphysical Ethics, Full Moon Meditation, Basic Unity of Religion and even Spiritual Autobiography (The Hero's Quest). Here are a few of the on-the-road offerings for the deep summer months. Check out my webpage: www.normandiellis.com for my info and for information about Camp Chesterfield's seminary offerings go to www.campchesterfield.net.

JUNE

15     Festivals of the Egyptian Goddesses – The Festival of Mut Online class          http://mysteryschoolofthegoddess.net

Because there are only 3 seasons to an ancient Egyptian year, this festival honors the harvest goddess, the vulture goddess Mut. In the harsh climate of Egypt, the vulture combines the energies of devouring the dead and laying the egg of future life.


July

6   Medju Neter - Full Circle Massage & Education Center     465 East High St.  Ste 110
Lexington, KY                 6-10 p.m.         Call
859-229-6679 or email rbogale@gmail.com

Not only is it possible to walk like an Egyptian in the spirit world, but we must think like an Egyptian. Medju neter meant “hieroglyph” to the ancient Egyptian, and translated in our language it mean the Word of God.  Think like an ancient Egyptian as you discover how the priests and priestesses used their words of power to create sacred texts, prayers, and oracles.

7   The Lady and Her Beasts – 6-10pm   Full Circle Massage & Education Center   
465 East High St.  Ste 110,  Lexington, KY    Call
859-229-6679 or email rbogale@gmail.com

Egypt, the ancients said, was made in the image of heaven, and the earth was a mirror of the Great Mother, who had many aspects. In this class we celebrate the sacred feminine and look at aspects of the feminine divine and the divergent energies of the ancient goddesses of sky, water, snake, star, vulture, feline, and cow. This is primarily steeped in Egyptian myth, but includes those cultures who influenced or were influenced by the Egyptian priestesses. 


15       Festivals of the Egyptian Goddesses – Opening of the New Year & The Rise of the Goddess Isis as Sothis    http://mysteryschoolofthegoddess.net

The Egyptian new year falls in midsummer celebrating the rise of the star Sirius (Sothis or Isis) in Leo which marked the coming of the Nile’s annual inundation. At this time all time and all life began anew through the rebirth of the 5 sacred children: Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis and Nephthys.

17-22    The Soul and the Phoenix                 3:45-5:45 pm
The Great Lakes Retreat Center       Olivet MI       
www.thegreatlakesretreat.org/
The ancient Egyptian mystery religion supported the soul’s journey through lifetimes to help bring to consciousness the wisdom of the ancestors and the God force. The highest spiritual bodies were the ba soul and the akh, equated with The Phoenix.  Lecture, discussion, and experiential activities help the student see how these spiritual bodies function in life on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes.   Active meditations will bring us into direct contact with these spiritual states and with the karma of our personal histories. The class concludes with a fire ritual of The Phoenix on its pyre.
19       The Hero’s Quest: Leaving the Known World Behind               9 am
Lecture          The Great Lakes Retreat Center               Olivet MI  

24       Egyptian Mystical Symbology & Oracular Readings              1-6 pm
Universal Unity of Spirit      89 N. Main St. (Rt. 60 )   Cassadaga NY     
http://universalunityofspirit.org/
Think like an ancient Egyptian as you discover how the priests and priestesses used their words of power to create sacred texts, prayers, and oracles.  Learn the myths of gods speaking the world into being.  Explore hieroglyphs as symbol and sound ‘magic’. Practice thinking hieroglyphically (on multiple levels). Learn coded hieroglyphs used in sacred texts. Discover what the Egyptian symbols of your dreams mean. Create an oracle deck and a text of hieroglyphic symbols; then, practice reading with your classmates.
25       Symbols of The Sacred Feminine                                           7-9 pm
Universal Unity of Spirit 89 N. Main St. (Rt. 60 ) Cassadaga NY
              Egypt, the ancients said, was made in the image of heaven, and the earth was a mirror of the Great Mother, who had many aspects. We will look at aspects of the feminine divine and the divergent energies of the ancient goddesses of sky, water, snake, star, vulture, feline, and cow.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What's a Hieros Gamos?



The late Philip Coppens said the sacred marriage, or hieros gamos, was often considered the holy Grail of sexual union. This might be understood as the marriage of the king and queen, or the high priest and priestess in the temple, or the union of the king and the land, and even the sexual exchange between Pharaoh and concubines in some cases. A kind of sexual ecstasy was often attributed to this sacred union, in which one’s consciousness became the penultimate God consciousness during ecstasy.
The Greeks said that this kind of sacred marriage was only possible between a God and goddess, but Gnostic and Celtic legends attributed it to an enlightened sexual union between two spiritual beings – often soaring spiritual heights could be attained as a magical practice. Some say the union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, which created the holy child of Cathar legend, might also be seen as a hieros gamos.
Whatever its exact description, its intention was always a moment of rebirth and renewal. It is a marriage that is blessed by the divine. When God attends this union each one is infused with the energy of the other; like Yin and Yang wherein a part of one takes residence within the other. From this union a sacred child comes forth.

This excerpt comes from the Hierosgamos of Hathor and Horus, an ancient Egyptian celebration in honor of the May Queen, beloved of the pharaoh.  If you would like to know more about this celebration or any of the celebations of the ancient Egptins, sign up for a month or a whole year of Feasts of Light: Celebrations of the Egyptian Goddesses, hosted by Mystery School of the Goddess.  http://mysteryschoolofthegoddess.net/

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Unas Synchronicities

In 1980, as I mentioned before, I fell in love with the hieroglyphs and began to translate the interlinear text from Wallis Budge's book The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Papyrus of Ani. It took me 10 years, and it taught me how to think like a poet.

More than 20 year ago I decided I wanted to translate the hieroglyphs in the Pyramid of Unas. I began eagerly but worked very slowly as I didn't want to make any mistakes. I made a mistake. It was 20 years of tedious work with excessive tracing of my footsteps so I and others could see where I was going and how the work was to be seen.  In the meantime Jeremy Naydler published his beautiful work Shamanic Initiations in the Pyramid Text, re-translating the same text and getting sot much of what I was working on that at times I felt he was looking over my shoulder!

But there is still more work to do here, I thought. So after childbirth, and divorce and following job after job into new city after city, I still hadn't finished the translation of Unas' hieroglyphs. Susan Brind Morrow came out with her translation Dawning Moon of the Mind, for which she got a Guggenheim and I was/am still working with my hieroglyphs.  I guess it's not about winning the race, it's about being in love with the language for me. Tonight, I am still as my translations, preparing for a talk at the Global Pyramid Conference in Chicago in May. (Check out the line up of speakers here:  https://globalpyramidconference.com/speakers-and-topics/ )

(In the meantime I will be returning to see my Pyramid of Unas in Egypt in just a few days.)

So here is the story...

I traveled recently to Las Vegas to tape a segment on the New Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove. We talked about what I was learning from the work I've done and the classes I teach in Hieroglyphic Thinking.  (And as of this week you can find that interview on Youtube's New Thinking Allowed links.)
Magic and Initiatory Practices of Ancient Egypt with Normandi Ellis
Hieroglyphic Thinking with Normandi Ellis

On the airplane I was reading the Susan Brind Morrow book and making notes in my journal. I found a Christopher Frye quote about poetry that if I substituted the word hieroglyph for poetry, it said pretty much what I felt...

 "Hieroglyphs have the virtue of being able to say twice as much as prose in half the time, and the drawback, if you do not give it your full attention of seeming to say half as much in twice the time."
Yes, I thought that is why it has taken me soooo looooong to complete the translations of these 3 rooms.
Note to self: SBM suggests one can read the hieroglyphs jumping across the lines next to each other as well as up and down the line. Oh my Goddes, that is just crazy good.

It made me want to finish my trip and hurry home and back to Unas.  But first I had to do the Las Vegas gig.  (Turns out it was a fantastic gig, and we taught and did spring equinox ceremonies, and had a blast. New note to self: Let's not rush through life.)

So I get in the Uber taxi and off I went to Sheila Z's house. The driver was wonderful and chatty. Turns out he was Ethiopian and had grown up along the Blue Nile. He was an Ethiopian Christian--
I could tell by the Coptic cross hanging from his rear view mirror.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"Unas," he said.
What!?  Did you say Unas?
"No Unis," he said "like in the Bible."

I asked him to tell me the story of Unis in the Bible. He said Unis was the man God told to go here but he wouldn't go. He said "No God, not there, "so he stayed home. And God said, "Unis I told you to go. Why don't you go?"  He said "I'll go anywhere but there," so he stayed home. So Unis went fishing in his boat and the wind died down and he couldn't leave. A big shark came out of the water and ate him.

I was starting to catch a glimmer.  "You mean a whale?" I asked.
It was in the sea, my driver insisted, and then he was stuck inside the shark for three days. It was so dark, until the shark spat him out on the ground....
"In exactly the same place that god told him to go--Ninevah."
Anyway that is who I am named for.
"Your name is Jonah?" I asked, thinking I had heard wrong.
"No," he said, and spelled it for me. Y-U-N-I-S.

After he left me and my luggage at the curb--and believe me for a story like that I tipped him well--I was still thinking about the hieroglyphs my friend Emil was fond of showing us in Karnak. It was the hieroglyph of Jacob's name, spelled in glyphs Y-Ka-B. Yakob/Jacob.  Yunis/Jonas/Unis.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How I Came to Translate the Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Over the last few months I found myself telling this story several different times. A radio interviewer or two or three, asked me "So how did you become interested in the Egyptian hieroglyphs?" And I found myself telling the same story. Then during a workshop in Knoxville Tennessee a writing prompt pulled me back to tell the story again.

I have to say that although the story still deeply lives in me, I really don’t need to tell it anymore. So here it is one last time on my blog.

The year was 1980.  “Now,” said Prof. Goldfarb, “for the second part of your translation workshop, switch to your third language.”

“Sidney, I don’t have a third language.” I distinctly remember that moment, standing at a faculty party with my back up against a wall, literally. I waited all week to make my confession. I thought okay I’m an imposter and I’ll just have to leave Colorado now.

“Well,” he said. “Pick a language you like and then teach yourself. Get a good grammar dictionary. Get some variant translations.”

So I picked hieroglyphs. Why? Maybe because when I was younger I thought I had to choose between painting and writing. Hieroglyphs combined the best of these worlds.

But really there was another reason. A friend from the neighborhood in which I grown up, Robert Weiler, suggested one day – after a long metaphysical conversation sitting on a stone wall at the Old State Capital in Frankfort Kentucky – that I read the Egyptian Book of the Dead. He was so convinced that I should read it that he walked to me to Poor Richard’s Bookstore across the street, pulled The Papyrus of Ani by Budge from the shelf and said, “Buy this.” So I did.

He later came to my house with a cardboard box filled with other metaphysical books that he had been studying through the years. He said he had to move out of his apartment; the Old Y building was being condemned, and anyway he was leaving town. He had no way to keep these books, so he asked that I keep them until he returned. I said fine. He said you can read them; you might find them interesting. And he left.

And I never saw him again. He died. In fact he was murdered. Of course that’s a whole other story, but he gave such intensity to these books which he left me and to the Egyptian Book of the Dead which he insisted that I buy, Robert Weiler was the reason I began a nearly 10 year study of the history, mythology, and language of ancient Egypt. I was just trying, in my own way, to make some sense of his death. Surely there must have been a reason that this book was given to me right before he died.

These metaphysical books of his and that Egyptian Book of the Dead with its hieroglyphs I kept in mycloset on the top shelf for another two years. The books almost seemed to vibrate on the shelf. Sometimes I wake in the night and think I’d left the closet light on. I get up to turn it off and it would be off. I could feel Robert’s energy in the closet as if he were saying “I gave this to you for a reason.”

Until that moment when Sidney Goldfarb suggested that I choose another text to translate, other than Spanish, I really had no idea what that reason was.

Thus, began my process of translating hieroglyphs and steeping myself in other symbolic language systems: Mayan glyphs, Mandarin Chinese, Ogham, Sanskrit, Sumerian Phoenician, and linear A and B. All of these symbolic languages seemed to point to better poetry, stronger short stories, more dream interpretation, and now clairvoyant messages and pattern thinking. The ideal that carried through the symbolic and real languages was this: All words are magic. All words are words of power. All languages are thought forms and the world itself that springs from divine thoughts. Yes, and so does silence and the blank page.

Perhaps this is the true meaning of my blog title The Goddess IS an open book test. I carry with me a lexicon of symbols, phonetic and symbolic. I carry with me the stories told to me by my father, a storyteller and gossip par excellence. The stories he told of the people of his family and community wove a rich tapestry that it became a mythology and grew larger than life. He told story after story around his mother’s dining room table. And as a child I lay under that table enthralled with story.

Now I carry the stories myself; it’s our personal myth. That’s how we come to understand the recurring patterns of our lives – as if they were story. You have to lose the idea in life or in fiction that you are making it up.

There is a long part of the story that I want to tell without any blame. It simply goes like this: I spent 10 years translating those hieroglyphs over and over from beginning to end of the book, focusing on the imagery, then the sound, then the mythology, trying to put it all together so that it did not appear like the gobbledygook most early Egyptian translations seemed to be. I was long past that translation workshop with Sidney Goldfarb. I was married, I had a baby, I have a full-time job, and I was having myself hypnotized in order to wake up at 4 a.m.every morning so that I could write and work on these hieroglyphs. It seemed to any outsider (and that included friends and family) that I had lost my mind.

Whatever happened I was not going to give up on this book. I promised myself that I would write this book for the rest of my life if I had to because I could not do otherwise. I told myself that perhaps I am no writer, but the writing matters. The pattern I was discovering in my life mattered. And if I never published a single word in my lifetime, I thought at least I will have lived my life as a writer. And maybe I had lost my mind, or at least I lost myself in these glyphs so deeply that they became my reason/my purpose for being.

There were many arguments over family responsibilities with my husband, who one night convinced me that I should throw the work away and just get on with my life. Driving to the dump with my manuscript in the backseat of my car that night, I saw the spirit of my friend Robert in the rearview mirror sitting next to my manuscript. I thought to myself  that this was just my imagination; until he touched me. The act of touching me sent a current of electricity through my body that it shattered me totally. I stopped the car and I shook for another five minutes. When I said “Don’t you ever do that again to me, Robert. You scared the hell out of me,” he vanished. I got out and hid my manuscript in my car trunk in the wheel well of the spare tire.

And I keep working on the manuscript over my lunch breaks for a couple more months. Finally, someone asked me if that manuscript I’d been working on all this time was finished. And he said, “If it is, I would like to publish it.”

In 1989 my first book, Awakening Osiris, was published. I was 35. Everything that happened since then was because of that magical appearance of Robert Weiler in 1978. Magical things do happen. To my mind, this is beyond synchronicity.  On the first $500 royalty check from my book I was able to make a side trip from my mother-in-law’s house in Greece to Egypt. I had spent nearly 10 years steeped in that landscape and time, but I was only able to see it for the first time in 1989. I felt completely at home in Egypt, as if I had lived there thousands of times. My soul seemed to know this place.

Two years later, Jean Houston became my mentor after becoming the voice of my book on tape. When I met her in a workshop it felt as if she had pulled me up from under a rock, and she welcomed me into the light. She asked me to accompany her and Peggy Rubin on a life-changing trip with 90 people to Egypt. I worked with her some years after as well.

I could see in all this the glimmer of my future life as a writer. I have published 11 books now. More than discovering my writing though, I discovered a sense of my spiritual home—a place to which I would return again and again. I live inside the magic of Egypt.

I tell my writing students to keep writing until their stories have finally found them. It’s a beautiful, rich adventure, this life. This dream of being a writer is not something you have; it’s something you get to live into.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Gratitude & New Beginnnings

I have just returned from another trip to my spiritual homeland, Egypt. As always, no sooner do I leave than I look forward to a return.  This latest trip was a particularly beautiful one, and its beauty came as a surprise.

The fear generated by militants elsewhere, but fanned by the xenophobia of media everywhere actually created a kind of opening and a blessing for those of us who followed a spiritual calling and traveled to Egypt this winter. There were few other sojourners in Egypt at this time, which made my most recent journey through the temples with Deborah Jones and Nine Gates, both poignant and leisurely. It was as if we had been given private visits and more than ample time to explore the tombs, the plateaus, the towns and to sail upon the beautiful waters of the Nile.

What did I do while I was there?  I grabbed a lion by the tail and held on, in pursuit of the mysteries!

Before our group arrived Deborah and I toured the Coptic churches of Old Cairo, where we witnessed portraits of saints crying tears of sacred oils in the churches dedicated to Saint Barbara, Saint George, Mary of the Iron,  and Saints Sergius and Bacchus. We toured the Ben Ezra Synagogue, now closed, but reputed to house the well from which Moses was drawn by the pharaoh's daughter.  

Later, we went to see one of the most enigmatic sites -- Zabbaleen, also known as Trash City, which is a Coptic community on the outskirts of Cairo. While the streets were lined with mounds of garbage that 70,000 strong community has now become a hub of recycling plastics, metals and other waste. What was most amazing was the Church of St. Simon the Tanner, where the church itself and its Christian icons are carved into the side of a mountain cavern, the cavern having been created during an earthquake in the 12th century. Known as a site of miraculous healings, the church has a large room containing the crutches, wheelchairs and canes of cripples who received their healing there.

Once our group arrived, the beautiful and enigmatic Sphinx awaited our sunrise visit and listened eagerly to our whispered intentions and prayers. At Saqqara, we had an extended day of visitations to tombs, pyramids, courtyards, sounding chapels, and the serdab of Djoser. At Philae, the star Sirius and the constellation Orion (Isis and Osiris to the ancients) watched us from their places in the night sky as our boat glided silently under a quarter moon toward the Temple of Isis,. There we prayed for peace, made our petitions in her sanctuary, then awaited Ra dawning over the waters.

What more can I say? Everywhere our feet touched sacred ground. Deborah Jones, the Nine Gates Mystery School participants and I were blessed to travel in style on our dahabeya, the Afandina, which allowed us beautiful, languid sailing time on the Nile, the most delicious food every cooked by an Egyptian chef, vistas of sand hills, temples, water buffalo drinking at the water’s edge, and egrets lifting off the crown of trees to wing their way above the waters while families of fisherman sliced through the fog and cast their nets into the water.

By the final day of our trip, when we emerged from the initiation inside the Great Pyramid, we were buzzing. Every cell in my body was thrumming and I was left shivering and speechless from the energy. And thrilled beyond all reckoning. It was one of the best trips ever.

Come with me to Egypt! April 21-May 5, 2016


I take this opportunity to say that I am returning to Egypt in April 2016. I look forward to another great trip with our guide Emil Shaker. I could ask for no better friend and guide through this sacred land. He knows the ins and out of stealth shamanism in the temples better than anyone could imagine. You will, through his magical means of working, gain access to some of the mysteries others can only imagine. 


Indigo Ronlov and I will be leading this trip ASTRAL EGYPT: Living and Dreaming Together. We will combine our sacred practices of art, journaling, hieroglyphic thinking, dreaming and meditation through this amazing temple work.


On this tour, you will have ample opportunity to explore your personal and collective transpersonal piece of the puzzle through dreams, visioning, writing, and rituals and initiations that are designed to give you direct access to the Egyptian pantheon and the knowledge they wish to impart at each of the monuments you will visit.

Egypt is endowed with sacred symbolic language and art carved on the ancient temples and monuments throughout the land. It has an amazing ability to invoke something deep within, bringing forth our own symbolic language and along with it our transformation and renewal.
Normandi and Indigo will guide you in the cultivation of your own sacred symbols that come from the temples, your dreams (both in the night and the visions of the daylight), and the living architecture of this beautiful land. We will use our initiatory rituals to explore the astral realities between worlds, building relationships with the neteru (the deities of Egypt) and the sacred symbols that will move us, inform us, and ground us into the humanity that we are to become.

In order to keep the dream alive, most days will hold a time to create together. Whether a stroke of a brush or a pen, a word or a picture, you can record the essence of your experience to carry with you to remember. We will laugh heartily and hold and support each other as we dream this alchemical dream together during our nine nights on the Nile on the Dahabeya Afandina, and during the rest of the time as we luxuriate at the Mena House Garden hotel, directly across from the Great Pyramid.


This tour includes private time during sunrise at the Sphinx, inside the Great Pyramid, and most amazing, sunrise at the Temple of Isis at Philae, where we will be free to experience initiations and rites of passage not available to the public.

It will be one of the best tours yet.  And there is still room. Please contact us today if you are interested.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I was a stranger, and you invited me in…” (Attributed to Jesus in Matthew 25:35)


 
As we fast approach the Christmas season, we have to pause a moment to remember exactly what it is that we are celebrating.  The birth of a child in a foreign land, whose parents were refugees fleeing persecution.  Shown compassion by an innkeeper, that child grew up to be a human being who embodied compassion.  He became the model for how to let the light of divinity shine through us.

When I travel in old Cairo in Egypt, which is where I shall be in less than a week, I hope to visit the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Coptic Church again, which is said to be built upon the site where the Holy family hid themselves and rested during the Flight into Egypt as they escaped Herod. 

So I am finding myself struggling to accept the assertion of many theoretically Christian politicians who suggest that the refugees from Syria – a people who are escaping the very terrorism that we are witnessing in the Middle East, Lebanon and Paris—should just go home.  Obviously that is not a Christian sentiment if we recall the life of Jesus the Christ.

This is pure and simple a problem with xenophobia.  A phobia of course is an irrational fear—like arachnophobia (fear of spiders), or claustrophobia (fear of being in enclosed spaces).  Xenophobia is the fear of strangers.  And given the psychic fallout from two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on back to the edges of history, xenophobia is a well-rooted fear, and by that we can infer lower chakra needs based on survival of the species, the family, the homeland.

It goes back as far as the Israelites being kicked out of every country they entered, and are still to this day fighting to live in a homeland that is homesteaded, having previously belonged to the Palestinians.  We could go into a long dissertation on global xenophobia. 

My point here is that it is this.

We are not engaged in some holy war.  It is not us against them.  Whatever or whomever them may be: Christians against Muslims, or Sunni against Shia, or liberals against conservatives.  What we truly are working to combat is the mistrust of our fellow man that shows itself as fundamental extremism on either side.  Going Rogue, which is the title of one book by a Christian fundamentalist politician, is not the answer.  Going rogue implies extreme individualism that refuses to take into account that not all people can be defined by the groups to which they belong. Not all Muslim people are jihadists and not all Christians are xenophobic.

As a Muslim man condemning the Paris attacks has said on Facebook: Terrorism has no religion.  Others quoted the Quran 5:32 Whoever kills an innocent person, it is as if he kills all of humanity.

What we witnessed in Paris, horrendous as it was and is, is not, as Jeb Bush said, “an organized attempt to destroy Western civilization.”  No. It is an organized attempt to sow panic and fear--and it has done that pretty well, unfortunately. The murder of random people in random places throughout Paris, or before that Lebanon, is a means of stirring up xenophobia. If you fear us, the members of the Islamic State seem to say, then we are the terrorist rogues who win.  But to my mind the biggest threat to our society is not Islam.

The biggest danger that faces us is the belief that we have to fight terrorists  by committing similar acts of violence and terror.  Military intervention being one of these avenues.  Another might be closing our borders, shutting the doors in the faces of those who need our help. 

Certainly that was not the intention when in 1885 Emma Lazarus gave us the words carved into the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free…”

This is what our nation stands for.  We opened our arms to Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine. We opened our borders to those Swedes who needed a land in which to live, and to many who have crossed the waters to America escaping war, famine, destitution, subjection, religious persecution. Let’s face it, nearly all of us whose ancestry arrived on these shores by boat are descendent from the suffering of immigrants.

I am reminded again of that pregnant woman on the burro seeking shelter when the life of her child was threatened.  I am reminded of Mary’s stalwart husband, Joseph, who continued to knock on doors, walking mile after mile into the desert as door after door was shut in his face.  And again similar images flash before my eyes of the terrified women, men and children in their dinghies landing on the shores of Lesbos trying to pass through to some place that will take them in and feed them. By and large, these are victims—not Syrian terrorists.

And if you are fleeing a war-torn country, not being allowed a shelter somewhere, facing vehement aggressive protests inflicts yet another level on terror upon an already terrorized people.  What these acts of terrorism intend to do is to inspire yet more wrong-headed responses by people and governments.

So really the question is this: How do we as spiritualized beings respond to such terrors?

We must respond with compassion and love. As 1st John: 4:18 tells us: “Perfect love drives out fear.”  By this we understand that the opposite of Love is not hatred. The opposite of Love is Fear.  A response to this crisis of closing borders, sending troops on the ground is a response that springs forth from Fear, which is what the terrorists want. An appropriate response must be true love with compassion.  And how do we do that?

First we pray. We pray for clarity of vision. We pray for peace for Muslims and Christians and Buddhist and pagans, for all people everywhere.  We pray for those families who are hurting. We pray for our enemies.  Matthew 5:34—Pray for your enemies and those who persecute you. That isn’t an easy thing to do, but it is a necessary thing. It is what people of peace do.

Secondly, we offer our compassion to those who are hurting. We weep with those who weep.  When the events of 9-11 unfolded on US soil 15 years ago, the French government cried with us in anguish, saying:  “We are all Americans now.”  And now we cry out with the French citizenry, “We are all Parisians now.”  In truth, we are becoming more and more citizens of a world that mourns in unison, and rebuilds in unison and goes on believing that Love again will prevail.

And next, we also must offer forgiveness to those who have hurt others. Matthew 7:1-2   tells us:” Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.—no stranger to persecution and personal violent threat, offers this profound guidance for living through such crises as these. He says. We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

In that light it is important to look within ourselves and try to find those moments when we have been more frightened than loving, more angry than loving, and try to counter that love with compassion, forgiveness and the determination to “do what is right.”

This is a difficult thing to do, but a uniquely powerful thing to do. We know this power exhibited in the words of our Master Teacher, Jesus Christ. Beaten and impaled by a sword, hanging on the cross yet his words we recall as the most compassionate plea ever uttered. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. – Luke: 23-34

Just as there are things to do: Pray. And Love Our Neighbors, all of them, as ourselves—there are also things we should not do. 

1. We should not hate. We see evil and we want to draw swords to fight it, but as Martin Luther King Jr. said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We cannot reach out in compassion to some and hate others at the same time. We invoke God into our hearts that we like all who suffer may heal. 

2. We should not take our anger out on the refugees of any country immigrants are not the enemy. They are a 21st century version of our grandparents, great grandparents and those before us. And like us, they want to live and protect their families, as we would.

3. We should protest any calls to war with Islam.  Interfaith and multi-faith understanding is called for here. Even Muslims honor Jesus as the way-shower, prophet and elder brother.  How can that be against any Christian ideal? Nearly all of the Muslims that I know in Egypt will say that these terrorists do not represent them, their families, or their religious and political views.

This is not a time where we should give in to fear.  Rather it is a time to unite, a time to honor the humanity of every person.  By not doing so, we play into the expectations of those who terrorize the world. 

Rather than separate ourselves from the religion of Islam, or from the things which we do not understand, or frighten us; we need to cultivate an understanding between all people. All people of all faiths, should invoke the divine into their hearts, and into their understanding.  No religion has a patent on divine love.  God is like breath. It is everywhere around us, within us, enlivening us. As has been said. In 1 John 4:12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

I ask you to pray that Love conquer Fear, that Compassion reign, and that All People move together in the one divine body of God.

 

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

BA & AKH--THE SOUL AND THE PHOENIX


Have you been experiencing a feeling of shift lately, feeling a bit antsy maybe, as if something BIG were about to happen?
All over the world, a collective re-awakening has been underway, and has intensified over the last four years. We entered this shift around 2011 and are in this energy until around 2018. Part of it comes from that Uranus Pluto square everyone talks about—an energy that resembles events of the mid to late Sixties which was when Pluto conjuncted Uranus. Remember where you were then?
The square is even more of a jolt of awakening energy than the conjunction was 50 + years ago. To add to this mix this past year, starting with the solar eclipse on April 14th, we have had four BLOOD MOONS coinciding with those squares. Today Sept 12, we are experiencing a solar eclipse in Virgo. The last eclipse, a lunar eclipse, will be in Aries/Libra on Sept 27th. Just in time for my birthday.
When an eclipse happens it interrupts the earth’s magnetic field for a moment, and reboots us, kind of like your computer rebooting when it downloads new software or programs.  What this means is that within the next 2 weeks we have again, an opportunity to receive a download of new consciousness, a mind and soul reboot that will send us into our next great work.
In a symbolic way what happened in this eclipse is similar to what happens when a king dies… and that was the old superstition about eclipses. The regent would die.  Now in ancient Egypt, the pharaoh/king was a divine being, a Sun (S U N) of god.  And there were religious rites in which he was eclipsed, underwent a burial rite of a sort while in trance, in order to ‘download’ his computer, so to speak, in order to reboot the divine plan for the culture. We are going to talk about that in a moment, but for now, I hope to set a context for how this energy is working now, as it may have worked then.
In addition to those blood moons and eclipses going on there are three other outer dwarf planets (beyond Pluto) contributing to this energy in September. They are Haumea (hoe-me-a) Makemake and Orcus. Orcus is going to align with Jupiter to oppose Neptune—an event 500 years in the making. Think of where the culture was in 1515. We were ending the middle ages that began in 515 AD (another 500 year cycle that began with the collapse of the Roman Empire. 
Haumea is conjuncting Mercury to oppose Uranus—the planet knowns for shaking things up and putting a spin on it, and Makemake will be aligned with the Blood Moon on the 27th.  Suffice it to say all of this unusual activity has astrologers looking at the sky and wondering if this is the moment that truly jettisons us into a new age.
Certainly it’s giving us a jolt of euphoria, a very strong willpower to expand and learn, a super heightened sense of intuition, and psychic abilities. Watch this end of September eclipse—and remember that an eclipse ALWAYS occurs on a North Node which is a karmic point. This eclipse and blood moon are quite related to our planetary transformation.

Now I am giving you all of this astrological data because I want you to take seriously the astrological significance of what I am about to say about the Ba Soul and the Phoenix. These two spiritual bodies, which if you know Kabbala and the Tree of Life, exist in the upper two spheres in the spiritual plane.  There are nine spiritutal bodies in the ancient tradition corresponding to four planes of existence—physical, astral or emotional, mental and spiritual. They are the only two winged bodies in the spiritual plane.  Only these upper two bodies in the spiritual plane exist beyond the personality lifetime after lifetime. The others function for a time until their usefulness to the soul is complete and they are dissolved after death. The ba soul -–usually seen in Egyptian paintings as a human-headed hawk-- may exist over and beyond a single lifetime, but it too will eventually need to be dissipated when the soul’s karma is dissolved. Understand that while you are sitting and breathing in that seat whereyou are, your ba is with you. It is as living as you are. When you dream, when you meditate, it, your soul consciousness flies out to where you send it—to other parts of the universe, into the past or future, into the dreams of other people, into the land of the dead to see your mom and dad, or just to check on the baby sleeping in the next room. 
The akh is a seed atom that descends from the god force, a yod in the Kabbalistic tradition, and takes root in the physical form. At death it rolls everything up and returns as a spark of light to the divine cosmic fire, contributing to the knowledge, wisdom and experience of the divine energy at work on the earth plane.
Ba and Akh at Kether and Chokmah are permanent bodies relating to the soul and the seed atom, the phoenix part. How the soul gathers information thru lifetime, adds to akashic records, and at the point that you no longer need that personal transformational info, recorded at akashic level, of soul,  it is transmuted at phoenix level and is sent to seed atom and goes straight back to divine.

Atum the Old Kingdom god of creation, of being & nonbeing, was considered the original alpha and the omega, and it was no error that made the Greek philosopher Lucretius say in his essay on the Nature of Being that everything derived from Atum, which he equated with the atom.  So the spark of light that becomes life is known as the seed atom/Atum in each of us. It resides within the highest spiritual body.  It’s all rolled back inside us after death and the phoenix takes that info back to the source, to Atum. The phoenix was not widely discussed in the Middle or New kingdoms of Egypt. This information comes to us mostly from the Old Kingdom from the information about the Step Pyramid of Djoser built by Imhotep during the third dynasty (Imhotep was Egypt’s Leonardo daVinci), from the initiations alluded to in the Great Pyramid of Giza during the fourth dynasty, and finally from the FIRST EVER RECORDED hieroglyphic text inscribed in the Pyramid of Unas in the fifth dynasty. It’s information about the intersecting influences of the ba and akh. The Pyrmid Text of Unas is the only text that talks about the ladder of ascension.
The royal ascension text in Unas details how to turn the ba soul into the akh, or phoenix.  The ba soul has a terrestrial existence depicted by its human head. The akh is a resident of heaven existing with the Imperishable Ones, the circumpolar stars that represent the ascended masters and the ancestors and the deities of Egypt. This image of infinite time and space is the realm of Atum, the only true source of eternal life because as a point beween being and nonbeing, it is a state of potentiality.
The akh is the resident spark of god within the human being, making us a co-creator with the divine.  This could be seen as a reference to the saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas. “IF anyone asks you where we came from, tell them we came from the Light.
The wingedness of these spiritual bodies depict the far-reaching abilities of these spiritual energies to move around the world at will, and to fly in and out of alternate dimensions. They fly up and down the ladder of consciousness, primarily from divine to human and human to divine, although in truth everything has consciousness.
Because this is mystery initiation is the last one a human goes through before the need to no longer be human, it’s not accomplished in a single lifetime—and I don’t care how advanced you are spiritually, you are not going to ascend today during or after my talk…
In fact to put it bluntly I am less concerned about your personal ascension than I am about our planetary ascension right now.  It takes group mind, group will and attention to group karma to be overcome in order to achieve that noble end. And what it takes to ascend to the phoenix on an individual level, it also takes to ascend on a planetary level, but it takes many more souls working on it and doing it.
When the englightened pharaoh was undergoing the ascension process in the ancient days, he was doing so on behalf of his entire civilization.  His intention was to transmute his personal karma while he was still in a physical form, to die to his old self, and to return renewed. The ancient Egyptians called this the heb sed, or the festival of renewal and it took place in the 30th year ofhis reign and every 7 years after that. In essence, it was a Saturn cycle and its squares and oppositions. It was a shamanic initiation which imitated a death while living. The pharaoh was placed in a shamanic trance, perhaps through various herbs, and his body was wrapped as if he were a mummy. Then in this comatose state, his khat, or physical form, was carried on a sledge to a tomb, perhps to the initiation tomb of Unas, and left there for three days, essentially buried.  While in this shamanic trance, the king ascended the ladder of heaven, saw the other souls ascending to heaven and descending to earth on that same ladder. He flew up this ladder in his bird-like state being an akh to speak with his ancestors, with the ascended masters, and the deities. 
During this time, he was communing with them, he received a download of the divine plan, the next order of business to which he was to dedicate himself and his people to move civilization forward.
Obviously it must have worked to a great degree because ancient Egyptian culture is one of the few cultures I know that lasted for nearly 3000 years in tact. That divine plan certainly held the long view of things. 
Not simply transmuting personal karma, but as the cultural emissary, the pharaoh transmuted the collective karma of his people.
I need to mention here that there is a third spiritual body, albeit a bit lower than the ba and the akh. It is the ka, the animating principle or desire nature that resides closest to the mental and emotional planes. Ka expresses our desires—what sustains us: food, a house, a partner, and divine, sacred love. Its hieroglyph shows two arms outstretched in a way that can be simultaneously viewed as prayer or grasping something.  That is the desire nature that Buddha kept telling us was going to get us into trouble. It generates a lot of karma.  I want and I will get what I want…  unless we learn to transmute the desire nature by invocation to the divine, saying “This or something better.” Ka is the energy that keeps us alive on planet earth, but it also generates karma, which keeps us tied to planet earth. The trick is to relinquish desire for things that are not a part of the divine plan. The ka is a servant to the akh on this earth plane until our bodies are no longer necessary.
To summarize, your ka keeps you on this plane; your ba contains your soul’s record, and your akh connects you to your spiritual purpose and your highest potential.
         Light is the prima materia of Creation that emanates from the mind of God and that is what your akh is, also called the Shining One or the Englightened One. As the essence the spark from the fiery mind of God, the phoenix is said to be born in eternal fire. This expanded intelligence and higher consciousness  is accessible to us now whenever we engage in work that is undertaken with and known to be of the highest clarity and spiritual power. Our ba and akh work in concert with the divine beings, whose very existence is based on cosmic law and order—what the Egyptians knew as ma’at.
         The ba tended to access the spiritual plane by flying through the Duat, a nether world that might be defined as the Jungian unconscious (not the Freudian) where the archetypes and symbols spoke to use to teach, inform, and work with us. It contained remenants of lifetimes past as well, karmic memories that were part of the subconscious until such time as we are able to process their messages and relieve ourselves of them.
The akh has more direct access to spiritual knowledge, and its wisdom is unclouded by personal attachments. One experienced the ba soul flying through the duat, the underworld, moving from east to west in the same direction the sun moves. In that way one gained an understanding of how to turn death consciousness into life consciousness. That was the whole point of the texts that became known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead.* You can never completely understand the akh or phoenix until you have understood the way the ba educates the soul. In the realm of the duat, one works on personal and transpersonal issues related to the progression of the soul.
         ­­­­The second way of accessing spiritual knowledge is by moving from the physical experience into the spiritual experience through an ascension process that was depicted as the akh bird flying into the realm of eternity. Known as Akhet (Light Land), this realm was reached either by way of a long climb up a staircase that resembled the stacked mastabas of the Step Pyramid, or by ascending a ladder held by both Horus and Set, one on each side.
Once the initiate accessed the divine plan, he had to return to this world with the Plan. The Pyramid Texts described a kind of communion rite that was called opening the mouth, and which allowed one to ingest spiritual food, to be nurtured by it and to bring this nurturing body of God back to his people for distribution.
         To “open the mouth”, as the ancient rite calls it allows us in a spiritual sense to connect with the god who spoke the world into existence. This merger of divine and human wills, words and love defines the essence of co-creation. Adding your voice to this process is of vital importance to the collective mind. We are reminded of the law that “thoughts are things,” and how they manifest through the action of speaking them and then acting on those spoken words.
But here is the trick to becoming an akh and communing with the divine, first you have to die to your old self, like a caterpillar in a chrysalis, like a shaman left bound in his mummy rags inside a darkened tomb under a mound of earth. You must forget your story, your vita and all the things you’ve accomplished. You must forgive and forget all of those people who wounded you and all of your old errors in thinking. You must put your karma behind you. It is the shroud in which you have hidden yourself. Burn it up and rise like smoke as the eternal living consciousness. You must die to your old self with no intention of coming back to the way things were.
This my friends is precisely where we are now, poised between these eclipses in the final moments of a culture that is rapidly shifting into something that may be unrecognizable to us even 10 or 5 years from now. It’s happening so fast, and I don’t have to remind you of everything going on in our world for you to see what I mean. You are already feeling it. 
The phoenix partakes of a great alchemical mystery—the turning of lead into gold, the transformation of the physical world and its desires, into the spiritual dimension and its love wisdom. This shamanic death and rebirth can be a messy business that involves the disintegration of the ego and personality as we know it. But the soul knows all about death and renewal, about maneuvering through the astral realm, and finally making its spiritual ascension to the fully realized human.
The akh as the fully realized highest human potential taps into the ongoing cyclical, eternal nature of our soul and its evolution through time. The akh bird’s forté could be summarized as death-rebirth, death-rebirth, death-rebirth, etc., and what happens between those spaces of death and rebirth, especially during those less and less fleeting moments of enlightenment.
         The further up you fly in your spiritual ascension on this ladder, this Tree of Life, the less you will find yourself restricted by the physical dimension of your earthly existence. The danger here is that you become so enthralled with the possibilities of your spiritual bodies that you may lose the desire to work within your physical body on the Earth plane. If you have understood, however, that the natural world is indeed a godly and divinely embodied world, then you realize that you can’t stop working in the physical because it is still part of the divine—there is no other place to go. As above, so below . . . As below, so above . . . As within, so without . . . As without, so within. It’s all one big enchilada.
I want to make a note here that I will be leading a Ba and Akh day-long workshop at Camp Chesterfield where I live on Sept 26th. I hope you can join me.  I say this because we can do the work of ascension and burning up karma individually, but it elevates the planet exponentially when we do it together. The pharaoh in his shamanic initiation certainly had all of his priests and entourage preparing him for and awaiting his return. All their thoughts were moving with him in unison.
Focused consciousness creates a wave of energy that moves in a determined form. Consciousness that is unfocused on an outcome creates particles that move in a random pattern. We know this model from quantum physics. Observed light creates light waves, and our minds are electrical structures. Focusing our attention on an ideal amplifies its energy into wave forms moving in unison.
You may also be aware of the idea of entrainment, which means that smaller vibrations follow the pattern of the strongest vibration. All of the clocks ticking in a room will eventually follow the rhythm of the loudest and strongest ticking clock in that same room.  The stronger the wave form the more it leads the others.  Apply that idea to consciousness and you will understand why I believe that group work and meditations for planetary healing are a potent use of group consciousness.Of course, every individual is a conduit for light energy, but like-minded individuals gathered together create a bundled channel of energies like a light-filled fiber optics cable.
The living masters (who have no observable form on this plane) and their initiates use the power of the one group combined with their own to exponentially raise the energies. In particular during the full moons the ascended masters D.K. and Kuthumi transmit their teachings to create a fellowship and empower all humankind and planet Earth. Groups working together, meditating at the same time with the same intention, create an even greater voltage for affecting change.  We can create a planetary change and that work is vitally important now.
Just as many of us consciously at work to manifest a positive change, many are perhaps unconsciously manifesting negativity through their actions, thoughts, and the astral realm of disharmonious emotion.  Just as we meditate to calm the warlike turmoil of an Islamic State, we must meditate to calm the rampant materialism of our own culture. We must combat such mind-numbing materialistic propaganda (“as seen on TV”) with mindful meditations that set our planet on a better, more compassionate path.
         The idea is for each of us to keep burning up our individual karma and not adding to it. To regenerate our culture from the ashes in which it now rests, we must focus our love upon the task. Wherever you are in your life right now is a launching pad for the phoenix. As I look out, I can see that each of you is a light worker, conscious, fully alive and working on planetary healing. I thank you for your love of this sacred work.