Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paper Trail


On My Night Stand
  • McSweeney's #24
  • The Mythic Tarot-Sharman-Burke, Greene
  • The Mythic Image-Joseph Campbell
  • Discovering The Mind-Walter Kaufmann
  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces-Joseph Campbell
  • The Stars-H.A. Rey
  • Metamorphoses-Ovid, trans Rolfe Humphries
  • Vacation-Deb Olin Unferth
  • Remainder­-Tom McCarthy
  • Tarot and the Journey of the Hero-H. Banzhaf
  • Everything That Rises-Lawrence Weschler
  • Reading Like A Writer-Francine Prose
  • Deep Economy-Bill McKibben
  • The Shape of Things To Come-Greil Marcus
  • Black Elk Speaks-Neihardt
  • Your Code Name Is Jonah-Edward Packard
  • Parzival-Eschenbach
  • D'Aularies' Book of Greek Myths
  • D'Aularies' Book of Norse Myths
Actively Reading
  • The Mythic Tarot-Sharman-Burke, Greene
  • Tarot and the Journey of the Hero-H. Banzhaf
  • McSweeney's #24
  • Remainder­-Tom McCarthy
  • The Stars-H.A. Rey
  • State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America
  • Paradise Lost-Milton
  • Skinwalkers-Tony Hillerman
Listening To
  • Radio Retaliation-Thievery Corporation
  • Dear Science-TV On The Radio
  • Sound Of Silver-LCD Soundsystem
  • Begin To Hope-Regina Spektor
  • Kala-M.I.A
  • Dark Side of the Moon-Pink Floyd
  • Ziggy Stardust-David Bowie
  • In Rainbows-Radiohead
  • Wall-E
  • Garden State
  • Adaptation
  • East Of Eden
  • Cloverfield
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Frida
  • The Fountain
  • Australia
  • City of Ember
  • Aimee Bender

Sunday, February 22, 2009

keep looking up! (the deal)


Here we meet the god Hermes, guide of travelers, patron of thieves and liars, ruler of magic and divination, and bringer of sudden good luck and changes in fortune.  He is called the Trickster because he is deceitful and ambiguous, yet he is the trusted messenger of the gods and the guide of souls into the underworld.  In Greek myth Hermes was the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and the mysterious nymph Maia, who is also called Mother Night.  Thus he is the child of both spiritual light and primordial darkness, and his colours--red and white--reflect the mixture of earthly passions and spiritual clarity which are part of his nature (21).
~The Mythic Tarot. Sharman-Burke, Greene. Fireside, New York: 1986.
"Mercury, the God of Roads, who was also know in Greek mythology as Hermes Psychopompos, which means he was known as the guide of souls, and is shown in the Hierophant (V) as the educator and guide in the outer world, and in Temperance (XIV) as the actual guide of souls through the night (191)."
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero. Banzhaf. Samuel Weiser, York Beach, ME: 2000.


"Venus, the Goddess of Love, is reflected by The Lovers in her light aspect.  Her dark pole is shown in the passionate entanglement of The Devil (191)."
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero.

Lucifer |ˈloōsəfər|
1 another name for Satan . [ORIGIN: by association with the [son of the morning] (Isa. 14:12), believed by Christian interpreters to be a reference to Satan.]
2 poetic/literary the planet Venus when it rises in the morning.
3 ( lucifer) archaic a match struck by rubbing it on a rough surface.
ORIGIN Old English , from Latin, 'light-bringing, morning star,' from lux, luc- 'light' + -fer 'bearing.'

"Mars demonstrates his springtime power in the departure of the hero on The Chariot (VII), whereby The Tower (XVI) reflects his overturning force, but primarily his warlike and destructive aspect, which can lead to either ruin or breakthrough (191)."
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero.


So, am I the only one who thinks that The Chariot on the Mythic Tarot looks like George W. Bush?  It really fascinates me and makes reality all the more tenuous.  Then consider that Mars (who is Ares, the God of War, in the Greek system, cheating w/ Aphrodite on Hepaestus) has two moons:  Phobos and Deimos.  And the meaning of those two names?  Terror and Fear.  Amazing.  The Tower is an archetype linked inextricably with George Bush.  Many wanted to call him The Devil.  Pan?  The Great All?  He is connected to the Labyrinth and the tower, but I don't think so.  Not the Devil.  He is Mars.
Here we meet the war-god Ares, who was said in myth to have been conceived by Hera, queen of the the gods, without male seed.  As god of war, Ares reveled in fighting.  His two squires, Deimos (Fear) and Phobos (Terror)--sometimes said to be his sons--accompanied him on the battlefield.  Unlike the goddess Athene, who as a war-deity represented cool strategy and foresight, Ares was in love with the heat and glory of battle itself, and with the exultant unleashing of his strength to challenge the foe.

Ares was in many ways an unappealing god because he was associated with conflict and bloodshed, and Olympian Zeus and Athene disliked him for his brute strength and lack of refinement (39).
~The Mythic Tarot.
"Here we meet great Zeus, king of the gods, whom the Greeks called All-Father, creator of the world and sovereign of both gods and men.  In myth, Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Cronos and Rhea (27)."
~The Mythic Tarot.
"In classical antiquity, Jupiter was considered to be the highest judge over gods and human beings, in Heaven and on Earth.  This is expressed in Justice (VIII), which stands for the laws of the world, as well as The Star, the symbol of the laws and wisdom of the cosmos (191)."
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero.

My idea of Jupiter as expressed in Justice/The Star is bound up with the American system of government in its three branches.  Zeus/Jupiter represents our systems of power as seen in both its sacred and secular authorites.  Laws of men and laws of the universe, or of God.  Think of the King (or emperor) his power to rule is sanctioned by God and by man.  I can't help but think of gangsters in regards to this.  It is the western/patriarchal view of power.

So to deconstruct this.  Firstly, It is interesting that The Magician, Hermes, is expressed in both a male and female aspect.  The Goddess, Venus, which I read as The Magician's counterpart, The High Priestess, is expressed mostly in a duality: love/[d]evol.  Jupiter is not expressed in a m/f duality. His two aspects are both feminine. Depending on my decks and sources, Justice is either Athene or Dike--Roman: Justice.  The Star is Themis, Dike's mother.  The mother represents heavenly or divine justice and her daughter corresponds to earthly justice.

I want you to know that with most things there is never a perfect 1 to 1 ratio.  Symbolic meanings are loose and shifting.  Often times I think that there is only one card and the "other" cards address its polar opposites in varying degrees.  So, in the past I have called Obama The Star.  I have also attributed The Star as the light half of one's Anima, one's guide through the underworld.  Now it is supposed to be a branch of government?  Maybe.  So let's think about this. It would make sense that the President is the leader that is expressed in two aspects, the law giving and law interpreting bodies.  That doesn't really fit with heavenly and earthly justice, but oh well.  America does lean heavily on the feminine iconography.  So Justice is blind is the Judiciary, and her "mother" is the legislative, is the star, is The Mother, is Isis located on top of the Capitol Building?  Sounds good.

I suppose the important point is to remember that Zeus/Jupiter/Yahweh is The Father.  That should probably be the title on the card.  God, The Father.  And his son is the sun, the savior, thus making The Emperor, The Godfather.  So who is the Godfather's father?

"In its light aspect, Saturn shows himself as the wise old man in The Hermit (IX), whereby his difficult side that lets fear arise from constriction corresponds to The Moon (XVIII).  And this card represents the last test on the path (191)."
~Tarot and the Journey of the Hero

All I want to say is that I found it so very fascinating that John Locke encountered Christian Shephard holding a lantern in the episode, "This Place is Death".  John met him at the threshold, just before he pushed on the frozen donkey wheel (wheel of fortune).

"Cronos was banished, some say to the depths of the underworld, but others say to the blessed Isles where he sleeps, awaiting the beginning of a new Golden Age (52)." ~Mythic Tarot

Time to come home Dorothy!

Monday, February 16, 2009


clover |ˈklōvər|
a herbaceous plant of the pea family that has dense, globular flowerheads and leaves that are typically three-lobed. It is an important and widely grown fodder and rotational crop.

Genus Trifolium, family Leguminosae: many species, in particular red clover ( T. pratense) and the creeping white clover ( T. repens).

in clover in ease and luxury : if your sister married the old codger, we could be in clover.

ORIGIN Old English clāfre, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch klaver and German Klee.

Mostly, this is an update post.  What am I up to?  I am just letting you know what I've been thinking about. I've been fascinated by the Kaguya moon probe.  I note with interest the study of the "far side" (what is often called "dark side"). 

I'm interested in Revolutionary Road.  It plays into a theme I talk about at the bottom of this.  One reason I'm interested is Jack and Rose back together.  The Titanic is one of those egg shell cracking "mega rituals" that the blob was discussing recently.  I would argue that every time our faith in material is unwavering, the tower archetype comes down.

I saw Cloverfield a few nights ago and can't get it out of my head.  Amazing!  It adds to what I've been working on, which will be the subject of a very large post that I've actually unknowingly been working on now for two years.  It is a consideration of the darkness with the idea of finding a new hero.  Joseph Campbell challenged me more or less with the idea that Jesus is irrelevant due to time and space.  A hero needs to be relevant to the land he is the hero of--the literal actual land, and to the time/cosmology he is hero of.  Since Jesus, we've had the Copernican revolution, an entirely new cosmology.  With that in mind, I set out my senior year of college to find the new mythology.  This coming comprehensive post that I've subconsciously continued to research since I presented my findings in my senior thesis several years ago will present this hero.  It will take some time though.  Before that post, I will have another foray into archetypes using a planetary model.  This will be similar to my earlier journey.

I do want to talk about Cloverfield, but think that I should save that material for later.  Well maybe a little commentary.  My wife experienced this movie almost purely as a 911 film.  And I can't disagree w/ this. The intention behind Spielberg's War of the Worlds was probably the same.  911 might have even been Cloverfield''s inspiration, but I read it differently. It is our now.  The monster is in eden.  It destroyed the bridge.  This is our financial crisis.  New York is the financial center, and it has been abandoned/destroyed. Some associations:  central park, the heart of New York?  Movie starts and ends there.  Monster is in the heart.  "Beth" looks like Jennifer Connelly from Labyrinth(we've been watching this a bit again lately). Central Park is where The Happening began.  The heart of this movie is a love story.  Paradise Lost is the theme right now.   Genesis and Revelation are connected.  Beginning is ending is beginning.  It is important to know why you are here.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Our stock in trade here in our space (synchromysticism) is film, and I take these pretty seriously.  When asked to "define" myself once through movies that I like, I answered doubly.  I said that the best film is probably Citizen Cane, but my favorite film is It's a Wonderful Life.

A recent opinion in the New Yorker's "Talk Of The Town" besmirched George Bailey, and got it wrong, completely wrong.  The piece, by Adam Gopnik, was thinking about hope in that space between Christmas and Obama.  The focus of the piece had to do with the financial crisis that we are all beginning to think about now every second, every day.

Basically, he blamed the current crisis on George Bailey and The Building & Loan.  For some reason, this really bothers me.  The little guy is not our problem.  George Bailey did nothing but promote a local ethic. He lived and thought locally.  He shopped and ate locally.  

I think there was a bit of inherent classism in this piece, intimating that a small business owner like Mr Martini would be better off renting or wasn't good enough to own.  How much money does one need before they are not allowed to fail? People make bad decisions, but George Bailey created a web of community connections building strength and relationships into the community.  He was a hero of the people.

Mr Potter is an emblem of what is wrong with this county.  Dollar first.  More. Better. Cheaper. Faster! Money is the top priority.  We do what we do with profit as our guiding light.  George Bailey put people first.  He was not motivated by greed.  He would have nothing to do with subprime lending, and it is insulting to have this film read this way.

Our problem is our identification with material.  We will not find happiness in material, and we will lose our real treasure in this quest for material.  Think on this difference again from my 10:01:

I understand George Bailey.  He wants to be a "Big Man."  But by not being a "Big Man" he ends up becoming bigger.  So maybe it is better to have and be nothing.  Know what you serve.

Remember that you vote everyday with your money.  And the most important decision you make is how you eat.  Live and eat local.  Instead of more, better, cheaper, faster, try seasonal, fresh, local, organic--in that order.  Don't support Mr Potter.  Make him irrelevant.  Be a part of your unique community.  Grow something this year.  Grow the New Earth.