Reflections on Baby Chicks

Reflections on Baby Chicks

I’ve never smelled the baby chicks in their warming boxes, but I know the smell as if i had tended them in my youth, when love called, melting my heart in a saffron glow of feathers and high strung words, said low and soft, recalling.

Little yellow chicks in an Easter basket at Spring in the lazy Sunday Valley, just a skill to spin a yarn so aglow in downy dumb, dumb, dumb, pecking eyes like Shakespeare’s one day dream.

Wood in crate with a perch just so, preening green at Christmas for my love to carry you through the Crepe Myrtle trees to Whimsy, sun flickering here and shading there, and beaming like a lamp on warm beaks, and fuzzy berth water buckets.

A little slow down on the farm of future dreams unrequited, in twenty four hours of innocence, before the warming lamp alit thy sly plot.

A time bomb you say, traveling all the way from Frederick in another era, aglow, aglee, to show me some treasure purchased for a pretty wheat penny or three.

A curiosity, you say like some mysterious package wrapped up tight in another man’s cologne spilled on your black leather boots walking around me in circles, grinning with red painted lips not really but just as well.

The prized find, just a three headed monstrosity of mythology stuffed up right to impart a meaning now dawned. Nothing here, you say, no message for you today, but jesters play at remember Luther the chicken man, no, you wouldn’t know.

Your grotesque projection of some ancient chicken box cutthroat moment of yore, blind from all the pecking hens, so you cannot see the little rabbit sniffing Rosemary out back, beyond the house of chickens past, unmoved, not really but just a hare.

I dare a whiskered sniffle toward an empty nest and turn my long ears south to the land of Avalon’s poetry.

– TanyaBaby Chicks

Eikpyrnir

A trumpet sounded, the first seal was broken and the scroll read…

Eikpyrnirs mighty hoof comes crashing down into the underbrush, standing valiantly, horns pointing heavenward.

And the pointed caps cry,
“Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla Lives. Long live Eikpyrnir!”

And there in the green grass turned blood red, the hunter rests his head, a hoof print in the center of his forehead, panting, bloody tendon between his teeth.

And the robed ones shout, their voices rising, “Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla lives. Long live Eikpyrnir!”

The hunter will die by his own hand, on some fortnight in a dark moon soon, as his bow rings out across the forest, a boomerang arrow in his tainted liver, a quiver no longer needed that carries the old medicine home.

And the mystics sing, “Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla lives. Long live Eikpyrnir!”

And that mighty snorting Stag of red turned white leaps off into sun born woods a glowing with an orange sunset shimmer.

The priest and priestess raise their arms and chant, “Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla lives. Long live Eikpyrnir!”

And Eikpyrnir returns in the dreams of the Seeker to establish a new kingdom when and whence wherever an old one dies.

“Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla lives. Long live Eikpyrnir!”

…And the rivers rise again, swallowing up that dark Knight.

The hunter and the hunted.

And a low tone snort escapes my lips, and I raise my warm breath in the cold morning air to whisper, “Eikpyrnir the Hart of Valhalla lives. Long…live Eikpyrnir!”

And the man on the grassy knoll, ensconced in his conical white tent triangle chants, “Holy! Holy! The fourth is born.”

– TanyaEikpyrnir

Finding Purpose, Are You Living Today or Are You Dying Today?

2015

I had the most heartwarming conversation with a lady who suffers with Vascular Dementia. She is very resentful and bitter because she has spent her whole life caring for others, and has worked hard to have a debt free home, and now has been court ordered to stay in a secured community.

She was found sleeping in her car in an antiques mall parking lot late at night, her license was taken from her, and she has no memory to help her understand why she needs a secured community.

She tells me she worked for a phone company in marketing and used to drive staff to training in neighboring towns. She states she has never even put a scratch on a car! She says she went to Presbyterian Church and never missed a Sunday! She cared for her first husband as he died from cancer. She cared for her second husband as he died from Alzheimer’s. She cared for her daughter as she died from a bug bite after returning from a high school trip overseas. She raised three successful, professional sons.

My wisdom for her is no different than for you or me. “You’ve done so many wonderful things in your life, but what are you doing today? I don’t know why you are here, but I know there are no accidents. You are here for a reason, someone here needs you, perhaps you are here to teach me something.”

She hopes to be released at a six month assessment. I tell her…”if you get kicked out in six months, I want to be there to give you the boot!” She says I better make it a tall boot! I tell her, “but….if you are kicked out in six months, I wouldn’t want your time here to have been for naught.” You see, I am trying to help her find a new purpose for her life, and acceptance of a situation she has no control over. I do not want her to spend her days bitter, on her sofa. I want to see her living today, laughing, not dying today.

Are you going to live today or are you going to die today?…the only true decision there ever is…which one will you run with? We have this conversation daily as she doesn’t remember from one day to the next. I tell her I don’t know what the judge will decide in six months, but it helps me in these situations to remember I only have to do my best, do the next right thing. I tell her we are only responsible for doing the next right thing, outcomes are Gods department.

She tells me this morning…”today I shared the breakfast table with the new lady…and she ate all her breakfast, and smiled and thanked me. It made it all worth it…to see her smile!” Her deep faith seems to have helped. Then she smiled and thanked me for my advice. I smiled and thought…your smile and thank you make it all worth it.

Finding purpose…

Catalysts that Initiate Embodied Knowing; Reflections on Individuation, Synchronicity and Ritual

Catalysts That Initiate Embodied Knowing:
A Commentary on Claire Polansky’s The Archetypal Cauldron. Published in Paranthropology, Vol. 8 No.1, Monday, March 27, 2017.

Tanya Hurst

Claire Polansky in “The Archetypal Cauldron: A Clinical Application of the Ecosophical Anti-Hero in Art Therapy and the Hebraic Lore of the Golem,” presents the art therapist as modern-day Shaman or Witchdoctor, performing an important service by guiding clients into the underworld where they might undergo a personal transformation akin to the alchemical transmutation of turning base metal into gold. She compares the creation of a clay figure in art therapy and that of the Golem in Jewish mystical tradition. She compares the work of the Rabbi and the Witch’s summoning of entities to that of the work of the therapist. Finally, she alludes to a connection between the dichotomy of the hero and anti-hero, and the dualist separation of man from nature; suggesting the potential of transpersonal psychology and quantum theories to provide unification.

To extract Polansky’s timely message, I concerned myself with the symbols she presented using depth perspectives developed by C.G. Jung. Those who embark on individuation can attest that this endeavor opens a dialogue with Psyche, whereby we can discern deeper meaning. This led to an overarching metaphor, later confirmed, and its meaning deepened by a dream. The best example of individuation as change agent for a new paradigm (which in my opinion is the central message of Polansky’s article), is to present depth perspective in action. There is not enough space available to address the subtle differences of various approaches that are compared, (some being religious, while others do not concern themselves with religion) but in agreement with Mark A. Schroll concerning the naturalness of what has been called supernatural (Schroll 2012, 2016, p. 130), Jung has said, “There is nothing mysterious or metaphysical about the term ‘transcendent function’…the psychological transcendent function arises from the union of the conscious and unconscious…” (Hull 1968, p. 273), and “magical practices are the projections of psychic events which…exert a counter influence on the soul and act like a kind of enchantment of one’s own personality. That is to say, by means of these concrete performances the attention…is brought back to an inner sacred domain which is the source and goal of the soul. This inner domain contains the unity of life and consciousness which, though once possessed, has been lost and must now be found again” (Miller 1977). In this respect, the individuation process is contained within all cultures and traditions. [Editor’s Note: I have moved Polansky’s discussion of supernatural from her article, and it is now a separate commentary titled “Reflections on the Supernatural and its Relationship to Spiritual Emergency/Emergence” (2017, this volume, pp. XX). Regarding individuation, related aspects of personality development are explored in Schroll’s “Envisioning a Cosmic Archetypal Model of Personality: The Meaning of the Cover Design” (2017, this volume, pp. XX)].

Introduction

What metaphor is found in Polansky’s Archetypal Cauldron? I suggest the metaphor of the Golem is “conscious embodiment,” and links the client’s transformation to modern Ecosophical concerns. In opposition to positivism guided by objectivity and deductive logic, sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman, “credited with developing the social constructivist perspective, postulate that truth, or human meaning, is a varying, socially constructed and ever-changing notion” (Blackstone 2007, p. 3). In light of Bohm’s presentation of holoflux (Schroll 2013, p. 2), individuation serves as a change agent in healing the dichotomy of psyche and Physis, as in our modern social constructs. (Physis, better known as Protogeneia, is used here according to its social use since the 3rd century, to indicate nature in absence of soul. The term formerly carried a more holistic meaning.) Bohm’s correlation in physics offers hope for a bridge between mind and matter. Psyche confirms this correlation as does Jung, who said, “the individuation process…created new structures from old ones” (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p. 14). Turning our attention to symbols, we can trace the creation of “new” structures and how this might inform our future.

Exploration of Symbol

The Rabbi forms clay into an image of man and imbues it with divine spark (fire) by the addition of the tetragrammaton (four Hebraic letters for truth). Four is a symbol for wholeness, the man complete. Polansky noted this is reminiscent of the first man, Adam, formed from earth, spirit breathed into his nostrils by God, “embodying” the prima materia with the spirit of life. In alchemy, it is fire that creates transmutation from base metal to gold, and I am reminded of the “two” baptisms, first by water, then by fire, which I will return to later.

The client’s daily uniform of hiking gear and wilderness survival, with his zodiac assignment to twelve friends offers another symbol. This image reminds me of Moses forty years wandering in the desert and the twelve spies he sent, who returned with reports of alarm. Further connection to Moses is the client’s self-professed “rebel” nature, recalling Moses’ disobedience that prevented him from entering the promised land. These symbols allude to the client’s Judaic roots, but psyche communicates with symbols meaningful to the individual. The number twelve also brought to mind the disciples of Jesus, another Savior figure. The client said he had the ability to save mankind in some post-apocalyptic future. The savior motif alerted me to a possible complex as well as the client’s potential for transformation, the image of Christ representing the “God in man,” or “embodied divinity.” The Jungian concept of the archetypal “hero” is the image of Savior, but archetypes carry the potential for both positive and negative energy, and the potential for creation or destruction. With complexes, parts of the whole are repressed from consciousness, leaving the individual living one-sidedly, often to his own detriment. Jung said this “one-sidedness is intended by the individual and is fostered by all the means in his power, whereas the complex is felt to be injurious and disturbing” (Jung, par. 255).

The client’s complex is revealed by his identification with such symbols as the magician, court jester, vampirish nature and the Joker from D.C. Comics, Batman, or what can be called the archetypal “trickster.” Trickster is the savior in negative aspect, embracing chaos and disobeying the normal rules of convention by using trickery and deceit to progress through life. Trickster appears on the scene when current paradigms become outmoded and no longer work to the benefit of the individual or the collective. Trickster’s role is to wreak havoc on constructs that have been accepted blindly, pointing out cracks in the system that cannot be ignored. While the trickster archetype is a-priori, magnification has increased in our modern era in such creative works as the television series, Vikings, and the rise of interest in Viking lore. Loki is a Trickster figure from the old Norse mythology in the Poetic Edda by Snorri Sturluson. (Loptson) This magnification of Trickster in collective creative pursuits signals and affirms we have entered a time of reckoning. Even comicbook lore has seen the magnification of Trickster, or the anti-hero, as explored in Bridging Transpersonal Ecosophical Concerns with the Hero’s Journey and Superheroes through Comicbook Lore: Implications for Personal and Cultural Transformation:
Asking why there is this counter-cultural and cross-cultural fascination with superhero stories is a good question. Could it be because hopelessness, angst, and anomie are a planet-wide crisis as the 21st century continues to unfold? This is a question that deserves its own in-depth inquiry in future research projects, whereas the current article has a more preliminary focus which is an inquiry into the archetypal significance of comicbook heroes and their demonstrations of transpersonal ecosophical themes. (Schroll and Polansky, p.X, this volume).

Synchronicity

A conversation with analyst Russ A. Lockhart referenced the “zodiac symbols to the passing of the ages, as we currently leave the age of Pisces and move into the age of Aquarius, the first zodiac sign to resemble ‘man,’ a transitional time of chaos that coincides with the 6th Great Extinction” (Lockhart personal communication, January 8, 2017). This highlights an experience of “synchronicity,” a term Jung used to connote an acausal connecting principle, where two seemingly unrelated events occur having personal significance to the observer. This communication had personal significance as I explored the number twelve as symbol and the assignment of zodiac signs.

I experienced a dream where David Bowie appeared before me, larger than life, and communicated to me via thought in the form of symbols that may have been ancient Hebrew. The symbols imparted the idea of “embodied divinity,” though much deeper and esoteric. I searched online for “David Bowie” and “Embodied Divinity,” which pulled two hits, the first a YouTube recording of Bowie’s song, “Heaven’s in Here.” The second a reference to Bowie’s esoteric study with a photo of him drawing the Kabbalist “Tree of Life.” Having no formal study of Kabbalah, I researched the symbol which revealed the Tree of Life as “Keter to Malkuth describes the descent from Godhead to the physical realm,” further expressed as “Keter to Malkuth and back again, Spirit to Matter through the stations on the tree.” My psyche made a connection between Bowie and Kabbalism during my exploration of this article that I would not have made in waking life, thus confirming the overarching metaphor of “conscious embodiment,” or “spirit in matter.”
The Tree of Life prompted exploration of Bohm’s implicate and explicate order and re-enfoldment (Schroll 2013). This idea is similar to what Jung was imparting when he developed the idea of archetypes as a-priori forms, existing in the unconscious. On archetypes, Jolande Jacobi said “archetypes are not inherited…[they] are a structural condition of psyche, which in a certain constellation (of an inward or outward nature) can bring forth ‘patterns’…inherited possibilities. He further explained, “we presume them to be hidden organizers…the ‘primordial patterns’ underlying the invisible order of the unconscious psyche; down through the millennia their irresistible power has shaped and reshaped the eternal meaning of the contents that have fallen into the unconscious, and so kept them alive. They possess no material existence…[but] must first be endowed with solidity and clarity, clothed as it were by the conscious mind, before they can appear as ‘material reality,’ as an ‘image,’ and in a manner of speaking, ‘be born’” (Jacobi 1974 p. 51-52).

Ritual Space for Active Embodiment

Through active imagination, clay and other art forms, sand play, poetry, automatic writing, chant, prayer and meditation, and dream work, we enter a dialogue with unconscious images thereby accessing the transcendent function. When the therapist gives a guided direction to form an image of anti-compassion, she invites this dialogue. The ritual brings contents into physical reality through symbolic art that allows one to “take action” to bring about physical change to the invisible reality of the unconscious. As long as an image remains unconscious, it has no material form and cannot be acted upon. Ritual creates a container for unconscious elements to be acted upon in the material world for psychological transformation.

The earth-based mystical traditions appear to have a vital role in holding sacred space for aspects of psyche attempting to be constellated in conscious awareness. Nature traditions have long provided a container that acknowledges the oneness of spirit and matter, and the balanced masculine and feminine aspects of divinity. Circle Sanctuary, a nature spirituality church founded by Selena Fox in 1974, says of the pagan worldview, “the theme of interconnectedness represents a fundamental component of the Pagan worldview,” and “pagans view all of Nature as alive and imbued with spiritual energy,” further explaining “the Wiccan religion is animistic in that every human, tree, animal, stream, rock, and other forms of Nature are seen to have a Divine Spirit within” (Carpenter 2017, p. 3). In the 1950’s Jung remarked, “Alchemy is an old science, but also a new science that is only now beginning to unfold. It reflects upon the mystery of relations between things, and upon one’s relationship to the cosmos. It has only been a relatively short time since this kind of awareness has re-emerged. Up to the last few decades there were few voices of concern for the health of our planet, and the state of the environment” (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p, 17).

The Use of Fire in Ritual

Returning to elemental fire and its relevance, and the importance of having traversed the initiatory rite in order to act as guide, I will briefly discuss the use of fire in magical practice. During a shamanic ritual led by clinical psychologist Bridget Wolfe and Shaman John Curtis Crawford, I had opportunity to participate in a blindfold excursion into the wilderness to the beat of the drum to enter the chthonic underworld. The journey culminated in creating a clay image while blindfolded and having felt my way into the earth. The ritual used elements of water and earth in shaping the clay, and air in the form of a whispered name. I was given instructions for completing the work on return home by setting fire to the clay in an earthen kiln created by digging a hole in the ground. This final act of putting the image through fire was heavily stressed.

My experience of various pagan rituals including Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidic Arts and Shamanic Journeying, witness all four elements engaged in ritual. An elemental reading with Oriental Medicine Practitioner and founder of Cherry Hill Seminary, Kirk White, who holds an MA in Counseling Psychology also included four elements corresponding to organs and bodily functions in relation to “chi” or life expectancy.

My purpose in discussing fire concerns the closing symbol in the article. The therapy included elements of water and earth in the clay, the element of air by giving voice to the client’s struggle, but did not include fire. This omission may account for the ambivalence in closing the work in relation to future prospects concerning fire, whether it be used for creative or destructive tendencies. This is revealed in the client’s remark, “Don’t mistake Prometheus for Icarus.” When the therapist places the image in the secret shelf, I am concerned whether the archetype has been illuminated but not fully constellated. In magical practice, the four elements form the “circle,” or whole. As I continued to have concern about the absence of fire in the ritual, I reached out to Russ Lockhart to share my synchronistic experience and discuss the element of fire. This interaction was very helpful to me in understanding my angst. In the client’s work, Dr. Lockhart noted, “the fire is the course of permanent manifestation of the object, as in firing it in the kiln. Course equals Source.” (Lockhart Personal Communication, January 13, 2017) Will he keep the pending date? Is he cured of suicidal ideation and self-harm? Will he move into more compassionate relation with the world and his fellows?

Archetypal Birth in Symbolic Form

Exploring the dismembered man in the box tray, I affirm the box as coffin, but also “bier,” reminiscent of baby Moses being “delivered” in a basket on the river Nile. The client has “sacrificed” his lower self/ego, “vampirish god” because it is not life-sustaining. The addition of Venus to the tray, an image that supports the male figure, is an incorporation of his anima (feminine), or inferior aspect, thus unifying the opposing masculine and feminine in his character. The anima aspect in man brings with it the capacity for love and relation, compassion and nurturance, affecting his relationships with other women. The ritual performance allows the client to “act upon” his unconscious contents giving material form to the archetype attempting to be constellated. We witness the “burial” of the old self, but also see hope that when the new god is delivered, it will be a more whole, life-sustaining form. We witness in the therapy process the “shadows mysterious purpose in dissolving old structures so that new ones can be created” (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p. 15). Jung further references the relevance of unification of anima and animus, “when we see these two lights in their alchemical guise as symbols of Luna and Sol and their many interacting transformations, then anima and animus take on a far richer, less culture-specific form” (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p. 15). Jung echoes this again when discussing the gap between religious worldviews of the father god that do not acknowledge the primordial matriarchal world which was overthrown (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p. 25).

Individuation and the Holoflux

Bohm’s description of the holoflux is an opportunity for healing the dichotomy of psyche and Physis, or the mind/body problem (see Schroll 2013). If quantum physics acknowledges a connection between spirit and matter, we could be on the cusp of an entirely new era concerning our natural world and place within the cosmos. The implications for religious tradition, our understanding of mental emergency, the way we perform scientific inquiry, and our responsibility to environment, other species and fellows is quite staggering. Bohm proposes an invisible, implicate order acts upon the material world. He further proposes that as man increases conscious awareness, this awareness re-enfolds from the explicate (material) order and acts upon the invisible implicate order, thereby changing the implicate order by our very consciousness, a mutually developing relationship. This proposition was mirrored by an additional synchronistic encounter and reading of “The Transformation of God” (2016) by Rev Yakov Leib Hakohain, a Rabbi of Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah of Donmeh West, and the belief that God not only affects a change in man, but that man through conscious awareness, affects the nature of God or “redeems” God, indicated in the western world by the shift of God from punitive to loving.

Conclusion

Polansky has illustrated the important role the art therapist plays in the mysterious dance to wholeness by using timeless tools for creating dialogue with psyche, as well as the individuation process as change agent toward a life-sustaining future. By exploring the symbols from a depth perspective lens, we see psyche sending us not only a “report of alarm” as the spies sent out by Moses once did, but also a path toward ensuring the birth of a life-sustaining future society. We ignore the message at our own peril, recalling “one can be gripped by the positive numinosum and have mystical experience, or dragged into dregs of demonic compulsion, acting out destructive impulses” (Schwartz-Salant 1995, p. 29). Concerning our present social climate and the imminent environmental and humanitarian threat, we witness the resulting collective chaos with the magnification of Trickster. As we enter a new age, will we heal our collective psyche/physis dichotomy to give birth to something new? As my synchronistic dialogue with the senior Jungian analyst revealed, “What comes next is a mystery and for this, Jung noted, we look to the imagination to give us clues” (Lockhart personal communication, January 9, 2017). We have seen the way in which guided ritual can provide a container for individual transformation, and we see in recent “Water is Life” protests to the North Dakota Access Pipeline, the use of collective ritual in the form of drumming, dancing and prayer by the Standing Rock Nation indigenous coalition and their supporters. Magical practitioners consider “liminal space,” to be the high time for performing rituals of change. Liminal space in the magical use of the term constitutes a transitional state such as the stroke of midnight, noon, break of day, nightfall, standing between an area that is half sunlight and half shadow, doorways, arches, and periods between endings and beginnings. (Liminal Space Workshop by Kirk White, MA, Hallowed Homecoming 2016) I witnessed energy workers travelling to the United States Capitol on the eve of the inauguration of our current president to perform ritual during that liminal time. As we traverse through the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius, we find ourselves standing in a cosmic liminal space, and an opportune time to make use of ritual engagement for collective change on a grand scale for a new paradigm of Transpersonal Ecosophy (Schroll and Polansky). My hope is we open a public dialogue and begin the process of imagining a more sustainable future to explore the possibility of a unification of psyche and physis or, as Native American traditions might say, “Father Sky and Mother Earth.”

Bibliography

Blackstone, A. (2017) Principles of sociological inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative methods. Flat World Education, Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2017. http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/3585?e=blackstone_1.0-ch02_s02.

Buckland, R. (2001) Wicca for life: The way of the craft from birth to Summerland. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.

Carpenter, D. (2017). ‘Spiritual Contours of the contemporary Pagan worldview.’ Retrieved January 5, 2017, from https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/about-paganism/spiritual-
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HaKohain, R. L. (2002). Donmeh West: The Neo-Sabbatian collective of the Internet. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from http://www.donmeh-west.com/.

HaKohain, R. L. (2004). Donmeh West: The transformation of god. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from http://www.donmeh-west.com/transformation.shtml.

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Hull, R. F. C. (1973). The portable Jung. Fifth Printing. New York, NY: Princeton University Press as Bollingen Series XX.

Jacobi, J. (1974). Complex, archetype, symbol in the psychology of C.G. Jung. Third Printing. New York, NY: Bollingen Foundation.

Jung, C. (1969). “The structure and dynamics of the psyche.” Collected Works, 8. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Loptson, D. (2017) Loki in Fjolvinsmal: Laevateinn and Lyr. 2015 Hugginns Heathen Hot. Retrieved February 18, 2017. http://www.heathenhof.com/?s=Loki .
Miller, I. (1977). ‘Mythic living: Metaphorical and heuristic perception: Mythic imagination and genealogy.’ Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://jungiangenealogy.weebly.com/mythic-living.html.

Miller, I. (1986). ‘Synergetic Qabalah: Introduction to alchemy in Jungian psychology and alchemical imagination: Making psyche matter.’ Retrieved December 20, 2016, from http://zero-point.tripod.com/alchemy/alchemyclass.html.

Penczak, C. (2004). The inner temple of witchcraft: Magick, meditation and psychic development. 1st Edition, 3rd Printing. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

Polansky, C. (2017). ‘Commentary: Reflections On the Supernatural and its Relationship to Spiritual Emergency/Emergence.’ Paranthropology, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. XX.

Schroll, M. A. (2012). ‘Reflecting on Paranthropology.’ In Jack Hunter (ed.), Paranthropology: Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal. Bristol, UK: Paranthropology. pp. 59-67. This chapter is a revised and expanded version previously published as “Reflecting on Paranthropology: Commentary.” Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 17-20, 2011.

Schroll, M. A. (2013). Understanding Bohm’s holoflux: Clearing up a conceptual misunderstanding of the holographic paradigm and clarifying its significance to transpersonal studies of consciousness. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp 2-17. Retrieved December 18, 2016 from http://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/ijts-transpersonalstudies/vol32/iss1/13/#.WFWFMZLH6jI.facebook. Reprinted in Schroll, M. A. (ed.) (2016). Transpersonal ecosophy, Vol. 1: Theory, methods, and clinical assessments: Reflections on sacred site dream research, the mind/body problem, parapsychology, spiritual emergency/emergence, transpersonal psychology, the anthropology of consciousness, and more. Psychoid Books: Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, U.K., chap. 3, pp. 4-90.

Schroll, M. A. (2016). ‘The physics of psi: An interview with Stanley Krippner: chap 7.’ In. M. A. Schroll, (ed.), Transpersonal ecosophy, Vol. 1: Theory, methods, and clinical assessments: Reflections on sacred site dream research, the mind/body problem, parapsychology, spiritual emergency/emergence, transpersonal psychology, the anthropology of consciousness, and more. Psychoid Books: Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, U.K., pp. 129-151.

Schroll, M. A. (2017). “Envisioning a Cosmic Archetypal Model of Personality: The Meaning of the Cover Design,” Paranthropology, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. XX.
Schroll, M.A. and Polansky, C. (2017). “Bridging Transpersonal Ecosophical Concerns with the Hero’s Journey and Superheroes through Comicbook Lore: Implications for Personal and Cultural Transformation.” Paranthropology, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. XX.

Schwartz-Salant, N. (1995). Encountering Jung: Jung on alchemy. USA and Canada: Princeton University Press.

Biography

Tanya Hurst is pursuing graduate study in Counseling Psychology with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling and Depth Psychology. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from James Madison University, Virginia, with concentrations in Environment, Technology & Innovation, Political & Global Analysis, and Social Inequality & Public Policy. Her research interests include consciousness studies from a depth psychological perspective and its applications for personal and social transformation toward a more holistic approach in our relationships with one another and our natural world, the positive effects of early childhood trauma, and accessing anomalous knowing for guidance. She has led workshops on Synchronicity and the Ancient Art of I Ching and is currently working on her first book, Tales from a Bone Woman, One Woman’s Journey to Her Self, that chronicles the experiences of early childhood trauma and the development of anomalous ways of knowing. She enjoys collecting personal histories through face-to-face encounters in community, developing historic town tours, chasing meteor showers and hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah Valley.
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Heart Medicine

She was writhing in pain from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. In the fetal position. None of the medications were able to touch her pain. I walked in and knew, and I said, “Oh…She needs to be held, like an infant.” The care manager on duty said, “I’ll hold her.” So I bundled her up in my arms, and wrapped her in a soft blanket, and placed her in the care managers lap. The care manager wrapped her arms around her. She tucked her head into the care manager’s shoulder, under her chin, and she fell asleep. I kissed her on the cheek.

Seconds later, I am told that he is not doing well, either. I look at the med-tech on duty, and I don’t know who told me this once a very long time ago, but I recall the words often, and I repeated them to her (and to myself), “Okay. Now we have to find that place deep inside us, so we can go…and do it all over again.”

Her son tells me how she was a field nurse in WWII, and used to tell him stories about being charged with carrying the soldiers from the field…and sometimes there was no help to be had for them…and she could only hold them in her arms.

Sometimes you just have to use heart medicine to fix things.

Another care manager comes up to me afterwards, and says…”I just saw eagle energy. You have the wings of an eagle, and you soar.”

“When searching for our Mother in the air, or in the cosmos, or in the wee morning hours, we musn’t forget to look under our feet, for the foundation she has given us is a solid one.” – Hope Edelman

Yeah, eagle energy.

So…we exit his room, informed that sometime within the next 2 days, he will pass over the rainbow…

to the sounds of peppy music from the 50’s for the birthday bash.

I look at the med-tech and she looks at me. We quickly shake our heads slightly at the…distance between life and death. I raise my eyebrows and with eyes wide open, and one last shake of my head…

and mascara running down our faces…

we start snapping our fingers and doing the “twist” as we dance the group to the birthday bash and caution them to have fun and to try to stay out of trouble.

Then, hours later, in the late of night, I am sitting with his family. Grief and coping are such an individual thing. Some folks reflect on happy memories, and some folks set the grief aside for a time, to explore in private. So…I go in to check on the terminal agitation of the gentleman who will soon transition. His daughter is almost finished with her PhD in Sociology…and so ensues a conversation into relative sociological theories.

Again, that distance…between life and death…is so infinitesimal, yet profoundly infinite. The emotional roller coaster has left me half numb now, centered…so we discuss Marx, and Weber, and odd things like the sociology of language, and sitcoms, and such…and there are giggles and exasperation and inspirations while profound helplessness and resignations loom all around.

Heart Medicine.

When Yakov Speaks

When Yakov Speaks

Fall 2016

I am so confused at the moment. None of my life’s lessons are helping me. I don’t know how to trust anyone or anything right now. I try to listen to my intuition, but even it does not know the way. I wait for signs and read the synchronicity but even those seem baffling. I don’t understand anything right now. Nothing makes sense. It’s like death, but I don’t know what is dying and what is being born.

Autumn Fog.

It’s all wrapt up in grief and time, and holding on and letting go. “Don’t stay where you’re not wanted.” But I don’t know what to hold onto or what to let go of, or to hold onto nothing and to let go of everything. I think I have it figured out, but then it slips through my fingers, and I am lost again. “When in doubt, wait it out.” I don’t know the message, I can’t find the purpose. Wrapt up in responsibility, sacrifice, and joy. How to know when joy should be sacrificed, and to what end, and if ever, and for how long, but what is joy? When does sacrifice yield joy? Does it ever? Is it real? How do you know the difference between self-sacrifice that destroys you or self-sacrifice for higher purpose? How much do you sacrifice, for how long, if ever? Do you never? What does that accomplish? I do not know the way.

Autumn Fog.

I ask the question and wait for the answer but when it comes bearing fruit, it is transformed ever deeper and yields more questions without answers. Dead ends. What do you trust? And risk. I am methodical. I plan. I do not take risks. I do not make snap decisions, and yet that has yielded no better outcome. When do you jump? Do you jump? Where do you jump? What is jumping? I wait and wait, and time does not discriminate. What is time? What if there was no measure of time? How much time is time enough? How much time is wasted time? I walk in fog, exploring uncharted territory. No beginning, no end.

Autumn Fog.

I am looking for a box, so I might open it, and read the message written there, but what if it is a blank scroll? Is there a box? Didn’t I craft a box long ago? Who has taken it away? And safety. And experience. And joy. And why? The autumn and the quickening. Do I allow it to rejuvenate, once again, or do I snuggle under crinkly leaves? Rest.My hair is tired and wet with the fog. Is there time enough? Is it time? Cruel trickster, where are you hiding?

Tell me Yakov.

Rebbi Yakov Leib HaKohain responds: I’m flattered that you ask me. I’m reminded of Alice Toklas who asked Gertrude Stein on her death bed, “Gertrude, what is the answer?” To which Gertrude replied, just before she expired, “Alice, what is the question?”

You really do drive a hard bargain. I love you, Yakov. Thank you.

Basket of Pomegranates

Basket of Pomegranates

It is a tragic experience to be able to see a Soul, so deeply, so clearly, yet be unable to breach the borrowed black mirror they hold up like a shield, which prevents reflection, when love pings the surface, too soft like an unsubstantial summer rain at the end of a long, dry spell, after the growing time has past.

An old woman cackled from somewhere, “He cares too much.” And I believe her, sacrificed a baby long ago, spade by spade, a silent little boy under hoary soil, and twigs, and cold fires.

I have pomegranates to spare, from who knows where, collected from a fence post one, and in an old abandoned boat in Scotland, and one offered up by a Mermaid, and another hit me on the head once in reverie beneath a fine sky at noon in the mountains gifted.

I’ll leave a basket on the porch and perhaps when the poison apple is spit, he will find them, the pomegranates, the gift long forgotten.

A snow white king stag sleeps under the burnt hawthorn branches, but I see a cinder there that does not belong to me, knowing fire is not my element, I burnt my hand to lift the antler to the table in Thanksgiving, and for that I am grateful.

At the Edge of the Woods

img_2528At the Edge of the Woods

I wish I had answers but I only have stories.

An old recliner, I sit at the edge of the woods.

I was once comfortable.

Lest you forget.

A man died in my comfort.
Smiling that day.
Proud of his gay son.

Shall we sit a spell and reflect,
Together.

He liked to golf and save old things, polishing his shoes with a careless whistle, sipping tea.

Lest we forget.

I heard a nurse say,
“He was so happy you found love!”
Tears ran down the son’s face, and he replied,
“I was always afraid to ask…”

You have curled up to sleep in me,
And the cat, purring on your lap
Remembers.

A gift from a son,
I sit in silent snow talking.

Someone said I have no value.
Snowbirds beneath my skirt, a secret feast on cookie crumbs and a story.

Lest we forget,
How to stay warm in winter.
I wish I had answers but I only have stories.
Things you never heard me say.

– Tanya

Oklahoma Rose Rock

Oklahoma Rose Rock

Something, something, there is something here…something like, perfection, something like worth…and I find myself wondering how clean will be clean enough? Something like acceptance, something unconditional, something like so much beauty in what is real, which is not perfect, and then, no perfect lines in nature, and what is a natural line? And well, I hear some words drift on the wind from days of yore, she said, it was okay if my linen closet wasn’t perfect before the guests came, they would judge it so harsh, the in-laws, but I never, they never, white glove in the dust, and then, hotel options or else, and this morning I preferred to spend an extra hour in the morning sun with the dogs, they so love the morning sun. Or something like that, and that poem by Rebecca, “When the Muse comes to visit,” and I said, “Come on in and tea, you know.” And, how do you want to spend the time you have been given? And, well, not dusting, dirt is. When dust draws a line in the sand or a red Rose grows in good dirt. And we colored pictures that day, just sat down in the middle of the unpacked boxes, and made memories. The picture isn’t finished yet, and yet, yet it is a Perfect Rose. The tears fall at the end of the trail and our memories make rock roses that cannot be washed away.

– Tanya

Write it Down

It was September 23rd, and I entered the room of the frail German man…

He was declining quickly, not eating or drinking, this man who only weeks before was caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s, and who, now, would not allow himself any care in return.

I ask him if there is anything I can do for him…

“No. No!”

Then he asks: “What day is it?” and I tell him it’s September 23rd. He says: “Can you write it down for me? It is my father’s death date. It’s very important.”

His father was taken during the German occupation and brutally murdered. His body wasn’t found for two years, and then, in a ditch, so no one ever knew his true date of death.

In the field, this is what we call a “sign,” when the threshold between here and there is thin, and the dead speak to the living.

I said: “Oh! What was his name?”

A beautiful smile appears, and in that strong, German accent, with emphasis, he says: “Otto!”

I say: “Oh, my fiancé’s father was German also, and he has passed on as well.”

“Wvhat vus his name?”

Trying to imitate his strong German accent, with emphasis, I say: “Osmar!”

“Write it down!”

“You want me to write down Osmar’s name?”

“Yes! Write it down.”

I write “Osmar” under “September 23.”

“Whven I see him, I tell him, you guhd girl!”

Today he will be so happy to see Otto!

And I am one hundred percent certain he will put in a good word for me to Osmar.

Some goodbyes are tougher than others.

When I share the date with his family after he has crossed over the rainbow, they tell me the story of Otto, and how they have never known the date of his passing. They tell me this is very important information and they mark it on the gentleman’s calendar.