Climate Change, the Megaliths and the Stars : an introduction

image by Paul Taylor
“The more we know the more we realise how much we don’t know.”

In a recent article at Funkastrology titled ‘Zodiac Signs, Fixed Stars and Precession’ Jamie Partridge presents a strong case for overhauling popularised practices within astrology that are based on outmoded and misleading astronomical and astrological concepts. The article exposes the imperative need for revision and realism. Without it, divinatory practices, such as astrology, that rely on precision in establishing relationships, measure and values cannot offer full resonance, and therefore, real meaning in their readings. We need to return to the fundaments through our current knowing while moving forward, and the Funks (Jamie and his partner, co-author and astrologer Marina) are certainly going there! Follow the link and take a look at the article for a clear view of the facts and issues involved, as well as their excellent website.

As a diviner, reading Jamie’s article woke up something of an old memory, a reminder that such challenges as we are now facing had raised an absolute necessity for radical change in ancestral times, perhaps even more so than at present and certainly not only for divinatory purposes. The post sparked off a train of thought that has developed into this article – the following comments are where it all began :

“I am with you on astrology and astronomy being one in our past. Navigating by the fixed stars has an instinctive electric ring to it that feels different from the vagaries of the planets. The scientists have been telling us for years that cosmic rays from the stars affects our DNA!

Am also pulled by the idea that adaptation and survival needs brought out the hunter gatherer to agri-culture shifts – in the face of post glacial rapid climate change (theres hard evidence for a fifty year window in which that climate change happened – that’s freaky fast and uncomfortably familiar) – the shamans were there already and I’m sure their roles changed within those shifts………

Heres a goofy idea….

How would it be if EVERYTHING changed back then? Theres plenty of evidence to support the otherwise wacky idea that those rapid changes were set off by an axial shift of this planet – the skies orientation/motion would have changed with it and necessitated upgrading the astrology and cosmology [to something more like that which] we recognise now in the process.

Wouldn’t this have complicated and diversified the already existent astrological arts and call forth the need for a different kind of precision. Is it in that context that fixing everything became more of an issue (including precession – Earth began to wobble)? Next thing you know you’ve got the ancestors of science telling us how it is. (Can anyone explain why Uranus rotates on an ‘horizontal’ axis?).”

So much in our times reflects the experience of such a global shift; our concerns in the face of global warming and climate change bring up old fears deeply embedded in our collective memory – increasing earth movements, volcanic activity, tsunamis, flooding, massive damage to our biosphere through ecological disasters and environmental mis-management, wars and political tensions, not even to mention economic meltdown, overpopulation, massively unbalanced distribution of wealth and resources; the list goes on and puts it beyond doubt that this a traumatic and tough time to be alive in – we KNOW we need to change – and so, if our ancestors have survived and thrived through such immense challenges, what can their story and their legacy tell us that will help us traverse these challenges in our times:

First, let us consider a contraversial but persuasive argument – that the post axial-shift culture shock and subsequent changes actually precipitated the development of the megalithic culture as a way of re-envisioning the as-above-so-below thingum – this is supported by indigenous wisdom and collective memory. Megalithic culture reaches back to these times, roughly 13K years, and is a global cultural phenomenon. Post glacial melt has hidden a part of our past and, although in some parts of the globe the land lifted as the weight of the ice diminished, over the first 6k years of this period the sea level rose by over 100 m. Although much is now submerged of the predominantly coastal settlements from the late paleolithic, many sites from the subsequent Holocene period are now found on stable higher ground. Archeo-astronomy shows clearly the astronomical connections of site after site around the world – by the time sites like the Avebury complex and Stonehenge were being constructed this culture would have developed a grounded and in-depth understanding of the new cosmology as well as the technology to embed it – the sites are teleological. Heres a thing, for example……

Avebury Henge

 Avebury is interesting in this respect and demonstrates a profound understanding of cosmological relationships – (call it coincidence if you like, but…) the angle formed by the north south entrances to the circle are aligned at 23 degrees to the true north – this just happens to be the angle of the Earths axial tilt – the inner circles are aligned to each other at a similarly close angle. Infact the whole site displays stone placements that relate to ancient units of global measurement and proportion. On top of this the Avebury site has distinctive acoustic properties as well, and although in our times these only become apparent in the quiet of night, the original configuration of the large stones and the surrounding bank would have enhanced these apsects. This would have added heightened resonance to the space and amplified subtle nuances in the energy field of the inner space, both physical and metaphysical. There are many ways in which the henge would have been used which are no longer obviously visible to us, including astronomical divination. However, without even going into the metaphysical and spiritual attributes of Avebury (we will look more closely at this at a later date) this megalithic site alone gives much food for thought.

Whatever your persuasions……Many researchers have assembled countless pages of data and information relating to megalithic sites that support views, theories and postulations across a wide spectrum of disciplines and interests. Even though many are contradictory and at odds with each other there can be no doubt that collectively they confirm one thing – that the amount of data and skills embedded in these two megalithic centres alone is immense. They were, and still are, obviously open to being used as places of learning, cosmological and terran, and it would be my contention that the mode of learning would have been initiatic as well as technological – we will begin to explore this more in pt 2. They represent a huge investment in the people and their culture – they also represent a living legacy of our indigenous selves.

Let’s take a brief look at this investment for a moment. The effort involved in building these sites must have been immense – it has been calculated, that the shaping alone of the Stonehenge sarsons (and these are big stones weighing up to 50 tonnes or more) would have required 20,000,000 hours of work – that’s five hundred people working for 10 years – and, yes, there are wide variables that could decrease or increase this figure. Some of the stones at Avebury are twice as weighty, and even if not obviously worked, this provides endless speculation and experimentation in just how the stones were transported and located. There are astonishingly accurate measurements and alignments involved in their placements. We are talking here about setting up ‘resonance’, an immensely important function in divination, astrology, metaphysics and establishing an harmonic physical correspondence between the earth and the Cosmos. Resonance here becomes the active state of a gateway to mystery……

And what of the legacy? The building of Silbury Hill, a 130 ft high human made conical mound at Avebury henge also remains a mystery. Many visitors, however, will testify that, with an open heart and mind the place speaks volumes. Avebury can affect us profoundly; just being there can be an elevating and emotional experience, can highten our sensitivities and expand our awareness. In such states astronomical observations naturally transpose into astrological divination. Mayan diviners are famous for setting the precident. And so, it was with great good fortune I found myself joining a small party of people who met up with Hunbatz Men, a Mayan Daykeeper (calendrically divining shaman) when he visited the UK in 1993/4.

He came to Avebury and confirmed that it was a part of the global pyramidal network in which his indigenous Central American culture figures so prominently. He also ‘read’ at least one crop circle while he was there – his conclusion was startling – his understanding told him through the glyph that the Earth was out of position! We will come back to this……

Equinox serpent at Kukulcan
Equinox serpent at Kukulcan

Now, this is going to seem a little more tangential, but, imagine what we could build in our times with the amount of time, energy and insight invested in building Stonehenge – a hadron collider – clean energy technology – or perhaps we already waste that amount of time end energy many many times over on destroying each other and our planet?! If you factor in the global connectivity of our times the latent people-power becomes exponentially world changing. It is no wonder the powers-that-be in our materialistic era have so much vested interest – so long as it is controlled, people-power is the fuel for realising the governing agendas – unleash that power, and this means a radical internal shift, a shift in how we experience empowerment, and what could we achieve – a different world, and just perhaps, a lasting peace…..was this one of the prime movers for our ancestors astronomical efforts?  If they were suffering post-traumatic shock, ‘catastrophobia’ as some have called it, wouldn’t they also want to find equally radical ways of healing  it……

There is some irony in this, as the very nature of the changes that helped develop the megalithic culture to its heights also enabled the transference of power into rationalised structures within communities – so called ‘matriarchial’ societies became, gradually, subjected to ‘patriarchal’ control.

I have wondered many times, after Hunbatz left, if he was simply reflecting on the evidence and feeling of the prevelant culture in the UK – we are unashamedly materialistic. I knew that his journey carried personal significance to him at the age of 52. It is his people’s tradition that in their fifty second year the male elders make their ‘final’ journey out of the village, before they become rooted in the communal role of Elder. I knew he was looking to drum up support for the return of his people’s spiritual practices to their sacred sites, practices outlawed by the governmnent if carried out by Mayans. His ruse was to invite westerners to take the Mayan’s place, offering initiations on the key equinoxial dates, to reactivate the sites. My partner at the time went to the ceremony that re-activated Chichen Itza. I spent three very fresh and remarkable nights on top of Silbury and at Avebury complex connecting in with her – joining the two sites at the calendrical point of balance.

We had exchanged sacred artifacts, and on her return, exchanged them back in a small ceremony on the point where the obelisk had stood within Avebury circle. Now, Chichen Itza’s key structure is the Temple of Kukulcan, a 90 ft high pyramid which itself is cosmologicaly encyclopedic. The active symbol at the equinox is the shadow of the feathered rainbow serpent Quetzalcoatl – it is formed perfectly, on the equinoxial day only, zigzaging down the steps on the northern side of the pyramid to join with a carved feathered snake’s head. Just as we completed our re-union ceremony at Avebury a line of people came weaving in a dancing line between the stones around us – we did not know them, but, they brought the energy of Quetzalcoatl right home to us and Avebury. They were zigzaging a snake dance amongst the stones…..spirit will always show a way for those open to it. And, it is true that for us to find a path of reconciliation with our planet, small confirmations of this kind are made to look somewhat insignificant – indigenous wisdom, however, will tell us that they all count. We need them to count on a vast scale – with our connectivity it is just possible that we may find the crucial homeopathic dose….

I have little doubt that what Hunbatz had seen in the crop circle was a wake-up call and confirmation. I also have little doubt that he subsequently did everything he could to divine and heal this displacement, not least of all as it is the diviner’s prerogative to identify the corrective and the shaman’s to aid its realisation. In respect of this he also knew the meaning of people-power and even had a minimum number he needed to re-activate the sacred places. There is so much that we may think we have lost, and yet, it is all right here if we choose to see it. And is re-activation of our sacred places on the agenda? Will we listen to our diviners and astrologers?

avebury_aerial[2]The legacy, the investment and the corrective are converging in our times at a nexus point of necessity. We are now facing similar threats, on a global scale, to the rapid climate change experienced by our ancestors. We also know that we need a global culture shift that will correct and release us from the shadow of our past traumas and mistakes. Our shamans are still among us. They will no doubt echo back to us the displacement of spirit that our material culture has imposed upon the world and help us transit this time of radical healing – to Hunbatz, as to virtually every shaman I have ever met, to speak of the Earth is to speak of the whole living totality of Life here – and that reaches well beyond the visceral tangibility of our mundane senses. I feel that he was addressing the inner healing of spirit and matter that permeates our culture as a pathological necessity. More people visit our ancient megalithic sites now than ever did so at the time of their building – it is not without reason.

In a perfect way the megalithic cultures, as well as the astro-cultures that we have divided, into -ology and -onomy, are brought back together again in these ancient sites in a surprisingly pertinant way. This is not to voice some atavistic urge – it is to recognise our heritage, our indigenous intuitive and instinctive knowing. Just so long as we are open to recieving, we will also find healing there.

To be continued…….

Owlmirror pt 1

 

image by alicepopkorn

The name Owlmirror comes from the translation of Eulenspiegel, a legendary C14 character who embodied ‘trickster’ medicine, of the indigenous kind. He has many stories associated with him that show just how much of an ‘upsetter’ he was – he was given to unpredictable and outrageous behaviour and often made the establishments of the Church and the ruling classes the butt of his pranks. As a result Eulenspiegel has become both vilified and venerated in time – however, do not be fooled, he was all about challenging and changing prevalent paradigms of consciousness and that is where Owlmirror comes in. 

Indigenous medicine and Eulenspiegel!? Well, yes – here is a case in point. In our times the word ‘indigenous’ has become synonymous with that which is unadulterated through westernisation, although this is more of a reflection of the rifting that has occurred between ‘the people’ and the Earth through industrialisation and mechanistic solutions to living than to the assertion that pre-industrialised communities are ‘primitive’. Eulenspiegel would jump on the hubris of such an assertion, and rightfully so, as the ‘indigenous’ is more akin to an indicator of our original humanity than a reflection of inferiority – he would scorn superiority in favour of fidelity – he would champion the original selfhood of our humanity and then say ‘but they can’t touch you for it’. 

The whole thing becomes much more complex when ‘medicine’ is brought into the mix. To the mechanistic way of thinking medicine demonstrates and is founded upon science. Science is to religion what religion is to indigenous medicine – the proof of our transcendence over ignorance – at least to the converts of scientific ‘faith’. We are moving away from the ‘devils’ towards the ‘angels’ and from the ‘angels’ towards the pharmaceutical companies. 

However, to a guy like Eulenspiegel the power of the Church was an affront to his humanity and he would always be the true mirror of pompous self aggrandisement – he was prone to shiting in churches! Today he might be found at work as an agitator in the face of corporate greed. Greed too was one of his pet targets. So, you begin to get an idea of Eulenspiegel’s nature – he was controversial and provocative – but, it is equally true to say that his outrageousness served to bring attention to the rights of the individual – being an heyokah his extreme behaviour was both the lens and the catalyst for awareness. To the unwitting ‘victim of his attentions’ he would be the asbo worthy delinquent who should be punished – to the savvy he would be the willing risk-taker for social change and equanimity. To those blessed with the ability to see the funny side he would be the homeopathic dose of hilarious sanity that made life worth living in the face of control and oppression. He would challenge us all to wake up and wise up! 

It is his ‘medicine’ that makes the difference – that word heyokah. How do we relate to this idea in our present world? Indigenous medicines are much closer to spirit than the church was ever comfortable with. ‘Devils’ are the denied personified rationalisation of freewill combined with spirit. The reverse hubris – a reflection of the personifier’s own shadow. Repressed selfhood that is subservient to ‘authority’, whether it be the ‘authority’ of the Church, the State, the conglomerate or of the ego – or the status-quo! Eulenspiegel had an healthy ego there’s no doubt, and the ‘powers-that-be’ would perceive and vilify his ego as that of an outlaw. And yet, it is the Heyokah’s purpose and gift to bring attention to the true nature of Law. Here is meant the spiritual and natural law of humanity, of Life, of our indigenous relationship with the divine. Sometimes it takes an injection of the absurd to snap us out of our cultural self absorption and pathological miasma. We are so much of the time dead to the world, culturally stunned while dreaming of it. 

Could we blow the dusty cobwebs of our death oriented culture away from the natural beauty of our minds. our spirits and our world we might just discover that we are where we have been all along – inextricable miracles of self-aware Life embedded in the mysteries of our personal and collective journeys, a journey in which death is but a halfway house, a turnstile leading to a deeper understanding of where we have been, where we are going and, more to the point, of where we are NOW. A fart from the joker would do it! 

Eulenspiegel did nothing if live in the moment. He was deeply itinerant, a great traveller, and yet, paradoxically, without an apparent destination. Like so many displaced persons he lived close to the earth, the earth of our own absurdity within the midst of everyday life. His medicine was an expression of irrepressible spirit – effulgent and magical, slightly scary even. 

If you have ever been to the circus or stood amongst the crowd around Morris Dancers or powwow gatherings you will no doubt have seen him clowning around – in the old english tradition of Morris Dancing there is usually a Fool, wielding an inflated pig’s bladder on a stick, catching you unawares and bashing you with a Zen slap of the absurd balloon. That’s him – we love him! Heyokah medicine is good for our Health…. 

Stay tuned to Owlmirror and join the Dance!