I was kindly invited by Chance Garton to return to his InnerVerse Podcast, to continue our conversation on numerous facets of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories of Middle-earth and the Land of Faërie, and to explore what it means to recover and integrate mythic consciousness into our awareness.
The first hour of our conversation is available publicly, and can be accessed through the InnerVerse website or listened to directly below. In the first hour, we discussed the esoteric wisdom of Tolkien’s works and how in the Perilous Realm, one will find mystical enchantment and mortal danger in equal measure. We spoke about legends of the huldufólk, Iceland’s hidden people, the mythic consciousness of our ancestors, and how the love of language, the magic spelling of words, and the archetype of the inner child can help one recover the beauty and wonder of life.
In the second hour, which is available to Patreon supporters of InnerVerse, Chance and I explored the misenchantment (a term coined by Matt Segall) of culture through media and materialistic belief systems, Tolkien’s final tale Smith of Wootton Major, the Queen of Faërie at the heart of the imaginal realm, and the Elvish mediators between spirit and matter. The second hour is well worth the listen, and Chance’s podcast is most definitely worth supporting as well through Patreon!
To listen to the first hour: Re-Enchanting the World and Tales from the Perilous Realm
To listen to the second hour: InnerVerse on Patreon
Although Matt Segall and I started our conversation at our local lake this Saturday afternoon, we found the wind and other sounds to be too intruding in the recording—thus, we came back home to continue our dialogue on imagination, mind, and nature.
Casual Wednesday evening musings with Matt Segall on the power and place of imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.G. Jung, war, art, psyche, and cosmos.
A dream came true for me this week when I had the opportunity to be a guest on Chris Brennan’s The Astrology Podcast. We ranged through a variety of topics, beginning with my background in archetypal astrology and what it is like to be a second generation astrologer, before picking up the topics of the Archai journal, why C.G. Jung’s Red Book is important and relevant to astrologers, and the connection between outer planetary cycles and the unfolding dynamics of world events.
To listen to the episode: Becca Tarnas in Outer Planet Cycles and Jung’s Red Book
I am deeply grateful to Chris Brennan for the invitation to converse with him on one of my favorite podcasts!
A year ago I was interviewed by Cintia Detre for her project Warriors of the Shadow: A Bold Request for Worldwide Emotional Intimacy. She describes the conception of this project as follows:
The Warriors of the Shadow project was born out of my desire to embody the alchemical procedure of solve et coagula on multiple octaves—separation and conjunction, the blade of Mars and the chalice of Venus, to confront all our fears that stand in the way of love. It touches many orders of relationships, the one with ourselves, with other humans, humanity’s relationship with nature and with the imaginal realms. As such, the project itself took on a peculiar journey, changing our relationship with space and time as we know it.
Listening back to this interview a year later, I find it prescient to hear the themes we were exploring, and how much more concrete they feel in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Together we discussed the archetypal qualities of the Saturn-Pluto, conjunction which reached exact alignment this year, exploring the role of shadow-work, birth pain and the multiple meanings of contraction, and the importance of community while taking on our own small but essential tasks amidst the monumental work ahead.
It was an honor to participate in this conversation, and I am grateful to Cintia for the opportunity to speak about these ideas and images.
Chance Garton, the wonderful host of the InnerVerse Podcast, kindly invited me to participate in a truly rich and deep conversation on The Lord of the Rings. We began by discussing my book Journal to the Imaginal Realm, and soon expanded into innumerable Tolkienian subjects, delving into the First Age of Arda, the cosmogonic music of the Ainulindalë, Tolkien’s notion of sub-creation and how it relates to Coleridge’s ideas of the Primary and Secondary Imagination, and many other such enticing subjects.
The first hour of our conversation is available publicly, and can be accessed through the InnerVerse website or listened to directly below. In the first hour, we discussed the source of the human imagination, the Atlantis myth as told in Middle-earth, the parallels between the Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien, and the means by which great stories are able to immerse us in an enchanted otherworld.
The second hour is available to Patreon supporters of InnerVerse, and I must say it is well worth subscribing to hear the places our conversation took us (as well as to have access to all the other wonderful episodes in the InnerVerse archive!) In the second hour, Chance and I explored Tolkien’s use of Venusian symbolism, the archetype of the syzygy of Solar and Lunar, Tolkien’s critique of industrialization, the enigmatic character of Tom Bombadil, as well as wading into the difference between polarity and binary, Solar feminine and Lunar masculine, and of course the essential topic of ecological crisis and our relationship to the Earth.
To listen to the first hour: Journey to the Imaginal Realm: Archetypes in The Lord of the Rings
To listen to the second hour: InnerVerse on Patreon
As Chance said: “Get ready for an unexpected journey!”
By the way, if anyone feels compelled after listening to this episode to join my course Songs of the Spheres that is being offered through the Music As Medicine Project, please do get in touch. Although the course has already started, we have been recording the classes and new students are welcome to catch up and join our wonderful cohort!
This short clip filmed by Susan Hess Logeais for her film on Stanislav Grof, The Way of the Psychonaut, is my attempt to define what an archetype is and how it relates to astrology, in the context of the philosophical and psychological lineages informing the archetypal perspective.
I recently had a wonderful and engaging conversation with Scarlet and Dan of the Cosmic Keys Podcast, in which we discussed spirituality and astrology, the metaphysics of archetypal dynamics, ecology and climate change, and of course, the connections between the Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien. We also discussed my upcoming course Songs of the Spheres, which begins February 17 (for those still interested in registering!) The episode begins with Scarlet and Dan giving a tarot and astrology forecast for the week of January 27–February 2, 2020.
The episode can be listened to through the Cosmic Keys website, or directly below.
Over the last couple years I have kindly been invited by Acyuta-bhava Dasa to present for the Nightlight Astrology School on topics dear to my heart: “The Astrology of J.R.R. Tolkien” and “The Astrology of Jung’s Red Book.” I am now sharing the videos of each of these presentations, which were recorded about a year apart. Thank you to all those who expressed interest in seeing these presentations and who have waited patiently for the recording!
While my dissertation research focused on the parallels between the Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien, these two presentations treat their works separately, viewing them each through an astrological lens. If the presentations are viewed in conjunction, you will certainly see the overlaps and parallels, in the timing of events and the correlated astrological transits, and in the symbolic content of each.
The Astrology of J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien is best known as the author of the fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, first published in the mid-1950s and now translated into almost 40 languages. Tolkien first began writing about the world of Middle-earth during World War I, and continued doing so almost until the end of his life in 1973. Although he is best known as a writer, Tolkien was also a visual artist and an extraordinary linguist, holding a position as a professor of philology at Oxford University in England. As his close friend and colleague C.S. Lewis once said: “He had been inside language.” Drawing on an archetypal astrological perspective, this presentation will explore the natal chart of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as his transits during the creation of some of his major works of art and writing.
The Astrology of Jung’s Red Book
Recently, new scholarship has been emerging demonstrating the essential role astrology played in the development of C.G. Jung’s analytical psychology. Although Jung kept his practice of astrology relatively concealed, he was using it regularly with his patients. With particular focus on Jung’s remarkable manuscript Liber Novus, better known as The Red Book, this presentation looks at the role astrology played in shaping Jung’s psychology and world view, drawing significantly on Liz Greene’s work to explore the astrological symbolism throughout The Red Book, as well as the transits Jung was experiencing at the time of his self-described “confrontation with the unconscious.”