Re-Enchantment and Its Shadows

My friend and colleague Tom Purton and I will be presenting for the PCC Forum on the subject of “Re-Enchantment and Its Shadows,” next Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 pm Pacific time. The idea for this talk was conceived at Esalen, and it has taken on new significance in the shadow of our current global pandemic. The talk will take place on Zoom, and anyone who is interested is most welcome to join: https://ciis.zoom.us/j/478093649. To join, please message me for the passcode.

Event Description
In the account of human history provided by Robert Bellah, the mythic mind—the place of narrative, sentient nature, and enchantment—progressively yields to the theoretic mind, the place of science, rationality, and skepticism. Myth became fairy-story, fairy-story became fantasy, and the embedded quality of myth in our everyday lives was cut adrift. Can this seemingly inexorable process be stopped, or can it perhaps be alchemized into something new, something reborn? And if the mythic mind is the mind of enchantment, what might be its own shadows?

Becca Tarnas and Tom Purton will explore these questions using excerpts from The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Apocalypse Now, and other films and stories, and will look at the attempts made by Tolkien, Heidegger, Aurobindo, and others to find enchantment’s remaining havens.

About the Speakers
Tom Purton, PhD, holds a MA in Psychoanalysis and a phD in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness from CIIS, writing his dissertation on the connections between Stanislav Grof’s work and Hindu thought. He is presently completing a diploma in Sanskrit and post-graduate study at CIIS. His research interests include Kleinian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, transpersonal psychology, Indology, literature, and philosophy.

Becca Tarnas, PhD, is a scholar, artist, and editor of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. She received her doctorate in Philosophy and Religion from CIIS, with her dissertation titled The Back of Beyond: The Red Books of C. G. Jung and J. R. R. Tolkien. Her research interests include depth psychology, literature, philosophy, and the ecological imagination. She teaches in the Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is author of the book Journey to the Imaginal Realm: A Reader’s Guide to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Nazgûl

InnerVerse Podcast

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!” 

 

Music and Astrology with Chris Flisher

I once again had the pleasure of joining Chris Flisher on his podcast Turning of the Wheel to have an engrossing conversation about the connection between music and astrology, spoken about within the context of my new course, Songs of the Spheres! We discussed the natal aspects of several different musicians and the songs that exemplify these aspects, as well as looking at the deeper relationship between the sacred mathematical structures that underlie musical frequencies and astrological aspects alike. 

The podcast is available for download or can be listened to here: Songs of the Spheres.

Turning of the Wheel

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!

Publication of Issue 7, “Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology”

It is with deep joy that I announce the publication of Issue 7 of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, titled Historical Roots and Current Flowerings. The issue is now available in paperback, and will soon be released as a Kindle ebook as well!

To read two preview articles written by Laura Michetti and Daniel Joseph Polikoff, please visit our page Current Issue page.

The seventh issue of the Archai journal has been long in the gestation process, and seemed to be awaiting the exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto before coming to birth. The issue was completed during the New Moon in Aquarius, on January 24, 2020, just twelve days after Saturn and Pluto made their exact alignment in Capricorn. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with each author for this issue, and I am immensely proud of the result and so grateful for all that the authors have contributed.

The issue is dedicated to the late Gerry Goddard, in honor of his significant contributions to the intersections of archetypal cosmology and transpersonal psychology. We had the privilege of including in the volume one of his pieces of writing, titled “Toward an Astrological Model of Consciousness.”

Archai 7 Front CoverAbout the Issue:

The historical roots of archetypal cosmology extend across the globe and deep into the reaches of time. This issue draws together several such lineages, while also turning toward further flowerings of archetypal cosmology in the contemporary world, such as the theoretical connections between astrological archetypes and psychological types. The contributing authors—including Laura Michetti, Petr Lisý, Daniel Polikoff, and Gerry Goddard—offer articles on such historical subjects as the Persian origins of the Saturn return, the importance of Prague in the development of transpersonal psychology and archetypal cosmology, and the Romantic and poetic lineages of those same disciplines. Richard Tarnas explores the role astrology can play in our current time of crisis. The issue closes with three book reviews on the subject of C. G. Jung’s relationship to astrology, and the significant collaborative role Toni Wolff held in the development of analytical psychology.

Table of Contents:

• Laura Michetti – “Persian Conjunctions and the Origins of the Saturn Return
• Petr Lisý – “The Archetypal Tradition of Prague”
• Daniel Joseph Polikoff – “Rowing Back: The Romantic Origins of Transpersonal Psychology
• Michael Kiyoshi Salvatore – “Astrology and Psychological Types”
• Richard Tarnas – “The Role of Astrology in a Civilization in Crisis”
• Gerry Goddard – “Toward an Astrological Model of Consciousness”
• Gustavo Beck – “C. G. Jung’s Textual Firmament: A Review of Safron Rossi’s and Keiron Le Grice’s Jung on Astrology”
• Safron Rossi – “A Review of Jung’s Studies in Astrology: Prophecy, Magic, and the Qualities of Time and The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus: Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey by Liz Greene”
• Becca Tarnas – “An Astrological Review of Toni Wolff & C. G. Jung: A Collaboration by Nan Savage Healy”

To order a copy of the issue, please visit: Historical Roots and Current Flowerings

Transits for the Aquarius Lunation

The midpoint of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere is defined by the Sun’s passage through Aquarius, the fixed air sign traditionally ruled by Saturn. This lunation’s transits come to you in the middle of the month, just past the Full Moon, because I have been traveling through one of Earth’s most wintry climates: Sápmi, the portion of Scandinavia that lies above the Arctic Circle and is home to the indigenous Sámi people.

Thus, these transits can be used both to look toward the next upcoming weeks and as a retrospective for the days that have passed since the Aquarius New Moon.

Leo Full Moon

Transits of the
Aquarius Lunation

*January 24 @ 1:42 pm PT* The Moon sidles into Aquarius in time for the New Moon. We are in the dry, airy midwinter season where seeds planted must stay in the cold hard Earth and await germination patiently. The seed that is slow to sprout may outlast the winter storms. Set intentions that will endure beyond just this next lunation cycle.

*January 25 @ 11:06 am PT* Moon-Mercury in Aquarius sextiles Sagittarius Mars. Bantering exchanges between family, housemates, and close friends. Bringing intuitive ideas into action.

*January 26 @ 5:37 pm PT* Exalted Venus in Pisces squares Mars. The dance of the lovers, graceful athleticism, the igniting kiss, erotic fantasies, delusion and dreams of romance.

*January 27 @ 12:00 pm PT* Venus conjoins Neptune in Pisces. Exquisite beauty, transcendent and spiritual love, impossible romantic ideals, otherworldly desires, the swirl of art nouveau aesthetic delights.

*January 28 @ 2:34 am PT* Mars in Sagittarius squares Neptune, while the Moon creates a triple conjunction with Venus and Neptune in Pisces. Gentle, emotional, sacred love, beauty and romance, ignited through desire, passion, friction, and tension. Somatic spiritual practices connecting the immanent to the transcendent.

*January 29 @ 11:50 pm PT* Aries Moon sextiles the Sun in Aquarius. Taking the first actionable steps towards New Moon intentions, fired up physical activity, bustling tasks, potential irritability.

*February 1 @ 5:42 pm PT* The Moon in Taurus conjoins Uranus, while making the first quarter square to Aquarius Sun. Venus in Pisces makes a sextile to Capricorn Pluto late in the night. Getting out of one’s comfort zone, erratic feelings of tension, the heart under pressure.

*February 3 @ 2:01 pm PT* Mercury splashes into Pisces and the Moon into Gemini in the early morning, while Venus sextiles Saturn. The mind slips into a flowing dream state, perhaps to escape the tightening pressures on the heart.

*February 4 @ 8:20 am PT* Gemini Moon makes an airy trine to the Aquarius Sun, while square Neptune. Permeability of the senses, emotional sensitivity, intuitive consciousness, merging with the other.

*February 5 @ 1:43 am PT* Pisces Mercury sextiles Uranus, while the Cancer Moon trines Mercury, forming a “humble trine” with both planets. Ease of intimate and innovative conversation, sensitivity to certain emotional topics.

*February 7 @ 12:02 pm PT* Venus moves into fiery Aries, while the Moon traverses a T-square from Saturn and Pluto to Uranus. Romantic irritabilities, erotic frictions, initiated by emotional heaviness perhaps leading to awakening glimmers of grounded relational maturity.

*February 8–9 @ 11:33 pm PT* Full Moon in Leo, coming into a grand trine on February 9 with Mars in Sagittarius and Uranus in early Taurus. The fire flower blooms, the seed planted in the cold winter ground is called forth by lengthening daylight hours. Create while the passion is ignited.

*February 13 @ 7:17 am PT* Libra Moon trines the Sun in Aquarius while squaring Saturn-Pluto throughout the day. Each time the Moon makes a hard aspect to the defining Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2018–2021 the emotional tone of the day may feel heavier, pressured, and constricting.

*February 15 @ 2:17 pm PT* Scorpio Moon makes its waning square to Aquarius Sun. The work unfolds in the inner sphere through introspection, revisioning intimate dynamics, and integrating the arc of the lunation.

*February 16 @ 3:33 am PT* Mars moves into Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation, while Mercury goes retrograde by the end of the day. Set a slow course of action that allows you to revisit unfinished work and bring it to a gradual but decisive completion.

*February 18 @ 8:57 pm PT* The Sun slides into Pisces while making its closing sextile to the Moon in Sagittarius. Winter’s final lunation approaches, the airy aloof cold of Aquarius giving way to the melting streams of the unconscious, the dreamworld, the home of spirit.

*February 20 @ 7:56 am PT* Jupiter exactly sextiles Neptune, a longer transit that will move in and out of orb throughout 2020. This richly enchanting alignment may help alleviate and balance the intensity of the ongoing Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium in Capricorn. Grand visions, big dreams, the broad view from the mountaintop.

*February 21 @ 1:10 am PT* Exalted Mars in Capricorn trines Uranus. Little will restrain the will to take action, but it can be directed and grounded. Risks bring freedom, but can also bring accidents. Do not shy away from the flame, but beware of its burn.

*February 22 @ 6:13 am PT* Sun in Pisces sextiles Uranus in Taurus. Innovative visions and phantasies awakening gently, inspiring a new perspective or approach.

*February 23 @ 7:32 am PT* The Moon swims into Pisces for the New Moon, while Venus in Aries squares Capricorn Jupiter. Watery, dreamy dissolution of self into other, turning inward to plant the lotus seed beneath the lapping waves. Indulgence and luxury may show its shadow-side.

Cosmic Keys Podcast

Cosmic KeysI 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.

Two Nightlight Astrology School Presentations

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.”

Magic of the Spheres with Sabrina Monarch

I once again had the privilege of joining the evolutionary astrologer Sabrina Monarch on her podcast Magic of the Spheres. The last time we conversed we discussed the planetary combinations of Venus, so for this episode we mused over the planetary combinations of Mercury, looking at how the archetype of the intellect, the mind, communication, speaking, writing, and learning is inflected when in aspect to the other planets of the solar system.

As before, our conversation was released in two episodes: in the first episode we discussed Mercury in combination with the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—perhaps fittingly spending the most time with the Mercury-Saturn archetypal complex, discussing “dead languages” and how words are fossils of culture and history. We explored Mercury as it expresses in people’s communication styles but also some of the esoteric qualities of Mercury such as spell-casting and the power of etymology. In the second episode we discussed Mercury in combination with Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, seeing how the transpersonal archetypes come through in our modes of communication.

Entering into dialogue with Sabrina is an act of spell-casting itself, and as we both felt when recording the previous episode, it seemed we had entered into a mythic chamber of symbols, dropping once more into a timeless realm.

Part I: Planetary Combinations of Mercury – Venus and the Chaldeans
Part II: Planetary Combinations of Mercury – Venus and the Transpersonal Planets

Magic of the Spheres.png

Imaginal Realms with Adam Sommer

Adam Sommer and I seem to have a penchant for holding podcast conversations close to eclipses, and entering into imaginal worlds of word and whimsy together. Some of our themes for my third visit to his podcast Holes to Heavens were plants, planets, and dreams, with discussions of the current Saturn-Pluto conjunction, the mysteries of Eleusis, pipeweed in Middle-earth, and the risk of reductionism in astrology, psychology, and literature.

The podcast is available for download, or can be listened to here: Imaginal Realms with Becca Tarnas.

Imaginal Realms