Tag Archives: spirituality

Ouroboros

The ancient symbol of a snake eating it’s tail touches every culture on our planet. Here’s a fun (but incomplete) journey into the history of this magical symbol by Ellie Crystal:

“The Ouroboros is believed to have been inspired by the Milky Way.

Ancient texts refer to a serpent of light residing in the heavens

which, according to Ancient Alien Theory, was a spaceship or stargate.

Mythology: The Milky Way galaxy keeps a time cycle that ends in catastrophic change when the serpent eats its tail (at the end of the tale of this reality.) Suntelia Aion is the sun rising out of the mouth of the ouroboros, which allegedly occurs December 21, 2012 – representing the evolution of consciousness in the alchemy of time.



The Ouroboros and the Tree of Life


Origins of the Ouroboros

Egypt


Papyrus of Dama Heroub Egypt, 21st Dynasty

The serpent or dragon eating its own tail has survived from antiquity and can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, circa 1600 B.C.E. It is contained in the Egyptian Book of the Netherworld. The Ouroboros was popular after the Amarna period.

In the Book of the Dead, which was still current in the Graeco-Roman period, the self-begetting sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning, and the deceased wishes to turn into the shape of the snake Sato (“son of the earth”), the embodiment of Atum.

The famous Ouroboros drawing from the early alchemical text The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra dating to 2nd century Alexandria encloses the words hen to pan, “one is the all”. Its black and white halves represent the Gnostic duality of existence. As such, the Ouroboros could be interpreted as the Western equivalent of the Taoist Yin-Yang symbol. The Chrysopoeia Ouroboros of Cleopatra is one of the oldest images of the Ouroboros to be linked with the legendary opus of the Alchemists, the Philosopher’s Stone.


Greece

Plato described a self-eating, circular being as the first living thing in the universe – an immortal, mythologically constructed beast. The living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him.

Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; and, as he had no need to take anything or defend himself against any one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form was assigned to him, being of all the seven that which is most appropriate to mind and intelligence; and he was made to move in the same manner and on the same spot, within his own limits revolving in a circle.

All the other six motions were taken away from him, and he was made not to partake of their deviations. And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet. In Gnosticism, this serpent symbolized eternity and the soul of the world.


Middle East

Because the Albigenses came from Armenia, where Zoroastrianism and Mithra worship were common, it may be that the symbol entered their iconography via the Zoroastrian Faravahar symbol, which in some versions clearly features an ouroboros at the waist instead of a vague disc-shape.

In Mithran mystery cults the figure of Mithra being reborn (one of the things he is famous for) is sometimes seen wrapped with an ouroboros, indicating his eternal and cyclic nature, and even references which do not mention the ouroboros refer to this circular shape as symbolizing the immortality of the soul or the cyclic nature of Karma, suggesting that the circle retains its meaning even when the details of the image are obscured.


The Double Triangle of Solomon


India

Ouroboros symbolism has been used to describe Kundalini energy. According to the 2nd century Yoga Kundalini Upanishad, “The divine power, Kundalini, shines like the stem of a young lotus; like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body” (1.82). Another interpretation is that Kundalini equates to the entwined serpents of the Caduceus, the entwined serpents representing commerce in the west or, esoterically, human DNA.

The Kirtimukha myth of Hindu tradition has been compared by some authors to Ouroboros.

Ouroboros… the dragon circling the tortoise which supports the four elephants that carry the world.


China

Chinese Ouroboros from Chou dynasty, 1200 BC.

The universe was early divided into Earth below and Heaven above. These, two as one, gave the idea of opposites but forming a unity. Each opposite was assumed to be powerful and so was their final unity. For creation of the universe they projected reproduction to conceive creation. Now reproduction results in the union of two opposites as male and female.

Correspondingly, the Chinese believed Light and Darkness, as the ideal opposites, when united, yielded creative energy. The two opposites were further conceived as matter and energy which became dual-natured but as one. The two opposites were yin-yang and their unity was called Chhi. Yin-Yang was treated separately in Chinese cosmology which consisted of five cosmic elements.

Since Chinese alchemy did reach Alexandria probably the symbol Yin-Yang, as dual-natured, responsible for creation, was transformed into a symbol called Ouroboros. It is a snake and as such as symbol of soul. Its head and anterior portion is red, being the color of blood as soul; its tail and posterior half is dark, representing body.

Ouroboros here is depicted white and black, as soul and body, the two as “one which is all.” It is cosmic soul, the source of all creation. Ouroboros is normally depicted with its anterior half as black but it should be the reverse as shown here. With the name Chemeia taken to Kim-Iya, the last word would take Ouroboros to Yin-Yang.


Mesoamerica

The serpent god Quetzalcoatl is sometimes portrayed biting his tail on Aztec and Toltec ruins. A looping Quetzalcoatl is carved into the base of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, at Xochicalco, Mexico, 700-900 AD.

Seven-segmented Aztec Ouroboros


Norse

In Norse mythology, it appears as the serpent Jormungandr, one of the three children of Loki and Angrboda, who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. In the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, such as Ragnarssona patter, the Geatish king Herraud gives a small lindworm as a gift to his daughter Pora Town-Hart after which it grows into a large serpent which encircles the girl’s bower and bites itself in the tail. The serpent is slain by Ragnar Lodbrok who marries Pora. Ragnar later has a son with another woman named Kraka and this son is born with the image of a white snake in one eye. This snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail, and the son was named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye.


Rome

Earthly Ouroboros from Alciato‘s Emblems

Oceanic Ouroboros from Alciato’s Emblems

Janus 1608


Freemasonry

The ouroboros is displayed on numerous Masonic seals,
frontispieces and other imagery, especially during the 17th century.

 

 

 


Theosophical Society

The Ouroboros is featured in the seal of the Theosophical Society
along with other traditional symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tarot and Watermarks

The Ouroboros symbol appears in both 14th- and 15th-century Albigensian-printing watermarks and is also worked into the pip cards of many early (14th-15th century) playing cards and tarot cards. Watermarks similar to those used by the Albigensians appear in early printed playing cards, suggesting that the Albigenses might have had contact with the early authors of tarot decks.

A commonly used early symbol – an ace of cups circled by an ouroboros – frequently appears among Albigensian watermarks. It is conceivable that this is the source of some of the urban legends associating this symbol with secret societies, because the Albigenses were closely associated with the humanist movement and the inquisition it sparked.


Alchemy

Alchemically, the ouroboros is also used as a purifying glyph. Ouroboros was and is the name for the Great World Serpent, encircling the Earth.

The word Ouroboros is really a term that describes a similar symbol which has been cross-pollinated from many different cultures. Its symbolic connotation from this owes to the returning cyclical nature of the seasons; the oscillations of the night sky; self-fecundation; disintegration and re-integration; truth and cognition complete; the Androgyny; the primeval waters; the potential before the spark of creation; the undifferentiated; the Totality; primordial unity; self-sufficiency, and the idea of the beginning and the end as being a continuous unending principle.

Ouroboros represents the conflict of life as well in that life comes out of life and death. ‘My end is my beginning.’ In a sense life feeds off itself, thus there are good and bad connotations which can be drawn. It is a single image with the entire actions of a life cycle – it begets, weds, impregnates, and slays itself, but in a cyclical sense, rather than linear.

Thus, it fashions our lives to a totality more towards what it may really be – a series of movements which repeat. “As Above, So Below” – we are born from nature, and we mirror it, because it is what man wholly is a part of. It is this symbolic rendition of the eternal principles that are presented in the Emerald Tablets of Thoth.

The Ouroboros connects the Above and Below

Connection between Man and God


Carl Jung

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung interpreted the Ouroboros as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche. It makes its way into our conscious mind time and time again in varying forms as the basic mandala of alchemy. Jung defined the relationship of the ouroboros to alchemy:

    • ‘The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. In the age-old image of the ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself.’

The ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This ‘feed-back’ process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolizes the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which […] unquestionably stems from man’s unconscious’. (Collected Works, Vol. 14 para.513)


Other References

The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann writes of it as a representation of the pre-ego “dawn state”, depicting the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child.

The 19th century German chemist named Kekule dreamed of a snake with its tail in its mouth one day after dosing off. He had been researching the molecular structure of benzene, and was at a stop point in his work until after waking up he interpreted the dream to mean that the structure was a closed carbon ring. This was the breakthrough he needed.

Organic chemist August Kekule claimed that a ring in the shape of Ouroboros that he saw in a dream inspired him in his discovery of the structure of the benzene ring.

… It seems that the Ouroboros is a powerful archetypal symbol, a part of our Spiritus Mundi, the collective unconscious which thrives within each soul.”


Crop Circles

Source: http://www.crystalinks.com/ouroboros.html

Astro Report for mid October

angels

The Full Moon in Aries last Thursday is now behind us, and it was one of the more challenging moons we’ve faced in a long time. Uranus (sudden changes) on the Full Moon, squaring Mars (aggression) and Venus (relationships) created a tense and chaotic atmosphere in many areas of our lives. I’m sure many of us are feeling exhausted and bewildered from the sudden events. Last week illuminated our compatibilities and differences, as well as the road  to creating an authentic harmony.

This week starts with more tension with Mercury and the Sun squaring Pluto. Avoid conflicts and social squabbles and instead focus on regeneration and what’s most important. These are the best ways to use Pluto’s cathartic energy! This planet brings up toxic thoughts from under the surface that need to be purged and healed. You can help the process by focusing on your goals. Remain peaceful and avoid angry situations or people.

Jupiter moves from Libra to Scorpio on Tuesday. This planet expands all it touches, and the energy shifts from relationships and art to sex, power struggles and the unearthing of secrets. Much more on this later! Let changes unfold instead of forcing solutions.

As always,try to keep the focus on improving your own life conditions rather than imposing your will on others. Practicing gratitude, getting a good night’s sleep, having some good food or a chat with a trusted friend are the best things for us in October.

 

Astro Weather

Happy Labor Day everyone! Good news, we are starting September off right with two planets resuming forward motion 🙂

Mars and Mercury are doing an odd dance right now. Mercury (in Retrograde) is barreling towards Mars (Direct) in the last degrees of Leo. Remember the eclipse a couple weeks ago?

The American eclipse on August 21st occurred at 28 degrees Leo. Mars will be ON that degree tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 2nd! This transit inspires us to put our eclipse insights into motion and TAKE ACTION! We also have a Mars/Uranus trine (positive aspect) tomorrow! Expect the unexpected… revelations abound and the desire to be free and independent will reach a fever pitch.

Next week, Mars and Mercury will “cross” each other in the night sky causing a moving conjunction AT 29 degrees Leo. If that wasn’t enough (and it really is), Mercury is going Direct on Tuesday (Sept. 5th) at… you guessed it… 28 degrees Leo!!

Mercury (mind and communication) will be united with Mars (action and vitality) and you can finally move mountains in the right direction. Creativity, assertiveness and expression will be easy to access. This is an amazing event, and really beautiful. Astrology never ceases to amaze me.

Saturn turned Direct at 21 Sagittarius on Friday, August 25th at five in the morning. It’s the planet of responsibility, discipline and reality and can feel HEAVY. When Saturn is retrograde, things appear less stable in our personal lives and society at large. Thankfully we are now moving Direct, and issues will begin to get back on course. If you haven’t made progress on a project or goal, there’s steady movement now. Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to recommit to our Truth, Beliefs and Goals, and have discipline in our day to day activities.

The August 21st eclipse will be rolling out and affecting us for the next six months. Since it occurred in Leo, so we can look for a rebirth or change regarding our self expression, status, and identity. Art, clothes, music, leadership and public speaking are highlighted. Did you get any insights on your life?

Everyone will be impacted by August’s eclipse in different ways. If you’re interested in how it will affect you, set up a reading with me 🙂 I can give you a huge snapshot of your life story in a 15 minute phone reading.

Eclipse at 28 Leo

ravn

 

Solar Eclipse at 28 Leo: 11:25am Pacific, Monday morning, August 21st.

New Moon in Leo: 11:30am.

Moon’s eclipse of the Sun will also TRINE Uranus at 28 Aries! Watch for fireworks. This is a major turning point in our personal lives, AND society at large. Events could change suddenly. Unexpected, hidden insights could appear out of nowhere next week. Eclipse’s can take awhile to manifest too, so the next six months could reveal more sudden changes.

On top of this, most of the other planets are currently Retrograde, asking us to review and reorganize the growth we’ve experienced over the past few months:

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo until September 5th: Reflect. Bring something back that you’ve had on “hold”. Revise, reconfigure and try a different approach or path.
Sun, Moon, Mars and the North Node in Leo. That’s a LOT of action where Leo falls in your chart. You can find your chart here, or set up a reading with me here.
Saturn stationing Direct next Friday at 21 Sagittarius
This eclipse is on the North Node (destiny), leading us to our future. You can get a glimpse of your future if you pay attention on Monday.

When the World falls under the influence of an eclipse, things are out of the ordinary. It’s an uncommon time, and we have rare and insightful experiences. It’s like walking around a darkened room with a black light – things show up differently, and we see things in a way we don’t normally see them. An eclipse can illuminate your path of meaning and life purpose, and bring a new phase of growth and adventure. It’s a hushed, quiet time when you can hear your Higher Soul speaking to you.

We touch the foundations of why we are here on this planet. Each of us gains some new insight or information into the life we are currently leading. This information can come through anything – our family, friends, a situation at work, or a bolt of lightning straight from the heavens into our consciousness. When it’s an eclipse, I pay close attention to what I hear, see and think, because there’s something synchronistic about it. No sudden moves though; think things through and give any revolutionary inklings time to take shape.

Check out the horoscopes below to see how this eclipse will affect you. Read your Rising sign, NOT Sun sign. You can figure out your Rising sign (or Ascendant) here

Aries — Let your creativity shine and your romantic side fully express itself. If you’re an artist, writer or musician this will be a fortunate time for you. If you’re looking for love you are likely to meet someone in the next few months.

Taurus — Hanging out at home is where you want to be. This eclipse lands in you House AND the bedrock of your soul, illuminating your personal psychology. Your personal life is at a turning point, and the next six months could see a change for the better. Be brave and seek counseling if needed.

Gemini — The Sun, Moon and Mars are in your favorite place! The 3rd house of communication, socializing, teaching and learning. Self expression is enhanced so explore your creativity.

Cancer — The eclipse signals a transformation with your money and values. Cancerians need security to feel stable, and with Saturn stationing nearby in a loose trine you should feel on top of things. There could be a boost with values and self esteem in the next few months.

Leo — Mars in Leo gives you the confidence to assume leadership of your life. You’ve had your birthday and you are shining. The fortune you’ve experienced the past couple of years is revving up for a finale, so make the most of this time. Be Bold and embrace the positive changes that are coming. Where do you want to go?

Virgo — The eclipse in Leo is in your 12th House of spirituality and psychology. It’s a time for solitude and contemplation. This house is also known as your “blind spot”, so pay attention and see if you’re repeating old patterns.

Libra — Time to socialize and solidify hopes and wishes. Where do you want to be a year from now? Mars is giving you the drive to make it happen. Bring your wishes into reality.

Scorpio — Your 10th House of ambition, public image, career and direction is foremost in your mind. This eclipse could generate a huge shift in your status. Your ruler Mars is active here and is driving you to work harder. The next six months bring recognition – you are out in the world and highly visible.

Sagittarius — Mars in Leo sends sparks of energy, drive and action to your ideas! Entering a new course of study might be appealing to you. Expanding your life perspective through long distance travel is also possible. Your focus is the higher mind.

Capricorn — You’re looking at issues around debt, credit and real estate… and sex and death too. The eclipse is in your 8th House, and you need to upgrade your views on these issues. This is doubly highlighted by Saturn stationing in Sagittarius next Friday. There’s some deep diving into psychological issues which will yield positive results around your birthday.

Aquarius — The eclipse inspires you to reassess your relationships… ALL of them. You’re redoing your approach to love itself. Look at your values and write a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. A soul mate has appeared – or will be before December.

Pisces — Work, health and habits. You’ve had a lot of business the past few months, and will continue to work hard for the next several weeks. Mars in Leo is physical, so it’s a great time to start eating better and working out. It’s always good for a Pisces-influenced person to get out of their imaginations and into their physicality.


Alejandro Jodorowsky Explains How Tarot Cards Can Give You Creative Inspiration

 

Excellent article and video on the tarot by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

“The practice of cartomancy, or divination with cards, dates back several hundred years to at least 14th century Europe, perhaps by way of Turkey. But the specific form we know of, the tarot, likely emerged in the 17th century, and the deck we’re all most familiar with—the Rider-Waite Tarot—didn’t appear until 1909. Popular mainly with occultists like Aleister Crowley and Madame Blavatsky in the early 20th century, the tarot exploded into popular culture in the new age 70s with books like Stuart Kaplan’s Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling, and by way of cult filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky.

jodoCARDS

Since its relatively recent popularization, “fun” and “fortune telling” have more or less defined most people’s attitude to the tarot, whether they approve or disapprove of either one. But for artists and poets like William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and surrealist director Jodorowsky—whose film narration is perhaps the most poetic in modern cinema—the tarot has always meant something much more mysterious and inspiring. “The tarot,” says Jodorowsky in the short film above, “will teach you how to create a soul.”

After studying the Major and Minor Arcana and the suits, and puzzling over the symbols on each card, Jodorowsky discovered that “all 78 cards could be joined in a mandala, in just one image.” Learning to see the deck thus, “You must not talk about the future. The future is a con. The tarot is a language that talks about the present. If you use it to see the future, you become a conman.” Like other mystical poets, Jodorowsky’s study of the tarot did not lead him to the supernatural but to the creative act.

And like many a poet before him, Jodorowsky explored the journey of the Fool in his 1973 film The Holy Mountain, a “dazzling, rambling, often incoherent satire,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz, that “unfurls like a hallucinogenic daydream.” Jodorowsky’s cinematic dream logic comes not only from his work as a “shamanic psychotherapist.” He also credits the tarot for his psychomagical realism. “For me,” says Jodorowsky in the video at the top, “the tarot was something more serious. It was a deep psychological search.” The result of that search—Jodorowsky’s singular and totally unforgettable body of work—speaks to us of the value of such an undertaking, whatever means one uses to get there.

Or as Jodorowsky says in one of his mystical pronouncements, “If you set your spirit to something, that phenomenon will happen.” If that sounds like magical thinking, that’s exactly what it is. Jodorowsky shows us how to read the tarot as he does, for psychological insight and creative inspiration, in the video above, addressed to a fan named John Bishop. Spanish speakers will have no trouble understanding his presentation, as he quickly slides almost fully into his native language through lack of confidence in his facility with English. (The video belongs to a series on Jodorowsky’s YouTube channel, most of them fully in Spanish without subtitles.) Selecting a translation on YouTube yields rather garbled results.”

Read more: Article

June Astro Report

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The Sun is now in Cancer, about to catch up with Mercury and Mars which are also swimming through the sign of the Crab. This brings attention to the home front and the deep, vulnerable parts of ourselves. Be generous and kind to yourself for the next month. Focus on self nurturing and the things that bring you a sense of security (and of course straighten up your house). There’s been so much fiery storming through Gemini the last month, this new water vibe feels purifying and refreshing.
Jupiter is moving forward in Libra, giving a huge, fortunate expansion to relationships and partnerships of all kinds. Saturn continues it’s backward trek through Sagittarius, asking us to review the growth we’ve made in our life perspectives over the past several months. Where is your faith and truth?
Uranus is in the last degrees of Aries, about to jump into Taurus. It will be another year or two before the Revolutionary planet trines (throws supportive love) to Pluto in Capricorn, but when it does, look out. We are in the throws of a decaying, outworn paradigm (Capricorn), and something fresh, earth-based and humanitarian is about to take shape. The old way of doing things cannot survive the upcoming radical change.

Although it’s challenging, we need to be honest with ourselves and grounded in reality. There’s simply no more chances for people or situations that diminish you.