When we evoke images of archetypes from myth, and contemplate their nature, we can bring personal and collective transformation into our lives. Each of the 64 Gene Keys is an archetype, resonating within the deep unconscious. And when we look into the myths of the ages we can see archetypes playing their roles. I want to share how we can also perceive the landscape we find ourselves in, and in myths, as archetypes for our contemplation as well.
If we read throughout many myths we see how certain landscapes held deep symbolism of one kind or another. From lakes, to oceans, to castles, to towers, to prisons, to caves, to gardens, to islands. These are stories of places that hold a meaning with our individual and collective psyche. And when we reflect upon them in myth we can begin to reflect upon them within our own lives. We can see them as something that is within us, not outside of us, and embracing these archetypes can support us in our day-to-day lives. It is beyond the scope of this article to write about all of them, but I can share a few to give an illustration.
A few weeks ago I felt an inspiration inside of me to do a webinar about the concept of the Wasteland, something portrayed in many a myth, especially the Grail Quest legends. But then my mind began to wonder if anyone would show up, it's not the most enticing of subjects, and so I postponed that thought and filed it away as something to share at an appropriate time. Less than a week later British Columbia found itself under water as a deluge of rain poured through the valley, carrying some houses and homes away, but plenty of livestock and other things of value. With hillsides washed away, across the highways, cutting off our supply chain, we were living in the wasteland.
And yet it has not gone unnoticed that what is happening is a symptom of something more. There are surely natural cycles, but as every spiritual tradition says, we are one with all of nature, and so this reflects something deeper. And so the allegory of the wasteland takes us into domains far deeper.
"In a wasteland, people are fulfilling purposes that are not properly theirs but have been put upon them as inescapable laws. This is a killer.... The spirit is really the bouquet of life. It is not something breathed into life, it comes out of life. This is one of the glorious things about the mother-goddess religions, where the world is the body of the Goddess, divine in itself, and divinity isn't something ruling over and above a fallen nature.... Our story of the fall in the Garden sees nature as corrupt; and that myth corrupts the whole world for us. Because nature is thought of as corrupt, every spontaneous act is sinful and must not be yielded to. You get a totally different civilization and a totally different way of living according to whether your myth presents nature as fallen or whether nature is in itself a manifestation of divinity, and the spirit is the revelation of the divinity that is inherent in nature.” - Jospeh Campbell
And so these recent events in BC are causing many to look a lot deeper. Those with a reverence for nature are only too aware of the connection. Back in the 1930s a lake was drained, and a community was built on the land formerly occupied by Sumas Lake. When that was done the first nations of the land moved to ground above where the lake had been, they did not build on that sacred space. When the recent floods came in, the land was reclaimed by the water.
So after the floods I spent time in contemplation, seeing this as something with a deeper meaning for all of us. Water is the great cleanser and the land was being cleansed. We as a community were being shown how truly interconnected we all are and out of it many arose stronger, but not because of the government, because of synergy and coming together for the good of others. The selfless work of thousands is still going on behind the scenes.
We are not separate from nature, we are a part of nature, so what we do to nature we do to ourselves. And as the ancient axiom says, 'As above, so below.' So what does the wasteland in your life reflect within your own being?
Towers have featured in many myths across time and space. Even Carl Jung, master of archetypes and symbols, chose to build a tower for himself, something that was more than just a form of self-aggrandisement, but something that reflected depth for him. It was a "representation in stone of my innermost thoughts and of the knowledge I had acquired... a confession of faith in stone."
And the same can be said for many towers featured in our ancient myths. Oftentimes we would find a maiden awaiting the rescue of the knight in shining armour, or they were a symbol of protection of virginity. They were also built to connect heaven to earth. But in many myths we hear of the towers that fall, such as the tower of Babel. The tarot card of that name, the Tower, indicates that a fall is coming, that the old is falling away to make way for the new on sturdier foundations.
Glastonbury Tor is a well recognised tower that still stands today, atop a sacred mound in Glastonbury, a town considered to be the heart of Avalon by many. It is seen as a gateway to the underworld, and is dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It sits upon a confluence of the Michael and Mary ley lines and is seen as a symbol of the sacred union. It holds a special place in my heart, it was where I got engaged to my wife, Nicole, and we return there whenever we return to England.
And so as a tower its meaning and symbolism has been put forth by many over the centuries. But there is nothing like meditating upon it, physically being there, or in whatever space you find yourself, and allow the mystery to unravel for you. Rather than relying upon somebody else's interpretation, to have your own experience of it, to reveal what meaning it has for you in your life.
"For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are the spontaneous productions of the Psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source."
-- Joseph Campbell
When we read novels, or myths, we are exploring the realms of the psyche, and there is much more to them than simply background. When you think of Hogwarts castle in the Harry Potter series it will likely evoke a whole host of feelings for you. Beyond a school, it was a school of magic, which is likely why many kids were drawn to the stories, it took them beyond the mundane conformity of their own schooling, it reconnected many with a love of learning. School has been a place where aspects of the psyche have been suppressed in our wasteland world, and our imagination can help break us free of those shackles.
Over the years I have been to sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, and they have brought to me transformation on many levels. Seeing how interconnected they were throughout the world, and how they sat on specific energy spots on the land, helped unlock for me the deep interconnectedness of all of humanity, and that although oceans may separate us, when an idea's time has come, there is nothing that will stop it from emerging.
So, as well as playing with human archetypes, and drawing them deep into your being, you may find yourself inclined to explore the landscapes around you in greate depth. What do they reflect within your own psyche? What teachings do they have for you?
In the upcoming Journey Through Avalon, we will be journeying to many symbolic locations throughout Avalon, and Glastonbury, its representation in the physical world. Using a contemplative approach we will journey to locations such as Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury Abbey, the Red and White Springs, Tintagel Castle, Merlin's Cave, and other locations that hold deep symbolism within our psyche. The visualisations will allow these places to come alive for us and as we embrace the mystery, we allow the wisdom to reveal itself. And that may look quite different for each of us. We have a wonderful group of people gathering and would love to count you among us. To register go here.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
- Abraham Lincoln
This week I have noticed myself being especially aware of the shadow of division within myself and within the world. It has come up throughout this whole Covid experience, but in light of the Delta group that I am part of, it is especially apparent to me. At times I have reacted to it within my being, but as the week has progressed it has become more about noticing and responding.
When we journey with the Gene Keys we eventually meet our Vocation Key in the Pearl Sequence. And the Gene Key that governs this sphere for all of us would be the 7th Gene Key, which moves from the Shadow of Division, to the Gift of Guidance, and it is the SIddhi of Virtue. As long as we are divided within, then we will perpetuate that division in the world, and we cannot be on purpose. This is why it's been important for me this week to notice my reactions to the division. They show me where I am divided.
Throughout my life I have played what I would call an activist role, but in many ways I could see it was more about being a reactionist. I have the 49th Gene Key twice in my chart (SQ and Radiance) so I can see where I have been both helpful and unhelpful. Now, I am making a conscious effort to avoid 'them and us' thinking.
What has been coming through more and more in recent months is the need to envision the future. Not as a way to escape the now, or to avoid our shadows, but to anchor in new energies into my being and into the world. It is easy to react to the agendas of others and to fight back, but the shadows will always arise when we focus on the vision we are bringing forth. I love and am committed to the vision of Guidance brought through by the 7th Gene Key, which means I am going to witness the shadow of division in the world and myself, but I do not have to react to it.
And so when I see myself as part of community, I see myself connecting with others creating a foundation based upon the gift of Guidance. And these are few and far between. Those with the gift of Guidance are not dictating to others what they should or shouldn't be doing, they are empowering others to act according to their own intuition. This shadow is not something we just see in the authorities of the world, I see it in those who are rebelling against the authorities of the world, still dictating what others should or should not be doing. So as a whole we still do not see the 7th gift playing out in the world at large.
And the only person I have any influence over with this is myself. Wherever I catch myself in Division I have an opportunity to embrace a deeper level of Guidance. I make a choice not to invest in the division in the world by energetically not reacting to it. I have no idea how long this shadow will play out in the collective before we are done with it, but I can choose when I am done with it.
This Gene Key also plays a part in the Codon Ring of Union (4th, 7th, 29th and 59th Gene Keys) which brings to us a vision of collective leadership. This is the ring that will transmute the notion of hierarchy in the world, which means acknowledging and embracing the shadows of Intolerance, Division, Dishonesty and Half-heartedness and see how they play off of one another.
Avalon, as an archetypal reality, holds a vision, an ideal, for me, that I resonate with. The myths of Avalon have been carried throughout the ages, of a land of plenty, abundance and sovereignty. It holds a vision for us, one that as a whole we have had a challenge embracing. We can have or individual intentions for our lives, but what will see us through as a humanity is collective intentions. This may not be a vision you align with, so what is yours? We will be asked to attune to this vision, not force it upon the world, lest we fall back into the shadow realms.
Synarchy, Synthesis and Syntropy - three words that propel the vision of the Gene Keys and are very much aligned with the vision of Avalon. We practice them in our own hearts, in our own lives, and through our modelling of it can be an influence on the world. The archetypes of Merlin, Arthur, Morgan Le Fay, Nimue and others can be guides for us on this journey. I see the vision of Avalon not as something to empower the individual alone, all that is part of it, but also to come together to anchor in a new vision of the world we are co-creating. And each person playing along will be contributing to that vision in their own unique way.
Whatever vision we collectively hold, we will meet our shadows along the way, sometimes in the form of people in our lives. How we respond to them will have a big affect on us. There is always somebody beckoning us to join their cause, to fight for their ideal, but oftentimes we are not even sure of the vision we are fighting for. When we fight others, while in the realms of the shadows all the time, we cannot even tap into our vision. When we transmute the shadows then the vision becomes clear. It's there, awaiting our awareness of it.
The 7th Gene Key is guiding us into the future. Whether it's in our chart or not it is influencing our journey. What collective visions do you align with? What are we being guided to create together? What is your part in that puzzle? What can you do now to bring it to your part of the world?
Join us for an 12 week journey as we dive deep into the mysteries of Avalon and call forth its wisdom for the modern age. Each of the many buildings and features within the landscape offer us something of contemplation to activate experiences and integration within our lives. We visit the feminine mysteries of the priesteses of Avalon, and the stories of the Grail, watched over by Joseph of Arimathea. And we journey not as individuals, but as a group of people each serving a function within the collective.
This journey through the seals is definitely opening up new vistas in my awareness and the fourth seal was no different. The fourth seal works at the level of the causal body, the home of our soul and of archetypes.
Those who have been following my blogs may remember that it is the Christian saints that have been predominantly showing up for me through this excursion, but this seal has been an exception. The Christian saint associated with this seal is St Paul, but he has not been showing up as other saints have.
During the week with that seal however, I kept coming across a buddhist saint in works that I was reading, Padmasambhava. Now, Buddhism is not something I have had a strong resonance with so far in my life and so I had not remembered who the buddhist saints of the seals are. And so I looked to see which saint was associated with the 4th seal, and of course it turns out that it is Padmsambhava.
Because he is related to the causal plane we see him mentioned in relation to collective phenomena. Richard Rudd often speaks about termas, gifts that are released into the collective at certain times. The Gene Keys is one such terma, affecting now thousands of people through its wisdom. Other things that could be considered termas would be the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Nag Hammadi in 1945, texts which have vastly altered our understanding of the conflicts in the early days of Christianity.
Not only can we speak of termas but we can also speak of any transmission that is entering the collective and they are collectively known as Egregores. The Catholic church would be one such egregore, Buddhism another. You can think of them as entities in the astral plane that are in need of human bodies to come into form, they are not something sinister by any means. Egregores may or may not be helpful to humanity though.
There are egregores that would be considered much more harmful, such as Nazism, communism or forms of propaganda use by certain media institutions. Egregores come from realms less dense than the physical and find their way into humanity through individuals or groups. Richard Rudd would be considered to be one of the first points of contact in the physical plane for the transmission that is the Gene Keys.
Another topic that works with our collective challenges and even evil, is something that has been named Wetiko. It is originally a native american name and it speaks to a disease of the psyche, so not relegated to one individual mind, but to soul groupings and takes us deeper into the work with archetypes. Wetikos may appear on the world stage as these projections of evil but it is in each of us as individuals that it is healed. I have the 12th Gene Key (Purity) as my Culture key and 2nd Gene Key (Unity) and am truly only interested in concepts and teachings that help resolve our separation.
It could be easy to see archetypal patterns of evil in the world outside of us, but with Wetiko we learn that the healing of it takes place within each of us, recognising at its core that we are interconnected. So Wetiko itself may make it seem like the evil actions are outside of us, but when we recognise that we are all interconnected and that the potential for evil exists within each of us, we bring an end to that separation. We take ownership of that projection. And when there are many people taking such responsibility, truly doing the work of the shadow then it offers great hope for us. Understanding what is called Wetiko could really help us bring more light into this world. Every shadow contains a gift and wetiko is no different.
But of course this does mean doing our shadow work, not intellectualising it, which can be easy in our desire to escape it. It means witnessing the 64 shadows of the Gene Keys within our being and bringing genuine presence to them to integrate them. When we dissociate from a shadow out of denial or repression we push it away. When we are half hearted in our shadow work the dissociation remains. When we fully presence it, in the presence of the light, we can truly transmute the shadow.
So as we navigate these fascinating times, when it is so easy to buy into the division and reaction, I am reminded to call in the guidance of great sages like Padmasambhava. Understanding of the causal plane can come through him, through merging with him in the unified field of consciousness. Though ideas like egregores and wetiko may seem outlandish, I am inspired by them, they make the great problems of our world something that I am not powerless in. It is like the work of collective trauma healing, which focuses not just on our individual traumas but the traumas we have experienced as nations.
The teaching of the 4th Sacred Seal is "We are the Epiphany." And as Richard says in the invocation, not you, or me, or I, or she, or him, but We, We are the Epiphany. Working on this plane of reality can bring a whole new approach to world problems, I believe it. The work of the Seven Seals is one such teaching that appreciates this, of course there are many others, but this is the one that I am immersed in deeply in these times.
I leave you with this prayer to Padmasambhava, may he, as a higher aspect of your own being, bless you as you journey through your work in the world.
For many years I had an aversion to returning to the bible, not trusting that it had any kind of value, having been indoctrinated in it as a young man and breaking free of it at my first opportunity. I had spent many years seeing how the bible had been written and rewritten by different groups over time and had my doubts about any of what I was reading. When I heard about the findings of the Gospels of Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Phillip at Nag Hammadi, altogether excluded from the bible, they cast even more doubt for me. My twenties and most of my thirties were devoid of any exploration of the bible as a result.
The 63rd Gene Key however, has guided me to taking a different approach with it, to embrace that doubt and see what arises. Authors like Rudolf Steiner, Adyashanti, Cynthia Bourgeault, Paramhansa Yogananda and Andrew Harvey have also encouraged me to actually review the bible somewhat so that I could break the spell it had over my childhood. So as a child I felt it was shoved down my throat and certain interpretations were made available, but now as an adult I can begin to view them with a little intuitive guidance and can shatter the spells that were cast on me by others.
So my journey this week, also tying into the 63rd Gene Key (the 6th Sacred Seal), has been calling upon the guidance of the soul known as Thomas, drawing him deeper into my contemplations and here in this blog to share some of the wisdom of Thomas that never entered into the bible as we know it. Knowledge that would shake religion to its core.
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now let's remember that the bible was highly controlled by authorities over the last 2000 years and that new documents are being revealed all the time. In Nag Hammadi in Egypt, in 1945, scrolls were recovered from the desert that predate most known versions of the bible. Amongst them was one titled "The Gospel of Thomas" and in this we begin to get the impression that Thomas is not one who doubted much at the end of the journey. His gospel is considered by many modern scholars and theologians to contain high truths of a gnostic nature.
There are, as always, debates as to whether Thomas himself wrote them, or if it someone passing off as him. The chronology of it appears to fit with Thomas' lifetime and so many are confident that it is in fact the same Thomas, previously known as Doubting Thomas.
It is said that, after the death of Jesus, Thomas travelled through Persia and India in his lifetime, spreading the teachings of Jesus far, and his writings have an Eastern feel to them. They are quite different in the nature of their revelations than the other gospels. The passages within, words said to come directly from Jesus, recognise a vision of wholeness which gives the physical dimension an important part to play in the unfolding of our evolution, not merely an illusion to be ignored or side stepped. In deepest truth it is an illusion but the physical world, as some of the teachings reveal, cannot simply be brushed aside. That only deepens the wound of separation as far as I can tell.
In the Seven Sacred Seals, the 6th Seal brings healing to the wound of separation. The following is just one sample of many passages.
"When you are able
to make two become one,
the inside like the outside,
and the outside like the inside,
the higher like the lower,
so that a man is no longer male,
and a woman, female,
but male and female,
become a single whole;
when you are able to fashion
an eye to replace an eye,
and form a hand in place of a hand,
or a foot for a foot,
making one image supersede another
- then you will enter in."
- Logion 22, The Gospel of Thomas
The end of this could be misinterpreted by transhumanists as a reason to create bionic feet but this is going into a much deeper messaging. It's the kind of message that we can sit with and contemplate, allow the truth to be revealed to us. I have heard interpretations of it, and yet would be interested to know what others come up with. For me it helps bring an end to separation and contemplate the many areas of life I still perceive it and am even attached to it.
For me something that stands out is that in our minds we often separate between 'in here' and 'out there' and yet this speaks to the awareness that there is no separation. In fact separation continues to exist because we look upon life as 'in here' and 'out there'. And so when I see suffering in another, but see them as the other, I keep separation alive. But when the siddhi of Truth descends there is no such separation.
I do believe that the Gospel of Thomas is one well worthy of contemplation. When I read it such a joy resonates in my soul. The words need to be explored, there are riddles and paradoxes throughout, but they are designed to penetrate the heart and not satisfy the mind. As we continue to work with the siddhis of our Gene Keys I find it helpful to remember that we are being asked to hold paradoxes. Truth is one of those paradoxes and I will continue to call upon Thomas as I contemplate the words he wrote down all those centuries ago. They feel to me as though they are yet one more gift to help shatter the illusion of religion that has been passed down the ages. There is a gift in the doubt.
This last week, in three group sessions, we cracked open the 7th Sacred Seal, the siddhi of divine Grace. This is the seal that unlocks all the other seals and it is of a divine feminine essence. Associated with each seal is a Buddhist bodhisattva and a Christian saint and I have been feeling their essence as I journey with the seals, synchronicities keeping me on track lest I forget.
For the 7th Seal we are working with the Boddhisattva Tara, a goddess who may show up in green, white or a myriad of other colours, all of slightly different symbolism. The other guide of the 7th Seal is who I have found myself drawn to through synchronicity, the Christian saint Mary, the mother of Jesus.
As with other saints she is someone that I have learned different stories about throughout the years. In my catholic upbringing the miracle of the virgin was espoused through all of the classes I received and in the prayers we oft repeated. I was under the impression, whether through teachings or my understanding of them, that Mary and Joseph were of lowly origins and it added to the miraculous nature of Jesus' life.
Over the years I began to have a different understanding of Mary and Joseph, learning from many sources that in fact they came from noble lineages. Throughout the bible it does mention that Joseph was of the lineage of David and in Luke's gospel we learn of Mary's lineage. But because the patriarchal lineage was deemed more important it just did not receive the same kind of attention in my school tuition.
And then there is the whole story of the virgin birth, something shared to draw attention to the divinity of Jesus. What we see is that the virgin birth is a myth that had its origins way before the birth of Jesus. In Egyptian myths we hear of the miracle conception of Horus by Isis. The sumerian myths speak of the divine birth of Marduk through the intervention of Ea. The humanity of Jesus is something that has been coming through eastern mystics and researchers alike in recent years. He was both human and divine.
But rather than the person and their history, when we work with seals we are looking to merge with the frequency, allow them to guide us and teach us. What are the teachings of Mother Mary in our lives today? That's what rings true and is important for me. And they have ways of reminding us of their presence in our lives. The other day I went out on the ocean with my wife's family and the first yacht that we passed was called Lady Mary. I immediately went into a contemplative space, sitting at the front of the boat, looking out upon the still waters and blue skies and allowed my contemplations to take me where they might.
"The Holy Ghost Cosmic Vibration, AUM, Maha-Prakriti is analogous to the Cosmic Virgin Mary because it is thus the mother of the immanent Universal Christ Intelligence, the Son of God, and of all created objects.”
- Paramhansa Yogananda
In the formless state Mother Mary is that which births the Christ consciousness within us all. She is the universal shakti spoken of in Hindu teachings. Prakriti is the origin of all in our physical world.
In the Gene Keys we speak of Involution and Evolution. Involution is the pouring through of consciousness from the higher realms into the material realms. Evolution is the movement from material to the higher realms. The 7th Seal opens this portal to grace to meet the suffering of the world.
"We bow deeply to the presence of this grace, this holy shakti that falls upon us from the celestial realms."
- from the 7th Seal Invocation
All of this work that I do helps me to open up to bearing witness to the suffering of others. The day after invoking this with two of my groups I found myself watching The Wisdom of Trauma which follows the work of Gabor Mate, someone who I have followed closely for a number of years. Although I knew much of what he was sharing in the movie, I was moved by the depth of vulnerability of the people he interviewed. I witnessed a woman who spends her days among the homeless, a living embodiment of the grace of the 7th seal. We heard the painful stories of those who had turned to drug addiction or prostitution, who longed for the love and affection of others in their hurt but never received it.
The suffering of the world is something that the 7th Gene key allows us to meet. We receive it and we transmute it in our being through the gift of this grace. We need not turn our back on the suffering. We can look them in the eyes, feel their pain and allow for that grace to move through and between us. I felt that as I watched this movie, feeling deeply their pain and suffering, but not taking it on. The suffering is not without purpose, this is something this seal brings home hugely. "Suffering is Grace" is the contemplation of this key. Sit with that contemplation for a day and see what shows up.
I think of the many people who over the centuries who have had visions of Mary. The children of Fatima is a story that I have been recently re-acquainted with. When she showed up it was not simply to bless the children so they could be holy, they became vessels for her grace and it drew thousands who were suffering in their own lives in their own ways. Those children faced many challenges, including of course disbelievers. Many crave the apparitions of Mary but all those I have read about were being prepped for some deep and powerful work in their apparitions.
And so as I continue walking this path with the 7 Seals I will turn to Mary often. In the last few years she has found a new place in my heart, an emanation of that divine grace, a guide on the pathway to embodiment. May she continue to bless all with her shakti.
If you have been following my blogs in recent weeks you will be aware that it seems like I am being inundated with Christian saints. They have been showing up everywhere, not in form or apparition, but as clear guidance, things to consider as I enter into the Seven Sacred Seals sessions over the next 9 weeks. It is not a Christian teaching, it has tantric elements to it too, but as it has the deepest resonance in our western world it is where I am being guided.
This last week especially I have been feeling a pull to look into the lives of two saints, St Francis of Assisi and Theresa De Avila. Both I know a little of, but I was drawn to explore their lives a little more deeply. My wife had just been gifted a book about St Teresa, so I snapped it up from underneath her, the pull to read it very strong.
As it turned out I also received a copy of the book Seven Sacred Seals after a month long delay. It showed up between seals sessions on the day my groups began. Would you believe it the book fell open at the page about the 7 Saints associated with each seal, something I wasn't even aware was a thing. And then I saw that Teresa was the 5th Sacred Seal, the 4th Gene key, which happens to be my Purpose key. And St Francis is the 3rd Sacred seal, a seal I had been working with last weekend. To me this reveals that we truly can tap into the field of this work, it is a transmission. I had no idea they were the associated saints and to feel such a strong pull to them in recent weeks should then come as no surprise, but it was.
What stood out for me straight away from Teresa's story was that from a young age she wanted to be a martyr, an idea that many of us avoid in our modern world, seeing it connected to a sense of powerlessness and manipulation in many circles. But she wanted to 'suffer for Christ' as she called it, living a strict life in a nunnery, praying her guilt away daily. By today's standards she would still be considered a saint, but to her, in her mind, she was far from it, with many thoughts of her human failings. For her it was prayer that carried her through her life, as well as the odd visitation from an apparition.
And then when I started reading into the life of St Francis, one of the first things I read about him was also his desire to be a martyr, to suffer for Christ. And in those days that often meant being burned at the stake, or something worse inflicted upon them by the Inquisition authorities. But what Francis demonstrated through his martyrdom was a surrender of his lower self into the arms of the divine, a true sacrifice.
This took me back to childhood memories of staring at the cross at the back of my church, with the figure of Jesus surrendered on it. That symbol has carried such deep meaning in the western psyche, the crucifixion, and I do believe it is something that we are beginning to collectively come to right relationship around. But as a young boy staring at the cross I know I took on the opinion that I too would have to suffer in order to deserve heaven. And boy has that taken me on a journey, one that I now have a very different idea about today thankfully.
As we learn in the 7 Sacred Seals, 'Suffering is Grace'. Playing those words over in our minds can lead to some deep contemplation, I know it has every time I have facilitated a seals group. But it doesn't mean that we need to cause our own suffering, that we need to seek out unnecessary suffering. In my life I am certain that I did. I saw the life my grandfather lived as a POW in Poland in WW2 and his resilience spoke to me, but it also affirmed the idea that I must suffer. But suffering for the lower self and suffering to free others are quiet different acts altogether.
"Living for God is martyrdom." said Paramhansa Yogananda. Now isn't that a bit of a different idea to what martyrdom is than the one I learned? The belief that we need to sacrifice ourselves for the lower desires of others. We don't have to burn at the stake to be a martyr, we are martyrs when we sacrifice our base desires for higher desires, when we live for God.
There are those who may appear to play the role of martyr in the world, but if they were alive today they would probably tell us that they sacrificed only their lower nature. Throughout the history of Christianity we have heard of it, the Cathars who willingly walked on to the pyre to burn into the light, the Templars who burned at the stake, refusing to reveal the true nature of the treasure that others sought to take from them. In those times and those places it appears that it would have to play out that way. They chose God.
But today, to speak those truths, to hold them in our daily lives, does not usually bring us an automatic burning. We may be criticised by others who hold to different belief systems but thankfully in the part of the world where we live I can speak my truths without fear of this. If anything the memory is stored within our DNA, I have observed it in past life regressions in many over the years. The fear of it can immobilise even the most devoted.
For me it has often shown up in the form of people pleasing, something I can still catch in myself as I journey deeper into the work. We try to please others and we find ourselves sacrificing ourselves. When we serve God we find that we will release those who need us to please them and be surrounded by those who also serve God.
Caroline Myss actually speaks to the archetype of the martyr and references the martyrdom that the self help world wants to avoid at all costs, but also the martyrdom that is the higher frequency expression of that archetype.
"Within the self-help field, the shadow Martyr is viewed as a person who has learned to utilize a combination of service and suffering for others as the primary means of controlling and manipulating her environment. Ironically, in the social and political world, the martyr is often highly respected for having the courage to represent a cause, even if it requires dying for that cause for the sake of others. Suffering so that others might be redeemed, whether that redemption take a spiritual or political form, is among the most sacred of human acts. While people recognize this archetype in others, particularly when they are directly influenced by the individual sporting this pattern, they often cannot see it in themselves."
- Caroline Myss
My contemplation around this would lead me to look at dharma and the script that we are part of. For Gandhi (who incidentally shares a birthday with Caroline Myss) his dharma was to die for the cause, as it was for Martin Luther King. But for others who have fought for causes they have gone on to live longs lives. Can we trust the script? Can we stand in our truth even with that possibility hanging over us?
I don't think this contemplation is over. Saint Teresa and Francis has opened up a line of contemplation for me this week that I will continue to take into the work with the Seven Sacred Seals. I leave you with these words from Richard about both of these saints.
St Teresa of Avila
Teresa of Avila was a mediaeval mystic who attained very high States of ecstatic God-consciousness. She had a series of embodied visions in which Christ became visible to her. These experiences gave her a lifelong understanding of the nature of sin and the means to transcend it through a kind of four level 'Christian tantra'.
St Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis one of the best known and most fondly loved of all Christian saints. Saint Francis represents the vast humility of the love for all humans and creatures, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Saint Francis's life is also a representation of the complete surrender of the lower self into the arms of the divine."
- Richard Rudd, the Seven Sacred Seals
I was never someone who was into art, in fact was one of the only ones in my family who was not. My dad studied art history, as have some cousins. But over the years I have been pulled in the direction of certain renaissance artists especially, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael. And yes I loved the Ninja Turtles growing up so that is likely a reason these four stand out. But there are other reasons they have caught my attention and it is largely because of the mysteries that surround their works.
Last week in a healing journey I was presented with a face in my minds eyes that was clearly a painting, but not one that I recalled having seen before. I filed it away in my mind trusting that if it was to arise it would arrive with little effort, it would not require me sifting through thousands of paintings online.
In my adventures reading Rudolf Steiner talking about the Templars I stumbled upon material about John the Baptist, much of which I raised in my last blog. One of the comments made by Steiner was that John reincarnated during the renaissance period as the artist Raphael. Something made me pause in that moment and reflect on the painting I had just seen days before in my vision. Perhaps there was a Raphael painting that I might recognise. And I didn't have to look far to find it, the painting jumped out right away. The face was what had been the clearest, even the hair colour. And it was to be found in a painting called "The Woman and The Unicorn." Only the woman's face had been in the vision, I would definitely have remembered a unicorn if I had seen it.
At this point of the quest my mind is not necessarily convinced that John the Baptist became Raphael, but I can recognise a good synchronicity when I see one. I trust the images I see in my meditations to look into them at a later date. In the 20th century this was a painting known as St Catherine of Alexandria (a name I had recognised in conjunction with the Templars), but upon x-ray imaging had revealed a unicorn, and then further testing revealed before that Raphael had originally sketched a dog. Raphael was responsible for the dog and the unicorn but it was an unknown painter in the 17th century who had painted the Catherine wheel symbolic of the martyrdom of St Catherine.
So, working backwards we could look at some possibilities that may provide clues in this ongoing adventure. St Catherine is another saint who has influenced Templar beliefs over the centuries, Henry Sinclair, the Templar who came to North America, having a particular affinity to her due to the well that was near his property in Rosslyn, Scotland. She was a patron saint of learning, but also for unmarried women. Churches dedicated to her were often built at the top of hills, with laterns lit to guide sailors safely. I wonder why the unnamed painter would be inclined to turn Raphael's art into the catherine wheel?
The next layer is the Unicorn, which has long been associated with Grail legends as a symbol of purity. She holds the unicorn in her lap, something that Margaret Starbird speaks to in her book, the Woman With The Alabaster Jar. A unicorn in the lap may seem innocuous to us but when we realise that many medieval paintings included it in reference to the Grail mysteries it changes somewhat, bringing heresy to the fore.
"The bridegroom/king with "lifted head" or "horn" inevitably seeks the lap of the Bride for the consummation of the Sacred Marriage" claims Margaret Starbird in reference to some tapestries "So does the mythical unicorn. Although the tapestries were woven at the dawn of the Renaissance period (1500 AD), the story of the unicorn with his head in the lap of the maiden originated in the classical world, where the imagery of the sacred king and his marriage to the love goddess was familiar." (page 138)
Although she is not referencing Raphael's work, the unicorn in the lap is hard to miss. The medieval painters had put their teachings in plain sight, for those who could understand them. Is it possible Raphael was up to the same? It is interesting also to see the pillars either side of the lady, a symbol often seen in templar and freemasonry in reference to the pillars of Joachim and Boaz.
Starbird also mentions that the unicorn is associated with anointing of the king with oil and is "an echo of the line from the twenty-third psalm, where the king addresses the feminine deity" (page 137).
If we are talking about anointing with oil then we can link back to St Catherine whose wheel once covered over the top of the unicorn. She is also associated with fertility. The Balm Well at Henry Sinclair's home in Rosslyn was said to be an "inexhaustible fountain of healing, for it possessed a black oil believed to be constantly renewed by St Catherine. When Prince Henry Sinclair was born his father immediately anointed him with oil from this well with the belief it would protect him from the plague." This comes from William F Mann in the book The Knights Templar in the New World.
And finally, as Starbird refers to throughout her book, the heretics such as the cathars and templars believed that it was the "horn of the unicorn that would purify the polluted doctrine of the church" (page 140). For those of us in Canada, as we witness the ongoing revelations about the Residential Schools, many of us are filled with emotions around what the Catholic church still does to others in the name of Christ today. As the emotions towards the church are purified perhaps there will be a greater chance of restoring long lost wisdom from the cradle of Christianity.
At this point I am not drawn to look deeper into the dog reference in the very first layer of the painting but I will stay open to any impressions and insights I receive. For now, the unicorn and St Catherine both leave us something to contemplate in reference to the hidden mysteries concealed within art throughout the centuries.
John the Baptist (pictured at left in painting by Leonardo Da Vinci) held a high place in the hearts and minds of the Templars, medieval knights committed to a purification of Christianity, an institution they saw as having been hijacked by the Catholic church. His name has appeared many times to me this week and when I drew a Gene Key card about it, it was the 31st Gene Key, the gift of Leadership and the siddhi of Humility.
The Templars had deep reverence for Jesus, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene. Many churches were built in Johns name. In fact, behind my house is a church dedicated to John the Baptist. Tucked away in the corner of the graveyard I recently found an old font, seemingly the oldest stone on the property, older than the graves. And on this font was engraved the symbol below, looking a lot like the Templar cross. There are a number of Freemasons (who followed on from the Templars) buried in that small graveyard, which really doesn't surprise me.
John was the cousin of Jesus and in many ways the wayshower. Throngs gathered around him as he preached out in the wilderness in those ancient lands. He would baptise people in the river jordan, which is where Jesus appears to first encounter him in the bible. Symbolically he is the water bearer, which we shall later see connects John to the sign of Aquarius, the age humanity is entering. As with many of the wild men at that time he was a threat to the established order and so his head was summarily cut off. He was a leader, but he knew in his humility that he was preparing for someone who would do far greater things than he would.
John wasn't merely this preacher though. He has played, and continues to play a significant role in the stories of Jesus. In the bible Jesus actually says that John had once been the prophet Elijah and that Jesus had previously been Elijah's disciple Elisha. Reincarnation is something else that the catholic church decided could no longer be taught to the masses so you won't hear about that in many schools of thought. Paramhansa Yogananda and Rudolf Steiner both speak to this reincarnation in their work and reflect on it in different ways. Yogananda spoke of John as more than just than the man who baptised Jesus, but as actually his guru, and that at some point Jesus evolved beyond his guru.
Steiner goes a little further, claiming that John actually reincarnated much sooner in the body of Lazarus who then became known as John, one of Jesus' closest disciples. John, he says, would then become known as St John the Divine, the channel of the 7 apocalyptic seals, which Richard Rudd has called upon in his teaching the Seven Sacred Seals. Even later, according to Steiner, he would become the artist Raphael during the Renaissance period, something I have not explored too deeply yet but experienced a synchronicity that will appear in my next blog.
"Aquarius or the Water Carrier points to the same person as John who baptized with water in order to prepare mankind to receive the Christian baptism of fire. The fact of the coming of a ‘John/Aquarius’ who will first confirm the old John and announce a Christ who will renew the temple, once the great point of time should have arrived when Christ will again speak to humanity— this was taught in the depths of the Templar Mysteries, so that the event should be understood." - Rudolf Steiner
Jesus was the baptism of fire that John was preparing them for, Jesus was the fire element. And by all accounts he will return to announce the next wave, perhaps not as man but perhaps as a group of people holding the wisdom, fractals of John. Perhaps through a rebirth of his teachings of the 7 seals?
The templars believed that it was only in this time that we now find ourselves that we would come to a true understanding of Christ and it would be through something associated with John the Baptist. If he was indeed John the Divine, who taught the Seven Seals, then maybe those of us working with the Seals, whether through Richard Rudd's teachings, or any version thereof, is playing the part. And each who approaches the world with an open heart, in surrender to their dharma, assumes a mantle of leadership and humility as spoken of in the 31st Gene Key.
Many have denied the scriptures because of the imposition of control over them, but now the wisdom of the feminine can emerge into our world and our times to bring heart back into the teachings of Christianity as we return the lost bride to her rightful place.
If you are interested in exploring the Seven Seals with a group of people then consider joining this excursion I have planned, Opening The Seven Seals. We will be working on behalf of the whole, in our microcosm, as we embrace the 7 core wounds of humanity.
I allow synchronicities to guide me and recently there have been many around the life and deaths of the Knights Templar, a medieval order of knights committed to the ideals of christ, not the catholic messaging, but the hidden gnostic teachings that have been emerging in findings such as the Dead Sea and Nag Hammadi scrolls.
Someone who has spoken on the Templars and of their mystical influence to this day is the theosophist Rudolf Steiner. I was drawn to his material this week, unaware that there is actually a full book dedicated to his teachings about the Templars.
Steiner spends a good deal of time talking about the capture and torture of the templars and how they were lead to make claims under duress that were not true, but incriminated the order even to this day. He speaks of the two streams emanating from them, one of the nature of their secret works related to the 'mystery of Golgotha' as he calls it, Jesus' story with the cross, and another stream from the words spoken during torture.
This same week I have also been experiencing multiple synchronicities around the Hanged Man of tarot, as I contemplate the 52nd Gene Key and its gift of Restraint. The first hanged man reference came by 'accident' in a discussion with a friend who posted a picture of a man hanging, by his hands, from a branch, which I jokingly labelled the hanged man.
After a day of digesting Steiner's work I sat down to watch the TV series Outlander, which still has its moments. At the beginning of this episode one of the characters was hung by the British, but managed to survive through quick thinking and perfect hand placement. Still, it left him with trauma from that event. Later in that episode we find him sitting down with one of the female characters who is drawing cards from a tarot deck. She pulls the hanged man and suddenly becomes aware of how this might be a trigger for Roger and so she shuffles the deck and resets the cards. Wouldn't you know it she pulls the Hanged man yet again.
So, the Hanged Man has my attention. As someone who has a background with the tarot I knew enough to to understand that this was about surrender and periods of waiting, restrained by the universe. I could definitely relate this to my own life and definitely to the 52nd Gene Key I was contemplating. But I was motivated to look deeper.
In her books Margaret Starbird goes into the history of the tarot, relating it to how the Templars used it to convey wisdom of the feminine, hidden within the cards. They were distributed in secrecy so as not to be uncovered by the church of that time, eventually disappearing from circulation when they were beginning to be put under scrutiny. Many of the original cards are no longer in the deck and so what we see today, which is still very valuable, is in some sense a watered down version of the original deck, missing much of the Grail Mysteries that were woven into them. But, it does have the Hanged Man in it. So, what did Margaret Starbird have to say about it?
"Usually called the Hanged Man and said to be the most enigmatic picture in the deck, could be named the Tortured Templar." - Margaret Starbird
Oh boy, well that loops me back to Steiner now and his focus on the tortured templars. Suddenly this reference seems to be a little more than just a typical hanged man reading, there is something more to it. So what does the tortured templar reveal?
"It is at the same time a subtle reference to the sacred bloodline and to the crippled Grail King Anfortas. The money bags in the hands of the hanged man represent the legendary treasure of the Temple. In spite of the unspeakable tortures of the inquisitors, the leaders of the Temple did not divulge the whereabouts of their treasure, perhaps because their real treasure was one not made of gold. Their treasure was contained in earthen vessels—the royal bloodline of Jesus the King and the other version of the Christian story, which they held in their hearts." - Margaret Starbird, The Woman With The Alabaster Jar
Even under duress the Templars did not reveal the location of their treasure, but more importantly the treasure was not something material. One of the reasons the Templars had been rounded up is that due to an obsession with money, King Phillip the Fair had wanted to get his hands on gold. He was in considerable debt elsewhere so he thought getting the templars might help him in many ways. In the end it didn't work out too well for him and the Templar treasure, the elusive grail, was something that each knight held within his own heart.
In Gene Keys the Codon Ring of Trials (33, 56, 12) is the Hanged Man and so the reference to the Grail King Anfortas is also equally interesting. Each of us is the wounded king and it is the healing of our core wound that reveals the gifts we come to bear in this life time for the good of the whole. Our trial will attempt to make us forget (33), get distracted (56) and cling to our individuality (12), but through surrendering deeper into the wound we bring a new light into the world. This is explored as we get deep into the work of our core wound and SQ in the Venus Sequence. Perhaps this was something the Templars failed in during their trials, albeit understandably so. Steiner certainly suggests this was the case.
And for me, what stood out from Steiners work was although it was many moons ago the lives of the templars shaped many aspects of our modern world, the pain of their torture and their commitment to the divine being felt today, along with all the other truths and mistruths related to their work. There is a sense of mystery about them and no fact searching is bringing any resolution to something that is felt as a wisdom.
Something fundamental to moving through the Gene Key process is understanding our shadows. So what are our shadows?
The shadow, those aspects of ourselves that remain hidden from us, the parts we unconsciously feel shame, guilt, anger or even sadness about once we discover we bear them. Until that moment they are unconscious behaviours that hurt others when we react and hurt ourselves with when repressed. They limit the frequency we operate from until we bring conscious awareness to them and transmute them into world awakening gifts.
We benefit from having people in our lives who love us enough to help us see a shadow without judgement. All too often our shadows have been shown to us by people who judge them and unless we have the deep presence of acceptance we will remain within that shadow.
There are aspects of our nature that we wouldn’t even view as shadow, such as our intellect, which is held in high esteem in our modern world. A mind can remember and recall facts but it can be used to attack and disempower others or become obsessed with details. Someone possessed by the intellect can throw facts at you until the cows come home, but there will be an emptiness to their words, a lack of true understanding. This is one I have become aware of over the years and will use it to prevent myself from feeling deep pains within my being.
It is not easy when we first notice a shadow within, but awareness of it is the first step in the process of transmutation. We also have to entertain the possibility that a certain shadow is within us, even if we have not witnessed it yet. This is fundamental if the Gene Keys process is to work for you. I have seen people, myself included, think they have already transmuted the shadow when in fact it still remains in the shadow. It doesn’t mean we become bogged down in it, but as we focus on bringing the gifts forward the shadow will arise in the moment it’s time has come for compassionate awareness.
When we transmute the shadow of intellect we witness a gift called precision, where our heart and intuition guides the way, calling upon the facts when needed. We feel a magnetism of people coming from this gift and we are often turned off by those who lead from the intellect. Those with the gift of precision make excellent writers, speakers and musicians, using words to uplift the frequency of others. This is just one example of a shadow- gift relationship.
The beauty of the Gene Keys is that it helps us become aware of shadow behaviours and helps us recognize that they are simply a low frequency version of a heart centred gift we come to bring into the world. As we allow, accept and embrace the parts of ourselves that we like the least we realize the gift that has been dormant the whole time. Instead of escaping the shadow we face it with courage, dive in and through it into a whole new world of possibilities. Sometimes we can thrive at the gift level in certain areas of life, but in other areas of life, in certain relationships will slip back into the shadow.
Be gentle with yourselves and your shadows, therein lies the power of the work.
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