The Soul of America: New Beginnings 27

The Iroquois, Hiawatha, and the Way of Grief

The Legend of Dekanawida


The Iroquois are intimately linked with the roots of peace. The path of peace ( peace is not the opposite of war – think of it as the path of harmony) connects with the legend of Dekanawida (The name means “two river currents flowing together.” – we will see that these are the rivers of life and death.)

When Dekanawida grew to manhood he built his canoe of white stone (this is an image of going to the world of the dead — this is where we got to in the last two blogs — Coatlique). His intent was to stop the shedding of blood among human beings.

He crossed Lake Ontario in his canoe of white stone and approached the land of the Iroquois. The five Iroquois tribes were at war with one another. When they saw Dekanawida’s boat of white stone, they were filled with wonder.

Dekanawida brought the message of peace to the tribes. The message has three parts: Righteousness – justice between men and nations; Health – soundness of mind and body; Power – the authority of law and custom. (In the U.S. Constitution, which was modeled on these three principles – they became Life (Health), Liberty (Righteousness), and the Pursuit of Happiness (Power) ). These principles were to be worked out among the tribes in the Longhouse (This became Congress) – where there are many fires. The five nations live as one household – under one chief mother; the women have the power to name the chiefs. The Mother of Nations is called “New Face.”

The Longhouse


This was the plan. But, it was not easy. The tribes practiced cannibalism at that time. Dekanawida went to the house of the ‘man who eats humans’. He climbed to the roof of this man’s dwelling and looked straight down the smoke hole. The man below was looking into the water of a kettle – he was about to cook a man. He saw Dekanawida’s face reflected in the water and he thought that it was his own face. He had never seen such wisdom and righteousness. He thought –“now I will no longer kill humans and eat their flesh”. He then asks if there is anyone who can tell him how to make amends. Dekanawida came down from the roof and sat with him. “The New Mind” has come to you – to heal the memories by working to make justice prevail and bringing peace to those places where you have brought pain.”

Dekanawida names this man Hiawatha (He who combs).

Dekanawida sent Hiawatha to visit Atotarho – a great and evil wizard. Hiawatha combs the snakes out of Atotarho’s hair… there is much more to the legend – this is the part we need to work with.



Dekanawida was an initiate who tries to introduce new spiritual principles – by going through the depths of soul (that is, one has to go inward and down – down to the region of Coatlique, for example –remember, her head is a vicious snake and she wears a skirt of snakes) – in fact, the Iroquois are related to the Mayans).

Hiawatha is a soul-being between two initiates – Dekanawida – good, and Atotarho – evil. He is an imagination of how we are to work with evil. Evil cannot be fought against because to do so requires using the means of evil to do so.

The clue to the beginning of the healing of greed: feeling the sorrow of Earth and her people; and an unending meeting of our ‘failures’ – shortcomings – not simply knowing about them, but meeting them in soul.

Hiawatha goes through extreme sorrow in seeking the transformation of Atotarho – that is, the transformation of evil. His three daughters and a fourth were killed.

He establishes the ritual of Condolence —- The ritual of Grieving





Hiawatha combing the Snakes out of one who is possessed by Otatarho


Wampum Beads with the White Tree of Peace


He invented wampum – we take that word to mean a form of money – initially it was not (later, in another blog, we will see what happened, how wampum became “money.. Wampum beads were a way of marking sorrowful stories. After the death of his family, he was wandering and came to Tully Lakes, where he walked in desolation, picking up shells. He threaded them onto three strings. Hiawatha says:

“If I found anyone burdened with grief even as I am, I would console them for they would be covered with the night and wrapped in the darkness. This would lift with words of condolence and these strings of beads would become words with which I would address them –

Presenting the first string of wampum beads to one grieving, he would say:“With these words, I wipe away the tears of your eyes so that you may see clearly”.

Presenting the second string, he would say: “With these words, I wipe away the obstruction from your ears so that you may once again have perfect hearing.”

Presenting the third string, he would say: “ With these words, I remove the obstruction from your throat so that you may once again have perfect speaking.

These are the basic three words of the Condolence Ceremony, calling people to the three principles of righteousness in conduct, health of body and mind, and equality among people.
You may know that the Iroquois influenced the forming of the American Constitution – it was modeled on their ways of the Longhouse and the way of Condolence. — this is long lost on us.The story just told contains within it the qualities of the Spiritual Way of America – which we have been getting to, which we have been touching into all along.

Cannibalism still goes on – eating one’s neighbor – cannibalism is a far better word that greed!

In this midst of the cannibalism of greed, the spiritual path of America is the spiritual path of life/death – and condolence.We do not see, do we – that the constant violence – bombings, school shootings, the lying, corporate cannibalism, are the pathology of the spiritual way of death, the spiritual way through death — if you do not die, you are killed! That is the pathology – killing – because the cannibalism of greed has not been seen as killing and killing as a way to avoid coming to terms, within oneself, with the great mystery of dying, that is, the dying of ego and the entering of soul. A mystery that needs to be met daily as a way of entering the deepest depth of soul. As a nation, and even as individuals, we no longer go through the mystery of dying, the mystery of soul; and we do not experience condolence (when 17 children are slaughtered, there is, at best, a moment of Silence – that passes as condolence, or a few political words); we cannot even phantom the three ways of condolence.

We either enter the way of death (do not take death here literally or you wind up right back where we are – killing) – or we are killed. Think of 9/11! It is a large picture of what is happening to us all. When greed takes over, we no longer go through dying. We are killed – by terrorism, tornadoes, floods, fires, hurricanes, Ebola, criminals. – these ways of being killed are a necessity in the absence of living the mystery of life/death happening each moment. ( It is important to deeply contemplate this – yes, we are the cause of earthquakes, volcanoes…and all the rest).

The choice is not one of living or dying – it is how we live with our dying. Greed denies death, chooses not to live with our dying – pretending that having everything we desire can kill consciousness of dying – and It does — it necessarily then means we meet our dying through violent means. It is a matter, for each of us – is death an angel or an executioner?


The Soul of America: New Beginnings 26

Coatlique, Tonantzin, and Guadalupe

The title of the last blog was “More on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the New Earth”. This followed from the prior blog concerning Coatlique and Lady Guadalupe. Let’s, in this blog, continue for a moment with this theme as it has to do with finding the way through the decimation of Earth and finding Earth as the Vast Self, the sacred, creating-being that we also are — beings of the sacredness of earth-bodies rather than robotic look-alikes, having the capacity, through awarenes, to BE HERE. The difficulties we face stem from our ignorance — we are not here because for us there is no HERE HERE. We live in concepts, reactions, opinions, mentalness, impulse, tech, and beliefs, and some live deeply connection with spiritual presences while not knowing Earth as such a spiritual presence.

After further contemplation, the interpretation of Lady Guadalupe given by the earth geometer Peter Champoux last time, the sense of Lady Guadalupe signaling the evolution of Earth into the “Sixth Sun” (The name given by the Mayans, which refers to the time of the NEW EARTH), is perhaps in need of just a slight modification. Modification because that understanding does not give quite the right emphasis to Coatlique.

Certainly not to her fierceness. Just look:


She holds her head. and from the place above her shoulders there is the head of a great snake, and Coatlique wears a skirt of snakes! She is the goddess of Life and Death — simultaneously, not life now and death sometime in the future, the literalists view, devoid of actual experience. Earth and all of Nature are the simultaneities of Life/Dearth. Just look and see! And so are we, and we can see/feel that if we did not live in such fear of death — and we live in fear of death because we are no longer HERE!

“Coatlique” —

“Coa” in the language of Náhuatl, means “snake”— And they are FIERCE-Earth.…of the very vibration of Earth herself.

A more benevolent form of the feminine goddess is also the goddess of this same site. She is named

Tonantzin who is the earth and fertility
goddess known as “Our Lady Mother”:



But Coatlique and Tonantzin are the same! Tonantzin’s sacred site was also the hill of Tepeyac, the site of Coatlique on which a temple had been built. When the Spanish conquistador, Cortez, approached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the emperor Moctezuma II met the Spaniards at the temple of Tonantzin. The invaders knocked over the statue of the goddess at that site and replaced her with a Madonna statue from Europe.

An Aztec convert who took the name Juan Diego was walking by the hill of Tepeyac one day in 1531. Even to a convert, this was still a sacred site, connected to the deity of the Moon, and the place where the cosmic kingdom had begun to unravel. Juan Diego’s actual name was Cuauhtlatoatzin (which means “the talking eagle”). Guillermo Schulenburg, in 1996 suggested that he is not entirely a “historical” figure. The first written mention of Juan Diego is found in the “Nican Nopohua” document, almost a century after the events. He is more like an earth-angelic messanger.

As Juan Diego walked by Tepeyac, he was called by a young brown-skinned woman who called herself “Coatlaxopeuh”, “xopeuh” meaning to crush serpents (These are not the serpents Coatlique wears as a skirt or wears as a head.) One pronunciation of this name would be quatlasupe, which was similar in sound to Guadalupe, an Iberian Madonna who is sometimes depicted as standing on the head of a bull between its horns. Coatlaxopeuh who is known ever since as Our Lady Guadalupe sent Juan Diego to the bishop asking that a shrine (temple) be built for her where the previous temple to Tonantzin once stood.


Still, the above rings too strongly of a Catholic interpretation. And does not quite match the image of Coatlaxopeuh on the tilma, the cloak of Cuauhtlaotoatzin, Juan Diego (the Guardian of Tonantzin, perhaps?).
In the visual image, she is not standing, for example, on snakes. However, it is a historical interpretation to say, as they do, that first there was Coatlique, who was later “replaced” by Tonantzin, and still
later, replaced by “Our Lady of Guadalupe”.  Read imagistically — that is, just staying with what presents itself, and refraining from falling into historical (history is alway his-story, not her-story)
interpretations coming through, for example, Catholic tradition, She is all three of the images — at once. Mother Earth is all three of these imaginal (that is, both image and presences at the same time!
We are working with soul, and soul is image, not history. And this level of soul is myth, and myth is that which never happened but is always happening!

Who appeared to Cuahtlatoazin? Not exactly who we see as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He saw a dark-skinned Woman, not a European Madonna. He did see her as depicted, but the mention
of “dark-skinned” tends to dissolve away in documents and history, which also dissolves away that she is the Black-Madonna of America(s). And, she is FIERCE, and she is EARTH MOTHER, and she
is the LIGHT OF THE SUN IN THE HEART, and she THE CLARITY OF MOON-AS-WISDOM, and she is LIFe/DEATH, and she is THE NEW EARTH, and she is The New BODY.

Yet one more attribute, quality that She is.

The tilma, used as a cloak which she wears, was woven of course maguey cactus fiber. The image is reputed to be a mixture of different artistic mediums, including oils and pastels. It was the perfect image for it equally appealed to both conquerors and conquered. The Spaniards saw in it a confirmation of their Marian devotions coupled with their mandate to subjugate the Americas, to commit mass genocide of the people, to enslave.

The conquered “Indios” saw something else. They identified with the goddess who was so powerful that she stood blocking the rays of the sun and standing on the moon. Yet so powerful, she is still so gentle that her feet are cushioned by an angel holding a pillow on which she stands. She wears a dress adorned with flowers of the region and she is wearing a waist sash indicating that she is pregnant. Mary of Tepeyac is the mother of the ultimate humanity — the humanity as hu-mus, humanity as earth-beings, beings that are HERE.

And that she finds within her being what seems and are violent oppositions – fierceness, nurturing, and love, the harmony of these opposing forces within her being instruct us anew: NO MORE OPPOSITION! It is not possible with her fullness of complexity, to be fully human by setting up………

the spiritual folks on one side

 and the villains on the other.

It is impossible to set the tree-huggers on one side and the tree-cutters on the other. That is OLD EARTH.THE NEW EARTH requires that we who claim the ground of ‘spirituality’, are
also those who claim dominion and domination and live and think of the earth as an “it”. Our task then shifts considerably. It is no longer to opposse and fight against evil, for in every instance, to do so requires taking up the tools of evil for the fight. Nor is it to be complacent about evil. Our task is to take it ‘in’, where inner light can shine on it. To do so requires that we see all evil in the world as also within us.






The Soul of America: New Beginnings 25

More on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the New Earth


This overlay of Earth Geometry onto the image/icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe is from the remarkable work of Earth geometer, Peter Champoux ( It depicts another — or additional — reading of the appearance of Lady Guadalupe.

In the last blog, I spoke of Our Lady of Guadalupe as an appearance of Coatlique, the Earth Mother. Lady Guadalupe appeared at the exact place of an ancient site of the Earth Mother in Tepeyacac, Mexico.
This is a new revelation of Mother Earth, revealing the spiritual evolution of Mother Earth, one we are to connect with at this time of spiritual-Earth evolution. Contemplate these words in Peter Champoux’s description of the geometric patterns. These patterns are not arbitrary, but it would be too much to go into here. See Peter Champoux’s booklet, “The Ark of Antero: America’s Sacred Landscape”, which shows the exact region of the American landscape that reveals this vibratory pattern — an area from the Spanish Peaks in Southern Colorado (where the Spanish captured the Ute Original People and took them up the mountain and made them carry gold down and then slaughtered them). From the Spanish Peaks, the vibrancy of Lady Guadalupe extends north, past the San Luis Valley and Crestone, Colorado, where the largest aquifer in America lies, to Mount Antero. (I lived all last year near the Spanish Peaks and was born and grew up in that region, and returned after sixty years away).

Notice and perhaps contemplate these parts of the description written by Peter Champoux below the image above:

l. “There is a rising up of humanity.”
2. “being activated through the shining solar disk of her prayerful hands.”
3. “The Noblewoman dispenses her Grace to and draws the Earth to a higher level of being.”
4. “This icon heralds the arrival of the Sixth Sun, ( the next level of the arising of spiritual-Earth in Mayan Myth), the Sun of Flowers.”
5. “With spirit wings grounded in the mud (notice the angel, who is Michael, emerging from the Earth, who seems to
      support Lady Guadalupe), and her arms embracing this new sun, we connect heart to heart with the Great Mother.”

The three-dimensional depiction to the right of the image of Lady Guadalupe above best expresses the emerging of Lady Guadalupe from the Earth, with ascending Light, which burst forth from her hands, at the place of the heart as she looks down. Descending Light comes from the cosmic spirit realm above.

This new, emerging Spiritual-Earth requires our engagement to manifest. Its occurrence has happened, its manifestation has not — that is a long process and does not happen without our conscious participation. The manifestation was also greatly delayed by the capturing of this appearance by the Catholic Church, turning it, certainly into a reverence for Our Lady, but the Earth aspect was totally ignored. In the next blog I will show how evident the Earth connection is; indeed that it is a first showing of spiritual-Earth.

Why you might be wondering — if this emerging of the New Feminine Earth is now occurring, why
America seems to be in such bad shape, so removed from Earth, so caught in division, so caught in egotism, and in
such a difficult decline? Why can’t we notice what is happaning?  It is all ——

The Forces of Greed

Quiet, Silence, Stillness, Earth-Reverence
Required to embody and manifest the radiance of Spiritual-Earth

The Soul of America: New Beginnings 24

Who is at the Center of the Underworld: The True Source of the Soul of America

The Original “Me Too” Lady

In these blog entries, I try to work imaginally, mythically, feelingly – rather than literally and historically. And, I try to avoid speaking in opinions, relying on an inner consistency of image-patterning as the guide. Language gets in the way, terribly, particularly given that the English language favors mind-oriented, rational–oriented ways of taking things literally, and we tend to be unfamiliar with the manner images form the psyche, and thus the way we perceive the world, and we remain unconscious of there being anything governing what we perceive and think other than perhaps social factors.

Given the situation, and still trying to speak of soul and Earth and how we live, I thank those who are staying with this work, immensely. And, even more, thank you who have commented, and are going through what is essentially a transformation process.

The more difficult part of the blogs concerns reading as inner listening. Listening from the place of the heart, listening to body/heart resonances. Facts and history and thinking are more like the materials for the making of something imaginal. If you pay attention only to the materials, you will miss the picture-making.

The last blog made a long sweep – from High Tor, NY, through 9/11, and down to the Trinity site of the first atomic bomb, and the resonance  of the original loss of the heart of America through the literal and brutal ritual of tearing the heart from the breast of captured native people by the Aztecs and offering their hearts to the Sun, expecting a material return. The Aztec people were invaded by the Spaniards who slaughtered them, leading to this degradation of the imaginal heart… of the Americas. It is as if the Aztec people became infected with the impulse of greed.

Return in imagination to our earlier story of the Spanish Conquistadors. Remember that after their devastation of the Original People, they, under the leadership of Cortez, returned to Spain. This was around 1520. Some ten years later, around 1531, he was going to lead another expedition to Mexico, and surely enacting another phase of genocide, reaching into America. In 1531, however, in Tepayacac, Mexico, Lady Guadalupe appeared. Cortez did not return to Mexico for another round of killing the Aztecs and the Original people of America.

This moment marks the seeding of the soul of the Americas. Lady Guadalupe tells the Aztec people to go back to their roots and to their origin, the Great Mother Coatlique. Mother Earth. Coatlique, a virgin mother, now represented as Lady Guadalupe, originates the soul of the Americas. At this time, 1531, she appears in a form coherent with Christianity that now dominated, and in a form needed for the future. Our destiny in America requires coming to meet and see and experience the darkness of greed, originating at a different level of the Underworld than Coatlique.  That different level than Coatlique arises here in America at the place of High Tor in New York, the region of tears and grieving. Later we will take up the theme of grieving, yet again, with the Iroquois of the far northeast. Their mythic story centers in the redemption of grieving, that is, honoring grieving —- and their way of life, of community, which explicitly formed the background of the Constitution of the United States. Thus, the soul of America —- the creating, that in-forms what we perceive as America, concerns the deep feminine presence of the Earth spirit, encountered through grieving.

The Catholic hierarchy has always been good at taking over the gods and goddesses of a land, covering them over with a ‘Christian look’, to convert the Original people to Catholicism. This too happened with Lady Guadalupe. Nine million people converted to Christianity at the time of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

This minimal work with Coatlique–Our Lady of Guadalupe is an important image. We do not want to throw out, yet again, Earth-spirit, which happens if we are unaware of the continuity between Coatlique and Lady Guadalupe, but we also do not want to return to the old by disregarding Lady Guadalupe and seeing the ‘old ways’ — but rather, to see the old in new ways.

The Original people would seem to accept the Christian stories and figures, but most often would retain, in secret, their own spirituality. There was enough in common with the Earth people and the images of Christianity that they could easily seem to be Christian while retaining their ways.

Try, in a relaxed manner, to see this image of Lady Guadalupe as Earth-oriented rather than Sky oriented, even though her cloak bears the images of the constellations.Another Codex which carefully describes the event is quite explicit in saying she emerges from the earth. Her image, now in the Cathedral in Mexico City — is also actually a codex — a code to be read. I may work with this code in several blog entries; for now, feel the way she emerges from Earth rather than being ‘plopped down’ from heaven. (To read this quite astounding account of Coatlique and Lady Guadalupe, see: The Aztec Virgin: The Secret Mystical Tradition of Our Lady of Guadalupe by John Mini.)

There is a reason for my speaking of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” as “Lady Guadalupe”. The former carries both the sense of possession — as if she is ‘ours’; the second, more significant reason concerns staying close to Earth-spirituality and being clear about the difference between ‘Earth-spirituality’ and ‘Sky-spirituality’. We, even if we do not practice any particular spirituality are within the prevailing ‘Sky-spirituality”. That is, we think of all things spiritual as ‘up-there’ somewhere. “Up-There” is certainly a metaphor, not to be taken literally, but, it is a metaphor of ‘not-being-here”. My use of the name “Lady Guadalupe” keeps our imagination close to the Mother of Earth-Spirituality.

Coatlique, also, at this site in Mexico, she who is also named Tonantzin, given in this time, 1531, as Lady Guadalupe, is the Black Madonna of the Americas. She points the way to the origin of the American Earth-Cosmos, to Earth reverence. And she displays the manner, the way, the only way of coming to the core of the soul of America – by falling into her arms; that is, the only way to her is through grief.

Grief is not the result of experiencing the death of someone near – that is mourning. Grief comes when ego loosens and/or dissolves, for then we are in the midst of the truth of life as joyous/sorrowful, simultaneously. It is the way of being humus-beings, that is …of earth.


The Soul of America: New Beginnings 231/2

An Interim Video – James Hillman on Greed in America


As I work, and wait, for the wording to arrive for the next blog entry, one that will end this section of engaging the Soul of America and pivoting into a
a new section of the work, I post this video of an interview with my dearest friend, James Hillman — that addresses greed and our ‘culture’.

Next blog installment in a few days.


The Soul of America: New Beginnings 23


Approaching the Soul of America

The architecture of New York City, that of Wall Street and that of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza present pictures — images if held interiorly — of the Underworld of greed in contrast to the now opening Underworld that may
be the true source of the Soul of America! In this blog installment, I will work with the architectural images here and next time I will go more deeply into the imagination of the true soul of America.

I mentioned some time ago that the School of Spiritual Psychology did a soul retreat with a group of people to High Tor, and included a picture of Manhattan from the top of High Tor. The extraordinary contemplative sense of seeing Manhattan from High Tor was the strong and deep feeling that what was ‘over there’ in the distance, was at the same time right where we were standing at High Tor. And the experience was that of being in a holy place, not unlike the feeling one has in a place like Chartres Cathedral.

We later went into Manhattan — first to 911 Memorial Plaza and then to Wall Street. Two images of Wall Street — The Trump Building and the image of looking toward the end of Wall Street seeing Trinity Church Wall Street – the Episcopal Church. Here we are again TRINITY — in the last blog I spoke of the place of the detonation of the first Atomic bomb, the site called TRINITY — which is the opening into the anti-Trinity Underworld.  Look, at these two images — Trinity Church Wall Street, and The Trump Building:

We did a contemplation — first with the Tump Building — this was in 2014 — long before Donald Trump had decided to run for president, as far as we knew. A quite strange experience occurred in the contemplation of the Trump Building, one that is pretty difficult to describe. The contemplation of the Trump Building was just like the experience at High Tor — the same kind of vibration — except without the holy sense that occurred at High Tor. And the contemplation of Trinity Church Wall Street was ‘flat’ — that is no particular holy sense, and no particular vibration — it was as if it were, as a vibratory phenomenon, ‘dead’, as if its radiance had bee usurped by Wall Street. Just descriptive. It is as if what was once alive as public spiritual presence is now usurped by an different kind of towering presence — that spiritual desire and longing has been replaced by desire for greed. Not just the Trump Building; it is one manifestation of the towering aspirations of greed. Greed is also not ‘bad’; it is a very important force, and lives within the soul of every human being — It is something we must all meet and, only when it goes beyond its boundaries and takes over — then it becomes destructive.

But, something else is also happening in “Manna-hata”. Let us go a few blocks, a very few, to 911 Memorial Plaza — a different Underworld.

The fountains of 911 Memorial Plaza do not spray water up. The cooling waters go into the Underworld (when this place is ‘seen’ imaginally).

Then, right across the street, there was another church — that was destroyed on 9/11, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Later, in 2013, a new church was started, with a startling design by
the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The design of the church is remarkable. At night, the light within the church shines through the stone walls of the church. Here is the design — not a tower pointing upward, but a very feminine downward motion — of the veil of Mary – Calatrava was very well aware of this:


In December, 2017, the church was not yet completed, and this was reported in the news:

“Severe financial mismanagement has prompted the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to stop work on its St. Nicholas shrine at the World Trade Center.

The archdiocese, which raised $37 million in donations to pay for the Santiago Calatrava-designed shrine, ran out of funds, the New York Times reported. “Effective Dec. 5, 2017, Skanska USA has terminated its contract with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on account of GOA’s defaults in making payments,” Thomas Perry, the director of the project, wrote in a letter sent to subcontractors.”

“Severe financial mismanagement”— translate this as saying greedy planners, contractors, and management somehow took over, and the motion of ‘down and inward’, which is where America must go to find its soul
has been thwarted — at least for now. Or….. perhaps this Mary is a resonance of a divine feminine being in the Underworld, and this Mary points the way but is not the way? More on this next time.

Look closely at the photo of the church design above and then this icon of Mary. See how her form, from the place of the heart, becomes the form of the church — which not only
constitutes an imagination of a downward movement, but that this downward movement is also a movement into the body — the movement down rather than ‘up and out’, as is the case
with most religions and most forms of meditation. Watch the video below closely to see the relation of Mary to the form of the church.

Click on this link:

Then, there is one further image, another aspect of 9/11 Memorial Plaza, and another design by Santiago Calatrava. It is the Transit Hub. I saw the original designs of this hub. They were spectacular — a glass building that clearly, clearly evoked the presence of an angel. The city, however, made Calatrava re-design the building numerous times, claiming that his original design carried too many security risks. The hub is now completed. Here is what it looks like:


It is an astounding monstrous deviation from the original design (I looked everywhere for a photo of the original design and has been wiped away from every website). It is now finished, eight years behind schedule and at a cost of 4 billion dollars, twice the 2 billion estimate.

Still, it is imaginally significant — as it does not appear to be an angels so much as a fallen angel!








The Soul of America: New Beginnings 22

The Third Legend: America Enters the Underworld

We have spoken of the legend of Amasis, the myth, really, that resulted in the explosion that formed the Hudson Valley and the Hudson river, the river of tears. We then spoke of the Legend of the Salamander, the elemental fire being, this particular one, the being of greed. In the legend we see he is actually a fallen angel, a ‘good’ being, who took a wrong turn by becoming too interested in the material world. In the legend, he also appears as the young man who falls in love with Mary, the daughter of Hugo, the head of the group running the forge. Mary’s pure love helps this young man (the transformed salamander) return to the spiritual worlds — but greed escapes into the world. (Oh, greed, is a necessity in the world — what becomes of it depends on how we meet it — right now it has a clear hold on this country.)

This legend also features New York, Manhattan.The atomic bomb, the culmination of the Manhattan Project (the word “Manhattan” is Indian, and refers ‘evil place’ – don’t literalize this! — it is the amazing art and intellectual dimension of Manhattan that brings balance to this word.). The Manhattan Project – much went on in Manhattan – offices of the secret project were in the high-rises (also a metaphor of ‘America”); uranium was stockpiled on Long Island; the bomb was constructed in Los Alamos, New Mexico; was exploded on July 16, 1945, at a place with the code name of “Trinity”, near Socorro, New Mexico. The bomb as an ‘anti-Trinity’. And one that releases even deeper forces that assist the spirits of greed. You recall that at the moment of the explosion of the bomb, Robert Oppenheimer says: “Now I become Death, destroyer of worlds”. That is, the ego, which is the potential of the I AM of Life turns into the I AM of death. Our very identity as human beings now serves the forces of death.

The explosion turned a square mile of the New Mexico landscape into an eerie kind of green glass, now named Trinitinite. No life takes place there. It is a vast ‘black hole’ that sucks in the true destiny of America so that the forces of greed become stronger and stronger. The Underworld of America opens. It is as if it has been sitting there since

Archetypally, this explosion reaches deep down into the Underworld, there in New Mexico, touching into and joining with the forces of the Aztec gods. The explosion touches into that archetypal impulse of removing the heart from the human being, that is, removing the capacity of creative imagination to make a cultural world; without the imaginal heart, greed meets no resistance.

The fourth and most recent upheaval showing the unfolding of the union of the spirits of greed with the spirits of darkness is 9/11. In the aftershock of terrible grief, we were told to continue living, to go out and shop, to go to Disneyland. It is the moment of the unleashing of the forces of greed full force into the world, because now we are convinced in soul that greed is good.

There is much to be imaged with 9/11. Mystery and controversy still surround this tragedy and thankfully keep the imaginal aspect alive. It is not a simple and uncontested fact that America was attacked by terrorists. The heat from the explosion was intense, and the iron/steel remained molten for weeks, when, if the collapse of the buildings were due to the implosion, the heat would have subsided in days. Many engineers have said that the collapse of the buildings and the fires could not have been due to the impact of the airplanes.

There is also a fault line that runs in the region of the twin towers, and an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 occurred in New York City in 2000. That fault line runs up toward High Tor. These imaginal pictures reveal the continued unfolding of the legend of the destiny of America – the actual destiny – that of meeting – and honoring the spirits of greed – not being possessed by them. We can imagine the 9/11 event as an upheaval, very direct, of the spirits of greed, and only secondarily a literal attack.

Perhaps the most important archetypal image is the explosion of greed that has occurred since 9/11. The stock market continues to soar. So does corruption in the realm of finances, spilling over into the government. The false division between greed and grief, an archetypal image that is one, not two, is nearly completed, and shows up as divided cities of steel skyscrapers and financial centers, and wealth, and incredible corruption, which everyone sees and cannot stop, divided from our grief, which unmet, becomes violence in the world. We cannot stop the greed because it now lives autonomously divided from its regions of unrecognized grieving, which is the formula for untold violence, for violence is untended grieving. And now we have a president who is also the president of greed.

In the next blog, we will look more closely at 9/11, see further images of America entering the Underworld — and also see Who is in the Underworld as the force that can counter greed.


The Soul of America: New Beginnings 21

Ending the Iron Age, Beginning the Age of the Heart

We are at the ending of the iron age. In the world, this lowest of the metallic realm (gold,silver, bronze, iron…..dust  –the ages of man) expresses our interior distance from the spiritual worlds.  We even imagine that there are two worlds – the earthly world and the spiritual world, completely forgetful that there is only one world of the visible and the in-visible. Of course, this false division of spirit and matter did not arise in America, it was brought by way of the so-called “Western Tradition”, The Original Ones here did not live such a separation of worlds. If we understood ‘earthly’ and ‘spiritual’ as images, as metaphors, rather than literally, neither would we.

Remember the image of the spiral so often written as hieroglyphs on the cliff and canyon walls:

This is an image, a symbol, so it expresses a multiplicity of meanings. One expression is that of time and space. Not linear time as we know it, and not empty space as we know it but as the unity of the timeless with time and the spiritual worlds with the earthly worlds The center of the spiritual is the region of timelessness; we see then the movement of time as the outward spiraling. The image is that time is both timeless and unfolding as world. If we get too far out on the spiral, we become forgetful of this unity and act as if we are our own.  We get lost in empty space and attempt to hide our fear with bravado structures of space, made possible by iron/steel.


This steel and glass structure in New York City that replaced the World Trade Center is even called Freedom Tower. It stands on its own, oblivious to its neighbors except as power over them.
For the Original ones, everything is spiral and circular. The rose expresses this spiral circularity — and in such a manner that the rose symbolizes the unity of timelessness and time and of the union of spiritual and physical in Beauty.





HEART-EXPERIENCING OCCURS — BY THE PROCESS OF ENTERING THE SILENCE (see, Robert Sardello’s book Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness) and from within the Silence, gesturing – that is, silently speaking the word “Heart” ( see Robert Sardello’s book, Heartfulness). The primary heart experience is that of GRIEVING.

Grieving is not the same as mourning, as pointed out in a previous blog. Mourning tends, strongly toward a focus on the ‘me-me’ – my heart is broken, what a wonderful person he was, I don’t think I can go on, there is only this unending pain. Grieving is different — first, it does not go on alone but within community, both visible and invisible. Because we have all but lost the communal sense of grieving, grieving has collapsed into seeming to be the same as mourning. Grieving is simultaneously praise, for within grieving there inheres the sense of the ongoing presence of the soul/spirit of the person — not trapped here, unable to go on (that happens when there is no grieving —  the dead then return as ghosts, inhabiting the most sensitive person of the family. (  “When you have two centuries of people who have not properly grieved the things that they have lost, the grief shos up as ghosts that inhabit their grandchildren. These ghosts can also manifest as disease in the form of tumors, which the Maya refer to as “solidified tears, or in the form of behavioral issues and depression”, Martin Prechtel, The Smell of Rain on Dust.) Grieving inherently acknowledges the unity of LIFE-DEATH. Grieving is not a momentary happening when someone dies and for a time after. It is the most basic experience of being human — and is always present — if one is heart-present and Earth-present.

Return now, for a moment to the petroglyph spiral. Because they are drawn on a wall, these petroglyphs seem flat. They have to be pictured inwardly as a sphere. As a sphere, the spiraling outward and inward, with the inner point as timelessness and the spiraling as time, has to also be seen as a pulsing from the center of the sphere outward and back inward — both movements at the same time. The petroglyph is then an indication of the ongoing perceiving of Earth as what we (not they) would call the space-time dimension.  And, the heart is the organ of perceiving the space-time dimension.

If the petroglyphs were inwardly pictured as a sphere, the movement would be something like this:





Our linearity and accompanying literalism come not only from splitting timelessness and time and conceiving of space as ’empty’ (space is silence-filled) but also from collapsing the vertical dimension of above and below. These two collapses result in life as greed.

“We do not understand them (white people) . We think they are mad” he told Jung, adding that “whites believed they thought with their heads,” when everyone at the Pueblo knew thinking comes from the heart.

Next blog — either — ‘How to Grieve” or the continuance of the imagination of the High Tor Salamander of greed and its presence today; its doing as either our undoing or its undoing – which?

The Soul of America: New Beginnings 20


The Legend of High Tor and Iron

I will not interpret the Legend of the Salamander directly as while that might seem helpful, interpretation also tends to stop imagination as it seems to give the whole meaning at once. I feel it is better to linger with the story, introduce the significance of elements of it, and gradually come to see the wisdom of the legend.

In the story, the group of Rosicrucians come to High Tor to mine and refine iron. High Tor and that whole region of New York is filled with iron mines and was the source of much of the iron, made into steel, that built the early skyscrapers of Manhattan. What is the image of iron about?’

Iron nourishes incarnating, that is, nourishes coming into the physical body and the physical realm. In terms of soul, iron nourishes the will – as the saying “he/she has a will of iron” points to.

The nourishment of iron does not bring about inner freedom, not true freedom, but rather easily becomes internalized as an ego sense of freedom, of independence from the gods – as, for example, the forming of the iron age. Remember the blog where I introduced the image of the “Ages of Man”, the movement away from being connected with the spiritual realms; the image of man with legs and feet of iron – the age of iron, the last stage of the ‘independence’ of the human from the divine, with some of the toes of dirt – that is, what follows the iron age is blowing into dust (atomic bomb?).

Spiritually, the iron within the earth absorbs ‘oxygen’ (we see the iron rust even with iron-bearing stone); it is the spiritual nutrition for iron; we have here an image of the incarnating of the gods — we see this image vividly in the forge-fires, bringing the element of air into the fire, and in the pouring of iron from the forges, the making of steel. We have here the foundation of the imagination of “the man of steel”, Superman. When iron is nourished in the forge, it strengthens into steel.

In the iron age, humans become independent of the gods. Iron as the incarnating element also takes us deep into the body, into the regions of will and desire. Iron makes us different than plants – that is, through iron, we are conscious within self, bodily experienced as will and desire. If this incarnating is not spiritually worked with, this depth of incarnating becomes deeper and deeper egotism.

Spirituality, meditation, contemplation, typically mean a temporary disincarnating, leaving the body to experience something of the spiritual realms. Perhaps the other side of the deep incarnation of spirit that has occurred in the coming of the iron age is to develop the capacity of experiencing the earthly world as spirit permeated. But, this would require developing the contemplative capacities to do so. These capacities are only hinted at in the story of the Salamander. The darker side predominates.

The salamander alchemically symbolizes transformation. It is an image of the alchemical element of fire, an image of spirit, though this particular salamander of the story is an image of greed, of transformation of the human into a being of greed, for this salamander is the spirit of greed.

The element of iron in the forge both takes in oxygen (the incarnating of the gods) and also breathes out as our civilization. – that is, our civilizational breathing unites spirit with the earth, which can, and at this time is an ‘overblown’ trumped-up spirit. As incarnating deepens, when not accompanied with deep contemplation to stay in touch with the spiritual realms, then it is not only we humans who become more and more ego-bound, but earth also becomes subjected to ‘iron-breath’, that is, earth herself begins to lose her inherent spirit nature.

Then, there is iron as Mars, incarnating deeply into body accompanied by the elevation of anger, confrontation, uncontrolled emotion, aggression, and abuse of the feminine soul. When highly egotized, we have the “Trump” phenomenon.

In the remarkable book, “The Zodiac and the Salts of Salvation” by George Washington Carey and Inez Perry, a work on the 12 cell salts of the body, there is a section on iron and the dangers of iron, which we can hear as the dangers of the ‘iron-age’, the dangers of encountering the salamander unprepared as the image of incarnating deeply, bringing the dangers of uncontrollable strength and emotion, and what inevitably happens when unaccompanied by the development of spiritual capacities.

“The secret of a true life is that a man should concentrate the vigors of his youth on God. It is well to do that before the night comes, before the slow decay of age benumbs all the faculties of sense. For as the fluid of the body becomes depleted in iron, the corpuscles slowly suffocate and eventually putrify. This is the true cause of cancer.”

Perhaps we have entered the time of the hastening of the slow decay of this civilization, and the cancerous uncontrolled growth without regard for Earth.

Without the sacrifice of deep incarnation, the dedication of deep incarnation to the gods, without the continual dissolving of incarnating so deeply, without the awareness of dying-as-always-accompanying-living, living becomes greed. That is, greed is the illusion of becoming immortal. Financial greed is but one, large, but still only one indicator of the denial of dying, a misinterpretation of embodiment as spiritual incarnation only. We accumulate, we live in the illusion that there is no end, and certainly in the illusion that we are not now, each instant dying. Dying nonetheless goes on, and living in denial means that death is projected onto the world as violence — we see dying happening ‘over there’, not ‘here’, bodily, as the natural dissolving of incarnation, the natural rhythm of life and death. The Original People of this land lived within this rhythm.

In the legend, the salamander, this salamander, is elemental greed (when the men watching the forge look down into the pit and see the salamander, they also see ledges filled with gems, and they intuit that if they could interpret the writing within the gold triangle on the back of the salamander, they would have everything they ever want or desire), and offers the illusion of living without breathing with spiritual rhythm. Proper combustion does not happen.

Entering the life-death rhythm and the ever-given life-death rhythm expressed everywhere in nature means that to be fully human and here as earthly beings requires that to be human we grieve. Grieving is the most basic of all human capacities. Grieving does not mean suffering loss; to the contrary, grieving is the process of praise. We do not grieve in this country; at most, when there are catastrophes, or even with individual death, we mourn. Mourning easily crosses over into egotism because mourning is about ‘me’ or ‘us’ it concerns what we have lost. Grieving is not about us in this way. Grieving is praise of the rhythmic life-death of someone who has died, and what living in this rhythm has brought to the world.

One must destroy the spirit of money, the blind spirit of possession. It is the dragon for your St. George: neither rewards on earth nor in heaven, of ownership: but always the give and take, the fight and the embrace, no more, no diseased stability of possessions, but the give and take of love and conflict, with the eternal consummation in each. The only permanent thing is consummation in love or hate.”

From: The Letters of D. H. Lawrence


The Soul of America: New Beginnings 19

A Few Introductory Comments

We can begin to feel, now, where we may be headed — down and in. In the last installment, we encountered a first legend of the presence of spirits of greed within the land of America. This time, a further legend of this same place, High Tor, outside of New York City, is given in summary form. It is from the novella, The Salamander, by Elizabeth Oaks Smith, published in 1848. Next time I will offer a commentary on this legend.

Spiritual imagination, except in the Americas, is heavily ‘sky’ oriented. Earth is usually depicted as the last of creation, a kind of ‘space station’ for humans to work, die, be punished, or be taken back into the vast ‘heavens’. I have been developing the Spiritual-Earth imagination of the Native Americans (the In-Dios), and what happened from the moment of the invasion of this land. The ‘sky’ view of the origins of creation as the ‘place of the creator, this spatial orientation we assume without a second thought, confuses our indigenous soul, which we all live unconsciously by virtue of living within this land.

The implication is clear: Here in America, to come into the presence of the fullness of Divine Wholeness, we have to go ‘down’ (metaphorically, imaginally, soulfully) rather than ‘up'( which is also a metaphor, but is taken quite literally by all religions, and almost all ‘spiritual paths; The metaphorical ‘direction’ of spirituality, if one lives in America, is down. We are going ‘down’ anyway, but without awareness that we are on a spiritual journey, and thus going down in a destructive manner. These two legends indicate the inevitability of destructiveness unless we can consciously encounter the spirits of greed.

We are living the destiny of living in America, but it is fate more than destiny because it is unconscious and we are ‘being had’ by the spirits of greed.

It will not be as simple as coming into some kind of consciousness of this ‘first level down’ of incarnational spirituality; if — and that is an awfully big ‘if’ — we can come to earth-spirituality, we then enter a very long and deep process of purification. The Native Americans knew/know of this descent into nine levels of the underworld, the spirit-path of America. More of this as we proceed.

This installment give a summary of the Legend of the Salamander, a novel written by Elizabeth Oakes Smith, published in 1848. Next time
we will say more about this legend and how is now being enacted in America.

Here is a link to the complete story:


The Top of High Tor

A curious tale of the Rosicrucians runs to the effect that more than two centuries ago a band of German colonists entered the Ramapo valley (the location of High Tor – my comment) and put up houses of stone, like those they had left in the Hartz Mountains, and when the Indians saw how they made knives and other wonderful things out of metal, which they extracted from the rocks by fire, they believed them to be manitous and went away, not wishing to resist their possession of the land. There was treasure here, for High Tor, or Torn Mountain, had been the home of Amasis, youngest of the magi who had followed the star of Bethlehem. He had found his way, through Asia and Alaska, to this country, had taken to wife a native woman, by whom he had a child, and here on the summit he had built a temple. To him had been revealed in magic vision the secrets of wealth in the rocks.

The leader in the German colony, one Hugo, was a man of noble origin, who had a wife and two children: a boy, named after himself; and a girl,—Mary. Though it had been the custom in the other country to let out the forge fires once in seven years, Hugo opposed that practice in the forge he had built as needless. But his men murmured and talked of the salamander that once in seven years attains its growth in unquenched flame and goes forth doing mischief. On the day when that period was ended the master entered his works and saw the men gazing into the furnace at a pale form that seemed made from flame, that was nodding and turning in the fire, occasionally darting its tongue at them or allowing its tail to fall out and lie along the stone floor. As he came to the door he, too, was transfixed, and the fire seemed burning his vitals, until he felt water sprinkled on his face, and saw that his wife, whom he had left at home too ill to move, stood behind him and was casting holy water into the furnace, speaking an incantation as she did so. At that moment a storm arose, and a rain fell that put out the fire; but as the last glow faded the lady fell dead.


An Iron Mine in the High Tor Region

When her children were to be consecrated, seven years later, those who stood outside of the church during the ceremony saw a vivid flash, and the nurse turned from the boy in her fright. She took her hands from her eyes. The child was gone. Twice seven years had passed and the daughter remained unspotted by the world, for, on the night when her father had led her to the top of High Torn Mountain and shown her what Amasis had seen,—the earth spirits of greed in their caves heaping jewels and offering to give them if Hugo would speak the word that binds the free to the earth forces and bars his future for a thousand years,—it was her prayer that brought him to his senses and made the scene below grow dim, though the baleful light of the salamander clinging to the rocks at the bottom of the cave sent a glow into the sky.

Many nights after that the glow was seen on the height and Hugo was missing from his home, but for lack of a pure soul to stand as interpreter he failed to read the words that burned in the triangle on the salamander’s back, and returned in rage and jealousy.

A knightly man had of late appeared in the settlement, and between him and Mary a tender feeling had arisen, that, however, was unexpressed until, after saving her from the attack of a panther, he had allowed her to fall into his arms. She would willingly then have declared her love for him, but he placed her gently and regretfully from him and said, “When you slept I came to you and put a crown of gems on your head: that was because I was in the power of the earth spirit of greed. Then I had power only over the element of fire, that either consumes or hardens to stone; but now water and life are mine. Behold! Wear these, for thou art worthy.” And touching the tears that had fallen from her eyes, they turned into lilies in his hands, and he put them on her brow.

“Shall we meet again?” asked the girl.

“I do not know,” said he. “I tread the darkness of the universe alone, and I peril my redemption by yielding to this love of earth. Thou art redeemed already, but I must make my way back to God through obedience tested in trial. Know that I am one of those that left heaven for love of man. We were of that subtle element which is flame, burning and glowing with love,—and when thy mother came to me with the power of purity to cast me out of the furnace, I lost my shape of fire and took that of a human being,—a child. I have been with thee often, and was rushing to annihilation, because I could not withstand the ordeal of the senses. Had I yielded, or found thee other than thou art, I should have become again an earth spirit. I have been led away by wish for power, such as I have in my grasp, and forgot the mission to the suffering. I became a wanderer over the earth until I reached this land, the land that you call new. Here was to be my last trial and here I am to pass the gate of fire.”

As he spoke voices arose from the settlement.

“They are coming,” said he. The stout form of Hugo was in advance. With a fierce oath he sprang on the young man. “He has ruined my household,” he cried. “Fling him into the furnace!” The young man stood waiting, but his brow was serene. He was seized, and in a few moments had disappeared through the mouth of the burning pit. But Mary, looking up, saw a shape in robes of silvery light, and it drifted upward until it vanished in the darkness. The look of horror on her face died away, and a peace came to it that endured until the end.

Manhattan from top of High Tor Mountain (slightly magnified)