It was quite a synchronicity to open Orca Chantress Beluga Shaman by Leesa Sklover, a Jungian practitioner and enchanting chanteuse whom I heard speak at the Temenos Institute in Westport on Friday night. She played the Orca Chantress kundalini yoga chant at the close of her presentation,”A Jungian Look at Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Chant.” It was the most extraordinary blend of opposites (the spiritual and the sensual, the primal and the ecstatic) that I have ever heard! Leesa composes her world chants with her own exquisite voice blending into her collaborator Jim Nollman‘s interactions with dolphin and whales, along with wolves, bugs and birds! Check out Jim’s Interspecies Art Gallery!
The music hits at my highest and lowest chakras simultaneously. Leesa’s voice is just exquisite! She is a chantress of the highest order, a teacher of kundalini yoga, sound therapist and musical performer — truly an artist of the twenty-first century utilizing her gifts to connect people with the newly emerging icon of the hieros gamos.
She certainly has the sacred geometry down!
This afternoon, after nearly 48 hours of a power outage, which made the darkest moon last night I have had in a long while, I open the CD and discover a song, Beautiful All Around, containing the sacred geometry of the hieros gamos! To arrive at the hexagram, the chant combines Native American healing tradition (the four directions) with the Jewish shamanic tradition.
It is the New Moon, after all, and the discovery brings to mind an alchemical image depicting the geometry of the six directions:
In Hebrew it means “closed hand.”
In astrology, the Yod (highlighted above) means Finger of God.
Leesa’s marvelous chant, from the Sefer Yetzirah, is holistic in that it engages the six directions through the three letters that make up the name of God: YHWH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) with a gematria of 10+5+6+5 = 26
sky: yod hey vav
earth: hey, yod, vav
east: vev, yod, hey
west: vav, hey, yod
south: yod, vav, hey
north: hey, vav, yod
The six directions form the hexagon…
…the totality of the hieros gamos, the divine marriage of opposites.
You see the dove descending from the six-pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, to the center, primordial point where the six directions meet:
“The priomordial point, while always remaining essentially “Unlocalized” (for it cannot be affected or modified by anything whatsoever), makes itself the centre….From this point start the six directions, which, as pairs of opposites, represent all contraries, and to it also they return, by the alternating movements of expansion and contraction, which constitute the two complementary phases of all manifestation.”
–Renee Guenon, Symbolism of the Cross
The holistic art at this absolute center is a sacred reality embodying the primordial point of the six directions of space. This art can be identified by:
ü Multiple levels of meaning
o incorporating past, present and future
ü Integrating time and space
ü Holistic microcosm of a macrocosmic process
ü Interconnected with life on the planet
May it be beautiful before me; May it be beautiful behind
May it be beautiful before me; May it be beautiful above, all round
This was a beautiful act of transformation of karma
–English lyrics by Leesa Sklover inspired by Navajo healing-ceremony night chant
And this totality of the six directions is where the search for “woman of the 21st century” was begun, and where she is now being formed!
“For the being who stands at the centre, all is unified, for he sees all in the unity of the Principle. All particular and analytical viewpoints, which are founded only on contingent distinctions and which give rise to all he divergence of individual opinions, have disappeared for him and are reabsorbed into the total synthesis of transcendent knowledge, which is the same as the one and changeless truth.”
–Renee Guenon, Symbolism of the Cross
February 28, 2010
When I put together the Black Madonna exhibition of artists that I had been collecting in my decade long search for the new millennial art forms as a newspaper critic, I contacted the head of performance curators at PS1 and invited him to come to a Salon with Martha Wilson and Richard Move. He replied that he couldn’t make it, though he said he admired Martha’s work . So, I asked if I could make an appointment to come and talk to him about my critical discoveries of the past decade. He replied that their schedule was full and he only took recommendations from the institution’s art advisors listed on the website.
Okay, now I have real proof — the three New York institutions founded by women (Armory Show, PsI and New Museum) as alternatives to the official male- dominated art world are now usurped into the system of corporate control that has been subsuming the New York art scene since the 1980s. The preponderance of art fairs is only a symptom of this state of affairs; the cause lies with the institutions themselves, which collude with the dealers on solo exhibitions and reveal a common lack of the two qualities it takes to do something altogther New — intellectual curiosity and courage.
This is the crux of the Paradigm Shift.
But then, astrologers have been looking at this moment for over a very long time. The T-Square line up which is playing out this winter and will hit with impact in just two weeks, the New Moon conjunction with Uranus in Pisces.
Typically, when the planets line up for a crucial shift in the collective consciousness, there is some person out there who lacks control over their impulses and commits a heinous act, which puts a human face on the thundering taking place in the heavens.
This time it was a woman, a professional woman who burst out of her professional veneer and the key to this unraveling can be seen in a configuration I have been tracking for years – the Yod.
With the Yod in the sky –
Professionalism is the scrooge to the development of Self, for the creative risk essential to self-development. In astrology it is Saturn, which is, both impulse control but also a restriction on creative freedom.
We see this clearly in the birth chart of Amy Bishop.
Born in 1965, under the influence of the Pluto Uranus on her Mars and opposing Saturn. Jupiter on her Saturn made her snap. The expectations of the recognition and security that would come with tenure and the inability for her control over the violent impulses that appeared in her literature resulting in the rampage.
She was born in 1965, under the influence of the Pluto Uranus on her Mars and opposing Saturn. If this wasn’t a volatile enough Mars, the inconjunct to the Aquarian Moon (the time is unknown, but whatever time she was born on this day she would still have the moon sextile to Mercury creating the base of the Yod)
Moreover, the chart for the February 12 murders reveal she was having a lunar return opposing transiting Mars retrograde, which triggered her natal yod. And crucially revealing the paradigm shift is the extremely tight transiting yod with Jupiter/Venus in Pisces at the apex.
Jupiter creating this tense yod configuration while hitting the natal position of Saturn made her snap. The expectations of the recognition and security that would come with tenure and the inability for her control over subsumed violent impulses, formerly channeled into her novels, led to the rampage.
What is the cultural message here? I repeat a quote from my father that I wrote in the introduction to Kundalini’s Daughter:
A point that Muktananda keeps making…is the necessity of having direct, personal experience with higher states of consciousness and spiritual energy. This may seem obvious but it is easy to forget this simple truth. Again and again, he exhorts the scientist to study himself, the healer to heal himself, the psychologist to witness his own mind. The pressures to achieve and perform in these fields before one has gone very far into one’s own Self are very great in America. Muktananda says that the journey into the Self can only make one into a better therapist, a better minister, a better researcher. Nothing will be lost; much will be gained. That is what he told me when I first met him. From direct personal experience I have found he was speaking the truth. 1
The natal chart of Amy Bishop reveals a tightly wound professionalism (the conjunction of Mars, Uranus and Pluto opposing Saturn) around an aggressive pursuit (Mars) of brilliant (Uranus) and penetrating (Pluto) scientific analysis (Virgo).
In stressful times, in Uncertainty, people’s true characters come out. I came to believe in astrology living in Buenos Aries under 1000 percent inflation after the 1984 return to democracy after an eleven-year military dictatorship. At the same time, I became a novelist. The two, astrology and autobiographical fiction and memoir, have been inextricably intertwined ever since. Because of the relative stability of the U.S. economic and political system, there hasn’t been such a need to resort to the heavens for explanations of the inexplicable, but now we have what seems to be an appeal for doing so from the front page of the newspaper of record. Unfortunately, the author did not ask astrologers for explanations
This astrological understanding prompted my letter, below, to the editor of the New York Times Arts & Leisure regarding the Sam Tanenhaus article, “Violence that Art Didn’t See Coming.”
I e-mailed my leter on March 1, 2010. Here’s to seeing if they print it:
Why does the New York Times insist on denying any art that does not appear on its pages? Even when you devote a front page article in Arts and Leisure to “Violence That Art Didn’t See Coming,” your writer overlooks the creative channel the killer Amy Bishop had for her violent impulses — novel writing — a curious omission given that the writer, Sam Tenaha’s, is the editor of the paper’s book review.
I have written about and crated women artists who are making performances about female violence which – unlike the two prominent female artists Tenaha’s wrote about as “out of touch” — is outward directed but haven’t been able to get them into the New York Times. This is because, as your article makes all too clear, a new understanding of the female body as a vehicle for transpersonal energies would be a threat to the very system that your newspaper upholds.
As proof of this fact, I held an exhibition entitled “Black Madonna” a block from your building for five months last year and not one of your critics or writers came to see it. The dark feminine/Kundalini energy is something the media doesn’t want to examine in any depth, simply because it is complicated, deep and a harbinger of the very change that Tenaha’s expects to see in art!
The message of Amy Bishop isn’t simply that women can be as violent as men, which is the weak conclusion of your writer. It is about the female body as the vehicle for the transpersonal energies ushering in a change to the collective consciousness. If the artists channeling these energies had been getting recognition by your newspaper, your writer would have a ready dialectic to refer to in his article.
Amy Bishop’s uncontrollable impulses have revealed a crucial moment of change not simply because she was so pre-meditatively violent. It was because this divided self which was covered by a professional veneer: the female scientist’s actual accomplishments, and disappointment, surrounding a lack of recognition (the failure to receive tenure) for these accomplishments, triggered a moment of desperation that now make this scientist a notorious figure in the media.
Despite all the scientific achievements of the contemporary world, the continued incapacity to penetrate into the mysteries of the female body reveals the failure of the institutions of power, including your newspaper of record, to penetrate the “signals in the air” that your writer expects to uncover in art.