“The older I grow the more I trust in the law which the Rose and Lily bloom” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It was an astrological conjunction involving Eris with Uranus recently. I had her surreptitious calling card many years ago with Eris that caused so much apparent strife which would irrevocably carve out my new destiny. Something that prized open a big scary jack-in-the-box to execute my fate as an act of misplaced vindication. A tit-for-tat retribution for what was seeping from within my humanity that posed as threatening or intimidating to someone.
In bloodthirsty rage and fury Eris tossed a poisoned apple to me which caused a tumultuous falling of dominoes in an act to try and restore the natural order. She did the primitive and avaricious warmongering task of creating a feud by balancing the books and grasping my mind by an act of cruel passion. I was ultimately being rendered at the mercy of being “crowned”, the raping of my mind with the fierceness of scalping locks. The Greek Trojan War of bronze age conflict had been unleashed through the raw feelings, dangerous ritualistic intent and crude warrior aggressions in the seizing of power. Through a perceived cycle of retribution something was stolen from me from a vengeful heart in an act of conquest to show the power of the bloody sacrificial medicine that contained an act of cruel strength and nefarious brutality. Militant Eris' curse was issued from her bloody lips and executed it in a way which scorched the entire earth. The slanderous-tongued deadly hate and the testosterone fuelled high octane biliousness that emanated from the immoderate behaviour of insalubrious people. They tried with a doggedly persistency to unearth my demons in an act to slay a vampire. Thus having abruptly identified someone with without measure of restraint to exorcise via a king's carnival of honor killing, lawlessness, arbitration and judgement.
I was unhinged creating a new miserable fate of a debauched life as a libertine bohemian cast to the very unhospitable fringes of existence. The trials and burdens and weightedness being plunged into a void of surreal darkness with the underworld where the light barely entered in through the cracks. This was my first encounter with Eris which changed the course of my life. Via the permeating deathliness of chaotic fate I drowned in regions of obscured consciousness being swept into the dragnet of a warped black hole and then into the waters of fierce shakti. From the confines of the “bastille walls” of a sterile and discordian cocoon for at least 18 hazy and desolate years rendered sickly and feeble by the holy flame of passion
“There is no decent place to stand in a massacre” Leonard Cohen
You cannot dilute, sanitize or gloss over these reservoirs of darkness. I lived captive in a state of chemical lobotomised suspension, in tandem to both worlds mainly inhabiting a faceless void which is normally inaccessible and can't be traversed. I existed on the dangerous, psychotic and chaotic periphery from which the portal of creation emerged from the planetary grid. I took to embody something, an unsacred “signature” that would come to be suppressed, vilified and projected upon by parochial forces.
There was no turning back. I had entered a new doorway a place or threshold of no return – it was alone in a terrain from which I had swapped my hallowed, measurable and sane existence for something uncomfortable, ill-fitting, intoxicating and less orthodox, Having to operate in a hallway of distortion and mirrors beckoning me to be resolute and steadfast while all the same having to bravely face the formless darkness ALONE with no guide or "shaman" - just the ministrations of those trying to penetrate my intractable, ever changing and non homogenised cage of darkness. Eris' activations permeated through me with hooks, rips, dissociations and possessions of sorts if you will. I can't ascribe a befitting word yet I truly felt abducted by a force of nature. I had a direct experience of Eris, her emanations did not come from a distance afar - it was face to face encounter with the piercing crystal eyes of a hideous looking vulture that chills the marrow of the bone. One multiple shadows bringing me into syncopation with a hypnotic dance into other dimensions of consciousness. It carried no warning label. I had no choice or options to forfeit this messy plan in accepting a contract replete with the seemingly embodied darkness of a demon goddess overturning my foundations and running a shockwave through my circuitry. All the aspects that were murky, primordial, submerged and ill-defined became a part of my inner transfiguration of her powerful emanating energy.
I would directly experience the huge intensity of hate and rage not that beyond that of a single soul but the immense ocean of tears of millions borne over the Ages. The world's pain began to enter my head in waves and through this obtuse and ghastly hijacking I would learn to put my heart in the world through the same channel of Eris – the beautiful uplifting emanations of this goddess that capitulated me from the very grounding beneath my feet. It constituted a tribal initiation, a grotesque rite of passage the cutting the previous ties at hand and the merging my awakening with the bearings Eris imposed on me. I could not be reworked or fashioned into the old person I once was or made to awkwardly fit into mainstream or be the type of girl that people wanted me to be. They were in the business of “sane-making”. Yet I found an underworld fortress where love, passion and justice abided in each-other's presence in the bizarre impossible territory which was so much larger than myself or my fractured ego which was scattered like million stars in the cosmos.
I learned there was aspects to the human condition that did not attack in Eris' or glorify in her name. Others that did not indiscriminately carve society into the chosen elect few versus the reductionistic-debased nature of the suburban beast. I originally came to fear Eris because she was so foreboding, vengeful and cruel. She wanted to annihilate me and she relished the shedding of blood. But it was about all of her not just her shadowy and lunatic and avenging emanations, her shadow but everything being encapsulated in her being – every fractal of light through a prism and shades of the rainbow to which you had to discover what was so sacred about it.
I had to learn to live in her service, she was not overseeing my life like a protective and pateralistic diety but was a permeating visceral and disruptive force to me that menacingly overtook my life. She defied categorization and operated in outside holographic parameters, a dispeller of illusions and existing in the bisecting of inaccessible and alternate realities. She was from the underworld yet the cultural biases had allready exalted her in a dualistic type approximation to her true nature as being truly one of both the emissary of light and darkness.
She was both cruel and unyielding yet a transporter to other existential realities and far off destinations. Her foreboding shrieking nature acting as a contortionist to the brain to unveil portals to the murky depths that are both frightening and devouring. But despite being identified as a cruel villainess she is the balancer of contrasts and shows the way out of a biased consciousness. The totality of her being is to cross boundaries of what is natural. To be too heroic does not protect the owner of ones being from being assailed with scrutiny and edification from the broader public. You can't breathe new life into a redundanct form – it unequivocably has to prepare itself for going beyond what you allready know. The pot has been stirred, you are being remade and all facets of your being have to undergo the change in readiness for the descent. You just cant quake with fear at the knees appeal to be accepted by those who were left remaining of your family and friends - its like scaling a dangerous impasse`clad in satin ballerina pointe shoes. But this is exactly what Eris asks of us, to be different to be unflappable in gruelling circumstances as there is no expedient way to buy your easy ticket through life.
Being killed and devoured by Eris means entering a new life cycle by which no fairness or rulebook can operate or exist, plea bargaining is useless, there is no civility, no fairness – she relinquishes your autonomy - it's automatically snatched from you into which your cherished dreams fade to nothing and you have to bravely create a new future but out what? An oath to healing yourself in an act to heal others and ultimately that of the goddess Eris herself.
Eris in astrological mythology operates under the guise of Aries in astrology and her activities rule everything governed by that sign. If you want to know where she is hiding out its usually existing within that territorial domain. For me it was to do with my head – Aries rules the head. Eris will operate usually wherever Aries is – wherever there is Aries you will find Eris lurking about usually accompanied by highly charged and inflammatory situations. I checked my astrological chart and the Eris dwarf planet was at 13 degrees Aries which is smack on the cosmobiology (health zodiac) trigger point to do with the brain. The Jane Ridder-Patrick Healing Body Point for health for this degree is you guessed it the ventricles of the brain. With advances in brain imaging techniques and other developments in neuroscience, the evidence has come clear that mental illness is a disorder of the brain. It typically presents as having enlarged ventricles as demonstrated in over hundreds of studies to date. I have Eris in my 10th house and the Sabian Symbols psychic reading for this degree which is now a mainstay of astrology is “A bomb fails to explode”, that is the caution – whether it explosion or it has been contained is irrelevant. My biological sister I was reunited with after birth once made the callous and indifferent observation and said “I was like a powder keg ready to explode”. I have in the past collected data on prenatal eclipses of both the sun and moon which were corroborating factors including fixed star placements which are solid indicators of someone's predisposal to mental illness. The science is in fact in the cosmobiology of the stars
As a child to protect my vulnerability I would strive for perfectionism at school and was always next in line to the Dux but at home would numb myself with escapist tendencies watching trance-like documentaries on TV on countries torn apart by civil wars. I was obsessed and mesmerised and it became theatre of the mind for me all the while doing what teenagers do being a pretty slim girl, my body being awash with the comforting smell of the astringent witch hazel in an era when girls took obsessive fastidious care of their willowy anorexic appearance. Witch hazel was something always in my house and I applied daily, it was a lingering crisp aroma that stayed with me every day - a comforting smell that propelled me through my less than idyllic youth – its the only smell I can actively recall.
But in the end just as my sister had prophesized I was faced with calling my own bomb squad to take control of a situation for which they only had limited draconian western means. They used drugs as a first line of treatment and would not let you speak your truth about the madness encirling your life. They were in the business of operating a hospital based on a profit margin so pouring down pills was by far the cheapest option constituting a cruel medical regime involving the complete suppression of truth about the context of your life.
It began when became infected with my family's plan for me. I was named Marnie and I believe it was my parents wish that I created a certain life, be a certain person and ignored the plea of my soul to be who I wanted to be and just struggled to walk a straight line and was tyrannized by science fiction. I became fiercely independent from a very young age and became the accounting graduate but Eris to me now is explicitly about an unclear soul purpose and that had to come from having a direct encounter with her. The psychological hex from birth precipitated the events leading to my ultimate fate with my true destiny at 22 years of age. The problem is you can't make sense of it when it happens, it seems like a disproportionate and grave loss, a harsh truth and a yawning gap. But you need to find the golden thread to your innate calling that requires you to be a receptor and absorb the influx of energy to fill the hole. Misfortune always courts us and in retrospect I can be philosophical about this serious problem with a huge degree of detachment and forgiveness
It was through this experience that the role of psychiatric suffrage would be my calling whether I did it well or not. I never did anything drastic or provocative to draw atttention to my cause I just lived a purposeful life with meaning which aroused pernicious curiosity from those in power. I now belonged to the groups of disadvantaged and marginalised who have always existed in society. However the more I tried to dramatise my cause the less people would listen. I made hundreds if not thousands of proclamations and pleas and tried to entreaty my oppressors but it aroused selective deafness in almost everyone I met. Doggedly stating my case was met with immovable resistance. People just switched off while everyone I knew in my community was being similarly being sullied by bigotry daily. I can now pinpoint how this resistance came about - our minds wants to label things and to assign everything a name because that seems to make things safer. Naming something that is foreign that arouses panic in people brings it out of confusion so we know how to deal with it in the most expedient fashion. I in fact was a target and labored under unconscious psychological projections for years. I felt like I was “the woman nobody listened to” – in fact both my parents died in complete oblivion not knowing the extreme nature of social and political structures overriding my life while courting elusive glamours and distractions of this world.
“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations can never effect a reform” ~ Susan B Anthony
It bears saying that we have been trained from infancy to hide our natural expression. As soon as a baby makes a sound the parent feels obligated to hush them. That is what I learned with psychiatry – you must not be heard, you must be quiet or others will become upset with your presence. It did more damage than it intended to and my mind felt like it had been placed in a structural brace with psychiatric care. Needless to say I learned a lot about people how they act and react under pressure and the collapsing chain of psychiatric hierarchy - we were at the bottom of the socioeconomic pile, being accorded no sense of rightful esteem not even if just because we existed as human beings. We were therefore dismissed with no respect or accord given to human life and treated as if we were a burdensome inconvenience. Their jobs I deduced in many instances were a means to an end as their heart was not genuinely invested their role as a healer but rather they churned us through a soulless conveyor belt with cool and impersonal mercantilism. Psychiatrists stand to profit from the misery caused by societal mob mentality and normalization of evil in a culture that is supposedly considered so sane. It is their cultural opiate. We cannot really speak of a sane society which is a departure from the theories of sociological relativism which says society is normative for as long as it functions smoothly and people are to be seen having a modicum of adjustment to that system. We instead need a more redemptive notion which acknowledges that society is rather bedeviled by certain patholgies and can indeed be crazy-making for the individual concerned. The pernicious effects of the culture of absolute truth enshrined by a doctrinaire diagnostic statistical manual constitutes a betrayal of reason and humanity. The elect psychiatristic "groupthink" that compose this extensive treatment manual of disorders as a status of truth and consensual validation has no bearing on reason or mental health
“As in an explosion, I would erupt with all the wonderful things I saw and understood in this world” ~ Boris Pasternak
Since the explosion before May 1992 and even before that time I was courting and having unlikely liaisons with men in situations of social strife or civil upheaval. My inclinations drew me to the seemingly enchanting world of celebrity “hot house flowers” in an industry that is notoriously known for discord, wretched loathing, human waste and tragedy and vices of all kinds. It catalysed a rapid growth in my existential development through a series of sensitising experiences that caused the rapid and exponential shedding of old skin. I was a musicians muse for many years which polarised society and many of my interests circumnavigated the world of privileged few yet I was portrayed as an unusual woman as a menace or threat to the status quo. I encountered the power of both destruction and renewal, it became addictive yet I needed to purge myself from it to gain clarity over what I actually wanted in my life. Lots of the things I used to hold sacred were flung out the window making these aspirations obsolete. I was now deemed a very unusual woman indeed even though I did nothing unladylike or exhibitionistic by any means. The general public was told I brushed my teeth with hydrogen peroxide, my crystals dripped with mercury, that I routinely ingested borax, was an insidious and evil remote influencer, that I actually slept under a pyramid, filled in my census forms with invisible ink and partook of of bizarre healing practices involving chakra removal! It was not even partially true but they certainly drew a long bow.
I had an encounter with a zen guide from Argentina during the civil uprising and unrest of 2001. I was taken by his vulnerability contained in his passionate dissident poetry about his country. He was a traditional chinese doctor, a sage, he was fearless with bliss bestowing hands that handed out cheap argentinian cigars to his compatriots. I used to say he liked having a slow death every day smoking these cigars. The motto for his homeland was “En Union y liberatal” (In union and freedom) but the country had been plunged into darkness many times over the course of history. He used to speak of his weakness as a man to me and I found that endearing but he never crossed the line. He used to encourage me to learn to prepare meditate in death and from that point I knew a little something about my seamless and boundless state of reality and was being tested to question the sturdy defences I had built around myself.
But it was a lesson in dualism in our culture where we have created this crowning achievement to distance ourselves from the object of our concern to reflect to ponder while curbing blind instinct and superstition. Dualism has brought us culture and science the only problem is it creates mutually exclusive categories such as subject/object, good/bad, cause/effect, past/present/future. Its served as a function to order life in a methodical fashion but is a phenomenological error with distinct ramifications. The prevailing dualism of my era with respect to mental health inclusivity meant that I was depicted as evil through negative debasement by people coping with their with their own style of existential anxiety of the great divide of otherness
Getting back to Eris, its engagement with mental health awareness (Aries) explains the awkward rise in the Mad Pride shocking street marches which struck alarm in the hearts of onlookers trying to make sense of how we could in fact have the right to exist. The social struggle was sprouting up with an added dose of mars reminiscent of the martian energy of WW2, the atomic bomb and the cold war in the social struggle for equality with the Eris-Aries cycle. New planets connect with new ideas and new social forces. We are now living in an era that has to accommodate the mentally ill as they are now dispersed through the community. I find myself in a broader working class community that is in itself existing close to the bone - that derides the very attainment of any achievement and fame and the problems of disaffected poverty that are ultimately elevated to assert self-merit in a hostile winner/loser society. To be seen as actively engaged in productive activities you are seen to be “opinionated” to be “too lofty or “highbrow while there is a shameless celebration of willfull ghetto mentality of law-of-the-jungle ethos. Social agreements everywhere are being broken down as individual aggressiveness becomes more culturally accepted over propriety. Militancy, street fighting, cosmic superstition, hocus-pocus, mystification of the masses and a pulling away from evidenced based on fact vs. fiction is now the order of the new day. Its psychotic by design but the public has bypassed their better judgement to immerse themselves in the new lie of the land
The muse hides in many guises and reveals herself in improbable places. I've had dalliances with political figures maybe because my life had been sufficiently anthropologised from all the diverse and unusual folk I used to encounter. The positive development was I held domain with powerful men through shifts in the modality of thinking. It may have been about global healing and social justice surrounding peoples of the world through the analogous dipping into a chalice well as Jean Houston would describe it rather than using that of using the blade. I felt I could share an inner ecology of my own growth and offer up something of hope. I was indeed living with the universe within me as many would say and felt deeply honored to share my worlds with these people. It was through my celebration of life and the joy of living that solutions to vexing issues on an interpersonal and social level were made evident and made manifest. I metaphorically danced my way into unearthing those type of existential solutions for my problems and that of those whose lives I touched.
What does all this mean for the Persian witch hazel tree? Last week the astral elements were unsettled. Eris had conjoined uranus. It an instant a noisy truck pulled up outside my sleepy abode and there were rough men with menacing voices outside. I knew Eris had again returned putting a spoke in the wheel. They were jeering and there was a cachaphony of coarse laughter I wondered if they were mocking or cursing me! It began to stir my emotions evoking repressed memories within the depths of my being. It inflamed my psyche and before I knew it something deep was being activated. I was literally overtaken. It was raw and disturbing and I was at a loss as to how to grapple with my vulnerability to the emotional pain and the re-opening of an old wound that I had thought had once been sealed.
It was a spiritual emergency something crawling inside me and erupting into my psycho-physical state of being but how you resolved it was another question. As a virgo you're in the business of fixing things, not being lulled into the original chaos all over again. I had sought refuge in my paternalistic gurus to allay my pain in the past but one by one they had left me disappointed. I had abandoned the guru-disciple relationship out of sheer betrayal from my teachers. I was re-entering a mini spiralling underworld with its attendant instability and starkness and NO-ONE was there.
I was sufficiently aware of having resolved my first psychiatric episode all those years ago but I was not going mad I just had to accept I was in a state of vulnerability. It was a tall order for me to just comply but I had to allow myself to be in a state of beingness. I feared this churning turbulence yet I wondered what this little tree they were planting outside was and despite my intense apprehensions forced myself to bravely go outside no matter what. Was I going stark crazy? NO! Something beyond what is seen and experienced normally was drawing my attention. I knew instinctively that the spirit world talks through nature from the great beyond...and that “beyondness” becomes more clear and more apparent through signs & omens like the grasping of a lustrous magpie feather. It was the divine trying to get my attention through things arising in the natural world. Angels were near.
I could not control and predict what was going to occur I yelled and beckoned to the workmen at the other end of the street “What IS this tree?” They stood there frozen and paralysed – all of them. I was drawn to this tree yet was confounded by it but could not fathom why. The air was filled with palpable eeriness. They were in fact stunned and very terrified of me – a woman screaming about an innocous plant on the naturestrip planted by the local council. They gave me walked over and handed me a crimson colored paper label off the tree for reference which said “Persian Witch Hazel” (latin: Parrotia Persica) I laughed nervously with the man and he said that there's a few witches around these parts and then looked at me even though I was not a witch, scanned my face and thought I was no threat to him and blithely walked away.
I could have written it off as a bizarre oddity or that stumbling across this plant was the physical essence of some symbolic meaning - a botanical embodiment of an intrinsic quality presented for my healing. I realised I was grasping at straws but thought it was ironic that this plant and its name lent itself to such gratuitous characterisations under strange and unsettling circumstances. Was it the physical manifestation of something to do with finding inner release from the urgency of the hour? I wondered...I sought out the opinion of my facebook friend the Morrigan, a pagan elder. It was dislodging something in me emotionally which called for some kind of rational explanation and resolution. Morrigan's followers understand how hard it is to be the pure containment vessel for these energies. She told me to explore druidry and the weaving of spirit and the sacred back into our relationship with nature. I realised after reading the internet I had and for the first time felt a real intimate connection with that of a tree. Its called Viridis Genii (the spirit of the green), acquiring natures secrets through direct revelation and gnosis.
I realised a sudden change in perception that I needed no more churches and temples but to let nature be my cathedral. I was tired of all the useless mantras and remedies, fake rudraksha, golden colored yantras and spiritual materialism. I had walked away in disgust leaving nothing to fill its place. I was existing in a timeless spiritual vaccuum all the while warning the remaining devotees of how they were scammed. I had given up on organised religion I had escaped the disappointing control mechanisms. My last guru sat there pedestal-like surrounded by flowers in his refinery and calculably ripping off bankrupts whom were facing jail. He had offered a pilthy mantra after a long convoluted presentation in an opulent fully paid for reception center in south east Asian hotel.
That day the Persian Witch Hazel was planted was a destiny call to examine more than which met the eye. It was my introductory lesson in green gnosis and what nature could provide from shamanic plant practices to get me to think differently about myself and my identity. I no longer knew what to do and did not know how to go further...so I had to let a little plant tell me and whisper to my ear to point the way through the cleft and the abyss. The Persian Witch Hazel Tree was a step of change, transformation and healing for all my woes
I always recognised the correspondence between the macrocosm of nature and the microcosm of human life. I knew that by uniting ourselves with astrology you come to know the spiritual laws in the form of nature. Eris' reentry into the fray heightened all my sensing faculties - they became vitalized and pulsing with aliveness like my lungs had been pumped with Alpine air. I had a stark but gripping Goethean-like epiphany that I could begin to ominously perceive the soulfulness of nature just like had with the stars and planets. By seeing myself as occuying a part in the whole I could find unifying principles in a single tree and then draw conclusions from it as being an archetypal energy. The “doctrine of signatures” is such that there is an understanding there is a correspondence between outer forms and the inner qualities. We are all aspects of the undivided whole and each finds its working action within each of us.
I began researching the doctrine of signatures of the Persian Witch Hazel Tree, having been stamped with legible characteristics via complementary association. The idea that the plant looks like a disease, organ or person it will heal both physically and spiritually . It is a relatively uncommon tree and less familiar in nurseries. It a big imposing yet magnificent pyramid shaped ornamental tree that has zig zag and crooked forked branches reaching out like bony gnarled hands to carry as many beams of sunlight as possible. The tree is often referred to ironwood and its wood is harvested for cabinetmaking, decorative work, telephone poles and tools like hammers in Iran. If you try to bend the branches it is so discernably strong it will not break.
Appearance, shape color and habitat imply the relationship. One of its most valued characteristics is its autumnal foliage with a broad range of colors from maroon to crimson to scarlet to gold all existing simultaneously. Sound can provide a signature, an attribute of conventional witch hazel is when the seed pods mature they release the seeds with a loud memorable popping or snapping sound and shoot them at great distance which accounts for its unusualness and ideosyncratic virtues.
The rosy red colored flowers of the Persian Witch Hazel variety which emerge in the dead of winter look like the personification long drooping lashing tongues It says to me to believe in having steadiness to welcome the fact that there is new beginnings and to sing a new song and create a new life, imparting a seed of hope and a light in the dark.
Persian Witch Hazel occupies barren desert areas and like typical witch hazel it would suggest it can help cleanse and reduce anything that inflames including soothing vexatious situations. The colors are often keys to the association of plants with the planets. It's magical lore conjures it as a tree of protection and a very fearful de-hexing tree in native spirituality
Brown red astringence belong to cold malefic saturn from an astrodynamic perspective. In fact my astrological chart is ruled by saturn, the great teacher, the setting of limitations, the restrictor and constrictor the codifying of rules laws and boundaries. Saturns energy is considered cold and dry, astringent and bitter, inward drawing. Its an unlucky planet from an astrological point of view and provides the best antidote when things are hot and bothered, loose or swollen, flowing or uncontrolled, itchy and scratchy and painful.
I have researched the flower essence of the typical witch hazel flower and its message is for those who sacrifice themselves in living up to the expectations of others the willing horses who are constantly trying to please whoever. Its for those who relenentlessly drive themselves when a new evaluation is all that is necessary beyond parental approval and later conditioned responses to stop giving yourself a hard time . It opens a direct conduit to higher energies and acts like an inner light, a warm glow that uplifts the spirit and a strong promise in cases of extreme doubt and anxiety.
In the deep emblemmatic peace of the stars and the trees the only hope we have for protecting the sanity of society is through relating to people in a loving way that is founded in brotherliness and not through that blood, war-lording and strife. A society that fosters the transcendent nature of man by encouraging the the faculties of creation rather than destroying and by which people come to uniquely identify themselves through their own unique gifts and not through the insidious processes of normalisation and conformity. Society has veered off-course and we need something from higher intuitive vantage points to steer our ships in self knowledge through a deep and abiding knowledge of ourselves and our place in the world. It is through this ignorance that we experience a plethora of worldly problems and insanities from those whom have created a distorted vision of themselves within complex scenarios that erupt in the world. It is only through self knowledge and bringing into awareness the unconscious that contribute to the collective course we are all on. We must be like a tree and reach for the heavens.