Modernity, Transition and Tricksterism

This is ported over from another blog and written in 2012:

For a while I’ve listened to an internet broadcast by EcoAnarchist John Zerzan:

I’ve followed Zerzan’s thinking for years since I was a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Oregon in the 90s. He quoted a recent study which says that there has been an 85% increase in people living alone in the past 15 years. Another interesting study finding was that the largest increase in people living alone was in China, India, and Brazil. These have traditionally been countries with strong communities, which have recently bought heavily into the paradigm of global modernization and techno consumerism.

Social Scientists from Weber, Marx to Habermas have spoken of the increased alienation, fragmentation, and rationalization that modernity brings to life as we move into a disenchanted world based on work, consumption and rationality. William Blake bemoaned the rise of England’s early industrial “Satanic Mills” and like fish swimming in water, we mostly can’t imagine any other way of living than the modern matrix we’re all embedded within.

Urbanization based on this push towards modernization is the driving narrative across the planet now as the pace of global technological capitalism intensives. One only has to look at the modern Global Cityscape with its hive like honey comb office towers apartment blocks, and lone drivers in cars to see the direct realization of the values of modernity instantiated in our built environment and physical infrastructure.

But humans are tribal creatures keyed to living in groups close to nature. We have been that way for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s only the past several hundred years of intensifying modernization that we’ve been torn, sometimes kicking and screaming, from a deep need for meaningful land based community. The growth of the psychiatric drug industry, the rise of addictions and behavioral extremes can all be directly traced to our increasingly fragmented, harried, stressful, isolated and denatured lives.

But the past 300 years their have been efforts to reclaim land based communities and to decouple from the urban machine. From the religious and secular communes of the sixties to the eco-villages and cooperatives of the 21st century, people are striving to create new forms of dwelling outside the urban grid. At the same time, within the cities themselves recent efforts at Urban Gardening, and farming attempt to reclaim the natural amidst the urban, as well as foster new more inclusive forms of community solidarity.

But all of these efforts, both urban and rural still remain marginal and small in number at best. Underlying all of this is the reality that the urban machine is running on fumes. The past 2 decades has seen the United States struggling to corner the market on energy resources with its oil wars, while developing BRIC countries worked to position themselves for the great energy crunch of the 21st century. Fresh water resources are also growing issues of contention as mass industrial farming leads to desertification of vast stretches of previously arable land.  Recent studies predict a major global infrastructural collapse by the year 2030. That is 15 years out.

The recent rise of the Transition Town movement speaks to the need to relocalize and detach from this decaying industrial paradigm, recreating community based local values, commerce, and regional focused lifestyles at sustainable scale. At the same time, the material resources still remain vastly in the hands of the global corporate industrial urban system.

But no system is perfect, and there are cracks in its armor. The contradictions of the global industrial techno-system with its striving for efficiencies, productivity and speed are leading to new exploitable cracks for those seeking to negotiate this transition while working to build the world yet to come.  With the rise of outsourcing, and the growth of web and mobile technology, new hybrid strategies are possible which can be used in service of this transition. Flex work and telecommuting along with the growth of independent contracting allow individuals to work part time and sometime non locally or nomadically.

The resources garnered from this effort (Both in time and money) can be leveraged in support of building a different world. As we negotiate this transition time increasingly we will have to work to straddle these two worlds. We will see a future of more people who collectively purchase land and create off grid communal lifestyles, while working part time in the cities doing technology focused worked.

I envision a future where new earth based cooperatives wired with appropriate technologies and off grid power resources come into relationship with others creating an underground network of eco-villages which totally sideswipe the larger system living from the bottom up instead of the top down. During this transition, some members of these cooperatives will fund their efforts, in part, by working part time in cities, but using these resources to build these new land based communities, gradually replacing the soul crushing zombie land of suburbia and the alienating hive zone of urban apartment dwelling.

But this requires a certain attitude and approach, both playful and serious, light hearted, and focused. We have to act as if the world depends on every decision we make, while know that none of it makes any difference at the same time. Such a POV is resonant with the archetype of the Trickster.

As Steven Legba writes in his book, “The Trickster Koran” Trickster does not show us what we have gained from the state of modernity, but what we have lost.“(10)
The trickster always plays by his own rules and his own agendas. Part mad man, and saint, part visionary, and outlaw, part hero and anti-hero, the trickster embodies the contradictions of duality, but is impulsed by a higher law that drives him or her forward towards a greater end. The spirit of the Trickster calls us to “Create your life by creating your own options and not taking the control system seriously.” (11)

At the same time, the trickster, like any good gambler or jazz musician,  knows the rules and how to play the game. As we move through the transition we might learn from the spirit of the trickster… playing the game, but by our own rules, engaging with the system for our own ends, one hand on the machine, and the other hand rooted deeply in the soil and holding the hands of our community.

The trickster knows how to wear the mask and dance the dance, but he always has his own agenda. The trickster knows where his loyalties lie, and those loyalties rooted in life, art, beauty, community, humor, pleasure, and a thriving sustainable future will provide the inner compass that helps us negotiates the contradictions of the decaying global paradigm and its technologies to serve a world based on nature, enchantment and magick rather than the flatland of the global matrix.

Modernity, Transition and Tricksterism

Six Take Aways From Ecopsychology as it relates to my Vision

This weekend I went to a conference at the California Institute of Integral Studies titled “Active Hope: Eco psychology for Therapists, Educators and Community Leaders.”

This came on the heels of my serendipitously stumbling upon a lecture/workshop on “Ecopsychology & Shamanism” shared by Indigenous Clinical Psychologist Leslie Gray of the Woodfish Institute.

During the conference 4 speakers, along with an open discussion panel, shared a variety of perspectives on the state of the field. The capstone was a stunning and inspiring talk by Superstar spiritual activist Joanna Macy.

My six takeaways from the conference:

Eco psychology is actually a very amorphous space of either potential resistance or complicity. The elephant in the room is capitalism and techno-modernity. Are we going to just give people wilderness experiences that serve as a form of anesthetic to put them back into the machine, or are we going to wake them up into the rebel/radicals/revolutionaries/change agents they could be?

 To do this we need to figure out how to bridge wilderness therapy/shamanic vision quests in the woods with Trojan horse/change making plans/strategies. We need to figure out how  to take the awakening/healings people have once they reunite their souls with Anima – Mundi back into the “Real World.”

The imagination, and rewilding the imagination is critical to any effort at social change and post-capitalist transition, but how we re-wild that imagination matters. Craig Chalquist made the case for reinvigorating our relationship to stories and myths, but we need to stimulate people’s wild selves and go beyond simple narratives of Hollywood Good Guy/Bad Guy: (I.E. Tolkiens Elves vs. Sauron, Avatar natives vs. the Corp, or Maleficent Fairies vs the Greedy King).

These are all nice fairy tales, but what about nonlinear plots, fractaline complexity, tricksters, and aniti-heroes like Elric of Melibone? We need the trickster as much as the Hero in this age of collapse.

We are going to need “ReIndigenize” Eco psychology” and this will require getting better at creating bridges between, Anthropology, NeoPagan, “Earth Based Spiritual Traditions,” and Indigenous Peoples.’ Any attempt to foster an Eco-psychology based on a green spirituality paradigm that neglects the original dwellers on this continent, neglects culture, and neglects history is just another form of Eurocentric colonialist appropriation.

Native Peoples didn’t call it “Ecopyshcology” that’s a Western effort to reclaim what we’ve lost. What we lost led to us taking from others. We need to mend all of the sacred hoops and build circles within circles in fractaline holoarchies of interdependent synergy while simultaneously respecting boundaries.

Any vital ecopsyhcology is going to need an intimate relationship with the Shadow and the Daemonic. Just as Western culture and its psychological models have denied culture & nature so it’s denied the shadow and the daemonic.

If we don’t allow a place for engaging the shadow, and the chaotic creative wildness of the Daemonic, we’ll hobble our efforts and neuter the evolutionary potential of such a movement.

In turn, the Activists need the healing of Eco psychology just as Eco psychologists need the direct action orientation of activism.

We need to “Ground” Eco psychology in larger trans-formative movements such as permaculture, intentional communities and direct action. Unless we do this, it’s just another Therapeutic Fad that will lead to well-paid shamanic vision quests in the woods with no long term socially trans-formative potential.

There is no guarantee we as a species are going to make it, or the planet for that matter, and riding this uncertainty with passionate commitment conjoined with detachment is the key to moving forward.

”Act as if everything you did the whole world depended upon, while knowing it doesn’t really make any difference.” This kind of engaged detachment is the only way to navigate these dark times. As the Lakota Sioux say………”Today is a good day to die.”

Altogether I learned a lot from the conference as I continue to bridge my passion for anthropology, ecology, anarchism, witchcraft and shamanism while my vision solidifies.

All of this is part and parcel of “what I call the “Avalon Project” and I am working to instantiate this in what I call the “Pacific Crest Wilderness Yoga School.” (See Plan Below)

May all the ancestors and beings guide my way as I move forward with this Planet Work in service of the Aegi-Pan…The ALL.

Pacific Crest Wilderness Yoga School – Draft Plan:

Mission Statement:

The Pacific Crest Wilderness Yoga School works to provide people the space and experiences that can help them positively transform through wilderness hiking, yoga, meditation, nature education and shamanic practices.

Through education, facilitation, and wilderness immersion we work to foster health, integration awakening to purpose, and the building of deeply meaningful relationships with nature, and one another. We do this in support of a creatively vibrant and sustainable world in harmony with the cosmos.


To develop a robust Spirituality centered Eco learning school and community that will eventually blossom into a robust center with strong ties to place. It will unite the healthiest and most progressive facets of the Pacific Northwest and Bay Area spiritual and ecological focused community in service of local and global sustainable evolutionary culture.

Location: 200 Acres near Carter Meadows Summit, Klamath National Forest

Areas of Focus:

  • Wilderness Immersion/Healing/Eco Therapy, eco-psychology
  • Spiritual practices: yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, Core- shamanism, Karuk (Local indigenous people Shamanism), Nature based spirituality (Witchcraft, Taoism)
  • Natural life skills: rewilding, permaculture, natural building (earth ships, cob), herbal medicines, nature, plant identification/awareness
Six Take Aways From Ecopsychology as it relates to my Vision

Ahayuasca Reflections – March 23, 2015

I had my second Ahayuasca experience facilitated by a Peruvian Shaman in Marin County Friday Night March 20, 2015.

Unlike my first experience which was overwhelming, terrifying, blissful and filled with cosmic revelations, this one had a heavy undercurrent of deep emotional waters tied to family and my relationships to others. In particular the message of appreciating my father and mother as they age rose to the surface.

What became clear to me is that I need to strengthen my spiritual commitments by re-energizing my Sadhna and working harder at realizing my visions.

Disengaging from online arguments, and wasting time on the internet rose to the surface. Also being kinder to people and appreciating them as time is short was an important message.

Also I couldn’t get enough water and felt like I was on fire. My inner heat was cranked up dramatically and I spent a lot of time inhaling water from the bathroom facet to cool my inner fire down.

Outside of these personal reflections, I did have an amazing vision of a motherly beautiful bejeweled greenish cosmic serpent with mirth, love and brilliance in her eyes. She  was constantly weaving creation into being and her playful spirals were like a loom as she birthed, wove and spun through creation enriching the fibers of being with each twist and turn. The message that came through was “Why Not? It’s fun.”

Beauty and possibility and the chance of something better emerging out of the warp and weft of the weaving spirals of her undulating movements was what matters, and this is the only real logic.

And just remember, Goddess is Love. The love spirals of her undulating serpent dance through every fiber of creation was the message of being – becoming.

And words and man’s religions fail in the face of such primal creative power. Pure Shakti. Ouroboros.

You can call yourself whatever you want, Pagan, Christian, or Nothing, but are you here to help? Are you here to dance the dance and bring more beauty into the world by learning how to flow with the rhythm of her weaving serpentine spiral DANCE?

That’s where the real magic lies.

Ahayuasca Reflections – March 23, 2015

Lecture Notes – Ouroboros Salon I

Ouroboros Salon I: Synchronicity and Soul Purpose, Nov 15, 2014

Oakland, Ca – 8PM

Start with a quote:

“The fate of one individual invariably fits the fate of the other and each is the hero of his own drama while simultaneously figuring in a drama foreign to him—this is something that surpasses our powers of comprehension, and can only be conceived as possible by virtue of the most wonderful pre-established harmony.”

(On the Apparent Design in the Fate of the Individual, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

What is Synchronicity?

 Most of what we understand about synchronicity in the modern sense can be attributed to the work of Carl Jung and in particular one Paper: Synchronicity an Acasaul Connecting Principle.


  • Carl Jung, the Founder of Analytic and Depth Psychology defined synchronicity as the “The coincidence of two or more casually unrelated events which have the same meaning.”
  • Jung’s theories of synchronicity developed over a lifetime of clinical observation of his patient’s therapeutic process.
  • Our modern scientific worldview is that of Causality. This causes that. An event before somehow influences what comes after. Billiard Balls on a pool table…A Clockwork universe.
  • When events happen that seemingly have no causaul relationship, we in the modern world chalk in up to chance.
  • Famous Example of SYNCHRONICITY: The Scarab: Women had been very hard for Jung to help, but was poised on a breakthrough in her healing. she visited him and told him about a dream of a golden scarab. He then heard a tapping behind him opened a  window and an insect flew in looking exactly like a golden scarab. He later did research and found Scarabs represent resurrection and renewal in Egyptian mythology
  • Example 2: April 1, 1949 today is Friday. We have fish for Friday. Someone happens to mention making an “April Fish” of someone. In afternoon a painting showed him a picture of a fish he had painted. On morning of April 2, patient who he hadn’t seen for a long time told him about a fish dream. That night someone showed him fish embroidery, and Jung was currently studying the symbolism of fish in mythology.
  • MY SHAMAN BOOK IN TAIWAN EXAMPLE (Holger Kolwait, Smiths Family Books, Eric Nussbaum, UC Irvine 1988)
  • My Burning Man Examples: Meeting Members of Tzu Hui T’ang from my Dissertaion Studies BRC 2014 by the man.
  • In a synchronicity an unconsciousness image comes into conscious (Scarab in dream or the Fish Example and an external event happens
  • Seems to a bridge/crossover from unconscious into conscious and immaterial (thought) to material world.

 Characteristics of Synchronistic events:

  1. Such events are a-causally connected, rather than connected through a chain of cause and effect that an individual can discern as intentional and deliberate on her or his own part.
  2. Such events always occur with an accompaniment of deep emotional experience, usually at the same time of the event itself, but not always.
  3. The content of the synchronistic experience, what the event actually is, is always symbolic n nature, and almost always related specifically to the fourth aspect of the synchronistic event.
  4. Such meaningful coincidences occur at points of important transitions in our lives. A synchronistic event very often becomes a turning point in the stories of our lives.
  • Goes against our understanding of living in a materialistic universe. I.E. Mind is not supposed to effect matter.
  • As if matter and mind meet
  • In materialistic worldview we call this a coincidence, but not in a shamanic, animistic, or a quantum relativistic one as I will describe this kind of phenomenon is taken as a given.

What Does Synchronicity Say About Space/Time?

  • In a clock work universe of Newtonian laws, the Scarab example is just a coincidence.
    • How do you differentiate a coincidence form synchronicity, or is anything really a coincidence?
  • What Jung discovered/chartered via synchronicity was impossible in a mechanical Newtonian universe where causation was the root, but possibly in a quantum/relativistic one it might be different.
  • JUNG’S QUOTE: “It was Einstein who first started me off thinking about a possible Relativity of time as well as space, and their psychic conditionality. More than thirty years later this stimulus led to my relation with the physicist Professor W. Pauli and to my thesis of psychic ” (Cambray PG 16)
  • Later Jung delved into the parapsychology of Howard Rhine because what he found with synchronicity went against the prevailing Newtonian clockwork universe physics and worldview of the time.
  • Now we have the String Theory (Brian Green) Holographic(Talbot)/Fractal Multi-verse Theory (Abrams, McKenna)
  • Complexity Theory and Emergent Systems (Santa Fe Institute)
  • Like Bohm’s implicate/explicate order (“potential/manifest) use dialogue.
  • If you want to take a look, My Professor at University of Oregon, Amit Goswami (Affect of Consciousness on energy matter space time.) Institute of Noetic Sciences.
  • With Wolfgang Pauli (Quantum Physicists) Jung created a framework to explain how Synchronicity fits into the model of quantum physicist. 2 modes of things “Happening” linear a-causality and nonlinear a-causality exist in relationship to space/time and matter/energy
  • JUNG developed a theory, resonant with many pre modern philosophies like TAOISM, that all things are meaningfully connected and interrelated.
  • Eventually this led to broader definition: Acausal in the world without special reference to the human psyche. The universe can best be described using four principles: indestructible energy, the space-time continuum, causality, and synchronicity.

Synchronicity seems to be intimately woven together with those events we take as “meaningful.”

Since the Enlightenment, ascent of Scientific materialist worldview we’ve banished “meaning” to the periphery of our culture, and replaced it with the cool steely glass of the scientific analysis.

 This is called “DISENCHANTMENT.” A tree is no longer a sacred object, now what a timber executive calls “MONEY ON STUMPS.” Heidegger called this way of relating to being “Present to Hand” ….cold, detached, observational vs. “ready to hand” engaged, participatory.


Classic participatory cosmos was what we associate with Animism: a religious idea that everything in the world is alive and filled with meaning.

ANOTHER SCHOPENHAUER QUOTE: “The subject of the great dream of life is but one…the transcendental will…from which all causal chains radiate like meridian lines from the poles, and because of circular parallels, stand together in meaningful relationships of simultaneity”

Some Traditional Concepts and Synchronicity:

  • It’s not a new concept, although Jung coined term, the idea of synchronicity is actually very old.
  • Forerunners to Synchronicity: Chinese concept of Tao
  • Richard Wilhelm (Tao) as borderline perception lying at the extreme edge of the world of appearances. In it the opposites “cancel out in non-discrimination but are still potentially present.”
  • Chinese view their latent “rationality”order/purposefulness in all things. In west called the LOGOS. Divine patterning.
  • “The state in which the ego/non ego no longer opposed is the pivot of the Tao’ Modern language (conscious/unconscious mind)….thus emotionality extremes as a bridge (ASCS).
  • Holistic thinking.
  • Similar to Western notion of (God/Providence/Meaning)
  • Shows up in the West in Alchemy, which Jung was a big fan of, and Hermeticism.
  • As above so below, as within so without.
  • Inner and outer form the whole, Agrippa, correspondences.
  • Doctrine of signatures.
  • Synchronicity postulates a meaning a prior to human consciousness and outside of man…Plato, Ideal forms, the archetypes.
  • Western concept of the “LOGOS” Divine patterning, the cosmic order/continuum
  • The Wyrd, Fate – Destiny
  • Omens/Portents/Signs indigenous shamanism
  • Doctrine of Signatures: The world is a book to be read
  • Master of the Temple Oaths: All acts between me and my HGA/God
  • And/or Magical thinking – Levy Bruhl

Accessing synchronicity via Divination.

  • Intuitive/mantic methods take the existence of synchronicity as self-evident (I Qing/Tarot)
  • Intuitive techniques for “grasping the whole situation” (I Qing), Chinese mind (Taoist) more holistic.


  • Jung Felt Synchronicities were intimately bound up with a person’s emergent process towards what he called “Individuation.”
  • Individuation according to Jung is the “ the psychological process that makes of a human being an “individual”-a unique, indivisible unit or “whole man.” (from a lecture at the Eranos Meeting at Ascona The Meaning of Individuation)
  • This Jung felt was the foundational task of being human, to become a fully expressed unique individual, and a whole person.
  • Synchronicities for Jung were sign posts along the way of what Jung believed was a “Circular, or spiral, not a Linear Process of becoming.
  • Quote “I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self. Memories, Dreams and Reflections Page 196


  • Jame’s Hillman’s Book, “The Soul’s Code”
  • Daimon: Higher Genius
  • Soul has a “Code” a vector/ a purpose.
  • Entelechy-Telos
  • Acorn Theory of the Soul…Something wants to be born.
  • Growing Down: Body, Family, Conditions
  • We choose all this
  • Arete: Heroic Life, Lived unto excellence,
  • Anneke:Necesssity/Fate Moira
  • Destinity
  • Synchronicities tied to that….doorways for accessing your unfolding purpose.

Quote on the Daimon:

  • The Self serves as the deepest source of motivation for the unfolding and subsequent reunification of the personality; when expressed, its archetypal imagery coincides with the god image though it can also take the negative of this as in daimonic forms—from the ancient Greek, daimon, “a god, goddess, divine power, genius, guardian spirit.” (Cambray)
  • Archetypes are nodes in the polyphase of the collective imaginal/collective unconscious … our dance with the “Gods?”
  • Self is an an emergent property of the psyche in relationship to “Archetypes”/Gods.
  • So in our emergence as “Self’ we do a dance with an inner/outer constellation of forces – “Gods

 Archetypes Become Constellated in the Process of Self Emergence:

“In the language of Jungian psychology, the energizing or activation of an archetypal node is frequently referred to as a particular pattern having “constellated,” for example, the propensity to face adversity with determination to vanquish it may reflect the constellation of a heroic archetype in a person’s life. 

 However, such activations by their nature are transgressive of any view of a person as a wholly isolated entity; inner and outer environments are necessarily part of the full pattern, also in accord with the finding on mirror neurons. At deeper levels the psyche is not a closed system but opens into a field of interactions among individuals, a network with strong and weak links that can become self-organizing.” (Cambray)


Thus is seems our emergent selfhood is a process that involved multiple forces (archetypes) as we come into being. Synchronicities are part of the critical ways in which we do this dance with the elements of the collective field on the path of our own unique wholeness and full creative self-expression. 


  What Situations Seem Most Conducive to Synchronicity? 


  • Concept of the Liminal- Bardo
  • Crisis, Major Life Change,
  • Travel
  • Big life change


  • Interestingly Jung references magic saying, “a certain power to alter things dwells in the human soul and subordinates the other things to her, especially when she is swept into the great excess of love or hate (Strong emotions). (Avicenna’s Liber sextus naturalium.”
  • He writes: “When therefore the soul of man falls into the excess of any passion, it binds things and alter them in the way it wants….after I read the necromantic books I found that emotionality of the human soul is the chief cause of all these things….whoever would learn the secret of doing or undoing these things must learn that everyone can influence everything magickally if he falls into great excess.”
  • Shamanics States, Altered States, “Gnosis”
  • “The higher order phenomena associated with the self-organizing features of CAS, that is, emergence, tends to appear at the edge of order and chaos. This seems a remarkably useful way of describing and tracking Jungian analytic process—a suggested nosology, organizing set of clinical observations based on this formulation, has been presented (see Cambray, “Synchronicity and Emergence,” 419–31).
  • In terms of field theory, emergent phenomena would be expected to occur in just those regions of the field that are undergoing self-organization. (Cambray)
  • Push to the edge; be at the border zone to experience synchronicity via emotional intensity.


  • Balance tween tension and receptivity
  • Intuitive clearing
  • Openness, curiosity
  • Gnosis/ASCs (Get out of our rational mind)
    • Psychedelics
    • Ritual

Entrainment/Coherence/focus – Getting to the edge of Chaos:

  • Complexity, Emergence, Symmetry, Resonance.
  • Constellation around archetypes
  • In general, resonance indicates some form of attunement among elements or agents in a
  • Field; such interactions in turn can lead to emergent properties. The
  • concept of resonance can readily be grasped in acoustic systems; consider
  • a tuning fork used to tune a piano: striking the fork against a
  • solid surface will set it vibrating at a specific frequency, producing a
  • reference pitch; the relevant string on a piano can then be adjusted
  • (tightened or loosened) so that the string resonates at the same frequency,
  • So that the pitches match. In fact if the vibrating fork is put in
  • proximity with the tuned string, this will then begin to vibrate with
  • The same frequency—the two are said to be in resonance.

(How do you “get in resonance” with a particular archetype, energy?

  • Magickal/Shamanic Ritual
  • Invocations
  • Evocations
  • Shamanic Journeying
  • Pathworkings

Strive for coherence and resonance with your gods on the path of your becoming/individual ing/self emergence!


  1. Synchronicity is an acasual connecting principle
  2. It points to the connectedness of the inner and outer (as above so below, as within so without)
  3. It’s foundational to the way the universe works and seems justified by the new physics and new sciences of complexity and emergent systems
  4. Its tied to the dynamics of self-individuation and archetypal processed of self-becoming
  5. It happens at moments of great emotional intensity and self-shifts
  6. It’s often heighted at the edge of “Chaos” complexity theory.
  7. It shows up in many shamanic and magickal traditions in the past and the present.
  8. It often is more intensified when we break from old patterns (liminal, travel, life phases)
  9. It emerges when we are open
  10. We might be able to do things to intensify and increase synchronicities (Concept of FLOW). Spiritual practice, magick, ritual, ect.

 World Cafe Break Out  Group Discussion Topics:

(Please refer to anything you’ve read, studied, experienced, please let one person speak at a time)

  1. How can we induce or intensify synchronicity? Why would we want to do this?
  2. How do we differentiate synchronicity from “Magical thinking?” Aprophenia. Where we take everything as some profound or meaningful event when it is not. Where do coincidence, magical thinking, and Synchronicity diverge? How can we tell?
  3. What do you think are the barriers to synchronicity? What keeps us form experience them or noticing them?
  4. Are their good and bad synchronicities? How can we tell? How can we differentiate them? How can we increase the good and reduce the bad synchronicities?


  • Synchronicity: An Acasual Connecting Principle, Carl Jung
  • Synchronicity: Nature and Psyche in an Interconnected Universe, Joseph Cambray
  • The Soul’s Code, James Hillman
Lecture Notes – Ouroboros Salon I

11 Steps To Escape Being A Rat In Some One Else’s Trap

I recently read a fascinating story on addiction that turns the tables on the theory that addiction is largely innate. The basic study involved placing a morphine laden water bottle next to a normal water bottle in a rat cage that held solo rats. Lone rats in separate cages almost universally became addicted to the drug laden water regularly “hitting” the water dropper during the day and maintaining a continual high.

Then the researchers did something interesting. They built a rat environment full of fun interesting exhibits, rat wheels, places for rats to hang out, comfortable rat couches,ect. Basically they built a rat park that was highly enriching for the rats.

When they put the drug water next to the normal water, some of the rats did try it at first, but after a while they largely ignored it and went back to having their rat fun with each other.

Moral of the story: place mammals alone in  sterile, stressful environments and they are going to do whatever they can to escape their state, but put them together in enriching ways and they will enjoy themselves.

Of course the analogy is extendable to the modern world and much of daily life we’ve come to call the “Rat Race.” In so many ways our lives have become impoverished in the nature alienated glass and steel cube cube-land of the contemporary city. In turn addictions rates ranging in  everything  from drugs, sex, social media, to workaholism are rising as isolated, stressed and alienated people try to cope while competing in the urban machine nodes of techno-capitalism that drives them like rats on a wheel.

If demographic trends are correct, we can expect a growth of mass urbanization to continue around the globe as cities morph into mega-cities and mankind continues to plug himself increasingly into digitally wired “smart-city” hives.

So let’s just build better cities right?

Even with buzzwords like “Sustainable Architecture” and “Sustainable Development” being tossed around, the truth is you can’t put lipstick on a pig.

Apologists for Neo-liberalism point out examples of cities like Portland and Vancouver as models of sustainable living, and though they offer improvements, the question for me is do you really want to be a rat? Even with a nicer “Rat Park” somebody is still defining the terms of the game for their advantage.

Critique from both left anarchism and deep ecology clarify that there is something fundamentally off with the very nature of techno-industrial capitalism itself. Anarchists critique the fundamental nature of hierarchy, inequality, and pyramidal social power at the heart of civilization, and deep ecology critiques the fundamental alienation from nature in every way possible.

In essence, we are living in a machine and that machine, hierarchical, ordered, driven by $$$s and technology is consuming our souls as it consumes the very ecosphere of the planet upon which it rests and feeds.

The thing is, just as all organisms habituate to the environments they dwell in, human beings have come to accept this state as normal. In her work, Clinical Psychologist Chellis Glenddining has come to the conclusion that the very nature of modern techno-industrial life is traumatic like the rat-traps above.

In a recent essay summarizing her book “Technology Wounds” she references Sioux Indian writer Vine Deloria who describes this world as an  “the artificial universe”:

Wilderness transformed into city streets, subways, giant buildings, and factories resulted in the complete substitution of the real world for the artificial world of the urban man. . . . Surrounded by an artificial universe when the warning signals are not the shape of the sky, the cry of the animals, the changing of seasons, but the simple flashing of the traffic light and the wail of the ambulance and police car, urban people have no idea what the natural universe is like.

She goes on to highlight that just as the addict will deny their addiction, so mankind ensconced in the modern techno-hive displays all the classics symptoms of addiction: Denial, Dishonesty, Control, Thinking Disorders, and a Disconnection From Feelings.

When I’ve challenged people about the  modern industrial order I’ve heard people give very addict-like responses:

“What do you want to do, go back to the horse and buggy?”

“How can it be any other way?”

“I believe in progress.”

Well, what we call “progress” is not only eating us alive, it’s eating the planet. We are all witness to the “Fifth Great Extinction” but instead of witnessing it, we are causing it.

But just as in any addiction, there are steps on the path of recovery:

1.) Addiction to modern techno industrial capitalism starts by admitting you have a problem.

2.) The second step involves getting outside the machine. Spend time in the wild. Immerse yourself in the woods and mountains. Spend time away from people. Turn off your machines. Potentially consider some form of Eco-therapy and deep wilderness immersion.

3.) Remember the night sky. Look at the stars. Spend time looking up and wondering.

4.) Decolonize your imagination. Stop taking in the movies and media that reproduce the imaginal horizon of the machine. Instead go to the edges and envision alternatives either in the far past, far future, or far away places.

5.) Look into concrete ways to adjust your daily life. Downscale. Minimize, Learn permaculture. Grow a garden.

6.) Connect with others who see the writing on the wall. Look into the Transition Movement.

7.) Don’t believe the hype. Stop believing you need to live an isolated life in a solo home accumulating crap and saving for retirement. The future wealth will lay in eco-centric communities. Consider new forms of dwelling, living with others in community.

8.) Transition your entertainment from consumption to production and creativity. Instead of wasting time on video games, DVDs, inane movies and other colonizations of your imagination, write, paint, draw, take a class.

9.) Take up a daily spiritual practice. It doesn’t matter what it is, but general guidelines are something that works to integrate your body, mind and spirit.

10.) Share what you know. Lead a workshop, teach, build bridges.

11.) Have fun. The surrealists believed that very nature of the modern world created a state they called “Miserabalism.” The key to overcoming this state is to “Always be in service of the marvelous.” That sounds to me a lot better than being  a harried, or happy rat… even in rat park.



11 Steps To Escape Being A Rat In Some One Else’s Trap

Visions on the Other Side of Collapse

What does a post-collapse post capitalist world look like for you?

I think it’s important that we not only work to resist the neo-liberal techno-fascist consumer machine through a variety of strategies and tactics (From Direct Action to what Anarchist Anthropologist David Graeber calls “Engaged Withdrawal”) , but that we also have our own idea of what a world would look like on the other side.

Personally I have drawn inspiration from a number of sources including visionary science fiction, philosophy, and extant models of alternative community. Here are just a handful of some of the things that keep me dreaming of a better world.

Science Fiction/Visionary Fiction:

-The Fifth Sacred Thing:

Books on Extant Communities/Processes

-Sustainable Revolution:

-The Transition HandBook:

-Empowerment Manual, Starhawk:

Current Communities/Models




PDX City Repair:

Village Building Convergence:

Visions on the Other Side of Collapse

Manifesto for a Daemonic and Deep Ecological Culture

We hold these truths to be self -evident. That humanity has an innate potential to create. That a human being’s greatest creative potential lies in alliance with her higher genius, known as the Daemon.

We acknowledge that that potential has been denied, and the selfhood of man domesticated and tamed by a society hell-bent on reducing every person to a consumer slave, cut off from the higher and deeper forces that lie within him and beyond him.

This Daemon lies at the diamonds edge and pivots between angel and devil.

Brought together these poles can make her into a god, kept apart they destroy him. Unleashed the Daemonic potential can shape worlds into heavenly gardens, repressed it burns them into deathly hells.

The world is dying at the hands of the machine-mind world consuming monster which reduces us all to shells, consumes souls, and vampircally rapes the planet of its resources all underneath the umbrella of progress.

You’ve been sold a lie.
The old saying that the devil is the father of lies and ruler of this world isn’t far from truth, but the lier isn’t the devil of old: Lucificer, Satan or any other bogeyman.
No, the lier is the complicit and well groomed politician, the financial executive, the general, the priest, the principal, the psychiatrist…all the arbitrators of the world system in all of its tidy, anemic, materialist, and poisonous conformity cut off from the wild in dark heart of the cosmos.
The true devil is the false mask of the Shepard who hides behind him a brutal band of rapacious wolves.

These colonialist occupiers of our thoughts, dreams, vision, lands and lives feed on us in the name of “Love.”

The true devil is all of that that turns you against your own deepest creative impulse, heartfelt desires, and intuitions. It is that which turns you against yourself.
We call out all whom hide behind false images of goodness and virtue that conceal hierarchies of abuse, conformity, limit, fear and moralism.

We see your lies, we rebuke you, and we cast you out.

The culture they have raised you in is demonic.
Just look at its fruits, for does the Word not say, “By their fruits you shall know them?….Suicides, ecological collapse, school shootings, domestic militarism, wars, and rumors of wars.
Their world is apocalypse. Their world is the great lie.
But we unmask the lie.
We turn their illusion on its head.

We are against you; we are the heretics, the adversary, and the radical other.

We are they who dwell always in the oppositional and contrarian position to every form of doctrinaire authority that limits and bends the neck of liberty and untamed creative inspiration to the yoke of slavery and conformity.

We are the dancers on the edge of the abyss;

We are the balancers at the razors edge who through our own self chosen discipline hone ourselves into creative forces to produce our worlds in co-creative synergy and synchronicity with the cosmic pulse of novel and evolutionary beauty.

Some call us anarchists, witches, gnostics, radicals.

We entertain the labels, but can never be reduced to any one term.
We dance with all rebels, creators, magicians, lovers, poets, artists and shapers of the new in harmony with the higher voice of their soul.

We dance with all of those who embrace their Daemon.
We all hold something in common, a current that burns in every man and women’s star like heart…The gnostic fire of Love and Will.

This is not the domesticated and artificially constructed Love of Hollywood and Judeo-Xtianity.

This is not the so called “love” that leads to marriage, family, and slavery which are but the well-shaped reproductive urge at the hands of Market and the moral limits of society and the church.
No, our Love is Viral, wild, passionate, purposeful, striving towards the annihilation of all opposites and a higher union in the radiant bliss at the heart of creation.

And our will is no brutal force driven merely by the ego.

Our Will is Cosmic…It is the creative impulse of the universe’s evolutionary drive towards novelty, which inspires us, each in our own way, to creatively and powerfully express our part of the cosmic mystery.
When we awaken and equilibrate these two forces of Love and Will within us we become powerful.

When we join together with others who do the same we become unstoppable.
They sold you a lie that your inner prophetic urge, your creative drive, the forest of your adolescent rebellion were pathological.
They sold you the lie that your own inner suspicion and defiance were the byproduct of your immaturity or lack of experience.

They told you that your “Daemon” the inner creative impulse of your radical soul was demonic.

They tried to medicate you, tame you, reduce you to a broken beast of burden for a pay check, and a furtive chance at sexual release underneath the anesthetized banner of comfort and security.
Every dream and deep desire that we shut down deep in a coffin and turn the civilization key on is a part of our soul they’ve taken from us.

We break open this Pandora’s Box and release the deepest seeds of our dreams and desire born of our sex and death instinct: Eros and Thanatos.

These are but the surface image of the heartbeat of Shiva who creates and destroys in every other breath with the systole diastole of the cosmic heartbeat.

What they call demonic is but a smokescreen for their own denial and repression of the surging power that can lead us back to the Garden.

The serpent is our ally and we reclaim all the serpentine gnosis that has been taken from us, denied, repressed, so they could profit from our ignorance.
The doorway to the Daemon is the awakened and uncoiled serpent of our creative potential united with the fullest experience and expression of our repressed desire.
We ally with the Serpent and unlock the wild.

We claim these for Love and Will and Love Under Will.

And between these lies a harmony that unites these opposites through the ecstasy of orgasm giving birth to the Magickal Childe which is True Beauty.

We claim these powers of sex and death. We claim the Daemon underneath the false image of the demon.

We reclaim the serpent powers of awareness and we discipline and hone ourselves while we creatively uncoil ourselves both individually and collectively

And through our efforts, our Love, and our Love under Will

First with ourselves, and then among our fellows,

We will renew and mend the world water the flowers of the garden once again. .

And thus together with the aroused coiled splendor of creative potential we will co create and tend the Garden of Pan underneath the starry night sky of the Infinite Star Goddess Forever.

Manifesto for a Daemonic and Deep Ecological Culture



In his book Apocalyptic Witchcraft, as well as his shorter essay Rewilding Witchcraft, one of Peter Grey’s central arguments is that contemporary paganism has been tamed by the standards of urbane bourgeois consumer society and the capitalist system that underlies it. He mocks what I call “Lifestyle Paganism” which he sees as a superficial expression of belief, identity and aesthetics (robes, rituals, multi-gods, pentragrams, pantheacon) with little impact or effect on the dominant culture that look upon it as an amusing distraction.

This system, regardless of small steps we each personally take, is hegemonic and structurally dominant. His call is for the reclamation of the Witch as a transgressive force in response to this larger social order’s continued drive toward ecological collapse. In order to do this, he asks for a rewilding of our relationship to self, nature, society and cosmos.

What Grey is saying bares a family resemblance to those who call for a decolonization of minds, and practices in Post-colonial theory. Post-Colonial theory recognizes the insidious way in which the power and ideals of a dominant culture infiltrate and co-opt the consciousness and behavior of the disenfranchised.

We each have been subjected to a set of nature alienating values, beliefs, and practices which underlie everything we experience in urbane modernity. This colonization is woven into our architecture, our social norms, our ways of thinking, even our language. In essence, the normative culture is embedded in our subconscious, and the default state is one of profound alienation from the natural world, and thus ultimately ourselves. In order to create resistance to power, we must first decolonize our minds and practices.

In parallel, Peter calls for a fully present Animistic engagement with nature in order for Witchcraft to be more than a colorful effort at creative anachronism. No matter what robes, rituals, or gods we may adhere to, nature-centricity is a common thread that can unite Neopagans. The root of the shamanic tradition from which paganism emerges is the awareness of the underlying sacredness, intelligence and aliveness of all beings animate and inanimate. To be alienated from our own souls and the soul of nature (Anima – Mundi) is to spiral out in a variety of dysfunctions.

Symptomatic of this, a growing litany of voices both Pagan and Non Pagan are pointing out how this “Nature Deficit Disorder” increasingly expresses itself in rising rates of depression, anxiety, violence and addictive behaviors. The relatively nascent field of eco-psychology diagnoses this problematic relationship between mind and nature seen in the alarming trend of children’s increased immersion in video game and social media. Our domesticated children and their colonized imaginations no longer play in the woods and the wild, but online fantasy worlds constructed to siphon their attention and energy down the path of addictive consumption.

Grey’s perspective on Witchcraft positions itself firmly on one side of the split between radical Deep Ecology seen among Pagan members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) vs. liberal bourgeois corporatist environmentalism most clearly expressed in the Sierra Club. According to anarchism, this contrast between radical and liberal perspectives on the environment is not one of mere taste, preference, or opinion, but rather the depth or superficiality of one’s level of analysis of the conditions at hand and how invested one is in the system itself.

Rewilding isn’t a fad or fashion; it’s an adaptive response to an alienated social order and the inherent psychopathology and ecocide thereof. Rewilding is likely the first step in “Exodus” from Capitalist modernity. As Anarchist Anthropologist David Graeber writes, our best hope may be in refusing to live in a dying world, but deciding to create an entirely different one:

“The theory of exodus proposes that the most effective way of opposing capitalism and the liberal state is not through direct confrontation but by means of what Paolo Virno has called “engaged withdrawal, “mass defection by those wishing to create new forms of community. One need only glance at the historical record to confirm that most successful forms of popular resistance have taken precisely this form. They have not involved challenging power head on (this usually leads to being slaughtered, or if not, turning into some—often even uglier—variant of the very thing one first challenged) but from one or another strategy of slipping away from its grasp, from flight, desertion, the founding of new communities.” (Graeber)

Like the Zapatistas who first marched on Mexico City with the classic Marxist ideal of claiming state power, to later return to their hills and valleys and “secede” from the Neo-Liberal system in order to practice and live their sacred life ways, we ourselves might have to do the same things in the coming years. These “Lines of Flight” from the “Striated” social order with its hierarchical control systems into more organic, bottom up “Rhizomatic” ways discussed by Deleuzze in a Thousand Plateaus may be our best hope. To do this we need to pay attention to how we our reproducing the dominant culture even while we think we are part of the alternative.

It’s likely that as we go further into these transition times from Peak Oil (What Starhawk calls the Great Turning)…as our water supply continues to dry up, our weather patterns become increasingly extreme, and our social order, both domestic and international, tilts further towards collapse, the message of Apocalyptic and Rewilding Witchcraft will become only more resonant.

A rewilded Witchcraft expressed in activist social efforts (either in the form of direct action or the creation of alternatives via permaculture, art, and spiritual cooperatives) may serve as a rallying point for those of us that want to create new beautiful gardens as a counterpoint to techno-industrial collapse. In turn, the voice of lifestyle paganism will, as John Michael Geer says, become as “quaint and outdated as Theosophy, Spiritualism and Nehru jackets.”

Grey is asking us to both destroy old relationships and mindsets and create new ones. Such a dual approach is evident in the image of Pan who is both all destroyer and all creator: Panphage/Pangenetor…and Pan is the essence of Wilderness.



Seattle to London: Resistance Rising

The Pacific Northwest in the 90’s was rife with ecological activism, counterculture idealism, and  anti corporatist critique. This scene  saw the struggle for the spotted owl, Timber Wars between activists and local loggers, tree sitters in the forests, and a growing and increasingly active group of “Black Block” anarchists that involved themselves in ecological protests. This movement reached its crescendo at the Battle of Seattle in 1999, where many of the more radical elements went about smashing Nike, Starbucks, and a variety of other storefront icons while the World Trade Organization met in downtown Seattle. The city was on fire with the spirit of resistance, and was surrounded by an army of police, and the National Guard. This kind of energy was virtually silenced after 9-11 and the “Green Scare” when radical ecoactivists where hunted underneath the mantle of the Patriot Act as Terrorists, and the Bush doctrine of “You’re either wish us, or for the Terrorists” created a blanket muffling of any effort to resist the neoliberal agendas of the corporate state.

That kind of resistance seems to be on the upswing. The riots in the UK, though branded by the corporate media as “apolitical acts of looting” may in fact bare kinship to the Battle of Seattle,  and even further back to the student protests in France and the US in the late 1960’s. Underneath them all is a deeper, more radical critique of the status quo then you’d find in the news or mainstream media. It’s a critique not just of political parties and their positions, but of the very nature of our techno-consumerist civilization itself.

Anarchists don’t engage in debates regarding which politician,  political parties or position is worthy of support. For anarchists the very unequal structures of civilization themselves with their top down hierarchies of power, wealth, and control,  are the fundamental problem. For them politicians regardless of their left or right leaning, ultimately end up supporting the industrial machine and it’s corporate masters. For them, you can’t put  democratic “lipstick” on the “pig” of corporate run techno- industrial civilization in its march towards ecocide and the colonization of daily life.

As the structures of inequality in our society continue to grow, the gridlock of our political system intensifies, and life of the average person gets harder and harder, the Radical Anarchist critique is gaining more and more traction in the minds of everyday people. This is increasingly worrisome to the powers that be, and the recent efforts of governments in the UK  to “out” anarchists belies a growing awareness amongst those invested in the system  that a spirit of resistance to that system is growing.  That  resistance is increasingly centered within those, who for lack of a better term, call themselves anarchists.

Seattle to London: Resistance Rising

Ouroboros, Archaic Revival, Language and Evolution

All true evolutionary change occurs in the forms of spirals. Like the DNA patterns of our chromosomes, and the structures of spiral galaxies, the nature of the cosmos is cyclical and spiral in nature. What this means is that all true change involves both reverse, and forward motion.

We often travel forward by reconnecting with patterns of the past, but taking them to a new level. This notion of going “Back to the future” is an idea found within many mythic traditions. Psychedelic Shaman and philosopher Terrence Mckenna uniquely framed this concept with his idea of the “Archaic Revival.” This was his attempt to synthesize the culture and practices of the ancient past, particularly the Paleolithic shamanic roots of humankind, with our emergent cutting edge technologies in virtual reality, the internet, and computer mediated communications.

Mckenna envisioned a world of “TechnoTribal” reality that conjoined ancient nature based pagan lifeways, with the most cutting edge of digital technologies. He envisioned this hybrid fushion of the ancient and modern that would eventually point the way towards our emigration to the stars built on a deep connection to nature and technology.

Many of our modern day problems exist because of a deep fragmentation in both our social structures, as well as our language. The product of over 500 years of industrial and mechanized thinking, our modern world with its skyscrapers, freeways, isolated apartment dwellings, and separated consumer lifestyles is testimate to world view that has lost it’s rooting in what Heidegger called the sacred fourfold of “Earth, Sky, Divinities and Mortals.”

This alienation of language and its latent desacralized mechanism is a profound problem, for like fish swimming in water, we often are unaware of the nature of the language in which we swim and express our being. In his book the “Spell of the Sensuous,” David Abram’s shows us how our limited language usage and paradigms since the emergence of abstract, phoentic, and increasingly technocentric language, have literally cut us off from the larger world of nature and cosmos around us, not to mention the intimate realm of our own interiority.

We no longer dwell in the “Spell of the Sensusous” that our ancestors did whose language and being was deeply woven into the fabric of the natural world. Instead we live in what Postmodern philosopher Braudillard calls a Simulacrum of reality. In this hypereal world of abstraction, ungrounded from our ancestors fundamental concerns of nature, community, meaning, and purpose, our lives take on a harried quality. In turn, the system preys upon us by feeding off our inherent instability and emptiness by driving us further down the path of unsustainable consumerism…Truly the machine mind mall culture, reinforced by a machine mind language, rules the day.

Yet, like Ouroboros, the Snake biting it’s own tail, which is the symbol of arcane perfection in Alchemy we may need move to the future by way of the past. As surgeon and writer Leonard Shlain illustrates in his book, “The Alphabet and the Goddess.” It’s only now with our most modern virtual technologies that our multimedia modes of language and communication are approaching the highly pictographic and immersive world view of our ancient ancestors prior to the emergence of phoentic and highly abstract languages.

The growth of the electronic music culture, and in particular its attempt to fuse elements of psychedelia, dance, meditation, and visionary art all express this attempt at Shamanic Archaic Revival Mckenna points towards. What’s clear is the middling ground of modernity is broken, and that we need something much more extreme, beautiful, and profound to escape the event horizon of the machine.

If the Singularity is near, it won’t merely be a Kurzweillian fusion of man with machine, but rather a hybridization of the ancient past, and emergent future in and some unknown horizon of the possible.

In the ancient mystical Judaic philosophy of the Kabbalah, each word is equivalent to a number. A great secret is that the number for the messiah (Messiac) is 358, the same as the serpent (Nahasch). Thus the serpent in the Garden of Eden is equilibrated with the Jesus of the Second Coming in the Book of Revelations. Ouroborus: The snake bites its own, tail, the Alpha meets the Omega, and we end where we began, but at another level of becoming. Such is the pathway for our accelerated growth towards our evolutionary destiny.

Ouroboros, Archaic Revival, Language and Evolution