It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was reminded by Jan Irvin, the co-author with Andrew Rutajit of Astrotheology & Shamanism Christianity’s Pagan Roots regarding Amanita Muscaria mushrooms: “Be careful and realize the double edged sword that they are.” He was referring to the experience of Heaven and Hell that Clark Heinrich described in his book Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. The only time I would consider taking the journey into the spirit world again would be in the context of my death with dignity.
I experienced many examples of Natural Law on my “trip” and I highly encourage you to check out Mark Passio’s seminar on the subject here. I’ll provide a brief summary and then give an example.
What does Natural Law mean?
Natural: Inherent; having a basis in Nature, Reality and Truth; not made or caused by humankind.
Law: An existing condition which is binding and immutable (cannot be changed.)
What are the General Principles of Natural Law, also known as the 7 Hermetic Principles (please see Mark’s presentation linked above for in-depth explanations)?
The Principle of Mentalism
The Principle of Correspondence
The Principle of Vibration
The Principle of Polarity
The Principle of Rhythm
The Principle of Cause and Effect
The Principle of Gender
Here is Mark’s explanation of the expressions of natural law.
He goes on to explain that the 8th, or “lost principle”, is CARE. It is depicted below as a circle encompassing the 7 Natural Law Principles and he refers to this image as The Seed of Life.
Without CARE we can never know, or live by, Natural Law. You can ignore Natural Law, but you cannot escape the consequences of doing so.
I became intimately familiar with the Principle of Correspondence:
“The Principle of correspondence represents the Hermetic axiom ‘As above, so below, as below, so above’ indicating an analogy between the various planes of being and life, it also reflects the Arcane principle ‘From One know All’. It says as much that all planes of being function after the same rules and patterns, and thus the unknown can be comprehended by the knowledge of the known.”
During my journey, just before my spirit was reborn, I descended deeply into time and space until I became aware of only the clicks of on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off until suddenly, with what I assume was an ON, I experienced my own “big bang” and began returning to the present moment. I’ll never forget the awareness of regaining consciousness in spirit form as I raced back to my bed. The binary concept is ubiquitous in science and technology and I experienced it at the deepest level of consciousness that I attained on my journey. “As above, so below, as below, so above”.
Since winter set in this year, it seems it has not relaxed it’s grip, except for the heavenly Saturday we had at The Springs last weekend. So, I watch the weather looking for the most benign days to venture out and yesterday was one of those days.
The views at the Hotel Spring, where I drew some water for the day.
I’ve noticed recently that the DNR has also been hard at work removing brush. Check out these piles on north side of Hwy ZZ near the channel that drains Ottawa Lake into the Scuppernong River.
I continued working in the Buckthorn Alley, which will be our focus until conditions improve to resume burning brush piles. I cut on the left/north side of the trail. Here is what it looked like before I got started.
I lit the brush pile shown above that was nearest my torch and had a nice fire to warm up by as I worked. I needed the heat to keep my cell phone working!
I couldn’t stay long and cut relatively less than usual, but it was an excellent day!
I made time to take a walk around the trails before heading for home.
I didn’t sleep at all last night; I couldn’t stop my mind from trying to unravel the mystery that I had experienced. Pati always encourages me to tell my “Santa Story”, which I got from reading Astrotheology and Shamanism Christianity’s Pagan Roots by Jan Irvin and Andrew Rutajit, and that is a good place to start to describe my “trip”.
The Amanita Muscaria mushroom grows in northern climates under fir, aspen, or birch trees. Pati and I found huge patches of it on Grand Island in Lake Superior and I even found one at the Indian Spring. The shamans in northern Europe watched the reindeer and noticed how much they loved this mushroom. They saw that, even more than the mushroom, the reindeer loved the urine that they, or their mushroom loving brothers, relieved themselves of. The shamans experimented and came to understand the dramatic effects this mushroom could induce (especially when un-metabolized mucimol, excreted via urine, was consumed.)
In the spring, the shamans would enlist the help of children to identify where the white caps of the mushroom were pushing through the warming soil — kind of like an Easter egg hunt. As the mushroom develops it expands through the white cap under which it was born leaving the characteristic snow fleck pattern that remains on the surface of the bright red or sunburst colored mature mushrooms.
When they were ready, the shaman harvested the mushrooms and hung them on the bows of pine trees to dry them in the short summer sun — like Christmas ornaments. As winter set in, and the entrances to the yurts the people lived in became blocked by snow, the only way to enter was through the smoke hole, or chimney. The shaman would travel from yurt to yurt carrying a sack of Amanita Muscaria mushrooms on his back. As he delivered his gifts, he recommended that they hang them over their fireplace mantels to finish drying them out — like you would a wet pair of stockings.
Over the period of the winter solstice many of the people would consume the mushrooms under the guidance of the shaman and travel in time and space experiencing their consciousness in remarkable ways. When thoroughly intoxicated with muscimol, the active ingredient in the Amanita Muscaria mushroom, the person would “leave” their physical body and experience their consciousness in pure spirit form. This was valued as it informed their reasons for living and prepared them for their own deaths.
The Shaman Santa Claus.
That story resonated with me deeply and I knew I had to experience it. I found an excellent source for the mushrooms and tried to brew them in a tea, which I had heard was the way to go. It might be for some, but I was not ready for the experience; I was still drinking way too much whiskey and smoking cigarettes. The first time I tried them, I was camped at the Hartland Marsh and spent the night shivering in my sweat drenched sleeping bag. I understood then that I need to detoxify my body and my mind if I hoped to commune with A. Muscaria. That was back in the fall of 2009 and I tried two more times in the interval and could not break through. My bout with a cancerous tumor in my neck in 2011 was the wake up call I needed to cleanse my mind and body.
Yes, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was still coming down from my ride with Santa the night before, and trying to recall the sequence of events as my consciousness left my body and I began to travel as a spirit through space and time, finally returning after a 16 hour “trip”. I began by chopping 4 ounces of mushrooms in the blender and preparing a mixture of apples, carrots, lemons, limes and oranges by pushing them through my juicer. I started Friday morning, December 27, at around 8:15am, with 3 heaping tablespoons of mushrooms mixed with enough of the juiced fruits and carrots to make it palatable, held my nose, and woofed it down. I ingested more “shrooms” approximately every hour, resting or doing gentle yoga asanas between each dose, until finally, around 2:30pm, after puking twice, drinking a cup and a half of urine, and consuming all of the shrooms, I departed this realm (Much of the muscimol, the physco-active ingredient in Amanita Muscaria, is not absorbed by the body in the first pass and leaves via the urine, hence the necessity to capture and drink it. Urine therapies go way back in the Vedic tradition.) But, just as I was leaving, I thought of those I love, especially Pati. I thought she might be at the bedside worried about me, and I reached out to her to say goodbye only to remember that she would not be back home for another week.
I traveled at a speed beyond comprehension and soon found myself in an infinitely vast space on the rim of what appeared to be a giant wheel that spanned the Universe. Perhaps it was an incarnation of the wheel of karma — the wheel that the Buddha often referred too — manifested from my subconscious. It is hard to describe “where” I was i.e. from what perspective I was on the wheel, but I could see it clearly extending in both directions. Via unspoken words I was offered the choice: did I want to return to life in a physical body or continue as spirit? I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Pati and I couldn’t just leave her like that, so the choice to return for me was easy.
I continued on and unexpectedly was given another choice; did I want to go to God? Yes! Yes! my spirit emphatically declared and I proceeded to somewhere above the wheel and as I approached what I thought was God, I heard the mournful lamentations of the spirits, “they’ve done it, they’ve blown up earth!”. I quickly passed by, or through, or rebounded past “God”, I don’t know which, but I was traveling fast and deeply into space and matter until I could see the atoms passing by. I distinctly remember becoming aware of the binary concept. And then I heard the click of off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, on and suddenly, with what I assume was an “ON”, a big bang, and I began the journey back.
When I returned to the wheel I distinctly remember the voices of the spirits there contemplating if they, like roulette balls, should drop back into “the game”. They struggled with the gamble of their destiny in a physical manifestation. I noticed an incessant clicking sound which reminded me of the on, off, on, off, ON click or the sound of the balls ricocheting around the roulette wheel. I had made my choice and did not attempt to drop my ball in just anywhere, but I felt like I could still have changed my mind during that brief time on the rim of the wheel.
The next thing I became aware of on my headlong race back to the present moment was seeing an accident on a bridge over a river. I looked into the eyes of the lead horse, who was laying near the crumpled wreck of the wagon it was pulling, and I recalled Mark Twain’s characterization of life in 600AD as described in A Connecticut Yankee In King Aurthur’s Court, where he explained that if you were in a hurry, you would not hesitate to “kill the horses” to get where you wanted to go. And the horse explained to me that he couldn’t go on anymore, he was exhausted. “It wasn’t my fault”!
The bridge had caught fire and the people were dismantling the wreckage as I left the scene. The next thing I remember was a disembodied voice whispering to me “Sir Knight, Sir Knight…” and my conscious awareness returned to my body. I needed to relief my bladder, I checked the time and saw it was 5:20am, Saturday morning, but I knew I had not come all the way back. I laid down again and continued my journey and, amazingly, I saw the smiling face of Ben Johnson, who has been helping me recently at The Springs, and I knew I was back.
It took me a while to get going and my heart was set on being at The Springs. I walked from the parking lot on Hwy ZZ to the hotel spring to get some water, which I needed badly.
(I noticed upon review that I said I was on the east side of the cut-off trail at the beginning of the video. I was actually on the northeast side of the main loop trail that leads to the buckthorn alley.)
It was so good to see Jim Davee at the work site when I arrived. He listened to my tale and I felt like he did not judge me. In my haste to get to The Springs, I left my chainsaw chaps at home (they were hanging to dry in the basement) and when I expressed my fear of cutting without this protection, Jim immediately offered to go to Forest Headquarters and get a pair of chaps for me. His thoughtfulness almost reduced me to blubbering tears. He found Anne Korman, the Assistant Superintendent of the Southern Unit of the State Forest, and soon was on his way back with a pair of chaps. Thanks Jim and Anne!
Here is what the area looked like before we started working; me cutting and Jim piling.
As soon as I began working on the North side of the trail, where Ben Johnson left off, I realized that I had asked him to work in what was one of the worst tangled messes I had ever encountered; and it was his first time cutting buckthorn with a chainsaw! Sorry about that Ben.
Zach Kastern and I were trying to hook up at The Springs, and our schedules didn’t align exactly, but he made the effort to come out and arrived around 2:00pm. He asked where I wanted to focus and I suggested we try to carve a whole in the buckthorn in a southeasterly direction to reveal the old cranberry bog on the other side. That seemed like a good plan and we got after it.
This is a view looking toward the “Blue V” on the edge of the horizon that we oriented ourselves to as we carved out a channel.
We quit just before sunset and I was really looking forward to taking a tour with Zach. Jim went home to get some information about the Clover Valley spring, which is very near Rice Lake and the Whitewater Lake Recreation Area, and he arrived just in time to take a walk with us. We had a wonderful conversation as we traded ideas and information; it was memorable.
And remember… “He sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…”
During the night the sun/son of God was born of a virgin. I pondered this as I arrived at The Springs on the last day of the winter solstice; Christmas. What would happen if the whole world shook itself free of the myth of the historical Jesus and recognized the ancient astrotheological origins of the symbols and characters portrayed in “The Christmas Story”?
I walked quickly to the gaging station bridge hoping to get some cool pictures of the fresh snow. Compare the photos below to the headline image for this site above. The river was crowded with buckthorn on that sunny morning and the fresh, wet, snow hung thickly on the branches.
“The three wise men, or the three kings, are anthropomorphisms of the three stars of Orion’s Belt. Like the sun, Orion’s Belt also rises on the eastern horizon. In early December, Orion’s Belt will rise above the horizon approximately an hour after sunset. In mid-January, it will rise above the horizon approximately an hour before sunset. However, on Christmas Eve it will rise above the eastern horizon just after the sun sets. This occurs on the evening of December 24 to the morning of December 25. Symbolically, the three kings (Orions Belt) are following the star of “Bethlehem,” known as Sirius (also called Sithus by the Egyptians).
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to they Perfect Light
~ We Three Kings
The tale tells us that these kings traveled a great distance. This is because on this day, the three stars of Orion’s Belt begin their journey across the night sky immediately at twilight. When this alignment with Sirus occurs, it appears to point strait down at the earth as if it were pointing down to the place where the sun in the sky is about to rise. On this night, we know that God’s son, the sun in the sky, is about to be born. When this occurs it is Christmas morning. It is the dawning of God’s sun/son, the beginning of the (real) New Year, and the first day of the sun’s journey to the north.
During the summer months the belts of Orion and Sirius are turned up in the sky at a different angle and are often hidden by the daylight sun. Only one night of the year do they swing fully down and point directly at the earth in alignment with the sunrise while appearing on the horizon just after twilight.”
And what about the virgin birth, I thought while gazing from the marl pit bridge?
“The sun in the sky is born under the constellation of the virgin, Virgo, on December 25th. As a result, the sun deity is born of a virgin as well. As the Age of Pisces began, its opposite sign in the zodiac, Virgo the virgin, was on the western horizon. As we pointed out in chapter three, Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th. Isis-Meri (Isis the Beloved) was the Egyptian name for the constellation of Virgo. Meri (Mary) also happens to be where words like marina and marine (references to the sea) come from, because cultures who watch the sun rise over the ocean witnessed God’s sun being born out of the ocean and walk on water.” Astrotheology & Shamanism Christianity’s Pagan Roots
Would love and compassion disappear from the earth if people knew the truth about the origins and Christianity? Check out Bet Emet Ministries for more interesting info: “Bet Emet’s Websites are intended to be a “Spiritual Pilgrimage” in ones study of “the Christ”; moving from the assumed Historical Jesus Christ to the Mystical Jesus Christ and finally to the Mythical Jesus Christ.”
I tucked this reverie in a back pocket in my mind and dragged a sled-full of gear down the Buckthorn Alley, where I planned to meet Ben Johnson (pictured by the fire below) and Jim Davee to cut and pile some buckthorn.
It is definitely more challenging to work in the winter snow, but we had a nice fire to warm up by and this area is too wet to work in any other time of the year.
I was happy with the results!
Ben and I talked about the work the DNR did on the scuppernong river, that I recently reported on, and we decided to take a look from the south side of the river.
From there we walked along the river’s edge all the way up to the “Big Spring”; that was a workout.
I hope the sun/son will be shining the next time I See you at The Springs.
I checked the weather during the taxi ride home from the airport and knew that I was meant to be at The Springs for the winter solstice. Wikipedia informs us that the word solstice comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) but it neglects to explain that it stands still for three days and how this astrological fact is at the core of Christianity.
“It appears as though the sun has been moving toward the south and growing smaller every day, but on the evening of the winter solstice (typically December 21st or 22nd), this comes to an end. On December 22nd, 23rd, and 24th the sun does not rise closer to the south as it has each day in the previous six months.
Instead, the sun will rise in the exact same location; it is without movement. The sun is considered dead for three days. There is a three-day period when our savior, the King of kings, the son of God (the sun god) is dead. The new sun is born on December 25th, rising on the horizon and advancing toward the north as it begins its new life and the days begin to grow longer. In fact, above 66.5 to 67 degrees latitude, the sun will actually disappear from the horizon during this three-day period.” Astrotheology & Shamanism Christianity’s Pagan Roots by Jan Irvin & Andrew Rutajit (video version here)
It was this book along with Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, that helped me understand religion and liberate myself from it. And what does the word mean after all? It comes from the latin religare: to bind fast. No wonder tyrants and empires have used it to divide and control people.
How can one replace organized religion? Leo Tolstoy explains it at the end of Anna Karenina in a conversation between the noble landlord, Levin and one of the peasants who works for him:
“Oh, well, of course, folks are different. One man lives for his own wants and nothing else, like Mituh, he only thinks of filling his belly, but Fokanitch is a righteous man. He lives for his soul. He does not forget God.”
“How thinks of God? How does he live for his soul?” Levin almost shouted.
“Why, to be sure, in truth, in God’s way. Folks are different. Take you now, you wouldn’t wrong a man….”
The thought of actually living in truth for my soul excites me like it did Levin, but I’m just as likely to fail at it as he was.
Lots of wet, heavy, snow was predicted for the night so I seized the day and burned brush piles in the areas marked in red below.
My first stop was on the cut-off trail.
The freezing drizzle from the previous day made the piles a little harder to start but I managed to get the 25 in this area lit by lunch time.
From there I went to the area along the main trail between signposts #1 and #2…
… and I got 15 more piles going.
As I was lighting the last pile, John and Sue Hrobar stopped by to share exciting news. They report seeing trout much more frequently than in the recent past and Sue was startled by a pheasant that was lurking under the marl pit bridge. John told me the DNR had been there (on Saturday, December 14th) installing bio-logs in the river just a little upstream from where I was burning brush piles on the cut-off trail (see blue stretch of river on the map above). I hastened to check it out!