Astrology Readings With Carol

Carol Leigh Rice, M.A.

Carol Leigh Rice, M.A.

Welcome to Silk Road Visions! My name is Carol, and I am an experienced Astrologer offering Shamanic Astrology Readings in the philosophical setting of reincarnation and karma. I call my readings “Advanced” because they can be life-changing, and are really for those of you who are interested in spiritual life and drawn to the inward Journey.

I bring to my Astrology over 30 years of public work as a psychic, giving channelled Life Readings very similar to those of Edgar Cayce. My Readings, like those of so many psychics, channels, or mediums over the centuries, brought up the subject of karma and reincarnation as a simple matter of fact. I may be offering these psychic readings again in future here, through Silk Road Visions.

Shamanic Astrology is a way to bring karmic patterns into the Light of Consciousness. This is enough to begin the process of loosening up, even dissolving old karmic knots and ties. In my Shamanic journey through your Chart, and when you are meditating on your Astrology Reading, we are working together on what I call “Karma Dreaming” – using ‘Dreaming’ in the sense that Aboriginal Australians do, as I describe in my Karma Dreaming, Transformation, and Shamanic Astrology.

Of course I also cover all the other important features in your Birth Chart just as any good, professional Astrologer will try to do. Your personality, with its strengths, blind spots, and needs will be the focus of the Reading, along with key relationships, issues of material support, family life, and so on, as I outline in more detail below.

Morning YogaAs a psychic, I experience spontaneous psychic images and impressions which I also share with you. As I work, I sense You, the Person behind the Personality, the Soul behind the planets and their placements in the Birth Chart.

A planet in a given House or Sign means something unique in each person’s Chart, because though you may be a Sagittarius, for example, or have Scorpio Rising, you will “wear” these Signs in combination with all the other formations in your Chart and in the context of past life Stories only you have lived and continue to live. There comes a time in reading a Birth Chart when all the mechanical skills must be set aside and we must wait for the Story to show itself. Only then may we proceed with confidence.

Lady With LampAnd, as a Shaman,I infuse my work with a deep, very personal desire to heal. Sometimes I am swept up in shamanic journeying for you, and I tell you about this in your written Reading, or later by email, if the experience occurs after I send you your Reading (which it sometimes does!) Just the process of uncovering information in your chart may create changes in the energy fields around it – and thus lead to transformation of patterns. In the telling of a Story, we become part of it, for Words have transformative power. For more on my shamanic work in your Reading, have a look at my Karma Dreaming, Transformation, and Shamanic Astrology.

When we work with our Astrology charts, even as beginners, we are turning on the lights within, just as we do with dream work, for the Higher Self speaks through Symbol, which has the magical ability to contain, express, and transform our psychic energy.

Vesta, Keeper of the Temple Flame

Vesta, Keeper of the Temple Flame

Like Hindu Astrologers, I believe in the responsibility of the Astrologer to help each client with the karmic patterns shown in their Birth Charts. My intent, as a Shaman, is to bring to life the still patterns, to make them conscious and visible to both my Mind and your Mind, for it is there that the karmic knots will be loosened.

There are cosmic, spiritual limits to such assistance, but where it is possible, know that my desire will be to heal and to help you move towards your evolving Whole, as much as it is to introduce you to the technical information – the Parts – of your Birth Chart.

What Are Some Of The Themes I Will Cover In Your Astrology Reading?
Soul-Centered, Karmic Astrology has answers to the “Why” as well as the “What” of questions like these:

  • What is my Soul’s purpose in this lifetime? Is it a single goal, or a broad experience?
  • What karmic themes, arising from past-life Stories, are shaping this lifetime?
  • What kind of history from other lives connects me to the men/women I love?
  • What is the main karmic lesson I am working on in terms of my gender?
  • What kinds of childhoods have I had in other lives and why did I choose the parents I did this time?
  • Who are these Souls I call my children?
  • What is the point of the painful experiences and problem relationships in my  life?
  • What history in the Family Clan/Family Tree am I working through in this life? Why me?
  • What is the best approach in this lifetime for me to earn a living?
  • What kind of education am I looking for in this life?
  • How can I make my life easier for myself?
  • In what direction does my natural creativity flow?
  • What earth talents in this life am I most suited to pursue?

A Note on House Systems
Many of you have seen your Birth Charts cast using the Placidus House System (this is the default House System used at, but I use the Equal House System, which you can choose in the menu at many sites and in all good Astrology software. Use of different House Systems never changes the actual mathematical angles (aspects) between planets and other heavenly bodies. Therefore, configurations like T-Squares, Yods, Squares, etc, all remain between the same planets. What will change will be the House, or area of life, these aspects affect. If you feel you “know yourself” very much through a different House System, it would be best for me not to do your Reading, unless you feel quite confident that a different perspective might be quite helpful.

Natural Zodiac With Tree of Life

Natural Zodiac With Tree of Life

Shamanic Astrology Birth Chart Reading * $225 USD
With Soul and Life Plan, Karmic Issues and Their Origins, Channeled Guidance and Shamanic Journeying.

My role is to show you the Big Picture, the map of this lifetime, tracing out its connections with some past-life experiences.  Where your Soul permits, I’ll be doing some gentle Karma Dreaming – a little Shamanic Astrology – and I think you’ll find that some of the difficulties in your life will start to dissolve.

If you do not have your exact time of birth, we can do a Solar Chart Reading. This is a fascinating look at your Soul History, using the Sun in its “setting out at the Dawn” position. I think this is a remarkable metaphor for a new incarnation, and indicates, I think, a more accurate picture of the Sun’s potential and intent in the Chart. I have personally and professionally found that this method lights up corners of one’s life that even the regular birth chart reading, using a known time of birth, does not seem to do.

In fact, I actually recommend having this as a secondary Reading at some point in your life, even if you do have your birth time and have had your Chart read with it. As always, Astrology seems to be such a uniquely code-laden, interrelated set of symbols for each person, it keeps revealing more and more nuances the more we look at it, regardless of the perspectives chosen.

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Revisiting Your Birth Chart Reading * $150 USD

Acorn Oak

The Birth Chart is a gift that keeps on giving! There are always new insights and fuller understanding to be gained from a fresh look at your own, personal Map. After I have done your original Karmic Astrology Birth Chart Reading, we can go back to your Birth Chart many times to uncover the amazing information in its many layers. (Please note I need to do the original Birth Chart Reading before we can “revisit” it!)

The initial Birth Chart Reading identifies the major themes of the Personality and Life Plan, especially in light of karmic influences – ongoing “Stories” as dramatic as any movie. We see the life patterns you can expect to arise around Love Relationships, Work, Education, Health, Family, and Finances.

When we revisit your Birth Chart we look at one of these areas in much greater detail. I will be using some highlights from your Transits and Progressions to get a good look at not only the original patterns you brought with you in the area we are looking at, but where these may be transforming to some extent as you go through various Astrological Life Cycles such as your Saturn Returns, Uranus Oppositions, Progressed Moon, Sun, and Ascendant, and so on.

My personal recommendation is that we take a fresh, much closer look at Venus in your chart. This remarkable planet is crucial to all themes of personal relationship and is often the key to other lifetimes. Venus represents both one’s own and the opposite sex, values, the artistic and refined aspects of the Soul’s expression, and of course, the creation of and relation to money.

Saturn of course is another marvellous Figure for us to explore, and so is Pluto. Sometimes, it is not so much one planet as it is an interconnected path of planetary House (and Planet) rulerships – a Web which emerges around a particular set of House issues or a big configuration such as a Yod, T-Square, Grand Trine or Grand Cross.

My goal will be to explore and reveal the dynamics occurring just outside your line of vision so that you can change the way your approach the area in question. We can find a “Path” through this part of your life which will simplify your choices and bring you peace as to what you can change, and how you can live more comfortably with what you cannot change.

However, the Shamanic work which I do leads me to feel that there is very little in life that cannot be changed in healing ways, inside or outside, Past, Present, or Future.

We can repeat this Reading as often as you like.

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Note:  Please book your  Birth Chart Reading (either Regular or Solar above) before we do either of these next two – your Progressed Chart or Current Transits – so that I have the Big Picture first.

ButterflyShamanic Astrology Progressed Birth Chart Reading* $150 USD
In the Progressed Chart, we look at the deep, structural changes through an ancient technique of “progressing” the birth date forward one day for each year lived, up to the first 90 days following your actual birth. In this “day equals one year” formula, it is as if the ancients took the first critical 90-day trimester of pregnancy and transferred this to the first 90 days of actual life in the world, seeing this as the “acorn” expanding into the Oak Tree of 90 years of the human life span. It is as if your Life Plan has its own internal “clock” which embeds its hours in the critical 90 days following birth.

So we wind up with a “new Birth Chart” based on any given date we choose within that 90 days following your Birth date. This may reflect the same dynamics of a possibly expanding universe – the “pattern” is widening but on a scale so vast we cannot detect it. In the Birth Chart, however, we can detect the changes – there are deep shifts in direction, needs, and life purpose as you grow into and age through your basic chart.

I have begun using the Stand-Alone Progressed Chart along with the traditional version where we place the Progressed planets around the Natal Chart. This is essentially two Readings in one, and the combination covers a great deal of ground. It is extremely fascinating! I find the Stand-Alone to be dramatically effective in isolating and illuminating the major karmic themes which have arisen from the Birth Chart.

Using both versions expands the Progressed Chart Reading considerably, so I am no longer doing both Progressed Charts and Transits Readings together. It really is “Too Much Information” for you to take in all at once. There is a subtle, shamanic effect of the written work I do for you and this stirs up energy patterns within you. I think it is very important to work at these deep transformations using Time itself as part of the work.

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Shamanic Astrology Current Transits Reading * $150 USD
Usually this time frame covers the coming three years or so of your life.

Seedling Soul In the SunThe Progressed Birth Chart tends to reveal deep, tectonic plate-type shifts in energy within longer time frames.

The Current Transits Reading tells us more about the “climate” on the surface – where the planets and other heavenly bodies are right now in the Heavens, as they pass through the 12 Signs of the Zodiac. These are placed around your Birth Chart, matching up with the Houses according to which Signs are on which Houses. The “visiting planets” bump into and make mathematical angles with the planets as they were “photographed” in your Houses on your day of birth. These “visitors” release new energy into various areas of your life all day, every day, throughout each year of your life.

Using the Ephemerides, which are tables of planetary positions spanning 6,000 years, I try to map out for you key time frames in which to expect changes or challenges, or relief from a taxing pattern now in play. Karma does not usually manifest as one Story that dominates our life. Instead, we seem to work on pieces of various Stories from time to time. When we have gotten as far as we can go on one piece, we may lay it aside, just as a new issue slides into place through meeting a new person, changing vocation, going back to school, and of course, as people leave our lives.

This is a process I liken to creating a large Patchwork Quilt as this lifetime unfolds. The Transits and Progressed Chart Readings both assist in recognizing which pieces of the Quilt we are working on, and can expect to be working on, in various time frames.

The Current Transits Reading will also identify some important larger Life Cycles if these are relevant, such as the Saturn Returns which occur only every 27-29 years, the Uranus Opposite Uranus Effect occurring between 38 and 42 (mid-life crisis!), the Chiron Return around age 51, Venus and Mars Returns, and so on.

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To Order Your Reading or a Gift Reading for Someone Else:
Please pay in advance via PayPal and expect to receive your reading by email (in PDF or Word format – your choice) within 10 days of booking. PayPal will accept your credit card even as a guest user. Canadians are welcome to use an email bank transfer if you bank online and I will give you the email address to use.

After you make your purchase through PayPal, send me an email at Carol and let me know you have booked your Reading. Please provide me at that time with your birth date information – time (if known), date and place of birth. As I mention above, we can go with the Solar Chart Reading if you don’t have your time of birth – or you can ask me to do a Solar Chart Reading for you, even if you know your birth time, either as a followup to us doing Karmic Astrology Reading with your known birth time, or simply because you would like to try the Solar Chart perspective (If this is confusing, just send me an email and I’ll clarify!)

Blessings and Growth Are Always Free!
Many psychological and life changes will come through the alchemy of a Birth Chart Reading. These will flow from my Shamanic spiritual connection with you but they will also come as a natural result of your own Shamanic initiation through understanding your Birth Chart.

Even deciding to have an Astrology reading and setting it in motion brings something new and creative into your life! Contemplating your own Birth Chart is very similar to working with the Tarot images, or consulting the I Ching. In the Asking, the Question already begins to be answered…

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Suggested ReadingKarma Dreaming, Transformation, and Shamanic Astrology.

Posted in About Carol, Astrology, Astrology Readings, Depth Psychology, Karma and Reincarnation, Shamanic Astrology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Crystal Visions and Light In Dark Times

It is temping to think of these Dark Times as End Times, yet such finality has always seemed more the hope of a tired Humanity than a threat or promise of the Creator.  The promise has always been a personal one – “Lo, I am with you always” – and the counsel has always been to “Render Unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”….If there is to be Light in politics and public life, then, it must shine through the words and deeds of inspired, courageous individuals, rather than through cataclysmic, much longed-for End Times….

Yet we may hope for the arrival of special Souls, those willing to pick up the Torch where it lies on the street or on the floor in a court of law, or cast aside as no longer useful in the Great House of a President…

Oil Wells On Fire Middle East

Oil Wells On Fire Middle East

Some dreams we remember a lifetime…In February of 1969, on the morning of a friend’s wedding for which I had travelled to Nova Scotia, I awakened with the sunrise streaming through my window. I remember so clearly thinking “Nova Scotia Sunrise” and then realizing I was still somehow awakening from a strange dream.

“I had been placed in a small room within a larger building one which reminded me of a fairgrounds central display hall. I had been given a crystal ball, and I understood that I was put there to prophesy. Gazing into the crystal, I saw many things which I do not remember, but the tears streamed down my face with the emotion and effort which it took for me to “see,” and I heard myself prophesying aloud about these things, though to whom I do not know, for I was alone in this odd room.

The one thing I do remember at that point was saying “And they shall say of her, as they said of old, that the sun does not set upon her empire….” This, I knew, referred to Queen Victoria and the influence of “her” Empire over one-quarter of the Earth.  The reference to gender here may have something to do with the ending of the dream…

Then a tall (very tall) man – the kind I saw only occasionally in my dreams, but always recognized as a Teacher – came to the doorway, looked at me, and asked me gently if I was alright. I said I was fine, that I could continue, and he quietly withdrew.

I then turned back to my task and to the crystal ball. New images began to form, and these I do remember – of the Earth turning fire red, with thick black coils of black smoke swirling in rings around Her…Finally I could see almost no Earth at all…

Earth White Clouds and Blue Waters

Earth White Clouds and Blue Waters

I was very afraid of worse which I might see,  but I forced myself to continue looking into the crystal…It seemed I would have to literally see “around a corner in the Tunnel of Time”, as I thought of it in the dream…

And at last, the black and red swirls began to clear. Slowly, I saw the Earth emerge, Her beautiful Blue Waters now visible through great puffy clouds of the purest white…There was no Ending, then, and no Coming, or so it seemed…

How long was the Time between the terrible red fires with black smoke and the return of white clouds over clean waters on our beautiful Blue Planet? That, I do not know.

The dream did not end there. Strangely, I simply rose up and left the crystal ball in this small room, and went out into a large open area. There, I saw a tall book stand, the kind that used to display the small gift-worthy Hallmark books (like Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet)…Only on this stand, row after row across and down, there were copies of only one book. Its title was simply “John F. Kennedy 1969“…

John F. KennedyI have never known for certain what that cryptic title, the ending of my dream, was meant to signify. It was part of the dream and its vision, and so clearly was some kind of postscript to the events which I saw in my crystal ball.

Was Jack F. Kennedy, a man with great personal faults but even greater public virtue, reborn sometime in the year of 1969? Has he returned to shine, somewhere on Earth, as a new great Light In Dark Times? And can it be that, as the earlier prophesy in this vision foretells, that it will be as a woman, and not as a man, that Kennedy will return?

It is of course possible that John F. Kennedy was a symbol only in this vision/dream, a symbol of the leadership and principle that we (perhaps idealistically) attributed to this President, assassinated before his full work was done….Yet the year 1969 was so prominent on all the books shown. Surely, this is a date that one day we will recognize as a time when someone slipped back through the Gates of Life, to be here when we most need new Light….

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Spiritual Cinema Circle

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Seshat of Egypt * Lost Goddess of Knowledge, Time, and Remembrance

Among some Indigenous Peoples of Australia it is said that the men stole the secret knowledge and rituals in ancient times from the women. The men have always known and acknowledged this, but for the sake of social harmony, men and women alike pretend that it was the men to whom such knowledge was entrusted. 

The Pyramid Code With Dr. Carmen Boulter

The Pyramid Code With Dr. Carmen Boulter

In The Pyramid Code, Dr. Carmen Boulter tells us how new dating of Egyptian civilizations moves much occult wisdom backwards in time, into the Matriarchal Age, when male priests showed their “graduation” by being allowed to wear female wigs.

Later, a male priesthood overthrew the Matriarchy – was this the beginning of Dark Times in which we still live? – and established the supremacy of Patriarchy. They accomplished this primarily by turning ancient Egyptian Goddesses into new male deities who stole the identities and the stories of the Goddesses, making them their own.

Chief among these sleights-of-hand was the transformation of Seshat, Goddess of Writing, Time, Memory, Knowledge and Sacred Geometry, into Thoth, so that Seshat as a powerful entity was rewritten as Thoth’s Feminine side, then as his sister and/or his consort.

However, as late as the eighteenth dynasty, in a temple constructed during the reign of Hatshepsut, there is an image of the pharaoh directing Thoth to obtain answers to important questions from Seshat.

However, it was Thoth’s name, and his alone, which lived on as the Supreme God of hidden wisdom and the science of life itself. Thus was Memory itself used against the Goddess of Remembrance. For an important dimension of Seshat as Goddess of Memory and Time is that Memory was an extraordinarily important idea in Egyptian culture, religion, and philosophical thought.  Memory, for Ancient Egypt, does not just record and thus remind us about events in Time, Memory is the faculty which creates and sustains Time itself; and Time creates the human world, preparing it for Immortality….

Thus the Cord that we see Seshat holding may be one to measure geometric and architecturally significant structures, but it is almost certainly also the Living Cord of Memory which held the 3,500 years of Egyptian experience on Earth together in one unbroken stream of collective consciousness.

For a difficult and very theoretical but illuminating exploration of this theme, see Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs – the reviews are interesting.

Only when we  intuit the power of Memory to connect and thus create in Ancient Egypt – will we gain real insight into Seshat’s creative power, why she was known as a Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom, and of the inventor of writing, not merely patron of those who write.

The power of the Word – the creating Logos – seems to have been considered a major attribute of Sechat. In turn, this was related to her command of the “written” Records – the Akashic Records, perhaps, and even possibly the “records” within DNA.  She was said to be able to open Heaven’s door for those who that we see a hint of her transformational powers which go well  beyond mere “recording”.

We are looking through the window of Time at one of the great Creator Goddesses, or at one of Her manifestations in our realms.

Below, Seshat is given voice by gifted writer and poetess Charlotte Babb in what resonates to me as a channelled call from the Sacred Feminine across ancient Time…

Seshat Goddess of the Library
By Charlotte Babb

They have forgotten my name
But I remember
They call me The Female Scribe
As though I was not
The Original One who invented writing at the beginning
Who taught Djeuty to write

That baboon
Not the “Thrice-Great One” Ibis
So revered of the Greeks

Foremost in the Library, indeed
My pupil became my father-spouse-brother
Thus the Moon loses his face and
Nut bears her five children
On the five days added to the year.

And I am divided against myself
the Great and the Small
To hedge their bets
Do they not remember the Letter and the Spirit
The Words and the Meaning?

Forgotten, with no priests to call my name
I teach the pharaoh to face his fate
How to be born of the Mind
How to bear the weight of the Crown and the Eye
How to negotiate with those who come through me

Foremost in the House of Foreigners
I measure his reign by the words of Ra
I record his deeds
Measure his spoils of war
His inundations of the Nile

Seshat Makes Her Calculations

Seshat Makes Her Calculations

And the number of hairs on his head
His name is known
Because I have recorded it on my palm leaf
On the Ished Tree of Life
His years are long,
As many as the tadpoles in the flood
Because I have written it so.
Yet he forgets my name, calling me only
Mother Mistress of Builders
I taught my priests to measure the polar star
To find true north when no star pointed the way
The King himself Stretches the Cord
Marking the foundations of temples
To other gods and his tomb
But only with my help

Offerings to me are laid In the foundations
The builders know me
They honor me with the talismans of the tools of their trade
Because I am the one who makes the building stand
In this physical world, and in the unseen world

I am the Lady of the City of Eight,
The Birthplace of the Gods
But in the condominiums of the gods
They forget my name
They don’t remember
Why I wear the leopard skin of the blessed dead
Of the funerary priests
With its markings of the myriad stars of Nut

I am the mother of the dead
The soul passes through my womb
To be born again

I am old, great-grandmother to Isis,
Who lately came to me with her brother-husband
In pieces so that I might Re-Member him
I am the Mother of the Dead
Bearing those who die into the next life
Though she forgets my name
She forgets on whom she called

Though she stole the magical name of Ra
Yet, I know, both his Name and Mine.
The mourner who remembers

Seshat Goddess of Egypt with Blue Lotus (Image Created by Charlotte Babb, author of this poem)

Seshat Goddess of Egypt with Blue Lotus (Image Created by Charlotte Babb, author of this poem)

But they forget my name and
Why my cartouche is the…
What? A seven-petaled flower?
I am the Lady of the House of Books
They would know that no such flower exists.
If they would read what is in the Library
I am the Right and True flower in the Hand of Ra
The blue lotus of healing
Have they also forgotten the number of months in the year,
My feathered horns?

It is then a marijuana leaf?
Hemp that makes the cord
The pharaoh and his vizier stretch?
No, that cord is leather
But they have forgotten

Yet my builders know how to use
A hempen rope to move the slabs of rock
For I have taught them physics and geometry and engineering
I am the Lady of the Builders

Can my crown then be perhaps
A star, and the horns of the crescent moon
Although they look more like the horns of the Apis bull
Or a bow?
I am She of the Seven Horns, or She who Lays by the Two Horns
Nine is my number, yet
They do not know my name

For I am she who counts the stars
I am she who knows the Secrets
The Lady of Years
The Lady of Fate

I am she who writes the deeds of the world
Recording them forever in my library of wisdom

Many call me by many names
Some call me Oyá, and they bring me nine flowers, the color purple
Some call me lwa Ayizan, the female priest,
Who keeps the tradition with her palm leaves, as I do
Some call me St. Clare of Assisi, who was given a palm branch on Palm Sunday
Saint Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower, who wrote much and loved flowers.

Golden they call me
Great of Magic
The Lady of Heaven
The Eye of RA—

As if we goddesses were all the same
As if they cannot remember our names
Nit, Au Set, Hat-Hor, Hekt and Wadjet are my sisters,
Makers of Magic: Secret, Hidden, the Mysteries
With Nit the Creatrix and Nekt-Hebt the Death Mother
I am Time, Existence, History, and Memory
Egypt lives because I remember

And I remember
I remember Who I am
I Remember My NAME
My pen is Eternity, my ink is Forever
As long as I remember Your name
You will live

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Reprinted here with kind permission from the author, Charlotte Babb. Charlotte is a writer, teacher of mythology and psychology, and remarkable poet. Her article The Artist as Shaman: A Gallery is not to be missed.   Here is a link to her other poems, in a much different though still powerful vein, of which my favorites are Escape, and For Mae..

Watch The Pyramid Code below! There are 5 Parts with 5 episodes each, so it is a remarkable journey in Time and Mind.

Dr. Boulter has put together some obvious and compelling pieces of the puzzle that is Ancient Egypt.  The idea that “The Dark Times”, the last of the Vedic Four Ages or Yugas of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron, may begin with the overthrow of the Feminine Principle, is intriguing.

Posted in Ancient Egypt, DNA Akashic Records, Sacred Feminine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ancient Gods of Sumer

It is my belief that ancient human history is the key to our lives here now. I was impressed with Zecharia Sitchin’s translations which stressed that, while they lived here, “the gods” resided in cities dedicated to them, which they loved as dearly as we have always loved our homes. It is often described that they love us and wept when they left the Earth.  The records clearly show that they intermarried among us with ease, and loved with the same passion we recognize in ourselves.

Ancient Sumer ZigguratProminent author, speaker, writer and musical composer Laurence Gardner has written:

“Every item of written and pictorial attestation confirms that the ancient Sumerians were absolutely sincere about the existence of the Anunnaki, and those such as Enki, Enlil, Nin-hursag and Inanna fulfilled earthly functions with designated community duties. They were patrons and founders; they were teachers and justices; they were technologists and kingmakers.

“They were jointly and severally venerated as archons and masters, but they were certainly not idols of religious worship as the ritualistic gods of subsequent cultures became. In fact, the word which was eventually translated to become ‘worship’ was avod, which meant quite simply, ‘work’. Jehovah appears to have been one of the “Gods” or Anunnaki, or at least addressed their Council as an equal – but apparently no more than an equal.

“The Anunnaki presence may baffle historians, their language may confuse linguists and their advanced techniques may bewilder scientists, but to dismiss them is foolish. The Sumerians have themselves told us precisely who the Anunnaki were, and neither history nor science can prove otherwise.” From Annunaki, The Library of Alexandria

Despite dark mutterings within the alternative human history community about the sinister purpose and continued presence of “the Annunaki” there seems little proof to support this hostile interpretation.  Regardless, what our relationship was, or became, with these ancient Comers here to the Planet Earth, remains the most important unanswered question in our history.  If we are not alone here in the universe, and no one now dreams that we are, the Annunaki as we find them in ancient records are the only link we have to “Out There”, and it is almost certain we will meet again. 

Further Reading:
I have written about my oddly personal encounter with the known material on the Gods of Sumer in my Zecharia Sitchin and the 12th Planet * My Strange Dream as well as in my series on Aquarius which you may also enjoy…

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Shamanism Part 1 * Journey To The West

What do we mean by Shamanism? This is a question which often divides western practitioners of Shamanism from each other, and sets them at odds with traditional or indigenous Shamanic cultures. In my own work, I stand somewhat outside both traditional and “core”, westernized Shamanism. Yet, in exploring recognizable, repeating features of indigenous Shamanism found by Mircea Eliade and others, and through my own lifetime encounter (often unknowingly) with those same features, I have concluded that there is indeed a “core” Shamanism.

However, in my view this core consists of its alchemical, transformative features, which in turn involve accessing – often through Symbol -  the unus mundus, or Source Dimension (and The DreamTime/Dreaming of Aboriginal Australia) where all Reality is continuously created and recreated. I would go further and add:

Shamanism, quantum physics and the emerging medical field of neuroplasticity blend together as we find not only the our Universe, but its Source, and connect to it in the subatomic lives of our DNA, of our verycells.  In what has been called the Divine Matrix, in The DreamTime, and in quantum physics ancient and modern, East and West cosmologies now meet. In its journey to the West, it may be that traditional Shamanism is finding a way to articulate its ancient, magical truths to a world that is finally ready to understand them in universal terms.

Why Shamanism At All, For the West?
In my writing about spiritual and psychological life, I often refer to Shamanism and to acts, events, or moments that I call Shamanic. Why do I do this? Why do westerners like myself want to import the exotic concepts of Shamanism into mental health and spiritual practices?

The answer lies in the fact that so many western practices – both in psychology and in spiritual life – have proved only partially successful in helping us live our daily lives and help others to do the same. We have turned increasingly to other cultures for inspiration, and in the encounter with Shamanism, quickly realized that Shamanism not only has unique practices but actually names phenomena which have found no conceptual expression in Western thought. A great deal of our psychological and spiritual experiences have slipped through the nets of western theories, and as a result, remained out of therapeutic reach.

As a professional psychic, dreamwork leader, astrologer, lay student of psychology, and practitioner of Carl Jung’s “Active Imagination” for over 40 years, I came to see that Shamanism was the only named tradition which both described and to some extent explained the dynamic transformations of energy at play in the interior life.

We do extraordinary “shape-shifting” when we dream, and this is palpable even when working with dreams in a group.  We are involved in dramatic action, not mere contemplation, when we make connections with our Unconscious in waking or hypnagogic states.  The subpersonalities which Carl Jung described can be detected in psychic settings, and they do appear to siphon off and deploy our “energy” without our knowledge…I came to believe that in working with various components of the psyche we do engage in dynamic integrative processes which, for example, only the Shamanic concept of soul retrieval truly names – and thus identifies – for us.

And, as a former academic, matching theories to reality seems vital to me. If Western traditions do not provide theories or therapies to detect and heal or even celebrate our inner lives, isn’t it time we adopted the one notable tradition – Shamanism – that seems to do this quite well?   No doubt there is room to debate the essential nature of Shamanism, but its great strength appears to be its origins within the human psyche itself.  I see the interior practice of Shamanism as a natural part of the emerging solitary Path which I trace out in Spiritual Travels With the Higher Self. When we heal, we reach a level within our very cells which I call Shamanic, and which I describe in Healing Tears In Meditation.

However, as we shall see in this series, I am thinking in an Aquarian mode – that is to say, I am stretching the limits of currently accepted approaches, whether traditional or Neo-Shamanism.  Let us see where this takes us, starting at the beginning…

Traditional Shamanism * Can It Journey to the West?

Traditional Shamanism * Can It Journey to the West?

 Journey to the West
Traditional Shamanism, such as found in some (but not all) Australian, Siberian, South American, Eskimo, and North American indigenous cultures, features heavily ritualized elements and practice. These include masks, dancing, sacred tools, mind-altering substances, drumming, trance, animal and human spirit “allies”, and magical yet real journeys undertaken to heal and to effect desired outcomes far from the Shaman’s home base. Traditional Shamanism has a strong focus on travels to dark and frightening realms to rescue lost souls or to aid them in their passage through death. The Shaman’s world in most cultures is one of Good and Evil, of the Dark and the Light.

Most Shamans learn their craft in long (10 years or more) apprenticeships under the intimate guidance of another Shaman, culminating in a critical rite of passage and initiation. All apprentice training, like shamanic practice itself, carries inherent physical, mental and spiritual risk. Great physical and psychological courage is required to endure the privations of ritual and journey, as well as assaults from dark, or evil forces.

Some western Shamans have made long and arduous personal journeys to serve their time apprenticed to a traditional Shaman. They strongly resist the idea that a Shaman can be born in any other way. They – and Elders of traditional societies – look at books and workshops in the West about “urban Shamanism” or “core Shamanism” and are offended at what seems to be a shallow rip-off of a sacred, and hard-won identity. They say it is impossible to uproot Shamanism from its traditional rich matrix, that no one can become a Shaman unless born, or immersed for decades, within a shamanic culture to which they are then called in ways they dare not refuse.

Michael Harner Writer of the Way of the Shaman Head of Foundation For Shamanic Studies

Michael Harner Writer of The Way of the Shaman and Head of Foundation For Shamanic Studies

Often, the head of a western Shamanism institute is someone who has personally been initiated by a traditional Shaman. However, the training of his apprentices is done in western settings using techniques which may mimic but can never more than approximate the apprenticeship of many years to a Shaman in Peru, or Siberia.

A western Shaman, even if trained in the traditional way, cannot replicate the rough-hewn persona of the traditional Shaman who is often a feared, mysterious and lone figure. The haughty aloofness and disinterest in training others informs the mystique of the traditional Shaman. This is a posture or psychological disposition quite alien to western psychiatry or ideals of spiritual mentorship. Yet it is a fact that Masters in many traditions, for example Zen Buddhism, do cultivate an aloof, enigmatic persona as part of the training of disciples. Stern treatment, even outright rejection, seem part of traditional Teacher-Student bonding and initiatory practice.

It is also true that in every indigenous culture, the one called to be a Shaman appears to be someone suffering from serious, even severe personality and mental strain. Some leave their communities and live alone in deserted areas for this reason.  Many researchers have noted that it seems that the “cure” for these various disorders lies only in accepting their integration in, and thus transformation through, what the culture understands to be the identity and role of the Shaman.

In western culture, by way of contrast, western cultures fear “personality derangement” like indigenous cultures fear demons.  We demonize “the loner” and it has become a standing practice to pin most public crimes, where possible, on these persons.   We do not look to people suffering mental illness, much less social isolation,  to help us with our problems. We want our counsellors and healers to demonstrate how “together” and well-balanced they are before we entrust ourselves to their care.

It would be therefore be tempting to take the politically correct route and say that westerners simply cannot and should not try to become Shamans, much less try to teach Shamanism to others.  We simply do not have the cultural or personal tolerance for the extreme, even bizarre personality types who seem best suited to channel “the gifts of the Shaman”.

Yet there are two reasons why this would be wrong, and why it would be  healthier for the West to cast off  its prejudices and embrace Shamanism in westernized  forms which make room for culture-challenging indigenous features;

Sending Forth A Call
First, Shamanism seems to have come to the West as if it were “sent” as a gift to our civilization. Just as key elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Zen have come in successive waves to renew a weary, post-modern West, so Shamanism has touched a chord in the Western soul. At the grass-roots cultural level in the West, it is impossible to ignore the rising tide of interest and apparent value gained in shamanic explorations. Across the Internet, blogs and websites featuring Shamanism have sprung up like flowers after desert rain.

In fact, Shamanism actually appears to come looking for those who are open to spiritual growth .   Is it not possible that, in its spiritual poverty, the West has been calling at an unconscious level, for the Spirit of Shamanism?  And what might Shamanism have to gain, in its encounter with the West?   There is a precedent here, in the arrival of the I Ching – in its first full-dress, academic appearance – in the West.  On the first major translation of the Chinese I Ching or Book of Changes for publication in the West, Carl Jung was asked to write the forward. He did so, and in the forward, he posed the question in the formal manner to the I Ching as to how it felt about its journey to the West:

“Thus it occurred to me that it might interest the uninitiated reader to see the I Ching at work. For this purpose I made an experiment strictly in accordance with the Chinese conception: I personified the book in a sense, asking its judgment about its present situation, i.e., my intention to present it to the Western mind.”(Carl Jung, Forward to the I Ching)

It strikes me that we need Jung here now, to consult in an equally ceremonial manner with the Spirit of Shamanism. Yet perhaps it is enough, for the moment, that it feels as if Shamanism has come to the West in the same spirit as have the monks of Tibetan Buddhism and the Yogis of India – in love, and with offerings of Light.

Certainly it is not uncommon for people (like myself) to go from having no interest at all in Shamanism for most of their life, to finding themselves interacting in meditation, dreams, synchronicities with animal allies and other phenomena associated exclusively with shamanic traditions. Shamanism itself seems above the controversy about its arrival in the West, sending out its own warm sun and soft rains to those who have upturned faces.

Shamanism Works
Second, Shamanism – even in its westernized forms – works. Many people find that dramatic events in their spiritual life, often tied to remarkable psychological changes, are not explained or even recognized by traditional religions, psychiatry or psychology. They are, however, described quite clearly in books and articles about Shamanism.

On welcoming these shamanic ideas and techniques into their lives, people feel an awakening not achieved in their traditional religion, New Age beliefs, yoga or Buddhist meditation. For the first time, something comes alive within, truly healing, truly life-giving. There is a thrill, a quickening, a sense of connection at a level almost too deep for words, with our origins, the place where Creation begins.

Shamanism is a growing subculture at all levels of society in the West. It appears to be infiltrating paradigm after paradigm as a way of seeing, and as a way of transforming. From conflict resolution to education, psychotherapy and physical healing, professionals in many fields find that Shamanism – even removed from its traditional cultural matrix – triggers dynamic psychic action which actually transforms.

This begs the question then – how “adulterated” can westernized Shamanism be if it works at least as well for westerners as it does in its pure forms in traditional societies?

Victor Vasnetsov Magic Carpet

Victor Vasnetsov Magic Carpet

I believe the answer lies in recognizing in Shamanism the metaphysical realities which it embodies and engages. Traditional Shamanism emerged as a form which embraced these realities and preserved them through the ages. In all religious traditions, we have seen truths be buried beneath forms. Is Shamanism so different? It seems to me that Shamanism might be an Emperor whose wardrobe could be questioned. One might suggest that western Shamanism would do well to question whether it is more concerned with form than with substance when it tries to emulate the older forms of Shamanism.

For the spiritual power of Shamanism, I think, does not lie in forms but in what the forms concealed and transmitted. In recognizing the psyche as Soul, Shamanism opens portals within the psyche which release the Soul into hidden worlds not bound by Space or Time. Travelling in spiritual Flight, the Soul reaches what has been called by many names in all cultures:  The  DreamTime,  the Fourth Dimension, the Source Dimension, the Divine Matrix, and so on.  It was described by the sages of India long ago, and is reached in the “Quantum Healing” described by Deepak Chopra; it is the “place” (really a state) which is where advanced Yogis speak of cleansing the samskara, or karmic traces, from one’s very cells.

Here, where all is connected, and indeed where Mind and Matter are One, the Soul moves freely in Symbol, its natural language. Here the Soul locates the master Templates in which alchemical changes can be made. In these great Flights, the Soul is transported – when it is ready – on Wings of its own, though all traditions speak of the presence of “Allies” who seem to be natural beings, though in their Archetypal energy forms, such as Buffalo, Wolf, Eagle, Bear, and so on.

I suggested earlier that if Carl Jung were here now, he might have asked Shamanism directly, as he did with the I Ching,  how it felt about coming to the West. It occurs to me that Shamanism might have answered thus : “I come to the West on my own Journey, to find Myself anew.”

© Carol Leigh Rice 2010 and 2012 Revised 2014

Further Reading At Silk Road Visions:

Active Imagination, Psychic Readings, and the Nature of Shamanism

Conflict, Illness, and Shamanism * Initiation and Visions of Carl Jung

Healing Tears in Meditation

Shamanic Healing of Personality Fragments

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