Conjunction | The Fourth Phase of Alchemy

After the separation phase of alchemy, in which the remains of the personality and self left over from the black phase have been sorted through, comes the conjunction.

If we have completed the operation of separation successfully, we will have a clear consciousness of who we truly are and what elements should be carried forward into the next phase.

This next phase, conjunction, requires the mixture or joining of the separated elements left over from the last step.

However, it involves more than rejoining and carrying forward discrete elements such as our true desires, our talents and gifts and the highest elements of who we are.

At its core, the phase of conjunction is one in which the opposites are united within ourselves.

It is typically spoken of as the union of the masculine and the feminine, or the “marriage of the sun and moon.” It is the integration of the logos with eros, or the union of spirit with soul. 

This mysterium coniunctionis, or alchemical marriage, involves uniting two different yet complementary ways of perceiving and being in the world.

The Ancient Egyptians believed the resulting synthesis spirit and soul produced a third type of consciousness, which they called “the Intelligence of the Heart.” 

To medieval alchemists, it became known as “the Philosopher’s child,” and was considered evidence of successful completion of the white phase of alchemy resulting in the Lesser Stone.

It was thought that once this was achieved, the alchemist would from then on know exactly what was needed to ensure the final realization of the Great Work.

Encountering the Animus

Journal Date: November 25, 2020

I decided to do some reading for fun, for myself, so I picked up Women who Run with the Wolves again. 

I’m picking up where I left off, in the chapter on nurturing the creative life.

And once again, I’m finding that it’s exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.

As I picked up where I’d left off, the theme of the chapter turned to the nature of the animus in a woman’s psyche.

This is something that has long interested me. I knew my inner masculine was far from healthy, but I was lost as to what to do about it. I think here, I have found a way to start.

“Animus can best be understood as a force that assists women in acting on their own behalf in the outer world. Animus helps a woman put forth specific and feminine inner thoughts and feelings in concrete ways.”

“He brings ideas from ‘out there’ back into her, and he carries ideas from her soul-self across the bridge to fruition and ‘to market’. Without the builder and maintainer of this land bridge, a woman’s inner life cannot be manifested with intent in the outer world.” 

Furthermore, Estes speaks of the distrust many women feel for the masculine, even within themselves.

“Generally, this wariness comes from barely beginning to be healed traumas from family and culture during times previous, times when women were treated as serfs, not as selfs.”

And it is not even “previous times” for all. Not for me. This treatment was for me, in my time.

I think that’s the core of the issue: I was denied the right to have a self. 

I was forbidden from myself.

I felt I existed only as a reflection, as a means to another’s end.

“It is still fresh in wild woman’s memory that there was a time when gifted women were tossed away as refuse, when a woman could not have an idea unless she secretly embedded and fertilized it in a man who then carried it out into the world under his own name.”

This has been the most painful part of it all: my alienation from self. My disconnection from my own body, mind, heart and soul. My self-betrayal and self-abandonment, based only on the assumption that I had less of a right (to think, to act, to be) than anyone else.

“The key aspect to a positive animus development is actual manifestation of cohesive inner thoughts, impulses and ideas.” 

The positive animus appears to be action oriented, concerned with bringing form to the ideal. It is practical, not simply theoretical.

“Archetypally, the King [representing the Animus] symbolizes a force that is meant to work in a woman’s behalf and for her well-being, governing what she and soul assign to him, ruling over what psychic forces are granted to him.”

Unfortunately, the masculine as I have come to know it is not this way.

I have experienced the masculine not as protector, but as perpetrator. As the source of violence and fear. As that which seeks to control, and to silence me. 

Even if only my own inner masculine, the animus which rules my terrorized interior world with an iron fist.

“But what if something takes over the creative flow, making it muddier and muddier? What if we become trapped by that, what if we somehow perversely begin to derive issue from it, to not only like it but rely on it, make a living by it, feel alive through it? What if we use it to get us out of bed in the morning, to take us somewhere, to make us a somebody in our own minds? Those are the traps that wait for all of us.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estes

It is definitely a trap that I have fallen into. 

And haven’t really gotten out of.

Honestly, I’m still here, wallowing in it as we speak.

I think it’s a great question to ask: What purpose is your illness/inferiority complex/lack of creativity serving for you?

Because it does serve some purpose at this point.

First, it’s a great excuse.

It gives me all the reasons I could ever need for why I can’t do x, y or z.

It allows me to tell myself, “Well, my unhappiness/lack of success/whatever is because I’m not really trying. If it weren’t for this, it would all be different…”

It allows me to avoid taking responsibility for my own life.

I can keep blaming it all on someone else, and keep away from the recognition of how I continually give away my power.

Because yes, I do have power. Even now.

I don’t have to wait until everything is “perfect,” until I’m “fully healed” or have gained approval or validation or whatever it is I’ve been waiting for.

I could start now if I wanted to. If I chose to. 

I’m starting to suspect that I’ve always had more power than I think I do.

I must stop assuming otherwise. 

It’s not just out of fear, but laziness, that I do this.

Because assuming I am powerless amounts to an act of surrender.

By refusing to look at all the options I have to create and influence change, it is as if I were just handing over my life and my self to whatever it is outside of me that would have me in subservience.

It’s time for me to remember: I don’t have to do that anymore.

Visions of Xiuhcóatl

Last week, I enrolled in a course through Calea Flora called “Xiuhcóatl Dream Cancellation/Transmutation.”

Xiuhcóatl is a Nahuatl word that translates as “turquoise serpent”, and he was thought to be the spirit form of Xiuhtecutli, an Aztec fire god.

He is also seen depicted as a lightning-like weapon wielded by Huitzilopochtli, the fiery solar god of war.

The next day, I had a session with my reiki healer in which I was given a vision of Xiuhcóatl.

After this vision, I reached out to Noé, the founder of Calea Florea, for an “Oneiric Dream Guidance Consultation”.

What follows is the text of my first message to Noé describing my the vision that I had.

Surprisingly, I only did the dream transmutation once before I was given the vision of Xiuhcoatl.

The reason I felt called to do the dream transmutation was because I have been having some health problems and a lot of fears related to that. 

I really went to the worst-case scenario in my mind when it came to my health, but it turned out to have been a parasite I think I got during the time I’d been living in Mexico this last year (I just returned to the U.S. a month ago).

I had a lot of fears about having an incurable or deadly illness, which turned out to not be the case. But I felt there was something important about these fears that was driving me to explore the theme further.

I had three dreams about this, in which I was shown that my worst fears were as of yet untrue, but they carried a message: that I needed to care for myself, nurture myself and protect myself more (or they could very well become true at some later date if this message was ignored).

So when I did the dream transmutation, I asked to transmute not the dreams I remembered (since they had a positive outcome) but the unconscious dreams and even unconscious desire for illness I may have had and to choose and cultivate health instead.

During the session with my healer, she also communicates with my guides and receives impressions about what is going on with me energetically.

She later told me she had seen a dragon appear as she was working on my heart chakra. 

That was when Xiuhcoatl appeared to me as a giant turquoise serpent. I was surprised because he asked me for permission before we really began to interact further. 

This has never happened to me before (but I think it’s because I usually work only with the Divine Mother and Archangel Raphael and, less frequently, Archangel Michael. I’m not sure, but it’s possible I may have assented to their assistance before without knowing, possibly in a previous lifetime—but that’s just a theory). 

I was laying on a massage table in my healer’s office at the time, and after I agreed he started to travel across my field of consciousness (my eyes were closed) in a kind of rotating figure-8 pattern.

But he quickly moved beneath me, under my body and underneath the earth, and began eating my darkness, leaving a rainbow trail of light wherever he passed.

That’s the only way I can describe it. He ate my darkness, all of the stuff in the earth behind and beneath me (maybe my unconscious fears and desires that I had asked for help in releasing). 

After a few minutes of this, I asked him, “Who created the darkness?”

“You did,” he answered.


“By looking away. There actually is no darkness. It’s just a lack of vision.”

I took this to mean that in some way, what I perceived as “bad” or “wrong” out in the world was being created by me all the time. It wasn’t inherently evil, but instead caused by a lack of conscious awareness. 

It was my unwillingness to see the truth of what was real that created the “darkness” in the first place, which in turn created consequences in the world I perceived as disturbing or “evil”.

I’m still not sure if that makes sense, but that’s what I understood at the time.

Then I think I got kind of frustrated with the process and I thought, this is never going to work! If I’m creating the darkness, then it’s everywhere. It extends out to the farthest reaches of the universe, as far as I can see with my mind’s eye…

And Xiuhcoatl turned to me and said, “Alright then.”

And then he opened his mouth and ate me, swallowing me whole in one movement.

“That solves it.”

I was kind of shocked, I did not expect that. But I said thank you, because I knew what his intention was. He didn’t eat me to hurt me, but to transmute me.

And I sat there for several moments in the belly of the serpent, and watched as he digested me. 

When he was done, his body became less solid and he slithered away from my remains as a kind of ghost… I continued to decompose underneath the earth, until I was ready to grow again.

Then I saw a tree grow from my remains, a flowering tree bearing heavy fruit in the summer.

This tree lived and grew on a farm, and underneath was a table which a woman approached with an icy glass pitcher of fruit juice. I recognized her as myself, but reborn. 

But at that moment, I felt afraid that it was not me in this lifetime but the next. And so I asked, “Does this mean I’m going to die?”

“Of course you’re going to die. Just like everybody else,” I heard Xiuhcoatl answer. “But not yet. You have things to do here first.”

At this point I started to panic, and I asked for specific information, which he denied me. 

He said, “All these fears that you’ve been projecting out into the future—they’re not it. Let it go.

You are being called to your purpose. Prepare now. This is not only about you. Do not fear. Take care of yourself first and begin preparing for what will come. You will be given what you need. Stop worrying. Let go of fear. DIE NOW. So that you may start living. DIE NOW.”

And that was it. That was the end of it. As the reiki session ended, I could feel his voice reverberating, over and over again, “DIE NOW.”

It was very interesting, because the experience I had in my vision of Xiuhcoatl was very different than it usually is. 

As I mentioned earlier, I typically work only with the Divine Mother and Archangel Raphael in my visions, and they are very gentle. They seem to have infinite patience and compassion and really seek to soothe me when I’m feeling afraid.

Not Xiuhcoatl. He had NO patience for me and my fear. At one point he basically told me to shut up, he said, “You’re so busy projecting out your thoughts of fear you can’t even hear us when we’re trying to help you. Be quiet and LISTEN. We’re trying to give you guidance but you need to calm down and be willing to receive it first.”

I wanted to add one last note that might help explain what was meant by “die now.”

I have been having a hard time with my writing and my work and business because I am afraid to speak up and share my self and my ideas with the world.

I’ve had visions of past lives before where I saw how I had been accused of being a witch, tortured and killed in not one, but many lifetimes. 

I know that I am not there now and things may be different, but the terror of more openly speaking out loud and sharing with the world is overpowering. I really feel like I’m going to die if I do so.

So instead I hold everything in. I’ve had a hard time being willing to release and express not just my pain and my past but also my gifts and my vision.

I think this may be why I’m having so many problems in my root or first chakra—because I’m unwilling to release, and it’s making me sick.

Embrace the Chaos

Someone asked me recently on Instagram what I thought about chaos magic, which I thought was an excellent question.

The truth is that I don’t have a lot of experience as a practitioner, but I’m intrigued by the core principles of its philosophy, and the little chaos magic I have done I’ve found to be very effective.

Like in many systems of magic, one of the core principles of chaos magic is that our beliefs create our reality. Chaos magicians hold that there is no absolute truth or reality which exists outside of us: instead, belief is viewed as a tool which we can utilize to channel the raw energy of the universe or of consciousness (sometimes referred to as kia) to achieve practical results.

Chaos magic takes a postmodern approach to magic. What this means is that it views any system of signification of meanings as viable for use in shifting beliefs and creating realities, without particular attachment to the cultural ontology of which that system is a part.

As Peter Carroll, author of Liber Null & Psychonaut has said, “When stripped of local symbolism and terminology, all systems show a remarkable uniformity of method. This is because all systems ultimately derive from the tradition of Shamanism.” In other words, the particular cultural package a symbol/belief comes in is irrelevant, as long as it’s effective in conveying that particular idea. 

One of main practices of chaos magic involved the use of sigils.

I created my first sigil as part of an assignment for a course on practical magic I took with Carolyn Elliott, INFLUENCE.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Write a sentence in which you set out your magical goal or intention.

For this course, Elliott suggested we set the intention to be free from all shame and insecurity around our “witchiness and sexuality.” So that’s exactly what I did.

2. Eliminate all the vowels from your sentence, leaving only the consonants.


Which then became the letters: M B R C X S W F H N L T

3. Draw a symbol using the shapes of all the consonants that remain once.

I recommend using a piece of scratch paper to play around with a bunch of different ways to draw your symbol. It might take a while to get a final result you really like. Then you can draw your symbol with a higher quality paper and pen before you get ready to charge the sigil.

Here is how mine came out:

In Elliott’s assignment, she recommended we charge the sigil by opening sacred space and meditating on the desired outcome as if it had already happened, as if we were creating a “precognition” of an event already determined in the future.

I chose to charge this sigil differently, by doing some solo sex magick (which is probably the most common way to charge sigils in chaos magick).

Basically, you concentrate on your desired intent while you bring yourself to a state of gnosis (in this case, orgasm). When you get here, focus all of your energy and intention on your desire and release it into the universe. [This is sometimes known as creating a “magickal child,” or in chaos magic terms, a “servitor.”]

Some say that after charging the sigil, you should repress all memory of it. In the words of Austin Osman Spare, there should be “a deliberate striving to forget it.”

I didn’t take this advice literally. I’ve written about it here, so I didn’t forget (I don’t think I could have done so if I tried).

What I did do was leave it alone, though. I didn’t think about it or worry if it had been or would be effective. I just let it be, trusting that it would come into effect when the time was right.

And now it’s been over a year since I performed this ritual, and I can say with all sincerity that it’s one of the most effective pieces of magic I’ve ever done.

This doesn’t mean that everybody now responds well to my witchiness or my sexuality. That’s still not the case.

What it does mean is that whenever I experience anything less than positive from people around these issues, I have very little reactivity around it. Now I’m just like, “Oh, you don’t like it? Okay, that’s fine. :)” And I just keep being as witchy and sexy as I feel I want to be in that moment. No fear and insecurity necessary.

If you want similar results, I recommend you try this practice. I had good results with it, and I hope the same for you.

If you do decide to try it out, drop me a note in the comments! I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Richard Tarnas on the Planets in 2021

Last week I had the privilege of attending an online talk led by Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, on the astrology of 2021. It truly an honor to be in the presence of a man who is widely recognized as one of the great minds of our time.

During his presentation, Tarnas chose to focus on three of the most significant transits of the past and current decade:

  • Uranus square Pluto, lasting from 2007 to 2020
  • Saturn conjunct Pluto, from 2018 to 2022
  • Saturn square Uranus, from 2019 to 2024

The Uranus-Pluto square brought to the surface many of the things which lay in the collective shadows. According to Tarnas, Trump was a potent symbol of the shadow side of this Plutonian energy—he gave permission to other to express many of the things which lay beneath the surface in our society (racism, misogyny, etc.), bringing them into open expression.

The Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which also aligned with Jupiter last year, was one of the most significant of our time. This triple conjunction saw discovery and proliferation of COVID-19, as well as a host of other dire effects. Whenever Saturn enters the picture, it brings with it a great heaviness and seriousness, during which judgements are made and there are consequences.

According to Tarnas, the triple conjunction of Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn was in many ways an initiatory crisis for us. In many ways, it provoked a moral crisis, an awakening which asked us to die to our old identity and be born into a life of meaning. Tarnas spoke of this on a collective level, but I also have felt this to be true on a personal level during the past year. By confronting death, I was able to see life more clearly, and was forced to find a way to live it more courageously and with much more integrity.

The two transits mentioned above are all coming to an end, and we are now left with the major, definitive transit of 2021, the Saturn-Uranus square. The transit will be exact on three dates this year: February 17, June 15, and December 24.

This is not an easy transit. However, Tarnas believes there is still more room to maneuver here than under the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of last year. The energies are now fully engaged, we feel less trapped and are more inspired to face the challenges directly. It’s as if we have gone through a near-death experience, and the life that remains has been imbued with greater preciousness and significance. We are willing to fight for the changes that we need to make in our lives.

Uranus, the unconventional, rebellious planet of change, will meet Saturn, the wise but severe taskmaster of the sky several times through this year, leading to an energy which is great for making creative structural changes in order to permit wiser living and greater freedom. It would be well-advised to make prudent changes slowly and gradually; if we choose to ignore the lessons imparted by Saturn and Uranus, we may find that a sudden break or collapse may occur when we least expect it.

As challenging and disruptive as this may be, the Saturn-Uranus squares of 2021 have the potential to be a sacred marriage of the past and future. If we use this time wisely, we may be able to carry forward what is most valuable from the past, discern what is most promising of the future, and together bring both into structural embodiment.

These crises can be opportunities for us to reconfigure our moral values and make creative, structural changes that will serve us well for years to come. Like with any difficult transits, the more consciousness, creativity, imagination, and courage that we can bring to bear on this situation, the better.

The Maze & the Labyrinth

Many of us consider a maze and a labyrinth to be one and the same thing, but there is actually a subtle difference.

LABYRINTH is the term used when there is only one fixed, or unicursal, path to the center.

A MAZE, on the other hand, refers to a multicursal path that may contain dead ends or different ways to reach the center, and where the possibility always exists to become lost within.

For example, the structure built by Daedalus to hold the minotaur in Ancient Greek mythology has usually been referred to as a labyrinth, but today we might all this a maze, as it was clearly multicursal, with many complex paths and dead ends meant to trap the minotaur.

The unicursal labyrinth is powerful symbol of spiritual transformation. The labyrinth was a symbol which combined the circle and the spiral into one symbol of wholeness.

The Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral

To move from the outside starting point of the labyrinth to the center, and then back again, is symbolic of the spiritual journey to the center of the self and beyond.

I found a lot of insight into the symbols of the maze and the labyrinth in the words Marion Woodman, renowned author and Jungian analyst:

“A maze is a puzzle to be solved. It has dead ends. You may get lost in a maze. You run into a minotaur and be killed.”

Marion Woodman

Like Woodman, I spent many years of my life feeling like I was trapped in a mazed, living as if in fear of a deadly minotaur, and confronting dead end after useless dead end.

“A labyrinth looks superficially like a maze, but it’s different. There are no dead ends, no traps. There is only one path, and it takes you by a circuitous route to the center.”

In her own life, Woodman found that when she at last confronted her deepest fears and faced death, she was also able to realize the perfection of her life experience and see the purpose of her path.

“I was finally able to surrender to life, because at long last I KNEW there was a center and that if I kept listening, opening, and walking forward, my path would lead me to that center.”

I am finding that the same is true for me. I am going to keep walking. I know the center is there, ever present, just waiting for me to open my eyes to it.

Retrograde periods are typically a time to review, reflect & reassess on your life and how a particular planet impacts this sector of your chart.

With Mars retrograde in Aries from September 9 to November 13, we are being called to assess the ways in which we embody our anger & how we take action in the world.

We are being asked to review the ways in which we have caused harm, or have been impacted by the aggressions of others.

With this in mind, I’m now offering a natal chart consultation that focuses on:

•how Mars shows up in your chart (sign & house placements, as well as aspects to other planets)
•how transiting Mars will activate planets in your chart as it moves through Aries
•guidelines for meditative or ritual practice to work with this energy

💥Use the code “MARSRX25” to sign up for 25% off your consultation before September 6💥

We are often confused about what we must do to begin holding ourselves and others accountable.

We have this idea that in order to create change, we must prove how someone has been wrong and demand immediate punishment.

This is a roadblock to our change. This is what blocks us from being better people.

When we know that we will punish ourselves, or be punished, in a way that is unforgiving and without mercy, we become unwilling to look at ourselves and the ways in which we may have caused harm.

Instead, we cling to denial. We push away anything that would make us stop and pause to examine our behavior, for fear of the pain or destruction to self this would entail.

Compassion is NOT an avoidance of accountability. It is the the PRECURSOR to accountability.

When we are able to look at the ways in which we have harmed ourselves or others in a way that accepts the context of where we were at, that acknowledge our full humanity and the limitations of our perception, only then we have the capacity to do better.

You can create space for your full complexity to exist, even while acknowleging ways in which harm was done.

No one is ever entirely good or bad. No thing exists in a vacuum.

When we hold each other tenderly, it creates space for change. It nurtures accountability. It is a source of continual growth & evolution.

Today, you can practice seeing without rushing to judgement. You can practice understanding with care & concern. You can practice seeking justice without demanding destruction.

Justice without mercy is not justice. Accountability requires faith in our shared humanity. Let’s do this with care & concern, from today forward.

The Second Riddle of the Sphinx

Most people are familiar with the story of Oedipus Rex, the ill-fated king who murdered his own father and married and bore children with his own mother.

Freud famously interpreted this as a tale which shows man’s secret, repressed desires to kill his father and take his place as lover to his mother. This fits into his narrative about our discontents as members of civilization. He would have us believe that men have a savage primal instinct, an id that lusts for power and sexual dominance so much that it is only society’s control by way of the superego that stops them all from committing fratricide and incest.

It’s an interesting take on this myth, if only for what it tells us about the state of the psyche of Freud and modern man.

When the Oedipus Rex begins, we find that a plague has fallen on Thebes. Sickness and death are everywhere, and after receiving word from the oracle that the plague is the result of a curse, or “religious pollution,” due to the murder of the previous King Laius, whose murderer was never found.

Oedipus rants and rages, demanding that the murderer be found. He vents his anger on anyone who will hear it. When he hears news that he does not like from Tiresias, then Creon, then his wife, Jocasta, he accuses each of deliberately undermining his authority, of plotting to destroy him, and wants them to be killed or banished for treason.

But soon, events start to unfold that reveal the truth of his past, and the nature of the curse upon the city.

Before Oedipus was born, his father, Laius, received a message from an oracle which said that his newborn son would grow up to murder his father and marry his mother.

Laius knew this, and upon the born of his son handed the infant back to his wife, Jocasta, ordering him to be killed. Unable to do so, she hands the boy over to a servant with the same orders that her husband had given her.

The servant takes Oedipus to the countryside, and leaves him exposed on a mountaintop. A shepherd, Polybus, takes him and adopts him as his own son. Once grown, Oedipus begins to suspect he has been adopted, and goes to the oracle to ask about his parentage. 

The oracle repeats the same terrible prophecy: that Oedipus is fated to kill his father and marry his own mother.

Horrified, Oedipus flees the town where he has grown up and heads towards Thebes. On the way, he encounters Laius on the road to the city, and when Laius refuses to let him pass first, Oedipus strikes and kills his own father.

Outside the city of Thebes he meets the feared Sphinx, guardian of the city, who demands he answer her famous riddle or suffer death. She asks him, “Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Oedipus answers: “Man.” 

He crawls as a child, walks as an adult, and uses a cane into old age.

When the Sphinx hears his answer, she devours herself, and Oedipus enters the city, victorious.

Most scholars have unquestioningly assumed that the Sphinx committed suicide because Oedipus was correct. He gave the “right” answer.

But many others have started to question this interpretation, myself included.

We can start by asking ourselves more about the Sphinx, and what she represented.

According to Apollodorus, the Sphinx was a creature having the face of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and a tail bearing a serpent’s head at the end.

The name Sphinx is said from the Greek word meaning “to squeeze”, “to tighten up.”  This could refer to the fact that, in a pride of lions, the females are the hunters, and they kill their prey by strangulation, biting the throat of prey and holding them down until they die.

Another interpretation, from the historian Susan Wise Bauer, suggests that the word “sphinx” was instead a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name “shesepankh”, which meant “living image.”

It’s possible that this could mean “the living image of God.” The Sphinx may well be a representation of the divine. She is connected to the old mystery cults that existed before the incursion of the male-dominated Olympian gods. 

The Sphinx is a manifestation of the divine in her forms, according the ancient feminine religions. 

The lion represents the animal consciousness, or the libido or life force within the physical body.

The next step in this evolution is represented by the face of the woman. When we are able to able to consciously work with and harness our life force (which is intimately connected with our sexual energy), we are at the stage represented by woman. The capacity to use reason and our minds to direct our desires is truly what makes us human.

The final stage in this development involves the snake and the eagle. We can look to ancient Egypt for more insights regarding the meaning of the snake. Uraeus was a coiled or rising serpent representing the force of Kundalini in the body. This was the divine energy, which, when properly awakened and utilized, would allow one to transcend our human condition and soar (as if on the wings of an Eagle) and reach the heights of heaven.

We can see here that the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx could well be the Sphinx herself. She walks with four feet (of the Lion) in the morning, two feet (of a woman) in the afternoon, and three in the evening (the eagle & the snake).

It is interesting to note that this play, Oedipus the King, was written at a time when the ancient Earth Goddesses were losing prominence and being replaced by the male-dominated Olympian gods. These feminine, chthonic goddesses of Life-Death-Rebirth were overthrown, sometimes violently (through the destruction of temples and killings of priestesses & adherents), to be replaced by male-dominated gods led by Zeus and other violent & often predatory gods.

So we must ask the question: what happens when Man becomes the center of all things?

What happens when we do not honor or respect the interconnected roles which we must play in our families, our communities, our world? When the Ego takes over and crowns himself king, ignoring his Nature and his higher Self?

Laius sealed his own fate by sending his infant son to be killed. He bequeathed his cursed self-centeredness and violent disregard for innocent others to his son Oedipus. And we, us modern men and women, have inherited this curse.

Lest we be too quick to pity Oedipus, we must remember his role in fulfilling the prophecy: he kills his father not in self-defense, but in an incident of road rage, when his father does not let him pass first.

As king, he looks to everyone but himself for the evil which has been done. He rants and he rages at the plague, at his people, at the Gods for what has befallen him. But we must not forget that it is his own blindness to the evil done by his very hand that creates his destiny.

What happens when we crown our ego King, and stay committed to ruling and dominating others, ethics and consequences be damned?

We end up here: blindly imposing our violence on the world around us. 

We end up here: denying our own shadow, projecting it out onto whatever we happen to encounter outside of us. 

When we crown our Ego self King, limited our sense of self to the conscious rational mind only, we become blind to the evil that is done by our own hands. And here, the left hand knows not what the right is doing. In demanding that our Ego’s sovereignty is the only thing which matters, has value or exists, we violently repress all of us (and all of the others) which we do not identify with the False Self.

This inevitably leads to violence, against self and others. It is a violence that starts from within, with the disconnection from our shadow and our true selves, and this violence and destruction seeps outward to contaminate all it touches.

This points to the part of work that we must do. We need to recognize that evil is not just a thing “out there” to be violently controlled, eliminated, or crushed in others. 

Evil is a poisonous weed whose seed first sprouts from within. Left to grow unchecked, its tendrils snake outwards, wrapping themselves around whatever and whomever it comes into contact with.

But I have hope that we can do this work of transformation. There was a second riddle of the Sphinx which was left behind for us. 

According to Theodectes, the riddle goes like this: “There are two sisters. One gives birth to the other, then that one gives birth to the first. The answer is Night and Day.”

According to some scholars, this points to an even more ancient riddle from the Basque region of Europe. It states: “The brother is white, the sister is black. Every morning, the brother kills the sister. Every evening, the sister kills the brother. Nevertheless, the brother and the sister never die.”

I see the sunset coming. The time has come for this long day to journey into night. 

The moon is rising, and she will shine on this long-delayed night, and we will rest. 

Harmony can return to the earth. Day and night, night and day, they will live and die endlessly, again in balance with the law of nature & the will of life.