Thunderbird and Heyoka, the Sacred Clown


“The heyoka were different in three primary ways from the other sorts of clowns. They were truly unpredictable, and could do the unexpected or tasteless even during the most solemn of occasions. More so than other clowns, they really seemed to be insane. Also, they were thought to be more inspired by trans-human supernatural forces (as individuals driven by spirits rather than group conventions), and to have a closer link to wakan or power than other clowns. And lastly, they kept their role for life – it was a sacred calling which could not be given up without performing an agonizing ritual of expiation. Not surprisingly, these unique differences were seen as the result of their having visions of Thunderbird, a unique and transforming experience.

Testimony of Black Elk: the heyoka and lightning:

The Oglala Indian Black Elk had some interesting things to say about the heyoka ceremony, which he himself participated in. Black Elk describes the “dog in boiling water” ceremony in some detail. He also describes the bizarre items he had to carry as a heyoka, and the crazy antics he had to perform with his companions. He also attempts to explain the link between the contrary trickster nature of heyokas with that of Thunderbird.

“When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the West, it comes with terror like a thunder storm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; for wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm… you have noticed that truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping. When people are already in despair, maybe the laughing is better for them; and when they feel too good and are too sure of being safe, maybe the weeping face is better. And so I think this is what the heyoka ceremony is for … the dog had to be killed quickly and without making any scar, as lightning kills, for it is the power of lightning that heyokas have.” (quoted in Neihardt 1959: 160)

Today, of course, Western physicists describe the dual nature of electricity. An object can carry a positive or negative electric charge. The electron is simultaneously a wave and a particle. Electricity and magnetism are thought to be aspects of the same force, and as is well know with magnetism, it comes in polarities, with opposite poles (north and south) attracting. Though the Indians did not have access to our modern scientific instruments, they are likely to have observed some of the same properties in lightning. Thus it would have been intuitive to link the dual spiritual nature of the heyoka (tragicomedy – solemn joking – joy united with pain) with the dual nature of electricity.”

(via Heyoka Magazine)

Esoteric Agenda

“There is an Esoteric Agenda behind every facet of life that was once believed to be disconnected. There is an Elite faction guiding most every Political, Economic, Social, Corporate, some Non-Governmental or even Anti-Establishment Organizations. This film uses the hard work and research of professionals in every field helping to expose this agenda put the future of this planet back into the hands of the people.”

(via Google video)

The Ecology of Magic: An Interview with David Abram

“David Abram is an odd combination of anthropologist, philosopher and sleight-of-hand magician. Though he worked as a magician in the United States and Europe for a number of years, he attributes most of what he knows about magic to the time he spent in Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka learning from indigenous medicine people. Performing magic is not simply about entertaining, he points out in this interview. “The task of the magician is to startle our senses and free us from outmoded ways of thinking.” The magician also plays an important ecological function, he says, by mediating between the human world and the “more-than-human” world that we inhabit.

When Abram published his book The Spell of the Sensuous in 1996, the reviewers practically exhausted their superlatives in praise of it. The Village Voice declared that Abram had “one of those rare minds which, like the mind of a musician or a great mathematician, fuses dreaminess with smarts.” The Utne Reader called Abram a “visionary” for “casting magic spells through his writing and lecturing” and for his deepening influence on the environmental movement.

The Spell of the Sensuous went on to win the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for non-fiction. It touches on a wide range of themes, from our perception of the natural world to the way we use of language and symbols to process our experience.”

(via Scott London. h/t: Neuroanthropology)

Esoteric Star Wars


Here’s an interesting blog on the esoteric symbolism of Star Wars:

“Star Wars is religion. In many ways it could be said that Star Wars is my religion. I grew up in an environment that fostered free thinking and self-determination on metaphysical matters. I was four years old when the film that became “Star Wars Episode I: A New Hope” was released. Not only is seeing “Star Wars” amongst my earliest memories, but the anticipation of seeing Star Wars, because my older brother saw it first, and his reaction led me to believe it was something very special (he was seven). Maybe the greatest thing ever. And when you’re four its easy to have your expectations met and even exceeded.[..]

[..] I am by no means the first individual to delve into the deeper philosophical aspects of Star Wars. Many have done so and many more will, some from a position of irony and some dead serious, some scholarly and academic. Various insights, observations, interpretations and even parodies will be addressed in what takes place here, those I find interesting, pertinent or otherwise noteworthy that is, and I will always credit and link to my sources to the best of my ability. [..]

[..] If you’re not sure what I mean by “esoteric symbolism”, I use it to refer to symbolism that is hidden, secretive or otherwise not readily apparent. These are my observations and insights, and a lot of what I talk about may not be deemed “canonical”. You very well may disagree with me. Sometimes esoteric symbols are purposeful and sometimes they are a matter of happenstance. It’s not always possible to tell the difference, and to my way of thinking the intent is not the primary point of interest in all cases. What will become clear, and I hope to make this case, is that George Lucas utilized many story telling techniques in crafting his epics, including occult symbolism to a degree that does not allow for the accidental.”

(Esoteric Star Wars. h/t: Dedroidify)

(Related: The occult secrets of “Lost” via Hatch 23)

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