Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blue Turban Girl up for Auction


                               by Tom Beseti @  tombisesti.com

This beautiful painting has been donated by Tom to auction off to raise money for my book, Wisdom's Daughters.  Thank you Thomas!

The painting is 30" x 34".   Acrylic on canvas---unframed. The theme is "harmony with Nature creates beauty".

 The bidding begins at $150.00, although Tom says it's worth at least $400.00.  So I'm giving you room to play.  

You can bid below in the comment section. 
We'll leave the bidding open for a few weeks until the Libra New Moon on Monday October 15th.

With gratitude for all the love and support,
Cathy 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Help Cathy get Wisdom's Daughters published.

 Dear Friends,


I'd like to ask for your help.  I need your support in getting my book published - Wisdom’s Daughters: How Women Can Change the World

Please Donate.    Yes! Take me to the Campaign!

“For she [Wisdom] is more beautiful than the Sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.” Wisdom 7:29

     This Virgo New Moon, I am planting seeds to get help from my community.  At my fund-raising campaign with Indigogo, I want to raise money to get my book, Wisdom's Daughters: How Women Can Change the World, self-published.  The work of my heart, it is a symbolic study of Lady Wisdom which lays out how women can connect with our own feminine Wisdom, to heal our lives and change the world. 

       Just hit the link and it will take you my campaign page where you can read about the book and about the gifts I'm offering as a thank you for your help and support.  And of course, please Donate even a small amount if you can.  The Indigogo campaign will be up and running until November 4th.

       I’ll be updating you on how the campaign is going and how you can continue to help me reach my goal. 

       Even if you can't donate, if you like my writing and want to support me, please send this email out to anyone in your network who might be interested in a book on Feminine Wisdom and spirituality.

                   Please stop by for more information about my project at: http://www.indiegogo.com/Wisdom

With Gratitude,

Cathy Pagano

Saturday, September 1, 2012

America Is a Tribe - Not a Business



This is not part of my Wisdom's Daughters book but I feel Lady Wisdom is calling me to write about something I feel passionate about.
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I’ve been following to our political dialogue for many decades now, and through the years there are always new fallacies in our common belief system about America that bother me.  Probably the longest-standing complaint I have is the belief that America somehow means the Economy and therefore it should be run like a business.   That seemed to be the theme of the Republican National Convention. 

That’s so wrong-headed it makes me want to send everyone to their bedrooms without supper!  Or put coal in their stockings…
 
 America is not a business!  If I had to pick a metaphor for the United States of America, I would say that America is an organization of Tribes, a people who share a HOME together.  When we share a home, we are either family or friends or a tribe.  If nothing else, the thing we have in common is that we share a space together. 

If America is our Homeland, than perhaps we’d better figure out what we believe: is our home a business or is it the place we live in, thrive in, share in?

This idea that America is somehow a business is the endgame of the capitalist system.  We are the most corporate state in the world, founded by the East India Trading Company during the start of the Industrial Revolution.  So let’s look at the needs of a business and see if this is really what our collective desire for our home is.

1.    In business, the bottom line is profit.  And the more money you have, the more power and prestige.  If this was a family home, there would be a never-ending competition with other homes to have more and more things to prove your worth.  Unfortunately, this has become the standard American goal.  (Time to watch The Story of Stuff again.)
2.   The business is of central importance, so anything not related to work and profits is secondary.  If our home were run like this, there’d be no time to raise a family, indulge in pleasure, have a conscience or exercise our creativity or our individuality. 
3.   The environment is also captive to business’ needs.  So if the business needs to poison the air and water of our house to be profitable, then tough luck, kids!  Just cover your mouth when you cough.
4.   In a business, not everyone can be boss! There’s a hierarchy involved and a system of merits and demerits.  Although if you work hard, maybe someday you too can help run the show.    
5.   A business often demands competition and ruthlessness.  So we have to train up our people to be ruthless and domineering.
6.   And sometimes a business just fires everyone and moves overseas.  Sorry kids, you have until midnight to move out!  And leave all your stuff – we bought it for you and it’s ours.

Is this beginning to sound like patriarchy at its worst?  The image I got as I was writing this was of Viking warriors raising their sons to compete and kill for the throne.  The paradox is that business is just as savage, and yet it seems so much more objective.  Our capitalistic business model demands the annihilation of all feeling values and common interests.  Except of course, profits.

I, for one, have never wanted to live in an economy.  I want to live in a culture.  I want to live in a tribe.   So perhaps I’d better define what a tribe means to me.   The group of friends I have refer to themselves as a tribe, people with common interests.   They are independent and individual and yet are available to work for the good of the whole.  Of the ancient tribes, the Celts are the ones I know best.  The Celts were an independent and yet fiercely loyal people.   Yes, I know they were so independent that they couldn’t unite to fight the Romans, etc. etc.  That’s only looking at them from the outside.  We need to look within ourselves before we turn our attention out to the rest of the world.  We need to know who we are, what we believe and what we are willing to do to live up to our own myth. 

What I see in Celtic tribes is the responsibility of the queen or chief to keep the people secure and prosperous while taking into account all members of the tribe.   The Celts felt the tribe was the family.  What happened to one happens to all.  It might seem idealistic, but I am a mythologist and I believe these ancient archetypes still live within us.  Another image I use to denote the equality and group consciousness of the Aquarian Age is also a good description of a modern tribe – The Round Table.  It symbolizes the totality of talents, values and people which form the foundation of the tribe.   It is the table where equal individuals sit to solve their common problems.  Only a tribe will care to look at all the aspects of our common life and work to enhance them.  A business isn’t in the business of caring.

So what would America look like if we thought of ourselves as a Tribe?  We would be a group of people with common interests and common goals.  We would work to make sure all our people were fed and clothed and working for themselves and for the advancement of our common goals.   Like a family, we would care for the sick among us, share in the joys and pains of life, and yes, do work that is satisfying and necessary.

If we thought of our country as a Tribe and America as our home, would we poison the air we breathe, the water we need for life or the dirt we grow our food in?  Would we rip up the house for the profit of the few and let the many go without shelter?   Wouldn’t we try to make peace with our neighboring tribes so our children would have friends in the neighborhood instead of enemies all around?  If we were a tribe instead of a business, would we see that each person has worth in themselves instead of basing our idea of their worth on something external like money?

If we thought of ourselves as a tribe, we would honor all our people, men and women alike.  I love the Celtic women, for they were as free and independent as the men.  There would be no trying to control them, legislate what they could do with their bodies or leave them so destitute that they would turn to prostitution to feed themselves.  Celtic women could take any lover they wanted, even if they were married.  In this tribal America, women would have total equality with men and complete self-ownership.  

Our children are our future.  In a tribe, we would make sure that they were educated so they can grow up to be responsible men and women.  We would teach them to use their imaginations and to use their critical thinking to solve problems.  We would also teach them how to work.  When they reached adolescence, with all the bodily changes that occur, we would free them from the classrooms and let them learn how to be in their new body in a new way.  If all our communities grew their own food, our children would learn how to sow the seeds and reap the food.  Then everyone would know how to sustain themselves.  We would make them part of our community instead of trying to keep them ignorant and childish.  During their high school years, we would teach our children the skills that they are best at, rather than making them fit into a rigid system that doesn’t teach them about how to survive and thrive.  We would send them off to ‘college’ without fear that they couldn’t afford it or would be in debt for the rest of their lives.

If we saw ourselves are one people, we would take time to balance work and play, contemplation and striving, creativity and experimentation.  We would honor the Earth as the source of our life and honor each other for sharing our gifts.  

I want to see America run like a tribe and not like a business!

So after watching the Republican National Convention and news commentaries, Jon Stewart and Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom segment on Republican machinations, I’d be even more horrified by what’s going on if I didn’t feel so saddened by all those people being manipulated by a wrong-headed belief. 

        I stopped being angry when I saw Samantha B’s interviews on Jon Stewart’s August 29th The Daily Show.  Samantha interviewed ‘the party’s base’ during the convention; she asked what they thought of Romney being against the party plank of no abortion for any reason.  All their answers mentioned his right to make his own choice, and for all of us to have the right to make our own choices without government interference.  The people interviewed said it with a straight face and really meant it.  They couldn’t see the obvious contradiction.  They couldn’t get past their blind belief system that makes them think they are saving little babies’ lives and yet allowing all other ‘government-sanctioned’ killing.  

I feel sorry for them but that’s no excuse.  They’re all asleep at the wheel!  Their shadow is showing – their fears, their unconsciousness, and at the bottom line, their hypocrisy.   They babble on about being ‘real Americans’ and yet they don’t realize that what they’re really being is the American Taliban.  

And so, I will fight their stupidity in a peaceful and graceful way.  I will stand up for the Truth.  That’s all any of us can do.


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Transformation of Collective Consciousness






The Transformation of Collective Consciousness

            Working as a dream analyst, I can see a recurring motif of movement in the stars; either a single star bursts into many lights or there is a movement in the pattern of the stars.  This dream marked a real turning point for this woman in her spirituality.  It became a deep, indwelling connection and a true knowledge that she was indeed blessed.  As people look within to their own inner light, the old patterns of belief (the single star or old constellation) die out and new patterns emerge.  The next step in their evolution is upon them.  The most outstanding part of the dream is usually the feeling of awe and connectedness that the dreamer feels as s/he is affected by this movement.  It is through the power and energy of this movement within the deep psyche that people are finding the courage to listen to Wisdom's voice and open themselves to their creativity and to Spirit.
            There is deep change going on in the collective unconscious at this point in time.  Our technology is changing so rapidly that there is a corresponding change in the unconscious.  As we deepen our consciousness, and learn to use both sides of the brain, our perception of our human capabilities will broaden to include those psychic, intuitive, feeling aspects which our rational culture has rejected along with the Goddess.   Many years ago, I had a dream that spoke to these changes occurring in the collective.  I was looking at some old star charts and comparing them to the constellations that were in the sky at the present time.  I noticed that some were the same, but many constellations had changed.  Interpreting this dream personally, I realized I was seeing the changes that had taken place in me over the years.  But this dream felt like it had a collective meaning, since the stars are our collective guides.  It showed me early on that changes were taking place in the collective psyche.  And it's proven true.  
Now we have only to look at the brutal truth of our unstable economy, our wars, the widespread environmental destruction, the greed and corruption of those in power, and the loss of cultural values to see how we have ignored or been unconscious of the forces that are moving within our society.   Happily, people are awakening and stepping forward again to take responsibility for their lives and our collective life.   Just as the dream star charts were changing, we are now seeing changes in our collective lives, and it would seem there are enough people to tip the balance of collective consciousness to a higher, more balanced state.  We have to renew our collective life through living out our individual values and highest collective ideals.  We have to discover a more sacred, graceful, truthful and fulfilling way to live and relate to each other and to the Earth. 
            When we wear Allerleirauh's star dress, we open ourselves – body, heart and spirit - to the conscious voice of Wisdom.  We accept our true nature as Spiritual Beings and co-Creators of Life, centered by the treasure of a golden reel, the world center.   All beings need a center.  Otherwise, the chaos rips us apart.   If we reject our true nature, our spiritual nature, then the center is lost.  Our culture has lost its center, and we substituted the pursuit of wealth and happiness here on Earth for our spiritual center.   This is the princess's task, a task we all share in: we have to put our spiritual values back at our center and our highest ideals back in the center of our public discourse.  Allerlierauh has become the true Queen, and it is her inspiration and passion that will drive our collective transformation in the future.    
            The stars are waiting to give us their wisdom.  When we strive to become conscious of the sacred context of our lives, the power of the archetypes will work through us creatively.  Before moving back to the United States from Zurich, I had a dream about the stars that showed me all the changes I went through in analysis and in training at the C.G. Jung Institute, as well as the experience of living in a foreign land with young children.  An older friend of mine who had died recently came to me in my dream, and told me that I had to bring those new things back to the States with me, so that they could grow in different ways.  In many traditions, the stars were thought to be the spirits of the dead; those spirits who could now shine the light of their wisdom on their descendants.

            I have moved back to R.I. and find that we are living in the old curate's house in Wickford.  R. is out and I go for a walk.  It is night, and I look up at the stars.  There is a row of constellations spread across the whole arc of the sky, all of them shining brilliantly.  I recognize them: they are all the constellations I have dreamed about through my years of study.
            I lie down in the grass to keep the stars in sight, when suddenly I see Dorothy standing by an old wooden fence near the road.  I consciously know that she is dead, but there she stands, obviously alive and definitely vibrant!  There is a beautiful light surrounding her.  She has come to tell me some important things about what I must do now that I am home.
            After we finish talking, she tells me it's time to leave.  I want to stay, but as I walk away, I look back at her once more.  I see that she is different now.  She has a gentleness and a numinous quality that makes me realize that she is a representative of the Goddess.

            When Wisdom's daughters see our transformation in terms of the Divine Story, we do not become extraordinary as much as we begin to see that all life partakes of the Divine. This is what Jesus meant when he said that the Kingdom of Heaven is right here amongst us.  Matter and Spirit are One, just as all people and species are one in the Earth's embrace. Wise daughters understand the meaning of our experience and respond to it with the innate wisdom being in touch with our inner truth elicits.   Lady Wisdom invites us to develop new eyes with which to see our world, and understand our lives in the world.  We need a new cosmic story that only Lady Wisdom can tell us.  Letting this greater spirit infuse our awareness gives us the courage and the ability to find out just who we are and what we might become.  The path of Wisdom challenges us to be our best selves, our most conscious selves, our most compassionate selves.  What else makes life worth living?

From this look at the realms of Earth and Moon and Stars, we can see that, although the task is hard, the rewards of reconnecting with the Feminine Spirit are great.  The Woman Clothed with the Sun combines these realms, for She is woman, earth and body made conscious by the light of solar consciousness.  She stands on the Moon, taking Her standpoint from the ancient rhythms of life, allowing those rhythms to be lived consciously, allowing the dark, the unconscious, to have its say.  She is crowned with Stars, for She knows the archetypal patterns that make up our humanity, and she lives out her individual destiny so that she can give birth to the Savior.   We are the women who are learning from this image.  We are the women whom this image wants to speak to. 
            Getting in touch with the rhythms of life is hard work for Father's Daughters, and we constantly fall back into an easier, familiar, goal-oriented, stressful schedule.  But this is only half the picture.  This is the masculine spirit of doing living within us.   We also have to undertake the task of learning to be, of learning to listen to our instincts about what makes life worth living, of learning how to bring joy back into our lives once again.  When we learn this lesson, we can start to re-learn doing, but this time our doing will come out of an authentic necessity of the Self.  It is especially hard to go into the darkness of the Unknown, for we have lost the tools and the knowledge of the type of consciousness which can get us through the dark places.  Luckily, the knowledge is not irrecoverable, for it is still imaged in the world around us and within us.
            Now we will find that the rhythms, though ancient beyond measure, are still new.  We are different from the peoples who came before, and yet we are the same.  Now that we know what we have lost, perhaps we will honor the wisdom of the Feminine Spirit all the more once it is recovered.  Gratefully, we have the ancient images to look back to, and we have our imaginations to help bring these images living into our modern world.  This is the mystery and the reality of our task, which will be explored next as we look at the Dress of the Sun, because as Wisdom's daughters, we will be clothed in Light.


To connect to your own ‘star’ you need to understand who you are and what you value.  It never hurts to get a good astrological reading which can help you work with the blueprint of your soul to find your unique purpose. 




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Understanding the Cosmic Story



Understanding the Cosmic Story

            The ancients used the sky as a tool, to tell time, to mark the changing seasons, to give direction, and to look into the present and the future.  It was a star (or perhaps the conjunction of three or more planets) that prefigured and then led the wise men to the Christ Child.  At the moment of our birth, there is also a special configuration of stars in the sky that symbolizes who we potentially might become.  This is the astrological blueprint of our birth charts, which shows the dynamic interplay of cosmic rhythms and energies that form the patterns of our lives.  As we become more conscious of the pattern, we participate to a greater degree in the unfolding of our destiny.  We can use these star charts, just as the ancients did, as one way of understanding the meaning of the divine pattern manifesting itself in us.  By looking to the configuration of the planets in the birth chart, our experience can be seen as a process of becoming, a dynamic energy flow.  Just as you can keep track of your dreams in connection with the moon's cycle, you can track the energies at play in our star system and how they relate to you specifically through your birth chart. 
            Since July 1997 when Look Magazine’s cover story was on Astrology as a Blueprint for the Soul, people are paying more attention to astrology and the sky.  At that time, over 48% of Americans believed in the efficacy of astrology. Today, the younger generation use astrologers the way baby-boomers went to therapists.  Astrology has a long and illustrious history. Most of the philosophers and scientists of western society were astrologers, believing that we are indeed connected, not only to each other, but to the cosmos and its natural laws. 
            For example Pluto symbolizes the evolutionary energy of life, like the transformation sought by alchemy.  Pluto is the Roman name of the god Hades, the Lord of the Underworld and of hidden wealth.  All the tremendous energy of the unconscious, with its potential for destruction, for transformation and for richness of life, is symbolically focused through this planet.  When Pluto moves through an astrological sign, it brings up what is old and outworn, twisted and dead so that the old forms get released and new forms are energized.  On both a personal and collective level, this energy feels dark and extremely powerful.  That's because our ego and our society does not like change, although evolution and change are the universal laws of life. Whenever we experience a transit of Pluto, we are forced to face what is dead in our lives, whether a relationship, a job, a belief system or a way of life.  If we fight it, we feel as if we literally might die.  If we open ourselves to the changes, new life comes into our lives. A few years before I ended my marriage of seventeen years, I dreamed of a Plutonian figure to whom I had to submit.  I had to freely choose to face him and go through the initiation of death which he offered.  Although divorce is a sad and often traumatic process to go through for all involved, it appears that this was the only way for me to die to my old life and be reborn.           
            On a collective level, this power wants to change our societal, collective forms of government, religion, relationships, education and social structures.  For the first time in 240 years, Pluto moved into the sign of Capricorn in 2008-2009. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was before the American Revolution.  Capricorn rules government, corporations, our money system, our societal values.  As you well know, this aspect of our collective life has significantly changed since 2008. We are seeing the beginning of the end of patriarchy.  The old powers are fighting the changes, but in the end, we will have a different society. The hardships we are going through are really the necessity to evolve our cultural institutions.  Once we have completed the process of change, we will have a society that values the feminine dimensions of life along with the masculine ones.
            As we accept this dark energy of death and transformation and work with it, these energies will help us evolve our lives and our society.  It helps immeasurably to understand that there are archetypal structures that will direct the energy flow for us.  Once we stop projecting our shadow qualities upon people or countries that displease us, we will be able to let these forces work on us.  If we become conscious partners in this rebirth, we'll see an easier transition in the collective culture.  I sense that we linger on our fear of nuclear war and our war on terror because we have no images of a different world to take us beyond that point of destruction.  Only our own psychological deaths and rebirths can give us the wisdom we need to create a healthy environment in which the whole world prospers.
            Pluto is a symbolic representation of the archetypal patterns of death, rebirth and evolution.  The planets represent the archetypal energies, the instinctual patterns of behavior, which are the very essence of what it means to be human.  But the contents of the archetypes are not predetermined, and the ideal pattern includes the lowest as well as the highest consciousness available to our species.  The old myths and stories show us the archetypal wisdom, but we have to remember that these myths can be transformed as we consciously live them out.   Depending on the inherent potentials at birth, as well as the environment the soul is born into, each of us works out different patterns of being human and of being in relationship.  This is how we manifest the "astrum" or star within.  Every time we look up at the stars, we see that their ever-changing, yet basic, patterns shed light on our earthly existence, on each moment in ordinary time; yet the light that we see began its journey to earth millenniums ago.  This light that we see is somehow eternal, for it deals with a different sense of time.  The light and the wisdom of the stars are ancient, and knowing this helps us engage in life in an eternal context.
            A 45 year-old woman, who was getting in touch with her feminine spirit, was becoming disenchanted with Christianity.  Her religion was very important to her, and yet she began to realize that there was no longer any life and soul in the church for her.  Her main worry in leaving the church was "Where do I go from here?"  This dream showed her the emptiness she felt in church, and then gave her an experience of spirit when she left it.

            I'm at my church for Easter service.  There is no altar, just rows of seats.  I wonder if I should stay to play the organ, but think, "God, I haven't played it for a year and a half."  When I look for the music for "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" it is not there.  They only have what I consider to be one-dimensional music there.
            Later I'm outside with my mother, who is blind.  I'm helping her up some wide steps.  It is night, and the sky instantly lights up with all these stars.  I'm just overcome by this - it's the biggest thing that's ever happened to me. Somehow, my mother can see all of this, too.
            I'm looking at a constellation and far away I see stars exploding like fireworks.  There are wonderful showers of green, red and yellow lights.  I think, "This is a star bursting."  The green sparks fall to earth and we're caught in the shower.  As we move away I say, "We are blessed, we are blessed."  I feel a real heightened consciousness.

            This woman realized that for her the church no longer energized the appropriate feeling response about the rebirth of life, through the image of the Easter service without altar or music.  The missing altar indicates a lack of sacred focus.  The feeling connection, the passion of true spirituality, is represented by the beauty of the song she is looking for, "Jesus Christ is Risen Today."  She wants to feel rebirth.  Even though she feels as if her musical ability (feeling life) is rusty, she is willing to take the chance.  But there is only 'one-dimensional music' in that church.  She only finds the experience of rebirth imaged for her outside, in the night sky.  As the star bursts (dies) it showers her with such feeling that she can exclaim, "we are blessed!"  She stands there in a heightened consciousness with her blind mother, who is not denied this vision either.