The Imaginal, Daimonic and Psychedelic
Resolution of inner conflict was at the heart of my decision to create a virtual place as the creative output of the Creative Project . This project would, I hoped, reconcile seemingly divergent ontological aspects of myself and in doing so potentially create something of interest to others. After months of consideration, I settled that creating a digital application (‘app’) might be both a cathartic and symbolic merging respectively of my professional experience and my personal passion. In seeking this reconciliation, I was unexpectedly accompanied by my daemon. The product of this companionship was to be ‘The Book of Daemon’, a digitised book whose primary aim was to inspire potential readers to possibly establish, renew or develop a conscious engagement with their personal daemon. In undertaking this initiatory endeavour, which is in process still, I had hoped the exercise would engender a deeper knowing of myself by learning new skills and subjects. What I would not anticipate was the extent to which undertaking praxis ‘and entering into unknowing’, would bring me to the edge of sense and in doing so instigate a complete re-visioning and shift of my very being.
An exploration and development of some of the images and dialogues that have emerged from practicing Active Imagination
In this course, Simão explores some of the core issues around dreaming and the relationship between the dreamer and her dreams. Each session focuses on a specific set of approaches to dreams, both religious and psychoanalytic, private and communal, creative and playful.
The Book of the Sun represents the culmination of Ficino’s life and work. Published in 1494, five years before his death, it is a supreme example of the very synthesis of astrology, religion and philosophy for which Ficino strived all his life and illustrates his ability to convey the deepest mystical experience within a lucid, authoritative prose.
Exploring the Weird is Weird. Investigating wormholes in the fabric of the space-time continuum opens wormholes in the fabric of the space-time continuum. That is my summary of Ness HighWeird.
Review by William Rowlandson – Damned facts: Fortean essays on religion, folklore and the paranormal ed. Jack Hunter
Some writers are influential enough to have their own adjective – Shakespearean, cervantino, Dickensian, Kafkaesque, Orwellian. (Douglas Adams should have one, but Adamsian sounds odd). Charles Fort is honoured not only with the adjective Fortean but also with the noun Forteana. What is, what are, Forteana?
It is an imaginal adventure to explore the imaginal. It is a little-known word that dances between discourses, and as such carries different baggage than some of its associated meanings, such as spiritual, mystical, oneiric, anomalous, paraphenomenal, psychedelic, weird…
I’ve been interested in the relationship between these two concepts for some time – chakra therapy as a form of bio-energetic healing and the imaginal as a realm in which we can locate symbolic images that also have the potential to transform and heal us.
The importance of the work of Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433-1499) in the awakening, transmission and dissemination of esoteric knowledge in the West cannot be overestimated. By ‘esoteric’, we mean a tradition of religious philosophy which embodies an initiatic mode of teaching – a promise of access to hidden meanings deep within the fabric of the world which will eventually lead the searcher to a condition of gnosis or unity with the source of all being.
This paper will discuss the relevance of the ‘four levels of interpretation’ of medieval theology – literal, allegorical, moral, anagogical – to the teaching of astrology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In an educational system increasingly bound to positivist assumptions a way is required to lead students to a deeper perception, and experience, of the symbolic.
The theme of this chapter arose through a strange coincidence and a dream, which I shall briefly relate. Some time ago a friend introduced me to the work of Michael Newton, and I spent a session with my MA students discussing the question of regression therapy and spiritual encounter in relation to Hermetic texts and the mundus imaginalis of Henry Corbin. Shortly after this, I received an email, quite out of the blue, from Michael Newton himself. He was looking for a university department where he could develop his client work into a doctoral thesis, and this initiated a flow of personal communication on the subject of life between lives (LBL) therapy.
It is encouraging to see the current academic interest in therapeutic properties and usages of psychedelics and psycho-active plants. Sociological methods of quantitative data analysis and scientific investigation into the physiology of altered states of consciousness (ASC) are challenging negative and prohibitive attitudes and contributing to a general re-evaluation of legal constraints regarding their use.
How do we interpret the word ‘erotic’ in our contemporary society? It usually conveys a sexual allure, a physical attraction, a suggestion of passion and exoticisim. But do we connect it with spirituality, or a sense of divinity? Not usually. In our secular world the sacred is not accessible through sex. We have separated human sexuality from religious experience, yet surely everyone can testify to the tremendous emotional power of the “longing for the beloved” and probably most have sensed what feels like an
immeasurable distance between the ideal of love, the perfect beauty, and the person sitting next to them at breakfast.
The theme of love was central to the Renaissance revival of Platonism led by Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433–99).
Petite Pandora - An Archetypal AdventureI wrote and illustrated a children’s story based on the ‘Fool’s Journey’ of the tarot cards, which sees the main character Pandora embark on a quest for self-realisation by facing the archetypal forces of the psyche and...
In this chapter, I explore the phenomena of visual apparitions of daimons and spirits, and how in the neoplatonic traditions they have always been seen as lights.
Becoming an Angel: the mundis imaginalis of Henry Corbin and the Platonic path of self-knowledge – Angela Voss
The profoundly alchemical implications of Corbin’s imaginal hermeneutics, in a spiritual sense, are illustrated by his interest in the hieratic art of statue animation, which he describes as:
neither a simple dramaturgy of the unconscious or psychological allegory, nor a simple manipulation of materials practiced in the manner of a mere chemist or pharmacist (droguiste). It is an operation at once material and spiritual, the juncture between the two aspects remaining the hidden secret underneath the symbols of the “Philosophers” (as the alchemists designate themselves).
Alchemy for Corbin is essentially the inner, spiritual work of attaining union between the human soul and its heavenly counterpart
Dreams are strange things. Whether we regard them as prophetic, psychoanalytic or merely as the reorganization of cognitive material during sleep, the truth is that they affect us. We wake up drenched in cold sweat, laughing, panting or crying because of dreams. Once I was so scared during a dream that I woke up to the sound of my own voice praying a Hail Mary.
The inspiration for this Creative Project snuck up on me quite unexpectedly – rather like a wild beast in the forest creeps up on its unsuspecting prey. I’ve never thought much about masks before – other than being slightly alarmed by them as a child – so the unprecedented notion of doing a whole project on them took me by surprise.
The vesica piscis is an ancient symbol with many meanings in cultures all over the world. It often symbolises a portal or bridge between between earthly and transcendent realms. I decided to explore this symbol for my creative project, and made a painted, printed and sewn cloth with vesical designs for contemplation and meditating on. I also some other art works – they were quite different from anything I’ve done before. This was truly a journey of creative discovery and ’embodied spirituality’ for me, which was very healing.