Wednesday, December 1, 2021

SFTS Lodge Online Events for December 2021

Isidro Escamilla - Virgin of Guadalupe, September 1824
Photo: Brooklyn Museum

SFTS Lodge Online Events for December 2021 

On Sunday, 12/5/21 at 6 p.m. -- Emily Shurr - "Evolving in Stillness" 

On Sunday, 12/19/21 at 6 p.m. -- SFTS Lodge Winter Solstice Yule Log

To enjoy these offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. Free and available to the public. 

NOTE: The Lodge will be closed over the holidays. No in-person meeting in December or January. 

Joyous Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Feliz Navidad!

 

 

Monday, November 8, 2021

SFTS Lodge Online Events for November 2021

Dia de los Muertos Altar for "Survivors Dreaming" (Nov. 4-6, 2021)

 SFTS Lodge Online Events for November 2021 

On Sunday, 11/21/21 at 6 p.m. -- Dr. Jeff Curtis - "Concepts, Collisions & Gaps in the Science of Consciousness (Part 5)" 

On Sunday, 11/28/21 at 6 p.m. -- John Paul Gauer - "Yoga Nidra" 

To enjoy these offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. Free and available to the public.

SFTS Lodge Program Update

“Survivors Dreaming,” a three-night gala event marked the reopening of the San Francisco Theosophical Society Lodge. After suspending in-person meetings for over a year and a half in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lodge has opened its door again. Produced and directed by Mary Power and the MPOWERDANCE Project, “Survivors Dreaming” featured art and photography exhibits, spoken word, live music and a dance performance. Nine hours of remembrance, prayer and celebration! The marvelous sights and sounds were captured on film by @mpowerdance.project; so stay tuned, many artifacts will soon be coming your way.

Moving forward, the SFTS Lodge will hold one in-person meeting each month. These meetings will adhere to Covid-19 protocols (e.g. both proof of full vaccination and mask-wearing are required). And YES, we will continue to offer Facebook Live events twice a month. 
 
Thank you to the “Survivors Dreaming” presenters: Kevin McLaughlin (@thesolarboutiq), Sasha Silveanu (@studiosilveanu), Richard Power (@rgpoweriii), Peggy Tahir (@moneypenny2002), Lisa Eisiminger (@chalisqua17) and Mary Power (@mpowerdance.project) and to our cinematographer Philip Safarik.
 
“Only through the Orchid Door, & the Violet Flame therein, can you place your feet on the Rainbow Bridge that leads to the City of the Golden Gate & the Shrine of Clear Light therein.”
 

 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

SFTS Lodge Online Events for October 2021 & Special Announcement: "Survivors Dreaming"

NOTE: In response to the global pandemic, SFTS Lodge suspended public meetings in March 2020. We will be re-opening in November 2021, with appropriate Covid protocols & on a limited basis. See the Special Event announcement below. Meanwhile, our twice-monthly Facebook Live program will carry on in October & beyond. Launched during the Covid shutdown, these twice-monthly online presentations will continue, even after re-opening, as a vital, ongoing feature of Lodge activities.

SFTS Lodge Online Events for October 2021 

On Sunday, 10/17/21 at 6 p.m. -- Elaine Santos - "The Magic of Imagery" 

On Sunday, 10/24/21 at 6 p.m. -- John Paul Gauer - "Yoga Nidra" 

To enjoy these offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. Free and available to the public.

Special Event Announcement: "Survivors Dreaming"

MPOWERDANCE Project and the San Francisco Theosophical Society Present
"Survivors Dreaming" 

Nov. 4th, 5th and 6th, 2021, 6:00 pm to 9 pm. Mark your calendar!

Grand Re-Opening of SFTS Lodge: Over a year and a half ago, the Lodge suspended in-person meetings in response to the global pandemic. During this challenging time, the Lodge has continued its work on-line, utilizing Facebook Live and other social media platforms.This will be our first on-site event in March 2020.

Covid Protocols: Proof of full Covid vaccination required. Attendance limited to 25 people per evening. Covid masks required, except for when eating and drinking.

Drawing on the powerful convergent energies of Dia de los Muertos, Celtic New Year and the Festival of Lights, through Interactive Live Art, Installation Art, Dance Performance, Woven Representation, Spoken Word, Photography, Painting and Costumes, "Survivors Dreaming" offers abundant gratitude at the altar of life and death.

We are survivors dreaming. We acknowledge our own personal and intimate loss and its shadow of grief. It is of the gravest importance to live, to love, to enjoy our loved ones and to honor all living beings. Through dance, art, spoken word and music, we share our lights. For those who have gone before us, for the loss they endured and sang through, for the lessons they grew from (or didn’t), for the tasks they left behind, so that we might go beyond, in some small or giant way of our own. As the veil between worlds grows thinnest and half of the world grows dark, join us in remembrance and celebration.


Each of the three evenings will offer something different. Details will follow soon.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth 

#NoPowerGreaterThanLove 

#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken 

#Theosophy

Thursday, September 2, 2021

SFTS Lodge Online Events for September 2021

SFTS Lodge Fireplace Mantle Altar

NOTE: In response to the global pandemic, our suspension of weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. We are keeping a hopeful eye on vaccination levels, and a cautious eye on the spread of "Delta" and other variants. Further update in October. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for September 2021 

On Sunday, 9/19/21 at 6 p.m. --

John Paul Gauer - "Yoga Nidra"

On Sunday, 9/26/21 at 6 p.m. --

Dr. Jeff Curtis - "Concepts, Collisions & Gaps in the Science of Consciousness (Part 4)"

To enjoy these offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. Free and available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Mary Power - "Visionary Dance Oracle Card #4: Masculinus" (8/22/21)

Visionary Dance Oracle Card #4: Masculinus 

[NOTE: Here is a YouTube video of Mary Power's "Visionary Dance Oracle #4: Masculinus," delivered from the Lodge Tea Room via Facebook Live on 8/22/21. This is the second in a series of Lodge presentations on her compelling new work, "Visionary Dance Oracle: A Book of the Soul." In this post, we have also included the full text of Mary's talk (see below). Our Facebook Live program is free and open to all. You can find us at https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge/ For more information on "Visionary Dance Oracle," visit Mary's Dance Art Cafe on etsy.com

VIDEO: Mary Power - "Visionary Dance Oracle Card #4: Masculinus" (8/22/21)

 

Full Text of Mary's Remarks -

Welcome to the Facebook Live Broadcast from San Francisco Theosophical Society.

My name is Mary Power and I’m here, talking about the Visionary Dance Oracle Card number 4. Masculinus.

For over a month now, I’ve been living with a large art poster of this card, Masculinus. It’s been an intense meditation to say the least. Consider it like a yoga practice of “union” where you can dive as deep as you want to go. The book I wrote, Visionary Dance Oracle, A Book of the Soul came out at the start of April this year (2021.) The cards I designed correspond to the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Keep in mind this card, Masculinus, relates to the Emperor card of the Tarot.

When drawing only one card from the Visionary Dance Oracle Deck, it’s best to use it as a living meditation. It’s an opening of the understanding to mystery.

The discovery grows. And material for choreography and plans are inspired by the growth, by the colors and images nourish inner eyes seeking understanding, of oneself, of others. We are microcosmic worlds within the macrocosm. These cards produce dance, both metaphorically and literally. There’s no one single interpretation. It reminds me of that story about the blind people describing what an elephant looked like. It depended on their personal experience, location and ability to communicate. One voice among them never came close to describing an elephant. But all of their descriptions put together, came closer to describing what an elephant looked like.

At the lodge, we like those kinds of discussions. Since I am Madame President, I invite you to contribute respectful insights and questions in the comments section for online “discussion.”

I’m going to begin by stating the obvious, “Men are different from women.”

We could effortlessly list our present and past grievances in our differences, as well as the good points. Maybe we would uncover how the patriarchal iron age affects us the same or differently. We could identify and discuss in detail, with specific examples the public and personal creative performances given by great men and by evil men and the women in their shadow. His story shaped in his image, usually erasing whole chunks of horrific actions, sometimes exaggerating cowardly actions to heroic levels. Sometimes names of the real heroes no matter gender, class, race, or economic status make it into history.

We are humans born out of dance into a world of cycles, both natural and manmade.

Man’s world builds and destroys in war and peace, with rape and suffering, with both great and terrible imposing architecture, with advanced technology and all forms of slavery. The rise and fall of civilizations seem to repeat without considerable mindfulness of the lesson to learn.

Nature is becoming ever more distant to human understanding.

Would the human population be the problem if we knew how to live with nature? I don’t know. We don’t know how to live with nature. Village life has changed forever. Vital ceremonies once held us close to nature. Seasons and moons caused ancient celebrations with appeals to the life-healing forces of earth, moon and stars. Weused to implore the spirit of these life-giving forces to increase our fecundity and well-being. Not just for ourselves but for all the earth’s ecosystems. We can’t go back. East meets West and North meets South. This is the center of where we are. In the information age with the world library at our fingertips, we have a new technologies in the mix with greater possibility to re-learn how to be human.

I’ve been researching Pythagoras. It didn’t take long to figure out that most of the ancient Greek philosophies could be traced straight back to ancient goddesses. The women taught the men ancient mysteries. Some men, like Pythagoras, carried it forward with open doors for women and men in their schools. But mostly doors were closed to women.

The ancient mystic Pythagoras was a student and teacher of the Orphic and Delphic mysteries. A Greek man who discovered the divine harmony within the length of musical strings and the wisdom and beauty within numbers and mathematics. He found that all even numbers feminine and all odd numbers masculine. He determined the number 4 to represent space, and justice. (For any feminist sci-artists here, checkout Margaret Werthheim's Pythagoras’ Trousers 1997 and her other great titles).

I have been given this crown by my deer brother. I speak to you as I am, one woman among sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers, enemies, friends and lovers. It is with bias, personal life experience, observation, deep ongoing study and research from credible sources, that I tell you, the feminine is cannot now nor will it ever be absent from the discussion on the masculine. And vice versa. The masculine and feminine are inseparable and different. The yin and yang are inseparable and different. 

Awareness of this IS the basis of the Oracle. It is not linear and it is linear. There is reason and logic based on cause and effect. Then there are unknown measures beyond cause and effect. Holding the dilemma of time and space, is like holding the dilemma of suffering and joy at once in your heart. It is the greatest challenge for our times. (Rhythmic music like Funk music is helps keep the response ability to joy circulating in your bones. I got ants in my pants and I need to dance. Watching sports and/or playing sports with friends releases steam.)

The attitude of inseparable flow of yin and yang, is taken from the study of the ancient Chinese master Fu Hi, precursor to the I Ching of Confucius and to the Tao te Ching of Lao Tsu. As a woman and a dancer, I prefer this ancient line of wisdom to guide my understanding of a world in perpetual motion. The inseparable flow of yin and yang in motion endures any intellectual logic by including the practicality of unknown possibility. Logic and possibility are bound in a mutually crucial role of predictability. In other words, it’s a view of the vertical alignments of time coming together, moment by moment. We call it luck. Synchronicities inhabited by logic seem unrelated. Even though their probability and possibility presents innumerable opportunity.

I like this view because it’s a guilt-free view, sans the Judeo-Christian, Adam and Eve guilt. I’ve been looking at Carl Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis (1963). Say it three times Coniunctionis man. Coniunctionis. It turns out the medieval-Kabalistic alchemists embedded guilt and shame to new levels in the Adam and Eve myth. According to Jung’s extensive research on the alchemists of old regarding Adam and Eve, he found little to nothing on the alchemy of Eve.

That’s infuriating but there’s more. The sophisticated alchemists of that time didn’t even notice.

They elevated the primordial man, Adam, as the esteemed androgynous Man.

In this story, Adam as androgynous, never really needed Eve’s rib donation anyway, no ribbing. Adam had alchemically absorbed the feminine/yin Eve into him. At first this may sound promising, as an integration, as Coniunctionis.

But no, it’s not conjunction it’s annihilation. Adam’s absorption of the yin operates as an obliteration of the feminine quality entirely. Not only that, the yin quality, the feminine and Eve herself was further designated as a succubus, a feminine demon, a femon who lived inside the man with the sole purpose to drive him insane. Yin was evil within man.

It easily translated into physical violence and the subjugation of women. It was and always has been the fault of Eve, the fall of Eve. And without exception, she was the evil one when Adam decided to use his swizzle stick to stir the cauldron. There it is shame, blame and humiliation of the masculine-Adam, with a healthy plopping of guilt and damnation all over everybody but especially the whorish feminine-Eve.

In summary, fear of being a whole man, can only be overcome possessing and subjugating the feminine quality. Otherwise, the greater fear is going insane by being possessed by it. At any rate, it’s her fault when he goes nuts.

Now back to deepening our understanding of Masculinus from the Taoist view of masculine-feminine, yin-yang as action-reception, light-dark. Here’s a story that exemplifies how to use the perspective of yin and yang in Oracle seer-ship. I’ve modernized the ancient story somewhat.

There was once a King Mountain, full, bountiful and cared for. It was filled with beautiful ancient forests, timber, birds and all kinds of wildlife. The name King is meant to imply a yang power. However, King Mountain stood in the yin position to the higher and larger Queen Mountain, implying a feminine power in the yang position. This King-Queen Mountain symbol indicates the King was receptive to the feminine power of the Queen.

The Queen Mountain by some evil means had been stripped of all resource, of its gems and gold, ecosystems and wildlife. It was no longer covered with an old-growth forest canopy. The King Mountain remained the stronghold of such beauty, sustaining all the old groves, their ecosystems and all manner of life and timber. It was said, the King Mountain bowed with purpose and understanding before the Queen Mountain, without a sense of inadequacy.

Unfortunately as generations wore on, the nearby city filled with humans no longer in touch with the value or care for the King Mountain. The people justified bulldozing the forest completely. The old springs were covered over with thick concrete and the ancient ecosystems were lost.

Where would the spirit of the elder forest go?

Overtime the ancient forest was forgotten as if it never existed in the first place. It would seem King Mountain had always been a place of pay parking lots and condominiums as if this was normal. It appeared to be normal. Normal.

“In what is inherent in man, is there no sense of love and righteousness? That which makes man disregard his good nature is similar to what the axes and hatchets have done to the trees. Battered incessantly day in day out, how can man’s good nature retain its beauty? His diurnal rest and the balmy air of the dawn may indeed restore to his good nature a semblance of human aspiration and aversion. But then his daily activities tend to destroy it. As this destructive process recurs again and again, he fails to preserve his nocturnal breath with its recuperative potency, and this failure reduces him to a state little different from a beast. And when people see him in this beastly state, they think he never had any human attributes. Is this normal nature of man?” (The original story is from a Confucian sage, Mencius, and this excerpt of his story is taken from Henry Wei’s “The Guiding Light of Lao Tsu"published 1982).

The historical idea of superiority is the basis of fascism, white supremacy, racism, and misogyny. Its poison is insidious effecting all relations, human, animal, flora and fauna ecosystems, mineral, earth, sky, water, etc. The toxicity of superiority, the eons of patriarchal reign that consume our world are not normal.

The magnitude of abnormality and hubris is found with a blind certainty among some men in power who believe the ultimate solution to total consumption and destruction of climate earth is a fresh start on Mars. Have you seen the rover pictures of Mars? I say good riddance. Please go, the sooner the better.

And if you go, know this, humans will carry their evil with them wherever they run. The lessons must be learned here on earth. The balance of the earth’s ecosystems can be cared for, retained, restored, recharged and related to. If Earth’s lessons aren’t learned, woe to him who looks for solace on Mars. Just sayin’.

How are we to restore, recharge? How do we relate again? By changing our view. And by the way, it wouldn’t hurt to develop a functional sense of humor with a healthy dose of common sense.

In the Visionary Dance Oracle, A Book of the Soul I wrote the dance motif for Card 4. Masculinus, to bring us into the way of response ability: “Examine pathways already paved by historic and mythic figures, then create your own long-lasting dance path. Go big or go home. Or take it down a notch depending on insight and counsel, read the room. Make FRIENDS.” This card signals you to draw upon your courage and lay the groundwork for your dance piece/peace.

The superiority complex, the root of Racism/Fascism destroys unity, to prove its stupid opinion is better than everyone else’s Racism/Fascism demeans and isolates by inflicting pain and suffering with injury so horrific it breaks the spirit, seeking to extinguish the light of beauty. The brutal scars cannot fully heal while oppression seeks to make the logical recourse bitterness and hatred, perpetuating the cycle of evil. The venom of superiority is murderous, not superior.

Fear is weaponized to oppress us. By targeting and vilifying difference, fear is amplified. Everyone becomes suspect, friend and foe. Fear is an excruciating blindness, an eye for an eye, seems easier than the effort to make friends.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is some kind of clear light, the light of seeing past present and future unbound. Once the clear light rushes in, the guck of hundreds if not thousands of years is removed from our heart-vision.

The source of the clear light cannot be possessed or owned. It gives courage to grow our view beyond our pain and sorrow and fear. We can discern friend from foe once again. We can. It’s more than a seal of alliance between the King and the Queen, Masculinus and Femininus. It is viewing the inseparable motion of yin and yang with grave knowledge and joyous agreement in the value of beauty within our world, the wisdom of taking heart.

Human actions are being called into question.

Man has within his power to stand in relationship with himself and nature.

He has the capacity to take up his rightful place as the King Mountain, Masculinus.

One so endowed becomes the strength within the whole awe-inspiring beauty of the mountain.

In closing, our greatest challenge to see the power of beauty within and guard it for all time. The toxicity of hate, and the destiny of all haters, will destroy everything once loved and cared for. This card helps to develop the wild spirit of beauty’s power within the courageous.

Remember, Masculinus, you will become what you hate. And also remember, the internal and external dance of yin and yang is inseparable motion.

The Clear Light is the source of Light that lighteth everyone of humankind that cometh into the world, it is the radiance of Cosmic Consciousness. Yogins realize it while still in the fleshly body, and all humans glimpse at the moment of death. It is the Light of the Buddha, and the Christ, and of all Masters of Life, and to the Devotee in whom it shines unimpededly, it is the Guru and the Deliverer.

May all beings be well. May all being happy. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

SFTS Lodge Online Events for August 2021

Buddha Room Altar, SFTS Lodge

NOTE: In response to the global pandemic, our suspension of weekly Friday evening public meetings continues. We are keeping a hopeful eye on rising vaccination levels, and a cautious eye on the rise of "Delta" and other variants. We will re-evaluate our posture after Labor Day 2021. Meanwhile, you can engage with us online, via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sftslodge/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SFTSLodge

SFTS Lodge Calendar of "Facebook Live" Events for August 2021 

On Sunday, 8/8/21 at 6 p.m. --

John Paul Gauer - "Yoga Nidra"

On Sunday, 8/22/21 at 6 p.m. --

Mary Power - "Visionary Dance Oracle #4. Masculinus"

To enjoy these offerings, just come to https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge at the appointed hour on the designated day. Free and available to the public.

#NoReligionHigherThanTruth
#NoPowerGreaterThanLove
#TheCircleRemainsUnbroken
#Theosophy

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Mary Power - Visionary Dance Oracle #5 (SFTS Lodge Facebook Live Event, 6-27-21)

Mary Power's "Visionary Dance Oracle" Book and Cards

[NOTE: Embedded below, via the SFTS Lodge You Tube Channel, video recording Mary Power's Facebook Live presentation on "Visionary Dance Oracle #5" (SFTS Lodge, 6-27-21) For more information on "Visionary Dance Oracle," visit "Mary's Dance Art Cafe" on etsy.com - https://www.etsy.com/shop/MarysDanceArtCafe]

Praise for Mary Power's "Visionary Dance Oracle"

"I can feel the care and love emanating from this special tarot deck. Each card is a gem vibrating with light, a gentle guide to the wisdom in your own soul dancing to life. I highly recommend the book and oracle deck to occult lovers and mystics." - Marjory Mejia

"Stunning Deck and a big dose of Shakti will be added to your readings with this complimentary tarot. Mary is a true visual artist as well as a dancer. Thank you for making this deck. The Feminine force of the world making its way through!" - Brenna Geehan 

"This book and deck is a great addition to the tarot. The visionary dance oracle is of great use as a clarifier for your tarot reading. Beautifully crafted. Love this deck!" - Christine Kamadulski-Stefl

"This is an extraordinary work. Deep wisdom. Exquisite art. Mary's "Visionary Dance Oracle" is rich in occult knowledge, profound and yet practical. Full-color! Powerful symbology that is both archetypal and utterly fresh and new. It is a must have both for your own shelf of mystical essentials and as a unique and bounteous gift for your loved ones and allies. Especially, if you collect potent, diverse Oracle decks. You will want to add this one to your collection. It breaks new ground in very meaningful ways. It offers a radical revisioning of the Major Arcana." - Richard Power 

"Thankful for this gorgeous oracle deck from Mary Power@mpowerdance.project in SF. The imagery is so moving while simultaneously nurturing to the senses, chocked full of embodied wisdom, practical advice and zen-like koans to ponder. Check out her Instagram for more info on this lovely art deck." - Courtney Wynn Sheets (@eyesofcourtneywynn)

"My friend Mary Power (who's in my phone as "Mary! Power!") has created a special artifact, a complex/simple tool for ritual divination and unlocking creative expression. The Visionary Dance Oracle is a truly unusual thing: Not only is the concept original AF -- a movement-based oracular divination card deck -- also the *way* meaning is delivered is utterly unique (a word I never use unless I really mean "there is only one of these in the world").
See, most decks come with a booklet containing the means to interpret each card. In this work of art, the booklet contains a recipe for moving the body that creates the space for the message of the card to come through the dancer. It also comes with a mystical ko-an of sorts, a passage of ancient scripture or sound instruction to engage the mind.
(And who better to curate transformational text than Madam President of the Sfts Lodge San Francisco Theosophical Society Lodge, Her Own Self?)
As the mind moves off on its own quest, the body is freed to expand, explore, convey, conduct the "meaning" of the card. The inquirer must run the images and text through their own body and mind in order to "come up with the answer" instead of being directed as to "what it all means."
The body tells us. The message is waiting to be delivered in the movement. Open to it.
With one card, my body delivered elaborate instructions for how to make the most of every day. With another, how to go from dejected and exhausted to elated and celebrated. With a third, how to stay on a path of integration and balance in life.
And with another, my body simply told me, in no uncertain terms, "It is your ordained right to ask for outrageous, utterly impossible miracles--and have them delivered in unexpectedly delightful ways.
Must try. Strongly recommend." - Emily Shurr


VIDEO: Mary Power - Visionary Dance Oracle #5 (SFTS Lodge Facebook Live Event, 6-27-21)