Saturday, July 6, 2024

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: JULY-AUGUST 2024 PROGRAM

  


THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: MAY-JUNE 2024 PROGRAM 

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 7/14/24, 4 to 6 p.m. - CONVERSATIONS IN THEOSOPHY 

ON-LINE: Sunday, 7/21/24, at 6 p.m. - Jeff Curtis presents "The Multiverse, the Quantum Handshake & More"  

ON-LINE: Sunday, 7/28/24, at 6 p.m. - Elaine Santos presents "Water Element Imagery" (For info on Elaine's work, visit https://wellnessasart.com)

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 8/18/24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - CONVERSATIONS IN THEOSOPHY 

Our in-person events start at 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. 

Our on-line events start at 6 p.m.

All are free and available to the public. 

For more information, e-mail us (sftslodge at gmail.com) or inquire via Facebook Messenger (https://www.facebook.com/sfts.lodge)

Monday, June 24, 2024

Emily Shurr - ELEUSIS, EPIDAURUS & ELYSEUM, PART 1: ELEUSIS (SFTS, 6/9/24)


ELEUSIS, EPIDAURUS AND ELYSEUM:

RITUAL, HEALING COMMUNITIES, THE AFTERLIFE

PART ONE: ELEUSIS

By Emily Shurr

GRACIOUS THANKS AND WELCOME IN

Bring the fingers, hands, gaze from far left and far right to the center-focus:

First, a great gratitude to the S F T S Lodge & Library for the very kind invitation to speak, all their support and encouragement in getting to this moment. . . Thanks to my friends the JOGLES for their extraordinary support and friendship, and to the Rosicrucian Library in San Jose, for the use of their collection and in particular one well curated edition of their Digest publication.

I hope this conversation serves to inform us about the traditions of the ancient world, the community built up around transformational celebrations, and their direct relevance to our lives today and in the future.

Settle in, Listen closely, and Save your questions til the end

We may get sentimental – we may get personal – we may get cosmic – we may get abstract – 

We will ramble and we will roam, and then we will arrive at home .

Take in what resonates, & let the rest .. wash on past

((If you came to take more than what is offered, now is a good time to look in another direction.))

Eleusis: 

Ancient Athenian site of ritual initations and harvest festivals

Sometimes said to be the site of the abduction of Persephone

Where the proper patrician people of position in the populace would process, pilgrimage, and prostrate to have their pride punctured and their prosperity provided – in a formally ritualized and socially advantageous way – every year, for thousands of years.

Spoiler: We are not afraid of dying and what comes after, when we know our way through the hell realms and shadow lands – and when we undersatnd we’re part of a much bigger picture.  

Jeremy Naydler, Ph.D., speaking of Eleusis and other ancient rites in Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts, published in the 2000s by Inner Traditions: “It was regarded as possible for people, while still alive, to enter a state of consciousness in which the soul becomes separated from the body for a short period. During this period of separation, people could have profound experiences that they would not otherwise have until they died, the most important of which was an intense realization that there is an element in their nature that is immortal.” 

The Traveler’s Key to Ancient Greece by Richard Geldard, 1989, published by the Theosophical imprint QUEST Books: “The Greeks believed that these Mysteries [the annual rituals at Eleusis] held the cycles of life together, that without them the patterns of birth, growth, decay, death, and rebirth would cease. [I.e. Life itself would come to a permanent end.] If the Olympian gods were remote, even indifferent to human suffering, these Mysteries revealed a compassionate and immediate Mother who promised eternal life to the initiate.” 

What is ELEUSIS?

 Lavish, complicated, well orchestrated worship experience near Athens annually & ongoing for 2000 years officially, and prob 2000 more before they were in the public record. Hundreds of thousands of worshippers flocked to the enormous temple complex every year to celebrate Demeter & Persephone, pray for peace and prosperity, pursue their life’s purpose, and undergo ritual initations that cleansed & refreshed their minds and bodies, and that really reset their LIVES.

· C. 3500BC – First RITES to Demeter & Persephone at Eleusis

· c. 1500 BCE - First temple to Demeter & Persephone is built at Eleusis.

· c. 600 BCE - The Eleusinian Mysteries become part of the official Athenian religious calendar.

· c. 479 BCE - Eleusis is destroyed by the Persians.

· c. 450 BCE - Pericles oversees a significant rebuilding programme at Eleusis.

· 170 CE - Marcus Aurelius oversees a rebuilding programme at Eleusis which includes a new propylaea.

· 379 CE - Theodosius I orders the closure of all Greek pagan sites.

Most of the early formal published scholarship on the archaeological sites & rites of Eleusis are, typically of their period & origin, erudite, arch, Rationalist, Christian, and condescending. 

Earth-Womb-Mother-revering religions are still scorned today by the Masculinist Scientistic Western way of thikning. I would very much like to get us all PAST THAT, to GRADUATE from that degenerate obsolete and quaintly antique way of thinking - RIGHT NOW.

Context:

There’s a way of seeing the ancient ritual industry post-Alexander the Great as trying to replicate or adapt what his carefully curated cohort had seen in India and Egypt too:

Take all the priesthoods and priestesshoods, all the local deities and lineages of earth- and nature- and place-based agricultural worship practices of connecting the human with the land they cultivated, with the Earth energies, the Natural world ,the planting and harvesting cycles, the Solar and Lunar realities… 

and IMPoRTANTLY, those practices that connected them with EACH OTHER… the human community AS WELL AS the More-Than-Human spheres…

And wrap them all into one more or less coherent formalized almost industrialized system, connected to the STATE, the King/Emperor/Pharaoh – the better to (1) subjugate, rule, and make obedient the many various populaces under their Reign, and to (2) commandeer the best of the ancient local traditional lineages and initiatory PRIESTESShoods.

Men were the ones to work the fields; women were the generation of the land itself, bringing forth new life on the regular.

“Erotic drama” as the scholars described it WAS PURPOSEFULLY designed in great complexity to get the participants PAST the trappings and conditionings and armoring of everyday life in governance, admisntration, childrearing, domestic life, the marketplace, manufacturing, labor in the fields, etc. – and into a state of Ecstatic Union with All That Is Life and Death… 

and this achieved through the strategically orchestrated applciation of high drama, low drama, mind-altering poppies and fungii in special spiced brews, and of course RITUALIZED HEALING / TRANSFORMATIONAL EROTICS.

Defining a few terms now which we will use throughout this conversation:

When we say EROTIC in this context, don’t let yourself go pornographic. The carnal lust for sexual connection is only a small piece of EROS (although central for many people). We’re talking about more broadly speaking, the LIFE FORCE that flows through all living things and even through the entire Universe.

As in our own era, in the ancient world was all too easy for people to FORGET their ORIGINS – from the EARTH, through the MOTHER – and the life-saving, absolutely essential requirement to connect US with EACH OTHER (88 LEMNISCATE YOU - ME)– and so this place and these rites were enacted every year without fail to REUNITE them on ALL those fronts. 

Kykeon – the grain beverage (some kind of strong barley beer or tea) which had hallucinogenic/mind-altering/psychotropic properties useful for going into ceremonial space/experiencing connection with the Greater.

Rhea, mother of Demeter (and all the Gods), mother of Persephone, mother of Dionysos – called in Greek “ecstatic wanderer” and “GREAT MOTHER” – Rhea also means FLOW, we can think of her as the FLOW OF TIMELESSNESS (whereas her husband Kronos was the MARCH OF LINEAR TIME) lives not only as herself but onward through and AS Demeter and Perspehone… the flow of generations

RHEA’s the kind of Time that is expansive and non-linear. The kind of time that FLOWS into ETERNITY. A ROUND time, not a Straight Line. 

HEKATE - let’s not forget that also HEKATE (Goddess of the Underworld Gates) had a role at various stages. She already knew Hades, she ultimately welcomed Persephone AND Demeter back into LIFE – the cycle complete, of Grandmother, Mother, and Daughter all tending together LIFE AND DEATH AND REBIRTH.

DEMETER - Rhea’s daughter, Goddess of the Land and Agriculture, represented as a mature woman with an armload of sheaves of wheat. The Mother of Persephone. Her worship was that of the planting and harvest, with Dates, grapes, almond, pomegranate, apple, wheat, barley, herbs, spices. Especially wheat, made into Bread.

PERSEPHONE - Rhea’s granddaughter, Demeter’s daughter, Goddess of Flowers and Fruit. She gets taken away by Hades to the Underworld. Depending on which version of the myth you read, either she Chooses to be or she is FORCED to be the Part-Time Queen of the Underworld. In that sense she also becomes a partner and friend to Hecate in the care of departed Souls. She is depicted as a luscious young woman with garlands of flowers, and a flower crown.

Her worship and celebration since she was Goddess of the Spring, involved heaps and armfuls and truckloads of 

FLOWERS… as does the Orthodox Easter bier of Christ celebration even today – and the still-practiced Maya initiations and celebrations involving a moon-lit watery cave filled with flowers

[IMAGE] Flowers – all kinds – esp roses; bougainvilleas; azaleas, cherry blossoms, Easter Sunday, Orthodox bier, other garden scenes

POPPY – emblem of Morpheus, God of Dreaming and also of Dying – an elixir of poppy was ingested, as it is today in end-of-life care, to ease open the PORTAL making it easier to traverse. – Poppy is also an emblem of the bleeding and birthing CERVIX, from whence souls arrive into this dimension, taking human form

Eleusis a celebration of AGRICULTURE – we may think of food as coming from the Door Dash app on your phone, or the cement-block grocery store with the asphalt parking lot, packaged in small portions under plastic wrap. But food – nourishinment for our bodies – comes from the EARTH.

It is the SUBSTANCE of US. And WE are the SUBSTANCE of EARTH.

AGRICULTURE is the cultivation of what we REQIURE as human beings: a sustained, sustaining, and sustainable means of food production.

· [IMAGE] growing food in beds (Palo Alto)

· [IMAGE] bounty of the harvest (general)

AGRI means GRAIN. it also means SEED, and as such it must also refer to OUR SEED, the egg & sperm, the BIJA and the BINDU, the SINGLE SMALL POINT which although tiny, nevertheless contains the INFORMATION and the POWER for CREATION and CO-CREATION… which sits inert and DORMANT until ACTIVATED by the SUN’S LIGHT and CANNOT GROW AT ALL without the WATERING from the RAINs and RIVERs.

I refer us now to the great Progenitor of the field of Psychology, bridge between antiquity and modernity, between East and West, Granddaddy Carl Jung who wrote, “This is the great tragedy: the loss of the mother by the daughter and the daughter by the mother.” 

And as the ancients did at Eleusis, so do I invoke the blessings to and from my mother and her ancestral homeland called Smyrna Crossroads (named after another great city of the ancient world) – with GRATITUDE for what she has GIVEN and RESPECT for what she has ENDURED.

· [IMAGE] the two of us + [IMAGE] her pointing out across the valley near Olympia GR

Her NAME is GEORGIA – from the Greek, GEO+URGE, meaning both (1) The rising-up flourishing force of the earth itself and (2) She who knows how to WORK the earth, for magic and food and prosperity.

It is painful - and costly beyond measure - when we discover how truly bereft we can become from our connection to our mother planet Earth, Gaia, Great Mother, how bereft of care, acceptance, and support, Family; how bereft of Homeland and Origins, the places we came from; and bereft even of our biological mothers, in all their humanity, whether joyous or grim … 

The Mysteries at Eleusis are precisely for healing this division, this alienation or estrangement, pouring love and possibility into the rift, transforming a deep and terrifying Abyss into a birthing-place for NEW LIFE over and over and over again – 

THIS is where the great Goddess religions that ARE still practiced come into play.. 

·       [IMAGE} Our Lady of Peace, AKA Our Lady of the Freeway, Our Lady of the Steely Mantle, Santa Clara CA

·       [IMAGE] Sri Pratyangira and others, at MahaKaleshwar Shaivite temple in Santa Clara CA

·       [IMAGE] Great Mother Kali of North Beach at Specs’ CafĂ©/Bar, SF

·       [IMAGE] Mother Mary of the Motorcycles at Goodloe’s Garage, SF

·       [IMAGE] – Books – Isis, Kali, et al.ELEUSIS as a word in ancient Greek may be translated as ‘the process of good arrival.’ It is a worthwhile goal of a human life lived well, to be able to look back at the point of death and believe we have made some positive contribution to the human project, to the planet, to other beings, to the fabric of life and humanity…. It is the telos, the end-point, the ultimate goal – the PURPOSE that gives life direction, coherence, and meaning.

ELEUSIS is also a place of new beginnings, as we shall see.

What else might ‘good arrival’ mean? Certainly, the whole family would be happy to arrive at the end of a long road trip with goats and pigs and donkeys and baskets of food & huge clay jars of water. After months of preparation and “When are we gonna be there?!” hours of waiting in line at the in-gress, to be able to say …. “WE HAVE ARRIVED” !

Eleusinia was another name for Demeter, essentially “she who is worshiped at Eleusis” – and the second layer of meaning is: she who is A Good Arriving. 

What’s another word for arriving? Coming

The rhythmic generative pulses of the Earth Herself is what is being celebrated here – 

Opening inward – holding the space for the union of complementary forces, deep within, nurturing them as they become new life, in the darkness between worlds – IN THE DARK SOIL ITSELF, IN THE DARK WOMB ITSELF, then pushing new life out into the world, the ordinary extraordinary reality of the earthly & human sphere –

At Eleusis. THIS ongoing process is being honored, fed, nourished, celebrated, and held as The Most Sacred Thing.

Meanwhile, HADES presides over the realms of Stagnation, Torment, and Suffering, Apartness, Confusion and Horrific Disappointment. So of COURSE … of COURSE Hades steals Perspehone away, for P is the outward embodiment of Demeter’s inescapable, generative invitation and Providence – the embodiment of SPRING, of NEW LIFE, & fertility, of BLOOMING, of HOPE and BRIGHTNESS -

Hope springs eternal, but not uninterrupted – in the Mediterranean, as in North America, there are seasons. The earth flourishes & generates / the earth rests & degenerates. Lives and dies, is reborn,

In this temple of learning and scripture in service of the well reasoned unity of human, planetary, and astral activity, under the aegis of comparative religions and world-view literacy,

Just for reference, remember that this is just like the perpetually dying & rising Christ, a tradition that comes Way Later.

Just like the dying & rising Dionysus, before him.

Just like the dying & rising Osiris, before him.

the cycles of GAIA & the necessity of AGRICULTURE gave rise to these stories of cyclicity, these universal archetypal thought-forms, these deity-narratives that help us collectively & individually make sense of the great rhythmic mysteries of life on a turning planet..wihtin the gyres and orbits of our local Solar System within the Milky Way Galaxy.
 

IMAGE: Temple relief fragment indicates a HUGE priestess asperging a TINY ‘hero’ or devotee – the pilgrim - the banker or trader or governor - has now become a supplicant, utterly humble before the MOTHER GODDESS whose favor he seeks, upon whom his sustenance ENTIRELY DEPENDS.

Take a big breath -OK Now that we’re priented - let’s shift gears now. from the abstract-philosophical to the scholarly discourse: 

George Mylonas, PhD – Princeton Archaeologist & chief of digs at Eleusis (1961)

Here’s what he wrote: “…... the last Hierophant carried with him to the grave the secrets which had been transmitted orally for untold generations, from one high priest to the next. A thick, impenetrable veil indeed still covers securely the rites of Demeter and protects them from the curious eyes of modern students. How many nights and days have been spent over books, inscriptions, and works of art by eminent scholars in their effort to lift the veil! How many wild and ingenious theories have been advanced in superhuman effort to explain the Mysteries! How many nights I have spent standing on the steps of the Telesterion, flooded with the magic silver light of a Mediterranean moon, hoping to catch the mood of the initiates, hoping that the human soul might get a glimpse of what the rational mind could not investigate! All in vain—the ancient world has kept its secret well and the Mysteries of Eleusis remain unrevealed.”

Here we have BOTH a very accomplished and passionate scholar - AND possibly a man who couldn’t see past the end of his limited personal experience. 

Adhering to the traditional methods of his sex and his position in society at the time, he may have mistaken his own personal failure to understand – and his inability to track down the more obscure but still extant historical documentation of the mysteries – as Gospel truth. “If I can’t find it, it doesn’t exist.”

OR he’s taking an “official stance” to mask what he actually has discovered… maybe he, TOO, was Sworn To Secrecy.

What a hoot.

So “The mysteries of Eleusis remain unrevealed…” … Except to those who KNOW. Except to those who ARE STILL BEING TAUGHT. Except to those who are still TEACHING.

And it’s not mainly Priests – it’s PRIESTESSES and WOMEN’s initiatory mystery traditions. Following in the footsteps of Persephone, THEY WENT UNDER GROUND and have sustained themselves largely in secret over these thousands of years… and are finally surfacing again, in new forms. (For example, There’s a HUUUUGE market now for totally above-board women’s wellness retreats, among them MANY Goddess initiation practices watered-down for polite modern ladies.)

So we have seen WHY was it important that it was the ritual reenactment, year after year after year, of Demeter and Persephone? Why not choose one of the hundreds of other stories from Greek mythology? Why not Apollo and Daphne, why not Ariadne and the Minotaur, why not Hermes and Hestia?

Number one: There is nothing more salient about the reality of human generativity than the reality that mothers bear daughters who become mothers. No new daughters, no next generation. 

Number two: There is nothing more salient to humanity than the fact that the natural world happens in cycles. The myth of Demeter and Persephone is specifically about these cycles.

Contrary to our sickly, weakish modern way of explaining ancient myth, their story does not “explain” the changing of the seasons to an uneducated populace. Unfortunately that is what is still being taught to young children in schools. No. The story of Demeter and Persephone is an EMERGENCE from beneath our feet, from the cycles of the land itself – not an explicative OVERLAY upon them from the “higher rational faculties” of deductive reasoning.

I’m trying to say that this is a specifically GAIAN story. This story doesn’t happen on Mercury or Pluto, on planets that don’t have seasons. This narrative is emitted by Nature, by the living Earth Herself.

One thing that IS known is the MALE part of these rites – After the friends and colleagues and even the servants and workers went through the preparation, purification, fasting, cleansing, special mind-altering and heart-opening substances, the trials, inquiries, and ordeals… there was the feasting and celebration to bring it all home.

This part wasn’t private – It was definitively public. These were the rites of Dionysus. This was the AFTER-PARTY. Talk of commerce and governance were forbidden; colleagues were pulled into a more genial way of relating.

Here there was poetry, song, dance, arts and scuplture, beauty and adornment, health practices, massage with herbal oils, feasting on foods unique to the place and the time of year, and an atmosphere of generosity.

Dionysus is also a deity of the regenerative cycles of Nature. God of the Harvest, God of the Grape, he was celebrated as a Rockstar, torn to pieces by his groupies in a frenzied worship service gone haywire, and then somehow reconstituted.

So the after party belonged to Dionysus, the male fertility god. Nothing wrong with that.

But the secret, central Eleusinian rites were FEMALE. Not “Feminine,” in a word, but specifically, FEMALE.

We can talk about the key differences betwene the HERO’s journey and the HEROINE’s journey … the UNDERWORLD journey in the shadows and the ABOVE-world journey in the light…

Persephone, the Blossomer, the one emanating life for life’s own sake, is torn away from her home and her mother Demeter by Hades, lord of the underworld. He resides there, chief among all the unfortunate, tormented souls of evildoers (I’m oversimplifying the mythology here). She is tempted away under the elaborate lies he tells her, forcibly abducted, and essentially coerced and made to be his Queen.

Although In other versions she DECIDES to go to the underworld. She presides by his side, under his thumb, over the realm of the tormented, still blossoming best she can, in the darkest of all territories, a dimension that in modernity we think of as Hell itself.

Meanwhile in ancient Egypt, Isis came and went freely to and from the netherworld, ruled by Osiris.

The nature of this underworld journey as specifically FEMALE can be seen in its relationship to the myth of INANNA from the Mesopotamian pantheon, and its mirroring of the MENSTRUATION cycle of female bodies. (Look for Annalisa Derr’s book coming up from Inner Traditions in 2025.) 

And have you ever considered how many MALE initatory rites are SPECIFICALLY designed for MEN to glimpse the wisdom and ways of knowing that WOMEN naturally possess, through artificially constructed death-and-rebirth ORDEALS which women go through every month of their fertile years?

Some scholars say that the reenactment of the dying and rebirthing wasn’t just about celebrating nature or reassuring ourselves that we, too, shall die and be reborn again – but that possibly they wanted to access a sort of eternal life. 

When we get to our ELYSEUM tie-in: we can discuss what IS meant by “eternal life” – is it a glorious afterlife in which deserving souls perpetually feast & celebrate and are finally honored for our achievemetns and other virtues? Is it as the Hindu sages would have it, more or less simply the reunion of the individual soul with the vast formlessness of Brahman?

Here’s our Princeton scholar again: “The fact remains that the [worship at] Eleusis satisfied the most sincere yearnings and the deepest longings of the human heart. The initiates returned from their pilgrimage … full of joy and happiness, with the fear of death diminished and the strengthened hope of a better life.” 

So there she is, Persephone, blossoming hard in the midst of the world that hides beneath this one . But is it all bad? If we undergo the rites at Eleusis, we come to know that we too may emerge from unspeakable horrors, that new life may yet come to us after a period of strife and illness, that all things do happen cyclically according to certain laws of nature, and checks and balances. 

The alternate read here, the silver lining, the medicine within the toxin, which we don’t usually get in the modern readings, is that Persephone is SO abundantly blessed with SO MUCH LIFE-GIVING EVERGY that she not only survives Hell – she emerges from it and goes back again & again to put things in a better order, provide balance to Lord Hades’ ill temper, and even – moved by tremendous compassion, like Avalokiteshvara and Kwan Yin and SantĂ­sima Muerte– tends the lost souls of the newly departed, in their pain & bewilderment. She radiates the aromas of hyacinth, lavender, rose, narcissus, lily, iris….. Pours FLOWER POWER at them and anoints them with juice from the Pomegranate pomegranate juice, red and sticky, the house cocktail of the underworld.

Lest I leave anyone hanging,
 Persephone DOES get to emerge out of the dark places for most of the year, as a direct result of Grandmother RHEA’s intervention, and so Demeter goes back to being happy and providing humanity with plants and herbs, flavorful food and grain. Grandmother and Mother and Daughter are reunited for the benefit of humanity and each other. 

So… out with it: The sequence of events at ELEUSIS:

2006: Charlene Spretnak, CalifInstIntegStudies across the way tells us that for 2000y BEFORE the stone temple was built & then institutionalized,

“Every autumn the women of early Greece observed a three-day agricultural fertility ritual, the Thesmophoria, in honor of Demeter. The three days were called the Kathodos and Anodos (Down-going and Uprising), the Nesteia (Fasting), and the Kalligeneia (Fair Birth). 

What had been among the ancient WOMEN’s lineages a three-day process became for the later Athenians a 9-day process: 

Day 1 – The Gathering-in 

Greeters, Gate, Admission, Registration, Orientation, rules & restrictions, where to pitch your tents & park your donkeys, who’s staying in the main lodge. 

Day 2 – The ritual immersion in the Sea (and saltwater cleanses)

Processing, Cleanses, scouring & scrubbing the body w sand & salt & oil, resting, cleaning up

· [IMAGE] the ocean (ritual immersion)

Day 3 – Making Sacrifices and Offerings

Making offerings & sacrifices of meat and plant and cash and cloth and jewelry & materials & even indentured slaves and everything else that was needed to keep the temple complex staffed & fed & maintained

It was very important that LOCAL GRAIN and olive oil & produce be offered from all the regions of Greece. They were taken in huge baskets and bags, mixed together, processed into sacred BREAD for DEMETER, goddess of GRAIN, and fed to the altars and the initiants. In this way the “sprits of place” from all over Greece were united at the central grain-worshipping place – AND it has been speculated that the local chemistry, terroir, and naturally occurring genetic alterations would be mixed and create a heartier, tastier, more nourishing bread. 

All the libations, untold thousands of gallons of oil, water, milk, and wine (and honey and spices and other things ) were poured all at once into A CLEFT IN THE EARTH, A CHTHONION CHASMA… the cleft that went all the way into the Netherworld… (

(at this point please refer to the extensive scholarship available on the Indian yonic worship traditions for example at Kamakhya, where the yoni-shaped sacred stone isn’t just a portal to under-GROUND but in fact to OUTER-SPACE)

Day 4 – Healing Dreams

· [IMAGE] herb blend in tea pot (medicinal concoctions)

Take dreaming substances like distillates from opium poppies, or Asterion (cannabis), enjoy a very strange night’s ritual sleep. Remembering their dreams (a practice that was cultivated year round) they would relate them to specialized dream-interpreters. These priestesses then prescribed actions to be taken afterward in order to activate the lessons revealed in the dream 

– invoking Morpheus for visionary dreaming, Asklepios, God of Medicine; Hygeia, Goddess of Health. 

· [IMAGE] “I can see through your bullshit” (dream interpretation)

“Since the ancients believed that illness stemmed from a person not being aligned with their divine destiny, those seeking healing would prepare for a night of dreaming by inviting a visitation of divine presence and purpose into their lives. Such a visitation in one’s dreams could bring a healing of soul and body, providing the conditions for health and wealth, well-being and abundance.”

It was consdiered a VERY good outcome if as a result of all the fasting & hallucinogens & drinking & feasting you got to have an actual VISITATION from the Goddess telling you what to do with your life and blessing your path forward. Very good results indeed. 

Day 5 – Grand Procession to Eleusis

Ritual anointings with botanical essences, and special markings (like a saffron thread worn on the right wrist and the left ankle), offerings & rites along the way, festivities & laughter – and a particular event called the Bridge of Jests – or the Bridge of JEERS, more accurately – everyone got hazed, bascially, roasted by specialized insult-hurlers to ensure that any arrogance and social standing didn’t get in the way of the humility required to undergo the more demanding rites of passage yet to come.

Day 6 – All-night revelry

In which initiants are encouraged to dance nonstop until the next day 

Day 7 & 8 – Nights of the Mysteries

“things were said, enacted, and seen” (3 categories)

The priestesses and priests, along with initiates, reenacted portions of the sacred drama of the Mother and Daughter. A communion drink kykeon, was shared. A brass gong sounded. A great fire blazed forth inside the temple, with billows of herbal smoke. The highest stage of initiation—the epopteia, a vision, a special state of seeing—was received.

Day 9, Libations are offered again in a different way. Now two priestesses back-to-back simultaneously pour out fresh clean water over both sides of the cleft, extending the blessings of the practice in the directions of the past and the future, the whole crowd calling out FLOW! CONCEIVE! Better in ancient Greek: HYE! KYE!

Gratitude is given & received, 

and the partipcants are Released in preparation for Return home ,

Refreshed & Reoriented to their new lives. 

IN CLOSING:

The ancient rites of Eleusis – like the even more ancient rites of Indic temple practices before them, and the traditional shamanic practices of the Amazon, to name a few examples – underlie and heavily inform the growing mainstream trend in the use of entheogens, or psychedelic substances, in legal therapeutic clincial context. 

Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist and original creator of LSD – FROM THE ERGOT MOLD – USED IN THE ANCIENT GREEK WINE FOR THIS KIND OF RIUTAL – published an excellent article on the mysteries of Eleusis, their reliance on a mind-melting substance and a reconstructive ritual – in 1997. – Making posisbkle the now-successful movemetn to legalize the clinical supervised application of these substances. His was among the most prominent - and Legitimate - voices in the early part of the movement to put these consciousness-altering chemical compounds to use improving the human condition. 

He writes: 

In the modern era, the individual has lost the connection with the spiritual, divine ground of all being. Unprotected, without shelter, and alone with oneself, the human individual confronts in solitude a soulless, chaotic, materialistic, and menacing universe.”

Eleusis can be a model for today. Eleusis-like centers will unite and strengthen the many spiritual currents of our time, all of which have the same goal—the goal of creating, by transforming consciousness in the individual, the conditions for a better world, a world without war and without environmental damage, a world of happy people.”

<FIN>

I hope this has been useful to you – and everyone got a hint of the transmission - 


NOTES:

OBJECTIVES:

Establish / myself at / a healing community
Claim the gifts of my own Mother while shedding the curses therefrom
Establish myself as sane, respected, scholar, humanist/mystic
Take the REINS of my NEXT LONG CHAPTER
Introduce myself to the TS-Natl & to the RC.

Authors & Titles:

·       Evans, W F – The Primitive Mind-Cure. The Nature and Power of Faith; Elementary Lessons in Christian Philosophy and Transcendental Medicine. Boston: Carter & Carrick, 1886.

The philosophy of IDEALISM & its application to the healing of body & mind

The healing modality of Jesus the Christ et al.

·       Deepak Chopra – Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, Bantam 1989… are we a sculpture, carved into stone – or are we a river, always flowing with change 

o   Maharishi, founder of TM in the US

o   Epic massive impact on the American culture around “alternative healing”

·       What’s the book I have in FLA on the clincial biological effects of healing spaces & places i.e. retreat center design

·       Jethro Kloss, Back to Eden: A Human Interest Story of Health and Restoration to be found in Herb, Root, and Bark . Longview (Tennessee), 1939.Hildegard of Bingen’s Spiritual Remedies – Wighard Strehlow. Inner Traditions, 2002. 

ELEUSIS

ELYSEUM

EPIDAURUS

HEALTH & HEALING COMMUNITIES

METAPHYSICAL HEALING

INITIATION, INITIATORY DRAMA/RITUAL THEATRE, 

The neurological and physiological, energetic and ritual mechanisms of Shakti-Pat

((( *** MY OWN 7 YEAR UNDERWORLD JOURNEY ***

*** MY OWN INANNA 7 STAGES REENACTED ***

In 2016…

In 2020…

In 2023… 

Now in 2024…)))

(((At this point in our and my history I may have lost all hope of having either a good relationship with my own mother or any part in the sustaining of the family farm now 5 generations. As I may not be able to participate in the new generating that land is so capable of with rich dark willing soil that can grow almost anything you put in it, )))

SRI AUROBINDO

The theologian and global social philosopher who made such tremendous strides in advancing the place of Indian philosophy and sanatanam dharma in the West, even emphasized AFFECTION and domestic/familial FONDNESS as ESSENTIAL, VITAL, even CRITICAL top 10 VALUES for a thriving humanity.

·       [IMAGE] Q&E happy together in the garden (familial affection)


Find:

Homeric hymn to Demeter

And to Persephone

And to Hades

And to RHEA

 

Friday, May 3, 2024

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: MAY-JUNE 2024 PROGRAM

 


"Everything in the Universe, through all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind & on its own plane of perception. . . . There is no such thing as either 'dead' or 'blind' matter, as there is no 'Blind' or 'Unconscious' Law." - H.P.B., Secret Doctrine

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: MAY-JUNE 2024 PROGRAM 

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 5/12/24, 4 to 6 p.m. - WHITE LOTUS DAY 

ON-LINE: Sunday, 5/19/24, at 6 p.m. - Elaine Santos presents "Heart's Message Imagery" (For info on Elaine's work, visit https://wellnessasart.com)

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 6/9/24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Emily Shurr presents "Eleusis & Elysium"

ON-LINE: Sunday, 6/30/24, 6 p.m. - Jeff Curtis presents "The Multiverse, the Quantum Handshake & More" 

SPECIAL EVENT: The incomparable Madame H.P. Blavatsky left the physical plane on May 8th, 1891. "White Lotus Day" is the Theosophical Society's  annual celebration of her life & work. Her favorite music will be heard. Her favorite readings too. Tales of her remarkable life will be shared. Join us from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, 5/12/24 for this deep & powerful event.

Our in-person events start at 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. 

Our on-line events start at 6 p.m.

All are free and available to the public. 

For more information, e-mail us (sftslodge at gmail.com) or inquire via Facebook Messenger.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: MARCH-APRIL 2024 PROGRAM

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: MARCH-APRIL 2024 PROGRAM 

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 3/10/24, 4 to 6 p.m. - John Paul presents "Mystical Dimensions of Samadhi" (For info on John Paul's work, visit https://www.jpgyoga.com

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 3/24/24, 4 to 6 p.m. - LENTEN READING: Diamond Sutra 

ON-LINE: Sunday, 4/07/24, 6 p.m. - Elaine Santos presents "Sink Into Spring w/ Yoga Nidra" (For info on Elaine's work, visit https://www.wellnessasart.com/) 

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 4/21/24, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. - SPECIAL EVENT: MpowerDance presents "CO-EXISTENCE" An Earth Day Celebration (Details below) 

ON-LINE: Sunday, 4/28/24, 6 p.m. - Jeff Curtis presents "Wavefunction Collapse and the Measurement Conundrum in Quantum Mechanics; Divergent Interpretations" 

SPECIAL EVENT: MpowerDance Project presents "CO-EXISTENCE" An Earth Day Celebration. Mark you calendar! Sunday April 21, 2024. From 2-6 p.m. We will celebrate CO-EXISTENCE on Planet EARTH with ALL LIFE. There will be a share spot, interactive dance, labyrinth, song, music and film. Join us for this free, family friendly event! (For more info, visit https://www.mpowerdance.net/)

For more information, e-mail us (sftslodge at gmail.com) or inquire via Facebook Messenger.

Friday, February 16, 2024

SFTS Lodge Interviews Nicola Amadora, Author of "Love Unleashed: How to Rise in A World on Edge"

 SFTS Lodge Interviews Nicola Amadora, Author of "Love Unleashed: How to Rise in A World on Edge"

[NOTE: This is the first in a series of author interviews we will be posting on our YouTube Channel (@SFTSLodge4800), Facebook page (sfts.lodge) & of course here at SFTSLodge.org Enjoy! #NoReligionHigherThanTruth #NoPowerGreaterThanLove - Theosophical Society of San Francisco]

In this interview, Richard Power speaks with Nicola Amadora about her recently published book, "Love Unleashed: How to Rise in A World on Edge." Their conversation explores Amadora's own mystical journey, & highlights both the path of Mary Magdalene & the ascendancy of the Feminine in our time. For more on "Love Unleashed" & Amadora's work, visit http://nicolaamadora.com

EXCERPT FROM "LOVE UNLEASHED" -

Sacred activism and the great turning: Tears are flowing today. Glaciers are melting faster than ever, the Amazon is burning up by the minute, black people are beaten on the street, and children are used in brothels... You know what I am speaking about. When the Titanic hit the iceberg and began sinking, they pretended all was fine. When Hitler took the Jews into the gas chambers, they looked the other way. Who are they today? In each of us is denial, a defense to survive overwhelming situations. But some stay stuck in it and it destroys us. Spirituality divorced from life on earth is a bypass. And ignorance isn’t bliss, it is our downfall. Yet, not all is lost and bleak. A great turning is emerging and life itself is rising up through many of us. A roar, fierce and wild, “Wake Up!” is shaking us. Not very polite… I guess “the great mother” has just had enough. Time to ring the bells, go to the streets, whatever love compels us to––don’t hold back––live it now, my friends. Sleepy time is nice, but when the tidal wave arrives–– the consequences of our actions––better to show up to give a hand. The time is now and it is up to each of us. For the love of all beings and all of our sakes, rise up. Spirituality has often been used as a bypass to not take action in our world. But to become a bliss-addicted, disengaged couch potato is not what spirituality is about. On the other hand, activists without a practice of the heart and rooted in the nature of impermanence are fueled by anger whilst fighting against injustice. They end up exhausted, bitter. There is a different way. In sacred activism we root in the wealth of love, cultivate compassion and ignite passion to take liberating action for a worthy cause in our world. My most serious question to people is: What do you stand for? What is your life for? Inquire openly, go deep, and be honest with yourself. And when the knowing from your soul emerges, act on it in the most immediate and simple way. Sacred activism means rooting in what is sacred and taking wise action for change. We drop down into our being and from here we let the force of love move us. We meditate to rest and gain nourishment, insight and strength so we can stand up in the world, even when the whole tsunami of human conditioning hits us in the face …

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

MpowerDance Earth Day Event 4/21/24 - "CO-EXISTENCE"

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force Weather Agency & NOAA





 

SPECIAL EVENT:

This Earth Day, April 21st, 2024, from 2-6 pm, at the Theosophical Society of San Francisco, MpowerDance Project presents “Co-Existence”

Join Us for this Joyous Celebration of Earth in All of Her Blessedness.

"Co-Existence" - A Bounteous Offering Featuring Performance, Interactive Dance, A Share Spot, Labyrinth, Song, Music & Film ...

More Details Soon for This Free, Family Friendly Event!

Mark Your Calendars NOW! 



Saturday, January 6, 2024

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024 PROGRAM

A Page from Joe Miller's Copy of "The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation" (First Edition). This precious artifact now rests in the Lodge's Meditation Room. The story of Joe's deep connection with the Great Liberation's editor and translator, the remarkable W.Y. Evans-Wentz, is told in "Great Song: Life & Teachings of Joe Miller"

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF SAN FRANCISCO: JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024 PROGRAM

ON-LINE: Sunday, 1/21/24, at 6 p.m. - Elaine Santos presents "Imagery for the New Year" (For info on Elaine's work, visit https://wellnessasart.com)

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 1/28/24, 4 to 6 p.m. - Conversations in Theosophy: "Cycles of Time" 

ON-LINE: Sunday, 2/04/24, 6 p.m. - Aya Dunin presents "Enlivenment, Embodying the Feminine Current, Part III" (For more info on Aya's work, visit http://www.templeshakti.com)

IN-PERSON: Sunday, 2/18/24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - LENTEN READING: Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation  

ON-LINE: Sunday, 2/25/24, 6 p.m. - Jeff Curtis presents "Competing Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics; A Precise, Accurate Theory About Reality with No Agreed-Upon Foundation" "

SPECIAL EVENT: This year, our annual observation of the Lenten Season Sutra Readings will feature live in-person readings of the Great Liberation on 2/18/24 & the Diamond Sutra on Palm Sunday, 3/24/24. Throughout the 40 days and nights, on the Lodge's social media, we will be posting videos and text excerpts celebrating these two powerful holy works as well as our decades-long practice to promote their absorption and amplification. Join us! 

Our in-person events start at 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. 

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

For more information, e-mail us (sftslodge at gmail.com) or inquire via Facebook Messenger.