Imagine Nation ~ EV#11 ~ LeapDay '08



Beag: Keeper of the Well of Wisdom (c) DoAn

I Am Geni

I am geni
a veil
endless time
and the boundaries
of the permitted.

worlds unseen
craft them, weave them
create a design
a designation
to allow
ever new
comfortable access.

an engine
of becoming.

(c) Jan. 29, 2006 Laurie Corzett (libramoon)

Hilltop (c) Anthony Santella

'Minnie's Masquerade', Jude Cowell
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative 2.5

Aboriginal Neptune: Where the Dreamtime and the Daytime Meet

by Antero Alli

Many indigenous cultures of planet Earth have maintained their spiritual roots through various ritual traditions that help preserve time-honored values. Among these sacred ceremonies are those dedicated to the dreamtime and the positive influence these rituals have on the daily lives of tribal people. From the Australian Aborigine dreaming camps and the Mexican Huichol Peyote rituals to the Senoi dream councils of Malaysia and the Native American vision quests, dreaming ceremonies have instilled daily tribal routines and cultural events with lasting cosmic perspective since before time began. These "dreaming cultures" have somehow kept alive the very elements sorely lacking in our so-called "civilized" western world, namely, the cultivation of self-awareness in dreams and the spiritual nourishment derived from the dreamtime itself.

These spiritual values have been maintained, I believe, by these indigenous cultures by the very sanctuary they give to dreams themselves, which is to say, the space created within the psyche for these experiences to occur and become important. For many of us the value of sanctuary has already vanished from our lives, let alone the sanctuary required for the existence of dreams. Yet, we now live during a dreaming period or transition, that author Jose Arguelles refers to as post-history wherein daily life takes on more and more the appearances and feelings of dreams. Who has not noticed this? How can you tell for sure what is real anymore? Perhaps a more pragmatic question might be: how can you tell which dream is the real dream?

In the western world, America in particular, a culture's dreams--and its collective dreambody--have for the most part been externalized through entertainment, advertising, the multi-tentacled mass media and its interface with America Online. It's almost as if modern society wears its dreams on its sleeves for all to see, while losing touch with that secret hiding place where all dreams originate and return for replenishment. By now the reader may also be aware how the term "dream" is being used in the broadest sense to include all manner of creations springing forth from the human imaginative intelligence and its nourishing dreamtime connections.

Neptune as a Symbol for the Dreambody
The actual glyph for Neptune looks to me from one angle like a lyre, an ancient Orphic harp and, from another perspective, an ascending spirit gracefully lilting toward the heavens. The true meaning of astrological Neptune, in my imagination, drifts somewhere between. Ancient Greek myth saw Orpheus strumming the lyre as a medium for the Music of the Spheres. In other words, Orpheus didn't merely play the lyre; like the lyre itself, he was also played and by larger invisible forces people used to call "the gods and the goddesses."

Neptune's natal placement suggests to me an area where one tends to be a medium for the gods and where one is, in a sense, played by larger forces than one perceives or can perceive. Neptune sits where a completely open-ended, uncensored and all-encompassing merging occurs with the territory its given house placement refers to. The slippery side of natal Neptune, especially when activated, shows where and how you are apt to lose all sight and perspective, where boundaries disappear and how all sense of proportion falls apart at the seams. Like the Twelfth House of its native home, Neptune symbolizes a state of sightless navigation where intuition and faith act as guides and where, in the depths, all becomes law.

With the exception of scattered pockets of children, artists and visionaries, my assumption is that the dreambody and dreamtime connections of western society have atrophied. To the extent there's any truth to this, I venture to say that western astrological systems have also offered up a rather paltry, limited and pathological definition of Neptune mirroring our spiritual bankruptcy. A good example can be seen in the charts of alcoholics, many of which carry hard Neptune aspects; in particular, Neptune squaring or opposing the Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus or Mercury. Alcoholism occurs for many reasons, manifesting in ways similar and different for each alcoholic. One theory of mine is that human beings are possessed by a spiritual need for disappearance; we occasionally feel the need to make things go away. Some people watch too much TV; others meditate. Alcoholics drink. This spiritual need may be stronger in those with strongly aspected natal Neptunes. Maybe a "bottle of spirits" brings the alcoholic closer to the spirit world. It certainly makes his or her presence go away. Ask any child of alcoholic parents....

Spirits in the Material World
This urge to merge with the "spirit world" either expresses deeper mystical yearnings for divinity or a psychic need to escape the confinement of the flesh; the truth, once again, probably wavers somewhere between. The aboriginal view of the dreamtime is that it was never separate from the Earth and never apart from the human body. Guboo Ted Thomas, chief elder of the Yuin tribe of New South Wales, takes his dreaming camps to the mountain because he believes the mountain is where people learn the dreaming. The specific mountain he was referring to is Ayers Rock, near central Australia, where his people have learned the dreaming for almost 40,000 years. "The mountain teaches the dreaming," he told me back in 1986 when we met in the Rocky mountains of Colorado, where he also taught a group of us the dreaming way.

Chinese geomancy, or feng shui, identifies the energies coming from a mountain as powerful YIN energy due to the depth of stillness therein. (Feng shui is an ancient divinatory system for reading the Earth's energies to help determine the most effective way to design houses and gardens for optimal flow of life force.) The placement of Neptune may suggest a similar geomancy in the natal astrology chart in that it may symbolize where the mountain is, where the big YIN energy tends to emerge in our lives and where we are most receptive to the energies that breathe life into us, that inspire us, from the Earth around us and the universe beyond.

People with Sixth House Neptunes look for routines and employment that can double as a "mission" or some larger medium through which the ebb and flow of their dreambody can find expression. First House Neptunes come to know and express themselves as the froth and flux of the dreambody itself and by their penchant for making self-images go away. Eleventh House Neptunes dream of disappearing into group circles of like-minded dreamers to dream up inspired communities of temporary utopias. Seventh House Neptunes dream of sharing their dreams with their beloved while dreaming for the vision to see if their beloved's dream includes theirs, too. Natal Neptune expresses an area with a strong dreaming force, as well as where there exists the greatest potential for disappointment and disillusionment, as well as the potential enlightenment if and when these dreams come true.

Time As You Know It Is All Backwards
"Time as you know it is all backwards," said Guboo Ted Thomas. "What you call the past is sincerely future and what you call future is sincerely past." From an aboriginal vantage, the future has already happened. "You already became your destiny. You travel back, forth. Dreamtime, daytime. Same thing. They overlap always." The aboriginal model of time may seem as backward to us as ours seems to them. From their point of view, time emerges from what we call the future and moves toward what we call our past.

I asked Guboo about the dreambody. He smiles, knocks my ankles with his didjeradoo (a hollowed-out tree trunk-type wind instrument that creates a low buzzing sensation when played right) and says, "That's it, mister." I felt a ringing in my ears. Was he speaking backwards, again? Or, was it my backwards thinking? "When you sleep at night, you wake up inside your dreams, right?" (My head nods.) "You have good dreamtime walkabout. Go on adventures. Meet other dreamers. When dreamer get tired, go to sleep. Now this dreamer [knocking my ankles, again] wake up. You wake up and think you stop dreaming. Nobody stop dreaming." Throughout Guboo's explanation, I continued hearing this high-pitched ringing in my ears. I meant to ask him about it but didn't. It seemed more like a personal wake-up call than anything my big white mind needed to understand.

If our physical waking lives--our daytime selves--are inextricably connected to our dreams and the dreamtime, as Guboo suggests, then perhaps Neptune could be a symbol for their ongoing intersection. This might explain the "spaciness" factor of natal Neptune; where (the House natal Neptune resides) our experience of the daytime/dreamtime overlap has us going in and out of focus so much. It's also been my experience--in both my own life and the lives of people I've read charts for--that awareness of this intersection becomes enhanced as Neptune transits through a particular House, especially when Neptune aspects the more personal forces (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). These transits seem to have the effect of amping up the intersection for more personal involvement with the multidimensional dreamtime while walking the earth and drifting through dream. This is when and why it can be so confusing to live in a hyper-materialistic culture.

The Dreamtime Village Idea
Due to the western world's rapidly diminishing sanctuary and value for dreams, a person can usually only become aware and engaged in dreamtime values with a fairly open mind, a healthy imagination and an unswerving commitment to not just one's own dreams but the dreams of others and for dreams in general. The community, or collective, also dreams. Modern soulwork--what a soul must learn to stay alive in this society--seems to demand a certain ability to create space in one's life, within that society where such values are considered ludicrous, socially defect or, in the more tragic instances of psychiatric commitment, "clinically insane."

If one does somehow manage to cultivate dreamtime values, one must also practice ways to establish their psychological integration not just within the self but through the community. Psychologist James Hillman and writer Michael Ventura (who co-authored We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse, Spring Publications; Dallas, TX) rightfully protest the overt self-emphasis of the individual in a myriad of person-based psychologies which exalt "selfhood" over community. In these times, what conscious dreamers need is a community-based definition of selfhood where individuals cease to be "self-defined" and begin viewing community as an expression of self. I am not suggesting simple-minded conformity to community but a vision of others as another version of oneself. The Mayans, another indigenous dreaming culture, have a traditional way of greeting each other when they say, "In'Lakesh," which means, "I am another yourself." Say it outloud. I am another yourself.

Tribal integration of dreamtime values within indigenous dreaming cultures has traditionally occurred through shared artistic expression. In fact, any culture's traditions and roots are usually upheld and maintained by its rituals, its dances, its stories, its songs and music, its poetry, its visual art, its theater and the multiplicity of creative mediums available to all people. Those people who take these mediums seriously enough to practice at them become what the rest of us call "artists." Astrological Neptune then also symbolizes this very artistic and poetic process so necessary for integrating the multidimensional dreamtime with community life in its creation of traditions giving birth to new culture and helping to maintain that culture over time.

©2008 Antero Alli

Birth of a Soul (c) Adan Del Bosque

'Confidantes'(c) Craig Blair

Jessica Garden.

Jessica Garden
dream with me
hyacinth and heliotrope
beneath the creamy sea.
The trees are full of happy owls
bats are in my hair
caravan and calliope
up the moonlight stair.
Lovely Jessica Garden
have a cup of tea
full of seals and smiling mer-men.
Sit upon my knee.
Race me to the waters edge
where Neptune tends his flocks
whistling in his frothy hat
and foaming white-capped socks.
I will pick anemones
to place within your hair
what if spinster seagulls hiss
or lobsters stop and stare?
Just offshore a marmalade whale
is crooning lullabies
a pot of ink, a mustard sandwich
and we'll join him by and by.
Underneath the fruity stars
along the shimmering tract
we'll make ocassional detours
to frolic, wash and nap
until at length we reach the lands
where apricots grow limbs
and stray-cats carry paintboxes
to paint each other wings.
Hurry up my Jessica
and finish your cheese-stew
its midnight in just five months time
and there's still so much to do!
In Jehannum tigers weep
and mammoths gnash their teeth
but you and I both live in Rhyl
and stoically share our grief.
O my lovely Jessica
dream, dream on with me
we should wake up by Wednesday
- just in time for tea!

copyright Willowdown

Mr. Smith's New Right Eye is a Saint (c) Anthony Santella

Bell and Flute.

Within the shadow of the Bell
creatures of the dust and soil
live and die and toil and toil...
in the shadow of the bell,
listen to its ancient knell
tolling out the hours
man and every living thing
is ruled by ancient powers.

But what is this?
A new and sweeter sound is heard
full of merriment and laughter
- the sound of a flute
sweeter and lighter than the song of birds,
calling from behind the bell
that tolls in every atom.
Is it near or is it far,
tolling in the human heart?

Let every tiny grain of dust begin to dance
- you are no longer ruled by solemn time
and circumstance
but may skip lightly on the air
- abandon all your mortal care
the iron bell is cracked and broken
the scent of petals fills all minds
shadows put on vigourous mortal flesh
and skip out of the gloom
stretch your limbs in gorgeous sunlight.
Krsna's flute has roused you from slumber
join Him in His merry dance
the wilder the dance becomes
the stiller is the center.
Knock upon the door of silence, if you will,
and enter...

copyright Willowdown

(c) joey masciotra

High Priestess (c) Christopher Gerber

Magic Flute

Bright blue sky morning

brings clouds wearing

crow dark wings

slick walk stairs

bare black branches

and graceful Goddess tree

white surprise

beckons eyes toward


flirting with pine

boughs swaying

delicate needles scenting

winter water wonder

fish swimming

wearing mittens.

I emerge from centuries

carrying spirals on seashells

to mountaintops

offer rosemary

beckon back to underwater

where fins can shimmer pure color

where my tattoos rise up

Girl Scout badges

worn until fleshless

bones lie silent

speaking nothing of lovers,

adventures, descents

into caverns

until some poet looking down

finds femur

and bringing it to her lips

braves breath moving

through me again

marrow softening

water flowing

spreading wide for my entrance

I whisper music.

(c) Kala Snowflower
December 12, 2007

Fair (c)Anthony Santella

You Just Can't Stop the Music

He said, "forget the poetry,"

and wide eyed, unbelieving

my heart so open the world

inside was dancing

until the words that stopped

the music, the dancers

halting, suddenly unsure

of themselves,

sat on their haunches

and cried.

"What have we been doing all these years?

Has it all been a waste, all

this learning to move our bodies

in cadence with the rhythm

of her heart beating?

Why have we bothered,

allowing ecstacy to shiver our bellies,

despair to make claws of our fingers,

grasping the drama of frenzied spaces,

careening to collide until something

makes contact, something

to hold on to

and let go of

when the changed beat

compels us to gyrate again,

undulate our hips

toward another completion,

sway our heads into new

contortions, capturing her heart

like the blue eyed Russian boy

or the drum beat that melted her clothes

into a heap of bear fur

after flying to Pluto as a dark crow

calling in annihilation?

What purpose is all this we do

other than for the poetry of it—

our throats stretched back taut like birds releasing sound

our chests spread open, leading the way

our bellies hungry for more and more movement

for lovers and lovers and more lovers

touching each other in the beauty ridden rooms of her making

where everything is permitted

the sky always day bright

forever lost in midnight

infinitely dawn pale blue.

(c) Kala Snowflower

(c) Bruce Morse

Goddess in the Machine (c)Duncan Long

Romp 01/19/08


we connect in subtle ways

talk of inner lives


into the work chatter

we touch

more than shaking hands

in the safety

of ourselves

we hug and smile

in this place

where no one is weak

and we are all



we move

like we remember

what it was like

to be flames

and waves


there is no cold stare

of critical eyes

we remove the masks

and express inner urges

of men

we move like the wind

now here

now gone


we hide

in a hole

remove our masks

and wipe our eyes

looking at the open world

the open arms

we open our eyes

and become

who we are

until the morning

the sun of You

casts a long shadow

before our eyes

and then we hide

(c) djones 2008

Fantasy (c) Ronny Haklay

Outside the Box

I never even see the box.
It's out there, somewhere, on the landscape.
Me, I'm drinking dry red wine in some sad fringe cafe,
dancing to jazz on the jukebox.
These visions I record come from somewhere else,
moving along strangely configured airwaves.

~ ~ libramoon

East Meets West (c) Adan Del Bosque

The Garden of Pomegranites.

Come with me to the Garden of Pomegranites
the fruits of the tree in that place are no ordinary fruit
but contain the seeds of past and future days.
Beneath the tree in that garden sits a little man rapt in contemplation
- when not thus occupied he tends the tree and other plants in that beautiful place.
Should you wish to taste the fruit of the Pomegranite
the gardener will inspect you a long while first in silence
to decide if you are worthy or not.
To the entreaties and requests of many he makes no answer at all
but simply sits and looks at them in silence
yet so commanding is his gaze that some there are that turn about and leave that place
their eyes cast down in shame or red with burning anger
(more than one has tried to take a fruit by force - only to be struck down by some sudden force
of the brain or paralysis of limbs
awakening some time later, fully recovered but beyond the Garden's gates,
now sealed and locked against them).

To some he asks a series of questions
and if he is satisfied with the answers
- and generally he is -
the gardener will offer them one of the fruits of the tree.
Most eat it there and then, but one or two, bowing low
take their leave and carry the fruit away with them
for perhaps it was on some others behalf that they came
- for as well as their visionary nature, the pomegranites of that Garden
are reknowned for their great healing powers.

There are some who search many years to find the Garden of Pomegranites
for, although it is not hidden, not everybody can see it.
Others seem to wander into it almost as if by accident:
the most unlikliest of people, you might think
- a poor beggar child
a gap-toothed old dame
a drunkard
a disgraced doctor or unfrocked priest
a soldier returned from the war, his mind full of terrible visions
a painter with blood on his hands...
Once the King of a great and wealthy country came to the Garden
with his many wives and wizards and soothsayers
only to find its gates firmly closed to him
nor could any of his magicians or men-of-arms compell them to open.
For five days the King camped before the Garden of Pomegranites gates
whilst sorcerers muttered spells and incantations
and soldiers sought to scale the great green hedge that walled that place about
but all were pricked by the thorns of its sentinel white flowers
and fell into deep sleep.
Some had very strange dreams in which viridian and crimson Lions pursued them
hither and thither
or serpents that walked erect upon two legs subjected them to mysterious
examinations and rituals.

Not all of these dreams were frightening however.
One young man, who later left the King's employment
and took up a trade as a Toymaker, seemed to walk within the Garden itself
in the company of a tall and beautiful woman clad in luminous white.
So bright and shining was her face moreover that he could not fully form
a picture of her features to himself
- but he knew that she was beautiful
and the memory of her and their conversation stayed with him
throughout the rest of his life.
Indeed, at times he thought to see her lineaments shining through the faces
of the woman that he later married
and the son and daughter she bore him.
And although he never partook of one of that gardens legendary fruits,
I would be loathe to say that the Lady in White that he walked with
was not herself a living manifestation of the flame and essence
that those apples contain.

And although I cannot clearly recall any specific word she said to me
or even the nature of the many things that we discussed,
I know that they partook more of the nature of music
than mere spoken language and that the melody of that meeting is never far from me.
Indeed, the songs of the Lady in White are with me always,
in waking, dream and sleep
and in some subtle way, I think
pervade each facet of creation
from the tiniest grain of dust
to the myriad stars that burn and revolve in the sky.
And although it is now almost thirty years since I left the household of the King
and took to the making of toys,
not once in all that time did I ever feel any desire to seek entrance
to that Garden myself.

Yet just this very week my first born child and most beloved daughter
is to be wed to a clockmaker from the neighbouring town
and the urge has come upon me to take her
to the Garden of Pomegranites
the gates of which, I feel sure,
will be open to us.
Sitting quietly under that wonderful Tree
the gardener will, I think, be waiting for us,
a welcoming smile upon his creased and wrinkled face.

copyright Willowdown

(c) joey masciotra

Jazzy Nights (c) Virginia Patrick

Liminal Spaces

Twilight, the wee hours,
the dark of the moon
liminal spaces,
places where magic reigns,
crossroads, crises, cusps.

There is static on the radio.
A song
my voice was singing
taking flight to surround me,
the sound of music,
a comforter of down
to ease my soul.

I've been trying to define a taste,
a sense of bittersweet and salt.
I've been trying to find a trace
a footprint in the desert,
a sound, a scent,
a memory.
I've been trying to find a trace of me,
a piece to fit the puzzle,
my contribution to the grand design.
Seeking in the shadows,
the space between
myth and matter,
those places words
cannot define.
On those insubstantial plains
of myst and awe,
the stuff of dreams,
threshold of wonder,
creation begins.

(c) February 9, 2006 Laurie Corzett

Black and White Shenandoah Horizontal (c) 2007 Lara Ellis

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