My lifetime symbol in the Tarot deck is the Hierophant, card number 8. Lifetime symbols reflect the central archetypal myth and challenge to realize during a lifetime. I am struck by the emphasis of this card on the value of family.
When I reflect on my personal history in this lifetime, it is noteworthy how many conventional rules I’ve been willing to break in the service of revisioning family to fit our evolving needs. I know I was drawn to Carlos Castaneda’s shamanic line to service this intent. Carlos ended the limited shamanic family of his ancient line. Like a true socialist shaman he freed all the secret teachings, all the secret practices, for anyone energetically ready or inclined to take perception to new levels. He ended secrecy and selectively of apprentices, launching shamanism as an equal opportunity employer. The time of shamans is over. Everyone needs to become their own shaman now and take their own soul retrieval journey. Castaneda knew this. That was the ending and the evolution of his line.
Carlos’s shamanic line also put a premium on releasing energetic agreements that bind one’s energetic potential and limit fulfillment. This practice is called “erasing personal history,” not to be mistaken as erasing the truths, in fact, recapitulation insists that we fully face our personal history. However, in recapitulation we also are charged with withdrawing our energy from old energetic agreements and attachments, especially those that go back to our families of origin, where we innocently assumed roles and beliefs that overshadow our lives. Whether meaningful and truthful or not, those roles and beliefs must be dissected and questioned as to their true relevance and usefulness in our evolving lives, as beings totally separate from our families of origin.
In erasing personal history, we free our own energy as well as the energy of those whom we have been attached to, allowing all of us to grow and evolve without the limitations of old needs, expectations, or conventions ill-suited to evolving beings. From my perspective, this is caring for family at the deepest level, loving deeply, while simultaneously freeing all to fully become who they truly are capable of being, with no expectation to turn back and asking nothing in return. This is the empty-nester who frees all to new life, and enjoys new life as well!
We are in a new world now. However, the old world lives on, posing as new. Fiercely unwilling to die, it constantly tries to reassert itself, tempting us with new tools of communication, inviting us into the new family home of cyberspace. The internet now offers us a new family—with the possibility of unlimited connection—but it also pounds us with all the old tricks, enticing us closer with promises of more, unrelentingly targeting the rabid consumers that it knows we are, gathering marketing information to sell its wares. Of course the internet is much more than this, but it still dominates with an old world economy, one ill-suited to serve the true needs of our interconnected world. It has opened the doors to greater communication and connection yet it lacks selflessness—keep in mind that this true new world family does not discriminate. Tribalism, filial piety, paternalism, self-interest, must all be revisioned away from the bindings of specialness and entitlement if we are to truly evolve.
Decisions and actions must flow from the place of right action to serve the true needs of our real family, our world family. Decisions that serve the self or one’s own family interests to the detriment of others is an old world order that literally poisons the environment and melts the polar ice caps. This old world order is slipping away because it is not sustainable—don’t be fooled by the bravado of those who tout its sustainability, it’s simply the last stand before the inevitable fall.
The call to change and evolve is not about fighting the old world, it’s about staking a personal claim in the new world. Every decision we make and every action we take determines which world we live in. The new world is still a world of family, but it’s a one-world family. This is one of the worlds that Carlos Castaneda’s shamanic process of recapitulation allows us to join. Through the deep process of erasing personal history we offer ourselves the possibility of new life, as, in shedding the old world of self, we naturally experience our interconnected oneness; the new one-world family.
When we turn off the water, decide to walk, refuse to invest in profitable but destructive stocks, charge a fair fee, are guided by our hearts and synchronicities, eat local and real; when we give service without discrimination as we are energetically able, and as is energetically appropriate to those who cross our paths, we assume our rightful place as full citizens in our brave new world; a world where no one is more important than anyone else. As a steward of the Hierophant in our time, I offer this message: family does matter—the one-world family!
From the new world,
In loving memory of Pete Seeger, the man who gave so selflessly and tirelessly that we might all join this new one-world family.