There are atypical phenomena which we have a fondness for describing as "being interpreted through the belief systems of the witnesses or experiencers." Pagans see spirits, Christians see demons, and so on.
However, I'm not sure that such descriptions are entirely fair. Fair to us.
It seems like these phenomena should at least meet us halfway. Especially when they're the ones making contact. 'Interpretation via belief system' only gets us so far.
As a sidenote, it occurs to me there is probably a useful definition of magic versus 'paranormal phenomena' somewhere in the distinction between which side of the fence initiates contact.
He is quite serious about that word: technology. And he relates it to another: physics. A chapter dedicated largely to the Marian apparitions at Fátima, Lourdes, Knock, and Guadalupe follows in order to study what he calls, rather shockingly, "the physics of the B.V.M.," that is, the physics of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He arrives again at the same conclusion: "We are faced with a technology that transcends the physical and is capable of manipulating our reality, generating a variety of altered states of consciousness and of emotional perceptions... The B.V.M. may dress in golden robes and smile radiantly to children, but the technology which 'she' uses is indistinguishable from that of gods and goddesses of other tongues and garb; it is also indistinguishable from the technology surrounding the UFO phenomenon."
So then, the oracolo di Fatima, by an anonymous artist, dedicated to a UFO phenomenon pretending to be a Catholic miracle, was always going to be personally appealing. Here's one I picked up in Glastonbury last month:
Because the artist is anonymous, we don't know if he or she was actually in Fátima at the time of the incidents, but it's almost more interesting if they weren't there. Here is a person in Tuscany entangling their consciousness with a patently manipulative phenomenon and then dedicating a Lenormand-style oracle to it. (Tuscany is a Catholic version of a Keelian 'window area'. Consider the visions of Maria Valtorta a few decades later. Or even... you know... the fucking Renaissance.) Was the artist instructed to create an oracle by this being? That seems remarkably out of character for the mother of a god who admonishes magic and divination.
Or does it?
Let's look at another 'neighbourly visit' that also knocked mankind's collective consciousness onto an entirely different track. From UFOs: The Psychic Solution.
The section of Evans-Wentz' work of most interest here begins with some remarks about the Virgin of Guadalupe… To him, the entity that appeared before a 57 year old Indian named Juan Diego (his Nahuatl name was Singing Eagle) was not the Holy Virgin but the American goddess Tonantzin whom the Aztecs had adopted as the mother of all their other gods. The apparition took place on December 9, 1531, in Mexico. It began with the sweet sound of 'singing birds', followed by a voice which came from the top of the hill. The source of the voice was hidden by 'a frosty mist, a brightening cloud'. The technology of the BVM was at work!
When Juan Diego came to the top of the mountain he saw a radiantly beautiful young Mexican girl of about 14, standing in the light. A series of well-documented miracles followed, in which hearings took place and mysterious flowers appeared. A basilica was built and immense crowds converted. (In the six years that followed the incident over eight million Indians were baptized.)
Here is a chronology of the miracle.
On Saturday, December 9, Juan Diego meets the entity and is told to run and instruct the Lord Bishop, in Mexico City, to build a chapel. (This is the same request made in Lourdes.) The Bishop thought Juan was insane.
On Sunday, December 10, Juan Diego went back to see the Bishop and impressed him with his sincerity. The prelate asked for a tangible sign, and Juan conveyed this answer to the Lady, who told him to come the next day.
On Monday, December 11, Juan Diego did not come, because his uncle was dying. He was unable to relieve his suffering and decided to get a priest the following day.
On Tuesday, December 12, the Indian ran across the mountain to get the priest, but was met and stopped by the apparition, who said:
"My little son, do not be distressed and afraid. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Your uncle will not die at this time. This very moment his health is restored. There is no reason now for the errand you set out on, and you can peacefully attend to mine. Go up to the top of the hill. Cut the flowers that are growing there and bring them to me."
Singing Eagle knew well that there were no flowers on the top of the hill but to his surprise he found them there, cut them, and ran to the city to give them to the Bishop. When he arrived at the palace, unfortunately, the flowers dropped on the floor and he was much disappointed. To his great surprise the Bishop and all present suddenly knelt before him: upon his coarse garment, made of maguey fibers, had appeared the lovely image of an unearthly being, the figure of a woman, below her a crescent moon.
Evans-Wentz points out that December 12 was the ancient feast-day of the goddess Tonantzin, the dark-faced Earth-Mother, who thus remained the spiritual guardian of American in her modern guise as the Holy Virgin!
A glowing Mexican kid? Not exactly how she is pictured today. And as for the so-called 'miracles'? There's no avoiding the conclusion that most miracles are downright shit. Interrupting a guy on the way to getting help for a dying family member to ask for some crappy flowers, the sun moving around the sky and changing shape. If they can do all these things then they can build their own fucking basilicas. I'm busy, yo.
But such a suggestion would only make sense if we assume that the entity's goal was actually what it asked for; a basilica. If, instead, its goal were a manipulation of human consciousness, then the basilica isn't the goal but rather the proof that the goal had been achieved. As Vallée points out, eight million Indians were baptised subsequent to the incident with the poor-quality flowers. Which is also why I reject the suggestion that the entity 'is' Tonantzin. Why not just appear as Tonantzin and then see how many Indians those imperial Spanish interlopers actually get after that? At the very point where a miracle could have swung the religiosity of the inhabitants either way, The Neighbours side with the invaders. Why?
In addition to shit miracles, these events also offer up shit prophecies. The three Fátima prophecies were:
- A vision of hell.
- A stern admonition that Russia should be destroyed and re-Catholicised (!?) or else there would be another war. Which isn't exactly an earth-shattering prediction in inter-war Europe.
- Nothing. Something about some churchmen walking up a hill, praying over dead bodies. It's all very The Vision and The Voice. (There are rumours that the Vatican has witheld the final prophecy and that this one is a ruse.)
There is a clear push for an imperial agenda here. Return Soviet Russia to the Holy Mother or the church will be destroyed. Bow your Indian heads before this foreign god. And I wonder if that isn't entirely the point. Here's a quote from Anatomy Of A Phenomenon, which I amazingly managed to pick up second-hand in Hay-On-Wye:
The Fátima events are within spitting distance, historically speaking, from the end of the European belief in "beings from the skies who surveyed our Earth". Could it have been time to 'troop the colours'? If you are in the game of influencing or manipulating consciousness, you are going to have to change costumes as beliefs evolve. Here's another quote from the same book. Pay particular attention to what Carl Sagan says at the end:
A transparent presentation of the purpose of contact would increase the credibility of the legend. Got that right. Sagan means it in the sense that a transparent purpose would have made him more likely to believe the legend actually happened, whereas I mean it in the sense that I would be more likely to believe the words coming out of the legend's mouth.
In a Mind War, this is an excellent strategy. It's why the Fátima phenomenon appeared to thousands of unwashed, illiterate peasants rather than the crowned heads of Europe, it's why it's typically the rapey, inbred truck drivers who are abducted by aliens, it's why Jesus is busy appearing in a tortilla right now. The goal is a groundswell change of consciousness.
Vallée sees meaning in the absurdity of the narratives, a meaning he will call the meta-logic of the encounter stories. Such a meta-logic, which appears as absurdity from the outside, more or less guarantees that the encounters will be rejected by the elite members of the target society (that is, by professional academics and scientists), even as the symbols conveyed through the encounters are absorbed at a very deep and much more lasting unconscious level. The absurdity of the extraterrestrial explanation, in other words, is a kind of intentional ruse or cloaking technique that allows the phenomenon to accomplish its real work, which is symbolic and mythological.
What he was arguing, after all, is that UFO appearances may be part of a huge "control system," a kind of mythological thermostat on the planet designed to adjust and control the belief systems of entire cultures over immense expanses of times. As he described it in his journals, this control system "acts upon human consciousness, preventing it from going beyond certain limits". Vallée seems to have in mind a kind of cosmic Puppet Master, a "manufacturer of unavoidable events," as he puts it in one of his short stories, who pulls the strings of history from above and prevents us from developing our own psychic potentials. The religious doctrines and mythologies of the human imagination are the main object of control and adjustment here. Put crudely, we are being manipulated by our own belief systems, which are in turn being implanted, influenced, and guided by "alien" forces well outside our conscious selves. [More.]
Like the Fátima 'secrets', the star map shown to Betty and Barney Hill in their classic abduction case was flat-out wrong. Not only was it wrong, but it would have been useless from a navigational perspective -like trying to find your way around West London using a postage stamp map of Europe. So why show it at all? Because they want us to believe they come from 'there'.
I think often about the evolution of our neighbourly encounters over the last thirty thousand years. Let me provide a fictional example of what their intended effect and modus might be. This is from Remote Viewer 001, Joseph McMoneagle's book.
On the positive side, this is why we should all strive to have better ideas. On the negative side, it's truly incredible just how much a bad idea can change the world. Let's return to Monsieur Verne and his impact:
Everything, like superman or the bomb, starts with an idea. And ideas really do change the world. Much more than, say, a basilica magically appearing overnight on a hill. Influencing our ideas is the very definition of an abusive relationship: "I don't want a basilica, I want you to build me a basilica." Back to Verne:
The story of Verne and his impact is a particularly useful metaphor for the Mind War we are currently engaged in as part of our archonological transition. By deploying McMoneagle's notion that there are those who are impacted by new ideas and those who seek to prevent their impact...who must therefore be circumvented... we return to Vallée's contention that the unwashed masses are a better target than the elite for the manipulation of human consciousness. With Verne we have an example of not only how one little idea, a novel or a star map, can change the world... but also exactly who it is on earth that brings those changes through. And it is us. The unwashed masses. The scum.
"I have not found a topic that is more mind-opening than UFOs." -Richard Dolan.
This may well be their entire purpose... and that purpose may not be entirely altruistic.
All of this could well be viewed as a suggestion to assiduously avoid entangling your consciousness with The Neighbours.
At best, it is certainly a suggestion to dispense with the wearisome, overt, extreme religiosity that infects much of modern paganism. But as Saruman says, in reference to the Palantíri, "why should we fear to use them?"
Use an ouija board wrong and you might just summon bigfoot into your bedroom like this girl did. Entangle your consciousness in a better-prepared way and you will yield more interesting (and less traumatic) results. And there is certainly value in exploring this path. Here's Alan Moore talking about his first experience with Glycon while ball-tripping in his friend's house:
"It was an unprecedented experience. It's difficult to actually describe in material terms. The sensation that I had was that the roof had gone. There wasn't "sky" up above… there was some sort of high space.
I got the impression of something bending over and leaning down, as if to get its head closer to us. And I remember I suddenly spoke in this really strange Darth Vader voice that I don't think I can do now. And the words were "inchoate presence stooping low."… I didn't even know what the word inchoate meant. I've since found out that it means 'on the brink of thought'. And there seemed to be something in this that… whatever it was that was leaning towards us... was gathering form as it got closer to us. It was dressing itself in imagery that we were supplying. I'm not saying it was the god Glycon, but by the time it was in proximity to me, it was the god Glycon."
The first step is to recognise that the symbol is rarely what is symbolised. Forget this and you might end up leaving the world's creepiest video suicide note. (Hat tip Chris Knowles! Both for the vid and for the inevitable nightmares that will come from watching it.)
The next is to understand the fluidity of the symbolism. We might call the twentieth century the hundred years of alien greys, beginning with Crowley's LAM working, through the abduction phenomena of the 70s and 80s, and culminating in the late nineties with the X-Files/marijuana alien/pre-millennial gestalt. Today's encounters seem to be a return to 'lights in the sky' and 'numinous feelings'. (They're also decidedly more psychedelic.)
The third is to recognise that these beings have their own agendas. When you render out the core principles of the world's great spiritual teachers, there is a surprising wariness when it comes to dealing with the gods. Not because they don't exist, but because they are only occasionally relevant to your own journey.
The fourth is the need for verification when dealing with these realms. I used to think that the use of grade symbols or whatever when travelling on the astral was just so much High Victorian bullshittery. But there is no getting around the fact that -for whatever reason- deception is the name of the game. The Trickster is the One True God here.
If you don't have an identifying symbol, you're welcome to use mine; a jet black, spinning chaosphere. Although, it's not so much a sphere as it is a rotating two dimensional object, like one of those spinning pentagram GIFs from a late nineties GeoCities site. (Heee! Remember those? An autoplaying midi of an Enya song would also likely terrify any being into submission.) The chaosphere seems to work either because
- It is entirely human... it doesn't play into the entity hierarchy game. Granted, this is a bit like travelling around Europe on an American passport but it works for me. Speaking of America, you can also Captain America your chaosphere into a shield... or you can throw it against surfaces and jump through a la Portal.
- Two dimensional objects seem to freak out the denizens of inner space. I call this 'reverse Lovecraftianism'.
- It may not have old timey provenance, but it still represents a potent magical current. So stamp my passport or fuck off! (There is something theatrically appealing in words to the effect of "open in the name of chaos". Skeletor should have tried that.)
So then, summing up sync yoga:
- Pick a sync saint: Saints are preferable to gods here. One, because I am less suspicious of them. Two, because saints are a lot more interoperable with whatever else you have going on. That's basically their entire point. Gather the relevant accoutrements and commence engagement. (Full disclosure: I just printed off a card on some fancy paper in the office.) Pray for the saint and ask him or her to look favourably upon you.
- Have a burner phone. I use either the UFO Tarot or the oracolo di Fatima, both from Los Scarabeo. They key is to keep the entire project wholly separate from whatever else is going on. You may need to jettison it.
- Record the results. This can be as simple as posting syncs to G+. Usually I'm agin' magical diaries because your memory is so unreliable. (And because I am sick of reading blog posts where people contort themselves into pretzels trying to justify why something didn't work.) But synchronicity is when the universe notices you noticing it, and it does that more often the more often you notice it. For big syncs, check the astrological weather. The alignments are often so astounding that I am beginning to wonder whether observation of synchronicities is how astrology got started in the first place, way, way, way back in the day.
- Visit the sync realm. I'm not going to bother covering methods of astral travel because if you're reading this, you're already on the internet, you lazy bastards. (My current preferred method incorporates a version of the chaosphere/portal mentioned above.) My biggest personal discovery here is that, like so many things in life, it is often the case of asking the right questions. Ask to visit 'the realm of' Our Lady of Fátima and you will end up floating in space. On the evening of fast days, before sleep, if I don't have "anywhere else to go", I ask for "an audience with" the relevant sync saint. They fucking love that hierarchy talk... again, a reason to tread carefully but not a reason to avoid treading. Some potent ideas originate from these places.
Insofar as I can tell, these are not beings to petition for mundane things. Our agendas just don't align well enough for it to be worth the risk. But there is a net positive benefit to embiggening your sync experience. You achieve -and I only have evidence of this in the short term- an improved awareness of where reality overlaps (?) and which sequences of events are worth paying attention to. Plus, you know... it's fun.
Let's end with Alan Moore:
The one place in which gods and demons inarguably exist is in the human mind, where they are real in all their grandeur and monstrosity.
Have at them, kids.