" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

December 31, 2016

2016 Has been the Weirdest Year of My 52 Year Life

Apart from my NRL team winning their very first grand final in just under 50 years I don't think I'm alone in thinking this year has been a very cosmically bizarre year.
Notice the Rebel Rebel sign behind
 me and the
Sharks fans
We (the Sharks) had the rights to play Bowie's 'Heroes' in the old 'Super League' days.
So, it was rather bizarre to me that Bowie would pass away the year the Sharks finally win their first NRL grand final trophy.
'Heroes' was released on my 13th birthday in 1977 and the Sharks would win their way into the 2016 NRL grand final by beating the Cowboys on my birthday this year.
My Happiest Birthday Ever
But it was a shock to me also that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds would bookend this weird year by passing away within a day of each other.
I used to like the song 'Singing in the Rain' until I saw 'A Clockwork Orange', as I've written about here - 
The Clockwork Orange Effect?
Thanks a lot Stanley.
But to be honest I think 2017 is going to make 2016 look boring when it comes to bad news and celebrity deaths.
Let's hope I'm wrong, but buckle the f#ck up and Happy New Year.
Did you know that Carrie Fisher was
born on October 21st? BTTF Day
Apart from Carrie Fisher being born on October 21st the date of Back to the Future Day in 2015, her mother Debbie Reynolds was born on April 1st, which is April Fool's Day.
Talk about postcards from the edge.
Life is one weird journey it seems.
Stay safe and keep that umbrella handy in 2017, because I think the weather is only going to get worse.
And on a synchy note, I watched my copy of 'Watership Down' on DVD after seeing the author of the book Richard Adams passed away on Christmas eve.
Carrie Fisher played  
Eve in this movie
The DVD was distributed by Umbrella Entertainment.
Richard Adams, 'Watership Down' author, dies aged 96 at the End of 2016

The Book of Life: Overcoming Fear and Always Playing from the Heart

I'm not into the Spanish and Mexican sport of bullfighting, but the metaphor of fear as a bull that you have to confront and overcome (without killing it) is a very powerful one.
I do like Spanish wine though;-)
Apart from bullfighting I think the Mexican (and Spanish, as well) culture has much to offer to the rest of the world, like I've written about before -
Sing & Don't Cry
I've written about the movie 'The Book of Life' before in previous posts -
The Book of Life/Passport to Magonia/The Super Natural
But the post I wanted to write about that movie is this one.
I loved this movie on many levels, but the two messages I really love that are hammered home in this movie is to follow your heart and don't give into peer pressure, even if those peers are close relatives who you love and respect.
The Message ... Just Be Yourself
The other message this movie hammers home is that death is just as much a part of life as love is and should be celebrated and remembered just as much. 
We in the west tend to sweep death under the carpet, unlike the Mexicans who even have a holiday where the dead are remembered and celebrated.
Based on an original idea by Gutierrez, the story in the movie follows a bullfighter who, on the Day of the Dead, embarks on an afterlife adventure to fulfill the expectations of his family and friends.
La Muerte/La Calavera Catrina
"La Calavera Catrina ('Dapper Skeleton', 'Elegant Skull') is a 1910–1913 zinc etching by famous Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada.
The image depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat befitting the upper class outfit of a European of her time. 
Her chapeau en attende is related to European styles of the early 20th century. 
She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolution era.
 She, in particular, has become an icon of the Mexican Día de muertos, or Day of the Dead.
The original leaflet describes a person who was ashamed of his indigenous origins and dressed imitating the French style while wearing lots of makeup to make his skin look whiter.
This description also ties to the original name garbancera, which became a nickname given to people of indigenous ancestry who imitated European style and denied their own cultural heritage."
"A character based on La Catrina appears as a protagonist in the animated 2014 movie The Book of Life, where she is named "La Muerte" and is the queen of the deceased who are remembered by the living. 
She is referred to in the Latin American Spanish dub as "La Catrina""
To me "La Muerte" is just an artistic mash-up of figures such as La Catrina, The Virgin Mary and Santa Muerte.
Xibalba, ruler of the Land of the Forgotten to me is the shadow side of the personality like Carl Jung often wrote about.
"Xibalba (Mayan pronunciation: [ʃiɓalˈɓa]), roughly translated as "place of fear", is the name of the underworld in K'iche' Maya mythology, ruled by the Maya death gods and their helpers. 
In 16th-century Verapaz, the entrance to Xibalba was traditionally held to be a cave in the vicinity of Cobán, Guatemala
According to some of the K'iche' Maya presently living in the vicinity, the area is still associated with death. 
Cave systems in nearby Belize have also been referred to as the entrance to Xibalba.
In some Maya areas, the Milky Way is viewed as the road to Xibalba."
The movie's two main characters are like Jungian archetypes and reconciling those aspects of ourselves is what the movie is about in a sub-textual sort of way.
The thing I love about Mexican art is the depictions of the third eye being hearts and crosses.
I have the two ash trays pictured above and to me they represent a similar idea, the connecting point between this world and the next, where the white light of pure connection comes out of the void and fragments into all of the colours of the rainbow.
Which is a two-way metaphorical street, because all the colours of the rainbow can be formed back into white light
I also keep a couple of crow feathers near the ash trays to remind me of the shamanic aspects of the void and how everything comes from and returns to it in a sense.
And by the void I don't mean a place of total darkness, because you can't have the light without the darkness.
They are the one and the same thing.
I'd like to see holiday celebrations like Mexico's 'Day of the Dead' spread worldwide.
"In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO."
Why is Australia empty on Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO?
Because I don't think we should bury our head in the sand over the subject of death (and the afterlife) any longer and celebrations like this open the door to such discussions.
And what's nicer than honouring our friends and family who have gone before us? 
Santa Muerte 
I think that a big obstacle to getting this holiday to go worldwide is the 'Day of the Dead' "saint" Santa Muerte and the Catholic Church's opposition to that "saint".
"Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Spanish for Our Lady of the Holy Death) or, colloquially, Santa Muerte (Holy Death), is a female deity of Mexican folk religion, venerated primarily in Mexico and the Southwestern United States
A personification of death, she is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees.
Despite condemnation by the Catholic Church, her cult has risen to an unprecedented prominence in the 2000s and 2010s, as a continuation of the Aztec goddess of death Mictecacihuatl (Nahuatl for "Lady of the Dead") clad in Spanish iconography."
I'm sure people can work out for themselves whether that light in the tunnel is the afterlife or a train coming, that's why we were all given hearts and minds by the creator, to think and feel for ourselves.
All aboard 'The Day of the Dead' express?-)
Because it's coming to a station near you, whether you have faith, or not.
Everybody will ride this train, no exceptions.

December 30, 2016

Driving Around the Streets of Newcastle with Gordon from the 'Rune Soup' Blog

I really enjoyed this latest 'Rune Soup' podcast/You Tube video, as last time I was down in Newcastle I only had a few hours to spare and decided to do the walk out to the lighthouse, which was closed I found out when I got to it, but it was still worth the walk once the sandblasted side of my face recovered, as I was impressed by the stone artwork along the walk and the sea air was invigorating, when I didn't get a nostril full of sand -
New Castle? See Change?
WTF are Zubats?
I basically drove in from the main freeway, did my walk and drove out of Newcastle along the old highway and off to Sydney.
My impression was that Newcastle wasn't very big, or very interesting, so I'm glad Gordon shot this footage from his dashboard and drove me around the rest of Newcastle that I didn't see.
It saved me a lot of petrol money and when I blew the You Tube up to full size on my computer screen it was just like a VR drive being in the passenger seat with Gordon
I was surprised that there were so many new units in Newcastle on this drive with Gordo.
It reminded me a bit of the suburb of Zetland in Sydney with the way these buildings in Newcastle were sprouting up.
It's a good idea driving around the streets of your town like Gordon did and giving people a VR view of your digs, but it's a bit risky doing that in my part of town around Christmas, as that newspaper headline would tell you.
The weird part is that my ex-cousin-in-law that won that Newcastle jersey in the Newcastle post linked above, lives closer to this street than I do, and he has young kids.
It's pretty f#cked when you can't even walk around the backstreets of your own suburb without something like this piece of stupidity happening.
To be fair it's not everyday something like this happens down here, but I've seen quite a lot of this type of thing happening around Brisbane lately, where luckily nobody was killed, just property damaged.
There's enough BS happening in the world without having to watch out for drivers like this.