This morning, I opened Orion Foxwood's book, The Faery Teachings* and found yet again that it is so often my conceptual orientation to language that erects barriers in my mind. The terms “Upper” “Middle” and “Lower” are frequently used to describe shamanic cosmologies. Yet Upper, Middle and Lower are–in my mind’s eye and sense–linear and remote, informed irrevocably by the CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) workbooks of my childhood, (Upper = Heaven = pearly gates + bearded man, Lower = Hell = Satan in boiling pits and Middle = the sorry plains of humanity’s inheritance = the land and beasts we are destined to dominate and trample into product).
Finding the access points that open communication with non-ordinary reality is a subtle, yet fairly simple process. I find that the obstacles I encounter are usually dogmas encoded in the substrate of my thought. In other words, the language that gives my thoughts form often creates conceptual barriers to journeying into other view-points. Finding a fresh articulation often dissipates these barriers.
Foxwood clarifies his image of the “interpenetrating strata” of sky, sea and land with a description of the sea/underworld as the “Within World”, the heavens/upper-world as the “Around World” and the “land of stone and bone” as the “Surface World”. This language opens a door for me somehow, liberating me from cartoonish constructions impossible to give credence, and I peer through the jamb to the landscape beyond.
*Foxwood, Orion. The Faery Teachings. R.J. Stewart Books, 2007.