A Book of Practical Magic – 2012 and the Galactic Center: The Return of the Great Mother
Some books remind me of people in my life past or present.
2012 and the Galactic Center by Christine R. Page, M.D and published by Bear and Co, reminds me of an old girlfriend from the late 1960’s.
This was a time when I was deep into fasting and vegetarian diet, occultism and, of course psychedelics.
I was carrying around a dense tome by Mouni Sadhu called The Tarot: the Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism and a Manley P. Hall tarot deck.
This book by Christine R. Page, M.D., had it been published at the time, might very well have been my girlfriend’s constant companion as a set piece to my obsession. As a practicing witch, mostly benevolent, she would have appreciated it as book of practical magic.
Within the Context of 2012 Studies
Back then no one was talking or writing about 2012 like they are today, so it is illuminating to study what is presented in this book within the context of 2012 studies, which in their purest forms are about the Mayan Calendar.
Much of what passes for discourse about 2012 is actually just the use of the date in the title for marketing purposes and to couch the authors generalized conjectures and speculations in some sort of thin veil of legitimacy.
The Hero’s Journey
Though Page’s book is only tangentially about the Mayan Calendar end date of 2012, it is a solid and vital tangent revealing philosophic connections between Mayan esoteric thought and western astrology, alchemy and occultism.
She draws heavily on Greek and Egyptian mythology, Semitic legends, Jungian archetypes and Kabbalistic imagery to retell the ancient story of the Hero’s Journey far from home deep into the underworld, and his triumphant return.
Whereas thinkers in the Christian (and Islamic) world have distorted this story to reinforce patriarchal dominance, Page reinvigorates this cross-cultural learning tale asserting its essential theme, long neglected and suppressed, of the need to recover the wisdom, power and compassion of the feminine principle.
The Magician’s Wand
The Mayan Calendar and its companion Creation Myth, articulated in a manuscript known as the Popul Vuh, utilize a metaphoric story to plot the odyssey of the Sun precessing across the Milky Way to return to alignment with the Galactic Center, the Great Mother in Mayan cosmology
Page shows with impressive scholarship that this astronomical phenomenon is at the core of all culture’s telling of the Hero’s Journey, what Joseph Campbell has dubbed “the Mono-Myth.”
She presents the mystical endeavors of the medieval alchemists as far more than trying to enrich their patrons by turning lead into gold. These wizards were endeavoring to create the Magician’s Wand or Djed (think Jedi Knight), a metaphor for the growth and perfection of the soul, which is an indispensable tool for the Hero’s Journey.
From the Egyptians to Modern Astrology
Each chapter of this book is fairly bursting with correlative information derived mostly from Western mytho-history gleaning fascinating symbolic stories from the Egyptians to modern astrology with a bit of Hindu myth for good measure.
A comprehensive insight to Mayan cosmology you will not get. What you will get, especially in the second half of the book is an outline of the successive stages of an individual’s spiritual development using the language of astrology and mythic stories that illuminate each stage of building one’s own personal Magician’s Wand.
My copy of the book, as soon as I remove all the post-it notes sticking out of the pages I use to write this review, will go on the research material shelf of my library.
An Instructional Guide
It was difficult for me to pick up the thread of continuity of this book until about halfway through when I finally stopped looking for direct correlation to Maya cosmology.
There is much eclectic information offered within these pages, but that seems to be the style of many books on spirituality these days. Perhaps this is the zeitgeist as the information age heats up.
Within the prophecies of many indigenous cultures can be found a mandate to share ancient knowledge with seekers from outside the native culture. This book is mostly from the western esoteric tradition so some familiarity with astrology will be helpful for the reader, though not essential.
Many chapters are instructional, designed to guide one’s own “Return to the Great Mother,” and overall this is a valuable and quite enjoyable text for “lay persons” and “mystery students” alike.
To learn more, visit Amazon > 2012 and the Galactic Center: The Return of the Great Mother
Writer, photographer, raconteur, Curtis McCosco fled from academia to further his education in Haight-Ashbury and the streets of Hollywood.
He’s worked as a furniture maker, Moviola repairman, documentary film maker, Motown tech, carpenter, masseur, and explores the the worlds of indigenous wisdom and shamanism, Hermetic occultism, remote viewing, history, politics and the evolution of consciousness, all from a Buddhist perspective.
You can find more of his writing on his blog, NOOZINE.com.