Arts of Consciousness
Bethe Hagens' inquiries span the relatively new interdisciplinary field of Anthropology of Consciousness—which merges cultural anthropology, neurobiology, psychology, and the arts and humanities to create theory, social action, peace, and performance art. The samples of her work on this site include mainstream writing ( Plato's Cosmic Container , from Parabola, 31:3, 2006); academic papers and conference presentations ( The Divine Feminine in Geometric Consciousness , from Anthropology of Consciousness, 17:1, 2006); a variety of richly illustrated slide shows on mythology and ritual across human history; archival materials documenting the ongoing development of the Planetary Grid/UVG/EarthStar; and several pieces of her performance art, including violin solo work with the Maine band, Dunne Roman. She is currently faculty in the Individualized Bachelor of Arts program at Goddard College a doctoral faculty member in Public Policy and Administration at Walden University.
Special :: Heart to Heart Interview with Bethe Hagens (2001) ::.
Recently added articles are at the top ::
::. Global Ecological Mind (2012) ::. Precisely at this time, as climate change threatens to devastate populations across the planet, global social media exchanges of every imaginable variety have created a liminal information ecotone (AKA “global ecological mind”) that dances around a shared and deeply rooted framework of assumptions about the cyclic character of events of destiny in grand scale time.
::. Earth Sky Grids and Vortexes (2011) ::. Bethe's discovery of the “sky grid”, which is geometrically identical to the earth grid geometries, has links to JM Jenkins research on ancient calendars via the rhombic triacontahedron, the missing figure that she added to the icosa-dodec grid of the Russians to create the UVG format of the earth grid. Rhombs are sound generators that are key in ancient rituals of ‘spin vortexes' that tie earth and consciousness to sky. At Caral in Peru (3000 BC) there is a spin vortex inscribed on the entry platform to a major pyramid.
::. The Heart Knows (2012) ::. Tlazolteotl is an Aztec aspect of Heart of the World: center of the earth; the deepest hell; ripeness of puberty; ultimate forgiveness and processing through of disharmonies; cleanser of sins; surrender; lust and passion; a spinner. She is the feminine force of the cosmic terrestrial loom.
Kundalini. A HEART OPENING. The CREATIVE (a spinning vortex) destroys and nourishes life to bring a new harmonia .
Past cultures aligned their hearts with the CREATIVE using the simple tools of spin.
Bullroarers are associated with lightning, Orion, snakes, the axial pole of Earth. They have been used worldwide in “change of HEART” rituals such as healing, initiation, fertility, calling out injustice, and moving across thresholds from past into creative future resolution. Their spin vortex is the CREATIVE. An individual spinner entrains with the HEART power of all cosmic spirals.
The vibrational pattern (infinity shape) a bullroarer creates around the body of the person swinging it mirrors and amplifies the electromagnetic patterns of the HEART.
At present, Earth's electromagnetic poles are shifting and the Sun is balancing the gravitational eccentricities of planets with fluctuations at the Heart of the Galaxy.
::. Earth Energy Vortexes (2012) ::. I would like to ask you as a reader to embark with me on a personal journey that has led me to my scientific questions and theories about vortexes. Significant transformations in my work of over thirty years on this subject took shape as I journeyed back to health from a debilitating encounter with Lyme's disease. At the center of this journey is a mechanism known as the “bullroarer”, a flat slat of wood, bone or stone, swung overhead from the end of a string, to create an intense vortex of sound and vibration around the person swinging it. This sound, but more the contemplation of 40,000 years of worldwide bullroarer-making, healed my body and left me in awe at the enduring aspects of our common humanity.
::. Spin as Creative Consciousness (2009) ::. The bullroarer and buzzer were once well-known and well-loved by anthropologists. They functioned within the profession as “hallmark artifacts” that symbolized the cultural relativist commitment to independent invention even as evidence (size, shape, meaning, uses, symbols, ritual) stretching tens of thousands of years across human history pointed to diffusion. In virtually every part of the world, even today, these artifacts continue to be “invented” and re-symbolized in many of the ancient ways. This graphic, experiential presentation draws from twenty years of fieldwork and literature search, as well as six years art-based research in which I used hand tools and a worldwide sample of woods to carve several hundred reproductions of these instruments from nearly as many “separate” cultural identity traditions. I will propose a transpersonal experience of “spin” which is independently discovered, experienced (e.g. via infrasound, manufacture, observation of sky and landscape), and witnessed as connective to larger creative consciousness.
::. June Solstice Calendar of Global Synchronicities (2008) ::. Naked-eye star observations possible in most parts of the world reveal two visible elements of the geometric framework described in Plato's Timaeus that could be easily visualized—(1) the great circle through Canopus, Sirius, and Vega (three of the six brightest visible stars); and (2) the Milky Way. The ecliptic north pole (green dot) can be visualized but not seen. It has long been recognized as the “north pole” of the sun's orbit around earth
::. Earth Star - USA Overview (2007) ::. Since 2005, I have taught creative thinking and problem solving in the online School of Public Policy at Walden University, a U.S. institution within the huge international corporate conglomerate of Laureate Education, Inc. (formerly Sylvan Learning). My goal has been to bring the experience of geomantic/geometric/mythic thinking—rather than specific content—into the educational arena for students in fields very different from my own. Walden attracts doctoral candidates who are for the most part international, middle management, public policy, social services, or military professionals. The avenues that EarthStar provides for weaving quality of life insights across cultures, ethnicities, geography, and religion have worked well in “residency seminars” that I have offered.
::. Earth Star - A Treasure Map Rediscovered (1992) ::. Is the Earth itself a complex life-form that behaves like a giant, almost perfectly spherical crystal? In 1971, shortly after the first pictures of Earth from space were made, three Russian researchers from Moscow (a historian, an engineer, and an electrician) published a story in the youth edition of Pravda that echoed discoveries simultaneously being made around the world.
::. Timbre of the Spheres (2005) ::. A paradigm of Breath that integrates voluminous research on bullroarers and magic wheels is developed using Puterbaugh's (1999) definition of timbre within sonopoietic space —an articulated, individually experienced, culturally situated environmental dynamic. These two whirling aerophones have appeared worldwide since the Paleolithic in similar (though not identical) artistic, narrative and magico-mythological contexts within which initiation, weather modification, social justice, consciousness alteration, and other social necessities were enacted. Invoking Edinger's (1999) archetypal analysis, their timbre is Breath, not merely metaphor, and synonymous with the all-encompassing mysteries of metamorphosis—birth, growth, fertility, sexuality, excretion, decay, death, and rebirth.
::. The Divine Feminine in Geometric Consciousness (2006) ::. Plato spoke of geometry as an extremely rare natural gift of consciousness, but also as a mode of perception accessible to anyone initiated into the tradition by a master. Such teachers were the shamans of his day, and it was these individuals who convened the mystery schools and sponsored initiations into the esoteric philosophies of geomancy that have grown from their vision. Though the history of women in ancient mystery traditions is largely lost to us, Greek mythology holds that our human capacity for geometric vision is a gift of the divine feminine— energetic sources of wisdom conceptualized as a lineage of goddesses. Born from primal Chaos is Gaia, from whose name comes “geometry”—geo (earth) + metr (measure, mother).
::. Venuses and Turtles (1990) ::. One of the myopic perspectives of twentieth century scholarship was to assume that the more base, “primitive” aspects of our own behavior—everything from masturbation to polymorphous perversity—were the foundation of ancient culture. Consider the 18,000-year-old buxom, pregnant, faceless “Venus figurines” still considered by some art historians to be sex toys. Feminist scholarship from the 1980s until today argues that the statuettes provide evidence of widespread Goddess worship and matriarchy. But what might it mean if these artifacts were intentionally created to be ambiguous? What if these “women” are “brains”?
::. Rings of Gaia (1991) ::. In the late 1980s, ideas about the relationships between place, sacred geometry, and consciousness were helping to frame wider conversations about spirituality —a term that had not yet reached the mainstream. Power of Place , the anthology in which Rings of Gaia appears, was editor James Swan's pioneering effort to bring together people with extraordinarily divergent ways of knowing through the unifying concept of spirit of place . Bill Becker and I co-authored this chapter for the section “Modern Science and Ancient Wisdom.” In Rings , we suggest for the first time that the Lakota creation story of Earth as “hoops,” Plato's description of the divine feminine, and science's depiction of the fullerene molecule are possibly all the same vision.
::. 1987 : Planetary Grid Update ::. Several important avenues of speculation about the "planetary grid" have opened up over the last year / and we would like to share them with you. Correspondence has been somewhat overwhelming, and we appreciate your patience and understanding if you have not received the prompt and thoughtful reply we wish could be provided. We have spent much of the past 18 months working with American Indian geometry. Several texts have recently come out on the topic—most of them concentrating on angles, right triangles, and "grids" in site plans. Many relate site layouts to astronomy — not an unexpected proposition. Owing to our interest in hand-held artifacts (e.g. the "stone bolas" from northern Scotland which portray the Platonic solids; "Venus figurines" — which will be detailed in a forthcoming issue of The Ley Hunter , we have been particularly interested in two hand-sized artifacts.
Also see : Appendix - Planetary Grid by Chris Bird (1975)
::. The Planetary Grid : a New Synthesis (1984) ::. We've entitled our current exercise in planetary grid research “A New Synthesis” — and indeed we hope it is. All that may be new about our work is that we have simply found a unique blend of the previously "unblended" ideas of others. Those others are true visionaries in the areas of unexplained earth phenomena, human history, discovery, and the art-science of geometry (earth measure). Over the last year and six months, we've received literally hundreds of letters from researchers all over the globe — who are seeking a comprehensive explanation for a continuum of phenomena and events which traditional science emotionally rejects as "impossible," "hallucinatory," and/or "unquantifiable."
Also see : Appendix - Planetary Grid by Chris Bird (1975)
::. The Celestial Basket in Tims (1999) ::. For some twenty years now, I have worked from the perspectives of art, geometry, and anthropology to understand how human beings "see". I visualize an eclectic, integrated ancient geometric art/science in which certain principles of shape and connection applied equally well to body, mind and soul - earth, animals, and sky. I have intentionally filled this presentation with questions, and I am painfully aware of how broadly I am casting the net. The geometry I call the Celestial Basket is, at the very least, a teaching tool and data-storage mnemonic. I am presenting it in the spirit of Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of Memory and daughter of Gaia, from whose name we get the word "geometry".
::. Blood Lightning and the Planetary Grid (2006) ::. Is Earth—the whole planet—a geometrically symmetrical entity whose rivers, ocean currents, wind systems, coastlines, mountain ranges, and other topographical and archaeological phenomena align with an etheric icosa-dodecahedron “crystal” animating our living relationship with the sun? Is consciousness partly blood lightning—jolts of this energy experienced as shamanic revelation?
::. Labyrinth of Light (2004) ::. I had been so consumed with the elegance of the geometric seed that I didn't realize until I actually installed the rope lights that I would need two separate strands to make the pattern. Two separate institutions to create the liminal tensions of the Margins, Boundaries and Thresholds Symposium. The tree cross morphed for me into a healing staff, entwined by two snakes, of DNA, and then into a brain, a solar system, a galaxy—all leading to the black hole center of all-consuming creative Self. A book I will write materialized before my eyes as I finally understood the labyrinth as the connector for winter solstice symbols I had been working with since the early 1990s.
::. Plato's Cosmic Container (2006) ::. So many metaphors of thinking are encapsulated in legends of this secret alchemical stone, the Philosopher's Stone, that it is almost impossible to know where to begin. Buried within the self, within the everyday world, within life itself, is a common essence—a shape, a creative vessel in which the elements of creation are mixed and transformed. This "stone which is no stone" is intangible—as deep as Breath, as profound as Love, and as intelligent as Light. It is an ideal form, one that can be grasped by the intellect but never actually seen. Eternal and unchanging, it is the sacred container of ever-changing cosmic processes. The Rock of Ages. It is an image that sheds light on form, gives the sense of predictability and connection— memory— to pieces of thought that might otherwise seem random. Thinking is a highly mysterious alchemical process, a sublimation of heart and mind.