By Vincent Bridges (02/20/03)
Almost from the moment the New World was discovered, it was seen in mythological terms as an exotic goddess, an Indian Queen dressed in feathers and furs ridding an exotic beast like an armadillo and armed with a tomahawk. She summed up the desires of the 16th and 17th century European conquerors for adventure and strangeness, and of course, freedom and eroticism unavailable at home. The wealth and power created by the conquest of this New World Goddess would first enrich the Old World and then turn it upside down, generating a series of world conflicts, beginning in the mid 18th century, that continues in the confrontations of today.
The Catholic south adapted the idea of the Goddess of the New World into the ever-expanding hagiology of the Catholic Church. The Virgin of Guadalupe allowed the archetype to become personal, a connection to the land and its ancestors, while joining a larger universalist vision inside the Church. In the largely Protestant north, things went quite differently.
The 17th century’s Indian Goddess became a tamer Indian Princess, modelled on the archetypal story of Pocahontas. This version, while remaining exotic, was accessible and nubile, open to the embraces of the conqueror. As the 18th century passed, and America grew more developed and its people more educated, the Indian princess gained a touch of Greek elegance. “By the late 1790s,” folk-art historian Nancy Jo Fox comments, “it was not clear whether a feathered Indian Princess had changed into a Greek goddess or whether a Greek goddess had placed feathers or plumes in her hair.”
This transformation coincided with the revolution in America. As a new kind of society in the New World struggled for its life against the power of the Old World, a new archetypal goddess figure emerged in the American collective unconscious. This transformation was guided and shaped by the esoteric awareness shared by the core group of the Founding Fathers. The occult history of the American Revolution has yet to be written, but there was indeed a preponderance of “Masons” involved on both sides of the conflict. Washington, Lafayette and Cornwallis for instance all belonged to the same regimental Masonic lodge.
These esoterically minded Founding Fathers saw “America” as a kind of magical future for the human race, when the archetypes that had in the past been mediated by King and Church would be democratically available to all citizens. This would in fact create, if successful, a kind of psychic protection against “tyranny.” No king or demagogue could grab the symbolic current of a freely archetypal democracy and make it subservient to his will. Or so they thought,
The archetype of a new goddess of liberty first emerged in relation to George Washington. In 1775, Phyllis Wheatley, a slave in New England, wrote a poem praising George Washington as a true son of the goddess of Freedom. In the early years of the revolution, this Lady Liberty meshed with the Indian Princess and the Greek goddess Athena, patron of the classical models of democracy such as the city-state of Athens to become, in the poetry of Phillip Freneau, the synthomorphic goddess Columbia.
Even the name suggests a shape shifting, gender morphing, blend of classical erudition and Green Language pun play. We start with a feminisation of Christopher Columbus, the “Christ bearing dove” in Latin, which emphasises the “dove” aspect of the name of the so-called discoverer of the New World. Doves in the ancient world had complex symbolic associations conveying layers of meaning lost in the common Christian symbols of the white dove of peace or innocence, or as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. All the great goddesses of antiquity, Aphrodite, Astarte, Ishtar, Cybele, Isis, Esther, Mari, and, in Christian times, Mary, had doves associated with them. In Mary’s case, her encounter with the dove had all the sexual implications associated with the former “dove” goddess, Aphrodite. Therefore, the “Christ bearing dove” is actually Mary herself, and hence, esoterically, Columbia.
This new image of the goddess Liberty struck a responsive chord in the collective unconsciousness, both in America and in Europe. France would eventually reply with her own version of the new goddess, monumentally mounted in New York Harbour as the Statue of Liberty, with smaller versions in Manhattan and Paris. This Liberty has a torch, a stone tablet and a halo of sun spikes echoing the Apollonian Colossus of Rhodes that inspired it. It is a very classical Liberty, with few attributes specific to the New World.
But the American view of Lady Freedom, the new goddess Columbia, retained a more deliberate kind of synthetic form. The ideas that animated Columbia can be seen in her attributes, that is the objects or symbols that are displayed with her. She is most often shown with an eagle, broken chains and pottery, a cornucopia, images of George Washington, a laurel wreath, a liberty pole and cap, a liberty tree, an olive branch, a rattlesnake, a shield and a stone tablet. The statue of Columbia that used to stand behind the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives is a fine example. In this one we see the Eagle, and on the other side a snake coiled around a Greek column.
By the 1850s, the archetype of Lady Freedom, the synthetic goddess Columbia, had come to represent America itself. As the designs were finalized for the new dome of the Capitol Building, the new temple of democracy, the architect, Thomas U. Walker, included a monumental statue of the goddess Columbia to cap the dome. Thomas Crawford, a classically trained American sculptor living in Italy, submitted a design for “Freedom triumphant in War and Peace” which, after modification by then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, was accepted. Crawford’s original design included a Phyrgian cap worn by freed Roman slaves, and the very idea of freed slaves was hard for Davis to swallow. Crawford changed it to a Roman helmet, crested with eagle feathers, thereby retaining some of the original native flavour of the Indian Goddess.
A full size plaster model was finished just before Crawford died in 1857. The model’s subsequent adventures before arriving in Washington are nothing short of miraculous, surviving shipwrecks and other disasters. Work on the casting of the statue began as the United States lurched unevenly toward civil war. Halted in 1861 as war erupted, the casting was completed by late 1862. Work on the Capitol Dome was finished enough to allow its erection on top of the dome to be symbolically completed at precisely 12 noon on December 2nd, 1863.
A quick glance at the astrology of that moment in time explains why it was so carefully chosen and orchestrated. At that moment, a grand square is formed of the Moon, the North and South Moon nodes and the ascendant, all falling on the proper kerubic signs to form the cube of space of the galactic alignment, the cusps of Aquarius/Pisces, Leo/Virgo, Sagittarius/ Scorpio, and Gemini/Taurus, and highlighting, with the head and tail of the dragon, the Moon nodes, the dragon axis of the galaxy. Overlaid on this is a grand trine of Venus, Uranus and the ascendant.
This strange arrow shaped telelscoping of seven points into six is echoed in the odd shape of the neo-Roman headdress on the statue, and at noon on December 2nd 1862, as the head was being bolted in place facing east toward the ascendant horizon, this shape was mirrored in the stars. To the east lay the rising cusp of Aquarius/Pisces, symbol of the new age, the new aeon. Above, at its zenith, was the Sun, conjunct with Mercury, combining power with wisdom. Behind to the west was the waning Moon, just on the horizon at the cusp of Leo/Virgo. And just in case we didn’t completely understand the metaphor, the rising horizon of the new age, the ascendant, is tied in to the trine of Venus and Uranus, saying that this moment is the dawn of the goddess, Venus, of the new age, Uranus, discovered in 1782 just as the Revolution in America was won.
This synchronicity could hardly have been an accident, yet who could have planned it, and who chose the exact time, is lost in the bureaucratic mists of time. Keep it in mind though, because it is a strangely synchronous symbolic code for the moment in time when Columbia would begin to awaken‚ and perhaps a clue to the moment of her sacrificial destruction.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Columbia became more of an icon than an archetype; her form graced everything from political cartoons to flatware. As late as the 1940s, Columbia was still a viable symbol of America, used on coins and in official art. In the post-war world however, it was Columbia’s eagle that faced down the Communist bear and won both the space race (”The Eagle has landed”) and the Cold War, while Columbia herself became ever more remote and removed from the world.
This was symbolized in 1981 when the first of the new fleet of reusable space shuttles was christened “Columbia.” The goddess of Freedom, “triumphant in peace and war,” became the new symbol of our military and commercial exploitation of space. The Newer World was out there, in space, just waiting for a new generation of conquistadors to discover it. Columbia, as a symbol, had come full circle.
The space shuttle Columbia performed flawlessly, flying the first five missions and alternating thereafter with the newer craft as they came on line. She was on her 28th flight when she exploded, completing as it were a moon cycle of missions, remaining a goddess to the very end.
But, a few months before her fiery end over Texas, the goddess had begun to awaken, at least on an astral level.
Over the fall equinox of 2002, Fulcanelli’s mid point of the season of the catastrophe and Nostradamus’ turning of the great motor of the centuries, a mystic by the name of Steve Prellwitz had an encounter with the newly awakened goddess Columbia. Mr. Prellwitz, whose work can only be found in the most obscure lacunae of the Internet, is completely sincere and apparently honest in his reporting of his experiences.
Here’s his encounter with the goddess:
“Who is She?” I spoke out loud to my other self.
COLUMBIA, came the reply.
This suddenly made complete sense to me, as I remembered that the city of Washington DC was in fact constructed as an energy grid designed to give birth to the sleeping Goddess, Columbia, who was to be the new consciousness of the Earth itself.
“So that was the whole point of the Djed Ceremony?” I asked. “To awaken Columbia?” [The Djed Ceremony was the Equinox Event, see http://vincentbridges.com/RaisingtheDjed.htm)
YES. IT IS OUR DESTINY TO DO SO.
I came to the bottom of the steps and found myself in a large circular chamber. The floor was a huge map of the stars, laid out to express the galactic center alignment now occurring. The light within the torch was now blazing like a star, and the third frequency of my perceptions was filling almost all of my mind’s eye.
THE VIRGO CLUSTER, my voice within the light said. STAND OVER IT.Even though I was not exactly clear on where that would be, the torch seemed to be pulling me to the right spot.
INVOKE THE GODDESS.
Again I was fed the strange words of an unknown tongue. As I spoke them the figure of a beautiful naked woman appeared on the floor next to me. She had long blonde hair, which seemed to glow of if it were really made of light.CALL HER NAME.
“Columbia!” I said forcefully. As I spoke, that weird third level of my awareness ceased, faded away, and she opened her magnificent blue eyes.
The Goddess rose and stretched, Her bare breasts a sight of perfect beauty too wonderful to describe. Light glowed from Her head, Her pubic region and under Her arms, casting Her form in a soothing aura. As I stood there in awe, She smiled.
“America,” She said in soft, musical voice. Then She came to me and grasped the torch. Her hands closed over my own and we shared a moment of silent communion. Inside the light, my second self seemed more real to me. I was more looking at Steve than looking AS Steve.
Columbia took the torch from me. I made no effort to resist. In the light, the other me knew that it was the right thing to do.
She held it in Her right hand, raising it above Her head. As She did this, a book appeared in her other hand. It was silver and had the year 2002 written on its cover in gold.
“Liberty and light to all,” She said.
Then I heard a tortured, frantic scream from above. Adam Weishaupt fell from the darkness and landed in a confused heap next to us. He writhed on the floor, hissing and spitting, as he metamorphosed into his evil reptilian form, which resembled a velociraptor.
Columbia looked down, as the light from Her torch flowed out and then engulfed him. As She continued to smile the light increased, causing the raptor-thing to squirm even more, fighting for his life against the powers of the awakened Goddess. Then there was a startling explosion as the reptilian creature split from its human host. The soul of President Weishaupt, looking again like his normal form, was separated from the raptor, which melted into a heap of goo.
“Free at last!” he screamed with joy, and turned to Columbia, kneeling at her feet.
“Liberty and light to all,” She repeated.
As the goddess noted to Steve, the fall equinox of 2002, with its galactic cube alignments, acted as the trigger to release the sleeping or imprisoned goddess. Remember, the moment of her binding to the US Capitol dome marked a lunar arrangement of the cube of space, over laid by a Venus/Uranus trine with the ascendant. The fall equinox marked a solar alignment of the cube, thus signalling a transition from passive binding to active engagement. The key feature, astrologically, of the fall equinox was the double grand trine in Air and Fire forming a near perfect hexagram. Between two points of the hexagram, Venus formed a square aspect with Neptune and Jupiter, key planets in the double trine. This reproduces the arrangement at Columbia’s installation, except instead of the ascendant as the central point, signifying a focus on the future, the focus here is on Venus, the goddess herself, signalling an awakening or animation of the archetype.
The ascendant on the fall equinox of 2002 was also important to the Columbia arrangement. The alignment of Moon nodes, head and tail of the dragon, on the ascendant also falls along the galactic axis, but on the fall equinox, the alignments are reversed in both orientation and alignment ‚Äì that is upside down and backwards as if viewed through a refracting globe – from the moment of Columbia’s installation. We can think of this as turning a key in a lock, or reversing the polarity of the flow. The astrology, even in this simplistic way, clearly shows that the moment of the archetype’s activation, its release from bondage, was keyed to a reversal of the energetic pattern of its binding.
But there was a disquieting note. On the fall equinox, Pluto was conjunct the south Moon node in almost the same position the Sun/Mercury conjunction occupied in the installation chart. This sounds a cautionary note; the next Venus/Pluto conjunction on the natal Sun could be very bad for the newly emerging goddess. Such a conjunction occurred on January 23, 2003, one week after the shuttle was launched.
The astrology of the moment the space shuttle Columbia reached orbit, calculated as midnight, January 17th, GMT, also eerily echoed the moment of the monument’s installation. A grand trine of the ascendant, Uranus and Saturn formed, overlaid by the grand square of Sun, Moon, the asteroid Lillith and the ascendant. The major shift from the moment of installation falls in the grand trine. Uranus and Venus trine symbolized the goddess in service to the new age, “novus ordo seclorum,” but Uranus and Saturn trine can be seen as a warning that the karma of the New World Order is about to come due.
And so it does. The astrology for the moment of the space shuttle Columbia’s fiery end shows the signs of disaster when related to the moment of Columbia’s installation. First Mars in fiery Sagittarius falls on the installation’s natal conjunction of Sun, Mid-Heaven and Mercury, directly pointing to a disaster for the symbolic reality of Columbia. From the original grand trine, Venus and Saturn have traded places with Uranus, indicating a sacrificial quickening of karma involving the goddess. And most unsettling of all, Venus had almost passed the conjunction with Pluto, which occurred on the 23rd of January and was linked to Pluto only by their mutual conjunction to the Mid-Heaven. We can perhaps think of this last connection as putting a stop or an end to the transit itself; and also bringing the end of the shuttle Columbia, and perhaps, the archetype from which it was drawn.
Since the instant of the disaster also sported a conjunction of Sun, Moon and Neptune, we can see how it had such a deep and universal impact. Our conscious and unconscious minds are both engaged, and joined at that instant to the mass consciousness of the planet. The destruction of the space shuttle Columbia could not fail to have vast and long reaching consequences on the psyche of humanity. It was foreshadowed in its stars.