Tag Archives: Carlos Castaneda

“Sonnet 33: Full many a glorious morning have I seen” by William Shakespeare

Painting by Albert Bierstadt

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all-triumphant splendor on my brow;
But, out, alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

It was a gorgeous morning when I read this sonnet, and the image of the morning sun illuminating the world with gold resonated with me. Dawn and dusk are my two favorite times of the day, that threshold period when everything appears to transition. Carlos Castaneda claimed that these were times of heightened mystical power. I believe that.

In this poem, Shakespeare uses the sun as a metaphor for the fair youth, who is the light of his life. There is a definite play on words, sun symbolizing son, representing the young man. When the youth is with him, Shakespeare’s world is transformed, and everything is gilded in gold.

The image of the sun in the golden dawn is contrasted by the gloom when the sun is hidden by clouds. This symbolizes the time when the fair youth is absent from Shakespeare’s view. At these times, a shadow is cast upon the landscape of Shakespeare’s world. The warmth and brilliance are gone, replaced by a dull coldness. None of the other “suns” can replace his one source of light. They are all insipid in comparison.

This is a wonderfully visual sonnet that expresses that deep love that is so difficult to convey through words. I hope you found this poem as beautiful and inspiring as I did. Cheers and blessings.

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“The Unknown Mother” by Dielle Ciesco

UnknownMotherThis blog post marks a first for me; it is the first time that an author contacted me and solicited my review of a book. While I was deeply honored by the request, I also felt a twinge of trepidation. What if I hated the book? Would I be able to critique it honestly? I decided to accept the book and to give it an honest appraisal, because if you are a writer, you need to be able to take criticism. Thankfully, I liked the book.

The book is a New Age spiritual tale about a woman’s encounter with a mystical being (Matrina, the Goddess of Sound). Matrina instructs the protagonist on the spiritual use of sound. Stylistically, the book reminded me a lot of Carlos Castaneda’s works, where the magical person instructs the student, who doesn’t always grasp the ideas that quickly. In fact, references in The Unknown Mother to the nagual and impeccability made me feel fairly certain that Ciesco was influenced by Castaneda.

The book contains many interesting passages, but a couple really stood out for me. The first one addresses how the function of words has changed: “Words were originally intended to be tools for us to master. But at some point in our evolution, everything got turned upside-down and words became our masters.” (p. 43) This is spot-on. Words are symbols, used to represent things when we communicate. But as I look around, I see words being used to distort and alter reality. We have allowed words to dictate our interpretation of the world around us.

Another passage that resonated with me deals with the mystical power of music: “music is the key to a doorway you are only just now discovering. Music is the portal to the next world–one we create with our every thought, belief, and dream, with every word we speak and action we take.” (p. 100) As a musician, I am keenly aware of music’s ability to express the ineffable, as well as its ability to express pure emotion in a language without the need for words. Music can also aide in shifting one’s consciousness, which is why drumming and chanting are often incorporated into rituals.

If you are interested in New Age ideas, then you will definitely enjoy this book. For me personally, there wasn’t much here that I felt was new for me, but that was OK. Ideas tend to slip to the back of my mind, and reading a fresh expression of those ideas brings them back to the forefront. I now have things to contemplate… again.

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