Those of us who were adult and conscious in 1987, remember the time leading up what author and pied piper Jose Arguelles called the Harmonic Convergence, one memorable weekend in August of that year when what has been called the world’s “first multi-national, simultaneous meditation event” ever was held to celebrate the start of the 25,000 year reset of the Mayan Calendar.
This event launched a 25-year period that would end on December 21, 2012 (some said November, 2012), when a portal would open and all of humanity would “ascend.”
In between those two dates of spectacular promise, we remember the millennium moment, which occurred simultaneously with Y2K, the “millennium bug,” when it was feared that all computer systems would suddenly go haywire and bring civilization down. One thing that moment did bring in, for anyone watching television on that first spectacular millennium morning when electricity still worked, was cultural celebrations across the globe, dancing with the sunrise, for the next 24 hours. One might call this extended moment the second truly global meditation, for it sure felt like it!
And, for those of us who follow geopolitical matters, this millennial moment also announced the sudden “ascendancy” of Vladimir Putin to power in Russia. And, let’s face it, the world hasn’t been the same since! Not because civilization suddenly fell apart, but because the old world order, with the so-called “exceptional” U.S.A. strutting about at the helm, was suddenly introduced to the one who turned out to be its most frustrating and hated bugaboo.
And now, with presidents Trump and Putin slated to meet on July 16, what will be the result? The MIC, of course, is terrified. What if we stop using war and rumors of war to ramp up fear? What if all our stupid, advanced, hi-tech weapons prove obsolete in a new world where we learn how to cooperate and trust? Perhaps that promised Ascension to peace and prosperity was not a false hope after all. Perhaps 2012 was only the seed, now planted and being patiently, and behind the scenes, watered.
So, with the background context of this post, “Harmonic Emergence,” established, let’s recount my experience during that storied weekend. At least part of my experience. The other part, when I was twirling like a Sufi at midnight and got the message “You must finish your personal karma by the end of the year,” did take the rest of 1987 to fulfill, and involved a harrowing, but ultimately successful pilgrimage. So grateful!
By Ann Kreilkamp
Published in the magazine, Welcome to Planet Earth, Libra edition, 1987.
The woman directs me to sit on top of the desk. “I want you up high so we are at eye level,” she explains. Maxina has asked to do a trade with me — an astrological reading in exchange for what she calls a “soul portrait.” I am skeptical. I have no idea of her art, whether she really can do “soul” portraits — whatever that means. This Scorpio woman from Manhattan is one of 30 people from all over the country with whom I’ve been thrown together during these past few days of harmonic convergence. I am exhausted from the intensity of the continuous experience we have undergone as a group, and glad there is just this one sitting to do before I can leave and go home.
Maxina sets up her easel and many colors of pastel chalk. She is ready. “I want you to look at me directly, face on, as if I am a mirror,” she instructs. I am going to be moving around, and I want you to continue just to look at me.”
She goes to work. Selects a beige piece of paper and brown chalk. Eyes flashing back and forth from my face to the easel, her hand works quickly, translating what she sees to the page. Embarrassed, feeling slightly stiff, I do as I am told.
Five minutes go by. “I want you to look at me directly,” she says to me quietly, attending to the line her hand is tracing. “Notice how your face is slightly turned. When people don’t look at me directly, it means they aren’t quite with me, aren’t quite sure whether to trust this experience.”
Caught in the act! My God, this lady sees like a hawk! Something in me changes. I settle in to the experience and face her, head on.
I had trouble facing the upcoming convergence head on, too. For months, I had found it impossible to read the literature on the subject. Not because I didn’t “believe” in it, but because something kept diverting me away. Then, in late July, a friend pointed out to me that my waking dream about a flying dragon was Quetzalcoatl! Needless to say, I was astonished.
Once the link between the symbol of the Mayan god and the object of my perceptive imagination was pointed out, I had no further trouble reading about the event to come. It was as if I had to understand the primacy of the imagination before I was allowed to proceed in my usual way of gathering information.
The decision to join a group of 30 strangers for the convergence did not come easily. For months before I had wondered where I was supposed to be during those two days. The only definite decision I had come to was that I was supposed to be home, in my beloved mountain valley, during that time. I assumed that also meant I was to celebrate with friends somewhere in or near the Tetons. With that in mind, I had even cancelled a trip to Seattle.
Driving home alone in early August from Portland, I had plenty of time to again ponder the coming event — and my place in it. I recalled a conversation I had had with a friend from Laramie, who told me there were going to be two different celebrations there. “Even on the convergence, we can’t converge!” she lamented. “So you fail unless you all do the same thing?” I asked her, and spoke of how we continue to need to all do the same thing, as if there were only one right way. Even as we resurrect a more ancient, and deeply familiar, nature religion, we still bring with us the same competitive urge that drove the Christian crusades, burned the witches, led to the Protestant Reformation!
As I was thinking about this, how our old/new vision of the planet as a sacred living being conflicts with our inherited territorial conditioning — a new realization suddenly broke through. I am supposed to be in my home valley during convergence, but not with my friends. What?
I run that one through again. Really? Yes. It feels right, solid, not a matter of debate. Well then, does that mean I’m meant to be alone? Alone on some mountain top? If so, which one? Somehow that way of honoring those two days doesn’t feel right to me. Or does it?
Arriving home, I check my answering machine and discover a call from a woman whom I had met briefly during a trip to California in the spring. “I’m calling about the convergence,” she said. “I’m hoping you will join us, and give us some information about the astrology of the event.” Gay Luce is a nationally known shamanistic worker who had brought a group of 30 people to the valley for a workshop. They were to remain here for the two days of the convergence.
Aha! Is that what I’m supposed to do? Be with a group of total strangers during those days? Or am I supposed to be on some mountain top, alone?
The question of exactly where I should be during convergence preoccupied me increasingly as the days went by. I knew that, for some reason, I was supposed to be in some specific place, and that in order to discover just where, I had to attune ever more deeply to my inner being.
Finally, a couple of days before convergence was due to begin, I decided it was time to decide. Throwing the I Ching, I obtained “Increase,” changing to “Fellowship with Men.” The tide had turned. The direction was clear. I called Gay and accepted her invitation.
I had noticed during those weeks prior to convergence that my question of where I should be was shared by others. And that, like me, these people were awaiting an inner turning before making up their minds. For some strange reason, we were taking this event, and our place within it, very seriously — even though very few of us could discuss coherently what the event was supposed to mean, and moreover, we weren’t that interested in reading about it either! Somehow, the coming significance of this event was intended to be felt and perceived directly rather than through verbal interpretation.
Though we didn’t know much through primary literary sources, we did hear a lot about it second hand. Part of the lore that grew up around the coming end-time was the idea that certain people, “144,00 rainbow dancers” to be exact, would “full awaken to their dream bodies.” That during those two days these people would be given their direction, put in touch with their true destinies. This, coupled with rumor that aliens from the “galactic federation” would be among us during that time, caused many of us to think in very literal terms, the way we used to as children. As if an angel would suddenly materialize, tap us on the shoulder, and point the way.
“Just about ready for a first showing,” Maxina says, after about 20 minutes. She has worked continuously with the brown chalk, and wonders out loud whether she will be able to complete the portrait in color. “O.K., why don’t you hop off the desk and take a look at it,” she says, stepping aside.
I do. And am struck with wonder. Usually the most problematic part of a portrait is the eyes. But these eyes jump out at me, they know me, they are me. Maxina, in portraying the soul, has focused on the eyes, windows to the soul. And what she has captured is amazing.
The eyes appear to have recently opened, and are still sensitive to light. They look wounded, but brave. As if this opening were a dangerous and risky undertaking. She asks me to talk about what I am feeling. I tell her that it seems as if this person is, after a long and difficult struggle, just coming to, waking up — into a sort of second innocence.
That she — or is it a he? — the being appears androgynous, perhaps more a very young man than what it is supposed to be presenting, a 44-year-old woman! “Well,” she responds, “is there an aspect of yourself that feels like a very young man?” I have to admit that yes, there is, and that I like it.
“I feel as if this person would not harm anyone,” I continue, “and that feels good! But I am not happy with the bottom part of the face. The lips don’t seem like mine — too sensual!” (I am embarrassed.) “And the entire bottom half seems less definite somehow, as if it isn’t really formed yet.” Maxina, listening, smiles. Suddenly, I realize that this is an accurate description of how I feel about myself at this time. That the expressive part of my personality hasn’t really formed yet. That though transit Saturn and Uranus have both been working on my 21° Sagittarian Ascendant and 27° first house Sagittarian Sun, Saturn has, so far, been the stronger, forcing me to keep a rather tight lid on my expressive self.
She nods as I give her my perceptions of myself. For a moment, we are silent. “And is there not a question in the eyes?” Maxina muses. “Yes,” I say decisively. “They are saying, “What next?”
I join the group on Friday night, in time for the closing ceremony to the Druid workshop they have been doing all week. We are to witness performances they have prepared in small groups. Afterwards, I am to give a talk on astrology.
I feel awkward, out of place among these people who, by this time, have created their own community. In order to situate myself, I become acutely aware of the other people, searching, by their looks, dress and behavior to make sense of them and the situation. A certain look in the eye, one small gesture — either of these is enough for me to figure them out — so I think. Actually, I didn’t think about what I was doing at that point. I simply did it. Now, as I look back and notice what I did, I realize it was what I always do when faced with a strange situation that I need to integrate. I go into my mind. I become hyperaware, so mental that I lose contact with feeling. Instead of softening my gaze so that I can receive their energies and gradually absorb who they are in a full way, I close down to a laser beam, focus narrowly, and try to figure them out. This, unfortunately, has the opposite effect to that intended, reinforcing the distance I already feel.
As that evening stretched into several days, I began to notice that my initial perceptions of people had been way off. That in almost every case I had constructed an identity that was much too limited for the person’s burgeoning reality. That these people, as individuals, were much more interesting than I had given them credit for. I have noticed this before, of course. Who hasn’t? But for some reason it affected me profoundly during this time. Never before had I experienced both the power and pretension of left brain activity quite so starkly.
Maxina has begun to use colored chalk now, and is moving rapidly, eyes flashing back and forth, hands grabbing first one color than another. Absorbed in this task, she has forgotten me. I am no longer myself, but simply the subject for her work. I lose myself, too, and concentrate on watching her as my mirror.
Another 20 minutes have gone by. Abruptly, she stops again, asking me to hop off and take a look.
This time I am shocked by what I see. Now the eyes are expressing extreme difference. The distinction is even more pronounced when, at my request, Maxina covers first, one half of the face, then the other, with a piece of paper. With the right half of the face covered, the entire left side and especially the left eye look suffused with light, as if lit from inside with a supernal glow. The gaze reaches beyond time and space, into the vastness. The set of this entire side of the face is unearthly, awe-inspiring. I think of Avalon. I think of Neptune, its position at my Midheaven, raining on all the other energies in my chart. I feel humbled, grateful. Truly, I am in the presence of an archetype.
The right side of the face, on the other hand, sits in shadows. The gaze of the eye is direct, unflinching. The look is serious, intent, experienced in the ways of the world; a master of the physical plane. “But I still don’t like mouth,” I tell Maxina. Especially the right side of it, the way the corner turns up.” “Well, let’s look at that corner; what does it remind you of? How does it feel?” “Well, maybe like it’s feeling detached, separate, kind of cynical . . .”
Oh my God. She’s right.
We are sitting in a circle in a giant white yurt 30 feet in diameter. It is night. The yurt glows from many candles. Five altars have been set up around the perimeter, each by a small group which is to present a short drama.
The evening begins. We attune to each other by standing, holding hands, in silence. Sitting down, we watch three people enter the center of the space. The first drama is wordless, three people dancing slowly, ceremonially, around an offering of wildflowers and feathers. Their movements are graceful, hypnotic, synchronized; a reaching for the heavens, a bowing to the earth. Our circle enclosing them is silent, still. Only our eyes move, entraining us with their rhythmic motions. Together, as one, audience and performers are lifted into a dimension beyond the ordinary.
By the time this first drama is over, we have entered ceremonial space and time. A space/time that is open, timeless, acutely sensitive and aware: sacred. As a group, we are both energized and infinitely patient. Waves of feeling wash around the room. Even I, so recently the stranger, am no longer watching so closely to see who is who, and how I fit in.
The dramas follow one another in magical order. Who planned this? — we whisper to one another, in wonder. We know no one was in charge of the overall sequences of these performances, yet the flow is wondrous. Silence is followed by story; deep gravity by tear-jerking laughter. The rhythmic movements from one to another act of this Goddess-produced play are exacting and perfectly timed.
Many hours later, the final drama begins. We, the audience, are holding hands, and moving to a circular dance around the performance inside. Our dance changes periodically according to timed signals. A woman and a man, both spotlighted, take turns talking about their own personal experience with snakes, first as children, then as adults, and now, as transformed beings. Their stories are acted out by two others; the snakes are killed, and killed and killed, over and over again, as over and over again kundalini rises only to be destroyed by fear.
At the end, the woman, who had been soft and lovely, almost demure during the entire performance, suddenly lifts up her head and starts screaming. Her voice rises to a pitch that is so high it irritates, causing restlessness, a desire to strike out, strike her down — or else scream too, loudly, expressing that massive kundalini energy rising, rising in all of us and we scream and scream and turn into wolves howling our horror and our love.
Suddenly, music fills the yurt. We dance, frenzied, until the energy is spent.
The revelation shocks me. Sears my soul. I feel immobilized. Don’t know what to do next.
“I think it would be a good idea if we were now to do a healing,” Maxina says, in her usual, timely manner. “Let us hold hands, and help you to ask forgiveness for whatever you need to forgive.”
Numbly, blindly, I do as she instructs. The words tumble out. I ask forgiveness for excessive mental development, shutting me down, shutting me off from others, refusing our limitless possibilities.
“O.K. Now Hop back on the desk and we’ll see if we can finish this.” As I climb on the desk and compose myself, I feel changed. Subtly, imperceptibly, I feel softer, more receptive. I am here, present, with Maxina in this room. The future and the past are both contained and expanding into this one perfect and everlasting moment.
It is midnight, time for my talk on the astrology of the convergence. The group, sitting on the floor, moves in close to me and my easel. I am in a state of profound humility, so moved have I been by this evening’s performance.
I begin by placing a point in the middle of the page, symbolizing earth, as a heavenly body. I trace concentric circles around it: the planets, their orbits, as spheres of influence, dimensions of understanding. Our task on earth, I say, is to expand our consciousness, attune to larger and larger space/time fields.
Join with us now, as I summarize that midnight offering.
“The larger the orbit, the longer the planet takes to make a full circle. As a planet completes its full orbit for the first time we begin to sense it as a whole, understand the field in which it operates, learn to use it for our own purposes.
“The outer planets — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — have cycles so long that we cannot understand them within one lifetime. Our attitude towards them must be one of surrender, trust, release to the mystery that they present. These energies are collective and generational in nature; they represent the deeper unconscious mind, and its evolution through time.
“The harmonic convergence is primarily an event involving a message brought to us by the outer planet Uranus, as the kingpin of a rare grand trine in fire involving seven of the ten known planets. The stage has been set this year by the near conjunction of Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius. The influence of this conjunction will continue through next year, during which time these planets make three exact conjunctions.
“The conjunction is the astrological significator for the paradigm shift that Arguelles and others talk about, the changeover from the Newtonian to the Einsteinian worlds. From a world of polarity, duality, comparison and competition, of the survival of the fittest — and may the best man win. We shift into a world wherein every point is described as an energy, occupies its own unique place and significance, is in resonance with every other energy, and all participate in the ongoing open-ended creativity of what Arguelles calls a ‘resonant field.’
“The symbolic meanings of the planets Uranus and Saturn seem contradictory. Uranus, heralding the new age, seems to conflict with Saturn, guardian of the old. Alternatively, we can embrace the paradox, and allow Saturn and Uranus to fuse. We seek coherence (Saturn) within the resonant field (Uranus). Through focus, centering, and discipline (Saturn), we learn to discriminate between what is of value and what is not in the so-called ‘new age.’”
[Earlier, one extremely gifted member of this group had done a brilliant and savage parody of a so-called “channel,” calling himself “Brian Ryerson.” And for weeks before the event, Trudeau’s Doonesbury cartoon had poked fun at the “moronic convergence.” Thank God we in the “new age” are beginning to find the humor in what we do, using it to help us make those needed distinctions.]
“Since March of this year, the planet Jupiter has proceeded into the sign of Aries. 1987 is a year of new beginnings, of initiative, of fiery courage. Since June, Jupiter has been within orb of a trine to Saturn/Uranus. So, two points of the fire grand trine have been in place since June. Now, during these days in August, the third point of the triangle is completed, as Sun, Mars, Venus, Mercury all move into place in Leo, 120° away from both the Saturn/Uranus and the Jupiter positions.
“The performances here tonight display Leo energy at its finest. We have brought forth the expressive energy, sustained creativity, and high drama and theatricality of which Leo is famous. The actual sequence of the performances, though unplanned, made sense. All five dramas found their rightful places in the larger resonant field. Together, they created a whole that was more than the sum of their parts.
“The generation born between 1938 and 1958, who have Pluto in Leo as their unconscious signature — and that includes most of us here tonight — are especially affected by the convergence. The time has come for allowing our creative Leo energy to manifest. The curtain opens on our own play here tonight. We are to determine the fate of the earth in how we choose to express ourselves.
“Let us open ourselves to the fiery energies now raining upon the planet, and use our own bodies to create the channels necessary for this energy to ground. As the industrial age, now ending, mined the earth for its inner wealth, and left it only barely able to sustain itself, so now the post-industrial age will mine the inner wealth of human beings, and this font is inexhaustible, it can enliven the entire planet in limitless joy.
“The grand trine in fire is above all else, a signification of the spirit. It is as if the holy spirit is again descending to earth. We are being given a gift — not of tongues this time, but of one tongue. The second coming has arrived; this time we are to speak, not many different languages, but one language, the language of the heart, symbolized by Leo. As we move into our hearts, and learn to speak from that place, we enter the resonant field, and find acceptance everywhere.”
It is late Sunday night, the final night of convergence. For hours now, we have been confessing, telling each other of our shadows, how those dark sides of ourselves have been rearing their ugly heads, even during this holy time. This has been occurring simultaneously with an unusual, but subtle, joy we are also inhabiting, both as a group and as individuals. Over and over again, plans (Saturn) have been abandoned, as some other current (Uranus) spontaneously moved us into a new form, a new process, a new way of expressing energy.
During this time, I, too, have continued to wrestle with my personal devil. Feelings of judgment, comparison, jealousy, desire for attention, loneliness, alternate with feelings of being swamped, engulfed, suffocated (all Saturn). Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, both extremes fall away as over and over again Uranus drops me, shuddering, into an open field, open space, a totally shared and unitary feeling of being one with the whole, where anything goes and all is love. This all-accepting and inclusive space extends from this group to the other small groups I am aware of also celebrating in this valley and beyond — to the thousands of places throughout the world of which their sacredness is being honored by small groups in spontaneous ritual and celebratory communion.
Now, afterwards, I hear of the 200 drummers in concentric rings on the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii; of the 3000 people who created a giant serpent out of sand on an Australian beach; of the entire first page of the “Science” section of the New York Time being devoted to harmonic convergence. I hear of my friend Chris who celebrated alone, finding her spot on a mountain side and falling into a trance which lasted for five hours; of a couple who kept waking up the night of the 16thand going into their suburban backyard to sit there, simply sit there, on the grass; of the many stories of group rhythm and harmony; of altars built on hillsides, in living rooms, of celebrations as diverse and manifold as are we, the people, who have inherited the earth and, emerging into the Age of Aquarius, are awakening to our common planetary responsibility.
At midnight, one member of our group teaches us how to twirl in the Sufi manner, going counterclockwise, with the right arm extended up and the left curving out and around. We bring in energy from the universe with our right hands, and twirl it into the planet with our left. Thus do we help balance the earth as she spins.
The spinning begins, as a few of us try it out in the center of the circle which, as usual, is bounded by the rest of us, and which, by this time, feels like a security net, a way of feeling safe as we venture into the new. Once in a while a person loses his or her center and falls to the floor, to be picked up and comforted by others. We are learning how to spin, we are learning how to keep our centers in the midst of constant change.
As I twirl faster and faster, another revelation breaks through. This time I see the meaning of the struggle I went through to find my right place during convergence. I realize that the angel was tapping me on the shoulder all along, nudging me in the direction I finally agreed to take. That my context here, and my original “place” as a stranger struggling to come into harmony with this group of highly creative and expressive people, needs to be seen as the seed pattern for what is to come in my life. That this context, for me, points in the direction of my future.
Since then I have asked many people about their convergence experiences and attempted to understand them with this in mind: those who did struggle, who did take the question, “Where am I to be during convergence?” seriously, were indeed, handed their destinies during those two days. Each of us needs to see our specific circumstances during those two days as symbolic, creating seed patterns for our individual and collective futures.
We have been reborn. And the natal chart for all of us is that fiery grand trine, inspired, open, inventive, creative, fierce, dramatic, expressive, and above all, loving.
“O.K.,” clapping her hands to get rid of the chalk, “it’s done. Take a look.”
Now I see that the left eye is not quite so supernal, so removed from this earthly reality, that it is somehow more grounded, more present. And the right eye has gained, too. Without losing its directness, its focus, there is now a sadness in this eye. It’s as if it had come to terms with its memories, and had embraced them — with compassion. With the eye changed, the curl in the right side of the lip no longer gives the impression of a feeling of superiority. Instead, it is more an awareness and a willingness to work with what is.
The left, more receptive yin eye has gained something from the earth wisdom of the right; the right, more expressive yang eye has gained from the infinite compassion of the left. By incorporating the polarity represented by the other within itself, each eye is now both expressing more individuality and yet resonating with the other.
Our vision begins to converge, emerge — in harmony.