Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Third Aeolian Advent

Third Aeolian Advent, 5 x 8", mixed media

All the ideas for this posting came together, appropriately, in the inky-dark of an early December morning. I've been cogitating on the sixth chakra, also called the Third Eye, and the Aeolian mode, the sixth of the seven modes that I've been studying. My exercise has been to pair the chakras and the modes, one through seven. At the same time, there was a call out from Performance Today to identify one's favorite Christmas carol. I thought back on this and remembered the effect that hearing O, Come, O, Come Emmanuel for the first time, almost forty years ago, had on me. There was a haunting yearning that swirled inside in me. In the darkness, I wondered if the carol was in the Aeolian mode. When I woke up later in the morning, I tried it out on Redbud, my modal harp. Yes! These three entities come together in a surprisingly close way and offer guidance for today's world.

The Third Eye energy center is all about perception and knowledge. In fact, it is about the knowledge that makes knowledge.  All this knowledge is gathered together and funneled down the feminine triangle (pointed side down). When we use our Third Eye, we are able to see the world clearly. We can "analyze, think, reason, perceive, understand, discern, dream, imagine and visualize."* We also open our eyes to beauty and wonder. Spiritual experience is grounded.  "What we have experienced in the depths must also stand the test of everyday life."**  Arnold Bittlinger, in his book Archetypal Chakras, points out that "everything comes to an end... even the time of retreat".  We must take all that we learned in our introversion and act. Personal will unites with divine will in harmony.

Indigo is the absorbing color of the sixth chakra. Indigo is a mix of blue, the absorbing color of the Throat Chakra, and violet, the absorbing color of the Crown Chakra.  Golden Moon is the transmitting color.  Moon imagery made me think about the cycles of the moon and time passing. This energy center is about understanding the past, clearly seeing the present and envisioning a future.

How does this energy about knowledge and perception tie in with the Aeolian mode? The Aeolian mode is "introspective, plaintive and hauntingly beautiful"*** This describes how I felt on hearing Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel. How odd that Rejoice!  is chanted in such a melancholic sounding tone. Played in all naturals, the Aeolian is based on the key of A minor with alternating major and minor chords. The lyrics are sympathetic to the Aeolian plea and the Third Eye yearning through understanding the past (O come, thou Branch of Jesse's tree) seeing the present (Israel...mourns in lonely exile) and imagining the future (O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all man-kind).

Now, I hear you saying, "Kathy, this is not a Christmas carol! It is an Advent hymn!" And, you are correct. Advent is a very sixth chakra season. We are invited to pause, perceive and prepare; and admonished to keep awake. Our weary world is in need of folks opening the presents of the Third Eye; seeing the world as it is and imagining with generous spirits and hope.

* Choquette, Sonia. True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit. Three Rivers Press, New York, New York; 2000.  The chapter on "Balanced Personal Vision" is very timely reading. I highly recommend it.

** Bittlinger, Arnold. Archetypal Chakras: Meditations and Exercises for Opening Your Chakras.
Red Wheel/Weiser, York Beach, ME; 2001.

*** Mell, Joanna. Modal Musings: Modes & Music. Joanna Mell; 2011.