McKenna was one of the great explorers of consciousness, and of the wild
Earth. His relationship both with the psyche
and anima mundi (world soul) was unique. He was a man of fabulous
intellect, with the capacity to articulate in a rational manner the behaviors
and experiences of the non-rational mind. Famous for his explorations
of the inner world of psychedelics—primarily those arising naturally in
the flora of Earth—he was also a fearless traveler
into the regions of the world where shamanic use of various psychotropic
drugs is ethical and employed with reverence toward the gods who provided
traveled to the Colombian Amazon, and from that experience in 1971, wrote
True Hallucinations in 1993 for Harper Collins. This is
his primary work in transcendental experiences. McKenna's horoscope, even
on the most superficial level, describes the archetypes that he lived
out to the fullest, and even his early death shows as yet another exploration
of unknown territory.
was born on November 16, 1946, at 7:25 am in Hotchkiss, Colorado, with
the heroic Sun and the romantic Venus rising in Scorpio in the house of
ancestral souls—the Twelfth House. His fearless psychological detective
work is a Scorpio trait, intrepidly advancing into the steamy recesses
of the psyche and the multi-dimensional world of consciousness.
many things, McKenna’s thoughts produced a link between novelty
and time. His recent work attempted to comprehend the qualitative, experiential
aspect of time. The current collective experience
of “time speeding up” led him to propose a unique theory involving a kind
of periodic “quickening.”
quality of time as we now experience it is in the highest stage of quickening,
and we are in a time of high degree novelty. The peak of current novelty
he has dated to December 21, 2012, when the Winter Solstice and the
heliacal rising of the galactic center coincide. This date
is also aligned with the last notations in the Mayan calendar—when time
as we know it will undergo a transformation.
novelty is associated with the planet Uranus, the planet in which we experience
unique individuality and inventive, innovative ideas. Uranus is a maverick
in McKenna’s chart, a planet without aspects to the other planets, and
is found in his Seventh House—the house in which one is "married," and
where one's most committed passions lie. With that in mind, it would seem
that McKenna was married to novelty, dependent on innovativeness and deeply
committed to change and transformation.
Mercury and Mars are both in Sagittarius (another signature of travels,
both inner and outer) and link his impeccable academic, researching mind
to a more adventurous and iconoclastic world-view (shown by the Moon in
Virgo in the Ninth House, along with Saturn and Pluto in Leo).
was nothing fuzzy about McKenna's logic, nor his ability to explain his
theories and exploration of the mysteries of consciousness in a rapid-fire
way. The combination of Mars and Mercury is the fast-talking philosopher
(Sagittarius), and the trine to his Saturn-Pluto conjunction in the Ninth
House gave his mind depth, rigor, power and the relentless desire to unearth
truths—including the ability to admit when he was wrong.
and the Cosmic Joke
is the truth-seeker, and the Ninth House is the place wherein we find
dogma and doctrine (not always “truth”). McKenna was fairly nuclear in
his attack on conventional attitudes, shown by his Saturn and Pluto in
Leo in the Ninth House. This placement also gave him a sense of cosmic,
black humor. The “cosmic joke” is a Sagittarian safety-release for the
tension of realizing that the cosmos is a vast place, and ultimately,
can be frightening to an individual. Within it, however, are tricks of
illusion that pose as reality. Buddhism also acknowledges the humor of
in the Western world—especially the American Western world—is a cosmic
joke, attempting to clarify our place as human beings in the universe,
and challenging our concept of reality. McKenna tried valiantly to link
the vast dimensional compartments in consciousness to the vast cyber-dimensional
compartments of the universe. By going to the source (aboriginal shamans),
and taking part in the rituals, including the use of natural psychedelics,
he worked to link the mind to the cosmos in this way—the shamanic way.
changes in the brain are present in the shamanic process, and McKenna
was fascinated by this. The links between chemistry and the mind are shown
in his chart through Mercury (mind/consciousness), which is closely related
to Neptune, in his Tenth House of vocation.
myriad things, the planet Neptune is associated with chemicals and drugs,
both natural and synthetic. The darker side of an astrological Mercury/Neptune
connection is illusion, delusion and ultimately, loss of boundaries between
“here” and “there.” The transcendant function of Neptune is bring us to
a higher experience of consciousness—via the same route, but with totally
different results. McKenna knew both of these realms well, and due to
his intrepid will, he was able to explore alternative dimensions of the
psyche and come back to tell about it.
is shamanism in its highest Western form—to undergo the journey of the
soul and return to heal the collective through information. The function
of a shaman, aside from the magical acts of healing, is to teach. A shaman
can induct his or her protégé or tribe into new perceptions. The shaman
sees the “novelty” first, then leads us, one at a time and group by group,
to the edge of novelty. The shaman prepares the consciousness for seeing
that which has never been seen before.
McKenna was a shaman of the Western variety—capable of thinking both magically
and critically, and leading people to the thing they couldn't see until
he carefully pointed it out. If you stay very still, and look very, very
closely, focusing on the novelty, you will see something you have never
seen before—try it!
McKenna uses this term to describe periods in history when innovation
and discovery are really high, and the world seems “alive” with new concepts
and ideas. This term also applies to certain types of people, who are
geared to novelty. People who are bristling with excitement about change,
transitions, discovery and innovation—in short, explorers of all kinds.
rising of the galactic center: The galactic center is at
approximately 26 degrees Sagittarius. To explain this term, first we have
to realize that our Earth, and its solar system,
are located on the outer edge of an arm in the spiral galaxy called the
Milky Way. When looking at the night sky in the summer months (winter
in the Southern Hemisphere), especially in late June at the Summer Solstice,
the thick band of small stars that run across the sky is actually a view
of the entire galaxy edge-on, as seen from Earth.
However, in late December, the Earth-view is from the Milky Way, and looking
outside the galaxy, hence no thick band of stars. Heliacal rising is when
a body or point in space first is visible on the horizon (east), rising.
When the Sun is in Sagittarius (November 24 to December 21), it is on
the same side as the galactic center is. On Dec 21, 2012, the center of
the galaxy (26 Sagittarius) will first appear on the horizon at dawn.