The night was humid.
There I was, standing before my mostly movie themed tee-shirt collection, straining to choose three shirts to wear during the upcoming sync summit in Olympia, Washington. I could have ventured down multiple paths here with the themes my clothing collection covers: music, Japanese, movies, ironic-Japanese, television, etc; you get the picture.
This was actually taking place a few hours before I had to wake up to catch my plane, because I’m a lazy bastard who waits until the last minute. But you know that.
I settled on two shirts from my “silver-age Jeremy” collection and one from the “modern Jeremy” collection. I didn’t know it at the time, but my decision would trigger a Syncnado which would change them all forever.
Fade to black.
If any Hollywood studio execs are interested in picking up this film treatment, you can reach me on Twitter @TheStygianPort For the rest of you, here’s what I can somewhat recall from the weekend:
Day 1: Charlie Don’t Surf
At some point David mentions, and this will become a running sync for the weekend, that the Olympia Sync Summit is Friday and Saturday August 8th-9th, the anniversary of the Manson Family murders and the death of Sharon Tate whose body was found on a zebra skin rug.
From Patrick Svec's blog: The Blog of Caverns:
On August 8th, 1969, The Beatles took the photographs for their Abbey Road album cover, a white VW Beetle sits on the roadside. That same day, Manson declares, "Now is the time for Helter Skelter." Later that night, after midnight, therefore attributed to August 9th, is when Tate and her house guests were murdered.The itinerary for the weekend consisted of a few interesting and repeating numbers: meet at Last Word Books (111 Cherry St), check in at Fertile Ground (311 9th Ave), Happy Hour at Dillingers (404 S. Washington), Radio8Ball at Rhythm & Rye (311 Capitol Way), and then back to Fertile Ground (311, 3x11=33) for Saturday’s events. Repeating digits were a big theme of Scott Onstott’s presentation on Saturday.
The main event Friday was Andras Jones’ Radio8Ball Show, hosted by Andy Shmushkin. You can tell Andras and Andy apart because Andy has a mustache and likes to “bring the dick out,” whatever that means. The musical guest whose songs would answer our questions was Peter David Connelly.
The last time I went to a Sync Summit the sync heads in attendance were part of the Radio8Ball Show and helped interpret the musical answers. That was scary enough. This time there was no direct participation by us, unless picked at random to be a contestant. And, of course, the most socially anxious stage-frightened person there (me) gets picked to be on stage; and this time it was on camera. Unfortunately for Smushkin, I get total brain-lock when put on the spot, whether it be in person or on camera. I’m more of a thinker than a talker, so like last time, I was thinking a lot of big thoughts but saying very little. Lucky for you, if you like tragic comedies, you should be able to see the video evidence for yourself soon enough.
The question I put to the Pop Oracle was this: What should I accomplish before I die?
The answer was: She’s not going home with you.
This song was penned by Peter David Connelly (do I have to say all three names like he’s an assassin?) when he was with the otherwise all girl band The Bangs and is on this album from his group The Mona Reels. Peter explains that the song was about all the rude drunken requests by audience members for the females to stay at their house for the night in the hopes that something would happen. Although I’ve never rudely or drunkenly propositioned anyone to spend the night with me, the result is still the same.
It’s an interesting continuation of the previous sync summit Radio8Ball question. In my blog about it I mentioned that I regretted not bringing up Truman’s favorite show within The Truman Show: “Show Me the Way to Go Home.” That of course is related to my question of what I need to accomplish before I die, as death is ‘like going home.’
After getting over the initial shock of “of-fucking-course it was a song that perfectly describes my life” I started pondering the idea that “She” is the lost or hidden feminine, the Shekinah, the the veiled goddess, Isis as the Mysteries, and the virgin-whore dichotomy. I still don’t know what to make of it, but I had initially wondered if it spoke to a duality, and if I was both the annoying guy in the crowd and also the guy on stage or across the veil. When I “go home” the whore will be revealed as virgin, or vice-versa, so technically the “she” I see doesn’t go home with me, because she’s already there in her true form. In fact I had spun the Radio8Ball wheel of fate to number 4 whose song had already been played, so I re-picked from the Radio8Ball cards and got 7, which I took to be a dichotomy as well with the character for 4 meaning “death” in Japanese (“Shi”) and 7 being a fortuitous number. Then I was reminded that Japanese for 7 also contains the same character as 4 (“Shi-chi”), which I guess means that the number and resulting song I received was already hinting at a sort of merging of opposites (death and luck). Aaanyways, I said something about how maybe I need to reconcile the opposites internally, and Andy seconded the idea adding that that’s something we all need to do. And then I kinda stopped talking because I was still trying to figure out if it’s not simply saying that I ain’t getting laid anytime soon.
The real fun was the sync discussion surrounding the event. I was wearing a black and white shirt with the face of Charlie Manson on it. Ezra Sandzer-Bell gave a presentation about Philip K. Dick and his ZEBRA phenomenon, which included an image of the Abby Road album cover complete with black and white crosswalk; themes that would continue to influence/highlight the syncs of the weekend. (Recall that this day was the Abby Road picture and Manson’s Helter Skelter anniversary) I was also seated in front of the giant black and white yin-yang looking Radio8Ball wheel of fate.
careful walking barefoot, you might step on a spider!
Unfortunately for you I have a terrible memory and can only give a taste of the syncnado whirling through the weekend. Speaking of, Patrick just reminded me and everyone that the last question read in Radio8Ball, from the submitted but not chosen questions, was: "Why is zebra such a dick?" (ZEBRA & Philip K Dick once again.) Some themes seemed to come up again and again the whole time.
Day 2: Join The Army
I wore my Join The Army shirt on Saturday. Like the previous one it references a war movie, this time Full Metal Jacket, with a paraphrased quote from the above video. I thought it was synchronous that Will Morgan had a shirt with the words PE_CE and W_R and a dove holding a letter A, as if you could choose which one you want. The reason this stood out is that the same guy who gives the line on my shirt also has “Born to kill” written on his helmet and wears a peace button: another duality, which he refers to in the movie as “the Jungian thing.”
When my airplane landed on the day of the summit, the person in the seat next to me got up to grab his luggage and noticed my Charlie Don't Surf shirt, asking “The Clash, or Apocalypse Now?” I didn’t remember that The Clash actually had a song inspired by the line in the movie, so I pointed out that Charles Manson is on my shirt, which he didn’t even notice. I think David said something like the face on my shirt could be mistaken for a random yogi at first glance. Anyways I looked up The Clash’s song and found a video with the movie scene preceding the song and to my surprise Kilgore mentions another synchronicity: the number 86 (or 68).
In the scene from Apocalypse Now, the discussion about whether to surf Charlie's point includes the information that the break is "six to eight feet" high, and Kilgore sends some guys back to grab boards adding, "bring me my Yater Spoon -- the eight six." 6-8 are my favorite hole cards in Texas Hold’em, and one of the numbers I keep an eye out for.
“It looks like 86 is your lucky number.” – The X-Files (movie)
“86% Accurate (Only God is Perfect)” – Pi
The second day was really great because everyone was there and we got to walk the Olympia Tree of Life which is outlined in Andras’ book Accidental Initiations. (Books by Sync Book Press are available here.) Ezra brought out his pet Zebra and placed it at each sphere on the tree and played the appropriate notes per his Tone Color Alchemy. There was a funny synchronicity when Andras mentioned losing balance and the zebra toy fell over at that exact moment. There were a lot of great moments lost to my bad memory, but the one I want to talk about was the 6th sphere on the tree, Tiphareth.
in hades, 8's shade is a 6
Marty Leeds volunteered to explain the mathemagical symbolism of this sphere, but afterward I got to throw some of my own observations at him. Tiphareth, the 6th sphere, is equated with the sun. The object at this location on the tree was a hexagonal gazebo. The heart chakra, associated with the sun, is also a hexagon, a green hexagon, and the gazebo had a green wooden rail going around it and a green roof I believe. (On my now defunct tumblr account, I had a picture from a comic where a green six-sided sun is mentioned, and the Egyptian Ra is also associated with a green sun.) There was a phone number over the gazebo for reserving it for parties and part of the phone number was an 888, and all the digits of the phone number add to 36 (a veiled 666 for the magic square of the sun). The 6th sphere on the tree of life happens to have 8 paths connecting to it. I also mentioned that turtle shells have 13 sections on them which are six-sided, but have lines running through them which form 8-spoked stars, a combination of 6 and 8.
Day 3: I Want To Believe
The final day was basically spent sitting around having discussions with people who actually nodded their heads as they followed along, rather than stare blankly with their eyes glazed over like we're used to seeing in our day-to-day lives. We're all weird people, and it's really great to be able to be weird together.
At the end of the first day and on until the end of the third, I had kept bringing up spiders and spider webs, mostly when I was talking to Misty Greer. I think she came up to me because her dualistic shirt, Marilyn Manson, was syncing with my shirt, Charlie Manson. And speaking of shirts, I swear I was being followed by men in Captain America shirts all weekend, including Michael Schacht who changed into his on the first day. Anyhoo, it's probably more that I pay attention to these things, but I have always felt that I have some strange attraction to spider webs and flying insects. And I really don't like bugs in general, especially ones which can jump or fly at my face! (Eeek!) For one, I feel like I attract flying bugs, and I have accidentally scooped up one or two flies or bees in-between my fingers on more than one occasion, just by swinging my arms normally by my side as I walk. Imagine the surprise felt when looking down at the vibrating feeling in your fingers to see two bees trapped there! The first thing I caught accidentally was a fly, then some bees, but there have also been a couple of very humorous moments involving birds in the garage while I'm working on my car. At some point, someone told me that the reason zebra's have those black and white stripes is that it serves as a natural fly repellent, negating the need for a long tail like other horses.
The other phenomenon is the constant feeling of "walking through spider webs" (so leave a message and I'll call you back). I seem to always get covered in those thin webs baby spiders use to fly around, or webbing strung up in my pathway overnight. Every morning on the way to get my bike from around the side of the house I put my backpack over my head to block any webs I might encounter. In fact, recently on my facebook page I shared an image of baby spiders streaming down a silky strand that had become attached to my bike handle which I had unknowingly parked next to Charlotte's Web.
I think this line of conversing started when I mentioned seeing 'visions' sometimes (Jung's word to replace 'hallucinations' which have a negative connotation), including one of a giant spider hobbling across my ceiling (which I detail here). While doing some research for my last collaborative book project, CONTACT: Them or Us, I came across some of Whitley Strieber's visions of giant spiders, the size of VW bugs, scrambling up the walls of his bedroom just over his sleeping wife. (Let's not forget the VW Beetle in the Abby Road cover which is part of the "Paul is dead" theory.) There is also the idea of "astral spiders" who spin webs around our world intended to keep us contained here, even containing us from astral projection or remote viewing too far from home.
Eating as a group at the end of the first day, there was a discussion of Ariadne's thread which she gave to Theseus to help him find his way out of the labyrinth. It was called a "clue" which brings to mind the dark half of the creator of the world of Tron, called CLU (LUCifer), who merges with his other half and brings an end to their fictional world, in much the same way Neo merges with Smith at the end of The Matrix trilogy. That brings things nicely back to my question and possible answer during Radio8Ball with what I/everyone needs to accomplish before they die: the alchemical union of opposites.
"If I wake from a dream, do the others within my dream wake as well?"
On the plane ride home I open Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky and continue reading. The first dream description I read involved a giant metallic spider UFO gliding over the city and giving a statement via telepathy (the most common of all Alien communications, since talking to what is essentially yourself (like a dream character) doesn’t require ‘small mouth noises’).
[...] From the body of the spider there issued a solemn voice, loud and distinct; it uttered a prayer that was intended as an admonition and a warning to everybody, for those on earth as well as for the occupants of the spider. The gist of the prayer was: "Lead us downwards and keep us (safe) below ... Carry us up to the height!"
Adjoining the garden was a large administrative building where international decisions were being taken. Flying incredibly low, the spider passed along the windows of the building, for the obvious purpose of letting the voice influence the people inside and point out the way to peace, which was the way to the inner secret world.In regards to the insect UFO dream, Jung brings up the theory that aliens are insects from another planet, and their exoskeleton happens to look metallic, like the chitinous shell of a beetle. There's an anaology in the way UFOs behave, speeding around and then pausing to hover over an area, and then zooming off again, like a flying insect looking for food. We have the firefly or lightning bug which produces its own luminescence like a UFO. Also brought up in the footnotes is the book Flying Saucers on the Attack which mentions a report of a "rain of threads" which come from unknown spiders.
At the beginning of my summit wrap up here I mention that David had a spider bite on his foot. The double-puncture marks are similar to the double-sting of a scorpion. The constellation Scorpio is right next to Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, whose foot dangles above the galactic central point where Scorpio's stinger is pointing. Scorpio is more of a amalgam of a serpent, the older image of the constellation, and an eagle, the enemy of the serpent or what the serpent transforms into when shot in the heart with the arrow of Sagittarius, the other constellation aiming at galactic center. By the way, at some point in the week probably after the summit, I ended up with two small scabs on my arm as if I suffered a giant double bite or sting.
Perhaps the spider-UFO in the dream is echoing the alchemical maxim which I'm sure I'm paraphrasing poorly: Visit the center of the earth, and by rectifying what is there through repeated distillations, you will find the stone. The center of "earth"/your torso is your heart, where the stone-seed grows upwards like a tree which the serpent energy climbs until it transforms like Scorpio/Serpent into Aquilla the eagle. At one point while pondering the spider theme, I felt like there was a evolution from the flying bugs I catch on accident to the spiders and webs I attract, to the birds I attract...
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.I dunno why she swallowed that fly,Perhaps she'll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.But I dunno why she swallowed that fly -Perhaps she'll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;How absurd, to swallow a bird!She swallowed the bird to catch the spiderThat wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.But I dunno why she swallowed that fly -Perhaps she'll die
If you want to learn more about upcoming sync summits, podcasts and publications, check out thesyncbook.com!