New Thoughts on the New Moon — Tunnel Psychology and the Rede
This is a very different “New Thought.” As most of you know, I (Jo) am a psychology hobbyist. I explored how to professionally conduct past life regressions, I studied psychology at theuniversity level before I embarked on my teaching career. I was reading Hidden Brain by Shankar Vendantam, which contains a chapter about tunnel psychology. A variety of terms are used to describe “tunnel psychology,” what I have called when a person behaving in a paradigm specific fashion. People acting this way accept only information that reinforces what s/he believes to be true and ignoring alternative information that might challenge that person’s beliefs.
Why does this matter?
In the Pagan Community, and even in the Wiccan community, we see tunnel psychology used to exploit vulnerable people by playing people’s insecurities. There are charismatic leaders who create cultures of insidious behaviors isolating members from other groups. The Church and School of Wicca states early on in our teachings that we encourage you to read as much as possible because “Knowledge is Power.” I interpret that to mean that the more you know, the more you grow empowering yourself to be better (Knowledge as empowerment). I have never interpreted that to mean “power over another person” as much as has been taken out of context by those who wish to do harm.
Now is a good time to reexamine your knowledge. Is your knowledge leading you down a tunnel? Are you receiving information that only supports what you wish to know or are you exploring to learn as much as you can? We can consider this in terms of astrological alignments also. As the planets move in the sky, there are good times to pause and re-examine what you are doing and times to be more active. Although for us in the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving into a more active summer-time, there are many planets in retrograde. Retrograde planets encourage us to look backwards and re-examine aspects of our lives.
Astrological Shifts and Learning
With Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto and the Nodes in Retrograde for this New Moon – take a moment (or two) to reflect on how you wish to proceed with your dreams, the darker aspects of your life (Pluto engaging with the underworld) and what is holding you back (Saturn with those rings that can tie you up in knots)! These outer planets don’t always push you in the same fashion as a Mercury Retrograde (communication and contracts), but these outer planets can have a bigger impact on the long-term. The School offers a wonderful basic course in Astrology written by the amazing Mr. Malec, one of our collaborators from many years ago.
Even in writing this, it sounds complicated, so you might need to make a list. The best thing you can do is to examine your growth seeing if you are stagnant or growing. It’s worth considering your goals during a time full of retrogrades to see if you need to re-examine your goals too. Back on task
The astrology notwithstanding (and supporting my paradigm – hello!), there are some important ideas surfacing about how we interact with others: as religious leaders or as religious followers. We MUST be careful about what we are willing to accept from others as students just as where we lead others when we assume a leadership role. I would encourage you during this time of “all these Retrogrades” to consider your relationship with your faith. Are you, in any way, acting in a paradigm specific or tunnel psychology way? How can you right yourself so that you are embracing our culture, our faith, our work, with the most open-minded practice possible. Since Saturn is in Retrograde, consider writing down your spiritual/faith goals and considering how you are progressing towards accomplishing those goals.
The Rede and Tunnel Psychology
What I suggest for you today, is to take a moment to examine your relationship with your leader or who you are as a leader. Is your relationship with your coven, your group, your neophytes or leader, isolating? Why would it be isolating? Are your relationships moving toward the goal of “harming none”?
And, ultimately, is what you are learning
- supporting harm none? And
- supporting your path?
This is a great time to consider what you might be blind to. This is the time to examine your perceptions, seek empowerment through know
ledge and growth, that you are not in a position to be exploited and you are not exploiting others. It’s a lot to take on, but this is a good time to tackle part of this for yourself. Your growth doesn’t just come from external sources, but from you too. In this Northern Hemisphere spring, it’s time to grow you as well as your learning.
Break free of any tunnels that might be holding you trapped.
For further reference: Exploiting behaviors to recruit for cults