“Four-Winged Butterfly” | Anthony Satori

“Man only escapes from the laws of this world in lightning flashes. Instants when everything stands still, instants of contemplation, of pure intuition. It is through such instants that he is capable of the supernatural.”

– Simone Weil

Live Lightly

“Take Flight” | Anthony Satori

The fact is, life is a great mystery. None of us knows how long we have here. We may, by some miracle, still be around a hundred years from now. Or we may be gone next week. No one knows. So I say, live lightly. Glide as smoothly as you can over the bumps and dips of this world – they really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. Embrace each day as the gift that it is. Live love, live joy, and live kindness. Live compassion, live gratitude, and live courage. Watch, listen, and learn with humility. Think, speak, and act with intention. And then, when the stars align and the wind is at your back, be ready to fly when the universe presents you with the opportunity to fly.

A Day at the Races

“A Day at the Races” | Anthony Satori

“I hadn’t played the horses in years and was bemused with all the new names. There was one horse called Big Pop that sent me into a temporary trance thinking of my father, who used to play the horses with me. I was just about to mention it to Old Bull Lee when he said, ‘Well I think I’ll try this Ebony Corsair here.’

Then I finally said it. ‘Big Pop reminds me of my father.’

He mused for just a second, his clear blue eyes fixed on mine hypnotically so that I couldn’t tell what he was thinking or where he was. Then he went over and bet on Ebony Corsair.

Big Pop won and paid fifty to one.

‘Damn!’ said Bull. ‘I should have known better, I’ve had experience with this before. Oh, when will we ever learn?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Big Pop is what I mean. You had a vision, boy, a vision. Only damn fools pay no attention to visions. How do you know your father, who was an old horseplayer, just didn’t momentarily communicate to you that Big Pop was going to win the race? The name brought the feeling up in you, he took advantage of the name to communicate. That’s what I was thinking about when you mentioned it.’

In the car as we drove back to his old house he said, ‘Mankind will someday realize that we are actually in contact with the other world, whatever it is.’”

– Jack Kerouac

Jacob’s Ladder

“Jacob’s Ladder” | Anthony Satori

“And Jacob went… toward Haran. And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and beheld a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and he beheld the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. And, behold, the Lord stood beside him, and said: ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.” And Jacob awakened out of his sleep… and he said: ‘How full of awe is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’ And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and he set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.”

– Genesis 28:10-19

Jacob took the stone that he had slept upon and used it to create a shrine in the place where he had experienced a vision of God. What he did not realize, however, was that the house of God – and the gate of heaven – are not bound to any physical location, at all. The house of God and the gate of heaven are within each of us, wherever we may be. We need only search within ourselves with a pure heart, and we will find a direct channel to this very Source of Light and Love.

The Apotheosis of Therianthropy

“Sphinx (with Cobra Adornment)” | Anthony Satori

A “therianthrope” is a creature or entity which is part animal, part human. In some traditions, therianthropes are even thought to be able to move between their animal and human states fluidly, thus being capable of calling upon their heightened powers at will.

“Apotheosis” is the elevation of something or someone from a secular status to the level of a god. It can also mean when an object or a person achieves the culmination of their potential.

It is surely no coincidence that we often name our brands of automobile – some of our most powerful modern tools – after animals. From Jaguar to Pantera to Mustang, we identify these intensely personal and empowering machines with the names and images of some of the most natively powerful creatures that we can conjure, and then we drive them as if they were an extension of our own human selves. While driving, we very often come to identify completely with our vehicles, and by doing so, it is almost as if we are becoming like gods, or demi-gods, experiencing an elevation of our individual powers by extension. When we join with the spirit of a powerful animal in this way, to some degree we may be experiencing, somewhere deep in our psyche, even in our subconscious mind, something resembling a truly therianthropic apotheosis.

This concept becomes especially interesting when we consider how far back in history – even pre-history – the human race has been irresistibly drawn to the idea of therianthropy. Images and stories of part human/part animal entities – most often accompanied by a considerable elevation in prowess, even the attainment of god-like status – pervades the mythology of virtually every culture on earth. From the majestic centaurs of Greek mythology, to the alluring mermaids of ancient mariners, to the bird-gods of Native American cultures, to the formidable Minotaur destroying everyone who dared venture into his Athenian labyrinth (until he was finally killed by Theseus), hybrid human/animal creatures have populated our conceptual landscape for millennia. Even in our modern age, phantasms such as vampires and werewolves – with all of their attendant superhuman abilities – follow this same pattern.

What is particularly striking, however, is the fact that therianthropic ideations date back even further than the ancient Greeks (circa 800 BC). Similar images stretch back a mind-boggling 5,000+ years to ancient Egypt, as exemplified by the god Anubis who had the body of a man and the head of a jackal, or the Sphinx which combines distinctly human features with powerful feline attributes.

Even more remarkable, therianthropic images reach even further back than this, upwards of an astounding 40,000+ years in the cave paintings of Europe. In fact, the very earliest of mankind’s visual expressions – that is, the very first subjects humans considered important enough to capture in representative artworks – portray a remarkably rich array of unmistakably therianthropic creatures, painted directly alongside entirely realistic representations of animals which lived at the time. From the very beginning, mankind has been depicting therianthropes, and such representations continue to show up, unabated, for the entirety of the thread of human artistic and mythological expression, all the way up to the present moment. It is clear that we have been dreaming of such metamorphoses – and the accompanying apotheoses – since the beginning of human imagination. Is it any wonder, then, that we would reach for such elevations in our use of modern technology? How could we not attempt to use our power of innovation to create extensions and elevations of our mortal being, when we have been imagining such hybrid existences since the beginning of time?

Or maybe – just maybe – such images were not mere figments of our imagination, at all, but were actually attempts to preserve a hazy and almost-forgotten past. Were the ancient cave painters perhaps actually depicting something real in their experience or recent memory? Does the veil of human pre-history hide a vastly more fantastic story of this planet than we could ever imagine? Did actual therianthropes roam the earth, and were these ancient depictions and mythologies actually realistic depictions of a world both fantastic and utterly familiar to these early artists and storytellers?

It is clear that deep echoes of such concepts resonate powerfully in our human minds. It is up to us to decide, then, in the face of such universality, if such ideations are purely products of our imagination, or if they are rather our collective consciousness trying to connect us with some deeper recollections of a mysterious, yet very real, past.