Astronomica is the seventh and highest of the liberal arts inviting us to contemplate the cosmos as a divine work of beauty. Join us in Chartres to explore the influence of the planets and stars on our psyches and destinies, and as we seek to embody the sacred through reflective time in the cathedral, shared dreams, walking the labyrinth, and dancing the patterns & rhythms of the cosmos.
Dates: July 7 – 13, 2019
Location: Chartres, France
Faculty: Richard Tarnas, Apela Colorado, Ruth Cunningham, Jim Garrison, Andrew Harvey, Caroline Myss, Calen Rayne, Banafsheh Sayyad and Linda Tucker
Academic Credit: Ubiquity University BA & Masters – 4 credits; The Wisdom School (WS) Doctoral – 4 credits
Chartres Community Webinars – Join the faculty and participants in a monthly webinar on the second Sunday of the month for discussions on the topics included in the intensive. Register for the Webinars.
Watch past Webinars: October 7, 2018 November 4, 2018 December 2, 2018
The Cosmic Dance of Astronomica
In studying the seventh and highest of the liberal arts, you begin to contemplate the entire cosmos as a divine work, designed to express beauty. This is why Pythagoras called the universe cosmos which means ornament. He intuited that the universe is in continuous song and that numbers and forms constitute its basic building blocks as it unfolds in pure beauty.
For the Chartrian Masters, the prism through which they understood the universe as cosmos was the study of astrology. Astrology, the oldest of the sciences views the cosmos mirrored in each human soul, and regards all things and all beings as interconnected and mutually interactive. The movements and positions of the planets and the stars affect human beings. The cosmos represents the Macro, while human beings represent the Micro. We interpenetrate each other. We are each other. We are stardust. Stardust is us. And we are in a continuous dance. As Plotinus said, “The entire universe breathes together.”
Through astronomy, we ascertain the laws which govern the heavenly bodies, and by which their motions are directed. Through astrology, we investigate their archetypal characteristics and seek to discern their influence upon our psyche and destinies.
Rick Tarnas, PhD, author of the monumental work Cosmos and Psyche, is one of the leading astrologers of our time. He is a professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He is also adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara where he teaches in the Clinical and Depth Psychology programs. Read more
In Chartres, Rick will lecture on the transits of the planets at this critical time in history and guide us into a deeper understanding of how the planets are currently affecting human history and behavior.
Linda Tucker, founder of the White Lion Protection trust has been working with extraordinary courage and tenacity to protect the White Lions in South Africa since she was saved from being killed by a lion pride in 1991 by an African medicine woman. Linda has established a beautiful sanctuary in which rescued white lions are returned to their natural habitat where they thrive and procreate, and also oversees ongoing research into the reintroduction of the white lions into the wild. Read more
In Chartres, Linda will share the history and mythology of the white lions, revered as especially sacred since the time of the Pharaohs and regarded as King of Lions by indigenous elders. The white lions are linked to the star system Sirius and are understood to share a profound astrological and spiritual connection with humanity. Linda believes that the white lions are present in our time to show us the courage and humility to re-connect with Nature.
- Apela Colorado, PhD indigenous scientist of the Oneida-Gaul ancestry will lead invocations and dreamwork.
- Ruth Cunningham classically trained musician, sound healer and founding member of the Anonymous 4 will create soundscapes.
- Jim Garrison, PhD will moderate the proceedings.
- Andrew Harvey, PhD (Hons) scholar, mystic and author of more than 30 books, will provide commentary on Astronomica.
- Caroline Myss, PhD five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker will reflect on how we can attune with the planetary movements in dealing with our current global challenges.
- Calen Rayne, DMin will share insights on the labyrinth and lower church, and assist with preparation for ritual experiences.
- Banafsheh Sayyad, MFA, MA sacred dancer and choreographer who is shaping the new expression of the Chartres Academy as Creative Director of Ubiquity University, will guide us to embody the ideas explored during the week.
Dancing the Planets
In Astronomica, we will celebrate the spiritual relationship of the human being to the Cosmos and to the Earth through dance, awakening the soul to a conscious experience of the harmony of the spheres – an experience through which the divine origin of the human being becomes tangible. The dances create dynamic living mandalas as a flowering of the life forces, giving human form to the harmony of the planets and stars.
For the Chartrian Masters, the liberal arts were ultimately an artistic impulse, through which the highest appreciation of the sacred is expressed. Dancing the patterns and rhythms of the cosmos opened sacred communion with the world of the stars. The labyrinth no doubt emerged out of their cosmic contemplations. Led by Banafsheh Sayyad, we will whirl like the planets and stars, echoing that which from heaven streams down to human beings and animates us to becoming luminous reflections of love.
A significant part of our Chartres program is dreamwork led by Apela Colorado and her team. Over the years, students have dreamt powerful and often prescient dreams. Each year they have expressed our collective soul. The community gathers every morning to report on their dreams and to discern their deeper meaning.
Each day will include Sacred Practice, Dreamwork, an opening symposium, a presentation on astrology, immersion in the Cathedral, and personal time for meditation and exploration. We will dance the movements of the planets, and sing. We will have one private evening in the cathedral devoted to walking the labyrinth, accompanied by Gregorian chant, and another private evening in the lower church (crypt).
Ubiquity Chartres Academy builds upon and reinterprets the original Chartres Academy founded by Fulbert in 1006 when he became bishop of Chartres. Fulbert called his school the Academy to indicate that he was in the lineage of Plato’s Academy founded in 387 B.C in Athens. We at Ubiquity University are privileged to be in this lineage and to count Fulbert and Plato among the giants upon whose shoulders we sit.
Our Chartres Academy is intended as a gathering point for a contemporary wisdom community to come together through the very same learning system that Fulbert and Plato used — the seven Liberal Arts. The Liberal Arts were initially refined by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who organized the first four, called the Quadrivium, comprised of music, mathematics, geometry and astronomy. Plato learned the Quadrivium from Pythagoras and with Aristotle developed the Trivium of grammar, rhetoric and logic. Together, they form the seven Liberal Arts.
The Liberal Arts were designed by these great thinkers as initiatory rites into the deepest truths about the universe, with each Liberal Art describing a certain essential element of the larger whole and designed to prepare the students for both professional skills and spiritual awareness. The goal for both students and teachers was to participate in an alchemical process of transformation leading to a deeper understanding of God and the universe, manifested as an active compassionate life in the community.
Building on this foundation, the Seven Liberal Arts were brought to their highest expression by the Chartres Academy during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The seven arts also shaped the education refined during the Renaissance and gave rise to our modern “liberal arts” education, although education today has long lost the deep spiritual aspects of the original liberal arts. This is what the academies of Plato, then Fulbert, sought to instill, and that now our Chartres Academy seeks to recover and utilize as a transformational tool for what Plato called “the enlargement of the soul.”
What makes the Chartres Academy such a powerful experience is that it convenes in one of the most sacred sites in the world — the place which the ancient Druids, coming to the region over 3,500 years ago, considered the most sacred site in all of Europe, full of feminine energy. Each year, the entire Celtic tribe would convene in Chartres, called their vatican, meaning “the seat.”
This is the site where the cathedral now stands. Chartres has been a focal point for the veneration of the Divine Feminine and a center for the mysteries of healing and birth for thousands of years, and has been considered sacred from the earliest of times. This veneration was memorialized in stone and glass in the sweeping Gothic architecture of the cathedral, which the builders viewed as a form of sacred writing. Over 400 images of the feminine grace its walls and stained glass windows. The great mythologist Joseph Campbell called Chartres the ”womb of the world.“ It is also known as “queen of cathedrals,” such is the beauty and perfection of its form. It rivals the Taj Mahal as an architectural masterpiece designed and built in the spirit of love.
Fulbert and the Chartrian Masters who succeeded him, following Pythagoras and Plato, guided by Mary Mother of God and the divine feminine, understood that the sphere of proportion and rhythm underlies the order of the cosmos. Their genius is that they were able to represent this perfection in the cathedral they built as a tribute to this truth.
Required Reading (if taking course for academic credit)
1) Cosmos and Psyche, by Richard Tarnas
Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition, First Printing (Jan.19, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0670032921 | ISBN-13: 978-0670032921
2) World Transits 2000 – 2020: An Overview, Article by Richard Tarnas
Post-Class Assignment for Ubiquity University students (if taking course for academic credit)
Requirement for BA students is a 12-15 page paper, MA students a 12-15 page paper, and Doctoral students, a 20-25 page paper, focused on one or more aspects of Sacred Astronomy, weaving together content from the Astronomica lectures, artistic activities, reading materials and your experiences related to Sacred Astronomy. Artistic work is welcome to supplement your paper.
|Course Level||Credits||Earlybird (until Jan. 20) 1||Full Price (From Jan. 21) 2|
|1 course only||If half of combo 3||1 course only||If half of combo 3|
|Audit (0 credits)||0||$1400||$1275||$1400||$1275|