Who am I? There are so many good answers to that question for each of us! Psychologists devise tests to map out our personality preferences. Religionists explain our being-ness by assuring us that we are aimed either at heaven or hell. Those who love us describe us in a way which may be unrecognizable to those who are not so fond of us.

Always, we remain a mystery to ourselves, a package we are continuously unwrapping to find out what's inside. We discover ourselves as we go.

At the end of each year it is the common custom of our human tribe to gather in families and clans to celebrate the depth of winter and the hope of the spring to come. My Rueckert clan gathered in Louisville this year. Jim and I had 13 in the house, the families of my two brothers and my cousin on my father's side. For a week, we talked and laughed together, shared old memories and new photos and caught up with all the family news.

We decked our halls with the beloved crèches, candles, holiday plates and other memorabilia which we save back from year to year. As the only daughter in my birth family, I inherited my mother's collection, and each year we bring it all out and spread the colorful decorations around like colorful layers of living history. We filled every doorway across the top and along the sides with holiday greeting cards and their glad burden of love and remembrance. We cooked and baked, filling the house with wonderful odors.

I imagine that each of you has some traditions connected with this time of year. Jim and I learned a new one this year from our Spanish cousin, Carlos, and his Peruvian wife, Florita, who showed us how to eat a grape and make a wish for each chime when the clock strikes its 12 tones at midnight on Dec. 31.

Why do we experience the need to come together at this time of year? I think it is an inevitable part of our human nature. The instinct to gather is older than recorded history. When we find remains at an archaeological dig, those remains generally are found in groups.

Carl Jung suggested that this sort of "rooting" instinct is an impulse of the deep mind. Jung posited that we share our deep or archetypal mind in common, so that there are patterns of thought, images and unconscious ideas which we humans collectively possess. When we gather in our families, we are experiencing a kind of horizontal rooting, re-experiencing and refurbishing our relationships with those kinfolk with whom we share so many old memories. As we reflect back over our lives together, the question of who we are becomes clearer in that we see the environment out of which we have sprung.

At such times, we also experience a vertical kind of rooting as we think back to our memories of those no longer with us - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles whose stories shaped our early thinking and helped us to explore our growing sense of identity. And the upward surge of our rooting is toward the Creator.

Indeed, in white magical practice within the Western tradition, the beginning of many rituals is a statement of what soil is our native earth; what hills or plains, rivers or desert have cradled our forebears and have cherished us as we grew. I suspect one reason why the culture of the Western world is so profoundly un-magical is that for the most part we have lost that sense of identity with the soil and rocks of our home turf. We usually don't stay in one place for a lifetime anymore. We move around.

Certainly, each time we move, we put down new roots. However, that is not the same thing as living where your father and his father lived. Our rootlessness seems natural because it is what we are used to. However, the lack of true roots erodes our magical base.

The entity Ra, a channeling source for our group - NOT the same entity as either the Egyptian god or the "Stargate" bad guy - encourages us to work with the archetypal mind. The Ra group defines the archetypal mind as "that mind which is peculiar to the Logos of this planetary sphere. Thusly unlike the great cosmic all-mind, it contains the material which it pleased the Logos to offer as refinements to the great cosmic being-ness. The archetypical mind, then, is that which contains all facets which may affect mind or experience."

The Logos of this planet is our sun. The Confederation entities who channel through our group suggest that the Creator sets a universal blueprint for all of creation. Then each sun body adds refinements to that basic template, so that each planet's archetypal mind is somewhat different in detail. They explain that "there is no other Logos the archetypical mind of which would be the same any more than the stars would appear the same from another planet in another galaxy."

Part of our planetary struggle for progress in the spiritual sense, they suggest, comes from the fact that our planet has many different planetary groups living here and attempting to learn the lessons of love. They suggest that the human populations of two planets of our sun, Mars and "Maldek," now the asteroid belt, were moved to Earth to incarnate here and to finish out their lessons in this school of love that is our Earthly reality. Other planetary populations from farther away also have been moved here to finish out this school of "third density," as they call it.

So we on Earth experience various nuances at the archetypal level as we live in various societies. Often when these societies try to commingle in harmony, some details of the archetypal mind of one societal group clash with details from other groups.

These archetypes have a profound effect on all of us. The effect, however, is largely subliminal. Our culture does not teach us to pursue the study of the deep mind. Fortunately, we have many sources such as the Ra group who emphasize the benefits of taking up the study of the archetypes.

The Ra group suggests that there are three ways to enter into a study of this archetypal part of the deep mind. They say that "it is appropriate to study one form of constructed and organized distortion of the archetypical mind in depth in order to arrive at the position of being able to become and to experience archetypes at will.

"You have three basic choices.

"You may choose astrology, the 12 signs, as you call these portions of your planet's energy web, and what has been called the 10 planets.

"You may choose the Tarot with its 22 so-called Major Arcana.

"You may choose the study of the so-called Tree of Life with its 10 Sephiroth and the 22 relationships between the stations.

"It is well to investigate each discipline not as a dilettante, but as one who seeks the touchstone; one who wishes to feel the pull of the magnet. One of these studies will be more attractive to the seeker. Let the seeker, then, investigate the archetypical mind using, basically, one of these three disciplines.

"After a period of study, the discipline mastered sufficiently, the seeker may then complete the more important step: that is, the moving beyond the written in order to express in a unique fashion its understanding, if you may again pardon the noun, of the archetypical mind."

Of those three disciplines, the most commonly known in our culture is astrology. However, this science has been trivialized almost beyond redemption in its popular form. It is still quite possible, however, to penetrate the outer teachings of astrology and to begin to see deep patterns and structures which give a kind of "blueprint" insight as to who we are.

Our research group chose to investigate the deep or archetypal mind by studying the images of the court cards of the Tarot. We used the Egyptian images and asked the Ra group about the Tarot's "concept complexes." That material takes up most of Book IV of The Law of One. You can find this material on our site, in the Library, under Books.

I love the feeling of being more and more grounded in these archetypal patterns, so that in the end I am no longer studying the archetypes. I AM the archetypes.

Now the new year has come. We have ended our Saturnalia, all except for a few remaining football games. We have made our resolutions and set our intentions for a brand-new season of increasing light. As I reflect on that Saturnalia, I am grateful indeed for both the horizontal rooting of living family members coming together and the vertical rooting as we remember our ancestors and their original way of life, going back through the centuries. I carry Norman French and English blood from my mother's mother, Scottish blood from my mother's father and German blood from both sides of my father's family tree. Once again, I know who I am or rather whence I have sprung.

And in the vertical reach of the rooting process, I connect once again quite consciously to the Creator. As I go deep, I touch the starry heavens. As I move inward, I encompass all of Creation.

Where does wisdom start? It begins in the mystery of the human heart. William B. Yeats said it well in these lines:

Those masterful images, because complete Grew in pure mind, but out of what began? A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street, Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can, Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone, I must lie down where all the ladders start In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

We do begin our human journey in mire and muck, in bits, fragments and pieces. And out of such unpromising beginnings, in this hothouse of earthly life, we grow our souls.

I love the way the Ra group describes the limits of the study of the archetypes. They say, "Let no consideration of bird or beast, darkness or light, shape or shadow keep any which seeks from the central consideration of unity.

"We are not messengers of the complex. We bring the message of unity. In this perspective only may we affirm the value to the seeker of adepthood of the grasping, articulating and use of this resource of the deep mind exemplified by the concept complex of the archetypes."

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May you find comfort and a sense of identity in the rooting process as you experience it with family and kindred spirits. May you seek the depths of self. And may you find your springs of love and joy renewed in the process.