4.12.19: Shiva’s Garden


“Had a powerful meditation just now—caused an earthquake in Southern California. Was meditating on Shiva mantra & earth began to shake. Sorry about that.”
–Deepak Chopra

Welcome to Butterfly Language, a look at the world inside and outside my head!

a) Let’s all agree that the above quote is one of the most fucked up things Deepak Chopra has ever said. Not quite Uri Geller-level, but close.

b) Today’s image is taken from some YouTube video analysis I watched of the movie 3 Women a long time ago. It depicts, of course, the ouroboros—infinity, the snake swallowing its own tail.


Last year was rough for me. It was a “put up or shut up” sitch with the Universe, and I wasn’t having it; and consequently, the Universe wasn’t having it with me either. I had wiped my site—and even a satellite site I had made—of content several times over. I didn’t want this “cup,” basically.


One of the series I started on this blog last year was called Messenger Shiva, an extended look at how 9/11 impacted me and the winding realm of esotericism/pop-culture I increasingly found myself enmeshed with. I had cold feet with Messenger Shiva, and ended up pulling it back in Drafts along with a massive amount of other material. It talked a lot about specifically Conspiracy Culture, and I was afraid that even mentioning such things was going to “get me in trouble.”


But as I said…I am becoming increasingly aware that the Universe is giving me no more wiggle room in terms of publishing this work and putting my ideas out there.

Messenger Shiva was an idea that spontaneously came to me in 2014. I even painted it on a big piece of poster board (excuse me for the goofy cartoonyness, but that’s as realistic I render unless I’m really copying something):


And the idea, I guess, was that it was the god Shiva…the Destroyer.

And this concept of Shiva—the Destroyer—I had long before I even understood anything about Hindu gods. In college I wrote a series of poems called “Destroyer,” and it was based on a character I had created even earlier, back in junior high school. Instead of the blue skin, this Destroyer had purple skin; but the same long black hair. Purple skin, purple eyes, purple gums (for some reason, I remember the gums).


I just watched all of Avengers: Infinity War last night. Previously, I had only watched pieces of it. I immediately identified Thanos with Destroyer. I don’t think I based Destroyer on Thanos; I was reading Marvel comics at the time, but almost exclusively X-Men related stuff (as per my cliche).


Actually, the Marvel villain I do think I partially based Destroyer on is the Beyonder from Secret Wars II. Beyonder is omnipotent, somewhat childlike, and somewhat an asshole. He keeps wanting to “fix” things—like Thanos in Infinity War—but always makes it worse and creates a lot of collateral damage.


As I remember it, the Beyonder was more or less incorporeal in the 1st Secret Wars, but in the second he takes a body—copied from handsome Steve Rogers—and literally adds Michael Jackson’s hair. Because, of course…he wanted to be the “perfect” human.


I had other names for Messenger Shiva—this figure that might have also been Destroyer/Beyonder. My nickname for him (it?) was “Blue.” My private Tumblr of the same name was made up of 2,000 images I chose over almost 2 years in an attempt to “understand” Messenger Shiva…this “energy” that I guess I stumbled onto. An online “vision board,” if you will.


Perhaps I had personified “him” in order to better understand him…but what we are talking about here is really the Zeitgeist. An operative Idea.

And I first felt this idea during 9/11…or maybe it was in the mid-1990s when I was having a lot of psychic dreams and wrote the Destroyer poem series (I don’t think I have any copies left of it, unfortunately). Or maybe it first happened in the late 1980s, riffing off of the comics I read. Maybe Jim Shooter, who wrote the original 2 Secret Wars miniseries, tapped into that same energy with the Beyonder…


In 2016, I revised and simplified my portrait of Messenger Shiva, into something more abstract/elegant & less overtly cartoony:


Dealing with Messenger Shiva/Beyonder/Destroyer/Thanos is like dealing with, in a way, a child. So maybe this all goes back to the Age of the Crowned and Conquering Child.
A personification of a force, of the mutating zeitgeist that peaked in 2001, 2012…and might very will again in 2020.

Now, like my Destroyer poem series and much of my past art and hand-written journals, the Messenger Shiva paintings I’ve shown you here have been torn up and thrown out. However, at the beginning of this year I painted another one:


The beauty, of course, with the Internet is that it is more or less “forever.”


So I’m going to be serializing Messenger Shiva for a little bit, do other stuff, make more Messenger Shiva posts…and just try to finish that initial thought.

Thank you for reading, and have a good start to your weekend!

5 thoughts on “4.12.19: Shiva’s Garden

  1. mark Borino

    I moved to Richmond Hill in Queens just before labor day 2015. That neighborHood has the largest population of punjabis in the city. Images of Shiva were everywhere. He was not the only deity that was prominent but I felt more of a connection to him than others. I am a practicing Buddhist and have taken refuge vows but I felt I was under shiva’s protection. There is a tradition that Shiva is both the supreme acetic and the supreme householder. Some see him as the father and Ganesha as the son. This interpretation was comforting to me. I feel like now that I’ve moved away I’m less in connection with him but that he still offers protection. I just have to want it. Thanks for your post. It’s given me the opportunity to examine these feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kalliope

    Omg I’m keen as beans to see what this means. Maybe I’m just a bit crazy but “the destroyer of worlds” is an idea I’ve always gravitated towards myself, too. I used to play warhammer way back in 2002 and stuff and I played dark elves whose skin I’d paint blue for the magic that ran under their skin. I was not familiar with the feri or Hindu religions and deities back then either.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I’d like to see how it transpires.


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