Caduceus is essentially a concept album of many layers. It reflects various stages and rites of initiation of a young seeker on “the Hero’s Path”, exploring maturity, cosmic education, psychological healing and expression of the inexplicable mysteries of life. It is a journey into shadowy areas of the psyche, and back out again. It is infused with the energy of dreams, written and sang with love, and sent to the world with the prayer that the lessons learned might help other people in The Great Beyond.

Metaphorically, the Caduceus reflects a dualistic argument, and subsequent agreement, of the polar opposites – not dissimilar to the resolution of the anguish of the mind, in which a battle of thoughts can cause great stress, and the resolution brings us home.

The chapters of the album describe a process that is often termed “shamanic initiation crisis” or “kundalini awakening” in which a person exhibits instability, sometimes agression, depression, and derailed communication, occuring during a period of transition in which the person is absorbing massive growth on a subconscious level. This can often be a great struggle to integrate with older patterns of understanding. Many communities across the globe have a common appreciation of it, and procedures to allow and assist a person to move through it. Unfortunately in other areas of the world, these behaviours are merely cast off as insanity.

Related to the symbol associated with medicine and healing known as the “Rod of Asclepius”, the Caduceus is an iconic symbol of intertwining serpents associated with Mercury, the messenger of the Gods. While it is traditionally associated in Greek mythology with commerce, merchants and thieves, the symbol is used in societies more ancient than the Greeks, wherein the intertwining serpents reflect the source of life.

Likewise, the ancient caduceus bears no small resemblance to that molecular pantheon called DNA. It is through the integration of indigenous understanding of the intertwining serpents with the modern revolution in the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid, whereby one may strike a remarkable balance of understanding of the essence of life. As though balancing contrasting hemispheres of the brain, what Jeremy Narby referred to as “defocusing”, such that the two paradigms can be seen in unison – therein we may find a New Way of Living.

Whatever we do in life, by being true to ourselves, and allowing ourselves to manifest the life beyond the ego, we can shine great light on our lives and those around us. Whether you choose to write, to heal, to dig, to study, to dance, to build, to travel, to settle – whatever it is, the wish behind this music is that you succeed, so that deep sourceless happiness can rise up through you and burst your heart with joy.


Review of Caduceus

Hauntingly Sincere

by bryanweb

This first album by Irish artist Stephen Galvin is a rare little treat. If you were to flick through the tracks you might make the mistake that this is yet another singer songwriter doodling away on a guitar, singing folky songs with just about an adequate technical mastery of his instrument. But show down and really listen and you will discover that Stephen Galvin is an artist and musician first and a guitarist second. Aficionados of folk guitar might not be so impressed, but aficionados of heart-felt sincere raw, even gut wrenching music, will relate to the musical journey going on here, even if has lots of rough edges. In particular the track Slowly It Will Be creatures a wonderful sense of the mystical, and weaves in and out of world musical rhythms and textures that are universal to all “soul” music. If you are in any way in touch with yourself at all, or going through any type of transition from asleep to awake in your life, you cannot but be touched by this meandering, meditative, prayerful and above all simple song. Other tracks are less spiritual and more experimental, but here too is the encounter with the non-ordinary, at the edge of our comfort zone. This is an album about suffering and healing, but there is a constant returning to something solid, something reliable, something comforting that always underlies our forays into the unknown, the frightening, the unfamiliar. I consider myself a real aficionado of guitar, and listen to the most technically sophisticated stuff out there in the finger style guitar tradition. But this album knocked me for ten. Behind and between the notes played on that guitar, is real music – straight from the heart. If you can hear it you will love it.