WHERE HEAVEN MEETS EARTH. 🌍
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." – Jung
Our new line of the most exquisite coffees from around the world, AXIS MUNDI X MAD PRIEST, celebrates the places where heaven meets earth in our lives. The concepts of Axis Mundi rooted in many of the world's religions & cultures inspired us to create this new collection of top shelf coffees. Through these coffees, we turn our attention towards the broader view of the world, the glory of the divine in each of us, and the celebration of our humanity.
ax·is mun·di / ak-səs-ˈmu̇n-dē.
Heaven meets earth.
That place where we gain an infinite view of that intersection.
A sense of order in chaos.
We've searched far and wide for these coffees. We've built new relationships and experienced new places, and broadened our view on the world. Any ideas where these first two AXIS MUNDI coffees are from? They are two very special places in the history of coffee. And those who have been following Mad Priest for a while just might know at least one of them. (Scroll down to the end to find out!)
The concept & definition of Axis Mundi
The term Axis Mundi comes from the Latin words "axis" (an invisible line around which an object rotates) and "mundi" (world), together meaning "pivot point, or line, connecting the earth and the sky/heavens." According to Merriam-Webster it means “world axis : line or stem through the earth's center connecting its surface to the underworld and the heavens and around which the universe revolves.”
The concepts of Axis Mundi are rooted in many of the world's religions & cultures. Different cultures represent the Axis Mundi by various symbols, either natural or man-made. (To learn more about axis mundi in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and more, read this article.) William F. Romain writes, “Cross Culturally, the Axis Mundi is expressed in many different ways. In some cultures the Axis Mundi is symbolized as the ‘world tree’ that links the upper and the lower worlds. Other cultures visualize the Axis Mundi as a column or pillar. Yet others describe it as a cosmic mountain. In many cases, the Axis Mundi is symbolized as temples, cities and palaces.” (from his book, Shamans of the Lost World: A Cognitive Approach to the Prehistoric Religion)
The tree is a very common symbol for axis mundi because it provides an axis that unites three spaces. Its branches reach for the sky, its trunk meets the earth, and its roots reach down into the underworld. For the Mad Priest version of axis mundi, we used the concept of a Baobab Tree – Africa’s “Tree of Life” which can live over 1,000 years!
Axis Mundi & Metaphysics
Carl Jung and David Bohm were both pioneers in intuition – the deeper connection to the transcendental – and the sense of order associated with the axis mundi. Jung expanded the understanding of the world within, while Bohm expanded the outer world view. The meeting between the inner and outer worlds would be an axis mundi of sorts, a place of connectedness. It is a place where order exists, while everything that exists outside of it remains in chaos or darkness.
Author Kari Hohne describes it, “The axis mundi or world axis has become a universal psychological center. No matter where it exists, whether in a shrine, the body, based on birth data, or at the top of a mountain, each focus us toward a center, or the point of access to divine guidance. This is where chaos can be organized into answers, offered from a more omniscient perspective. The pilgrimage to this center is often as important as arriving there. Proving our dedication and a willingness to open becomes the boon of the journey – and we receive the enlightenment.”
Axis Mundi in storytelling
The axis mundi is an ancient image that keeps appearing in tales and myths as well as modern fiction. Here’s some examples from New World Encyclopedia:
- The ash tree growing in Hunding's living room, in Act 1 of Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), is one of many appearances of the image in the operas of Richard Wagner. Hunding's tree recalls the World Ash visited by Wotan, a central character in the Ring cycle of which this opera forms a part (1848-1874).
- The Emerald City in the land of Oz, depicted in the popular book by L. Frank Baum (1900) and the subsequent MGM film (1939), stands at the center of the four compass directions. It resembles a stand of trees and is a destination for those seeking wisdom.
- Orodruin, location of the creation and destruction of the One Ring, is one of many representations of the symbol in The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R Tolkien (1937-1949).
- Two Trees of Valinor in Tolkien's tellingly named Middle-earth produce the light of the Supreme God (1937-1949).
- The wardrobe and lamppost in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (1949-1954) mark the spots where children travel between this world and the next and the place where the world ends.
- In an episode of Seinfeld titled "The Maid," Kramer finds himself at the corner of "1st and 1st…the Nexus of the Universe."
- The wooded hilltop and ascending and descending staircases in The Midsummer Marriage, an opera by English composer Michael Tippett (1955), explore Jungian aspects of the symbol.
- The pillar of fire rising to heaven from the ark of the covenant is recalled in the climax of Steven Spielberg's 1981 film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- A huge sheltering tree on a hilltop appears near the end of Stealing Beauty, a 1996 film by Bernardo Bertolucci, to crown a series of images evoking the primordial Paradise garden.
- In the surreal urban world of Gotham City, the Wayne Building acts as the symbolic center in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005), as does a fantastic cathedral-skyscraper-staircase-ladder combination in an earlier film by Tim Burton (1989).
Also, we have to add to this list, Avatar (cough, cough) with its Tree of Souls.
AXIS MUNDI X MAD PRIEST coffees
First up in the AXIS MUNDI series are two incredible coffees from Yemen and El Salvador. Yes, we are bringing Yemenia back for the 3rd year in a row! We will be sharing more about this coffee and the work that Qima Coffee continues to do in Yemen over the coming months. And from El Salvador we have the winning coffee from the Cup of Excellence (COE) El Salvador auction! Michael had the privilege of going to be part of the COE jury back in July, and he even got to visit El Conacaste’s really unique farm during his time there. Of course we had to try our hardest to secure this coffee in the auction for you to experience.
Here's to Axis Mundi and the experience of the reorienting divine in your life...