The heart of the Spheres of Chaos model is the Anthrosphere, also knows as the Opusphere (the world of the works of humanity) or the Technosphere. Here we recognise the peculiar way in which we, Homo sapiens, influence the Geosphere and Biosphere. With our amazing ability to make and control fire we have literally changed every part of the planet. One example of this is the way in which archaeologists, when using radio carbon dating techniques, give dates as ‘BP’ meaning Before Present. And when is the present exactly? The answer is January 1st 1950; following our detonation of the first atomic bombs we’ve spread radioactive isotopes across the whole world. After 1950 the carbon dating system is screwed, no dates established using that technique after that year can be trusted (and this will apply for a very, very long time).
This is the reason why, in geological terms, the era we’re living in is the Anthropocene – a period that many scientists consider begins with the industrial revolution. In the Anthrosphere we appreciate ourselves as deeply technological entities, throwing off tools, structures, wastes and behaviours into the world. Our technology circles the planet, looking back with unblinking satellite eye on the Geopshere and Biosphere. Techniques including animal domestication, farming, vaccination and written language have allowed us to proliferate in great numbers. Our biology itself is profoundly influenced by our technology; humans are coctivores, our gut’s structure reflects our millennia long love of cooked food. We change our bodies with piercing, tattooing, pharmaceuticals, artificial limbs and Google glasses.
The god of this centre (in our Left Hand Path analysis of the Spheres) is Set. Here is the god who is an exemplar of our deviation and division from other life-forms in the Biosphere. Set’s symbols include the knife and the scissors, those implements we use to cut the cord between the mother and child. Set is typically imagined as a bit kinky, a bit weird (in Norse culture we might say he is a bit ergi). He is god of the exotic, of metals, and of oil. He is associated with the colour red. The colour of hot, glowing iron from which we forge our tools and our machines.
Our work with Set and the Anthrosphere consisted of a freestyle shamanic opening up, to allow communication with this power. To do this we pulled out all the techno-esoteric stops; strobe lights, smoke machine, and Die Elektischen Vorspiele (an excellent track used in the rituals of The Temple of Set).
How do we acknowledge the ‘Gift of Set’ our individuating Self while at the same time appreciating that we are nourished by, and depend on others (other people, the Biosphere and Geosphere)? This is the great challenge of our species.